Companies Turn to War Games to Spot Scarce Cybersecurity Talent

A major shipping company is under attack. With help from a corrupt executive, an international hacking syndicate called Scorpius has penetrated the computer networks of Fast Freight Ltd. The hackers have taken control of servers and compromised the systems that control Fast Freight’s vessels and its portside machinery. The company’s cybersecurity consultants have 48 hours to uncover the breach and repulse the attackers before they cripple Fast Freight’s business and cause serious economic damage.

It sounds like the plot of a blockbuster thriller. But this was the fictional scenario 42 budding computer security experts faced at the annual U.K. Cyber Security Challenge competition earlier this week in London. With demand for cybersecurity expertise exploding, but qualified people in short supply,  war-gaming competitions like this have become key recruiting grounds for companies and government security agencies.

“We want to find untapped talent to fill roles in our own operation and in the industry as a whole,” said Rob Partridge, BT Group Plc’s head of commercial development for penetration testing.

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Article Credit: Bloomberg

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Epicor Success Story: Autoneum

Autoneum is the global market and technology leader in acoustic and thermal management for vehicles. The company’s customers include all leading automobile manufacturers in the automotive key markets of Europe, North America, South America, and Asia.

The company develops and manufactures lightweight and multifunctional components, modules and complete systems for interior and engine bays, as well as heatshields and underbody shields. With its innovative technologies for noise reduction and heat protection, Autoneum helps increase a vehicle’s comfort and value. Its products also notably lower the weight of vehicles, which leads to improved fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions. In addition, Autoneum is the leading supplier of specialized measurement systems for automotive acoustics to evaluate the NVH performance of component and material properties.

The Swiss-based company with headquarters in Winterthur, Switzerland employs more than 11,000 people in nearly 50 locations across more than 20 countries.

Company Facts

Overview X Location—Winterthur, Switzerland— with about 50 more locations in over 20 countries

Success Highlights


  • Lacked efficiencies through standardised processes within the region
  • Needed to comply with customer requirements X Required a strategic technology partner to support business operations
  • Could not ensure continuously high standards of production and logistics


  • Epicor® iScala® and iCollect


  • Provided efficient, standardised processes across the whole value chain
  • Improved operational visibility and transparency X Streamlined business operations X Introduced master data management X Enabled further process improvements and digitalisation

High standards

Working with a large number of suppliers and car manufacturers around the world, Autoneum needs to ensure high standards of production and logistics. The Autoneum Production System (APS) is based on a culture of operational excellence and continuous improvement. It is also essential that the company protects its Tier 1 automotive supplier status.

“The automotive industry requires its suppliers operate to strict standards,” said Domonkos Gaspar, head of manufacturing digitization at Autoneum. “This puts pressure on production and logistics to operate in a streamlined and efficient way. An enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution is essential, because it’s important that we can locate and account for every product throughout the manufacturing process. Orders must be exact, run to time, and be delivered accurately—otherwise the whole supply chain is disrupted.”

Rapid business growth

Autoneum’s operations in Asia have experienced unprecedented growth in recent years, with the Chinese market in particular helping to propel the company to new heights. China is the world’s largest automotive market with more than 27 million light vehicles produced annually, and it is one of the most important emerging markets of the automotive industry.

Autoneum China has consistently achieved growth of 25 percent per year for the last five years, and the company now has nine plants situated across the region—with plans to open more. This rapid and consistent growth has put pressures on its business operations and processes to keep up.

“With the market expanding so rapidly in Asia—and with new plants due to open—we required an ERP system that could grow with us and a partner who understands and supports us in achieving the benefits we expect from this program,” said Gaspar. “We had already partnered with Epicor in China for seven years and knew the iScala solution well. So, even though we looked at other options, the latest iScala solution was the logical choice to turn to to support our new plants in North and East China. We knew the Epicor team would offer the strategic support we needed and help us develop a robust, integrated solution that would support our continued expansion.”

Improving visibility and transparency

Epicor worked closely with Autoneum to ensure the new implementation of iScala matched its requirements and integrated with existing systems. The solution was developed with real-time data processing and visibility in mind to provide the Autoneum team with a holistic view of its business operations—allowing staff to monitor projects, check orders, and sustain growth as it opened new locations.

Following a successful pilot in its Shenyang plant, Autoneum developed a standard implementation process and began the rollout of the latest iScala solution in its Taicang plant in China. The idea was to test the system as a proof of concept and to closely monitor its impact on the organisation’s business processes.

The iScala solution enables Autoneum to monitor exactly what is happening in production in real time. The software provides the team with business data transparency. System notifications also mean that managers now have full visibility and control of everything from production to delivery. By pooling data from its production facilities, every component is tracked across its life cycle.

Master data management (MDM) links all of the company’s critical data, providing a common point of reference and data sharing among personnel and departments. These improvements to the company’s data responsiveness allow Autoneum to create streamlined supply chains with suppliers, partners, and customers.

New warehouse management functionality— made available via an Epicor partner—means Autoneum can identify product batches and locations with bar codes. This is especially important because the automotive industry has strict traceability criteria for all the components that go into a vehicle.

