reading the business news

Facebook has just announced plans to create 1,000 more London-based jobs this year to improve safety on the social network with the aid of artificial intelligence.The new roles will increase the number of staff at the company's largest engineering hub outside the United States to more than 4,000. Facebook said that the new roles would help Facebook to "address the challenges of an open internet and develop artificial intelligence to find and remove harmful content more quickly.

Professor Mark Skilton, a digital communications expert at Warwick Business School in the UK, told CMSWire that the announcement reinforces the double jeopardy that Facebook and other social media platforms are struggling with in spite of their limitless financial resources. There are now 2.45 billion active users per month, so it is a huge challenge to spot maligned and fake behavior, he said. “We hoped artificial intelligence could be the silver bullet to automate all of this, but clearly the size of the data and the complexity of deceptive signatures in social human interaction has made that impossible so far,” he said.

“Recruiting 1,000 people sounds like a lot, but is it enough to stop all cases of online bullying and deception? It seems doubtful. We don’t know how bad the problem really is, as access to Facebook data for research has been heavily criticized by academics,”

The announcement is not surprising after the Cambridge Analytica fallout, but Facebook’s AI team still seem to need humans to spot and help train better tools. “This all feels like a work-in-progress, but it has distracted the media and politicians from the real problem of social media…This needs more than 1,000 additional staff, it needs a wholesale restructuring.”

Deutsche Bank Turns To NetDocuments For Cloud Help

In all the talk about digital workplace and digital transformation, older and often effective technology is overlooked. Such is the case with document management. While proprietary systems have been with us since the 1990s and many now have cloud versions, they are still creating problems for enterprises.

Though emerging technologies receive the most attention and coverage, the priority for most organizations is on the nuts and bolts. Organizations are prioritizing traditional technologies such as document management over more disruptive technologies such as AI. In fact, according to research carried out by Simpler Media across more than 450 executives, despite the noise surrounding AI and machine learning, organizations are prioritizing traditional technologies such as document management over more disruptive, younger cousins.

It is perhaps telling that the technology area named most important was document management and that two of the four areas garnering the lowest amount of interest were “AI/machine learning/automation” and “microservices/aggregator services.”

It will be no surprise then that Deutsche Bank, one of the biggest banks in the world, has just signed a contract with NetDocuments, which provides cloud-based legal document management system, to provide secure and fast access to relevant documents for all legal department employees of the bank, are located in 27 countries across the globe.

The NetDocuments system will make the collaboration between Legal department employees faster, thereby enhancing their daily working experience.

NetDocuments, you will recall, is a cloud-based document and email management service that provides enterprise-level security, mobility, disaster recovery, and collaboration solutions for organizations with high data security requirements, such as law firms, financial institutions, and insurance industries.

While it has a wide range of security features, in October last year it upgraded and introduced Workspace Security Manager (WSM). With many organizations are considering re-architecting their approach to information security, WSM makes this easy by allowing IT and risk professionals to lock down work spaces from a single administrative interface.  You can see what the attraction is for Deutsche Bank

According to the bank, the new platform will form an important part of the bank’s broader digital strategy of further modernizing and simplifying systems and working processes. It will allow the bank to shut down outdated, fragmented IT systems and to reduce IT costs further. Legal department employees will benefit from one core platform that will be more intuitive and that also supports access via mobile devices.

One of the conclusions of the Simpler Media report is telling here. It reads that the increase in effectiveness between those with a digital workplace program in progress and those where it has been fully implemented are particularly high. For Deutsche Bank that means getting document management right, which is probably a good starting point for other companies moving to digital.

AvePoint To Help Move Organizations Move From Slack To Teams

So 2020 is underway and the Microsoft Teams – Slack battle to dominate the collaboration market enters a new year. This the time, Microsoft has landed the first blow with the launch, of a major new ad campaign for Teams.

The campaign, which had its first showing on US TV over the past weekend during the NFL playoffs aims to sell ‘The Power of Teams in an effort catch the anyone that has not been exposed or converted as of yet. “The Power of Teams” juxtaposing old-school conference room meetings, complete with packets of printed-out charts and spilled coffee as phones are passed, versus what the company pitches as a new way of working.

Whether this works or not remains to be seen and we will be watching it closely as, no about, Microsoft will. But it’s not the only strategy. It has also been trying to get organizations that are working with Slack to move over to Teams. Clearly, though, it is not the only company that sees the value of this. Microsoft Partner AvePoint is also on the case and recently announced that it raised $200 Million in funding to help businesses and enterprises running Slack move to Microsoft Teams.

