Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
There’s no doubt that the advent of broadly-available Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers businesses the prospect of increased productivity and accelerated innovation, whilst also enabling society to help solve some of its toughest - and most persistent – challenges: disease, famine, climate control and natural disasters.
AI is already delivering tangible economic benefits for many organisations across Asia Pacific. For example, leading global container shipping company OOCL reports that applying AI to their business is already saving them $10m annually, whilst Apollo Hospitals in India are using AI to help predict heart disease amongst its patients.
While the benefits of Artificial Intelligence are undeniable, AI is a disrupter, especially when it comes to the displacement of jobs. The ramifications of AI on the workforce is a regular topic of discussion among CEOs and government leaders across Asia Pacific.
That said, it is also pertinent to examine the far-reaching implication that AI brings to the workforce. Will the social disruptions that AI can potentially create ultimately overshadow its benefits?
The Evolution of Jobs in the AI-Shaped Future
To put things in perspective: large-scale disruption is a challenge with every industrial revolution. Technology will always have profound implications on the creation, elimination, or evolution of jobs. For example, just a few years ago, it was common for offices to have a pool of typists. Clearly, this role is no longer relevant in today’s modern office, thanks to the proliferation of personal computing. The advent of AI will reshape jobs in a similar way.
Microsoft recently partnered with the leading technology advisory firm IDC to assess the digital transformation landscape across the region. Titled “Unlocking the Economic Impact of Digital Transformation in Asia Pacific”, the study surveyed 1,560 business and IT leaders from 15 Asia Pacific economies[i]. It showed that 85% of jobs in Asia Pacific will be transformed in the next three years. (See chart below)
Diving deeper into the results, the respondents said that over 50% of jobs will be redeployed to a new position and/or retrained and upskilled for digital transformation. What’s interesting is that the Study shows that 26% of jobs will be newly created roles from digital transformation, which will offset the 27% of jobs that will he outsourced or automated. In other words, the overall workforce effect will be broadly neutral.
These are clear indications that how businesses organize work, how people find employment and the skills people need to prepare for the workforce are changing dramatically. These changes are likely to accelerate in the decade ahead.
As AI continues to transform the nature of work, education, skills, and training will have to transform as well in order to ensure that people are prepared for the jobs of the future and businesses have access to the talent they need to succeed. And as traditional models of employment transform, there will be a need to modernize legal frameworks to recognize new ways of working, provide adequate worker protections, and maintain social safety nets.
Building a Better Future Together
The recently published, ‘The Future Computed, Artificial Intelligence and its Role in Society’, makes sense of this AI conundrum as it offers three conclusions on AI and the impact on work and jobs:.
|(You can download the book here for free today).|
- First, the organizations and countries that will fare best in the AI race will be early adopters. The reason is straightforward: AI will be useful wherever intelligence is needed and it helps us to be more productive in nearly every field of human endeavor, which can lead to economic growth. Put simply, new jobs and economic progress will favor those that embrace the technology, not those that resist it.
- Second, while AI will help improve daily life in many ways and help solve big societal problems, its important to remain critical when examining the issues that it can bring. Beyond AI deployment, what’s equally important is to prepare society and the workforce for the impending changes that AI will catalyze by addressing the need for strong ethical principles, the evolution of laws, the importance of training for new skills, and even labor market reforms. These aspects must all come together in order tomake the most of this new technology.
- Third, to fully realize the benefits of AI, and to minimize the negative outcomes, technology companies, private and public organizations need to come together with a sense of shared responsibility -- AI must be democratized.
The AI building blocks that Microsoft is developing today, such as computer vision, speech, and knowledge recognition, should be made available to all so that they can create their own AI-based solutions. AI should not be controlled by just a few organizations. The AI future should be built by everyone with a vision on how AI can benefit economies and societies as well as how we can tackle AI issues and their implications.
The future of AI can burn brightly or dimly. Disruption is a norm, and the ability to adapt to disruptions is what defines all of us. And to adapt to the fast-approaching, rapidly evolving AI future, all parties – from workers to enterprises to governments - will need to spend more time listening to each other, collaborate and constantly learn new knowledge and skills.
Monday, May 7, 2018
The 13th annual FTTH APAC Conference 2018 will happen on May 8-10, 2018 at Shangri-La at the Fort, Makati City, Philippines. Converge ICT, the pure end-to-end Fiber Internet provider in the country, together with FTTH Council Asia Pacific is proud to bring this innovative event.
Gathering all the companies active in the Asia-Pacific telecoms market and the over 600 senior executives participating this year is no easy task. Yet, this annual conference will serve as the meeting point for the region’s top operators, solution providers, and vendors as well.
