2018

How can IoT architecture be kept safe and secure?

It was in the early 90s when the Internet was made public. It changed the course of human life. Just like the Internet, Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to alter the world.

Moreover, it has started to play its part. Many organizations have and many are adopting and planning their infrastructure in order to create an IoT architecture.

With further expansion of the IoT architecture along with Cloud IoT architecture comes the question of its security and safety. As IoT architecture is a complex body with many layers attached. Thus, its safety becomes crucial.

Here we have leaders of the industry on how they plan to secure Internet of Things architecture and tips to keep it safe to give you a better perspective on your own system.

 

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Data Security Incidents Prompt Organizations to Improve their Security Standards

The data held in every business is valuable, and in the prevailing hyper-competitive business environment, all enterprises are looking to leverage and monetize the information it holds to the maximum potential.

The threat landscape is exploding at an unimaginable pace. Cybercriminals are discreetly finding new ways to invade the most sensitive data from networks and to gain access, plant malware and launch a remote attack, and cause disruption to the organizational security. Safeguarding business data is a huge challenge for businesses today.

This disturbing upward trend in cyber-attack and data security incidents is prompting organizations to improve their security standards in every aspect to protect data and combat security breaches. Right from training employees to formulating robust security policies, organizations are setting up various strategies to secure data and assets that are critical to business operations.

“Enterprises have been able to gather, store and process data available in their business environment and to also use it for business purposes using big data analytics with reasonable success rates. This has made them realize that big data across their business environment is a valuable asset and needs to be well protected.

As a consequence, in addition to various legal requirements, most organisations take steps to protect their business data, assets and critical infrastructure with real time visibility, detection and remediation of threats. Information security policies, vulnerability analysis and mitigation procedures, updated cybersecurity solutions, training in-house staff and various other aspects are being revamped and recalibrated,” said Sriram TV- Director – Consulting & Business Development, Juniper Networks.

Data protection has become one of the top agenda for enterprises to remain competitive and profitable in their respective businesses. Traditional signature-based defense mechanisms are not enough to defend against sophisticated attacks. To battle against advanced data security risks, organizations must adopt proactive threat intelligence and mitigation strategies.

Importance of Securing Data

“The world of data security changes every day. Not only are there new threats from hackers, but changes in how we work are fundamentally shifting how we need to think about protecting important information” said Anjali Arora, SVP and Chief Product Officer, Rocket Software.

According to Gagandeep Singh, Practice Head, Risk Advisory Services & Security Intelligence and Operations, Aujas, organizations are realizing and recognizing the risks they are exposed to when it comes to their data which is leading to a more matured and considerate approach towards the data protection. Our industry and professionals do use data protection and data security interchangeably, however, they happen to be similar but two different terms one more encompassing than the other. The approach the most matured organizations have taken or may take would consist of the following steps:

Data Protection Policy

  • Involvement of business owners who also would be the data owners
  • In-Depth understanding of critical and non-critical data
  • Data Classification and labelling
  • Data Flow Analysis
  • Data Leakage risk assessment

 

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Reskilling Can Get You Artificial Intelligence Jobs that Pay as Much as Rs 10 Lakhs

Reskilling has become a priority as the industry faces a dearth of skilled technologists with the advent of the digital transformation phenomenon

 

Digital transformation has become a buzzword of late and is a trend every industry wants to be onboard with. Nonetheless, while digital transformation is revamping the way businesses function shortage of skills in employees is causing hindrance for companies to truly adopt new age technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning. Therefore, companies are endorsing reskilling for it could be the only way out of this problem.

“Aspiring technologists have to seriously consider reskilling – raising their skillsets, learning from different sources, and investing in peer-learning, while remaining agile and responsive to the demands of the market. The days when one could choose a technology, specialize in it and work on it for years together are now history. The new mantra is to continuously evolve, be experimental, and be open to and invest in continuous and lifelong learning,” said Nishikant Nigam, EVP and Chief Delivery Officer at CSS Corp while addressing the issue of skills shortage.