Next steps

Following the successful trial period, the new operating model and software rollout is in progress. As a global business, Autoneum has benefited from the insight gained from enabling plants across the continent to input data directly from different locations. As the company continues to grow in the region, the Autoneum team expects to use databased insights to keep improving its business operations—fuelling further growth.

Gaspar commented, “iScala enables us to make the right decisions at the right time, which is critical for fast-growth businesses like ours. We are operatively capitalising on standardised processes, data sets, and reporting. As an international business that has significant cross-border trading requirements, with iScala in place, we’re now able to implement global strategies due to the visibility we have into how our business operates.”

“We’re looking forward to continuing the rollout of the solution to all our plants in the region with the objective of helping our company grow even further. To do this, we rely on having a knowledgeable and flexible partner like Epicor to support us, not just for a single project, but on a strategic level across all our operations,” Gaspar concluded.

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1 in 5 British workers see AI and automation as a threat to their job

Over a third of male workers (39%) feel artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will make them better at tackling day-to-day tasks, in contrast to less than a quarter of female workers (24%).

This gender gap in attitudes and expectations towards AI in the workplace is revealed in a report released today by TalkTalk Business with research conducted by YouGov.

The Workforces 2025 report also reveals:

  • 28% of male workers in comparison to 19% of female workers think automation will help improve their attention to detail and reduce errors
  • A third (33%) of men think the introduction of these technologies will impact on their jobs positively, as opposed to just a quarter (25%) of women
  • Across the workforce, an equal volume (29%) of those surveyed see AI as having both a positive and negative impact, while 15% think AI, automation and other technology developments have the potential to replace their job completely
  • 38% of workers think their current job will still exist 15 years from now, without any support from AI, automation or any other technology developments.

This stands in stark contrast to a recent prediction by thinktank, Reform, which said that 250,000 public sector administrative jobs could be at risk by 2030 because of automation. Key decision makers surveyed were alert to the sweeping changes ahead, with 47% explaining that their companies intend to upskill their workforces to understand and utilise these newer technologies.

Duncan Gooding, Interim MD at TalkTalk Business, comments: “Employees must wake up to the march of evolving technologies so that they are ready to adapt to the demands and requirements of the workplace of the future. It’s equally important that employers introduce these tools and train workers in a way that inspires intrigue and positivity. AI, in particular has the potential to transform our productivity and creativity at work. It is incumbent upon employers to effectively demonstrate how, so that current and future generations jump at the chance to embrace automated solutions.”

Re-shaping our attitudes to AI

While many workers do not fear the possibility of automation directly impacting their jobs, general attitudes towards these technologies in the workplace aren’t universally positive. The research identifies that over a third (39%) of British workers do not think any time they spend dealing with tasks at work could be supported by automation.

Graeme Codrington, Futurist to TalkTalk Business, comments: “The reality is that we are on the verge of technological advances akin to the Industrial Revolution. While many employers are considering upskilling their workforces to benefit from this shift as early as possible, lots of employees still do not appear to have got the memo to achieve this.

What these latest insights show is that by enabling workers to unlock the full extent of their abilities, this will create a happier, more engaged and productive workforce.”

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AI and loneliness

It was a bright Sunday morning, I was on way to attend a recently joined language class. Being a new route I launched Google Maps, as usual. Feeling bored during the hour-long drive, I spoke out “Ok Google”, followed by a question about the “next turn”. The Google Maps lady replied correctly, though after some wait.

Then I asked for “destination” and the lady replied – correctly. She did know few things and I was feeling less bored. I said “Ok Google – Thanks”, the lady replied with “you are welcome” and somehow I felt that I was not alone!

Emboldened, I asked her to make a call for me. Madam replied that she will do it when I stopped navigating. She was actually bothered about my safety!? I asked her to take me to WhatsApp. Again she refused since I was driving! It felt like I was talking with a friend sitting on the other side of the internet!

During the one hour drive, I ignored two incoming calls texting that I was driving, but actual reason was that I was enjoying my conversation with the lady!

The return trip was all about weather, ETA, next turns, thanks & welcomes.

This simple episode with a basic Assistant started me thinking. These interactive programs will evolve as social entertainment services as they become more intelligent. Social recluse and lonely persons would surely find solace in these machines. Even normal persons will make few machine friends. Can a self-learning Chatbot give company to a lonely person just like a human companion? Yes, I think so. It may actually keep the person happier. Literally getting under their skin. Adjusting realtime to their subtle mood shifts. Like a person who loves you! Like a person who is a friend!

In very near future it would be difficult to recognize if the lady on the other side of the Internet is real or artificial!

The impact of AI on human relationships is going to be huge. Complex man-machine emotional dynamics will evolve and there will also be a resultant impact on human to human relations.

The most popular kids show in my town is Doraemon & Nobita. Kids adore how Doraemon supports and helps Nobita like a best friend, without noticing that it is actually a machine. And…. most would choose Doraemon over Nobita as a personal friend.

