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IBM and Ricoh Team Up in Watson-Powered Whiteboards

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IBM and Ricoh announce a partnership in a cognitive-enabled interactive whiteboard using IBM's Watson intelligence and voice technologies to support voice commands, taking notes and actions and even translating to other languages.

IBM Ricoh whiteboardThe so called Intelligent Workplace Solution leverages IBM Watson and Ricoh interactive whiteboards to allow voice control. It also makes sure Watson does not just listen, but instead is an active meeting participant, using real-time analytics to help guide discussions.

Once a meeting begins, any employee (be it in-person or remotely) can control the screen, including advancing slides, through simple voice commands using the Watson Natural Language API. As mentioned earlier the whiteboard can translate speakers' words into several other languages, and even display them on screen or in transcript.

Ingram Micro Refreshes EMEA Leadership

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Ingram Micro brings new blood in its EMEA leadership team with the appointment of cloud specialist Jacek Murawski as VP of EMEA vendor engagement.

Ingram MicroMurawski came to Ingram through the 2015 acquisition of cloud automation platform Odin, where he served as EMEA VP. He replaces Tasneem Baldiwala, who is moving to a "strategic planning and execution" position reporting directly to EMEA president Mark Snider. Prior to Odin, Murawski held EMEA leadership positions at Microsoft, Dell, SAP and Cisco.

Underneath Murawski come two new appointments reporting to him-- Günter Schiessl and Jordi Muñoz. Schiessl takes care of Ingram engagement with volume vendors across EMEA, while Muñoz assumes relationship management with value vendors.

HPE Updates 3PAR Storage OS

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HPE announces what it claims are the "most significant set of 3PAR storage innovations to date"-- including a next generation 3PAR Operating System (3PAR OS 3.3.1) acting as a "futureproof foundation" for hybrid IT.

3PAR ArrayAccording to the company, the 3PAR OS 3.3.1 features Adaptive Data Reduction (ADR) for comprehensive data compaction to lower capacity costs, updated 3PAR Peer Persistence enabling disaster recovery across greater distances, off-premises copy management with HPE Recovery Manager Central (RMC) and expanded automation capabilities for the 3PAR StoreServ Management Console (SSMC).

In addition, it provides a "seamless path" to emerging technologies such as storage class memory (SCM) and NVM Express (NVMe), while handling the requirements of "third wave" flash evolution that pure-play all-flash systems cannot. These include support for cloud-native applications, datacentre-wide orchestration and tier-1 resiliency.

Gartner: Intelligence and Analytics to Reach $18bn in 2017

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According to Gartner, global business intelligence (BI) and analytics software revenues are to reach $18.3 billion in 2017-- a 7.3% increase from 2016, before growing to $22.8bn by end 2020.

Analytics softwareThe analyst says modern BI and analytics is expanding more rapidly than the overall market, offsetting declines in traditional BI spending. The modern BI and analytics platform emerged recently to meet new requirements for accessibility, agility and deeper analytical insight, shifting the market from IT-led, system-of-record reporting to business-led, agile analytics including self-service.

Mind, modern BI and analytics growth will eventually decelerate-- from 63.6% in 2015 to 19% in 2020. Such decline reflects data and analytics becoming mainstream, since pricing pressures will affect revenues despite growth in terms of seat expansion.

Fujitsu Uses Smartphones to Secure Cloud on IoT Devices

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Fujitsu announces an easier means to enable cloud services through Internet of Things (IoT) devices using the biometric authentication functionality of smartphones.

Fujitsu IoT SecuritySuch security comes through FIDO (Fast Identity Online), the standard bringing together a full range of technologies, including biometrics (fingerprint scanners, voice and facial recognition), Trusted Platform Modules (TPM), USB security tokens, Near Field Communication (NFC) and One Time Passwords (OTP).

As the company puts it, the technology establishes a secure network between a cloud service, IoT device and a smartphone, before simultaneously verifying the identity of the user and that of the user in front of the IoT device. Thus, one can "safely and conveniently" access cloud services through a range of IoT devices without need for an ID or password, instead simply using their smartphone's biometric authentication.

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