Even CP Gurnani, MD and CEO of Tech Mahindra highly endorses reskilling and said “At Tech Mahindra, reskilling is core to our strategy; today’s disruptive business landscape demands for our talents to be future ready and it is our prime responsibility that the right tools and innovative pathways are facilitated for them. This recognition motivates us to continue investing in empowering our workforce to stay relevant in the digital future,” after he was honored with a Gold in CEO World Awards 2018 for his ambitious initiative aimed at reskilling and up-skilling over 112,000 Tech Mahindra employees, as per a release issued by the company.

There is another initiative for aspiring technologists to consider reskilling. As per data released by Simplilearn, a platform that offers courses in new age technologies like data science, bid data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, AI and ML jobs are in demand in India and those proficient in it can earn anywhere from 4 lakhs to as much as 18 lakhs.

Data on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Jobs in India

Based on current trends and demands, Simplilearn has released the top “In demand AI and machine learning jobs in India” along with their average salaries (per annum). Some of the artificial intelligence jobs in demand are data scientist (salary Rs 8.5 to 10 lakhs), machine learning engineer (Rs 6.5 to 8 lakhs), software architect (Rs 19 lakhs), data analyst (Rs 4 to 5 lakhs), and robotics scientist (Rs 5 to 7 lakhs).

The skills needed for the jobs are Python, R Spark, Java, C++, Linux, Machine learning, Deep Learning, Neural Networks and Data mining. Simplilearn mentions that there are nearly 4000 job openings in the field and banking, IT, financial services, management consulting, recruitment and educational industries are looking to hire experts in AI.

Furthermore, the machine learning jobs that are in demand are machine learning engineer (8 to 12 lakhs), software architect (10 to 18 lakhs), DW engineer (Rs 6.72 lakhs), data analyst (Rs 3.5 to 4 lakhs), and data stack developers (Rs 5.77 to 8 lakhs).

Simplilearn

The skills needed for machine learning jobs are CS fundamentals and programming, probability and statistics, data modeling and evaluation, machine learning algorithms, software and system design, python, C++, R and Java. The number of machine learning jobs is as many as 8000 and financial service, banking, research, telecommunications, IT and services industries are looking for technologists proficient in the same.

Some of the top companies hiring AI and Ml experts are Accenture, Amazon, Cisco, GoldmanSachs, JP Morgan, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Dell, Intel, NVidia, and Societe Generale, says Simpilearn.

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Telecom industry being redefined with advent of AI, automation and analytics

As telecom industry is gearing up for the interplay between AI, automation and analytics to drive businesses and new revenue streams, it becomes crucial to have a look at the digital technologies that are changing the landscape for telcos

As telecom industry is gearing up for the interplay between AI, automation and analytics to drive businesses and new revenue streams, it becomes crucial to have a look at the digital technologies that are changing the landscape for the telcos. In an interaction with ET’s Tina Gurnaney, Nishikant Nigam, EVP & Chief Delivery Officer at CSS CORP discusses AI’s role among other technologies in revolutionizing telecom networks.

What role are AI, analytics and automation playing in revolutionizing telecom networks?

The rapid transition to digital has changed the world including telcos. Traditional voice and text businesses are declining as the data business grows exponentially. The competition has broadened to include new kinds of companies. Also, the customers’ expectations are very different. Organizations need to renovate, innovate and evolve much faster than ever before to stay relevant.

AI, analytics and automation are powerful technologies in that quest, we call them “lever technologies”. These technologies, especially when used together, have a similar effect.

Just like the lever, these technologies are a means to an end, not an end by themselves. They not only enable more efficiency and optimization but also open up new possibilities in the telcos’ strategies that just weren’t there in the past. But really embracing these tools allows telcos to catapult into new frontiers – implementing high-density urban 5G deployments, predicting system failures and prompting preventive action, and humanizing customer service chatbots.

Can AI help telcos in creating new revenue streams?