While there are deeper questions to be answered on the nature of Intelligence and Singularity, for now, these data-driven machines are not going to run away with the show. Unless we decide to collaborate and make them do it. Our motivation could be greed, lust for power or loneliness.

When humans start collaborating with intelligent machines purely for selfish and emotional reasons, then the “man-machine entity” could evolve in unpredictable ways – if left unchecked. The allure of servile super-intelligence is seductive and irresistible. But it can take us down the rabbit hole….very fast.

This aspect of AI needs to be studied extensively by thinkers, psychologists, mental health experts and scientists. And monitored closely by technopreneurs, governments and civil society. We will have to create new paradigms in business ethics, politics and emotional intelligence. We have to become sufficiently responsible to handle great power!

We have unleashed a power which will soon enter an acceleration phase. Mankind has to decide its existential priorities before it is decided by something else. And the time to act is now!

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Cloud Vendors Leading the Charge in 2018

No matter your business model or industry vertical, chances are you’ve already made strides into the cloud. While e-commerce companies led the initial charge in cloud adoption, any company seeking a technical edge and to create software and applications quicker than its competition now find itself at the forefront of the shift to the cloud.

Cloud is also an established component of IT operations. Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), the form of cloud IT professionals most often encounter, is the key building block. In fact, our 2017 State of the Cloud survey found that use of IaaS nearly doubled from 2014 to 2016, increasing from 30% to 57%. The major cloud providers in use roughly reflected the market at large, with Amazon Web Services (AWS) at 52%, Google Cloud at 38%, and Microsoft Azure at 38% but a number of other providers also showing significant percentages.

And now that we’ve reached a certain level of comfort with the cloud, enterprises are mixing and matching different services from different providers. In our survey, 72% of organizations were using between two and five cloud providers, and 14% were using more than six providers. Only 15% were using a single provider.

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Article Credit: InformationWeek

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Managers expecting big things from big data

Real estate managers are in the early stages of using data collected at their properties — gleaned from such diverse sources as facial recognition software to social media programs — to gain insights into their investments.

Most managers say efforts to develop big data to build and maintain portfolios is only just beginning, with some bringing in data analytics and information technology experts to help understand how that competitive intelligence can give them an edge on investments.

The efforts mark a sea change in focus for real estate managers, which traditionally have used data as part of their due diligence for investment decisions already made. Now, they are turning to big data to identify trends, determine what properties to buy and how they can squeeze additional returns from properties already owned.

Global real estate technology spending is projected to reach nearly $3 billion in 2017, up from $2.7 billion in 2016 and $2 billion in 2015, according to the 39th Emerging Trends in Real Estate report released in October by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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Article Credit: Pensions&Investments

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Gamification, Augmented Reality, IoT of ERP is shipping business models

ERP evolution to Shipping business Models using Gamification ,Augumented Reality ,IoT and cloud evolution is Shapping Future of ERP and Technology challenges behind


Business is Changing So is ERP. Digital Transformation then rapid change which using digital dwarfs other Business Models quickly.

Few years back When Harward Organisation behaviour professor Henry Mintzberg wrote a Book Managers Not MBA needed and founded institute of practising managers. As he found increasing disconnect between what is taught and practised.

Today most Research based Learning and curriculum made really specialized to next league is there is not research input into Management thinking hence ERP thinking ERP hence Business Model thinking the business becomes irrelevant.

ERP are moving to next class rather shipping modules or submodules it about shipping your business model with agile technology. Agile I mean is business Agility to adopt to new business models and technology landscape.


Today’s business is all about changing business Model fast So ERP driving This using better pervasiveness into machine to ERP intelligence using IoT and visualisation using Augumented Relality and Data science shows future of your strategy vs my strategy into A Game. A game like two golf player in parallel visualizing using augumented reality and similulation whose business Strategy is better over Golf game.


Increasing as business getting more complex the in every segment new business model will emerge fast. The longitivity of business model is also shrinking. Earlier if you had a business model you could run whole business on that model for let say 50 yrs now it’s may be 4 yrs… So Bussiness models need to change fast to survive. How is ERP Helping us in this Exercise we have seen in last paragraph.

Also I have Explained in Last parts using Technology Shift , business Model shift enabled in ERP.

At the layer ERP is internally yet another BPM+ functionality where business flow is captured. BPM now Eats IoT messages and queues them for ingestion in cloud where then data science runs over them To create models for decision making it change which is deriving strategic insights using Mathematical models.


Not only that But business models are also changing which are reflective of sometime Mathematical models. We know Algorithmic trading transformed Finance. This That trading getting pervasive into other industry now.

Are Algorithmic business Models using this mathematical conotations is new buzzword. We have algorithm driven CRM systems having recommendations systems rather than shop floor assistant.



New Age Enterprise Software in cloud.

Interesting to see how is growing from CRM into other verticals. Already cornering many CRM vendors like Siebel, SAP CRM, and Oracle Peoplesoft CRM.Same way Workday is growing fast in HR solutions.Are there ERP based on cloud threat to traditional vendors.Now industry is segmented into two types of ERP : Tradition ERP Vs Cloud based ERP.

