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Killexams : IBM Administration plan - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/000-129 Search results Killexams : IBM Administration plan - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/000-129 https://killexams.com/exam_list/IBM Killexams : IBM Report: Data Breach Costs Reach All-Time High

For the twelfth year in a row, healthcare saw the costliest breaches among all industries with the average cost reaching $10.1 million per breach.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — IBM (NYSE: IBM) Security released the annual Cost of a Data Breach Report, revealing costlier and higher-impact data breaches than ever before, with the global average cost of a data breach reaching an all-time high of $4.35 million for studied organizations. With breach costs increasing nearly 13% over the last two years of the report, the findings suggest these incidents may also be contributing to rising costs of goods and services. In fact, 60% of studied organizations raised their product or services prices due to the breach, when the cost of goods is already soaring worldwide amid inflation and supply chain issues.

The perpetuality of cyberattacks is also shedding light on the “haunting effect” data breaches are having on businesses, with the IBM report finding 83% of studied organizations have experienced more than one data breach in their lifetime. Another factor rising over time is the after-effects of breaches on these organizations, which linger long after they occur, as nearly 50% of breach costs are incurred more than a year after the breach.

The 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report is based on in-depth analysis of real-world data breaches experienced by 550 organizations globally between March 2021 and March 2022. The research, which was sponsored and analyzed by IBM Security, was conducted by the Ponemon Institute.

Some of the key findings in the 2022 IBM report include:

  • Critical Infrastructure Lags in Zero Trust – Almost 80% of critical infrastructure organizations studied don’t adopt zero trust strategies, seeing average breach costs rise to $5.4 million – a $1.17 million increase compared to those that do. All while 28% of breaches amongst these organizations were ransomware or destructive attacks.
  • It Doesn’t Pay to Pay – Ransomware victims in the study that opted to pay threat actors’ ransom demands saw only $610,000 less in average breach costs compared to those that chose not to pay – not including the cost of the ransom. Factoring in the high cost of ransom payments, the financial toll may rise even higher, suggesting that simply paying the ransom may not be an effective strategy.
  • Security Immaturity in Clouds – Forty-three percent of studied organizations are in the early stages or have not started applying security practices across their cloud environments, observing over $660,000 on average in higher breach costs than studied organizations with mature security across their cloud environments.
  • Security AI and Automation Leads as Multi-Million Dollar Cost Saver – Participating organizations fully deploying security AI and automation incurred $3.05 million less on average in breach costs compared to studied organizations that have not deployed the technology – the biggest cost saver observed in the study.

“Businesses need to put their security defenses on the offense and beat attackers to the punch. It’s time to stop the adversary from achieving their objectives and start to minimize the impact of attacks. The more businesses try to perfect their perimeter instead of investing in detection and response, the more breaches can fuel cost of living increases.” said Charles Henderson, Global Head of IBM Security X-Force. “This report shows that the right strategies coupled with the right technologies can help make all the difference when businesses are attacked.”

Over-trusting Critical Infrastructure Organizations

Concerns over critical infrastructure targeting appear to be increasing globally over the past year, with many governments’ cybersecurity agencies urging vigilance against disruptive attacks. In fact, IBM’s report reveals that ransomware and destructive attacks represented 28% of breaches amongst critical infrastructure organizations studied, highlighting how threat actors are seeking to fracture the global supply chains that rely on these organizations. This includes financial services, industrial, transportation and healthcare companies amongst others.

Despite the call for caution, and a year after the Biden Administration issued a cybersecurity executive order that centers around the importance of adopting a zero trust approach to strengthen the nation’s cybersecurity, only 21% of critical infrastructure organizations studied adopt a zero trust security model, according to the report. Add to that, 17% of breaches at critical infrastructure organizations were caused due to a business partner being initially compromised, highlighting the security risks that over-trusting environments pose.

Businesses that Pay the Ransom Aren’t Getting a “Bargain”

According to the 2022 IBM report, businesses that paid threat actors’ ransom demands saw $610,000 less in average breach costs compared to those that chose not to pay – not including the ransom amount paid. However, when accounting for the average ransom payment, which according to Sophos reached $812,000 in 2021, businesses that opt to pay the ransom could net higher total costs – all while inadvertently funding future ransomware attacks with capital that could be allocated to remediation and recovery efforts and looking at potential federal offenses.

The persistence of ransomware, despite significant global efforts to impede it, is fueled by the industrialization of cybercrime. IBM Security X-Force discovered the duration of studied enterprise ransomware attacks shows a drop of 94% over the past three years – from over two months to just under four days. These exponentially shorter attack lifecycles can prompt higher impact attacks, as cybersecurity incident responders are left with very short windows of opportunity to detect and contain attacks. With “time to ransom” dropping to a matter of hours, it’s essential that businesses prioritize rigorous testing of incident response (IR) playbooks ahead of time. But the report states that as many as 37% of organizations studied that have incident response plans don’t test them regularly.

Hybrid Cloud Advantage

The report also showcased hybrid cloud environments as the most prevalent (45%) infrastructure amongst organizations studied. Averaging $3.8 million in breach costs, businesses that adopted a hybrid cloud model observed lower breach costs compared to businesses with a solely public or private cloud model, which experienced $5.02 million and $4.24 million on average respectively. In fact, hybrid cloud adopters studied were able to identify and contain data breaches 15 days faster on average than the global average of 277 days for participants.

The report highlights that 45% of studied breaches occurred in the cloud, emphasizing the importance of cloud security. However, a significant 43% of reporting organizations stated they are just in the early stages or have not started implementing security practices to protect their cloud environments, observing higher breach costs2. Businesses studied that did not implement security practices across their cloud environments required an average 108 more days to identify and contain a data breach than those consistently applying security practices across all their domains.

