Peter Sayer

About the Author Peter Sayer


SAP wants to embrace all your data stores with Data Hub

If data warehouses are for tidiness freaks (information packaged into neat inferences, sorted and stacked, the rest discarded) and data lakes are for hoarders (tip everything in, you never know what might be useful) then SAP’s new Data Hub may be for the rest of us.

It’s a new data management tool intended to process only the data you need — and to go looking for it where it’s created or stored, without requiring you to pull it all into one place. 

Data scientists will be able to use it to analyze data from multiple sources and systems.

“Data Hub is a strong data management umbrella layer that allows for data integration, data processing and data governance,” said Irfan Khan, global head of SAP database and data management sales.

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The AI fight is escalating: This is the IT giants’ next move

Artificial intelligence is where the competition is in IT, with Microsoft and Google both parading powerful, always-available AI tools for the enterprise at their respective developer conferences, Build and I/O, in May. 

It’s not just about work: AI software can now play chess, go, and some retro video games better than any human — and even drive a car better than many of us. These superhuman performances, albeit in narrow fields, are all possible thanks to the application of decades of AI research — research that is increasingly, as at Build and I/O, making it out of the lab and into the real world.

Meanwhile, the AI-powered voice technologies behind virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon.com’s Alexa and Samsung Electronics’ Bixby may offer less-than-superhuman performance, but they also require vastly less power than a supercomputer to run. Businesses can dabble on the edges of these, for example developing Alexa “skills” that allow Amazon Echo owners to interact with a company without having to dial its call center, or jump right in, using the various cloud-based speech recognition and text-to-speech “-as-a-service” offerings to develop full-fledged automated call centers of their own.

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