Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem Meet-Up 26th April 2017

What are the Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem Meet-Ups…?

The Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem Meet Ups at Rainmaking Loft help to promote networking between likeminded companies that have connections to Cloud Foundry and Bluemix. They enable sharing of skills and insight and help companies learn how to better overcome business challenges, drive customer solutions and increase revenue opportunity.

Watson, Bluemix and Cloud…

Ross Cruickshank of the Developer Ecosystems Team at IBM began the evening by discussing IBM specific technologies.

Bluemix is a PaaS service that is based on Cloud Foundry technology. DevOps is used to build, run and deploy applications on the cloud, along with an extensive list of services supporting many programming languages including Java, Swift and Node.js.

The meet-up began with a walk through the Bluemix catalogue and an in-depth discussion of several different services, such as Insights for Twitter, within the catalogue that were both relevant to the companies and developers wanted to learn more about

iX…

Gustav Stromfelt from IBM gave a small presentation on IBM iX. IBM iX acts as a global business design partner. They work with their clients, including Nationwide, Waitrose and Jaguar, to provide insight, generate ideas and create an impact in the company. The iX teams combine observation with IBM analytics to highlight the full potential of a company. That knowledge is then translated into focused ideas that are then built and scaled to create lasting outcomes for the customers.

SPICA Technologies…

SPICA is a specialist IoT Solutions Provider that uses a combination of technical assets, hardware, software components and IoT integration expertise to help business capitalise on the opportunity that the Internet of Things represents. Their mission is to help revolutionise the Facilities Management industry with proliferation of IoT-based products, enabling FM’s, Property Owners and Tenants to offer better, cheaper and innovative new services to their clients.

MessageHub…

With over 10 years’ experience of working at IBM, Edoardo Comar gave a lightening talk on IBM Message Hub. Based on Apache Kafka, IBM Message Hub acts as a throughput message device allowing companies to unite both on-premises and off-premises cloud technologies and wire micro services together.

 Global AI Hackathon…

Emmanuel Korie is part of the team at Hackathon.com who is co-ordinating a Global AI Hackathon. Hackathon.com is aiming to bring together designers, data scientists, neuroscientists, idea generators and coders to create innovative solutions to real world problems using AI technology. The event aims to teach people about AI, it’s tools and how it can be used to improve technology solutions. Participants in the event can choose one challenge to work on, for which they can create a solution, submit their project and have the chance to demonstrate their work in a showcase.

The Next Meet-Up…

The next meet-up will again be held at Rainmaking Loft on the 6th of June between 6pm and 8pm. We will be hosting a new group of speakers, who will be able to share their insight into specific industries, events and technologies. If you would like to attend please register here.

Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem 20th March 2017

What are the Meet-Ups…?

Run by Simon Baker, the Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem Meet-Ups are held every 4-5 weeks at Rainmaking Loft in London. They are designed to help like-minded Cloud Foundry and Bluemix companies network and share skills and insight to help overcome business challenges, drive customer solutions and increase revenue opportunity.

Xaeus Blue…

Coming from a CTO and CIO background, Leon Koutsovasilis is a global technology leader, who focuses on strategy and delivery to help optimise company practices.

Xaeus Blue is a technology and digital business consultancy. Specialising in digital business, digital delivery and M&A support, Xaeus Blue supports various industries including Financial Services, Travel, Retail, Healthcare and Investment Management. Within these industries, the company can support disruptive digital business transformation, creating digital services and products, digital business strategy and post-deal portfolio value enhancement.

Virtual Technologies…

Virtual Technologies act as business to IT consultants, providing their customers with business advice & guidance and implementation of intranets, extranets, public websites and general systems integration. Their company consists of a network of freelance consultants with comprehensive Internet and IT skills.

Oraclize…

Focusing on the use of Blockchain technology, Oraclize aims to provide parts of the infrastructure needed to build smart, relevant and useful decentralised applications. Their focus industry has a wide range, including Travel & Transport, Finance and Security.

One specific example of the use of their software was discussed: using Blockchain to support claims of refugees. If data from their own country, such as the destruction of their home, was stored on Blockchain, it could be used to show an element of their personal situation from whatever country they have arrived from. This information could then be used when they arrive somewhere new as refugees to prove where they have come from.

Whilst this data may not be accepted by government bodies, it could be used to support the individuals’ claims in the interim before it is determined if they are entitled to refugee status.