Additional findings in the 2022 IBM report include:

  • Phishing Becomes Costliest Breach Cause – While compromised credentials continued to reign as the most common cause of a breach (19%), phishing was the second (16%) and the costliest cause, leading to $4.91 million in average breach costs for responding organizations.
  • Healthcare Breach Costs Hit Double Digits for First Time Ever– For the 12th year in a row, healthcare participants saw the costliest breaches amongst industries with average breach costs in healthcare increasing by nearly $1 million to reach a record high of $10.1 million.
  • Insufficient Security Staffing – Sixty-two percent of studied organizations stated they are not sufficiently staffed to meet their security needs, averaging $550,000 more in breach costs than those that state they are sufficiently staffed.

To download a copy of the 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report, visit https://www.ibm.com/security/data-breach.

Fri, 29 Jul 2022 02:15:00 -0500 CS Staff en text/html https://www.campussafetymagazine.com/research/ibm-report-data-breach-costs-reach-all-time-high/
Killexams : Biden Signs CHIPS Act Into Law, Sending $53B to US Chipmakers

President Joe Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act into law Tuesday morning, sending $52.7 billion to processor manufacturers over five years in an effort to help the US reclaim semiconductor industry prowess lost to Taiwanese and Korean companies and challenged by increasingly capable Chinese firms.

The legislation has already helped encourage smartphone chip designer Qualcomm to spend $4.2 billion with chipmaker GlobalFoundries to build processors in New York, the White House said in a fact sheet released Tuesday. And Micron will invest $40 billion in memory chip manufacturing capacity, the White House said, a move that could elevate the US share of memory chipmaking from 2% to 10%.

"The CHIPS and Science Act supercharges our efforts to make semiconductors here in America," Biden said in a speech Tuesday at the White House's Rose Garden. "America invented the semiconductor, and this law brings it back home."

It costs billions of dollars to build new chip fabrication facilities, called fabs. The CHIPS Act will knock about $3 billion off a $10 billion leading-edge fab, said Intel, which is sinking more than $40 billion into new and upgraded fabs in Arizona, Ohio, New Mexico and Oregon and stands to be one of the biggest beneficiaries.

US fabs made 37% of processors in 1990, but that's dropped to 12%, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association. The CHIPS Act is designed to reverse that trend, shoring up an industry that's critical to electric vehicles, laptops, weapons systems, washing machines, toys and just about anything that uses electricity about anything with a power plug or battery.

The law emerged after a chip shortage made it clear how much US industries and the US military now rely on processors made overseas. As Intel, a Silicon Valley fixture, struggled to advance over the last decade, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) in Taiwan and Samsung in South Korea took the lead. China, eager to foster a native chipmaking industry, subsidized its own rivals like Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC).

That chip shortage frustrated consumers eager to lap up PlayStation 5 game consoles during the COVID pandemic and shuttered US auto plants as crucial electronic components stalled manufacturing. The shortage also provided a measure of rare bipartisan support for the CHIPS Act, which passed with a 243-187 vote in the House of Representatives and a 64-33 vote in the Senate in late July.

Waning chip manufacturing in the US comes with geopolitical worries. China claims Taiwan as its own territory and has been saber-rattling with military exercises since Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives, visited Taiwan last week. Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent cessation of high-tech product imports also shows how vulnerable a country without its own industry can become. This week, the chip shortage led the US auto industry to drop production of 100,000 vehicles.

RK Anand, chief product officer at automotive AI chip designer Recogni and a longtime Silicon Valley executive, laid out the problem. One of his earlier employers, network gear maker Juniper Networks, relied on IBM to make its chips. But as Big Blue slipped behind, Juniper switched manufacturing to TSMC to keep up with rivals like Cisco, Anand said. IBM eventually exited the chipmaking business altogether.

"In the last 20 years, it's been disappointing that we've given up that leadership," Anand said. "We better get back on it."

Nantero, a startup trying to leapfrog today's memory chips using an exotic material called carbon nanotubes, could be the opposite example to Juniper, hoping CHIPS Act funding will let it find a fab in the US. 

"Right now fab access is so limited in the US that many companies either fail or go overseas while waiting in line," said Chief Executive Rob Snowberger, who attended Biden's signing. "Nantero will now be able to plan our future around staying in the US."

Massive government subsidies are anathema to the free-market ethos that generally prevails in the US, but CHIPS Act allies argue they're necessary to compete with subsidies in South Korea, China and Taiwan. Japan's government subsidizes the development of the exact technology Nantero hopes to commercialize.

US chipmaking won't suddenly surge

Businesses and consumers shouldn't expect immediate relief from the CHIPS Act. For one thing, it takes years to build a new fab, so new capacity won't arrive right away.

For another, many of the processors that have stalled products are built with older, less advanced chipmaking technology. Chipmakers are generally more eager to invest instead in leading-edge methods that make premium chips like those that power Apple iPhones, Nvidia graphics accelerators and Amazon data centers.

Making a handful of fabs significantly cheaper can help US manufacturing, but it's a long way from building the rich network of companies that prevail in Asia, supplying materials like giant polysilicon crystal ingots that are sliced into chip wafers to all the testing, packaging and assembly work that takes place after chips are made.

"Efforts must also support the larger semiconductor ecosystem, which spans everything from wafer substrates to chip probers to items as mundane as shipping materials," said Jim Witham, CEO of power electronics maker GaN Systems. He believes the CHIPS Act funding is only a beginning. "We've lost many of these capabilities in the US, and rebuilding them takes time and money."

The Boston Consulting Group expects it would cost $350 billion to $420 billion to create a self-sufficient semiconductor supply chain in the US.

