Data Visualization Summit 2017

17 Aug

What is Data Visualization ?
Data visualization is a general term that describes any effort to help people understand the significance of data by placing it in a visual context. Patterns, trends and correlations that might go undetected in text-based data can be exposed and recognized easier with data visualization software.

Why Data Visualization ?
A primary goal of data visualization is to communicate information clearly and efficiently via statistical graphics, plots and information graphics. Numerical data may be encoded using dots, lines, or bars, to visually communicate a quantitative message. Effective visualization helps users analyze and reason about data and evidence. It makes complex data more accessible, understandable and usable. Users may have particular analytical tasks, such as making comparisons or understanding causality, and the design principle of the graphic (i.e., showing comparisons or showing causality) follows the task. Tables are generally used where users will look up a specific measurement, while charts of various types are used to show patterns or relationships in the data for one or more variables.

Data visualization is both an art and a science. It is viewed as a branch of descriptive statistics by some, but also as a grounded theory development tool by others. The rate at which data is generated has increased. Data created by internet activity and an expanding number of sensors in the environment, such as satellites, are referred to as “Big Data”. Processing, analyzing and communicating this data present a variety of ethical and analytical challenges for data visualization. The field of data science and practitioners called data scientists have emerged to help address this challenge.

Because of the way the human brain processes information, using charts or graphs to visualize large amounts of complex data is easier than poring over spreadsheets or reports. Data visualization is a quick, easy way to convey concepts in a universal manner – and you can experiment with different scenarios by making slight adjustments.

Data visualization can also:
– Identify areas that need attention or improvement.
– Clarify which factors influence customer behavior.
– Help you understand which products to place where.
– Predict sales volumes.

Unicom Shall be Organising 1 day Event on Data Visualization on September 01st in Mumbai. This event is desgined after lot of research, advise from industry experts and voice of customer.

This event will bring together industry professionals and thought leaders from the field of Data Visualization. It will help you in understanding and implementing data visualization in your business/for your client . It will also provide an excellent opportunity to interact and network with some of the top minds.

Registration link

Benefits of sponsorship

This is a great opportunity to strategically brand your organization. As a sponsor, you will receive a tremendous amount of visibility and numerous other benefits at the conference.

Sponsorship Levels

Platinum Sponsor (Limited to 2)

Gold Sponsor (Limited to 3)

Knowledge Partner (Limited to 1)

Silver Sponsor (Limited to 4)

Bronze Sponsor (Limited to 4)

Conference Bag Sponsor (Limited to 1)

Track Sponsor (Limited to 2)

A-La-Carte (Open)

Standard Price : Rs 30,000

You can also choose to strategically brand your organisation as per the below combo offer.

Package includes:

Full day attendance to the event

Website branding

Logo on brochure

Speaking Slot – 30 minute presentation slot or panel discussion (optional)

Lanyard branding

Brochure inserts
Link:Visit us


How Blockchain makes the online content economy fair and transparent

11 Aug

IT Conferences in India
blockchain Details
Online publishing and advertising is a very profitable market. Yet not everyone is profiting equally from it. Content hosting services, social media giants and advertising intermediaries are raking in huge sums of the revenue. Meanwhile the users who create, curate and share the content take away little or nothing from the value they help create, effectively becoming cogs in the wheel of tech giants.

Hopefully, blockchain, the technology that powers digital currencies, provides an alternative to the centralized ad and content delivery model. Blockchain, which rose to fame with the advent of Bitcoin, is a distributed ledger controlled by no single gatekeeper. It provides a platform to perform secure transactions without the need for brokers and middlemen. In recent years, blockchain has expanded its reach from monetary exchange to other fields where parties want to trade assets of value.

In the online content and digital advertising industry, blockchain can help level the playing field and create platforms where everyone gets compensated fairly for their contribution to the economy.

Blockchain-based digital advertising

blockchain Summit
Over the years, digital advertising has transformed into an inefficient marketplace that’s causing a lot of harm. Advertisers pay huge sums to intermediaries to reach their audience while publishers get meager portions of the ad revenue. And users’ share of the economy is annoying ads, slower page loads and tons of privacy-invading tracking code.