Transport API…

Transport API is an open platform that allows developers to create transport solutions. The platform harnesses big data from open data feeds from companies such as Traveline, Transport for London and Network Rail, to give a source of manageable data that is simple to integrate into existing systems.

The Internet of Things…

One of the most searched phrases about the Internet of Things is: “Is it real?”.

By 2020, up to 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet. The Internet of Things is a machine to machine net of sensors, actuators and processors, that allows devices that are connected to the internet to interact with each other.

Computing devices, objects, mechanical machines and digital machines are given unique identifiers. They are then given the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-computer interaction.

The Internet of Things is used across many industries, including Smart Homes, Smart Cities, Environment and Healthcare through devices such as smart metres, smart pills and monitoring patches. More data can be collected from appliances, which allows companies to see where improvements can be made to their appliance and leads to a subsequent increase in the efficiency of the appliance.

 The Next Meet-Up…

The next Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem Meet-Up will be held at Rainmaking Loft on the 26th of April at 6pm. There will be new speakers at the event, who will be aiming to share their knowledge and insight into their specific industries and areas of technology. If you’re interested in attending the event, please register here. We’d love to see you there!

Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem 15th February 2017

On the 15th of February Simon Baker and Ross Cruickshank hosted the latest in a series of Cloud Foundry and Bluemix Ecosystem Meet-Ups at IBM South Bank. After 4 successful events, this was the last to be held at IBM South Bank before we move the events to Rainmaking Loft from the 20th of March!

Bluemix Catalogue…

Bluemix is a PaaS service that is based on Cloud Foundry technology. DevOps is used to build, run and deploy applications on the cloud, along with an extensive list of services supporting many programming languages including Java, Swift and Node.js.

The meet-up began with a walk through the Bluemix catalogue and an in-depth discussion of several different services, such as Insights for Twitter, within the catalogue that were both relevant to the companies and developers wanted to learn more about.

BuffaloGrid…

BuffaloGrid focuses on using solar energy in order to provide mobile and internet services to the off-grid world, such as various locations through India and Africa. Over 750 million people have a mobile phone but have no access to electricity to charge the device. By providing them with a means of charge, on a pay-per-charge system, BuffaloGrid provides Wi-Fi to the community, so that everyone has the ability to access the internet. This increases the availability of services such as banking, health and security to individuals in developing countries.

SimpleFinance…

SimpleFinance has developed a financial planning tool that allows individuals to get their finances in order without having to go to the effort and expense of seeing a financial advisor.

From late 2016, until the final pitch day on the 23rd of January, IBM was involved in the VentureSpring Future of Finance Challenge. The aim of the challenge was to find a FinTech start-up that had an idea that had the potential to revolutionise the financial industry. Ideas ranged from chatbots to help individuals make better financial decisions to payment applications that use facial recognition to improve transaction time and security. SimpleFinance was one of the finalists in the challenge, who then got the opportunity to have 6 minutes to pitch their company to a panel of judges from IBM, NatWest, Level39 and Tech.London.

To read more about the Future of Finance Challenge, please click here.

Somerco…

Somerco is a business development company that focuses on developing jobs within specific industry sectors. They work with government and business professionals to build an increased customer base and therefore help drives sales and increase trade both in the UK and abroad.

Blockchain and Smart Contracts…

Blockchain is a decentralised ledger technology that can be used to exchange both digital and physical assets. It works by creating a digitised chain of transactions that can’t be modified. The benefits of using Blockchain in a company include reduction in settlement time, reduced risk of collusion and increased trust in processes.

A widely-used aspect of Blockchain is Smart Contracts.

Smart Contracts consist of a computer program that facilitates, executes and enforces both the negotiation and implementation of an agreement. They are becoming more common in company practice as they aim to provide a level of security in the documentation that is much higher than that achieved by using standard implementation procedures and thus reducing the time and cost that is associated with standard contracting.

AI…

 Artificial Intelligence is the ability of a computer to perform an activity, such as visual and speech recognition, which would normally require human intelligence to perform.

Data predicts that within 10 years, every application that runs will contain some element of AI. In business, AI can be used in 3 main ways:

Virtual assistance and information, such as the use of chatbots to help improve customer experience.

Gaining insights from both structured and unstructured data. Approximately 80% of digital data is unstructured, which means that if all of that data can be analysed then much deeper insights into companies and markets can be obtained.

Automation. Time-consuming processes have the potential to be automated. This means that more time can be spent doing work that will have a visible impact.