Let’s look why Traditional ERP are facing the brunt:

Let see evolution : ERP evolved from desktop based systems to client server system in 90’s to web based systems then So SAP R3 like three tier product (database server-application server- webserver –client).We had lots of security challenges then also. Next went to n-tier where we had choice of n number of application server layers. Then today we are faced with 2 question Cloud enablement and mobility.(of course these are not the only challenge there are others too).

  1. Biggest impact ERP made to life of Executives is Time to market. Now see today if Any cloud ERP provider has to do mobile enablement it just few steps while for traditional ERP giving form to future cloud based browser is big problem.SAP had to acquire company like Sybase still integration is not complete.
  2. The big vendors are vulnerable because they require big expensive upgrades. Workday doesn’t go into startups — it’s selling to big companies that have HR and financial software in place. But companies have to update this software periodically, and the traditional vendors like Oracle and SAP make it hard and expensive to upgrade. That’s when startups like Workday jump in.
  • Oracle will survive the cloud transition, but will have to acquire some companies. He thinks NetSuite, which is already majority-owned by Larry Ellison, is a logical candidate.
  • SAP is toast. “I think SAP doesn’t really have a play.”.ABAP language on which ERP is based is old based on COBOL syntaxes has evolved into Object Orientation with lot of effort.Sonetweaver came in to enable java to work for ABAP.But Oracle the biggest competitor acquired Sun hence Java. So, now SAP wanted to remove  all dependency from Java.See simple thing like JSP /ASP like technology which is very old came into java just 2 yrs back with BSP in ABAP.Otherwise in SAP Netweaver used to the work through JSP(Netweaver is J2EE server only).Now how many years it will take to remove dependency.SAP acquired Sybase to provide mobility solution but still SAP mobility has long way to tread.Then where is cloud. I agree Enterprise software lifecycle being longer company does not suddenly decide to replace in Peoplesoft HRMS with another package.Atleast 1 year in implementation and second year in stabilisation.
  • Don’t underestimate Microsoft but competition is hotting up like iWork from apple. He thinks the company really gets the cloud, and that Windows 8 will easily become the second-biggest category of tablets — simply because they will run Office, while the iPad never will. “If I could get Office on a tablet, I’d throw my laptop away.” He also thinks that Microsoft’s army of .NET developers will move to Azure, the company’s cloud platform.iPad is also warming up with iWork office suite on mobile. Micorsoft is moving fast on Axcepta coming up with CRM, Financial, SCM modules. collaboration with sharepoint,oulook,messenger integration,integrated SQL server based MSBI and reporting.Available everything on cloud Azure.WCF, WWF fighting with workflow software.
  • Google will make a bigger enterprise play eventually. Google more focused on consumer and advertising play facing facebook. Enterpriseis Google’s “secret weapon” and noted that he sees a lot of companies considering a switch to Gmail at the same time as they switch to Workday.
  • Workday: Former Peoplesoft CEO made Cloud HR AneelBhusri,Dave reading up challenge for major vendors
  • com

Future of Flex &Flash : Gamification of ERP enterprise software, Augmented Reality on mobile apps, ipTV

Adobe modern introduction , history of innovations, trends of future:

Adobe outdoing competition for many years now has system in place for bringing future technologies like IPTV(, mobile/tablet OS interfaces, photo editors like Photoshop, Word editors like Acrobat reader  with compressed storage .Adobe has company which have been working ahead of time many years in many technology are like Acrobat reader, Photoshop with image processing algorithm implementations for naive users ,for online picture editor for image enhancements using image processing algorithms(, Flex for AJAX/RIA. Flash presented good threat to Microsoft as instead of writing to OS people can write to Flash same reason why Steve Jobs took stand against Flash. Adobe hence started to silent revolution of RIA.

Photoshop, Illustrator, and the other design products in its Creative Suite make up more than 50% of Adobe’s revenue and have created a lot of loyalists. Adobe presence in unified communication with its connect platform for online meetings which competes with Microsoft live meeting and communication server (renamed Lync). People most often create documents using Word processing software but once those documents need to be stored in a fixed format for printing and official forms, they’re almost always converted to Adobe’s PDF format.Micorsoft XPS never stood competition against PDF format.

Adobe Flex is a popular framework for building Rich Internet Applications (RIAs). The Flex framework is used to create SWF files that run inside the Adobe Flash Player

Today when we will see higher adoption of IP TV in future Adobe is well positioned to take on. Earlier Adobe flex write once and run on any browser (need not worry browser dependency) to today write once run on any device (Android, IPhone, or any tablet OS).

Technology Landscape:

Technology is continuously evolving. Never people thought before AJAX came in that all system will web based. As in earlier system Client server system web client wait for completion for each request till then browser hangs. With coming of AJAX Asynchronous request does not need to wait for reply from Server for completion of request. Today what we See from Website to ERP like SAP PeopleSoft ,oracle apps ,to Business intelligence systems virtually every UI is Web Based. AJAX increased adoption of Web across different platform devices and interfaces. Across all this technologies the best choice of UI ends at flex.