Blockchain creates an entirely new way to serve ads and reward publishers without the need for opaque intermediaries. One of the most notable projects in this regard is Brave, a browser developed by the namesake company cofounded by Brendan Eich, the inventor of JavaScript and cofounder the Mozilla project.

Brave natively blocks ads and trackers when you browse the web. In exchange users can opt-in to turn on ads, in which case both viewer and publisher get awarded Basic Attention Tokens (BATs), the company’s proprietary digital currency which exists on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Users can also choose to send BATs to the creators of their favorite content. Brave comes integrated with a BAT wallet. The browser uses local algorithms to assess user attention and optimize ads while preventing fraud and avoiding privacy invasions.

The system uses anonymization methods to protect user identities while providing advertisers with a verifiable audit trail on the blockchain. The main hurdle for Brave’s method of advertising and monetizing content is to get publishers and advertisers to adopt the model.

Rewarding content creators and curators
Software Events

Everyday, the internet generates millions of dollars worth of curated, shared and consumed content. However, centralized content hosting and distribution platforms reap most of the rewards. The people who are distributing the content have no say over how the dividends are distributed.

This is something that blockchain and a decentralized attention economy can change. Blockchain startup Synereo is aiming to remedy this situation with WildSpark, a new application it launched on August 10, which empowers consumers and curators directly to support content creators and be rewarded for their efforts as well.

WildSpark, which installs as a browser plugin, lets you send AMPs, Synereo’s cryptocurrency, to directly reward content creators when consuming their content—say a YouTube video. Afterwards, WildSpark generates a unique link that you can use to share the supported content with your followers on social media or embed it in your own blog or website, or send it through email

If other users view the content through your shared link and they too decide to send AMPs to the content creator, you will receive a percentage of the reward as the curator of the content. Every transaction is stored on the blockchain, which provides full transparency into the revenue that is channeled to each creator and curator.

The concept can enable users who have put hard efforts into creating large social media and and web followings to reward the creators of their favorite content and monetize their own platforms.

Supported by the blockchain, the decentralized attention economy makes sure everyone gets rewarded for their efforts in providing quality content.

Software Conferences In India


The Internet of Things

09 Aug

could be the light at the end of the tunnel for Indian IT

internet of things

IOT, Internet of things Summit

India’s $150 billion information technology (IT) industry is in a state of turmoil, but there is one bright spot: the Internet of Things (IoT).

Employees at the country’s billion-dollar behemoths are quickly re-skilling themselves to work with the new-age technology needed to add sensors to machines so that they can be monitored and controlled over the internet. As a result, India’s technology firms are doing IoT-related business worth $1.52 billion, accounting for 44% of the $3.5 billion global IoT technology services outsourcing market in 2017, according to a report by Bengaluru-based research, consulting, and advisory firm Zinnov, released on Aug. 07. The largest share—43%—of India’s IoT-services activity is dedicated to product engineering.

India-based legacy companies like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), HCL, Wipro, Infosys, and Tech Mahindra are listed among the “established” and “expansive” market leaders in the IoT space. And other local companies, like L&T Technologies, TATA Elxsi, Persistent Systems, L&T Infotech, and Happiest Minds, have moved significantly over the past year in rankings among Indian providers, Sidhant Rastogi, partner at Zinnov, told the Business Standard newspaper.

Summits,Conferences In India

India-based legacy companies like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), HCL, Wipro, Infosys, and Tech Mahindra are listed among the “established” and “expansive” market leaders in the IoT space. And other local companies, like L&T Technologies, TATA Elxsi, Persistent Systems, L&T Infotech, and Happiest Minds, have moved significantly over the past year in rankings among Indian providers, Sidhant Rastogi, partner at Zinnov, told the Business Standard newspaper.
All of these players are set to gain as the global IoT technology products and services spend is expected to climb up significantly from around $140 billion in 2017 to $322 billion by 2022.