Absolutely. This industry, like many others, is being redefined. The traditional services and competitors are being challenged by companies from other industries who are “blurring the lines” on what it means to be a telco. Similarly, telcos are able to cross over into adjacent or tangentially related industries. The companies who can do that successfully are ones that provide a superior customer experience. It gives companies the brand permissions they need to branch out into new areas and build new revenue models.

What are the trends we’re seeing in the telecom space with regards to AI?

We are really in the golden age of the consumer, and telecom companies are using more and more AI to give customers more choices and personalized services than ever before. This continued evolution in consumer demand, coupled with proliferated smartphone usage, will continue to drive fundamental changes in the way consumers react to services and have taken the consumer-brand collaboration to the whole new level. Tools like conversational interfaces are on the rise. The blend of voice recognition, natural language processing, and artificial intelligence can understand not only the user’s words but their intent and context which help telecos to establish customer trust. Telecom companies are also using AI to drive efficiencies and better manage increasingly complex operations, systems, and networks.

What can be telcos’ digital strategy going forward?

Legacy digital strategies focused more on running digital as an isolated area of the business, with a dedicated “digital team”. Newer strategies recognize that the majority of customers’ interactions will occur through digital channels, so they can be used as a way to create value throughout the customer’s journey. Hence digital plays on the front office side as a means to enhance revenue, provide better customer experience and value for customers, which is critical given customer’s high expectations and lower switching costs.

Some of the key strategies that telecom organizations can use to embrace the ever-changing digital technologies include predictive analytics for customer behavior and journey mapping, self-help and DIY, innovative pricing models, robotic process automation (RPA), omni-channel support and mobile based customer support. These strategies can help to improve customers’ experience and solve problems of the telecom industry through multimedia and online support; helping businesses to build customer relationships, customer loyalty and increase revenues.

How can AI help in automating the networks?

With the growing use of cloud and the rise of the Internet of Things, not to mention consumer data, the networks need to handle higher volumes of data than ever before, making automation an imperative for better network planning and connectivity. AI helps networks to identify the best course of actions, to build self- healing capabilities, and to emulate human-like behavior of adapting.

How can AI help with smooth integration of technologies including virtualization, SDN-NFV, orchestration?

Software-defined networks (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) are major advances in the industry, creating more agile and flexible communications infrastructure – but to be useful we must be able to manage them efficiently. They must be highly reliable and scalable, easily set up, with efficient ways to monitoring, maintain, and repair them. AI is uniquely suited to analyzing large volumes of information, extracting information and identifying insights – even more than traditional analytics – because it can learn from itself. So with a technology that’s still emerging, the AI-based systems that manage them can learn along with them. We don’t have to constantly reprogram or recalibrate. These systems can take on provisioning of SDN for network managers, for instance, or virtualization of NFV to realize an on-demand dynamic network configuration.

Are there any telcos in India working on AI related solutions?

Yes, absolutely. Most of the major telcos have adopted the AI wave and are working on related solutions. For example, Vodafone launched its chatbot in 2017, named TOBi. It’s a virtual service agent powered by AI through IBM Watson and integrated with Facebook Messenger. It helps customers seeking answers to basic questions over web chat. Many others are working on similar projects or not far behind.

Are there any projections you can share for the same?

You can expect to read about more AI-based projects in the next 12-18 months as AI becomes truly an integral part of telecommunications industry.

One of the successful use cases could be managing customer support operations and IT operations in the telecom industry where AI enables convergence of human and machine intelligence. This results in improved business agility, operational excellence, and resilience, and brings about better customer experience. The ability to respond instantaneously and accurately to customers’ questions and helping them in decision making processes have made AI an integral part of telecom customer experience ecosystem.

What role are analytics, intelligent automation playing in revolutionizing telecom networks?

These technologies have created a lot of changes to telecom operators. The advent of 5G is likely to lead to high-density urban deployments, which would create multitudes of patterns that’d be practically impossible for humans to manage but would be easily handled by self-learning AI. AI is also likely to impact the telecom industry in areas like traffic classification, anomaly detection, network optimization and orchestration. The ways to use AI in networks are still emerging but these are some that have a lot of focus now.