Demand and salary to AJAX programmer crossed Java programmers. Main component of AJAX was java script. But problem came later no support for JavaScript. In meanwhile Adobe was company very much into multimedia software like Flash, Photoshop. Needed to adopt to new Web paradigm. So necessity is mother of invention. Abode had flash player which was heavy when used with websites. So it came with AJAX product first time Flex which is blend of Flash’s graphics + AJAX( Evolution 1997 Flash player–>2000 Action Script 1.0–> see diagram) . issues with JavaScript like not clean coding, no support form vendor ,intuitive controls for new fast AJAX web systems were solved.Rich Internet Application evolved RIA evolved with Adobe Flex.

Flex came with editor where user can code using Actionscript created with mix of JavaScript concept into Flash scripts. Action scripts we can code complex AJAX interface to be played on Flash player get support from Adobe while for javascript no support available. ActionScript program that has been optimized to death by an AOT compiler can, almost trivially, beat a JavaScript program that is optimized on the fly by the JIT compiler. The only way out would be to let the JIT compiler work till death, but that is not an option.

JavaScript programs are untyped, (relatively) small programs that are shipped/loaded as source code, and then compiled and run on the fly. In contrast, ActionScript programs are typed, (relatively) large programs that are compiled to byte code, shipped/loaded as byte code, and then run on the fly.

Flex came with more intuitive UI which never existed before like slider control, control for embedding video tag which later on HTML 5 could bring in 5 yrs later. So adobe was working 5 yrs ahead of time.

Still today concepts like onscroll pagination and caching did not exit. some 5 yrs back for every website server side code .NET or Java or PHP or SAP or PeopleSoft  but web client code was on Flex. Beautiful intuitive UI controls from sliders, Maps, dynamic grids, for OLAP olap grids, dynamic grouping and sorting it could handle huge data seamlessly the JavaScript latency issues also minimized. These features are now stand replicated with Microsoft sliverlight,ExtJs and other Java script libraries.

Competition to Flex :

Technology wise competition to Flex include Curl, OpenLaszlo, Ajax, Mozilla way back in 2002 introduced XUL  ,from Sun Microsystem  JavaFX,  Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation, Silverlight and HTML5. Examine the trend graph over period of time. HTML5 popularity has dwarfed competition as it is open source and work across platform.

Figure 2: source: showing search trends Flex competitors or related technology.

– Flex had moved to new battled field Devices. Is new java of devices write once and run on any device android, iPhone blackberry or any tablet OS.

– Enterprise class programming Model: Use of constructs like strong typing, inheritance, and interfaces to program more efficiently. Extensive mobile and traditional components help speed development. Flex applications can access device capabilities such as GPS, accelerometer, camera, and local database.

– End to End tooling for development: Build Flex applications more easily using Adobe® Flash® Builder® software, an enterprise-class Eclipse™ based IDE. Productivity features include on-device debugging and mobile simulators for testing across screen sizes and resolutions.

– Server Integration: Integrate with all major back ends including Java™, Spring, Hibernate, PHP, Ruby, .NET, Adobe ColdFusion®, and SAP using industry standards such as REST, SOAP, JSON, JMS, and AMF, PeopleSoft.

– AJAX design patterns: On Object oriented programming on Action scripts design pattern are readily available.

Even software claims today integration with flex for choice of UI whether its ERP like PeopleSoft or SAP, Oracle Apps, or Business intelligence system like SAP Business objects Excelsious, IBM Cognos flex interfaces. Each day new Members join group each day product realize it needs to provide interface to flex joins flex group.I remember on Cognos 8.0 did not had features like geographic reporting interfaces, intuitive grids with dynamic sorting and grouping ,maps etc which only after integration with flex were possible for BI . had no choice but to integrate Flex. I recommend everyone at least one download tour de flex and see the dynamic UI.I am sure you will start loving it. From YouTube to Google finance or yahoo finance everywhere you can see innovation of Flex controls.

Figure 2: source (showing comparison of Adobe,Microsoft and Dow Jones index.

On contrary HTML5 is not threat but opportunity for Adobe Flex :

But Adobe has the most to gain if they become the major player in the HTML5 field by providing tools, framework and making the web standards evolve. And they are in a good position to get there.Adobe has already two great tools for HTML5, Muse and Edge.

HTML5 fight with Flex is on : Adobe online games are beating HTML5 with over 1000 games written compared with few hundred on HTML5. HTML5 is already almost universally supported in mobile browsers and Adobe realized that Flash would never get that ubiquity across browsers. HTML is supported by 40% of web Browsers while Flash 99%.Feature supported are browser dependent with no 3D support while flash has plugin. Security: Flash is miles ahead: In order to hack HTML5 Right click view source while in flash you need to get swf file which is loaded through wrapper parent then hacker needs to go through 2 layers of encryption and obfuscation.Majority flash book games are flash. With Flex 4.5 SDK build and deploy applications for Google Android, Apple iOS and BlackBerry Tablet OS platforms  leverage one tool, one framework and one codebase to deliver apps across leading mobile platforms, not to mention web and desktop as well

But then reality is still HTML5 has more issues with Andriod and iOS while Flex has few.