Fusion Worldwide, which distributes chips worldwide and has had a front-row seat to the semiconductor supply chain crisis, expects it'll be two or three years before the CHIPS Act funding really makes a difference. And the law largely sidesteps some of the most acute shortages, said Paul Romano, chief operating officer at Fusion.

"The legislation will Improve long-term US standing around newer, complex chip production but isn't likely to do much to boost supply of older technology components," still in high demand for cars and other industries, Romano said. Although the CHIPS Act helps US manufacturing, it "won't go nearly far enough in helping achieve parity with the Asian fabs."

Chip industry cheers the CHIPS Act

Chip industry players cheered the law. The Semiconductor Industry Association estimates that it will create thousands of jobs and make supply chains more resilient for industry and military customers that rely on processors. The Information Technology Industry Council, whose members include dozens of tech companies, included the CHIPS Act as a top policy priority. It's now the Commerce Department's job to rapidly approve CHIPS Act applications so the money can flow, the ITI said in a statement Tuesday.

Under the law, companies receiving the subsidies may not use them for dividend payments or stock buybacks, Biden said.

The CHIPS Act includes $39 billion in manufacturing incentives. Of that $2 billion is for the older generation chips that automakers and military equipment makers require. It also includes $13.2 billion to spur research and development and to Improve worker training.

The full title of the legislation — the CHIPS and Science Act, with CHIPS standing for Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors — is so named because the $53.7 billion in semiconductor industry funds are part of a larger $280 billion law that also funds basic and applied research at the government's National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Commerce Department.

The chipmaking subsidies and research funding will "cultivate the tech hubs of tomorrow, spurring new innovations and technologies right here at home," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, which stands to benefit from investments by GlobalFoundries and other chip makers.

Tue, 09 Aug 2022 11:15:00 -0500 See full bio en text/html https://www.cnet.com/tech/computing/biden-signs-chips-act-into-law-sending-53b-to-us-chipmakers/
Killexams : Cybersecurity - what’s the real cost? Ask IBM
(Pixabay)

Cybersecurity has always been a concern for every type of organization. Even in normal times, a major breach is more than just the data economy’s equivalent of a ram-raid on Fort Knox; it has knock-on effects on trust, reputation, confidence, and the viability of some technologies. This is what IBM calls the “haunting effect”.

A successful attack breeds more, of course, both on the same organization again, and on others in similar businesses, or in those that use the same compromised systems. The unspoken effect of this is rising costs for everyone, as all enterprises are forced to spend money and time on checking if they have been affected too.

But in our new world of COVID-19, disrupted economies, climate change, remote working, soaring inflation, and looming recession, all such effects are all amplified. Throw in a war that’s hammering on Europe’s door (with political echoes across the Middle East and Asia) and it’s a wonder any of us can get out of bed in the morning.

So, what are the real costs of a successful cyberattack – not just hacks, viruses, and Trojans, but also phishing, ransomware, and concerted campaigns against supply chains and code repositories?

According to IBM’s latest annual survey, breach costs have risen by an unlucky 13% over the past two years, as attackers, which include hostile states, have probed the systemic and operational weaknesses exposed by the pandemic.

The global average cost of a data breach has reached an all-time high of $4.35 million – at least, among the 550 organizations surveyed by the Ponemon Institute for IBM Security (over a year from March 2021). Indeed, IBM goes so far as to claim that breaches may be contributing to the rising costs of goods and services. The survey states:

Sixty percent of studied organizations raised their product or services prices due to the breach, when the cost of goods is already soaring worldwide amid inflation and supply chain issues.

Incidents are also “haunting” organizations, says the company, with 83% having experienced more than one data breach, and with 50% of costs occurring more than a year after the successful attack.

Cloud maturity is a key factor, adds the report:

Forty-three percent of studied organizations are in the early stages [of cloud adoption] or have not started applying security practices across their cloud environments, observing over $660,000 in higher breach costs, on average, than studied organizations with mature security across their cloud environments.

Forty-five percent of respondents run a hybrid cloud infrastructure. This leads to lower average breach costs than among those operating a public- or private-cloud model: $3.8 million versus $5.02 million (public) and $4.24 million (private).

That said, those are still significant costs, and may suggest that complexity is what deters attackers, rather than having a single target to hit. Nonetheless, hybrid cloud adopters are able to identify and contain data breaches 15 days faster on average, says the report.

However, with 277 days being the average time lag – an extraordinary figure – the real lesson may be that today’s enterprise systems are adept at hiding security breaches, which may appear as normal network traffic. Forty-five percent of breaches occurred in the cloud, says the report, so it is clearly imperative to get on top of security in that domain.

IBM then makes the following bold claim :

Participating organizations fully deploying security AI and automation incurred $3.05 million less on average in breach costs compared to studied organizations that have not deployed the technology – the biggest cost saver observed in the study.

Whether this finding will stand for long as attackers explore new ways to breach automated and/or AI-based systems – and perhaps automate attacks of their own invisibly – remains to be seen. Compromised digital employee, anyone?

Global systems at risk

But perhaps the most telling finding is that cybersecurity has a political dimension – beyond the obvious one of Russian, Chinese, North Korean, or Iranian state incursions, of course.

Concerns over critical infrastructure and global supply chains are rising, with threat actors seeking to disrupt global systems that include financial services, industrial, transportation, and healthcare companies, among others.

A year ago in the US, the Biden administration issued an Executive Order on cybersecurity that focused on the urgent need for zero-trust systems. Despite this, only 21% of critical infrastructure organizations have so far adopted a zero-trust security model, according to the report. It states:

Almost 80% of the critical infrastructure organizations studied don’t adopt zero-trust strategies, seeing average breach costs rise to $5.4 million – a $1.17 million increase compared to those that do. All while 28% of breaches among these organizations were ransomware or destructive attacks.