But while IoT technology is expected to create 25,000 jobs by 2021, far more jobs—94,000 of them—will be eliminated at the same time, Zinnov estimated last year, compounding the problem of layoffs related to automation. That means that going forward, Indian companies will not only need to diversify in the kind of technology services they offer, but also look beyond the IT industry for work. For instance, Tech Mahindra’s chief executive, C P Gurnani, noted the need for his company to build offerings in healthcare, manufacturing, retail and managed services, and other such areas as well.


FinTech Summit Mumbai 2017

08 Aug

Conference, Summit
Global investments in Fintech more than tripled in 2014, reaching more than $12 billion. In comparison, banks spent an estimated $215 billion on IT worldwide in 2014, including hardware, software, and internal and external services.

Payment space:- This has been most challenged by tech-driven new entrants. Mobile Internet and smartphone penetration have been a game changer in consumer and SME finance and payments.

Marketplace lending or P2P lending:- It offers online platforms to match borrowers and lenders with the aim of lowering the borrowing cost for borrowers and increasing returns for lenders. Marketplace lending has been around for over a decade but has only seen a take-off in growth over the last few years.

Fintech summit will address advances in

1. Payments
2. Marketplace lending or P2P lending
3. Cyber Security in financial transactions and data
4. Next Gen Banking using
4.1 Blockchain
4.2 Personalised & Structured Platforms
4.3 Government’s vision to go less cash
4.4 More Phone Less Card
5. Digital technologies for Rural
Fintech Mumbai

What is ‘Fintech’
Fintech is a portmanteau of financial technology that describes an emerging financial services sector in the 21st century. Originally, the term applied to technology applied to the back-end of established consumer and trade financial institutions. Since the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the term has expanded to include any technological innovation in the financial sector, including innovations in financial literacy and education, retail banking, investment and even crypto-currencies like bitcoin.

The term financial technology can apply to any innovation in how people transact business, from the invention of money to double-entry bookkeeping. Since the internet revolution and the mobile internet revolution, however, financial technology has grown explosively, and fintech, which originally referred to computer technology applied to the back office of banks or trading firms, now describes a broad variety of technological interventions into personal and commercial finance.
Fintech Summit (Conference)

New Tech in Fintech
In the olden days, individuals and institutions used the invisible hand of the market – represented by the signaling function of price – to make financial decisions. New technologies, like machine learning, predictive behavioral analytics and data-driven marketing, will take the guess work and hocus-pocus out of financial decisions. “Learning” apps will not only learn the habits of users, often hidden to themselves, but will engage users in learning games to make their automatic, unconscious spending and saving decisions better. On the back end, improved data analytics will help institutional clients further refine their investment decisions and open new opportunities for financial innovation.

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Posted in Fintech


Artificial Intelligence Brings Changes To Hiring And Negotiation

04 Aug

aritificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is bringing changes to all aspects of the hiring process. Could it ever replace negotiation?

At Innovation Congress, a recent conference about staying competitive amidst rapidly changing technology, speakers discussed how companies are using AI to screen candidates.

Estée Lauder is using new video technologies to “open up the funnel of candidates and leverage technology to screen them, so that human interaction happens at the right time,” said Michael Bowes, vice president of global talent, who spoke on a panel discussion about the future of work and talent. “This way, all the stuff that can be done by machines is done, and you can focus.”

Bowes said Estée Lauder uses characteristics like tonality and word choice in screenings as part of the hiring process for beauty advisors, the customer service and sales representatives who work at beauty counters. They will hire 30,000 beauty advisors alone next year.

At this volume, it’s easy to see why a company would want to use AI to narrow the field. But some panelists expressed misgivings. It’s not hard to imagine candidates trying to game the system. One concern is whether AI would help or hinder diverse candidates who often face hiring and negotiation challenges. Do human biases extend to our artificial counterparts?

As Leslie Bradshaw, fellow panelist, entrepreneur at Bionic Solution (and Forbes contributor), put it, “someone had to program that algorithm.”

Bradshaw said that the breaks she got early in her career came from connections, not credentials, and that she wouldn’t want to work at a place where screeners replaced humans.
Some companies are embracing technology solutions that are specifically designed to help reduce unconscious bias in the hiring process. One company, Blendoor, designed software to present candidates to companies without their name, age, photo or university information.

