Bridging the gap in data analytics by machine learning and AI

Bridging the gap in data analytics

Machine Learning and AI are two exciting application areas that enable programs to automatically learn and improve from experience

Location data has become by default for businesses as well as private consumers. Although, consumers are experiencing exponential digital developments through major technology giants, the digital transformation for governments and industries is slowing down.

A major survey by McKinsey shows that less than 1% of all data collected is analyzed. Data grows quickly, and all data has a location factor. However, only a fraction of this data is analyzed for smart decision making. We translate data from the dynamically changing environment to make data-driven decisions. This is done by converting real-time data into usable information; while self-learning algorithms embedded in our solutions help continually improve predictions.

Machine Learning and AI are two exciting application areas that enable programs to automatically learn and improve from experience. Our customers have greatly benefited from Machine Learning to create sustainable and light solutions.

Towards Sustainability 

In the Netherlands, the government has an initiative called ‘common ground’ that strives to create a future-proof municipal IT infrastructure. IMAGEM contributes to this initiative for all government customers through the VALLEY – a concept of reusing applications and pay per use models. Our model supports the development of society in collaboration with government, industry and citizens.

Source: Wouter Brokx


 

Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many enterprises and organizations in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

Regional internet of things RIoT mitigates COVID-19 crisis

Regional Internet of Things group RIoT plans webinar to fight virus

In this time of fear and confusion, NC RIoT will be sharing a message of hope and progress as leaders in the tech space share how the Internet of Things and Data can mitigate the effects of the current COVID-19 crisis and prepare for others in the future.

This virtual event will explore novel ways that technology and data can be used to combat pandemics & protect public health.

RIoT [the Regional Internet of Things users group] has always expressed its belief in technology’s role of promoting economic growth, but now more than ever, we’d like to highlight its role in defending public health. Although living in a modern, connected world has enabled the quicker spread of the virus, our modernity can also be our white knight if we start putting our advancements to better use in the public health sector. Tune in to the discussion to learn more.

Featured Speakers Include:

+ Tom Snyder (Executive Director – RIoT) – Moderator

+ Veena Misra (Center Director – ASSIST) – Wearable sensors for persistent health monitoring

+ Brian Bender (Chief Science Officer – Intake) – Personal health monitoring

+ Ashlee Valente (Senior Scientist – Torus) & John Harer (CEO – Torus) – Analytics for massively complex systems like global health

+ Steve Bennett (Director of Public Sector Practice – SAS) – AI for faster vaccine development

+ Emil Runge (Director of Programs – BARDA/First Flight Venture Center) – Funding opportunities for COVID research

+ Michael Levy (President – Digital Health Institute for Transformation) – Keeping mental health front of mind

+ Nick Jordan (CEO – Smashing Boxes) – Data use across EHR systems

+ Manal El-Ramly (Director, Board of Directors – Newsco) – Information dissemination via the screens all around us

Can the Internet of Things play a role in the future when we are challenged by the next contagion? WRAL TechWire reached out to Tom Snyder, executive director of NC RIoT, a large and growing users group focusing on research and commercialization surrounding IoT device and application development, for his analysis.


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many enterprises and organizations in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

facts about Internet of Things (IoT) to prevent future pandemics

These Facts Will Change Your Mind About the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things market expands way beyond smart homes and can even be used to prevent future pandemics.

Thanks to advances in technology and the proliferation of connected devices, the Internet of Things era has arrived.

It’s been years in the making but appears poised to go mainstream. According to the consulting firm McKinsey, the number of IoT-connected devices is forecast to hit 43 billion by 2023, almost three times the number of devices in 2018. Companies and consumers are using IoT to control their heating and cooling systems remotely, doctors use it to monitor patients, and manufacturers track products across the supply chain.

There are a lot of reasons why IoT is growing in popularity. Convenience and on-the-go-access are two big ones. But there are also those jaw-dropping reasons that will surprise even the biggest IoT skeptic. Here’s a look at four of them.

1. It can help prevent the spread of diseases like COVID-19

The novel coronavirus outbreak is having a devastating impact on people around the globe. Spain, Italy, and France are effectively shut down, and schools and businesses across the United States are closed. The stock market has been whipsawing between huge gains and losses, and the global economy is taking a major hit.

While IoT can’t stop COVID-19 (the disease caused by the coronavirus) from spreading, it can be used to prevent future pandemics. In an IoT world outlined by the financial consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, a network of sensors placed throughout the world would be used to monitor individuals for infections, acting as an early detection system. That would reduce uncertainty in the stock market and provide governments with proof to quickly act on and stop the spread.

Implementing this on a global scale isn’t likely anytime soon. Some countries, China included, will be able to do it within their borders. Add facial recognition and GPS to the mix, and Frost & Sullivan’s global research director for IoT, Dilip Sarangan, says countries would be able to monitor those who have contracted the virus and track whom they come into contact with. That could prevent virus outbreaks from becoming pandemics. “While this may sound like a police state to many, ultimately, leveraging IoT and [artificial intelligence] AI may be the most logical way to prevent highly infectious diseases from spreading rapidly in a world that is getting smaller every day with air travel,” said Sarangan in a recent report.

There’s a slew of companies that can benefit from these early defense systems, including equipment makers and network operators. In the U.S. the wireless network providers AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), T-Mobile USA (NASDAQ:TMUS), and Sprint (NYSE:S) are big beneficiaries as data is transmitted across the world.

2. 5G will proliferate the number of connected devices

With COVID-19 spreading around the world, commerce has come to a screeching halt, and that’s particularly true in the smartphone market. Hit by supply chain issues in China and a lack of demand as the number of people in quarantine grow, several mobile-phone-related companies including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) have issued guidance warnings for their current quarters.

