Apple ‘to buy Shazam for $400m’

Apple is close to buying the music recognition app Shazam for about $400m (£300m), media reports say.

Shazam, a UK company founded in 1999, allows people to use their smartphone or computer to identify and buy music through a snippet of sound.

Shazam, which says it has more than 100 million monthly users, makes most of its revenue from commissions paid on referrals to Apple’s iTunes Store.

Neither Apple nor Shazam have commented on the reports on the TechCrunch site.

If the deal is confirmed, Shazam will become the latest in a string of UK technology firms to be bought up by larger businesses.

  • Shazam – a billion dollar London success

The influential Music Business Worldwide site points out that the reported price is significantly lower than the $1bn valuation placed on Shazam during its last funding round in 2015.

By acquiring Shazam, Apple would basically cut out the middleman and save money on commissions.

It would also hurt the competition, since Shazam would no longer be referring people to rivals Spotify and Google Play Music.

The deal would also help the Apple Music service gain ground on Spotify, by making it easier for users to find songs and add them to playlists.

At present, Spotify has 60 million users worldwide, while Apple Music has just 27 million.

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Article Credit: BBC

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WatchGuard uncovers surge in script-based attacks amid spike in overall malware volume

WatchGuard’s latest quarterly Internet Security Report, which explores the computer and network security threats affecting small to midsize businesses (SMBs) and distributed enterprises, has revealed substantial increases in scripting attacks and overall malware attempts against midsize companies throughout Q3 2017.

Scripting threats, includimg JavaScript and Visual Basic Script attacks, accounted for 68 percent of all malware during Q3, while total malware instances spiked by 81 percent this quarter over last, with more than 19 million variants blocked in Q3. The findings reinforce expectations of continued growth of new malware and various attack techniques in the coming months, further emphasising the importance of layered security and advanced threat prevention.

“Threat actors are constantly adjusting their techniques, always looking for new ways of exploiting vulnerabilities to steal valuable data,” said Corey Nachreiner, chief technology officer at WatchGuard Technologies. “This quarter, we found that script-based attacks – like the fake Python library packages discovered in September – appeared 20 times more than in Q2, while overall malware attacks shot through the roof. Staying vigilant regarding these developments is half the battle. Every business can better protect themselves and their stakeholders by employing multiple layers of protection, enabling advanced security services and monitoring network logs for traffic related to the top threats mentioned in this report.”

WatchGuard’s Internet Security Report examines the modern threat landscape and delivers key data, educational guidance and in-depth research to help readers understand the latest attack trends and update their defences. Other findings from the Q3 2017 report include:

  • Cross-site Scripting (XSS) attacks plague web browsers, spreading internationally. XSS attacks, which allow cyber criminals to inject malicious script into victims’ sites, continue to grow at a measured pace. Previous reports detailed XSS attacks against Spain alone, but in Q3, XSS attacks broadly affected every country.
  • Legacy antivirus (AV) only missed 24 percent of new malware. Over the past three quarters, signature-based AV has missed malware at increasing rates, peaking at almost 47 percent in Q2. But this quarter was a marked improvement with only 23.77 percent of new or zero day malware able to circumvent AV. While this data is encouraging, behavioral detection solutions are still the most effective way to block advance persistent threats.
  • Suspicious HTML iframes surface everywhere. Attackers are continuing to evolve how they leverage the HTML iframe tag to force unsuspecting victims to suspicious and often malicious sites. While potentially malicious iframes showed up everywhere, including the U.S. and Canada, their numbers jumped significantly in both the UK and Germany.
  • Authentication is still a big target. Though not as prevalent as in Q2, attacks targeting authentication and credentials such as Mimikatz, returned in a big way this quarter. Aside from Mimikatz, brute force web login attempts were also highly visible, proving that attackers are continuing to target the weakest link – credentials.

WatchGuard’s Internet Security Report is based on anonymised Firebox Feed data from nearly 30,000 active WatchGuard UTM appliances worldwide, which blocked more than 19 million malware variants and 1.6 million network attacks in Q3. The complete report includes defensive strategies for responding to the latest attack trends, based on analysis of the quarter’s top malware and network threats. The report also examines the growing trend of supply chain attacks by evaluating the most notable instances from Q3 – NetSarang, Ccleaner and fake Python packages.

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Epicor launches newest version of Epicor ERP to support global growth, innovation, and competitive advantage

Epicor Software Corporation, a global provider of industry-specific enterprise software to promote business growth, has introduced the latest version of Epicor ERP, the global enterprise resource planning solution in use today by thousands of companies in 150 countries worldwide.

The latest release includes powerful new functionality to enable manufacturers to grow, innovate, and compete in today’s ever-changing global landscape. Marquee capabilities include new business intelligence and visual analytics capabilities delivered via Epicor Data Discovery, a completely redesigned home page, Active Home Page, Smart Inventory Planning and Optimisation, as well as new country and industry-specific functionality.