Add to that, 17% of breaches at critical infrastructure organizations were caused due to a business partner being initially compromised, highlighting the security risks that over-trusting environments pose.

That aside, one of the big stories over the past couple of years has been the rise of ransomware: malicious code that locks up data, enterprise systems, or individual computers, forcing users to pay a ransom to (they hope) retrieve their systems or data.

But according to IBM, there are no obvious winners or losers in this insidious practice. The report adds:

Businesses that paid threat actors’ ransom demands saw $610,000 less in average breach costs compared to those that chose not to pay – not including the ransom amount paid.

However, when accounting for the average ransom payment – which according to Sophos reached $812,000 in 2021 – businesses that opt to pay the ransom could net higher total costs, all while inadvertently funding future ransomware attacks.”

The persistence of ransomware is fuelled by what IBM calls the “industrialization of cybercrime”.

The risk profile is also changing. Ransomware attack times show a massive drop of 94% over the past three years, from over two months to just under four days. Good news? Not at all, says the report, as the attacks may be higher impact, with more immediate consequences (such as destroyed data, or private data being made public on hacker forums).

My take

The key lesson in cybersecurity today is that all of us are both upstream and downstream from partners, suppliers, and customers in today’s extended enterprises. We are also at the mercy of reused but compromised code from trusted repositories, and even sometimes from hardware that has been compromised at source.

So, what is the answer? Businesses should ensure that their incident responses are tested rigorously and frequently in advance – along with using red-, blue-, or purple-team approaches (thinking like a hacker, a defender, or both).

Regrettably, IBM says that 37% of organizations that have IR plans in place fail to test them regularly. To paraphrase Spinal Tap, you can’t code for stupid.

Wed, 27 Jul 2022 20:21:00 -0500 BRAINSUM en text/html https://diginomica.com/cybersecurity-whats-real-cost-ask-ibm
Killexams : Telos Corporation's (TLS) CEO John Wood on Q2 2022 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Telos Corporation (NASDAQ:TLS) Q2 2022 Earnings Conference Call August 9, 2022 8:30 AM ET

Company Participants

Christina Mouzavires - Investor Relations

John Wood - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Mark Bendza - Executive Vice President and CFO

Mark Griffin - Executive Vice President, Security Solutions

Conference Call Participants

Zach Cummins - B. Riley

Rudy Kessinger - D.A. Davidson

Alex Henderson - Needham & Company

Nehal Chokski - Northland Capital Markets

Brad Clark - BMO

Operator

Good day and thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Telos Corporation Second Quarter 2022 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. After the speakers’ presentation, there will be a question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions]

Please be advised, today’s conference is being recorded. I would now like to hand the conference over to your speaker today, Christina Mouzavires. Please go ahead.

Christina Mouzavires

Good morning. Thank you for joining us to discuss Telos Corporation’s second quarter 2022 financial results. With me today is John Wood, Chairman and CEO of Telos; and Mark Bendza, Executive Vice President and CFO of Telos.

Let me quickly review the format of today’s presentation. John will begin with brief remarks on our 2022 second quarter results and Telos’ strategic priority, and Mark will cover the financials and guidance for the third quarter and full year 2022. Then we will open the line for questions-and-answers where Mark Griffin, Executive Vice President of Security Solutions will also join us.

The earnings press release was issued earlier today and is posted on the Telos Investor Relations website where this call is being simultaneously webcast. Additionally, we have provided presentation slides on our Investor Relations website.

Before we begin, we want to emphasize that some of our statements on this call are forward-looking statements and are made under the safe harbor provisions of the federal securities laws. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties.

Actual results could materially differ for various reasons, including the factors described in today’s earnings press release and the comments made during this conference call and in our SEC filings. We do not undertake any duty to update any forward-looking statements.

In addition, during today’s call we will discuss non-GAAP financial measures, which we believe are useful as supplemental and clarifying measures that help investors understand Telos’ financial performance.

These non-GAAP financial measures should be considered in addition to and not as assessed to for or in isolation from GAAP results. You can find additional disclosures regarding these non-GAAP measures, including reconciliations with comparable GAAP results in our earnings press release and on the Investor Relations portion at our website. Please also note that financial comparisons are year-over-year unless otherwise specified.

The webcast replay of this call will be available for the next year on our company website under the Investor Relations page.

With that, I will turn the call over to John.

John Wood

Thank you, Christina, and good morning, everyone. Let’s begin today on slide three. I am pleased to report that Telos over delivered again on key financial metrics in the second quarter of 2022. Mark will discuss our financial performance later in this call, but at a high level, we delivered $55.8 million of revenue in the second quarter, above our guidance range of $50 million to $54 million, up 4% year-over-year and 11%, sequentially. Gross margin was 37.5%, above our guidance range of 33% to 35%. Finally, we delivered $4.5 million of adjusted EBITDA, above the high end of our guidance range of negative $2 million to positive $2 million and $0.04 of adjusted EPS.

Now, let’s turn to slide four to discuss our recent business highlights and updates. This quarter we announced a new strategic partnership with IBM. Telos is the launch partner for the new active governance service or AGS offering with IBM Security.

Telos and IBM are teaming to provide capabilities to address the significant challenges organizations are facing with cybersecurity and risk compliance. AGS is a unique and comprehensive offering, coupling the Xacta suite of tools with IBM’s services and security expertise to significantly Improve the efficiency of clients’ approach to cyber security risk management in today’s increasingly challenging cyber environment. Target customers include large enterprise organizations in global markets such as financial services, healthcare, telecommunications and energy.

