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TECHNOLOGY

Informatica launches Intelligent Data Management Cloud for Retail

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Informatica, an enterprise cloud data management provider, has unveiled the Intelligent Data Management Cloud (IDMC) for Retail with new cloud-first, cloud-native capabilities built to help the retail industry drive innovation and business value.

The retail industry has had to pivot to a digital-first strategy powered by the Cloud in matter of weeks in light of the global pandemic and this acceleration to the Cloud is predicted to continue post Covid. The retail industry will generate more data in the next three years than in the past thirty, driving them to invest in cloud-first solutions that can unify customer data across multiple sources to derive a single source of truth. IDMC for Retail is the first and only cloud-neutral Data Management Cloud for the retail industry enabling retail organisations to deliver digital-first experiences to their customers and driving omni-channel revenue growth.

The Hershey Company, a snacking powerhouse with over 90 brands and $8B in annual revenues, keeps its 128-year-old company thriving with its long-term view on growth and differentiated capabilities. The company recognised the importance of modernising the way trusted data is delivered to the business, seeking a solution that is easy to adopt and would deliver immediate value. “Informatica was able to demonstrate the power of the Intelligent Data Management Cloud platform, demonstrating out of the box connectivity while also having the ability to tailor UI’s to both technical and business users,” said Ryan Gelberd, Enterpirse Data and Technology, the Hershey Company. “The partnership will allow Hershey to deliver trusted, governed data to their users with the utmost confidence.”

“The Cloud has empowered us to engage with our customers in meaningful ways never before possible and capitalise on real-time moments to up-sell and cross-sell while maintaining high customer satisfaction scores,” said Gary Desai, CIO, Discount Tires. “Informatica’s Intelligent Data Management Cloud for Retail will be a game-changer for retail companies especially with its ability to efficiently manage the supply chain and inventory in the current climate.”

IDMC for Retail enables retail companies to deliver highly personalised, digital-first customer experiences across all channels, at-scale so retailers can respond to dynamic, real-time customer needs by unifying customer data across multiple domains, systems and multiple clouds in some instances.

IDMC for Retail helps:
• Improve customer profiles with clean, consistent and complete information
• Increase self-service with search and exploration of customer relationships through both network and hierarchy views
• Efficiently acquire, manage and publish relevant and trusted product content to drive seamless customer experience

Increase Supply Chain and Inventory Management Efficiencies: According to a McKinsey consumer study published in December when faced with out of stocks, 71% of consumers will switch brands and retailers. IDMC for Retail helps improve inventory visibility at the store and distribution center level and increases the accuracy of demand forecasting. In a world where climate change and geopolitical tensions, will continue to create supply chain uncertainty, closer collaboration with suppliers is a powerful way to address supply disruption and price volatility.

IDMC for Retail helps:
• Boost productivity and cut costs by reducing business overhead and manual work for managing supplier information
• Shrink supplier and product onboarding and qualification time from weeks to days
• Improve supplier collaboration, assess compliance and manage supplier risk to build a resilient and sustainable supply chain

Maintain Customer Trust and Loyalty with Industry-Certified Data Governance and Compliance Standards: Data privacy regulations directly impact the way multinational companies conduct their business. IDMC for Retail helps prevent exposure and reduces risk by providing effective data governance and privacy capabilities. By providing visibility into data usage and access, it reduces risk exposure to potential breaches and non-compliances with data privacy laws such as GDPR and CCPA, reduce financial penalties, and help build trust and loyalty from customers.

IDMC for Retail helps:
• Rapidly find and compile personal data, which is held in countless disconnected systems throughout your enterprise
• Respond to subject requests and data breaches within the timelines required by GDPR, CCPA and other regulations
• Foster IT and business collaboration, driving productivity and rapidly accelerated reporting processes

Informatica has a rich ecosystem of cloud partners, AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft, Snowflake and Databricks to provide seamless integrations to help retail customers succeed in their cloud-first digital transformation. GSI partners like Accenture, CapGemini, Deloitte, Cognizant and Wipro have been integral to Informatica’s cloud expansion in the retail industry and actively engaged in helping several joint retail customers in adopting IDMC.