“Businesses that adopt the latest technologies in cloud, analytics, and employee experience will be fit to grow and respond to the new digital challenges of tomorrow while achieving a competitive advantage right now,” said Scott Hays, senior vice president, product marketing, Epicor. “In this, our third major release in the past 13 months, Epicor continues to deliver cloud-enabled, industry-specific functionality, globalisation and localisation, mobility, and action-oriented analytics, with continued improvements in customer experience, ease-of-use, and performance.”

Role-based insights for better, faster execution

According to a recent Gartner report, “In 2018, data and analytics can’t be ignored — analytics will drive major innovation and disrupt established business models in the coming years.”[1] Epicor ERP equips personnel with critical insights at a glance for better, faster analysis and execution. Active Home Page provides dashboard views of role-based analytics with quick access to role-based functionality. This is made possible through Epicor Data Discovery (EDD), which supports rich on-demand data exploration to surface real-time operational and business performance insights to guide decision making. EDD encapsulates complex data sets into easy-to-understand graphs and charts to allow users to quickly gauge performance, understand trends and opportunities, drill down into data sets, and test out “what if” scenarios.

Smart inventory planning and optimisation

Optimal inventory strategies are essential to drive profitability and growth. With Epicor Smart Inventory Planning and Optimisation—an integrated set of cloud-based capabilities for demand planning, inventory optimisation, and supply chain analytics—businesses can drive best-practice sales and inventory operations planning (SIOP) and monitor myriad factors to prescribe inventory policies and service levels that yield the lowest total cost.

Capabilities to fit specific business needs—around the world and on the shop floor

New country- and industry-specific functionality provides support for the job at hand – whether it’s tax processing in Penang or casting and coating in Kansas City. Functionality localised for specific geographic regions supports global business compliance and reporting, tax and payment processing, and international trade requirements, including legal numbering, and non-recoverable taxes.

Epicor customers using the Epicor Mattec MES solution will also benefit from improvements in MES-ERP integration to more easily account for various parameters and dependencies related to jobs, scheduling, operators, and/or machines.

Upgrading with ease

Committed to providing positive experiences for its customers, Epicor has focused on “ease of everything” from deployment, education, through support, upgrades, and maintenance, resulting in greater profitability, productivity, and growth. New enhancements make it easier than ever for manufacturers to upgrade to the latest version of Epicor ERP to leverage new features and functionality to support growth and competitive advantage.

The latest version of Epicor ERP is now generally available worldwide, however, some functionality while available in the United States is not available in all regions and is expected to become generally available globally in 2018.

“Upgrading Epicor ERP is now easier than ever before, which allows us to go through the upgrade process with minimal business disruption,” said Martine Kennedy, IT Project Manager with Windsor Mold Group. The company has leveraged Epicor ERP since 2010 to support operational excellence. The Windsor, Ontario-based company’s automotive components division was named a Supplier of the Year by General Motors in 2016.

[1] Source: Gartner, Inc., “2018 Planning Guide Overview: Thriving in an Era of Change,” Sept. 29, 2017 by Paul DeBeasi and Kyle Hilgendorf

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Electronic Document Management System Market to hit $6bn by 2024: Global Market Insights, Inc.

Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) Market is projected to surpass USD 6 billion by 2024; according to a new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc. Rise in adoption of cloud computing, BYOD trend, penetration of SaaS based solutions and Big Data are expected to drive electronic document management system market growth.

Such solutions enable organizations to streamline workflow and efficiently handle their documentation needs, thereby improving individual productivity and enable organizations to centralize unstructured content and extract business related information quickly and effectively. It controls the creation, duplication, deletion and distribution of document digitally. Moreover, aids in controlling multiple versions of the same document and provides federated searches.

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Regulations requiring the need to maintain data compliance across industries are expected to propel growth of EDMS market. However, cyber security issues of online DMS and high implementation and maintenance cost of on-premise solutions may hinder growth. Key trends impacting growth include social integration, workflow collaboration, customized client portals and mobile device integration. EDMS market solutions enable archiving, indexing, accessing and retrieval of documents.

The rise in demand for document retention as a result of stringent rules and regulations governing the storage of company records is benefitting the global electronic document management system market. Increase in the formation of new businesses has also led to the steep demand for such solutions as they provide co-ordination and control over flow of documents in a protective and efficient manner. Key benefits of EDMS include data protection, information destruction, records management and recovery services.

Major industry verticals deploying such solutions include government, medical, commercial, BFSI, legal and education. A strong growth opportunity for the electronic document management system market can be witnessed in the medical field, wherein the regulatory requirements and adoption of health-related ERP systems are driving growth. Incentives are offered to healthcare providers to digitize their records.