Now is your rare chance to position your company as a market leader and take advantage of this event to build networks, partake in open discussions, and be aware of the latest regional market trends and technological disruptions.
Key topics to discuss:
- The importance of fiber to the network edge for future proof telecom networks in the Philippines.
- Digital services as a critical economic platform for the country and a launch pad for innovation.
- Designing win-win partnerships between the Philippine government, carriers, “over the top” players and non-traditional investors.
- What are the entertainment and connected living needs of the Philippines?
- What are your visions for the future of telecommunications and entertainment in the country?
This event is hosted by the Republic of the Philippines Department of Information and Communications Technology, the Philippine Cable Television Association, CONVERGE ICT, together with leading Philippines ICT companies.
About Converge ICT
An ISO-Certified company, Converge ICT is the fastest growing fiber Internet and other digital consumer-centric services provider in the Philippines today. Their premium products and services run through the first pure end-to-end fiber Internet network in the country. Whether you are at home, in your business, or in the corporate world, Converge is the brand of choice!
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, has signed an official exclusive partnership with Honor for its launch in the Philippines. The partnership will allow around 11 million Shopee users in the Philippines to purchase the Honor 9 Lite, Honor’s first quad-camera smartphone, at 7,990 Php exclusively on Shopee on May 5, as part of the 5.5 Shopee Super Sale.
“We are pleased to be selected as the exclusive e-commerce partner for Honor’s launch in the Philippines, and for the premiere of the hugely popular Honor 9 Lite. This strategic partnership is in line with our goal to continuously expand and diversify our product selection to cater to the needs of Filipinos across the country. Also, being a major e-commerce player in the region, we aim to assist more brands in expanding their online reach and further growing their businesses,” said Terence Pang, Chief Operating Officer of Shopee.
“We are excited to partner with Shopee for our foray into the Philippine market and through the debut of the Honor 9 Lite, our very first four-camera phone. We believe deeply in the potential of the region, especially in the Philippines, and we are continuing to focus our efforts where we can have direct impact in providing consumers with top quality and innovative mobile devices”, said Wang Yang, Country Director of Honor Philippines.
“As a leading global smartphone e-brand, it is crucial for us to partner with a trusted platform of equal reputation and are confident that this partnership will be a fruitful one. We are excited for this milestone and to have the opportunity to cater to the Filipino people,” Wang adds.
Users can look forward to the exclusive Honor flash sale on Shopee on May 5, in line with the biggest online mid-year sale - 5.5 Shopee Super Sale. The flash sale will feature the exciting premiere of the Honor 9 Lite and Honor 7X at unbeatable prices. First 500 users who pre-register their interest from April 25 to May 4 will stand to receive a 250 PHP voucher, which can be used to buy other products on Shopee.
Honor 9 Lite – The Fashion Icon (7,990 Php
The Honor 9 Lite is the most sleek and stylish device there is and its quad cameras are perfect to record your lively moments. Featuring exquisitely designed 2.5D glass and 5.65-inch edge-to- edge Full View HD Display, the Honor 9 Lite is a fashion statement.
Honor 7X – The Ultimate Gaming Monster (10,990 PHP)
The Honor 7X is irresistible in terms of both performance and pricing. Equipped with the powerful octal-core Kirin 659 and graphics processing unit (GPU), coupled with Full View display, the Honor 7X is the perfect competitively-priced gaming monster. Its track record speaks for itself.
Visit the Honor Official Store on Shopee: https://shopee.ph/honorph.officialstore
Pre-registration for Honor 9 Lite and Honor 7X: https://shopee.ph/shopeexhonorsignups
Download Shopee app for FREE via App Store or Google Play
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Cloud Computing is increasingly the deployment model of choice for enterprise workloads, causing public cloud spend to grow at a double-digit rate with no sign of slowing down. The issue is that most companies realize they can't transition everything at once - even if they wanted to - leaving IDC to predict that 58.7 percent infrastructure spend in 2017 will stay in the data center.
Regardless, the pressure is on and companies can’t afford to sit back and wait. The rising incidence of cyberattacks is making many companies re-evaluate their position on cloud; a recent Oracle survey showed that companies with a higher level of cloud maturity and exposure have higher levels of confidence in their cyber security capabilities and ability to detect cyber threats, than those early in their cloud journey.
In addition, organizations are striving to deliver innovation in unprecedented ways and, to support this, are looking for new ways of handling the increasing amount of data they are having to deal with every day. It is therefore very important that organizations take into consideration ways to handle the increasing amount of data being transferred into their systems every day. Having said this, finding the right application on platforms suitable to your company’s needs is essential. With business leaders pushing hard for cloud migration, how should IT leaders respond?