What revenue streams can telcos explore while leveraging emerging technologies?

Cross-platform consumption of media and content is one area that is opening up further growth opportunities for telcos with AI-led solutions. Once companies have competencies with implementing and using AI, the revenue possibilities are very broad. Specific opportunities depend on each company’s strengths and opportunities. The other option is for the telcos to also co-innovate with niche service providers that bring these emerging technologies across a variety of use cases to the table.

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Artificial Intelligence: The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing the present scenario in the world. AI has the potential to drive a car, determine the nationality of a person through his handwriting, detect machine breakdown on listening to its sound and can produce 20,000 lines of copy in a second.

All in all, it will alter our day-to-day lives. As pointed out by CEO of Google – Sundar Pichai that artificial intelligence can become more vital than fire or electricity.

On the other hand, billionaire investor Ray Dalio remarked that it is a “two-edged sword.” It is boosting the productivity but eliminating jobs, which in the run will create gaps between wealth and opportunity.

From here we need to understand is AI just a robotic apocalypse or the fourth industrial revolution.

AI: Fourth Industrial Revolution or Robotic Apocalypse?
Artificial Intelligence is one of the key rising technology breakthroughs because it can transform the world in exceptional ways. AI and robotics can change the way businesses function and advance efficiencies and cost.

Arti Pande, Lead Consultant at ThoughtWorks said that putting it in simple words, AI will aid enterprises to make better decisions because intelligent tools will augment human capability with increased efficiency, precision and creativity. Arti further stated, “The critical argument is that the fourth industrial revolution will not cause unemployment but will evolve the quality and types of jobs. Humans will re-skill and equip themselves with new capabilities, compatible with an AI-powered workplace”.

As quoted by Professor Klaus Schwab in ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution’, we are living in a world where technology is influencing the way we live, connect with systems, access information, leverage services, and relate with each other socially. And when used judiciously, this new technology – AI – will certainly boost productivity, operational efficiency and customer experience in enterprises, and can provide a platform for digital reach in societies. AI can be prevented from turning into a robotic apocalypse by putting adequate regulations, governance and sense of responsibilities in place, said Dr. Kiran Marri, VP- Solutions, Digital Engineering & Testing Services at CSS Corp.

Mahesh Nayak, SAP Labs India holds that with AI becoming increasingly ingrained into our lives, it offers a lot of promise, but can also be a double-edged sword. Gartner in a report says that by 2020, artificial intelligence will create 2.3 million jobs whilst eliminating 1.8 million. But, everything about AI so far has been about helping human minds to work better, not theirs. We can simulate perception, reasoning, planning, learning, creativity but at the end of the day this is pure simulation on our terms.

Thus, artificial intelligence is definitely the fourth industrial revolution, rather than a robotic apocalypse. It is faster, efficient and more widely accessible. Moreover, a plethora of opportunities has been ushered in, as AI can now handle complex tasks including Object detection, Speech and Face recognition, etc. We may expect AI to be increasingly capable of performing complex tasks, especially in areas of application with massive data sets, believes George Mundassery, Tech Mahindra.

 

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CSS Corp opens 2nd facility in PHL

TECH support firm CSS Corp. has opened its second delivery center in Metro Manila as part of its continued expansion in the country.

In a statement, CSS Corp. said it plans to hire over 400 employees for the new facility, located in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), within the next six to eight months. The jobs will be for technical support, help desk, customer support and account management.

“Philippines continues to emerge as an outsourcing hot spot for global players, given its strong understanding of customers in US and EU, coupled with the surge in digital-savvy talent and technical skills,” Manish Tandon, CSS Corp. chief executive officer, said in the statement.

The 24,218-square feet facility will feature “state-of-the-art” workspaces, two training centers, technical labs, collaboration rooms and recreational areas including a 24-hour cafeteria, karaoke and billiard rooms.