Flex is HTML 5 + more:à Flex is no.1 choice for enterprise  complex, high-fidelity enterprise applications such as business dashboards, line of business tools, real-time trading applications and desktop replacement applications, and see leading companies in healthcare, financial services, communications and other industries standardizing on it.HTML5 has not matured yet. Flex is a choice for following reason:

  1. SDK and Compiler open sourced MPL license, HTML 5 open standard WHATWG license , Adobe + on Flex new 3d – graphics,(transformation scene, camera, lighting, change pixel data ,effects)
  2. Real-time connection(HTML5 has websocket vs Flex has ,Drag and Drop (drag and drop across application, cross document, clipboard) with API’s flash.desktop.clipboard,Events.NativeDragevents,Flash.desktop.TransferableData Vs HTML5 DataTransfer and DragEvent.
  3. Adobe provide better file system (in HTML5 input type upload storage api vs Flex has File, FileStream, Filemode) (read/write capabilities), Offline Access Adobe air provides Resource(Windows application Vs Application cache) State(air.Event.NETWORK_CHANGE_URLMonitor vs navigator online,)

Data ( vs HTML5 has Database,SQLTransaction,SQLResultSet,LocalStorage.

New HTML 5 products which also use Action scripts as base new HTML5 products, Adobe Muse(TM) and Adobe Edge preview.

Cloud: Adobe’s creative tablet applications+, such as Photoshop Touch, into everyday work – seamlessly synchronizing and storing files in the cloud for sharing and access on any device

Adobe Typekit launched in Oct 2011 , the Web-based font library that pioneered the use of real fonts on websites, delivering more than 700 typefaces from leading foundries.

Adobe Edge, a ground-breaking HTML5 development tool; and Digital Publishing Suite Single Edition, the technology behind the delivery of digital magazines on iPad.

Adobe new Open source strategy: As Flex moves into a community-driven open source project, Adobe will make initial technical contributions and will also continue to provide a team of full-time Flex SDK engineers to contribute to the Apache project.

Adobe is currently in the process of contributing the core Flex SDK (including advanced data visualization components), automation libraries, AIR SDK binaries, documentation, and specifications to the Apache Flex Project.Also contribute yet-to-be-released Spark components including ViewStack, Accordion, DateField, DataChooser, and an enhanced DataGrid.Other future contribution to project include Falcon JS new compiler for action script,Mustella a functional testing framework, BlazeDS code is already available at under the GNU Lesser General Public License, Version 3.

BlazeDS provides Java based server-side remoting and web messaging technology allowing Flex clients to exchange typed binary data with the server and receive notification from other clients and servers. The messaging service also allows Flex applications to exchange messages with other non Flex, JMS-enabled applications.

Flex Sparks components and the recent addition of the new mobile components provide a great and mature framework basis for a real open source effort

Next generation Experiments on Flex.

  1. Gamification of Enterprise Software like ERP,BI,BPM etc : Enterprise gamification to date has really been about marketing and customer engagement. By gamification it introduces unrealized concepts of social collaboration and create the ad hoc collaboration,engagement metaphor help companies realize these lofty social/collaborative goals. people are more engaged, more able to understand and support the outcomes that matter to the enterprise, and they are being recognized and rewarded for these actions. Adobe with Flash based online games and enterprise grade Flex development platform is greatly positioned for that.


  1. Augumented Reality:

Augmented reality (AR) is a field of computer science that involves combining the physical world and an interactive, three-dimensional virtual world. For a complete project with Flash on AR visit

Video game industry is major employer of AR.Its not the end of game we have business intelligence system employing Augmented Reality (

. AR for ipad,android,ERP like SAP, Business Process management is getting lot of traction for all this Flex and Flash is greatly positioned. On SAP TV watch augmented reality(

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ETF 2.0 : Mega-Blockchains

Salutations dear reader from your ‘Suitcase Fund Analyst’, your humble observer of the periphery, the future and dysfunctions of asset management. As I travel far and wide to debate the prospect of ‘digital death’, recent events have taken me to Dubai and Hamburg. Yet no matter where I go, a common theme follows me – digitalisation, robotisation, artificial intelligence. The New Fund Order I wrote about in my book in 2015 is unfolding quickly, first in academia, then notable authors, then popular media, then event organisers, asset managers, distributors and eventually the common variety fund investor (ahem).

The very phrase ‘2.0’ has become synonymous with this period of change, the 4th industrial revolution, it is as prolific now as ‘hashtag’. Indeed my very own ‘#NewFundOrder 2.0’ was an attempt to capture the mood, moving beyond the dysfunctions of the Old Fund Order and focussing more on Fintech solutions that offer fund buyers a means for survival, indeed even resurrection.