In 1947, during a debate at the London Mathematical Society, Alan Turing spoke about the potential of intelligent machines and the impact that they may have on jobs. He spoke about the uncertainty of whether the increasing use of AI would result in the creation of jobs or the loss of jobs, as processes became automated, or whether the computers would enable jobs to become more prosperous and interesting as the machines assisted with the more time-consuming work.

Rainmaking Loft…

 Rainmaking Loft is a co-working space for over 200 entrepreneurs in London, with various other locations around the world. They aim to provide start-ups with a great work environment that allows entrepreneurs to further develop their work through collaboration with others in the community. Starting from the 20th of March, the Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem Meet-Ups will be held at International House, 1 St Katharine’s Way, London, E1W 1UN.

Future Meet-Ups: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cloud-foundry-bluemix-ecosystem-tickets-28657973771

Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem – 11th January 2017

The Ecosystem Partner Meet Ups at IBM South Bank exist to promote networking between likeminded companies that have connections to Cloud Foundry and Bluemix. They enable sharing of skills and insight and help companies learn how to better overcome business challenges, drive customer solutions and increase revenue opportunity.

The Software House Catalogue has been created to be a central hub of information about ecosystem partners who have the potential to offer greater insight into certain parts of IBM software that they are working with, such as Watson and IoT. Companies listed on the website must offer an application that either runs on or is deployable to Bluemix. The idea for the website resulted from these series of meetups and the appearance of demand to have a point of contact to gain information on how to develop on Bluemix.

Vikram Shah of AviSpace opened a discussion on what the attendees thought would be the best way for a developer to use Bluemix for their startup; should they build their software on Bluemix and use the software throughout their entire development process, or should they build their software elsewhere and then deploy what they have onto Bluemix. This led to students from Imperial College London and University College London expressed an interest in finding out more about how a developer would go about taking an idea and taking through the stages from concept to deployment in the market.

Market research is one of the key first stages when you have an idea that you want to try and develop. This research will tell you whether there is a gap in the market that your idea could fill, whether there is a need for it and whether there will be any current competition. The following key stages involve obtaining intellectual property, branding and creating a business plan.

One aspect of starting up a company that most startups take is to become part of an accelerator program. These programs are designed to provide extra resources and advice from individuals in the field to boost a startup and give it wider exposure to the community and potential funding.

One of the most important things is having a well-functioning team put together to bring an idea to life from a concept. This is done by finding a team of likeminded individuals who have a passion about a certain industry and who want to solve current issues in that industry. One of the easiest ways to find your team is through meetups, developer forums and hackathons.

A Hackathon is a sprint-type event that encourages computer programmers, graphic designers, interface designers, project manager and other software developers to come together and work on an idea based around a current issue within a specific industry, such as healthcare. Hackathons can be beneficial to startups as it gives them and their idea exposure to the developer community. It also gives them an opportunity to find likeminded developers that they would want to work with on a project in the future.

For more details, please click here

Cloud Foundry /Bluemix Ecosystem – 14th December 2016

By Shannagh Bennett.

Date: 14 – 12 – 2016 –  Time: 18:00 – 20:30

Attendees: Simon Baker (IBM), Shannagh Bennett (IBM), Alan Flower (HCL), Aureliu Galasanu (InTown), Dan Johnson (Equitable Law), Leon Koutsovasilis (Xaeus Blue) and Michael Lung (Bluebridge)

Bluemix…

Bluemix is a PaaS service that is based on Cloud Foundry technology. DevOps is used to build, run and deploy applications on the cloud, along with an extensive list of services supporting many programming languages including Java, Swift and Node.js.

Watson…

Watson combines both AI and analytics to perform as a supercomputer. It can be used in various scenarios to analyse and interpret data given to it in many forms, such as images, audio and text.

Blockchain…

BlockChain is a decentralised ledger technology that can be used to exchange both digital and physical assets. It works by creating a digitised chain of transactions that can’t be modified. The benefits of using BlockChain in a company include reduction in settlement time, reduced risk of collusion and increased trust in processes.

InTown…

InTown is a property market start up, which aims to reduce the cost to landlords and reduce the effort for tenants in relation to raising an issue with the property and finding a solution.

Bluebridge…

Bluebridge is a FinTech start up that is focused on using BlockChain technology to help financial industry companies reach their optimum business potential. As increasing cybercrime, regulation and fraud inhibit business growth within the industry, BlockChain can be used to increase trust in a company through shared processes and record keeping to promote enterprise growth.