Plan for Tomorrow
There are a myriad of reasons for keeping applications in-house, such as regulatory compliance issues, security, data sovereignty requirements, the need for low latency, and use of custom legacy applications that won't run on public cloud platforms.
In many cases, what is needed is a cloud-ready architecture - including hardware operating systems, databases, and applications - that is consistent across on-premises and cloud environments. This will make it easier to transition when the time is right.
Mapping your cloud-ready journey: While the route will vary, depending on where an individual IT organization is starting, there are five typical use cases that describe the different requirements of each leg - and thus, the likely best path forward.
1. Streamline and modernize IT infrastructure
For a business without immediate plans to move to the cloud, but wants to streamline its infrastructure, pre-built converged infrastructure.
These modern systems that are architecturally compatible with those powering private cloud and public cloud services can deliver dramatic improvements in performance, availability, security, and efficiency while lowering operating costs, by replacing older, multi-vendor server, storage, and backup.
2. Accelerate time to value with appliances
Many IT organizations have to do more with less, and faster, to respond to competitive threats. In such situations, an appliance strategy can provide great benefit. Purpose built 'appliances' that are preconfigured to serve different purposes, such as to support databases, a private cloud environments, or big data workloads. They are easy to deploy and operate, requiring less time and fewer specialized IT skills.
3. Optimize and extend private cloud
For generic, noncritical workloads, many organizations first implement private cloud environments with the aim of lowering costs and achieving greater agility.
But most self-assembled, generic private clouds take months to build - decreasing agility - and require expensive personnel to build, tune, and manage.
Private cloud environments also often use virtualization software that may require expensive licenses and support contracts to run. Another challenge is that generic private clouds often treat all applications equally, they are not always appropriate for demanding and/or business-critical databases and applications.
One way to address these issues is to adopt purpose-built, cloud appliances that are consistent across environments, enabling organizations to implement a private cloud that is cost-optimized for generic applications and performance optimized for more critical applications. This provides an easy path to public or hybrid cloud, with unified management across environments.
4. Optimize and secure critical applications
For business-critical applications, in many cases, the infrastructure supporting them has been built over time, lags in modernization, and is an inconsistent mix of platforms.
The result is an overly complex environment that doesn't always deliver the required performance or security. A common solution is to employ high-end servers to optimize and ensure peak performance while improving efficiency with the highest security, whether implemented on-premises or in the cloud. Moving to a single platform will also bring cost savings and unified management.
5. Consolidate and protect data with advanced storage solutions
Finally, companies are facing data storage and protection challenges. With the explosion of data volumes, simply adding to an existing storage infrastructure is, in many cases, no longer affordable or cost-effective.
An alternative approach is to implement modern storage solutions engineered to address the risks of data loss and cut recovery times. These cloud-ready systems enable you to consolidate existing storage while ensuring the security of your data and dramatically improving performance.
For each of these use cases, having cloud-ready systems that have equivalents in the public cloud can allow the public cloud to appear as a compatible extension of what already runs in your data center, making it easier to move when you're ready.
The most powerful, unified cloud solutions available that best match your licensed environment and will help you modernize, innovate, and be one step ahead in a digital world. Complete and integrated cloud services can now deliver unprecedented availability, performance, and security — potentially at a significantly lower cost.
Even if you have no immediate plans to move to the cloud, it's a nice option to have. In the meantime, you're able to bring many benefits of the public cloud into your on-premises infrastructure. Wouldn't you like to be prepared for a cloud future?
|All the above information was provided by Mr. Chung Heng Han, Vice President, Systems, Oracle Asia Pacific Cloud|
Thursday, April 19, 2018
|Xuedong Huang, technical fellow in charge of Microsoft’s speech, natural language and machine translation efforts. (Photo by Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures)|
In a few short years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been thrust into the limelight – elevating itself from a far-fetched, science-fiction topic to one that is currently dominating many conversations between customers, partners and industry leaders across Asia. The convergence of big data, ubiquitous and powerful cloud computing, along with breakthroughs in software algorithms and machine learning, have made exciting new scenarios in AI deployment a possibility.
Today, AI is at the center of the digital transformation of organizations and even nations. By 2019, IDC predicts that 40% of digital transformation initiatives in the region will be supported by AI.