Thanks to subsequent conversations I now even lecture on the impacts of artificial intelligence on funds and fund selection, digitalisation for me has taken on a very personal aspect in my working life. The fact I have seen well over 2000 fund managers in my time, like many, is rapidly becoming superfluous. My life is now split between Fintech and fund investing. Indeed as time goes on, in the space of only two years I may become more remembered as the guy who foretold the impact of digital on fund selection than being a fund selector for the best part of two decades. Whether I am talking about clones, drones or tombstones, Godzilla or the Orwellian Human condition, the digital frontier is not far away.

On the flight out to Dubai I watched again Trainspotting 2 or ‘T2’ for short. Irvine Welsh’s great contribution to modern culture and post pop, post Brexit, post Devolution Scottish vernacular. Euan McGregor’s character ‘Renton’ especially is the embodiment of post revolution dystopia, resistance giving in to resignation that the human condition is flawed but time is inescapable:

Choose Life: “Choose Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and a thousand others ways to spew your bile across people you’ve never met. Choose updating your profile, tell the world what you had for breakfast and hope that someone, somewhere cares. Choose looking up old flames, desperate to believe that you don’t look as bad as they do. Choose live-blogging, from your first wk ’til your last breath; human interaction reduced to nothing more than data.”

Welsh’s cynical futility of social media overlooks the significance to how we can interact, becoming ever more trusting of electronic social platforms over traditional sources of wisdom. Social media is only one part, the dematerialisation of everything into the blockchain coupled to advances in Artificial intelligence question not only capital models but human productivity itself. We head furlong into a Ridley Scott dark futurism of cybernetics and humans struggling to co-exist in 2049 or perhaps even becoming symbiotic ourselves, not human, not machine but a ‘Ghost in the Shell’. Do we want to be the blade-runners, the humans or the machines?

Having been heavily influenced in 2015 by Martin Ford’s book ‘Rise of the Robots’, Mrs JB bought me a new book ‘Life 3.0’ by Max Tegmark. The tagline ‘Being human in the age of Artificial Intelligence’ aptly describes the acceleration in the possible, as he notes: “Will AI help life flourish as never before, or will machines eventually outsmart us at all tasks, and even, perhaps, replace us altogether?”

So too then must our asset industry change. Moore’s Law is unwavering in this respect and no industry gets away Scot free. It has been in a stupor of old business models, commission, star manager culture, asset concentration, marketing, high costs, low transparency, lavish hospitality and poor fund selection. Asset management is beginning to detox from those heady party days. The party is over but for now the masses remain sedated on the methadone of vast market cap weighted Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

The reality is that ETFs also face issues, capable of so much more than how they are being used today, they have been held back by a simple presumption that pooled investing is about cramming masses into a single model yet somehow each trying to derive their own utility from it. Clearly it hasn’t worked, trust in asset management and active managers has never been lower, herding patterns are accelerating, as are the daily trading volumes of index products. The optical value of ETF has become a blunt question of only cost. A huge mistake but one being driven by the index manufacturers and misplaced academics and pundits. Perhaps in their minds they chose the lesser of evils. What started as disrupter is now supposed deliverer.

However concern turns to the asset concentration building among ETFs, as a result of using outdated index construction. In simple terms the pooling of vast uncontrolled open-ended structures, funnelled into controlled closed-ended securities, is a recipe for Minsky-like commodity bubbles. Earnings then do not drive price, the order book does, the equilibrium between buyers and sellers. This is an index anomaly and a missed opportunity for ETF. Before you may recall I have written about Tesla, how ETFs might evolve and take lessons from the Automotive industry and Electric Cars. I am now even more convinced that we are only at the beginning of ETF evolution. Fully dematerialised fund structures are the future, all others will become obsolete. It is no coincidence that active asset managers are rapidly buying ETF businesses, the potential for active intellectual property through ETFs is huge. This might be summarised as the move to ‘Smarter-Beta’ or codified Alpha.

However I believe ETFs will go much further in the future. I have already begun to structure and codify what ‘ETF 2.0’ might look like. It will form my next lecture at Fintech Circle Institute. A complete rethink of how ETFs operate, in 2.0 investors will have individual pathways, cross-matching assets for expected return, risk, time horizon and maturity, investors trade through Blockchain within the ETF, fully dematerialised, frictionless trading between investors. The key aspect here is the simultaneous checking of the asset pathway, individual pathway and block pathway – I call this your Asimov test. ETF 2.0 will allow;

• Manage individual investor pathways: for a large neural system, managing thousands of unique investors is achievable with bespoke journeys, targets, risk tolerances within one ETF,

• Combining automated client risk utility with asset allocation, algorithmic trading, and multi factor systematic investing attune to each investor,

• Statistical Arbitrage: identifying anomalies within the market, within and outside of the ETF and exploiting them continuously, such algos can also be used to monitor any behavioural anomalies between matches trades or investors within the ETF or the market,

• Restructuring the pooling of the ETF to assign stocks to match different investor time horizons and risk tolerance, moving us away from a one-basket-fits-all mentality that has underpinned ETFs to date,

• Investors may even be able to interact within the block, commingling wisdom of the crowd, the frameworks needed already exist in the likes of Crypto currencies and Differentiable Neural Computing like AlphaGo.