Despite the business interruptions, the buildout of 5G will eventually pick up, driving what is expected to be a huge smartphone upgrade cycle. It’s also expected to increase the number of devices connected to the internet, thanks to the speed and security 5G brings. With 5G networks, data can be sent back and forth between millions of devices in seconds, something not possible with existing 4G networks. That will result in billions of new devices outside of smartphones and tablets that connect to the internet.

The melding of 5G and IoT will be behind the adoption of smart cities and connected cars. It will also enable doctors to remotely treat patients and help robotic surgery become the norm. Gartner expects there to be 5.8 billion connected devices by the end of this year. That’s up 21% from the 4.8 billion at the end of 2019.

3. More than $1 trillion will be spent on IoT

Love it or hate it, the IoT market is exploding with no end in sight. Trillions of dollars are being spent on IoT start-ups as investors clamor to get in on the leaders of tomorrow. The interest is coming from an array of venture capitalists who are pouring tons of money into the market — for good reason. According to IDC, yearly spending on IoT is projected to surpass $1 trillion by 2022, growing at a double-digit rate. That bodes well for equipment providers like Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO). With global traffic poised to triple thanks to 5G, Cisco and its peers will be able to provide the hardware needed to facilitate the movement of the data.

There are a lot of IoT use cases, but the ones drawing the biggest investments are those focused on the business market. IDC projected IoT spending by the manufacturing industry would hit $100 billion in 2019, while production asset management will attract $4.2 billion, smart home $44.1 billion, and freight monitoring $41.7 billion. The areas that are expected to see the fastest growth and thus the biggest investment dollars through 2022 include automation, electric vehicle charging, agriculture field monitoring, bedside telemetry, and in-store marketing, IDC predicted.

4. Most consumers and businesses want government IoT security regulations

The combination of IoT and 5G will transform society for the better, but that doesn’t mean it’s smooth sailing ahead. There are a lot of security risks to consumers and businesses that can’t be left unchecked.

It’s something that both businesses and consumers are worried about. According to a recent survey of consumers and businesses by digital security company Gemalto, 90% of businesses and consumers believe the IoT industry should be regulated by the government. What’s more, 61% of businesses think IoT regulation should dictate who is responsible for securing the data throughout its journey.

Of the consumers polled, 65% said they are worried a hacker could take over their IoT device. Meanwhile, 60% said they are afraid their data will fall into the wrong hands. Those fears aren’t unfounded. Security from Kaspersky Labs spotted more than 100 million attacks on IoT devices in the first half of 2019 alone.

Without a doubt, risks abound as more devices are connected to the internet. But with such wide-ranging benefits and investor interest, even IoT naysayers can’t deny the market is poised to explode. Those four jaw-dropping facts alone prove it.

Source: Donna Fuscaldo


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many enterprises and organizations in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

end of enterprise resource planning

The end of enterprise resource planning

end of enterprise resource planninghe Harvard Business Review ran an article in 1990 by management consultant and former Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer science professor Michael Hammer titled “Reengineering Work: Don’t Automate, Obliterate.” Hammer, recognized as the seminal theorist of reengineering, the consultant-driven discipline of streamlining work processes, encouraged businesses to radically restructure rather than rely on information technology to automate work.

This proved impossible. While the 1990s is now viewed as an epoch of business reengineering, the revamp of work processes advanced hand in hand with the rise of centralized corporate IT, enabled by enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.

The 2020s, on the other hand, appear poised for the final takedown of monolithic business IT in response to a new revolution in work processes spurred and enabled by digitization. IT managers in the chemical industry, among the first industries to opt for ERP systems, are preparing for a new wave of change in business management software.

To understand the likely changes ahead, it helps to look back at the provenance and evolution of IT systems currently in operation at most chemical companies.

The computing infrastructures that emerged some 30 years ago supported efficiency gains, the kind also targeted by business reengineering. But ERP software installations also caused years-long headaches for many companies as they converted from hodgepodge mixes of software to monolithic IT systems covering most financial aspects of business and plant operations.

During this period, SAP, a German software firm started by former IBM engineers, rose to prominence in ERP. Starting with its first customer, the UK’s Imperial Chemical Industries, SAP swept the chemical sector. By the early 2000s, many major companies had lashed their operations to the firm’s R/3 software.
By today’s standards, the IT platforms of the early 21st century are museum pieces. Cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and big data have fundamentally changed IT and the workplace.

SAP and other major vendors of ERP software, including Oracle and JD Edwards, have introduced successive generations of their products over the years that chip away at the monolithic, comparatively lethargic control of early IT architectures. In the process, a modular approach to IT has emerged in which specialized software for specific work functions can be added to a centralized, often multivendor network of business management software with an ERP system at the core.

Industry watchers agree that the next step is to re-engineer the core.

“Enterprise resource planning has evolved far beyond its original purpose and scope,” the consulting firm Gartner writes in a report issued last year. “It now represents different things to different organizations, but in all cases is no longer focused on ‘resources’ or ‘planning.’ ” The view is echoed by Forrester, another consulting firm, in a recent report: “Today, we see the beginning of a new era of operational systems that are so different that calling them ERP no longer makes sense.”

The abbreviation is still in use, however, despite the alternatives floated, such as Forrester’s DOP, for digital operations platform. Gartner characterizes the current, modular state of business software as postmodern ERP. Mike Guay, a senior analyst with the firm, describes a “hybrid approach” in which specialist companies like Salesforce.com, a provider of customer relationship software, can add modules to an ERP system.