We are very excited about this opportunity to partner with IBM, a leading global organization that brings recognized thought leadership and leading capability in the cybersecurity management space. This relationship also enables us to effectively broaden our reach in the global marketplace for sales of our Xacta suite of tools to drive future growth for Telos.

Beyond the IBM partnership, we have continued to maintain momentum in the current environment. Within the Security Solutions business, Telos received Xacta renewals with several key customers, including the Central Intelligence Agency, The U.S. Department of the Interior, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, our U.S. Federal Reserve Bank and The U.S. Department of Energy, as well as Salesforce.

The company was also awarded new contracts with a foreign government customer, The U.S. Army Space and Missile Command, The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Palantir Technologies and OmniHealth.

We continue to focus on the government and commercial space, and in particular, prioritizing regulated industries. The company also received an important Ghost renewal with a classified customer to continue providing support. Additionally, we were awarded up to a 10-year contract to continue and expand our aviation security practice with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.

Our ONYX technology won first place in the Mobile Fingerprint Information Challenge posted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Finally, the Secure Networks business continued to add to its backlog with new wins, including a new contract to support The U.S. Air Force SIPRNet Enterprise Modernization.

Let me turn now to some comments on the industry landscape and a number of recent initiatives in Washington, D.C., that presents opportunities for Telos. There are indications that Congress plans to boost spending above the level called for by President Biden in his proposed FY 2023 budget.

The House and Senate versions of the Annual Defense Authorization Bill provides for increasing topline defense spending, respectively $37 billion to $45 billion above the level proposed by the President.

We still have to see how the appropriations process plays out this fall to know how much funding will actually be provided for our military customers, but signs are there that the FY 2023 defense budget will see a meaningful increase.

On the non-defense side, as with defense, we will have to wait for Congress to agree on appropriations legislation. But so far, the spending bills under consideration reflect a consensus that more funding is needed for cybersecurity throughout the various departments and agencies.

A great example of this is with CISA, The Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agency. CISA works to detect and mitigate the effects of cyber attacks on federal, state and local governments, and the private sector, and then manage cyber risks to our critical infrastructure. We understand that recognizing the importance of this mission, the draft Senate Appropriations Bill for DHS seeks to give CISA a 16% increase above last year’s funding.

Congress clearly recognizes that more resources are needed by federal departments and agencies to combat challenges they face in the cyberspace. A major factor in that thinking is the Ukraine situation, which has resulted in continued warnings of potential cyber attacks against U.S. interests, including against U.S. critical infrastructure.

So far, the United States has done an excellent job in preventing what had been expected to be widespread impacts from cyber attacks in retaliation for our support for Ukraine. The policy makers and companies like ours know that the public and private sectors can’t let up and they must continue to follow cybersecurity best practices, including deploying and updating effective cyber defenses.

I will now turn the call over to Mark who will discuss second quarter 2022 financial results and our guidance for the third quarter and full year 2022. Mark?

Mark Bendza

Thank you, John, and thank you everyone for joining us today. Let’s turn to slide five. As John mentioned, we delivered a strong second quarter, with results that exceeded our guidance on key financial metrics.

We reported revenue, gross margin and adjusted EBITDA above the high end of our guidance range. We also delivered $5.4 million of free cash flow, representing a nearly four-fold increase in free cash flow year-over-year.

Before I turn the year-over-year comparison, I just wanted to remind everyone again, as I did in our last earnings call, that we had a large delivery on a lower margin program in our Secure Networks business last year that’s pulled forward from the second quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2021 per the request of our customer.

The accelerated delivery caused with Secure Networks contribution to total revenue to shift from 60% in the first quarter of 2021 to 40% in the second quarter of 2021 and gross margin to shift from 25.9% in the first quarter of 2021 to 42% in the second quarter of 2021, thereby skewing some of the second quarter year-over-year comparisons this year.

So I will provide year-over-year comparisons for the second quarter as usual and also for the first half overall to normalize for the accelerated shipment from the second quarter to the first quarter of last year.

Okay, with that backdrop, I will go into details. For the second quarter, total sales were $55.8 million, up 11% sequentially and up 4% year-over-year. Performance about the high end of the guidance range of $50 million to $54 million was driven by favorable timing variances and pre-existing higher margin programs in Security Solutions and strong supply chain management in Secure Networks.

Security Solutions sales were $30.8 million, up 15% sequentially and down 4% year-over-year, due to lower revenues on a classified program and the completion of the U.S. Census program, partially offset by growth in other pre-existing programs.

Secure Network sales were $25 million, up 7% sequentially and up 17% year-over-year, due to continued strong supply chain management, higher revenues on major programs and favorable year-over-year comparison due to the previously mentioned large delivery that pulled forward from the second quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2021.

Turning to profitability and cash flow, second quarter gross margin was 37.5%, above our guidance range of 33% to 35%, primarily due to the margin outperformance in Security Solutions.

Gross margin contracted 449 basis points year-over-year and gross profit declined 7%. The gross margin contraction was driven by a less favorable sales mix between Security Solutions and Secure Networks compared to last year, as well as gross margin contraction within Secure Networks, both of which were the result of the previously mentioned early shipments in 2021.

Security Solutions revenues as a percentage of total company revenues declined from 60% in 2021 to 55% in 2022, as Secure Networks gross margin contracted nearly 700 basis points to 18%. Security Solution gross margins held constant at 53.3%.

Adjusted EBITDA declined by approximately $700,000 due to lower gross profit, partially offset by lower below the line expenses.

Free cash flow improved nearly four-fold to $5.4 million. The improvement in free cash flow continued the trends from the first quarter of more favorable working capital dynamics compared to last year and created an opportunity to begin returning capital to shareholders.