But could companies ever delegate negotiation to a computer? Would they?

“Human interaction will never be replaced,” said Stephan Theringer, a panelist and founder of the Human Innovation Garage. “That piece about how someone fits to culture will never be replaced by AI.”

Enter Cindy Gallop.

Gallop, who gave the conference’s closing keynote, is the English advertising consultant known for her widely-viewed TED Talk, “Make love, not porn.”

She knows a thing or two about negotiation. On Equal Pay Day this year, Gallop partnered with advertising agency R/GA, PayScale and The Muse to launch CindyBot, a Facebook Messenger chatbot to help women ask for a raise.

“It’s like having me in your pocket,” Gallop said.

The bot gives users a pep talk on why they should ask for more and tips on what to ask for, all in Gallop’s signature colorful language.
I had the opportunity to ask Gallop myself whether she thought one-on-one negotiation would soon be replaced with a technology solution, and whether that would even be a good thing.

She told me that technology has already changed things significantly by giving job seekers access to more information through websites like PayScale. Having access to that information is a good thing, and it gives candidates more knowledge and grounds to ask for higher salaries.

But ultimately, she agreed: AI could never replace the human interaction elements of negotiation.
Conferences, Summit


Bitcoin has split in two – what does it mean?

03 Aug
A new currency called Bitcoin Cash has appeared, split from bitcoin in a technical manoeuvre called a “hard fork”. It’s the project of a group that says bitcoin’s keepers are limiting its reach by resisting change.

The BBC is working with Microsoft on voice recognition for iPlayer

The BBC is working with Microsoft on voice recognition for iPlayer
The creation of Bitcoin Cash is the most striking result yet of a two-year-old feud over bitcoin’s future. Bitcoin is collectively valued at $47 billion but remains a niche product. Backers of the new currency say it’s necessary if bitcoin is to make a real mark on how the world uses money.
Bitcoin Cash’s confusing origin – and name – risk making it harder for cryptocurrency to gain wider acceptance. “Bitcoin’s an incredibly well-known brand, and to the extent it’s fracturing into various pieces, that’s confusing to regulators and consumers,” says Dan Morehead, founder and CEO of Pantera Capital, which invests in bitcoin and digital-currency startups. Morehead says he’s neutral on the dispute. “It just sounds bad; we’re not used to currencies that split into two.”
Adding to the confusion: Not everyone who holds bitcoin will get an instant stash of Bitcoin Cash today. Some leading bitcoin-storage services have said they won’t recognise the new currency, forcing people to move their business if they want to claim the new variety of cryptocoins.
Bitcoin was created by a pseudonymous coder (or coders) known as Satoshi Nakamoto, who released the software that powers the currency in 2009. It relies on a network of computers linked over the internet that collaborate to process and record all transactions in a digital ledger called the blockchain. Computers dubbed “miners” keep the ledger updated by adding to the sequence of “blocks” that make up the blockchain as new transactions take place. Proponents say this system creates a trustworthy currency free from political oversight and capable of faster, cheaper digital transactions than possible with conventional currencies.
Acrimony among bitcoiners stems from disagreement about limits on the blockchain’s capacity baked into Nakamoto’s design, and what to do about them. The bitcoin network can only support around seven transactions per second, compared with thousands per second piped through conventional financial networks such as Visa.

What is Bitcoin Cash?
Bitcoin Cash is a variation on bitcoin’s design, incorporating much bigger blocks, allowing for more transactions in a given time. Supporters say their project is necessary because planned changes that could expand bitcoin’s capacity are not sufficient. “At this point, it seems that the differences are irreconcilable and a split is unavoidable,” says Amaury Séchet, an ex-Facebook engineer who has developed code to implement Bitcoin Cash.

Owners of pre-split bitcoin will be recorded as owning cryptocoins on both blockchains. Some bitcoin exchanges – where owners transact and store cryptocurrency – have said that they will support the new currency and credit customer accounts with Bitcoin Cash when it appears. But others will not.