Guay notes that ERP vendors have partnered with and acquired specialized software providers to offer hybrid networks. SAP, for example, acquired SuccessFactors, a cloud-based human resources management services provider, and now offers the service as an adjunct to its core software.

In Guay’s view, today’s generation of postmodern software is starting to give way to something more abstract. This fourth generation of ERP—counting hodgepodge computing and monolithic software as the first and second—will dismantle the familiar image of centralized control.

GENERATIONS

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software’s path is from dispersed to monolithic to dispersed again.

end of enterprise resource planning

1980s to 1990s: Best of breed

 Functionally focused software

 Multiple vendors

 Lack of central control

can businesses stop automating

1990s to 2000s: Monolithic

 One core software product

 Centralized information technology

 Oversight by the corporate IT department

can enterprises stop automating

2010 to the foreseeable future: Postmodern ERP

 Networking of specialized software

 Maintenance of a central ERP backbone

 Access to cloud-based software and services

 Oversight by independent business departments

can we stop automation

Emerging architecture: Beyond ERP

 Supporting digitized business functions

 Greater automation with artificial intelligence

 Functional applications easily added to core IT

 Breakdown of business function silos

 Programming and oversight by power users

▸ Rise of functional applications

Source: Gartner.

“In 3 to 5 years,” he says, “IT focus will shift from doing most of the development in IT departments to architecting an environment in which the end-users — the power users in their departments—will actually be able to build applications. Low-code/no-code development platforms are emerging as a standard in the market right now.”

Liz Herbert, a vice president, and principal analyst at Forrester says business software is now driven by the speed at which data can be processed. “ERP conjures up overly complex, slow-moving technology that may not live up to expectations,” she says. “Technology has changed dramatically. It is much more cloud-based, much more built for intelligence, more for flexibility and easy extensibility by business users. Not everything has to rely on programmers and IT departments.”

Artificial intelligence will play an increasing role in business IT, Herbert says. AI was initially harnessed to improve error detection and automation accuracy, but the technique is ramping up. She points to two examples at SAP: Ariba, software for managing materials procurement that employs IBM’s Watson AI technology, and Concur, a travel and expense system that applies AI to vetting expense reports using data from receipts.

The latest iteration of SAP’s ERP software, S/4Hana, reflects the changes the consultants see. It stores tables in columns rather than in standard row arrangements, vastly increasing the speed of data analysis, the firm says. The database allows transactional and analytical work to be done simultaneously.

Joe Binkley, SAP’s director of cloud platform product marketing, notes that S/4Hana employs in-memory data processing, in which data is stored in random-access memory rather than disk storage or relational databases. “It means we are able to dramatically recast our systems and do things in seconds that used to require waiting days to complete.”

Dave Dunn, head of marketing for chemicals at SAP, says the company remains the dominant supplier of ERP software in the sector, counting 6,500 users it categorizes as chemical companies. A modular approach to adding software, such as Salesforce.com and SAP’s own adjuncts in areas like materials sourcing, has advanced with upgrades to R/3 in recent years. This includes a version called ECC consisting of a suite of business management software modules that put the tool to reach for smaller companies.

“Only the large guys could afford it years ago,” Dunn says. “With S/4 and ECC, a load of smaller, mid-tier companies has implemented SAP because it is simpler and much faster, to implement.”

Melanie Kalmar, chief information officer at Dow, says the company is focused on simplifying work processes and making it easier for customers to do business with Dow. – Credit: Dow

Dow, an early adopter of ERP, has rolled with the changes at SAP for decades. The company gained somewhat of a renegade reputation years ago by skipping an upgrade to R/3 when most of its cohorts converted. Dow eventually undertook a multimillion-dollar conversion to a version of the SAP software to which users add targeted software products, essentially the first step into Gartner’s postmodern ERP world. Since then, Dow has pushed further.

“Over the past few years, we have migrated capabilities to software-as-a-service solutions,” says Melanie Kalmar, chief information officer at Dow, referring to a technique of accessing software from cloud-based providers and paying a service fee rather than purchasing it. “Our current focus is all about simplification in how we do work. This means making it easier for our customers to do business with us while providing capabilities for our employees that make their job easier and them more empowered.”

Dow will continue adding “best-in-class” applications to its ERP system, Kalmar says while eliminating applications that fall short. “There is no plan to move away from our core ERP capabilities or to move away from our strategy of one global ERP instance,” she says.

DuPont is similarly working to adapt its core SAP system to a new generation of business IT. “We are constantly working to simplify yet modernize our enterprise-wide systems, including our legacy ERP,” says Steve Larrabee, chief information officer for the company. “Artificial intelligence, particularly in the R&D and manufacturing spaces, has helped significantly advance the roll of IT-based technology as a key business and value driver.”

Larrabee adds that modernizing and evolving from a monolithic ERP system does not lessen the importance of a core IT infrastructure. Centralized data, or “master data,” support old and new technologies, he says, and are necessary to “provide real-time information both to optimize our working processes and guide our decision-making.”

Evonik Industries, another longtime SAP user, is also sticking with its core system. “For Evonik’s core transactional business processes, like ‘order to cash’ or ‘plan to produce,’ a reliable and on-time information flow is key,” says Bettina Uhlich, the firm’s chief information officer. “You just want to have the right data at the right time in the right place. For this, well-integrated IT architecture is a key success factor. We see the monolithic ERP as an advantage.” She points to the company’s success in integrating the ERP system of J.M. Huber’s silica business, which Evonik acquired in 2017.