“The Informatica Intelligent Data Management Cloud for Retail is the only, end-to-end, cloud-neutral data management platform built to enable retail organisations continuously innovate their customer experience, omni-channel shopping and supply chain efficiencies with seamless access to trusted data when and where they need it,” said Jitesh Ghai, Chief Product Officer, Informatica. “The retail industry is on an accelerated path to digital transformation in the next few years and Informatica is helping retail organisations stay competitive and drive business value by unlocking the value of unified data.”

Want to learn more about cloud and cyber security from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo. The next events in the series will be held in Santa Clara on 11-12 May 2022, Amsterdam on 20-21 September 2022, and London on 1-2 December 2022. 

Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

Tags: Data Management


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TECHNOLOGY

Next-gen chips, Amazon Q, and speedy S3

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AWS re:Invent, which has been taking place from November 27 and runs to December 1, has had its usual plethora of announcements: a total of 21 at time of print.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the huge potential impact of generative AI – ChatGPT officially turns one year old today – a lot of focus has been on the AI side for AWS’ announcements, including a major partnership inked with NVIDIA across infrastructure, software, and services.

Yet there has been plenty more announced at the Las Vegas jamboree besides. Here, CloudTech rounds up the best of the rest:

Next-generation chips

This was the other major AI-focused announcement at re:Invent: the launch of two new chips, AWS Graviton4 and AWS Trainium2, for training and running AI and machine learning (ML) models, among other customer workloads. Graviton4 shapes up against its predecessor with 30% better compute performance, 50% more cores and 75% more memory bandwidth, while Trainium2 delivers up to four times faster training than before and will be able to be deployed in EC2 UltraClusters of up to 100,000 chips.

The EC2 UltraClusters are designed to ‘deliver the highest performance, most energy efficient AI model training infrastructure in the cloud’, as AWS puts it. With it, customers will be able to train large language models in ‘a fraction of the time’, as well as double energy efficiency.

As ever, AWS offers customers who are already utilising these tools. Databricks, Epic and SAP are among the companies cited as using the new AWS-designed chips.

Zero-ETL integrations

AWS announced new Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon Relational Database Services (Amazon RDS) for MySQL integrations with Amazon Redshift, AWS’ cloud data warehouse. The zero-ETL integrations – eliminating the need to build ETL (extract, transform, load) data pipelines – make it easier to connect and analyse transactional data across various relational and non-relational databases in Amazon Redshift.

A simple example of how zero-ETL functions can be seen is in a hypothetical company which stores transactional data – time of transaction, items bought, where the transaction occurred – in a relational database, but use another analytics tool to analyse data in a non-relational database. To connect it all up, companies would previously have to construct ETL data pipelines which are a time and money sink.

The latest integrations “build on AWS’s zero-ETL foundation… so customers can quickly and easily connect all of their data, no matter where it lives,” the company said.

Amazon S3 Express One Zone

AWS announced the general availability of Amazon S3 Express One Zone, a new storage class purpose-built for customers’ most frequently-accessed data. Data access speed is up to 10 times faster and request costs up to 50% lower than standard S3. Companies can also opt to collocate their Amazon S3 Express One Zone data in the same availability zone as their compute resources.  

Companies and partners who are using Amazon S3 Express One Zone include ChaosSearch, Cloudera, and Pinterest.

Amazon Q

A new product, and an interesting pivot, again with generative AI at its core. Amazon Q was announced as a ‘new type of generative AI-powered assistant’ which can be tailored to a customer’s business. “Customers can get fast, relevant answers to pressing questions, generate content, and take actions – all informed by a customer’s information repositories, code, and enterprise systems,” AWS added. The service also can assist companies building on AWS, as well as companies using AWS applications for business intelligence, contact centres, and supply chain management.

Customers cited as early adopters include Accenture, BMW and Wunderkind.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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TECHNOLOGY

HCLTech and Cisco create collaborative hybrid workplaces

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Digital comms specialist Cisco and global tech firm HCLTech have teamed up to launch Meeting-Rooms-as-a-Service (MRaaS).

Available on a subscription model, this solution modernises legacy meeting rooms and enables users to join meetings from any meeting solution provider using Webex devices.

The MRaaS solution helps enterprises simplify the design, implementation and maintenance of integrated meeting rooms, enabling seamless collaboration for their globally distributed hybrid workforces.

