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IBM unveils new AI designed to help CIOs automate IT operations

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IBM
IBM CEO, Arvind Krishna keynotes IBM Think Digital 2020 - Photo Credit: PR Newswire
  •  New Watson AIOps and host of product updates are designed to bring automation to IT infrastructures for greater control, efficiency and business continuity
  • Built on Red Hat OpenShift, Watson AIOps runs across any cloud and works in collaboration with an ecosystem of partners, including Slack and Box

The challenges facing today’s Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are more complicated and critical than ever before, as these leaders look to help their businesses recover and restart in the wake of a global pandemic.

To that end, IBM announced at its Think Digital conference a broad range of new AI-powered capabilities and services that are designed to help CIOs automate their IT infrastructures to be more resilient to future disruptions and to help reduce costs.

Market intelligence firm IDC predicts that, by 2024, enterprises that are powered by AI will be able to respond to customers, competitors, regulators, and partners 50% faster than those that are not using AI.

To that end, IBM is unveiling IBM Watson AIOps, a new offering that uses AI to automate how enterprises self-detect, diagnose and respond to IT anomalies in real time. Unforeseen IT incidents and outages can cost businesses in both revenue and reputation. Market research firm Aberdeen pegs an outage at about $260,000/hour.

Watson AIOps enables organizations to introduce automation at the infrastructure level and is designed to help CIOs better predict and shape future outcomes, focus resources on higher-value work and build more responsive and intelligent networks that can stay up and running longer.

The new solution is built on the latest release of Red Hat OpenShift to run across hybrid cloud environments and works in concert with technologies at the center of today’s distributed work environment, such as Slack and Box. It also works with providers of traditional IT monitoring solutions, such as Mattermost and ServiceNow.

As part of the rollout, IBM is also announcing the Accelerator for Application Modernization with AI, within the IBM’s Cloud Modernization service.

This new capability is designed to help clients reduce the overall effort and costs associated with application modernization. It provides a series of tools designed to optimize the end to end modernization journey, accelerating the analysis and recommendations for various architectural and microservices options.

The accelerator leverages continuous learning and interpretable AI models to adapt to the client’s preferred software engineering practices and stays up-to-date with the evolution of technology and platforms.

Many of the technologies underlying Watson AIOps and the Accelerator for Application Modernization were developed in IBM Research.

“The greatest challenge for organizations is one of alignment. Slack is most valuable when it integrates tightly with the other tools customers use every day, bringing critical business information into channels where it can be collaborated on by teams,” said Slack CEO and Co-founder, Stewart Butterfield, “By using Slack with Watson AIOps, IT operators can effectively collaborate on incident solutions, allowing them to spend critical time solving problems rather than identifying them.”

“In this new era of remote work, securely sharing and accessing files anytime, and across all your apps, is more important than ever before,” said CEO of Box, Aaron Levie. “We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with IBM to deliver content and collaboration across Watson AIOps, enabling IT organizations and businesses to get work done faster, simpler, and more securely.”

“What we’ve learned from companies all over the world is that there are three major factors that will determine the success of AI in business – language, automation and trust,” said the Senior Vice President, Cloud and Data Platform, IBM, Rob Thomas. “The COVID-19 crisis and increased demand for remote work capabilities are driving the need for AI automation at an unprecedented rate and pace. With automation, we are empowering next generation CIOs and their teams to prioritize the crucial work of today’s digital enterprises—managing and mining data to apply predictive insights that help lead to more impactful business results and lower cost.”

Amid the changing economic landscape, clients across industries welcome the new capabilities.

 

“Our industry was hit hard by the pandemic. Our work in AI over the past several years will help us to mitigate some of the future challenges,” said Roland Schuetz, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of the Lufthansa Group. “Working with IBM to apply its Watson AI technologies has helped us accelerate how we modernize our Data Science Tool Landscape. We use AI to automate processes that result in benefits such as highly responsive customer care and operational topics. In this way, we are making an important contribution to a solid start after the crisis.”