Bitcoin Cash’s value, and its effect on cryptocurrency’s place in the world, will be determined by how many investors and users switch from traditional bitcoin. Late Monday, one futures market pegged the value of a unit of Bitcoin Cash at about $300, roughly 1/10 the value of one Bitcoin. After launch, the value briefly fell, but has now surged to $466 at the time of writing.

The Bitcoin Cash adjustment to Nakamoto’s original creation does help address the currency’s capacity problem, says Emin Gün Sirer, an associate professor at Cornell who has studied bitcoin’s design. “The science to the extent we’ve measured it aligns with their reasoning,” he says. More important, and trickier, is whether enough people will use and invest in Bitcoin Cash to keep it going. “The crucial part is the amount of economic interest in this new currency,” Sirer says.

Support by bitcoin exchanges will enable use of Bitcoin Cash. Crucially, that could motivate more miners to put their computing power to work on maintaining Bitcoin Cash’s new blockchain, making it more reliable and stable, Sirer says. Miners are incentivised with new bitcoins for their work, and if Bitcoin Cash looks healthy, earning some early could strike miners as a good bet.

Will success for Bitcoin Cash come at the expense of the original bitcoin’s ideals?
It depends on whom you ask.

Defenders of the original design say too sharp an increase in capacity could raise the computer hardware requirements for contributing to the blockchain too much, opening the door to centralising control in the hands of a few dominant players. Séchet argues he’s fighting for the soul of bitcoin, and Bitcoin Cash will force the cryptocurrency community to take scalability more seriously, even if the project fails. “Either bitcoin does not scale and Bitcoin Cash will overtake it over time, or it will scale because of the pressure created by Bitcoin Cash,” Séchet says. “Either is a win for bitcoin users.”

Some trying to build businesses on top of bitcoin are becoming frustrated by the ongoing arguments. “It really has dragged on,” says Morehead of Pantera Capital. Nobody ever said that upending the financial system would be easy.


Is technology making us dumber or smarter? Yes

01 Aug

Unicom Seminars
The smartphone in your hand enables you to record a video, edit it and send it around the world. With your phone, you can navigate in cities, buy a car, track your vital signs and accomplish thousands of other tasks. And so?

Each of those activities used to demand learning specific skills and acquiring the necessary resources to do them. Making a film? First, get a movie camera and the supporting technologies (film, lights, editing equipment). Second, learn how to use them and hire a crew. Third, shoot the movie. Fourth, develop and edit the film. Fifth, make copies and distribute them.
Now all of those tasks are solved by technology. We need no longer learn the intricate details when the smartphone programmers have taken care of so much. But filmmakers are now freer to focus on their craft, and it is easier than ever to become a filmmaker. Historically, technology has made us individually dumber and individually smarter – and collectively smarter. Technology has made us able to do more while understanding less about what we are doing, and has increased our dependence on others.
These are not recent trends, but part of the history of technology since the first humans began to farm. In recent decades, three major changes have accelerated the process, starting with the increasing pace of humans specializing in particular skills. In addition, we outsource more skills to technological tools, like a movie-making app on a smartphone, that relieve us of the challenge of learning large amounts of technical knowledge. And many more people have access to technology than in the past, allowing them to use these tools much more readily.

Specialized knowledgeSpecialization enables us to become very good at some activities, but that investment in learning – for example, how to be an ER nurse or computer coder – comes at the expense of other skills like how to grow your own food or build your own shelter.
Summits in India
As Adam Smith noted in his 1776 “Wealth of Nations,” specialization enables people to become more efficient and productive at one set of tasks, but with a trade-off of increased dependence on others for additional needs. In theory, everyone benefits.

Specialization has moral and pragmatic consequences. Skilled workers are more likely to be employed and earn more than their unskilled counterparts. One reason the United States won World War II was that draft boards kept some trained workers, engineers and scientists working on the home front instead of sending them to fight. A skilled machine tool operator or oil-rig roustabout contributed more to winning the war by staying at home and sticking to a specialized role than by heading to the front with a rifle. It also meant other men (and some women) donned uniforms and had a much greater chance of dying.