Rakshit Ghura, senior VP and Global head of digital workplace services, HCLTech, said: “MRaaS combines our consulting and managed services expertise with Cisco’s proficiency in Webex devices to change the way employees conceptualise, organise and interact in a collaborative environment for a modern hybrid work model.

“The common vision of our partnership is to elevate the collaboration experience at work and drive productivity through modern meeting rooms.”

Alexandra Zagury, VP of partner managed and as-a-Service Sales at Cisco, said: “Our partnership with HCLTech helps our clients transform their offices through cost-effective managed services that support the ongoing evolution of workspaces.

“As we reimagine the modern office, we are making it easier to support collaboration and productivity among workers, whether they are in the office or elsewhere.”

Cisco’s Webex collaboration devices harness the power of artificial intelligence to offer intuitive, seamless collaboration experiences, enabling meeting rooms with smart features such as meeting zones, intelligent people framing, optimised attendee audio and background noise removal, among others.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

Tags: Cisco, collaboration, HCLTech, Hybrid, meetings

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TECHNOLOGY

Canonical releases low-touch private cloud MicroCloud

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Canonical has announced the general availability of MicroCloud, a low-touch, open source cloud solution. MicroCloud is part of Canonical’s growing cloud infrastructure portfolio.

It is purpose-built for scalable clusters and edge deployments for all types of enterprises. It is designed with simplicity, security and automation in mind, minimising the time and effort to both deploy and maintain it. Conveniently, enterprise support for MicroCloud is offered as part of Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro subscription, with several support tiers available, and priced per node.

MicroClouds are optimised for repeatable and reliable remote deployments. A single command initiates the orchestration and clustering of various components with minimal involvement by the user, resulting in a fully functional cloud within minutes. This simplified deployment process significantly reduces the barrier to entry, putting a production-grade cloud at everyone’s fingertips.

Juan Manuel Ventura, head of architectures & technologies at Spindox, said: “Cloud computing is not only about technology, it’s the beating heart of any modern industrial transformation, driving agility and innovation. Our mission is to provide our customers with the most effective ways to innovate and bring value; having a complexity-free cloud infrastructure is one important piece of that puzzle. With MicroCloud, the focus shifts away from struggling with cloud operations to solving real business challenges” says

In addition to seamless deployment, MicroCloud prioritises security and ease of maintenance. All MicroCloud components are built with strict confinement for increased security, with over-the-air transactional updates that preserve data and roll back on errors automatically. Upgrades to newer versions are handled automatically and without downtime, with the mechanisms to hold or schedule them as needed.

With this approach, MicroCloud caters to both on-premise clouds but also edge deployments at remote locations, allowing organisations to use the same infrastructure primitives and services wherever they are needed. It is suitable for business-in-branch office locations or industrial use inside a factory, as well as distributed locations where the focus is on replicability and unattended operations.

Cedric Gegout, VP of product at Canonical, said: “As data becomes more distributed, the infrastructure has to follow. Cloud computing is now distributed, spanning across data centres, far and near edge computing appliances. MicroCloud is our answer to that.

“By packaging known infrastructure primitives in a portable and unattended way, we are delivering a simpler, more prescriptive cloud experience that makes zero-ops a reality for many Industries.“

MicroCloud’s lightweight architecture makes it usable on both commodity and high-end hardware, with several ways to further reduce its footprint depending on your workload needs. In addition to the standard Ubuntu Server or Desktop, MicroClouds can be run on Ubuntu Core – a lightweight OS optimised for the edge. With Ubuntu Core, MicroClouds are a perfect solution for far-edge locations with limited computing capabilities. Users can choose to run their workloads using Kubernetes or via system containers. System containers based on LXD behave similarly to traditional VMs but consume fewer resources while providing bare-metal performance.

Coupled with Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro + Support subscription, MicroCloud users can benefit from an enterprise-grade open source cloud solution that is fully supported and with better economics. An Ubuntu Pro subscription offers security maintenance for the broadest collection of open-source software available from a single vendor today. It covers over 30k packages with a consistent security maintenance commitment, and additional features such as kernel livepatch, systems management at scale, certified compliance and hardening profiles enabling easy adoption for enterprises. With per-node pricing and no hidden fees, customers can rest assured that their environment is secure and supported without the expensive price tag typically associated with cloud solutions.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

Tags: automation, Canonical, MicroCloud, private cloud

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