“The Philippines, with its ease of doing business, burgeoning tech talent, and exceptional language skills, has become a favored destination for support capabilities, especially with the rise in cognitive technologies. Coupled with strong labor policies and government incentives, the country brings tremendous potential for growth in the near future,” Arvind Kingsly Appavu, country head and assistant vice-president — Philippines at CSS Corp., said.

CSS Corp. opened its first center in Manila in 2009. The new BGC facility will bring the company’s presence in Asia to eight.

Last year, CSS Corp. opened a development center in Costa Rica and Bengaluru, India.

CSS Corp. is a new age information technology and technology support service provider that utilizes various technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, analytics and cloud, among others. — Janina C. Lim

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Intelligent Automation Systems: The Birth of a New Era

By Phanikishore Burre, Vice President & Global Head – Cloud, Infrastructure & Security Services, CSS Corp

Intelligent automation is the use of artificial intelligence technologies (including natural language processing, machine learning, and other technologies) to automate tasks otherwise performed by humans, including both physical tasks and decision making. They may range from the regular to the disruptive: from simply collecting, analyzing, and making decisions based on available information, to guiding robots and driverless vehicles.

Intelligent automation (IA) system differ significantly from traditional automation in their ability to constantly evolve and learn. IA systems sense and synthesize huge amounts of information and develop insights about the processes they are performing. They can use these insights to predict the outcomes of potential actions, such as changes made to the underlying enterprise infrastructure or application updates to business processes.

There are numerous examples of the commercial use of intelligent automation. Credit card processing systems can identify and block fraudulent transactions. Marketing systems can make offers to clients depending on the analyses of their profile and market demands. E-discovery systems that can identify document meaning for litigation purposes.

Demand for Intelligent Automation

The range of business problems to which intelligent automation can be applied is expanding as advanced technologies improve and become usable by non-specialists. Demand continues to be driven by:

• Tight Labor Markets:A shortage of workers in sectors like retail, customer support, manufacturing, and insurance have led companies to seek out alternatives. By automating routine tasks, available human resources are freed up.

• Exponential Growth of Data and Information: On an average, human knowledge is doubling every 13 months. IBM estimates that the build out of the Internet of Things will lead to the doubling of information every 12 hours. IA, like power tools, enables knowledge workers—from plant supervisors to investment analysts to physicians—to process, understand, and effectively use huge volumes of information.

• Prebuild IA Solutions: Software firms, technology firms, and private equity are all betting big on all things AI. One result is the growth of industry-specific IA solutions and IA-as-a-service. These pre-built tools decrease costs, mitigate risks, and increase ease-of-use. From tech companies like EdTech Foundry’s chatbots that assist students in higher education to software firms like Lytic’s IA-based personalized marketing solutions for healthcare companies, niche IA solutions are being developed for every conceivable use.

Use of Intelligent Automation to Automate Decision Making
A potent use of IA involves automation of analysis and decision making. The complete workflow often includes humans for reviewing and approving decisions made by machines but removing most of the analysis work can produce better decisions more efficiently.

Tech manufacturers use IA for monitoring customer infrastructure and application for risks and enabling service agility. IA can extract key metrics from IT operations, and dynamically set thresholds and drive operational excellence.

In the public sector, a network of sensors, cameras, and data feeds linked to an AI-powered system can automatically flag images for a human analyst watching for potential threats. Londonhas deployed a large citywide network of video cameras and leverages intelligent technologies for identifying crime suspects.

Automation of Physical Tasks through Collaborative Robots
The new generation of intelligent robots can perform much more sophisticated physical tasks than their traditional counterparts and can even learn from human coworkers.

Kiva Systems’ famous “mobile-robotic fulfillment system” automates retail distribution centers for organizations. Robots travel around a distribution center to automatically transport shelving units loaded with products to workers who are preparing customer orders for shipment. Amazon acquired Kiva Systems last year for nearly $800 million.

Volkswagen implemented “collaborative robots” in an engine production plant in Germany that work side by side with humans. Volkswagen’s motivation for implementing the robot was to prevent “long-term burdens” on its employees by having machines take over tasks that are “ergonomically unfavorable.”