On May 24th, we announced that our Board of Directors authorized a share repurchase program for up to $50 million of the company’s stock. During the second quarter, we deployed $3 million to repurchase over 360,000 shares at a weighted average price of $8.33 and we have continued repurchasing stock daily during the third quarter. During the third quarter till last Friday, we deployed an additional $1.1 million to repurchase nearly 143,000 shares at a weighted average price of $7.86.

Now let’s recap on the first half overall to normalize for the accelerated shipments from the second quarter to the first quarter of 2021. First half revenues declined 3%. Secure Networks revenues declined 11%, as expected, due to the headwind associated with the ongoing wind down of two large programs in 2022. Security Solutions revenues grew 5%, primarily due to the ramp up of a confidential program.

First half gross margin expanded 374 basis points to 37.6% and gross profit increased 8%. The gross margin expansion was driven by a more favorable sales mix within Security Solutions and Secure Networks, as well as gross margin expansion within Security Solutions.

Security Solutions revenues as a percentage of total company revenues increased from 50% in 2021 to 54% in 2022 and Security Solutions, gross margin expanded 638 basis points to 54.5% due to the ramp of high margin progress. Secure Networks gross margin contracted 206 basis points to 17.2%.

Adjusted EBITDA declined $1.3 million due to higher SG&A, offsetting $2.8 million of higher gross profit.

Lastly, free cash flow was $10.3 million higher due to favorable working capital dynamics, driving significantly better cash flow from operations in the first and second quarters. Overall, our first half has performed ahead of forecast and guidance, primarily due to favorable timing differences -- variances between the second half and the first half in orders and deliveries on pre-existing programs and diligent supply chain management.

Now, let’s turn to slide six to discuss our outlook for the third quarter. For the third quarter, we forecast sales in a range of $58 million to $62 million, up 4% to 11% sequentially and down 10% to 15% year-over-year.

We forecast Security Solutions revenues to be down mid- to high-teens year-over-year, primarily due to the completion of the 2020 Census Program in 2021, lower orders expected on a single pre-existing program and lumpiness of perpetual licensing.

We continue to make good progress on the TSA PreCheck program, but revenues for this program in 3Q, if any, are expected to be de minimis. We expect Secure Networks revenues to be down mid-single digits to mid-teens year-over-year due to the ongoing wind down of two large programs coming to a successful completion.

We expect gross margins to be down approximately 350 basis points to 500 basis points year-over-year, primarily due to a slightly lower weighting of revenues to our high margin Security Solutions segment and revenue within both Security Solutions and Secure Networks mixing lower in the quarter.

Below the line expenses, excluding stock compensation expense, are expected to be approximately $1 million higher due to the ramp of R&D and G&A investments during 2021. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be $3.5 million to $5 million, representing a 6% to 8% mark.

Now, let’s turn to slide seven to discuss our updated outlook for 2022. For the full year, we have narrowed our revenue range from our prior guidance of$226 million to $257 million to our updated range of $226 million to $242 million. There is no change to the low end of the revenue.

Reduction at the high end of the range reflects lower assumption on TSA PreCheck revenues and new business in the second half, partially offset by higher revenues on pre-existing programs within Security Solutions.

We have lowered and widely narrowed our adjusted EBITDA range from our prior guidance of $21 million to $28 million to our updated range of $18 million to $24 million. The reduction at the high end of the range reflects our -- reflects lower gross profit associated with the corresponding revenue reduction, partially offset by lower than previously forecasted below the line expenses. The reduction at the low end of the range primarily reflects the impact of lower than previously forecasted gross margins on Secure Networks in the second half, including on new business.

Overall, we have performed ahead of forecast in the first half, our core business is performing well and we expect that to continue, pre-existing programs are performing well, sequential sales growth is expected to continue into the third and fourth quarters as originally planned, and we are taking a slightly more cautious approach to new business in the second half in part as a result of the more complex macro environment, which could create some headwinds for our new business growth initiatives in the short-term.

With that, I will pass it back to John who will wrap up on slide eight.

John Wood

Thanks, Mark. In summary, we delivered a solid second quarter during which we formed a new strategic partnership with IBM and outpaced guidance on our key financial metrics. We also delivered gross margin expansion and strong free cash flow in the first half of the year and have begun to return free cash flow to shareholders through share repurchases.

Our core business and pre-existing programs are performing well and we expect that to continue for the balance of the year. We are taking a slightly more cautious approach to new business in the second half of the year and are managing our forecasting expenses accordingly.

With that, we are happy to take questions.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from the line of that Zach Cummins with D.A. Davidson, oh, I am sorry with B. Riley. Your line is open. Please go ahead.

Zach Cummins

Yeah. Thanks. Good morning. Hi, John. Hi, Mark. Thanks for taking my questions. Mark, I -- my question is really geared towards the updated guidance for the year. I mean can you give a little more granularity around the assumptions you are making for TSA PreCheck and maybe why you are taking a slightly more cautious approach to new business wins here in the second half of the year?

Mark Bendza

Yeah. Sure, Zach. Thanks for your question. So why don’t I dissect that a little bit for you? So, at the high end of the guidance range, we are taking sales down by $15 million, $11 million of the $15 million is PreCheck net revenue. So we previously assumed $12 million of net revenues for PreCheck at the high end of the guidance, now we are assuming $1 million.

The PreCheck process is progressing well. Obviously, we don’t have the ATO yet and so we felt it appropriate to take that guide down, but certainly, wanted to leave revenue in there as a recognition that we still expect the ATO this year.

