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New IBM LinuxONE 4 Express Provides Client Value through Cyber Resilient Hybrid Cloud & AI Platform

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IBM unveiled IBM LinuxONE 4 Express, extending the latest performance, security and AI capabilities of LinuxONE to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and within new data center environments.

The pre-configured rack mount system is designed to offer cost savings and to remove client guesswork when spinning up workloads quickly and getting started with the platform to address new and traditional use cases such as digital assets, medical imaging with AI, and workload consolidation.

Building an integrated hybrid cloud strategy for today and years to come

As businesses move their products and services online quickly, oftentimes, they are left with a hybrid cloud environment created by default, with siloed stacks that are not conducive to alignment across businesses or the introduction of AI.

In a recent IBM IBV survey, 84% of executives asked acknowledged their enterprise struggles in eliminating silo-to-silo handoffs. And 78% of responding executives said that an inadequate operating model impedes successful adoption of their multicloud platform. 

With the pressure to accelerate and scale the impact of data and AI across the enterprise – and improve business outcomes – another approach that organizations can take is to more carefully identify which workloads should be on-premises vs in the cloud.

“Startups, entrepreneurs and SMEs are important drivers of economic growth and contribute significantly in driving innovation. The African Union SME Strategy has identified SMEs as a key pillar in private sector-led growth for inclusive and sustainable economic development.

“Technology has the power to unlock great potential, and provide SMEs on the continent with the ability to compete with their global counterparts,” said Julia Carvalho, General Manager for IBM Africa Growth Markets.

“With significant cost savings for startups and SME’s The IBM LinuxONE 4 Express stands ready to scale alongside their growth, accommodating evolving workload demands and performance requirements.

“Moreover, by offering AI inferencing capabilities co-located with critical data, LinuxONE 4 Express enables SMEs to explore and capitalize on emerging AI-driven opportunities empowering them to reach new markets and meet clients where they are.”

Delivering high scalability, availability and security for a range of data center environments and use cases 

 IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper 4, launched in April 2023 and based on the IBM Telum processor, features capabilities designed to reduce both energy consumption and data center floor space while delivering the scale, performance and security that clients need. 

Also built on the Telum processor and delivered in a rack mount format, IBM LinuxONE 4 Express offers high availability for clients who have strict resiliency requirements due to internal or external regulations.

In fact, IBM LinuxONE 4 Express systems, with GDPS, IBM DS8000 series storage with HyperSwap and running a Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform environment, are designed to deliver 99.999999% (eight 9s) availability.

 The system addresses a whole new set of use cases that startups and small businesses are facing, including:

  • Digital assets: IBM LinuxONE 4 Express provides a secured platform with confidential computing capabilities specifically designed to protect sensitive data, like digital assets. IBM Secure Execution for Linux is a hardware-based security technology that is now built into IBM LinuxONE 4 Express. Scalable isolation for individual workloads can help protect not only from external attacks, but also insider threats. This includes data in use, a particularly critical stage of security for digital assets use cases.
  • Medical imaging with AI: With IBM Telum processor on-chip AI inferencing, clients can co-locate AI with mission-critical data on a LinuxONE system, allowing data analysis where the data is located. For example, health insurance companies could analyze large volumes of medical records in near real time to validate process claims, increasing the speed of business decision making.
  • Workload consolidation: IBM LinuxONE 4 Express is designed to help clients simplify their IT environments and cut costs by consolidating databases onto a LinuxONE system. Designed to bring significant cost savings for clients over time, clients that move Linux workloads from compared x86 server to an IBM LinuxONE 4 Express can save over 52% on their total cost of ownership over 5 years.

 Activating the IBM Ecosystem for client success

With the IBM LinuxONE Ecosystem, including AquaSecurity, Clari5, Exponential AI, Opollo Technologies, Pennant and Spiking, IBM is working to provide solutions for today’s sustainability and cybersecurity challenges. For clients that run data serving, core banking and digital assets workloads, an optimized sustainability and security posture is key to protecting both sensitive private data and sustainable organizational goals. IBM Business Partners can learn more about the skills required to install, deploy, service and resell IBM LinuxONE 4 Express here.

To learn more, join IBM clients and partners on February 20, 2024 at 11 am ET for a deep dive, live webinar on industry trends, such as AI, sustainability and cybersecurity, as well as receive behind-the-scenes access to the new IBM LinuxONE 4 Express system.

 


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

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Nigerians Rush as Konga Slashes Prices of Starlink Satellite Internet Kits by 50 Percent

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Konga’s latest addition to its family of technology products, Starlink Satellite Internet Kits, has been met with overwhelming customer demand. The company is Starlink’s only authorised Shop-In-Shop eCommerce partner in Nigeria and provides immediate warranties on all Starlink kits bought from Konga.

Since the e-commerce giant broke the news of the price slash at 9pm on Tuesday night, shoppers in need of reliable, fast, low-latency internet services have trooped to konga.com to grab their share of the unbeatable deal on offer for the Space X engineered satellite kit. Until March of this year, the internet kits had been selling for N800,000 due to the devaluation of the Naira, and now go for N440,000 with the local currency regaining its strength.