Given the breakneck pace of automation technology, there is no tried and true path for organizations to follow. It will not be a natural act, and will require effort from each one of us. But that should not stop today’s leaders. To benefit from intelligent automation, organizations need to ensure that their teams are fully equipped to take the advantage of the changes that lie ahead. It also means investing in innovation and new skills, and creating an environment of experimentation, opportunity and growth. But first, it requires a shift to a digital mindset and culture where the relationship between people and machines can fulfill its potential as essential co-workers for the digital age.

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Reimagining Consumer Experience for Telcos in the Era of Hyper-Convergence

Implementations of human-AI collaborations are being devised to maximize customer interactions.

The telecom industry is at the forefront of enabling best-in-class customer experiences. With large-scale changes in market environments and increased executive push towards digitisation, telcos are exploring new business models to create and capture value. The digital customer needs to be delighted and operators are leveraging new levels of personalisation at a scale never imagined before.Telecom firms are now analysing real-time customer data through smart algorithms to deliver personalised experiences concurrently to millions of customers. These experiences are seamlessly integrated into every customer touch point using AI, predictive analytics, and real-time feedback loops.With the dawn of the digital world, customers expect the experiences to have the following attributes:

• Context-aware: In today’s always-on connected world, customers demand agile experiences because of their changing needs and demands, telecom providers are expected to quickly adopt data-driven insights to map customer needs, know their interaction patterns, and engage with them by anticipating their requirements.

• Service extensions: To enable services like digitised wallets, media services, and custom utilities operators ought to be partnering with third-party service providers for broadening customer reach and relationships. Telcos are expected to be multi-service providers and develop platform driven solutions to ensure demonstrable advantages for the customer.

• Service centricity: Compelling value delivered through in-time quality service can be a key lever to be factored while designing customer retention strategies. Customers are also willing to get empowered with the tools and know-how to resolve service issues. Users are also expecting personal data confidentiality and wish to have complete control over it.

The need is clear. The industry has to transform its ways of interacting with the customers since they are expecting the same level of digital experiences given by other industry sectors.

 

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CSS Corp wins gold at 10th Annual 2018 Golden Bridge Awards

CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology support company, today announced that its cognitive assistant platform Cognitive CX Platform has been awarded Gold at the 10th Annual 2018 Golden Bridge Awards. The award will be presented in San Francisco on Monday, October 29, 2018, during the red-carpet ceremony.

CSS Corp has built Cognitive CX Platform to help brands reorient their customer experience approach through an outcome-based model. The company enables organizations to adopt contextual digital strategies and proposes solutions that automate interactions, amplify customer service agents and simplify their operations.

CSS Corp’s Cognitive CX Platform ties four crucial components of customer lifecycle management:
1. Customer experience enhancement
2. Digital journey orchestration
3. Revenue generation
4. Outcome-based delivery

The company is investing significantly in its Cognitive CX Platform platform to help businesses anticipate and resolve customer issues at scale and at manageable costs. The company recently released the enterprise version of the Cognitive CX Platform that focuses on streamlining and modernizing enterprise support operations.

“Brands that master personalization and bring deep, intuitive customer experiences through smarter technology will thrive in the digital future. CSS Corp’s deep capabilities in digital, coupled with our obsessive focus on customer centricity has helped us to offer unique expertise to our clientele and aid in their transformation journeys,” said Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp.

“This recognition is another milestone in our innovation journey, as we continue to explore new frontiers in creating cognitive solutions for tomorrow’s business problems,” he further added.

Sunil Mittal, EVP & Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, CSS Corp said, “Our digital-focused strategy and innovation roadmap has helped us to develop intuitive solutions that identify new revenue opportunities and power growth for our customers. Our cognitive platform Cognitive CX Platform is born out of this approach, and since its launch, Cognitive CX Platform has helped us to explore greater personalization in CX, for our clients.”

“We are honored to be recognized by Golden Bridge Awards, and we will continue to push new boundaries in customer excellence through cutting-edge innovation and intelligent technology,” he further added.

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