The balance of the $4 million, the other $4 million, is really net reductions across the rest of the portfolio, primarily driven by lower assumptions on new business in the second half. The thought there is, even though we are not seeing impact from the more complicated macro environment right now in our core business, our core business is performing very well, it’s not being impacted by the macro environment and you are seeing that in the second quarter results.

But we wanted to acknowledge at least as we scrub the forecast for PreCheck, we wanted to take a broader look at some of the higher risk items in the forecast. For example, anywhere where we are selling new solutions for pre-existing solution to new customers in new end markets, we wanted to take a slightly more cautious approach there.

So that’s the $4 million of additional net reduction. To put that in perspective, at the midpoint of the range that would represent about 80 basis points of year-over-year growth, so a very modest reduction as a nod, in part to the macro environment, but very modest nonetheless.

On adjusted EBITDA at the high end of the guidance, we are taking by $4 million. That is the reduction in the gross profit corresponding to the revenue reduction, partially offset by reduction in below the line expense.

And then at the low end, no change to sales, but what you are seeing in the $3 million of lower adjusted EBITDA is lower gross margin on Secure Networks, primarily in new business in the second half.

Zach Cummins

Understood. That’s helpful. Much appreciated and best of luck in the coming quarter.

John Wood

Thanks a lot.

Mark Bendza

Thanks, Zach.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Rudy Kessinger with D.A. Davidson. Your line is open. Please go ahead.

Rudy Kessinger

Hey, guys. So just following up on that question there, I guess, the $4 million reduction at the top end, I am just more conservative ex-TSA and the rest of the portfolio. I guess, I would just ask, the channel and the direct sales reps, are they meeting your expectations from, say, the start this year on pipeline build in sales production as we get into the second half year? And then, secondly, on IBM, do you have anything incremental baked into the guide this year for IBM? And I guess just bigger picture, how big of a driver or growth -- how much can IBM be, say, in maybe 2023?

John Wood

Hey, Rudy. This is John. I will take first -- I will take the second question and I will ask Mark Griffin to answer the first one. As it relates to IBM, we have a couple of hundred thousand dollars in our model for purposes of this year.

As it relates to the -- how big it can be, we think it could be quite sizable and that’s not a good number -- that’s not me able to give you -- I am not able to give you a modeling perspective as yet. What I can say however is that the their pipeline is filling up quite rapidly with what I would consider to be Tier 1 names, large car manufacturers, large banks, large pharmaceutical companies, countries, et cetera, places that I think would be very difficult for us to get into on our own and really what’s happened is that they have embedded Xacta as their launch partner in their advanced -- its governance solutions. So I think it’s got a lot of potential in front of us.

As we put out our guide for 2023, I am sure we will give you much greater detail. But I am quite happy with how the -- how that relationship is really coming out in a fully blossoming way, much like I had hoped it was going to be with the cloud service providers, but they have been quite, as you are well aware slower. So here IBM is completely embraced it. They are also looking at using it internally. So I think there is a great opportunity for us with IBM in over the next five years to 10 years. And Mark, if you have a mic, can you answer the first question on the sales force?

Mark Griffin

Sure. Hello, Rudy. Mark Griffin. Commercial adoption is happening, but obviously, we took a more cautious and slower approach than initially planned. We are ongoing and continuing to fine-tune the staff, not only in the sales area, but also increase the capture and business development areas to achieve operational efficiencies and maximize our potential.

So, yes, we are seeing progress. The pipeline is increasing. We are seeing some opportunities that will close in late Q3 and in Q4. But we continue to fine-tune that staff and look for additional opportunities and growth from additional -- look across operations in the sales and Capture BD areas.

John Wood

Go ahead.

Operator

Thank you. And our next question comes from the line of Alex Henderson with Needham & Company. Your line is open. Please go ahead.

Alex Henderson

Thanks. I am going to break little bit, just ask two questions, one just why you think there’s any improvement in TSA. The primary question is on the Xacta. It’s very difficult looking at the numbers to cut through the noise and understand exactly what’s going on with the product. Can you give us some sense of what the growth rate, based on your current guidance for Xacta on a full year basis? Is it actually producing double-digit growth, is it flat, is it up 20%? What -- can you just give us some parameters around what the true underlying growth rate is, because it’s kind of lost in the numbers?

Mark Bendza

Yeah. Hey, Alex. It’s Mark. So on our Information Assurance business for 2022, I mean, as you know, we don’t guide at that level. But I would say, we are probably going to end somewhere in the -- we are probably going to be somewhere in the, call it, low-to-mid single digits on the year, say, mid single-digit on year, higher at the high end of the range but, call it, midpoint -- kind of mid-single digits.

Alex Henderson

And the reason for the TSA optimism that it actually was going to close, I mean, you thought it was going to close in September, then you thought it was going to close at the end of the year, now we are still thinking it’s somehow going to close and that it’s improved. What makes you think that?

Mark Griffin

Sure, Alex. This is Mark Griffin. So ultimately we follow TSA guidelines and schedule for launch. We are engaged with them extensively on a daily basis going through their launch plan and their security approvals.

We are getting to the end of that schedule and we are in this process now deploying to our enrollment sites and gearing up training and operational enrollment capabilities for those site. So every indication is we are following TSA schedule. They are positive on our results at this point and we fully expect to launch this year.

Alex Henderson

So just so I understand, when you say gearing up training, they have been instructed you to train your employees and they are -- they understand that that’s an expense you are carrying and therefore they wouldn’t stretch that…

Mark Griffin

Look…

Alex Henderson

…ask you do that it would if it wasn’t imminent. Is that the right way we should be studying that?

John Wood

Yeah. Would you explain a little more about...

Mark Griffin

Sure.

John Wood

…if you could.