Making machines for the rest of usIncorporating human skills into a machine – called “blackboxing” because it makes the operations invisible to the user – allows more people to, for example, take a blood pressure measurement without investing the time, resources and effort into learning the skills previously needed to use a blood pressure cuff. Putting the expertise in the machine lowers the barriers to entry for doing something because the person does not need to know as much. For example, contrast learning to drive a car with a manual versus an automatic transmission.
Mass production of blackboxed technologies enables their widespread use. Smartphones and automated blood pressure monitors would be far less effective if only thousands instead of tens of millions of people could use them. Less happily, producing tens of millions of automatic rifles like AK-47s means individuals can kill far more people far more easily compared with more primitive weapons like knives.

More practically, we depend on others to do what we cannot do at all or as well. City dwellers in particular depend on vast, mostly invisible structures to provide their power, remove their waste and ensure food and tens of thousands of other items are available.

Overreliance on technology is dangerousA major downside of increased dependence on technologies is the increased consequences if those technologies break or disappear. Lewis Dartnell’s “The Knowledge” offers a delightful (and frightening) exploration of how survivors of a humanity-devastating apocaplyse could salvage and maintain 21st-century technologies.
How do people survive and prosper in this world of increasing dependence and change? It’s impossible to be truly self-reliant, but it is possible to learn more about the technologies we use, to learn basic skills of repairing and fixing them (hint: always check the connections and read the manual) and to find people who know more about particular topics. In this way the Internet’s vast wealth of information can not only increase our dependence but also decrease it (of course, skepticism about online information is never a bad idea). Thinking about what happens if something goes wrong can be a useful exercise in planning or a descent into obsessive worrying.

Individually, we depend more on our technologies than ever before – but we can do more than ever before. Collectively, technology has made us smarter, more capable and more productive. What technology has not done is make us wiser.


Can blockchain technology create another era of Asian tigers?

31 Jul

Blockchain Summit (conference)
It has been nearly three decades since tiger economies were in mainstream discussions in Asia, but that doesn’t mean that progress in the region has stalled. A number of Asian economies are displaying rapid growth especially with the emergence of tech as an economic driver. Barriers to entry in the tech industry have also become much lower over the years. With new technologies now comes the opportunity for ventures to create unique products and services to offer to global markets.

Blockchain tech is now among the hottest trends, especially since new blockchain platforms like Ethereum have extended its use beyond cryptocurrencies. The integration of smart contracts into blockchain has allowed startups to explore new and exciting uses. It might just usher in the creation of another era of Asian tigers as more ventures from the region get into the game.
Diverse blockchain applications

Blockchain in itself is already a powerful technology. Built as a distributed public ledger, blockchains are an ideal tool for transparent and immutable recordkeeping. This is why it has been an ideal platform for cryptocurrency and payments. Southeast Asia’s blockchain startups like Toast and have mainly focused on this use to provide payments and remittance services that are lower-cost alternatives to other payment methods.

The integration of smart contracts into the blockchain has even widened its possible applications. Smart contracts are software that can automate the execution of agreements while using blockchain tech to record each related transaction. Such a technology could empower quick and safe transactions not only for e-commerce but also for big-ticket deals such as real estate and automobile sales.

A slew of various services can be built around such an ecosystem., a collaboration between Chinese and European experts, uses blockchain and smart contracts to build a distributed cloud that supports distributed applications. Think of it as a peer-to-peer cloud where anyone can allow others to rent spare computing resources.

Hong Kong-based KYC-Chain offers an blockchain identity platform to other businesses and financial institutions. Know your customer (KYC) is a common regulation that requires financial institutions to secure information about customers to prevent fraud and money laundering.

Some ventures are even looking at more altruistic applications of blockchain. For example, – currently running its token sale – aims to create microfinance and remittance services for emerging markets. Everex is actually the first company to offer cross-border microcredit services, and the first to make all financial activity available for public audit on the blockchain and they’ve been working with Thailand and Myanmar to provide migrant workers access to blockchain remittance. Everex transactions are settled on the basis of 100 per cent-backed, Ethereum-based Cryptocash currencies. As a result, fiat money can now travel around the globe at the speed of the blockchain.bitcoin
ICOs as new funding sources

Blockchain has also helped lower barriers to startup financing. Token sale and initial coin offering (ICO) have become popular means for blockchain startups to raise funds. Since new blockchain platforms allow these companies to create their own cryptocurrencies, startups could offer these tokens for sale in exchange for investment. These ICOs effectively disrupt venture capital and traditional investing and even the business loans market.