 

In addition to automating IT operations, IBM is announcing a series of new and updated capabilities designed to give CIOs a playbook for operating in this new environment. The new capabilities are designed to help:

 

 

  • Automate Business Operations – A major new update to IBM Cloud Pak for Automation, software for designing, building and running automation apps, enables clients to more easily create AI “digital worker” automation solutions. Digital workers automate routine work and collaborate with human counterparts. The new capabilities can help simplify how organizations digitize automation skills, such as data capture, task automation and business routing.

 

  • Automate Call Centers – IBM Watson Assistant, IBM’s AI-based conversation platform, has also been updated to help intelligently automate the most complex, knowledge-intensive interactions and drive improved customer satisfaction while reducing operating costs. Assistant now has a pre-built user interface that requires no development effort to deploy and is designed with user experience-based best practices. Also, new integrations to some of the leading customer service platforms preserve clients’ existing investments in those services and allows users to reach live agents with ease. Finally, a new feature called “autolearning,” currently in development and due in the product this summer, will learn from prior customer behavior to provide the best, most relevant answers to new questions on the same topic. Just as human agents improve over time by learning from customer interactions, autolearning will now offer similar capabilities for the virtual assistant.

IBM Think Digital conference 2020

“To operate effectively in the current environment, T-Mobile is focused on ensuring a more responsive and agile supply chain, while saving costs and delivering superior customer service,” said the Director, Supply Chain Data Analytics and Operations Research, T-Mobile, Erdem Eskigun. “IBM Cloud Pak for Data brings together disparate databases from across our company and enables us to test and develop analytics models for projects ranging from inventory replenishment to transportation optimization, sales forecasting, customer return predictions, and supply chain optimization. Now, we can go from idea inception to delivery to business users much quicker.”

Yesterday’s news expands on the recently announced business solutions for COVID-19 disruption that are already helping businesses navigate the uncertainty of today’s business environment.

Leading businesses and institutions are turning to IBM services and our leadership in cloud, data and AI solutions to help with recovery during this pandemic.

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Prof.  Sodiyda gives five reasons IT professionals should attend “EATI’ 2020”

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Prof. Adesina Sodiya
President of NCS, Prof. Adesina Sodiya

The President, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Prof. Adesina Sodiya, has extended invitation to IT professionals within and outside Nigeria to attend the eleventh (11th) International Conference of the Society which will be hosted online.

The conference begins on Tuesday 11th to end on Thursday 13th of August 2020 under the theme: “Emerging Applications and Technologies for Industry 4.0 (EATI 2020)”.

The President said, apart from the conference providing a unique opportunity for attendees to link up to the Conference at the comfort of their homes and offices, he listed other give benefits of joining the programme.

Participants should look forward to amazing opportunities to exchange new ideas, gain new insights, build relationships with stakeholders, promote IT professionalism, share best practices, establish standards, develop business or research relations, and find global partners for future collaborations.

Manufacturers, industry experts. academics, professionals, innovators, service providers, researchers, suppliers, consultants, students, youth innovators and entrepreneurs, as well as policy makers in government and business people will come together to connect for the betterment of our nation.

High profile dignitaries from government, private and educational sectors, as well as from the international and global IT environment are expected to grace the event.  NCS is preparing for the best and has assembled an impressive line-up of leading researchers, entrepreneurs, educators, industry experts, thought leaders, international scholars and subject matter experts as speakers and resource persons to share their extensive knowledge and experiences on the theme and sub themes. I want to assure you that attendees will benefit greatly from their wealth of knowledge and insights.

In his words, the five benefits of joining the NCS international conference 2020 include;

1. It is stress Free:

#EATI2020 holds ONLINE, so you participate from the comfort of your home or office.

2. Global Influence:

Being an International conference gives you access to connect with both Foreign/Local Speakers and Participants.

3. Value & Knowledge:

Driven: #EATI2020 boasts of rich sub-themes ranging from Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Data Mining and other modern day technologies relevant for today’s applications, thus your participation gives you more insights into these new innovations.