Software providers in the electronic document management system market offer desktop solutions, network/server-based and cloud-based solutions to capture and manage their business documentation needs. The core implementation team consists of application developers, project managers and coordinators. Collaboration between software developers and service providers add capabilities to coalesce on a common platform and embed functions into the document management solution. Service providers offer means for implementing EDMS into the actual workplace. In addition to installation, they also provide integration services with the organization’s workflow, as well as training and consulting services for smooth functioning of the system.

Browse key industry insights spread across 300 pages with 475 market data tables & 31 figures & charts from this 2017 report Electronic Document Management System Market in detail along with the table of contents:

On-premise solutions are ideal for operations wherein a large number of documents need to be managed with combatively large file sizes. Customers need to invest on hardware, licenses, IT staff and IT infrastructure for on-premises solutions. On the other hand, cloud based EDMS are suitable for users with limited IT expertise or staff, large number of remote end users and suitable networking infrastructure.

Demand for EDMS solutions in medical applications is expected to exhibit significant growth over the forecast period. This can be attributed to the need for automation and digitization in the healthcare center and the need to improve clinical efficiency and quality of healthcare systems. Increasing adoption of health information management systems such as Electronic Medical Record (EMR), Health Information Management (HIM), Radiology Information System (RIS) and Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS drive growth of medical electronic document management system market.

Asia Pacific electronic document management system market is expected to witness sharp growth owing rising penetration of SaaS based solutions and favorable government initiatives in the region. Furthermore, the increasing volume of data and growing demand for cloud storage is also expected to augment demand in the region. North America holds a major share in the global EDMS market owing to presence of large number of EMDS solution providers and early adoption of technology in the region.

Key players in the electronic document management system market include Adobe Systems Incorporated, Alfresco One Software, CGI Group Inc., DocSTAR, Dropbox Business, Dokmee, eFileCabinet, Google, Ideagen Plc, Lucion Technologies, MasterControl, Microsoft Corporation, Oracle Corporation, Zoho Corporation. The players are investing in R&D to develop new technologies that make the solution interoperable and easily integrate with other IT platforms.

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Velocity Acquires Mercury Technology Group

Velocity Technology Solutions Inc., the global leader in enterprise and business application cloud managed services, and developer of the Velocity Cloud Application Management Platform™ (VCAMP®), has announced the strategic acquisition of Mercury Technology Group, a leader in cloud managed services focused on the Oracle applications suite.

Mercury provides cloud managed services to over 100 enterprise customers with offices across the US and Europe. The acquisition expands Velocity’s leadership as the world’s largest pure-play, privately-held cloud services provider, advancing Velocity’s mission as a high-growth, innovative, and customer-first company.

“We are honored to welcome Mercury to the Velocity family. We believe Mercury’s expertise in Oracle solutions will significantly enhance our portfolio of Oracle services, further setting us apart as the world-leader in Cloud Managed Services,” said Keith Angell, President and CEO of Velocity. “Combined with our SAP, Infor and Healthcare services, orchestrated over global hybrid cloud environments, the Mercury acquisition extends our ERP Cloud Services leadership, delivering even more value to our customers around the world.”

According to Gartner, Inc., Oracle is the world’s second-largest ERP provider and its E-Business Suite application continues to gain users. “One of Velocity’s strategic priorities is to continue investing in Oracle capabilities,” noted Angell. “Mercury’s proven Oracle leadership and innovative technological approach are an immediate benefit to Velocity’s customer and prospect base, including advances in OVM, High-Availability Performance, Disaster Recovery and Security Solutions.”

“Velocity’s hybrid and public cloud options, functional & technical expertise, expanded cloud services, and broader ERP footprint are now available to our customer and prospect base,” said Brian Day, President and CTO of Mercury. “Velocity’s decision analysis framework, analytics-driven application management platform, and breadth and depth of application expertise delivers increased productivity, improved time to value, reduced risk, and compelling total cost of ownership advantages to our customers.”

Velocity and Mercury are privately-held companies. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Cybersecurity trends for 2018

2017 was a year dominated by news of data breaches and new cybersecurity threats, from major hacks affecting companies like Equifax and Verizon to ransomware attacks such as the global WannaCry incident.

It stands to reason than that we will see more of the same in 2018, with corporations, governments, public bodies and even political campaigns all likely targets.

So, what exactly will 2018 have in store? McAfee Inc.’s recent threats predictions report identified five key cybersecurity trends to watch in 2018:

  • An adversarial machine learning “arms race” between attackers and defenders
  • Ransomware to evolve from traditional PC extortion to IoT, high net-worth users, and corporate disruption
  • Serverless Apps to create attack opportunities targeting privileges, app dependencies, and data transfers
  • Connected home devices to surrender consumer privacy to corporate marketers
  • Consumer apps collection of children’s content to pose long-term reputation risk

It is hard to argue with these predictions, particularly those concerning an “arms race” and the evolution of ransomware.