But Evonik also moves in the postmodern ERP world described by Gartner. “Business IT architecture can now draw from a far bigger solution portfolio than just SAP,” Uhlich says. “This might make it more challenging for the IT department, but it is clearly an advantage for the business.”

And challenges lie ahead. A move underway at Evonik to convert to SAP’s S/4Hana by next year will be more thorough than a mere software upgrade, Uhlich says. It will be a conversion of Evonik’s core ERP to a wholly new architecture.

Not all SAP users are Goliaths like Dow and Evonik. Borchers, a paint additives company, has been a customer since 2008, shortly after Lanxess sold the business to OM Group. When OMG sold Borchers to investors in 2017, Borchers upgraded to an SAP product called Suite on Hana—essentially ECC software running on the same database as S/4Hana.

Borchers plans to fully upgrade to S/4 by 2022, says Jonathan Mortlock, the firm’s chief information officer. He wants to act before SAP terminates maintenance coverage for Suite on Hana, at which time he foresees a rush of upgrades by companies that are all competing for support from SAP.

And there are plenty of other ERP software options for small to midsize chemical companies. Datacom, a supplier of distribution and process management ERP software, is one example. It began serving the chemical industry with its Chempax software in 1981.

Sage Group, a UK-based supplier of ERP software, is another. The company’s software is often sold by firms that adapt its software for specific markets. Net at Work, for example, enhances Sage software with functionality geared to chemical companies in a product called Chem at Work.

MFG Chemical, a midsize specialty chemical company based in Dalton, Georgia, installed its first ERP system, Datacor’s Chempax, 9 years ago. “It basically houses all our supplier information,” says Andrew Hopkins, MFG’s quality assurance manager. Formulas and raw material lists and prices are stored and managed on the system, which accesses data from a network drive or central data server.

MFG also uses software called OESuite supplied by a company called Operational Sustainability. It coordinates information on changes to production procedures and functions independently from Chempax.

MFG is considering implementing a materials resource planning (MRP) module that already resides in its Chempax system, Hopkins says. While the company would likely benefit from MRP, which keeps track of orders and inventory, he says it would be a complex installation given the number of customers and products the company deals with.

Bettina Uhlich, chief information officer at Evonik Industries, says the firm will move to SAP’s latest ERP software, S/4Hana, by next year. – Credit: Evonik Industries

Reducing complexity remains a key target in business software development. Vestiges of monolithic ERP remain in place at most companies, as do vendor service agreements and a need for support in upgrading or adding to systems. Software developers aim to simplify upgrades by allowing businesses to configure IT in a distributed fashion that includes gateways to customers and suppliers.

As new software options emerge, users are expected to have more discretion in adding applications using low- or no-code techniques that have moved into IT architectures since they were introduced about 20 years ago.

No-code approaches are especially likely to surge in next-generation business computing. Software developers such as Itesign, a German start-up targeting a midyear product launch, envision a future in which IT departments equip corporate networks with menus of options from which users choose applications to add to their work processes, according to CEO Jan Philippe Wimmer.

Those IT departments of the future, Forrester’s Herbert notes, will be headed by business analysts as opposed to computer technicians. In fact, she envisions a complete dissolution of the core ERP system, a shift that will challenge IT departments to keep add-on applications from reverting to the kind of IT hodgepodge that led to monolithic ERP software in the first place.

But industry watchers agree that the ERP model born in the age of reengineering has already been obliterated. “It is no longer about systems solely within an enterprise,” Guay and colleagues write in Gartner’s recent report. ERP “has simply become a three-letter acronym for something that most people cannot describe other than to name a vendor or a list of modules. Whether or not we continue to use the acronym remains uncertain.”

Source: Rick Mullin


Epicor ERP is one of the few software that has already applied the low or no-code approach. Indeed, many Epicor users of Data V Tech in China and Vietnam, rarely have to face any of code-related hassles thanks to the experience of the consultants and the flexibility as well as customizability of the system per se. More importantly, Epicor has sucessfully built up reputation in the chemical industry in the world. For further information, please feel free to contact us. We will get back to you the soonest.

COVID-19 Pandemic as a Big Data Analytics Issue

Understanding the COVID-19 Pandemic as a Big Data Analytics Issue

Big data analytics techniques are well-suited for tracking and controlling the spread of COVID-19 around the world.

The rapid, global spread of COVID-19 has brought advanced big data analytics tools front and center, with entities from all sectors of the healthcare industry seeking to monitor and reduce the impact of this virus.

Researchers and developers are increasingly using artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing to track and contain coronavirus, as well as gain a more comprehensive understanding of the disease.

In the months since COVID-19 hit the US, researchers have been hard at work trying to uncover the nature of the virus – why it affects some more than others, what measures can help reduce the spread, and where the disease will likely go next.

At the core of these efforts is something with which the healthcare industry is very familiar: Data.

James Hendler, RPISource: Xtelligent Healthcare Media

“This is, in essence, a big data problem. We’re trying to track the spread of disease around the world,” James Hendler, the Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web, and Cognitive Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and director of the Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications (IDEA), told HealthITAnalytics.

At RPI, researchers are using big data and analytics to better comprehend coronavirus from a number of different angles. The institute recently announced that it would offer government entities, research organizations, and industry access to innovative AI tools, as well as experts in data and public health to help combat COVID-19.

“We’re working with several organizations on modeling and dealing with the virus directly using a supercomputer, and we’ve been creating some websites where we track all the open data and documents we can find to help our researchers find what they’re looking for,” Hendler said.

“We also have some work we’ve been doing in understanding social media responses to the pandemic. One project, in particular, has focused on tracking data from Chinese social media as coronavirus spread there in mid-January, and then comparing it to American data.”