Singapore-based TenX was able to raise US$80 million in its token sale showing that major funding can be achieved from the effort. A startup doesn’t have to be in a US or European tech hub to be able to secure such funding either. Funding records are also continuously being broken. Recently, Tezos broke the token sale record by raising US$232 million in its ICO. Previously, Israel-based Bancor put up US$153 million to fund its projects.

Unlike traditional funding rounds, token sales and ICOs can happen much faster. Token sales and ICOs could easily be held. In contrast, funding from venture capital and angel investors can take months to get settled. Initial public offerings are usually years in the making and requires a thorough administrative process.

New tigers?

The previous Four Asian Tigers – Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea – have all emerged to join the likes of Japan to become global contenders. The rest of Asia is trying to catch up. There has been much growth and development and many would want to grow beyond emerging market status.

The good thing is that technology has been the great leveler. Asia doesn’t have to look far to see how technology could drive growth. Israel, despite its lack of natural resources, was able to use technological expertise to dominate key tech verticals such as cybersecurity and software-as-a-service.

China and India are also two dominant economies that are keen on graduating as developed countries. China has been quite aggressive investing in trending technologies and blockchain has been among its focuses. India has presence in blockchain but the scene still needs to mature. Other tech hubs would do well expanding their views beyond bitcoins and payments.

As it currently stands, blockchain tech is empowering startups in two major ways. First, blockchain has brought new opportunities for ventures to explore new business models. Second, the technology allows startups to secure significant funding. With such a powerful technology available for use, every country’s tech hub is now poised to drive economic growth.


Internet of Things:security is everything

27 Jul

The future of the Internet of Things: security is everything
Internet of things Summit (IOT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is counted among emerging technologies that promise to transform the South African market.

While the opportunity for IoT is young in South Africa, its potential influence is far-reaching. For example, in the mining industry, devices monitor air quality, seismic activity, shaft stability, equipment wear, and energy usage. In the logistics industry, sensors track and monitor vehicles and routes for efficiency and safety. The possibilities are endless.

With all of these benefits comes risk, as the increase in connected devices gives hackers and cyber criminals more entry points.
A recent study by Ernst & Young in cooperation with Bitkom Research states that security concerns are the biggest obstacle in the industry when it comes to implementing IoT projects.

This is not at all surprising; after all, the networking of machines involves highly sensitive data.

Adding more devices, sensors, and things to your network also has the potential to increase your attack surface. This is because the IoT is intimately linked to business-critical processes and because the IoT significantly broadens the surface of attack of business intelligence systems.

The launch of SqwidNet, an open-access IoT network operator in South Africa, is a welcome enabler in the country. SqwidNet provides listening posts for messages from various objects to store, manage, track, and operate communication signals for different purposes to connect the physical world and the digital world.

SqwidNet, based on Sigfox technology, addresses these security challenges through a systematic process. The communications between the base stations and the Sigfox cloud and the within the Sigfox cloud are secure, robust, trusted, and scalable.

SqwidNet and Sigfox’s focus on low-power, low-bandwidth communications makes network deployment fast, simple, and secure. Devices don’t actually stay connected to the Internet or any network, for that matter. They transmit signals without any session, handshaking, or waiting for a response between a network and the device.
Sigfox security features enabled through SqwidNet include the following:

A signalling chip will only be active when it needs to send a message.
A private key is used to send messages, and only a Sigfox platform understands the unique ID of the device.
The network provides encryption from device to the Sigfox cloud.
The cloud itself is protected by a firewall with restricted access.
The protocol allows limited two-way communication within very specific communication windows.
Extra security features of the protocol include anti-replay measures and strong encryption at multiple levels.
The downlink process of the SqwidNet network brings additional security robustness. When a device sends a signal, there is a small, 30-second window in which a response can be sent back to the device.