Xaeus Blue…

Xaeus Blue is a technology and digital business consultancy that helps individuals, ideas and technology come together to produce a solution for current market issues. They aim to help companies by working with them to deliver new digital platforms, create digital services, provide investment strategy support and help define digital business strategies.

Equitable Law…

Equitable Law is a Solicitors practice based in London that offers business law legal services, including corporate, finance and commercial matters. Dan Johnson had an interest in the discussion on Lucy and Watson, as it is a direction that is becoming more likely that law firms will take; to have smaller legal issues and help desks based around automation and cognition.

BlockChain has the potential to become pivotal in law practice; both as an area of law and in the smooth running of a firm. Steptoe & Johnson LLP have recently launched a BlockChain specific practice to aid BlockChain companies with issues related to the technology. In practice, the use of Smart Contracts and  has the potential to become very important; allowing firms to reduce the time taken with each client and allowing easier record keeping of any dealings within the company.

HCL…

HCL is a multinational IT services company, which offers services such as Technology Consulting, IT Outsourcing and Business Process Outsourcing. They are an engineering led software company, having worked on projects such as the Boeing Dreamliner, Azure and the Xbox.

Lucy…

Lucy combines both automation and cognitive technologies to give rise to a smart global help desk. Having been built around Watson, Lucy analyses unstructured data, understands complex questions and presents solutions to common technical problems. She combines 10 services from Watson including Personality Insights and Retrieve and Rank.

HCL are currently trialing a further piece of software, Melvin, which aims to completely remove human involvement from help desk situations. They are aiming to do this by further training cognitive services to be able to answer and deal with more complex questions and to be able to detect problems before any human has detected a fault. This will then allow the system to send out an alert to get the problem fixed before it becomes an issue for any user.

 

More details: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cloud-foundry-bluemix-ecosystem-tickets-28657973771

Cloud Foundry /Bluemix Ecosystem – 23rd November 2016

By Shannagh Bennett.

Date: 23 – 11 – 2016 –  Time: 18:00 – 20:30
Attendees: Simon Baker (IBM), Shannagh Bennett (IBM), Davide Casarin (Future Workshops), Joseph Remesar (MobileID), Monica Medina (The Walt Disney Company), Alan Flower (HCL), Sara Colombini (Mysis), Richard Voaden (IBM)

Introduction
The purpose of the meet-up was to learn how to bring together value from services through micro services, enable networking and sharing of opportunities and knowledge.

Future Workshops
Davide Casarin, COO of Future Workshops, was first to present.

The company consists of a team of 27 people, with 8 years of experience in API development. The company focuses on user-led agile discovery, design and development.

The company has been an ISV partner of IBM since 2014. They have attended World of Watson, have coverage of ECM on-prem and trained the BBC on Swift. Their use of Bluemix includes Insights for Twitter, Personality Insights and AlchemyAPI. The company chose Bluemix because it is a complete platform and ecosystem, it is enterprise ready and it provides inexpensive access to unique tech.

For 2017, they are aiming to have live products created from projects on Kitura.

MobileID & PortID
In attendance was Joseph Remesar; the CEO of MobileID Ltd.

MobileID is a high-end encryption mobile and API verification service that facilitates facial recognition, anti-money laundering checks, social media profiling and border control services.

The app is Cloud, Softlayer and Bluemix hosted, and is supported by an instantly scalable SaaS platform. No data is stored on the phone that hosts the app; all that the image is taking in is data. This data can then be used and is stored in the cloud.

The app is intended to be able to verify documents and individuals, such as passports, driving licenses, social security numbers and national IDs. The software also has access to council tax records, the electoral roll, DPA and Interpol. Each item that is checked on the software is verified against 3 separate sources, to ensure that results of whether a document is false are accurate.

Examples given of the industries where the software can be used were Border Control and the Construction Industry, whereby companies could use the application to ensure that individuals are who they say they are and to protect the security of any projects being worked on.

 

HCL Technologies
HCL is a multinational IT services company, which offers services such as Technology Consulting, IT Outsourcing and Business Process Outsourcing. Projects they have worked on include engineering for Boeing 787, Tesla and Xbox.

VP & CTO Alan Flower spoke briefly about what the company does and the way the industry is changing.

Every company is focusing on protecting their business as technology is advancing. The traditional world of business is rapidly changing; this is evident by companies portraying a need to survive. The nature of cloud services wanted and used by companies shows a clear hierarchy; SaaS, PaaS and IaaS.