Between recognizing signs and symptoms, tracking the virus, and monitoring the availability of hospital resources, researchers are dealing with enormous amounts of information – too much for humans to comprehend and analyze on their own. It’s a situation that is seemingly tailor-made for advanced analytics technologies, Hendler noted.

“There are several big data components to this pandemic where artificial intelligence can play a big role,” he said.

“One component is biomedical research. A lot of work is going on to try to develop a vaccine to find out whether there is any current drugs work against COVID-19. All of those projects require molecular modeling, and many of them are using AI and machine learning to map things we know about the virus to things in pharmacological databases and genomic databases.”

Several big-name organizations have launched projects like these – Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and others have recently offered researchers free access to open datasets and analytics tools to help them develop COVID-19 solutions faster.

“AI can eliminate many false tracks and allow us to identify potential targets. So instead of trying 100 or 1000 different things, we can narrow it down to a much smaller size much faster. That’s going to accelerate the eventual finding of the vaccine,” Hendler said.

Researchers are also leveraging AI to evaluate the effects of COVID-19 interventions on individuals across the country, Hendler stated.

“A second component has to do with natural language processing and social media. What can we extract from social media that can help our scientists? What can we learn about how people are bearing the burdens and stresses of the pandemic?” he said.

“With SARS and other outbreaks, we never really had to figure out how different social distancing techniques are impacting the spread in different places. You can’t just compare numbers, because there are a lot of other factors to consider. AI is very good at that kind of multi-factor learning and a lot of people are trying to apply those techniques now.”

At UTHealth, a team developed an AI tool that showed the need for stricter, immediate interventions in the Greater Houston area. And at Stanford University, researchers have launched a data-driven model that predicts possible outcomes of various intervention strategies.

Using big data and analytics tools of their own, Hendler and his team is aiming to do something similar.

“We have a lot of time-series data from China, we have information about airline transportation, and we have population models for each country. Now we’re looking at doing this in our own region, and seeing if we can track and predict the spread based on the kind of social measures taken within different regions,” he said.

“We want to prototype that in our region and then scale it up to the US, and then eventually, the world.”

AI can also help organizations draw on research from the past, applying this knowledge to present and future situations.

“A third area where AI can make an impact is in mining scientific literature,” Hendler said.

“In past years, you had hundreds of grad students reading papers and trying to figure out what was going on. At many universities, there’s a lot of effort to say, ‘What can we learn from what’s already been published?’”

While AI and other analytics technologies appear to be the best possible tools for assessing and mitigating a global pandemic, researchers can’t always access what they need to build these models.

“The ideal data is hospital data that would tell us who is experiencing certain impacts from the virus,” Hendler said.

“For example, one project we’d love to do would be to correlate environmental or genomic factors to the people who are getting advanced respiratory problems, which is what’s killing most people with this disease. Is there a genetic component to that? Is it something where environmental factors are some kind of comorbidity? But can we get that kind of data because of HIPAA restrictions.”

Instead, research teams should focus on extracting insights from the information they do have available, Hendler said.

“Information about how people are moving, the effect of travel restrictions or stay at home orders, how many people have what – that’s data we can get. The more details we can get, the better, and a lot of that data are starting to be shared because you don’t have to say who the people are, just where the people are,” he said.

The unprecedented impact of coronavirus around the world has sparked the need for unprecedented partnerships, and these collaborations will contribute significantly to finding viable solutions.

“In healthcare, academia, and industry are mostly set up for people to stay in their own lanes. But people are rapidly beginning to realize that attacking this problem is going to require a collaborative effort,” Hendler concluded.

“To make any real progress in this situation, you need to bring together people who understand the computation and AI, people who understand the biological and biomedical implications, and people who understand population models. It’s a very interdisciplinary problem, and to make any headway, we need the data and we need the team.”

Source: Jessica Kent


With the assistance of ERP software, many manufacturers in Vietnam and China remain active during this pandemic without accelerating the spread of the pandemic. This solution has proved its high value during this crisis as it allows workers to work from home and connection as well as internal/external communication to continue seamlessly.

Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many businesses in Asia Pacific. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

future of ERPs in blockchain

Blockchain And The Future of ERP (Part 2)

In my previous article, I discussed how blockchain helps create legally enforceable trust across organizations. By providing a distributed digital signature capability, enterprise blockchains like Hyperledger Fabric give us a strong foundation to build on.

However, this impressive technology is involved and, depending on the use case, could be a perfect fit or overkill. FIDO devices that are being adopted for user authentication can also be used to digitally sign business transactions, providing a low-cost and easy-to-deploy alternative. Let’s explore in more detail how such solutions might look.

Business View

Let’s consider a large company that’s conducting business electronically with a smaller vendor. The company, let’s call it ABC, is designated as a “holder of records” for mutually signed digital transactions. Based on the nature of the business, the risk of company ABC deleting the records and claiming that no agreement was ever reached is considered immaterial, but both companies want to ensure that the details of the agreed-upon transactions cannot be disputed.

Technical View

First, a quick background on FIDO. The goal of FIDO is to eliminate passwords by introducing new authentication technology based on biometrics and/or special hardware tokens. It may come as a surprise that most of us already have FIDO-enabled devices. Every Android 7.0+ or iOS 13.3 phone, Windows 10 or Mac OS computer is a FIDO-enabled device. Most FIDO hardware tokens cost less than $50. The Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari browsers already have built-in support for FIDO through WebAuthn standard. As such, it’s easy for software vendors to add support for FIDO devices, and it’s a low-cost option for organizations to enable their users to use FIDO devices.