If that window is missed, the response will have to wait for the next time a signal is sent from the device. The fact that the objects choose when to communicate, at which frequency, and with a security key, offers multiple layers of protection against hackers sending them malicious commands.
How organizations embrace the IoT varies widely from industry to industry. What these industries and solutions have in common is the challenge of securely navigating the very complex technology involved in getting the insights that drive successful outcomes.

How secure is your network of choice? Great food for thought as we eagerly await solutions that will come with the growth of the South African IoT market, which is estimated to reach in excess of $2 billion by 2020 and is set to revolutionise all sectors, stimulating industry growth and economic development. Security is everything!



The Beginner’s Guide To FinTech In 2017

26 Jul

You may have heard the relatively new term “FinTech” bandied about, but what actually is it? And why is it important for all entrepreneurs to know about and understand?

FinTech stands for Financial Technologies, and in its broadest definition, that’s exactly what it is: technologies used and applied in the financial services sector, chiefly used by financial institutions themselves on the back end of their businesses. But more and more, FinTech is coming to represent technologies that are disrupting traditional financial services, including mobile payments, money transfers, loans, fundraising, and asset management.

Don’t assume that FinTech is simply a fad or buzzword: Accenture recently released a report which found that investment in fintech around the world has increased dramatically from $930 million in 2008 to more than $12 billion by early 2015.

And this is likely only to continue to increase, as FinTech touches not just the financial services sector, but every business the financial services industry deals with (which is to say, all of them). FinTech startups are small and agile, able to disrupt the lumbering behemoths that are traditional financial institutions and innovate quickly — and your business can use that to your advantage.

How FinTech is changing your business

It used to be that if you wanted to start a business, you would go to your local bank to ask for a loan or seek out a traditional investor. If a company wanted to accept credit cards, it would need an account with a big credit provider — not to mention a land line and bulky equipment. But this is no longer the case.

FinTech like crowdfunding, mobile payments, and money transfer services is revolutionizing the way small businesses start up, accept payments, and go global, and they are making it easier than ever to start and run a business.
Fintech India
Fintech Summit mumbai
Can’t find an investor for your big idea? Don’t have the collateral or credit to get approved for a traditional loan? That’s OK: Crowdfunding now means that you can raise money quickly and cheaply from people all over the world that you’ve never met. It has democratized the process of finding startup capital and shortened the timeline from perhaps months of meetings to as little as a few weeks.
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It’s also now easier than ever for small businesses to accept payments. Even farm stands in the middle of nowhere can accept credit and debit cards with tools like Square and PayPal. And while there are fees, the entrepreneur doesn’t have to do a particular volume of business to qualify for an account. Anyone, anywhere can safely and easily accept credit card payments, making it easier to do business.

But what about going global? International money transfers — which have long been a thorny issue for entrepreneurs — are getting easier as well. For smaller transactions, services like PayPal automatically convert currencies, so it’s easy for a customer in America to purchase goods from a maker in the U.K. or anywhere else in the world. Additionally, a service called TransferWise is streamlining international money transfers, disrupting that sector by offering a 90 percent discount on traditional bank transfer fees.

How FinTech is changing your customer

FinTech is also changing customer behavior and expectations at a tremendous rate.

Consumers are now so used to being able to access data and information anywhere and everywhere, that it seems natural to them to want to be able to adjust their investment portfolio or deposit a check while waiting for the bus.

And customers — however fairly or unfairly — expect the same level of service and access from a small firm as a large firm. They expect a seamless mobile experience whether they are banking with a global bank or their local credit union. And they expect to be able to pay with a credit card whether they are in a department store or the corner shop. Soon, people will expect to be able to pay with their phones anywhere they go as well.

It’s a great democratization of services, but also a warning to businesses that there is no excuse these days for not embracing the latest technologies — and those who refuse will certainly be losing business.

Finally, FinTech is just in its nascent stages. The industry is changing rapidly, and savvy business owners will want to stay informed as a vital part of their business plan. Businesses will be able to offer more services at lower cost than ever before, but only if they stay on the cutting edge of what’s available and possible.

Those that do will stay at the forefront of their markets. Those that don’t will lose out on opportunities, customers, and market share.

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