Food executives to plot Brexit course for UK’s largest manufacturing sector at Food & Drink Business UK Conference

The Food and Drink Business UK Conference, a leading gathering of food and beverage industry professionals, takes place on the 7th November in the Ricoh Arena, Coventry with a focus on Manufacturing, IT, Data, Logistics and more. The annual event will welcome 2,000 food industry professionals, 200 speakers and 150+ exhibitors.

Top speakers this year include:

  • Tammy Butterworth, Global R&D Manager, PepsiCo.
  • Vincent Doumeizel, Vice President, Food and Sustainability, Lloyd’s Register Group
  • Paul Isherwood – Head of Technical and Quality, SHS Group
  • Dr. Gavin Milligan, Group Sustainability Director, William Jackson Food Group
  • John Stapleton – Co Founder, Covent Garden Soup and Little Dish
  • Thomas Brewer – Engineering Innovation and Transformation, AB InBev

There will be a variety conferences taking place within the event including the Supply Chain & Logistics Summit, Craft Beer and Spirits Expo, Sustainable Food & Beverage Manufacturing Summit and Quality & Safety Summit.

The Food and Drink Business UK Conference takes place as uncertainty grows within the food and drink industry as negotiations gather pace in Brussels ahead of Brexit. The food and drink industry, the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, faces a potential exodus of EU workers, a loss of £3bn in subsidies and the unwinding of over 4,500+ EU regulations and laws that govern the industry. According to the conference organiser Colin Murphy, the event presents a chance for the food and drink industry to discuss the likely challenges head on.

“This is an important event for the food industry in the UK. It’s taking place at a time when there is a significant amount of uncertainty ahead of Brexit. Every executive I speak to about the future begins with ‘What if…’, there is no indication as to what happens next. The Conference is returning for a third year to provide opportunity for companies to find new technologies, alternative ways of manufacturing and help post Brexit planning.”

“We’ll be bringing together the largest food industry and food tech companies including senior executives from the UK to outline what they think is the best case and worst case scenarios for the UK post Brexit.”

Other conferences of taking place at this years event include: Fresh Food Summit, Snack & Confectionary Summit, NPD and Innovation Summit, Packaging Materials, Technology and Design Summit, Food and Drink IT Summit and The Food and Drink Engineering Summit.

Tickets and entry

Entry to the Food and Drink Business UK Conference is free for a limited time only. You can register at
http://www.fooddrinkevent.co.uk/ PROMO CODE: MLIT17

For further enquires contact:

James McCann

ClearStory

Email: james@clearstory.ie

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HSO ERP deployment drives efficiencies and growth for Sally Salon Services

HSO, provider of innovative enterprise business solutions, is rolling out the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solution, Microsoft Dynamics AX, to help drive business growth and operational efficiencies for Sally Salon Services, a specialty retailer and distributor of professional beauty supplies.

Sally Salon Services existing business technology was becoming increasingly outdated and lacked sufficient functionality and flexibility to support the organisation as it expanded over time. It was looking for a way to future-proof itself by moving away from these outmoded legacy systems and instead embracing new technology with both a proven historical track record and a clearly-defined future growth path.

Microsoft Dynamics AX fitted the bill in all these respects – but Sally Salon Services was also looking for an implementation partner it could trust. It chose HSO.

As John McAleese, account manager, HSO, explains: “Sally Salon Services wanted the reassurance of working with a partner who not only really understood the Dynamics AX platform well but also had a comprehensive knowledge of the core market in which they operate: retail. We became the partner of choice by putting forward a project team, featuring a good mix of Dynamics AX experts but also retail specialists that spoke the same business language as Sally Salon Services.”

The implementation of Dynamics AX is now well underway, with the project taking place in three phases.

The first two phases have already gone live. The first phase was to transition Sally Salon Services finance function over to the new solution, and the second phase covered product set-up, pricing management, account processing and invoicing. The third phase, scheduled for completion in 2018, will address inventory and stock management; sales order processes and customer contact/management.

Once this stage concludes, Sally Salon Services will have a comprehensive enterprise-wide business processing platform, based on Microsoft Dynamics AX, that effectively paves the way for future business expansion.

Mark Purnell, Head of IT Development, Sally Salon Services, says: “Some of the operational IT systems we had been using previously were either coming towards end of life or were no longer supported. In contrast, there is a clear future roadmap for Microsoft Dynamics AX. We know the system will be able to evolve to match our own expansion plans and we know that HSO will be able to support us through this process.

“We are already reaping the rewards from the Dynamics AX implementation,” adds Purnell. “We have established a more consistent way of working across the organisation; we have driven efficiencies and streamlined certain processes – and we now have a robust, reliable and future-proofed platform in place on which to further build the business.

“The support and consultancy we have received from HSO has also been key in helping us to achieve these goals,” he continues. “We are delighted with the quality of HSO staff that have been deployed on this project. We have established a close relationship with them and there are high levels of trust and cooperation between the two organisations.”