Edgewater Fullscope Announces Partnership with Concep to Offer Path to Build Stronger High Value Relationships in Professional Services Sector

Manchester, UK – October 26 – Zero2Ten EMEA Limited (Edgewater Fullscope UK), a wholly owned subsidiary of Fullscope, Inc. (Edgewater Fullscope)(www.fullscope.com), is pleased to announce it has formed a partnership with Concep to offer a high-value relationship marketing solution integrated with Microsoft Dynamics 365 specifically to the UK Professional Services industry.

Edgewater Fullscope, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Edgewater Technology, Inc.,  and Concep are working together to help professional services organisations tackle the challenges that Digital Transformation brings.

Digital transformation is accelerating at a breath-taking pace and the most successful companies today will focus relentlessly on providing an exceptional, differentiated customer experience as they digitally transform – the two go hand in hand. The strategic partnership between Fullscope and Concep will target the professional services sector helping firms to overhaul the customer journey, onboarding and employee experience. It should enable professional services organisations to better find, win and grow those high-value relationships.

This partnership will help professional services firms in the UK address three key challenges in the sector:

·         Growing revenues

·         Improve bid to win ratios

·         Increase employee retention

Adam Spurr, Fullscope’s UK Managing Director, commented “Professional services firms are critical to the UK economy. UK consulting grew almost four times faster than the economy, up 8.2 percent year on year.. We wanted a strategic marketing partner to complement our Microsoft Dynamics 365 professional services offering.”

Matt Woodford of the Professional Services Industry Team at Microsoft, said: “I continue to receive great feedback about Edgewater Fullscope and Concep from my contacts across the professions. Both businesses have tremendous industry experience, allowing them to guide clients to achieve their business objectives, instead of simply solving technology problems. I’m delighted about this alliance between two of our top international partners.”

Freddie Hustler, Concep’s Global Sales & Client Services Director added “Our goal at Concep is to make online business communication a simple, one-to-one experience for firms that rely on high-value relationships to grow. For nearly 15 years we have worked closely within the professional services world to understand their unique needs, and share knowledge and good practice. We are delighted to be partnering with Edgewater Fullscope and share their commitment in driving customer success for a rounded solution for sales and marketing.”

This partnership brings together leaders in high-value relationship marketing and leaders in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) implementation to help redefine the modern business, creating an environment where employees use the best productivity tools available to help them to enjoy a seamless work experience, no matter where they are.


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Give IoT the Edge

All industries today function on the principle of interdependence. Nowhere is this more evident than the chemical industry that provides assistance in the form of research and development to different industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture and more.

In these efforts, scientists are exposed to various chemicals that emerge as the final product or by-products of the various processes in the industry. An example of this is the production of ammonia in agricultural labs or methane in the coal industry.

Currently, those who work in these environments are provided with masks that provide short-term protection against the hazards they face. In addition to this, an LCD screen constantly displays the concentration in parts per million (ppm) of all the gases in the working area. This screen, however, must be constantly monitored in order to keep track of changes. A lack of monitoring can result in dangerous situations, such as in case of a major gas leak. The masks provided would not be able to protect those working in such an environment and would also not alert the larger organization to the threat initiated. Thus, threat detection becomes a primary concern to be addressed in order to ensure safety and to upgrade security responses.

These concerns have prompted the industry to look for solutions that combine both Cloud and Edge intelligence processing with the seamless power of IoT.

Traditional cloud computing, while flexible in terms of deployability, suffers from time delays when speed is of the essence. Any lag in processing time can be life-threatening in the chemical industry as most workers do not even realize when the concentration of gases has crossed the prescribed threshold. In addition to this, cloud networks are susceptible to network or platform failures that can shut down all processing abilities.

Edge computing allows containerized deployment of measures that act as a bridge between the central processors and the cloud, thereby increasing response times as well as widening the scope of processing ability.

Thus, in the scenario of an agricultural lab or even coal mine, the implementation of this technology could be done in the form of multiple sensors inserted into a wearable mask. These sensors feed information into a mobile app via Bluetooth. This essentially replaces the inefficiency of the LCD screen and in turn, constantly displays the gas concentrations in the environment in real-time. Furthermore, even the slightest changes beyond the optimum concentration send an alert to the wearer. The issuance and audience of such alerts can also be customized from one local department all the way up to an organization-wide alert so that it can be addressed and contained. So basically, information is simultaneously sent to the central server to enable remote monitoring and data collection, thereby laying the base for better security measures in the future.

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Article Credit: Ciol

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