4. Risk-free & Cost-effective:

Unlike previous conferences requiring travelling & hotel accommodation, this year’s conference will save you 70% cost.

5. Enhanced Credit Rating:

As IT Practitioners, attending NCS Conference increases your professional and academic ratings. Your participation will earn you 3 units of Professional Development credit units.

Prof. Sodiya added that this year’s International Conference will provide a multi-stakeholder forum to examine pertinent considerations in showcasing emerging applications and technologies to achieving fourth industrial revolution that will lead to Sustainable Development. Engagement opportunities will be explored during the Conference to present and develop effective strategies, creative approaches and practical solutions.

“Specific highlights of the conference include Official Opening and Keynotes, Plenary and Parallel Sessions, Technical Sessions, Seminars, Induction of New Members, Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Platform, Exhibition and Products Launch, Public Sector ICT Showcase, networking, NITDA session, National IT Competitions, Fellows’ Forum and Annual General Meeting”, he said.

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Danbatta, others show encomiums on Sonny Aragba-Akpore as he bows out of NCC

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NCC

It was encomiums galore recently as Management and Staff of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) bid the Commission’s Head of Media Management and Public Relations, Sonny Aragba-Akpore, farewell following his retirement.

NCC

Former Head, Media and Public Relations, NCC/celebrant, Mr. Sonny Aragba-Akpore (a.k.a ‘The GrandMaster’) during a valedictory session organised in his honour at his retirement by the Management of the Nigerian Communications Commission in Abuja recently…

The erstwhile Information and Communications Technology/News editor at the Guardian Newspaper, Aragba-Akpore, joined the service of the Commission in 2014.

Speaking at the valedictory party held in his honour on Thursday, July 16, 2020, which was attended physically and virtually by staff of the Commission, the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, appreciated the level of professionalism Aragba-Akpore brought to bear on his work at the Commission.

Represented at the event by the Director, Projects, Abigail Sholanke, Danbatta commended Sonny Aragba-Akpore for using his many years of industry experience and knowledge as a media professional and corporate communication manager to create a robust relationship with both mainstream and online media stakeholders, which, he said, has contributed significantly to the overall positive image and favourable public perception of NCC.

“On behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of Commission, we wish you a successful retirement and fruitful engagements in your future endeavours,” Danbatta said.

In his remarks, Director, Public Affairs Department, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, said “Within the short time I worked with Mr. Aragba-Akpore, I found him to be a man of uncommon passion for his work,” describing him as a very committed and hardworking colleague. “We, therefore, wish you increased divine favour, as you retire from the services of the Commission.”

Other staff of the Commission, including directors, deputy directors, middle management staff, among others, took turns to talk about the favourable working relationship they had with Aragba-Akpore while at the NCC and wished him well in his retirement life.

Responding, Aragba-Akpore expressed gratitude to the Management and Staff of the Commission for their support and cooperation during his service and for organising a befitting valedictory ceremony in his honour, saying he enjoyed working with the NCC.

NCC

From left to right: Director, Research and Development, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Henry Nkemadu; Director, Finance Services, NCC, Mr. Yakubu Gontor; Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde; former Head, Media and Public Relations, NCC/celebrant, Mr. Sonny Aragba-Akpore; his wife, Florence and Director, Projects, NCC, Mrs. Abigail Solanke; Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, Mr. Efosa; and Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, NCC, Mrs. Yetunde Akinloye, during a valedictory session organised in honour of Aragba-Akpore, who retired from the services of the Commission in Abuja recently…

“This is one event I will not forget in a hurry. Indeed, I feel I am very lucky and singularly blessed and very appreciative of the privilege to work with a leading telecoms regulator like the NCC. For me, it is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said.

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139 Nigerian students receive prestigious Cambridge International awards

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Cambridge International

BY: Chisom ADA

Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award has following categories:

  • Top in the World: learners who gained the highest standard mark in the world for a single subject.