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All of these faces are fake celebrities spawned by AI

One of the more unexpected outcomes of the contemporary AI boom is just how good these systems are at generating fake imagery. The latest example comes from chipmaker Nvidia, which published a paper showing how AI can create photorealistic pictures of fake celebrities. Generating fake celebs isn’t in itself new, but researchers say these are the most convincing and detailed pictures of their type ever made.

The video below shows the process in full, starting with the database of celebrity images the system was trained on. The researchers used what’s known as a generative adversarial network, or GAN, to make the pictures. GANs are actually comprised of two separate networks: one that generates the imagery based on the data it’s fed, and a second discriminator network (the adversary) that checks if they’re real.

By working together, these two networks can produce some startlingly good fakes. And not just faces either — everyday objects and landscapes can also be created.

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Article Credit: The Verge

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This AI lets you carry a DSLR in your pocket

Smartphone cameras are pretty incredible things to have in your pocket, and the Pixel 2 does a very good job of making every image look fantastic. But you can’t do better than a big, full-frame DSLR – the trouble is, they’re not very pocket-friendly. So, if you’re fed up of your phone taking washed out, shallow photos, this AI is designed to take your old smartphone pictures and give them DSLR-like quality – even if your smartphone isn’t all that snazzy.

Known as WESPE (Weakly Supervised Photo Enhancer), the team of data scientists behind the project aim to bring DSLR-like qualities to smartphone cameras. The idea is that, by training a deep learning system using photos of the same scene taken with a phone camera and on a DSLR, it’ll learn the difference and automatically make those adjustments on images it’s never seen before.

Basically, it learns what the differences are in terms of image quality and automatically makes those improvements. You can think of it as an incredibly smart version of Photoshop’s automatic calibration tools. You can even give it a go yourself via an online tool.

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Article Credit: Alphr

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At Oracle, It’s All About the Cloud

Business software giant Oracle Corp. ORCL -0.32% is in the midst of a massive transition, taking on Amazon.com Inc. AMZN +12.96% and others in selling cloud-computing services. Helping lead the shift is Mark Hurd, the company’s chief executive officer.

In an interview with Wall Street Journal Financial Editor Dennis K. Berman, Mr Hurd discussed Oracle’s strategy and why shifting software operations to the cloud is in companies’ best interest.

Edited excerpts follow.

Generational change

MR. BERMAN: Let’s talk about year-end compensation, about how you are being incentivized. That has changed at Oracle, and I think that says a lot about the company.

MR. HURD: The compensation has always been about stock options, and people would only make money if the company was performing.

The problem with that methodology—low salaries, low bonuses, lots of stock options—has always been that when you do a Black-Scholes model against that, it gets you to crazy numbers, but you don’t get anything unless the stock performs.What we have done is tried to evolve that. We’re sticking with the mentality of the options-related comp, but aligning it to performance incentives, some of which are around our transition to the cloud. It’s a big deal.

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Article Credit: The Wall Street Journal

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Oracle to accelerate Singapore cloud startups

Oracle has launched a new six-month Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator program in Singapore, announcing the class of six startup participants selected from hundreds of applicants.

They are Arya.ai, FlexM, FOMO Pay, Hacker Trail, RL Club, and Unscramble. These startups leverage new technology solutions across industries such as retail, recruitment, and finance.

Arya.ai is an enterprise deep learning platform designed to automate complex data science tasks involved while building a neural network-based application or predictive models and in production.

FlexM is a fast-growing Singapore-based fintech company working toward the financial inclusion of migrant and foreign domestic workers.

FOMO Pay is a one-stop QR code payment solution platform that enables merchants to accept a full suite of new payment methods including WeChat Pay, NETSPay, mVISA, and more.

Hacker Trail is a curated, cloud-based marketplace for the technology industry, designed to source, engage, curate and connect the right candidates with the right job opportunities across Southeast Asia.

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Article Credit: Telecomasia

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SAP’s confession was a business decision

German software giant SAP’s surprise move last week to voluntarily report itself to the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) might see the group receive a slap on the wrist in the bribery scandal engulfing the group’s South African operations.

Andrea Cornelli, the chief executive of Andrea Technology Corporate Management (TCM), said it was suspicious that SAP first denied paying kickbacks, but had now admitted that millions of rand exchanged hands when getting work from Transnet and Eskom.

SAP had not reported themselves to the DoJ for ethical reasons, but rather, it was a pure business decision, Cornelli said.

“The FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practice Act) discounts the huge fines by 50percent if the perpetrators self-investigate and report the violations, rather than being found by the DoJ to have violated the act,” he said.

Both the DoJ and SEC are now investigating the company for potential violations of the FCPA.

Earlier this year, reports emerged that SAP paid a 10percent sales commission to a Gupta-controlled firm called CAD House – which specialises in selling 3D printers – to clinch the deal it secured with state rail firm Transnet.

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Article Credit: IOL

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