HCL are developing a system whereby they will use AI to resolve ticket issues. This will allow the customers to have a more efficient service, and will allow support employees to focus on delivering improved customer service when dealing with tickets that the AI does not solve. They are also building out API ecosystems.

A main point of discussion was over the changing role of the CIO. As technology advances and companies must reinvent, the CIO must quickly come to terms with the changes in digital innovation to give an experience that is more focused on the customer rather than sales.

Misys
The meet-up was also attended by Sara Colombini; IT Program Director of Misys.

Misys focuses on providing financial services, covering aspects of both retail and corporate banking, investment management and enterprise risk.

Only a brief overview with the company was given, with details being added around how the company is currently working with various vendors on what is the next step in their business.

Possible Projects

  • Assist Misys in following up with the queries they made about working with IBM.

Create a “Catalogue of Talent”, which states what companies/individuals are proficient in what areas, so that if asked connections to relevant people can be suggested

 

More details: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cloud-foundry-bluemix-ecosystem-tickets-28657973771

Cloud Foundry / Bluemix Ecosystem – 2nd November 2016

The first meeting of the Cloud Foundry / Bluemix Development House UnConference place at the IBM South Bank offices this evening with a small and illustrious group of interested participants.

The plan with the meeting is for like minded companies engaged in Cloud Foundry /Bluemix projects, who know how to bring together value from services through micro-services, to share of skills and insight to help overcome business challenges to drive customer solutions and revenue opportunity.

This is in a new, growing and important market where teaming and collaboration will benefit all.

The early design is for outcomes such as:

    • Learn something new
    • Gain a new partnership
    • Identify an opportunity with mutual benefit and value

And over time:

    • Build a set of agile SIs /SW Houses – more skills/developer resources
    • Drive more revenue through apps on Bluemix

The software houses interested are:

  • Afrozaar.com
  • Armakuni
  • Chelsea App Factory
  • CodeTen
  • Cognitive Factory
  • DeeperThanBlue
  • EngineerBetter
  • Future Workshops
  • Hanno
  • HedgeHog Labs
  • KnowNow
  • Loft
  • Mars Spiders
  • R/GA
  • RNF Solutions
  • Softwire
  • Spica
  • Super Being Labs
  • The App Garden
  • VirTrade
  • Virtual Technologies
  • Xaeus Blue

However we were and will be joined by some larger systems integrators:

  • TCS
  • HCL
  • Wipro
  • Tech Mahindra

The thinking is also to widen and bring in the services providers and innovative solutions such as:

  • Signalbox
  • TransportAPI
  • Here.com
  • Push Technology
  • Flock
  • Entocycle

Hence the name change to Cloud Foundry / Bluemix Ecosystem.

This evening the discussion was very interactive and stimulated good debate:

  • Ben Fry – Armakuni shared the fact they are the providers of the Comic Relief donations platform support 500 donations/second and 100,000 concurrent users, running across multiple Cloud Foundry instances
  • Paul Tanner – Virtual Technologies – shared his interest in IoT specifically around energy assisted living, health and home accomodation
  • Vinod Balakrishnan and Prasad Rangnekar  both from TCS shared their support of solutions around the layers of OpsTech and InfoTech where the line between the two is ripe for disruption through new services provider integration between the two worlds with services made available via a platform as a service.
  • Prasad’s specific interest is in the area of Handling Cargo and the associated operations with consideration for Environmental factors, Safety and Health.

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  • Prasad presented a interest 7 layer diagram of the OpsTech and InfoTech
  • Rahit N also from TCS told us of AIDA UK a Watson based advisor for key words across multiple domains
  • Dan Young from Engineer Better who another Cloud Foundry systems integrator with  good skills in XP, TDD and Pairing alongside Engineering/Operations, Training, Consultancy skills with a focus on Cloud Native Apps

The discussion considered that we are just at an inflexion point where the interest in services on a PaaS is just starting upturn and that they are being recognised as platforms for change. However this is up against a certain amount of resistance from the more traditional part of IT who are responsible for the legacy systems. We must continue to recognise there are two types of IT, two architectural approaches and two speeds.

And what agile development centered on PaaS for innovation can bring to the legacy world is that through such practices as pair programming, for example, the recognition that application development in a social activity from which comes great collaboration, creativity and innovation, including a new face and a new life for legacy.

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