(Read here about how digital transformation will contribute more than US$1 trillion to Asia Pacific GDP by 2021, where AI is a primary catalyst for further growth)
With imagination and plenty of data, AI can create vast benefits at scale. In Japan for example, where Miko, an AI-power chatbot and the star of new mobile travel app Japan Trip Navigatoris helping tourists in Japan navigate its streets. Created by Microsoft in partnership with travel agency JTB Corp and navigation firm NAVITIME Co, Miko provides travelers in Japan with real-time information from official sources as well as insights from other users of the apps. Miko can also help with hotel and other bookings on the app.
What’s more, one of the more advanced and interesting capabilities of Miko is that it is imbued with image recognition functions using Microsoft’s Cognitive Services AI platform, enabling her to provide information to users through the photos that they have taken.
Asia will be key to AI development globally
There are three reasons why Asia is uniquely placed to play a leading role in the development of AI at scale.
1. AI needs data: AI is dependent on data to perform; the more data that is fed into an AI system, the better it gets. Not only does Asia have the world’s largest population, it continues to be a region that is more digitally-connected than other parts of the globe and hence can provide the massive amounts of data that AI systems need to grow.
2. AI needs talent: Whilst we anticipate the mass adoption of AI this year, there is still a long way to go for more powerful and sophisticated AI programs to be developed. To do that will require a large and strong pool of science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) talents that technology companies and research bodies can tap into to advance AI capabilities. And this talent is increasingly likely to originate from Asia. According to UBS, by 2025 the combined AI talent pool of China and India alone will exceed that of the US.
3. AI needs adoption: As stated, the more data that is fed into an AI system, the better it gets. One of the unique aspects of Asia is its large youth population, that have been born into a digital world. The UN estimates that 60% of the world’s youth population is in Asia Pacific. These “digital natives” are more receptive to digital technologies enhancing their lives. Not only that, but many Asian countries are, historically, late adopters of legacy technology, enabling them to leapfrog other nations dependent on old infrastructure and embrace new ways of living and working.
Microsoft’s AI investment in Asia
With the immense growth potential of AI in Asia, Microsoft has identified four key building blocks to ensure people and organizations are able to harness AI optimally.
- Developing AI capabilities: The AI revolution will not happen without world-class STEM talents driving R&D, and creation of programs and applications. Collaboration among governments, industry bodies and organizations to develop AI capabilities in this region will need to be a focus. A good example of this is Microsoft’s investment of US$33 million in partnership with the Taiwanese Government to create a AI R&D Hub in Taiwan to help transform the island’s technology and industrial sector.
- Developing partner ecosystem: Microsoft is focused on transforming IT partner ecosystem across Asia to enable them to bring AI capabilities to the markets. In fact, they are committing $500m over the next two years to offer joint sales engagements with startups, along with access to our technology, and new community spaces that promote collaboration across local and global ecosystems.
- Creating the AI platform: Microsoft continues to strengthen its hyper-scale cloud platform – Microsoft Azure – and its ability to deliver AI programs at scale securely across the world. Today, Azure is available to customers in 140 countries worldwide via 50 Azure regions across the world, more than any other cloud provider, which includes 15 here in Asia. This offers customers and partners the platform needed to deliver
- Re-skilling Asia’s workforce: Microsoft is committed to working with public and private organizations to help re-skill existing workforce to thrive in a new AI-driven digital world. For example, the recently launched National Skills Program in South Australia provides digital skills to automotive supply chain workers whose roles were displaced by the closure of the Holden manufacturing plant in Elizabeth in late 2017.
Industry experts believe this to be Asia’s century. And AI offers the region an unprecedented opportunity for growth, productivity and innovation, as well as the potential to solve some of the region’s most important societal challenges.
It will certainly be an interesting ride; so strap in – the revolution is about to begin!
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
For residential customers, now is the time to rejoice! Your endless worries about slow and expensive internet connectivity are definitely over.
The FiberX plans from Converge ICT Solutions, Inc., the pioneering company that introduced Filipinos to pure-fiber Internet connectivity, allow customers from residential areas to realize savings by as much as a whopping P8,000 on their budget. Get to experience fast Internet connectivity minus the delays, buffering, disconnections and other disruptions commonly associated with traditional—and slowly getting outdated—Internet connection options.
But more importantly, the FiberX plans provide customers with unlimited data allowance or absolutely “NO DATA CAP.” Converge ICT has put this as a standard feature across all FiberX plans and is not a promotional plan offered for a limited time only.
For new subscribers to FiberX Plan 1500, for example, you only pay as low as P1,500 up front (for security deposit while Installation fee is staggered over 6 months), and you get internet connectivity of up to 25Mbps. This speed is perfect for home users with school-age kids who love to surf the Net for study or even play.