While there is a lot of information online about FIDO as an authentication technology, we are going to focus on a less-known capability of FIDO devices to digitally sign any information we want — in our case, business transactions.
FIDO devices can generate a virtually unlimited number of private/public key pairs that can be used for various purposes. Private keys never leave the FIDO device, and public keys are shared with the target application (e.g., an ERP system). A typical authentication use case involves an application sending a user browser a random string (challenge), asking a user to sign it using the private key within a FIDO device. The application can then verify the signature by using the public key stored for that user. If the signature is valid, it proves that a user is in a possession of the originally registered FIDO device and, in the case of biometric-based devices, the FIDO device successfully verified biometrics (e.g., fingerprints on a phone).

However, we can easily modify the above flow and replace a random challenge with the data we want to digitally sign from our business transaction. More specifically, we can follow the same overall approach as used in blockchain ledgers: Combine all the business data we need to sign using JSON, XML or any other format. Generate a hash of that business data, and then send that hash to a FIDO device to be digitally signed. We can then store our business data along with a hash and its digital signature, thus creating our own digital ledger.

Almost done, but it’s important not to lose track of our final objective: creating trust by making transactions legally enforceable. We can now verify that the transaction was signed by a user with a given FIDO device, but if the dispute goes to court, then we need to undeniably tie it to the organization that a user belongs to (i.e., prove that the company agreed to both this user and this particular FIDO device being used for signing transactions on behalf of the company).

This can be done by creating a file with a user public key and a statement authorizing the user to use it on behalf of his company. After being signed with a corporate certificate the file can be uploaded into an ERP system to prove that a public key is tied to the user’s company. This is a one-time registration process that each user has to go through.

Let’s review how the process would look from an end-user perspective:

One-Time Registration

• A user representing a vendor is set up in company ABC’s ERP system with FIDO authentication. To make it more specific, let’s say a user is using a Windows 10 laptop with facial recognition.

• The system generates a file (could be a PDF, CSR, etc.) that includes the user’s public key.

• A user signs the file with their company (vendor) certificate. This can be done in more than one way. For example, a user may already have a company-issued certificate and use Adobe UI to sign a PDF file. Alternatively, a user may forward the file to the legal or the IT team for a signature.

• A user uploads a signed file into the ERP.

Day-To-Day Use

• A user logs in into the ERP, picks a transaction and clicks on the “sign” or “approve” button.

• Windows 10 confirms the user’s identity through facial recognition and digitally signs a transaction.

• Company ABC’s ERP stores a transaction with a digital signature.

Dispute perspective

In case of a legal dispute, company ABC, as an agreed holder of records, has to produce a transaction along with both parties’ digital signatures. A transaction is digitally tied to a user with a given FIDO key, and that the FIDO key is digitally tied to the vendor’s corporate certificate, thus creating a digital chain directly from the business transaction to the vendor company.

Summary

We’ve already seen software vendors (Oracle and Amazon, for example) expand their solutions to offer new blockchain-like alternatives with the aim of building trust for stored data. However, any lightweight alternative to blockchain sacrifices on some aspects of trust. It’s important to fully understand the level of trust required in a given business scenario and then pick a technology that does it in the most economical way.

Source: Dmitri Tyles


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many businesses in manufacturingdistribution, and retail in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

blockchain and future ERP

Blockchain And The Future Of ERPs (Part 1)

Let’s start by asking ourselves a basic question: How has the ERP industry been making money since inception? The high-level answer is obvious: by selling solutions for automating business processes within an enterprise. The word “within” is critical. Whether it’s front- or back-office functions, it’s still all about internal business processes. However, most businesses operate within an ecosystem of partners and vendors. With the economy becoming more and more integrated, the need for cross-company collaboration only grows. But how many ERPs today offer a comprehensive set of “out of the box” solutions for automating external business processes? None.

How did we end up with a very mature industry for automating internal processes and a very immature industry for automating external business processes? Why is it that the capability to approve an invoice within the AP department was offered by most ERPs years ago, but if a vendor needs to approve your invoice, it’s likely done via a semi-manual process outside of an ERP even today? What is that invisible barrier that separates often rather similar business processes inside and outside of the enterprise?

It’s All About Trust

Let’s consider a scenario where an ERP used by company ABC offers secure screens specifically designed to make business arrangements with its vendors (deliver or buy goods, approve invoices, etc.). This is not an unrealistic scenario if company ABC is big and has a lot of pull over vendors in its ecosystem. Can’t we then automate business processes between company ABC and its vendors in the exact same manner as if we are dealing with internal automation? It’s not that simple.

Let’s say an agreement was reached through the above solution but later two companies are involved in a lawsuit. Can company ABC use records from its own ERP database to prove specifics of the contract? Probably not, as anybody knows that company ABC can easily manufacture any transactions in its own system (i.e., the above solution is not legally enforceable and has limited business value). The lack of trust between businesses is that barrier that was holding external automation back for so many years. To cross this barrier, we need to make records in an ERP legally enforceable for all collaborating parties.

What About Digital Signatures?

Digital signatures have been around for years and are accepted by courts in most countries. It seems like a great technology for creating legally enforceable transactions. However, it’s rare to see this capability built into an ERP. There are a few reasons for that.

The first challenge is the need to procure and store private/public keys (effectively SSL/TLS certificates) for each user. If a third-party vendor is used, then we run into the cost, privacy, usability and scalability concerns. Existing software used for digital signing is generally built around documents (i.e., real legal paperwork), but this paradigm doesn’t necessarily scale well or provide the necessary user experience if we need to sign transactions in an ERP.