  • Top in Country: learners who gained the highest standard mark in the country for a single subject.

  • High Achievement: learners who achieved outstanding results in subjects which are not so widely taken and which, under the current criteria, would not qualify for ‘Top in Country’ Awards.

  • Best Across: awards issued to learners who attained the highest cumulative standard marks over a set number of subjects.

Nigeria students have once again received outstanding results in their Cambridge International examinations for the June 2018, November 2019 and December 2019 exam series.

139 students have been granted the prestigious Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards in various subjects in Cambridge IGCSE, Cambridge O Level and Cambridge International AS & A Levels.

The award winners include 16 students who have excelled in subjects such as Geography, Mathematics and Business to receive the ‘Top in the World’ honour.

Cambridge International also granted 101 ‘Top in Nigeria’ awards to learners who achieved the highest standard mark in their country for a single subject, 64 ‘High Achievement’ awards and 10 ‘Best Across’ awards to students who attained the highest cumulative total standard marks over a set number of subjects.

Juan Visser

Juan Visser

Cambridge International’s Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Juan Visser, said: “Well done once again to the Cambridge top achievers in Nigeria. We are delighted that learners in Nigeria produce such fantastic results year-in-and-year-out; this points to the quality of the schools in Nigeria registered to offer Cambridge programmes.’’

Cambridge International operates in partnership with the British Council in Nigeria.

Lucy Pearson

Lucy Pearson

The Country Director, British Council Nigeria, Lucy Pearson, says: “At the British Council, we create international opportunities through our work in arts, English Language, education, administering exams and building stronger societies. The exams we administer help people all over the world gain educational and professional development, so they are better positioned for success in life. Education is a key enabler for these opportunities, and we believe in ensuring young learners have access to world-class education and assessments which we have achieved through our partners Cambridge Assessment International Education and the schools in our Partner Schools Global Network (PSGN).”

The Director Examinations, British Council Nigeria, Marniee Nottingham, added: “Through the Partner Schools Global Network (PSGN), the British Council provides professional skills development and networking opportunities to enhance school leadership and teaching talent across our portfolio of about 395 schools across Nigeria.  We not only celebrate student achievement, we also congratulate the school leaders, teachers and parents in promoting excellence in the future of our young learners.  It is great to see the achievements of these students as they embark on their futures in country and worldwide.”

Some of the students who received awards made the following comments about their achievements:

Jefferson Iyanuloluwa Joshua

Jefferson Iyanuloluwa Joshua

Jefferson Iyanuloluwa Joshua from the Lifeforte International High School who received 1 Top in World, 3 Top in Nigeria and a  Best Across Eight in Cambridge O Levels for the June 2019 exam series said: “I am happy that my hard work and prayers had come to fruition. Initially I found the Cambridge programme a bit challenging because I had to take subjects like Economics and Business Studies which were new to me but the practical, application-based, learner focused style of the programme meant that I was soon comfortable with those subjects and my other subjects and able to excel in them.”

He plans to go to Imperial College for a degree in Mechanical engineering.

Shreya Jindal

Shreya Jindal

Shreya Jindal from The Regent Secondary School, Abuja who received 1 Top in World, 4 Top in Nigeria and a Best Across Eight in Cambridge IGCSE in the June 2019 exam series, said: “The Cambridge programme builds a strong foundation for higher education. Even though it requires you to study a specified syllabus, most of what you’re tested on is applied knowledge. This makes sure you really understand what you’re learning. My advice for other students is to firstly find out how you learn. Don’t be afraid of trying different methods until you find what works best for you. The Regent employs various 21st-century learning ideas that have something to offer to everyone. It is also really important to pay attention in class; you’d be surprised how much of the information actually sticks so you don’t have to go home and read everything again. Take advantage of all the resources provided by the school, and work with your teachers to get the best out of the system which offers holistic education.”

Shreya is currently doing her Cambridge International A Levels.

All the top-performing students will receive certificates from Cambridge International in recognition of their achievements.

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