Tech is full of jargon but safe to say that Blockchain provides us the necessary infrastructure and AI the ability to manage it once created. The ETF becomes the centralised clearing agent for all of its investors and trades within the ETF allowing; instantaneous transparent straight-through-processing (STP) and delivery-versus-payment (DVP), investors still benefitting from novation, fully dematerialised fungible assets and economies of scale (as with current ETFs) but now investor trades are matched inside the ETF not simply pooled and traded outside on the market. It would make the investors within an ETF a complex adaptive community, trading as a block with the rest of the market. Meanwhile ETF 2.0 would communicate continuously with other ETFs, exchanges and trading platforms to ensure correct real time pricing. Everyone shares in the success of the ETF, assets and returns weighted to their individual pathway and maturity. The ETF provider deducts one disclosed cost to administer the algorithm, the trades and investors. While this may feel quasi-ponzi to some; this is no fugazi. The quandary left behind by Madoff (other than his conceit, deceit and fraudulent behaviour) was that the biggest failing of any ponzi is the incorrect estimation of cash flow and matching of assets over time. Eventually they run out of cash. The concept of cash matching individual investors is itself well supported by liability driven investing. The technology to match thousands of individuals has been beyond us, until now.

Once an ETF is repurposed for individual pathways; rather than aggregated pooled outcomes, then assets are coded for cost, time and risk-matched to investors who need them. ETF 2.0 can trade internally, frictionless through block-chain technology, within the ETF and then only traded externally with the market when in net surplus of cash or assets. In effect we can create mega-blocks of investors, providing efficiencies in turnover costs and accurate investor-matched, risk-targeted allocations. This re-design of mutual investing would require a complete re-think in how asset management is structured today: advisers, fund managers, fund investors, custodians, exchanges and clearing houses.

Digital frontier? Suddenly Passive becomes social, benchmarks become meaningless, replaced by block economies. In the GRID we can each view our own pathway to maturity in augmented reality from the comfort of our own home or on the move. Effectively we would create a different pooled model and we haven’t even begun to think about quantum computing and isotopic algorithms and a hundred other cool bits of jargon that few of us properly comprehend. Science fiction is rapidly becoming a near term indication of science fact, the lines are blurring. To some this may sound like the onset of techno-Marxism on asset management, for others its salvation. I will explore the concept in detail in my lecture and invite ETF innovators and coders to come together and create ETF 2.0.

As Jeff Bridges (Flynn) said in the film TRON Legacy, ‘Digital Jazz man…..

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Why Bitcoin Will Remain Relevant, ICO Opportunities, And Other Crypto Insights With Jon Matonis

By @SimonCocking, great interview with Jon MatonisFounding Director, Bitcoin Foundation, VP of Corporate Strategy, nChain Twitter  |  LinkedIn see more about Jon on his blog here. Jon is also one of our top 50 crypto people to follow on Twitter too, see more here.

What is your background briefly?

My background is in trading and banking. I managed the interest rate derivatives desk for Sumitomo Bank Chicago and I established the forex trading desk for VISA International. As VISA was an early lead investor into VeriSign during the mid-1990s explosion of the WorldWideWeb, I started by career in financial cryptography. After VISA, I was the CEO for Hush Communications (creator of HushMail) where I also recruited Phil Zimmermann as our Chief Cryptographer.

Does it seem like a logical background to what you do now?

It does seem like a logical progression to me now, but not so much at the time. I had edited a digital currency blog even before the release of Bitcoin, so I have a background in exploring and researching digital cash protocols. My first paper on the topic was actually in 1995.

One min pitch for what you are doing now?

I am currently VP of Corporate Strategy for nChain in London, which is a blockchain R&D company. I am also Chairman and co-founder of Globitex. Additionally, I support other Bitcoin companies as an investor and non-executive board director.

We visited Riga for TechChill, great place, what projects are you working on there?

I am a co-founder and Chairman of Globitex, which is an institutional global bitcoin exchange with development and management based in Riga.

What do you do in your role at the Bitcoin Foundation?

The Bitcoin Foundation was conceived in 2012, where I served as board member and Executive Director until Dec 2015. I will always be a founding director and I promote the foundation currently through my many speaking engagements.

Will Bitcoin remain relevant in the light of the evolution of other altcoins which have more functionality / flexibility?

Bitcoin will remain relevant because it has achieved two of the qualities to function as money (store of value, medium of exchange), whereas the other altcoins have not achieved this status and they mostly serve as appcoins, or protocol/utility tokens, or company script.

What do you think about this current deluge of ICOs? 

I think that the ICO marketplace represents pure, unlicensed capitalism but it will also be an environment of “caveat emptor” for the investors.

Is there value within the noise? & what tips would you give for those thinking of getting involved?

Yes, there is definitely value, but investors have to recognize that they are not always purchasing equity with ICOs.

The post Why Bitcoin Will Remain Relevant, ICO Opportunities, And Other Crypto Insights With Jon Matonis appeared first on erpinnews.

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