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? I believe there is, and it comes from what, on the surface, looks like an unrelated technology — FIDO (fast ID online) or Web Authentication standard. While the primary purpose of FIDO is to solve the authentication scenario by digitally signing a random string sent by a server, FIDO devices can also be used to digitally sign any business transaction. Imagine a vendor digitally signing any cross-company ERP transaction using facial recognition or a fingerprint scanner on a phone without the complexity or inconvenience of a third-party solution.

Why Blockchain?

If digital signatures combined with FIDO authentication devices are so great, then why do we need to talk about blockchain? It all comes down to one simple scenario: While a digitally signed transaction can’t be altered without detection, it can still be deleted without a trace.

In other words, regardless of how unbreakable the digital signature is, if it’s only stored in one place that’s owned by an interested party, we still can’t achieve legally enforceable trust. This is exactly where blockchain comes in, since it is essentially a distributed digital signature. In case of enterprise blockchains, such as an open-source Hyperledger project, each participant in the blockchain has their own node and stores their own copy of all signed transactions, protecting themselves from a scenario in which company ABC may decide to delete its own entry.

Incorporating blockchain technology into ERP products while allowing partners in the business ecosystem to store their own copies of digitally signed transactions in an economical way would be a transformational step for the ERP industry. It would open the door for ERP systems to no longer be internally bound but instead focus on and automate the entire end-to-end business processes.

We see this trend starting already with large companies (e.g., in the supply chain sector) initiating projects to create blockchain-based solutions and include smaller companies within their ecosystems. However, few organizations can afford such projects. While major cloud providers are already offering blockchain as a service, it’s a PaaS-type offering. This means you get blockchain nodes deployed for you (which certainly helps), but all the business rules (smart contracts), flows and interactions need to be designed per the needs of a specific project. Not only that, but the company driving the project needs to get buy-in from its partners to participate in the blockchain and maybe pay for their nodes.

We can think back to the days when ERPs were not widely adopted and companies typically had their own homegrown solutions for HR, billing, payroll and other workplace functions. This is where the blockchain technology is today, with larger enterprises seeing so much value in automating external business processes that they are willing to invest in and create their own unique homegrown solutions. But what we really need is for ERP vendors to step up, think through most typical business flows and deliver those blockchain-based solutions as SaaS offerings with all the smart contracts and flows provided as part of an ERP.

Source: Dmitri Tyles


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many businesses in manufacturingdistribution, and retail in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

how to manage an ERP and keep it updated

How to manage an ERP and keep it up to date

ERP refers to a set of structures that ties together all the business processes of the agency and allows the flow of information among strategies and features.

It facilitates to standardize, streamline, and combine tactics across HR, finance, distribution, supply chain integrating a business enterprise’s various facets into one complete system so JDE managed services are best to maintain ERP. The underlying software uses an incorporated platform and commonplace records definitions.

Nowadays, ERP structures even offer commercial enterprise intelligence, income force automation, and advertising automation. In fact, maximum e-commerce web sites are now tightly connected to some form of ERP again-quit. An effective ERP implementation requires now not simply the right software program, however also thorough documentation, buy-in from key stakeholders, communiqué with companies, and worker schooling.

Also, ERP can provide the whole lot from expanded productiveness and information protection to scalability and cost financial savings, with the fundamental motives indicated underneath. Whilst commercial enterprise processes and records are computerized and centralized, employees will locate that they have got much less guide work, benefit easier reporting abilities, and may proactively control ordinary operations with a way fewer disruptions.

Upgrading Your System

Your carrier or maintenance plan allows you keep your software program walking easily through persevered get right of entry to enhancements, updates, service packs, tax and regulatory updates that can be essential, and extra all of which can be solely to be had to clients on an energetic plan and are not to be had for legacy structures.

Document business process

After you’ve decided to pursue ERP, the most essential task is making sure that your commercial enterprise techniques are well-documented and that it’s compiled in one place. This consists of the obvious main techniques like procure-to-pay and order-to-cash, but must also cover even the most granular ordinary sports such as employee onboarding or approval of time cards. You must try this before you’re taking other steps due to the fact every undocumented process turns into an assumption, and each assumption includes threats. Further, this documentation presents leadership with a clear view of the scope, complexity, and minimal requirements of the task.

Data Conversion

There’s a method that happens closer to the end of each ERP implementation referred to as information conversion that sounds tremendously straightforward and benign. additionally, it is an awful lot extra complicated than expected, even though, and it’s far a not unusual cause of delays and put up-launch troubles. Information conversion is essential to guide and tedious work, and it commonly requires work from practical sources, who’re most acquainted with the character of the records. Small errors can create massive problems, once facts are migrated, so it’s fine to ensure that you have a sturdy technique to high-quality warranty.

 

Source: Business Matters

 


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many businesses in manufacturingdistribution, and retail in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

Latest Internet of Things (IoT) News and Trends

The Latest Internet of Things News and Trends

The Internet of things (IoT) is one of the most talked-about innovations in the tech world. And with every passing day, it is evolving and reaching a new stage. IoT is playing an essential role in the development of businesses and is also changing how they are functioning. All the industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, insurance, logistics, and transportation, have been enjoying the benefits of IoT technologies. Let’s have a look at what is new in the domain of IoT and what trends are being followed.

IoT’s Growth and Power of Connectivity

The latest trend in the IoT is that the number of connected devices is increasing. This means that the amount of data one can have access to through this network will also increase. All of us are already leading a lifestyle in which we like to stay connected all the time. IoT is only adding to that. This does not only improve the interaction between humans but by having all these devices connected globally can provide us ease in our day to day tasks as well. Nowadays, there are a large number of IoT devices out there. From smart security to smart furniture, you can get a lot of innovative tools. Making your workplace IoT friendly is an excellent way of enhancing its productivity. You can check the Teknion store if you are looking to buy smart furniture or accessories for your workplace.