According to the Jersey City-based company, it will use its latest round of funding to accelerate its growth and investment into its channel offerings that provide managed service providers (MSPs) the tools to better migrate, manage and protect the Office 365 environments. In fact, it expects to add more than 40,000 customers through the channel over the next two years.

AvePoint currently offers governance, migration and protection services for Microsoft products. While Teams is a major tool, it also provides governance for SharePoint, Office 365 and other Microsoft SaaS products. 

In November, the company also announced that Cloud Governance is now generally available to customers for no additional charge as the MyHub app within Microsoft Teams.

With the MyHub, this user-facing Cloud Governance interface can be surfaced entirely within Microsoft Teams. MyHub’s bot functionality also notifies users with a Team’s chat message when they are required to take action on workspace approvals, recertifications and other to-do items.

Securing Teams is always going to be a winner given how much traction it has in the enterprise. What happens with AvePoint now remains to be seen but with €200 million in its pocket there’s all kinds of possibilities.

Oracle Automates Database Cloud Migration

With data and automation keep elements of the digital workplace, Oracle has just made things a great deal easier for enterprises that are using their products. The Redwood City, Calif.-based enterprise IT vendor has announced a major upgrade to its enterprise management platform, Oracle Enterprise Manager. Oracle Enterprise Manager is Oracle’s on-premises management platform, providing a single pane of glass for managing all of a customer's Oracle deployments, whether in their data centers or in the Oracle Cloud.

Through deep integration with Oracle’s product stack, Enterprise Manager provides management and automation support for Oracle applications, databases, middleware, hardware and engineered systems. The new release that Oracle has added automates database migration and provides a single dashboard that improves visibility, control, and management for hybrid IT environments.

The release is timely as any organization that is in the process of digital transformation is likely to move multiple databases to the cloud over an extended period of time. According to Oracle, it is the only company that provides Autonomous Cloud services, as well as the tools and migration services to help customers move to the cloud. More to the point IDC research indicates that over 90 percent of major enterprises rely on a mix of on-premises IT, dedicated cloud environments and public cloud services, and are seeking efficient ways to onboard, monitor, and manage across these hybrid environments

There are three key areas Oracle has improved Oracle Enterprise Manager:

  1. New intelligent analytics provided by the Exadata Warehouse enable users to maximize performance and utilization of Oracle Database and Exadata environments on-premises or in the cloud
  2. Comprehensive Lifecycle Automation and Control
  3. New comprehensive security controls include fleet maintenance support for Transparent Data Encryption and improved compliance monitoring.

Last year,  Gartner’s Forecast: Public Cloud Services, Worldwide, 2016-2022, 4Q18 Update predicted that the worldwide public cloud services market  would grow 17.5 percent in 2019 to total $214.3 billion, up from $182.4 billion in 2018, according to Gartner, Inc. The fastest-growing market segment will be cloud system infrastructure services, or infrastructure as a service (IaaS), which is forecast to grow 27.5 percent in 2019 to reach $38.9 billion, up from $30.5 billion in 2018. The second-highest growth rate of 21.8 percent will be achieved by cloud application infrastructure services, or platform as a service (PaaS). Oracle is right in there and continues to build its cloud offerings. Watch how this pans out over the course of the next 12 months.

Appian Buys RPA Developer Novayre

Finally this week, Tysons, Va.-based Appian has announced that it has bought Spanish-based Novayre Solutions, the developer of the Jidoka RPA platform. Judoka is currently the highest-rated RPA software on Gartner Peer Insights (>50 reviews). The result is that Appian now offers a one-stop shop for automation, with best-in-class solutions for workflow, AI, and RPA. For Anthony Macciola, Chief Innovation Officer at ABBYY, Appian acquiring RPA capabilities is not a new move among platform providers. For context, Milpitas, Calif.-based ABBYY already has partnerships with Appian and other RPA platform providers.

He explained that SAP acquired a European RPA vendor last November and Pega its RPA capabilities in 2016. There’s certainly synergy between RPA and BPM to automate a subset of activities in a process using robots as well as delivering full end-to-end process automation.

Regardless of the platform, a key part to any approach to any digital transformation strategy is the digital worker and process both need to continue to become more intelligent. “From ABBYY’s perspective that means delivering easy to configure, train, and consume technology that can turn unstructured content into structured, actionable information, deriving quick ROI out of content-centric processes,” he said. 

According to Forrester, the RPA market is expected to reach $12 billion by 2023, but many organizations are still in the early stages of their RPA journey.