As the clock races and limited stock runs out, our investigation confirms that those who purchased Starlink on Konga have begun to receive same-day delivery shipping for their orders in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Rivers State.

On its e-commerce website, the unprecedented surge in demand for the product saw web traffic triple in 4 hours as customers took advantage of the great pricing and seamless order process available via the authentic official Starlink store in Nigeria on Konga.

Konga is yet to reveal how many units of the product it will be releasing to the market at the current discounted price; however, insider reports indicate that there is limited stock available for a short time at this amount. For this reason, customers are encouraged to place their orders immediately.

According to the Head of Business for Konga’s commercial unit, Emmanuel Ekwedike, the online shopping platform always delivers deals that make sense. With the Starlink kits, while customers can buy online and have the orders shipped to their homes and offices nationwide, they can also visit any Konga retail outlet around the country to make an instant purchase.

In February, Konga announced the launch of Starlink kits on its platform with an initial selling price of N378,000 to great reviews. As the month advances, the excitement is still running high as users get high-end quality experiences from purchasing genuine kits and other products with global warranty at its retail outlets and online via the e-commerce portal.

Konga.com is Nigeria’s largest customer centric omnichannel online mall. It launched operations in July 2012 and is on a mission to become the engine of commerce and trade in Africa.

Starlink kits provide high-speed internet services to users around the world through advanced low-latency satellite technology, as a solution to internet disruptions caused by fibre cuts.


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New Salesforce-WhatsApp Integration brings Marketing and Service Conversations together

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Salesforce, the #1 AI CRM, announced the general availability of Unified Conversations for WhatsApp, which transforms one-way marketing promotions or service requests into dynamic, two-way conversations from a single WhatsApp number.

Instead of managing separate threads for promotions and support, customers can automatically receive personalised opt-in marketing promotions and individual support all within a single WhatsApp chat between a brand and customer.

This allows companies like Agibank to use data stored in Salesforce from across their more than 900 hubs within WhatsApp to deliver personalised loan proposals, resolve concerns faster, and better support customers — all in a single conversation.

Why it matters: Seventy-nine percent of customers expect consistent interactions across departments and 75% want to communicate with brands using messaging. However, businesses aren’t meeting these expectations. Customers report that disconnected experiences are their top frustration when dealing with an organisation.

Salesforce perspective: “With more than two billion people using WhatsApp today, Salesforce’s new Unified Conversations for WhatsApp enables brands to connect with their customers where they are and have a single, connected, and trusted experience,” said Steve Hammond, EVP and GM, Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

“This helps brands break down barriers across their company and build stronger relationships throughout their customer’s journey, including natural handoffs from marketing to service teams, by driving the right personalised engagement, no matter where they are in the customer journey, at the right time and in the right context.”

Go deeper: Unified Conversations for WhatsApp is powered by Salesforce Data Cloud. Data Cloud allows companies to bring all of their trapped data into Salesforce and build a unified customer profile across all products, services, and interactions. This allows marketers and service agents to work off the same, shared customer profile and provides them with the relevant context needed to deliver trusted experiences across both departments in a single chat thread.

Innovation in action: By combining marketing and service conversations together in Unified Conversations for WhatsApp:

  • Marketers can segment audiences and create content for marketing campaigns while giving service agents a window into customers’ interactions to provide recommended next best actions using a single WhatsApp number.

  • Inside one WhatsApp conversation, healthcare organisations can schedule, confirm, and provide follow-up support for procedures and appointments.

  • Financial service institutions can prevent fraud by offering a single experience in WhatsApp to proactively verify and provide assistance for unusual transactions.

  • Travellers can respond to personalised trip offers and book experiences through chatbot-powered prompts in WhatsApp.

 


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Meta to Blur Nude Photos on Instagram for Teen Safety

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Meta the owner of Instagram is introducing a new safety feature to help protect teenagers from seeing unwanted nude photos in their direct messages.

Meta to Blur Nude Photos on Instagram for Teen Safety

The feature will automatically blur out nude images if the recipient is identified as a teenager.

Meta said this safety measure is aimed at addressing three main problems.

First, teenagers sometimes receive nude photos that they didn’t ask for and don’t want to see.

Second, sending nude photos of teenagers, even if it’s the teenagers themselves sending them, can be against the law. And third, there are scams where teenagers, especially boys, are tricked into sending explicit photos and then blackmailed.

The tech giant is under mounting pressure in the United States and Europe over allegations that its apps were addictive and have fueled mental health issues among young people.

Meta said the protection feature for Instagram’s direct messages would use on-device machine learning to analyze whether an image sent through the service contains nudity.

Meta, the company that owns Instagram, will use this technology to detect nude photos in direct messages. If the recipient is flagged as a teenager based on their birthdate, the photo will be blurred, and a warning message will appear.

Attorneys general of 33 U.S. states, including California and New York, sued the company in October, saying it repeatedly misled the public about the dangers of its platforms.

In Europe, the European Commission has sought information on how Meta protects children from illegal and harmful content.

 

 


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