IoT Security is improving

IoT has also enhanced security by exposing the loopholes in the connectivity solutions. For example, if you are using WiFi, you are not secure at all, and the devices you are using are more vulnerable. The good thing is that the work can be started on these things by following GDPR. This encourages the user or the organization to keep track of all the devices that are connected. This ultimately contributes to improving security.

Blockchain Technology and IoT

When you are talking about IoT, you cannot miss out on blockchain technology, as it is one of the trending applications of IoT. It opens the opportunity of exchanging money and valuable data through an IoT device. And it is not far away, once the blockchain technology provides IoT devices with a more straightforward and safe infrastructure for money and data exchange. The soft nature of IoT matches that of the decentralized blockchain. But the security on the blockchain is much more reliable and it offers anonymity as well. The bridge between these two will make IoT much more secure in the future.

5G Networks

The introduction of 5G networks has been game-changing. In 2020 many systems across the globe will be using 5G networks, and that will increase the number of IoT devices as well. Both 5G and IoT are being called a revolution in the tech industry, and together they can transform our techs remarkably. 5G does not only provide much faster Internet, but it also offers better security. It has already changed the way businesses are marketing and streamlining their products. Together IoT and 5G can help us build high tech products, like vehicle networks and even smart cities.

Businesses are Investing IoT

The number of companies that are investing in IoT is increasing every day. The implementation of IoT in any business guarantees a much better and smoother customer experience. Business expenditure on IoT has already surpassed the total sum of consumer spending on IoT devices. Big brands have already realized the importance of IoT, and they are pouring their money into this technology. The industries that will benefit from this technology the most are health care, retail, and consumer sector.

Source: Eric Hamilton


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many enterprises and organizations in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

Difference between business intelligence, data warehousing, and data analytics

What is the Difference Between Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing and Data Analytics

In the age of Big Data, you’ll hear a lot of terms tossed around. Three of the most commonly used are “business intelligence,” “data warehousing” and “data analytics.” You may wonder, however, what distinguishes these three concepts from each other so let’s take a look.

Business Intelligence (BI)

What differentiates business intelligence from the other two on the list is the idea of presentation. Business intelligence is primarily about how you take the insights you’ve developed from the use of analytics to produce action. BI tools include items like:

  • Graphics and charts
  • Written reports
  • Spreadsheets
  • Dashboards
  • Presentations
  • Insights shared at meetings

To put it simply, business intelligence is the final product. It’s the yummy cooked food that comes out of the frying pan when everything is done.

In the flow of things, business intelligence interacts heavily with data warehousing and analytics systems. Information can be fed into analytics packages from warehouses. It then comes out of the analytics software and is routed back into storage and also into BI. Once the BI products have been created, information may yet again be fed back into data storage and warehousing.

Notably, BI doesn’t have to be a finished product in the traditional sense. For example, a BI dashboard for a clothing retailer might include up-to-the-minute trendspotting data from social media, buyers overseas, inventories, store sales, focus group interviews and fashion shows. Come back to the dashboard in a half-hour, and you might see different information being displayed because the trends have shifted within that time frame.

    Picture: Internet

Data Warehousing

This is sometimes grouped together with storage, but many organizations differentiate the two. The difference is largely about data that’s stored for very long periods, warehousing and data that are stored for immediate use. Some organizations don’t draw this distinction, though.

Warehousing can occur at any step of the process. Data gets warehoused right after it has been acquired so the raw stuff can be rescanned for analytics purposes. This is an excellent safeguard against data being mangled by processes, leaving the original information potentially unrecoverable.

Data will also be warehoused in the middle of projects. For example, it might be warehoused after several runs of analytics have been conducted. This ensures the results of analysis programs are stowed away in case they need to be referred to again. It also avoids possible problems with mangling in business intelligence packages.

Lastly, data often gets warehoused after it has made it to the promised land of being used as BI. Reports, charts, daily states of dashboards and spreadsheets may all go into the warehouse for permanent records-keeping, legal, historical and auditing purposes.

Data Analytics

An analysis is the sexy part of this business for many folks. This is where statistical methods and computer programming techniques are combined to study data and derive possible insights. Much of the toolset comes from the stats world, with common methods applied to data including:

  • Linear regression
  • Bayesian analysis
  • Frequency studies
  • Network analysis
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Clustering
  • Correlation

Performing analysis often involves a lot of prep work. Data may have to be formatted properly for machine-reading. It may also have to be filtered for duplicates, errors and other troublesome flaws. This all has to be done to preserve the integrity of the data as much as possible.

After the analysis has been done, there’s still more work to be handled before everything gets fed into warehouses and BI packages. Further analysis should be performed to validate the data. Data scientists often reserve part of a dataset to use for comparison. If there are radical departures between the analysis and what real-world data looks like, that might be taken as a clue to go back into the lab and figure out what went wrong with the analysis efforts. Consideration may also be given to whether different forms of analysis might be worth exploring before moving to the BI phase.

Conclusion

Working with data in the modern world is far from a single action or even set of actions. Organizations now break up the process into many pieces because there are numerous responsibilities along the way. Competent data warehousing methods can ensure that information isn’t lost. The skillful analysis will try to avoid problems like social and statistical biases, over- and under-fitting, duplicability failures, and self-reference. Good business intelligence usage can ensure that information gets into the hands of decision-makers and powers a data-driven culture.


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many enterprises and organizations in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.