However, despite the total cash outlay during installation while others offer Zero Cash Out, subscribers will still realize the P8,000 total cost savings in the long run or after the 24-month lock in period, and they get to enjoy speeds of up to 25Mbps compared to the current up to 20 Mbps offering in the market today.
Overall, the FiberX Plan 1500 comes out 47% more affordable per Mbps compared to the other Internet service providers.
For heavy Internet users out there—the content makers who develop and upload content (designers, YouTube-rs) and the emerging community of video bloggers (vloggers)—Converge ICT offers its FiberX Plan 2500 with 50Mbps speed and FiberX Plan 3500, which carries a 100Mbps connection. Both also come with no data cap. Even the Philippine e-sports gaming community will surely enjoy the pure, end-to-end fiber optic-fast Internet connection that Converge ICT offers through FiberX. Converge ICT FiberX plans are best known for highly symmetrical upload and download speeds and superbly low latency performance. This means no more delays in your Internet connection whether downloading movies, uploading big files like photos and videos, or even making calls to loved ones abroad using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) connections such as Viber, Skype or Facebook Messenger.
With FiberX, you can now stream your favorite music or movies, upload and download files quickly, or play your much-loved games with your friends and family as much as you like. In fact, the world’s leading internet television network Netflix, in its January 2018 ISP Leaderboard results, has ranked Converge ICT as consistent number 1 ISP (Internet Service Provider) among all major ISPs in the Philippines. This means users will consistently enjoy Netflix’s original series, movies and documentaries with no interruption or lags, and no compromise in video quality since there is no data cap, for that totally awesome Internet watching experience.
So be the envy of neighbors in your community as you get to enjoy blazing-fast, 21st Century Internet connectivity any time and any day. Get the FiberX Plan 1500, the FiberX Plan 2500 at up to 50Mbps speed and the FiberX Plan 3500 with 100Mbps speed that suits your specific needs. These plans come with pure end-to-end fiber technology that’s light years better than the traditional—and much slower—Digital Subscriber Line (DSL). Now, get an enhanced online experience with better speed, larger bandwidth and consistent performance for either work or play that only Converge ICT can deliver.
For more updates about Converge ICT Solutions, Inc., visit their Official Facebook page @ConvergeICTOfficial, or visit www.convergeict.com,
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Bitcoin & Blockchain technologies are fuelling one of the fastest growing industries in the world. The cryptocurrency community in the Philippines experienced a first of its kind event with the “Bitcoin and Blockchain Forum 2018” last February 24, 2018 at the Ortigas Foundation Library, F Building, Ortigas Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. The forum brought together the Philippines’ top specialists in the cryptocurrency market and blockchain technologies -- shared their experience and knowledge in integrating blockchain across the government, banking, trading, healthcare areas among some.
One of the featured speakers in the forum was Joe Maristela III of Katalyst, he talked about the potential of financial technology in the Philippines particularly about the use of blockchain technology in healthcare. Joe is a serial entrepreneur and prominent independent investor who has, since 2015, lobbied the government to become more proactive and inclusive about “disruptive” technologies such as Bitcoin, the Blockchain and other cryptocurrencies. He has personally invested millions of dollars in startup companies that aim to revolutionize finance for SMEs and outsourcing offices here in the Philippines.
In this event Joe shared his insights about the potential of blockchain in healthcare and the value of supporting and investing in Filipino homegrown businesses.
Maristela has established several businesses engaged in markets ranging from healthcare business process outsourcing to financial services. Some of these businesses are:
PediaHealth Medical Group
PediaHealth is a clinic-network, with medical and healthcare operations on the West Coast (USA). PediaHealth is known for being an early adopter of technology, and deploying technologies in healthcare in medicine in new and creative ways. PediaHealth served as a beta testing facility, which tested various communications technologies from Google, including Hangouts and Google's enterprise class video conferencing software.
Qwikwire is a fintech startup which is making huge strides in streamlining overseas payments and remittances for offices of the likes of Ayala, Century, and others.
Satoshi Citadel Industries
Satoshi Citadel Industries or SCI which Joe seeded with $200k and whose flagship services and Blockchain technology platforms, Rebit.ph and BuyBitcoin.ph, has pegged the Philippines as a major innovator in the international financial technologies industry.
Acudeen aims to revolutionize SME financing by providing a platform and ecosystem for so called investors to buy and sell invoices and purchase orders.
The Bitcoin and Blockchain Forum 2018 aims to open the discussion on potential-application areas and use cases for blockchain technology by exploring real-world implementations.