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 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 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 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 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.
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 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.