Mark Griffin

Alex, yeah, the entire program is under guidance and policy and procedures from TSA. So every aspect of the program is reviewed and approved by TSA. And so everything we do from approval of sites, to training of personnel, to our soft launch, to our security process and procedures are all controlled by TSA.

So, yes, TSA reviews every document. There are contractual delivery -- deliverables that we have to adhere to on every aspect of this launch. So, yes, TSA is the ultimate approval of when we launch, but we are meeting their schedules and we are doing everything that they are asking in the time frame they are asking for a launch this year.

Alex Henderson

Great. Thanks.

Operator

Thank you. And our next question comes from the line of Nehal Chokski with Northland Capital Markets. Your line is open. Please go ahead.

Nehal Chokski

Yeah. Thank you and congrats on the solid results and commend you, Mark, on especially a clear guidance deck. Thank you very much for that. Where are you guys in terms of percent of software billing sold on a term basis versus perpetual basis now and relative to the one, two and four quarters ago?

John Wood

That’s a good question. I would say, the majority of what we are selling now, Nehal, is subscription or term versus perpetual and that’s true in our pipeline as well that the vast majority of our pipeline are subscription oriented.

There are a couple of exceptions. There are a couple of government examples that are exceptions, but the vast majority of the remaining pipeline, whether you are talking about ACA or Ghost or you are talking about Xacta, there are going to be subscription based or term based licenses versus perpetual.

Nehal Chokski

Okay. Great. And how much of an impact does that transition have on the projection of low-to-mid single-digit growth for Xacta?

John Wood

It has a -- it definitely has an impact. I don’t know the number off the top my head. But in the past, when we would do, say, we did $6.5 million in revenue. That was all perpetual. My guess right now is we are at about 60% or 50% perpetual currently and I think going forward it’s going to be -- the vast majority is going to be term or subscription.

Nehal Chokski

And then to be clear, what is -- for every dollar of perpetual that’s capitalized into term, what the...

John Wood

Basically -- what that basically means is, if I am delivering on a $6 million number for the year and it’s all term, I have got to deliver $12 million of orders by no later than June 30th.

Nehal Chokski

Got it. Great. Thank you. And then my last question is that, Mark you alluded to in terms of a more cautious outlook on the macro being part out for the $15 million take down on the high end of the guidance, but that you are not seeing any impact yet. Why do you think you are not seeing any impact yet?

Mark Bendza

Correct. So what I am distinguishing between there is our core business. Our core business has been very strong through the first half of the year and including in the second quarter as the macro became choppier. So we are not seeing any impact there. I think it’s really just the nature of our portfolio and the customers and markets that we serve.

And then, for the second half, again, slightly outside of our core business where we are selling either new solutions or pre-existing to new end markets and customers, we just wanted to take a finer point on that forecast. And again, the net effect is only 80 basis points of year-over-year growth.

Nehal Chokski

Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. And our next question comes from the line of Brad Clark with BMO. Your line is open. Please go ahead.

Brad Clark

Hi. Thanks for taking my question. I want to ask a question about the sort of new business slowdown and how it’s in the guide and so much more of a clarification. And what I am trying to understand is, the deals out there that are sort of being pushed back either by the customers or from Telos’ perspective given the sort of proposed margin profile and it’s more not so good business at this or is it, yeah, it basically trying to understand between those two, more from the customer side or from Telos’ side to sort of push back and delay the new business? That’s it from me. Thank you.

John Wood

So, it depends on the customer’s side, Brad. The government’s side is always -- it takes longer than people think and that we have mainly built into our guide. On the commercial side, I think, we are actually having success. But what’s happening is they are starting small and building out over time.

So we landed another commercial customer in this quarter. It started out being a six-digit, if you will starting place for it, but we expect it to be more like a seven-digit plus opportunity for us per year as they rollout Xacta throughout their offerings.

So I would say that on the commercial side, there is more of a try it and buy it, they are going to buy it small and then build out over time whereas in the markets that were more well known as in the Federal Government, there is some level of doing a pilot, but it’s a much more controlled pilot and it typically has a very, very specific beginning, middle and an end. And there the customers will go to an enterprise-wide license more quickly just based on the reputation that we have.

Operator

Thank you. And we do have a follow-up question from the line of Alex Henderson with Needham & Company. Your line is open. Please go ahead.

Alex Henderson

Great. Thank you very much. So I was hoping you could talk a little bit about what’s going on with the voice-over-AWS and is your big chunk of the story when you guys came out was that those guys were going to be reselling it starting kind of in the beginning of this year and that they thought it was a big driver of acceleration of the -- their services business, yet that doesn’t seem to be materializing. Can you talk about what the environment is there and why it’s taking so long or not metastasizing?

John Wood

Metastasizing. That’s a good word. Thank you, Alex. I think it is taking longer. It is frustrating. They continue to use it internally. There are pockets of the organization that still want to build their own capabilities and it is moving but slowly, whereas on the other hand IBM made that -- made the decision not to build, but buy using Xacta as a -- as their launch partner.

And so, there we have a situation that a service provider is using us in the way that I was hoping the cloud providers are going to use us. It doesn’t mean the cloud providers aren’t going to get there. It’s just that they have not got there yet. They do continue to use us. They continue to use us more and more.

On the recent -- one of the recent awards we had that we haven’t announced the name on, it started out in the intelligence community. They see the value of the intelligence community. Now they are bringing us into their Department of Defense side of the business. And then, ultimately, we want to be in a commercial world. So each of the cloud providers has looked at it and gone about it in a little bit of a different way.

In the case of Azure, there has been quite a bit of turnover on the security and compliance side of their house. So we have had to sort of start-over in the case of Azure. And so, each cloud provider has a little bit of a story associated with it, but it is frustrating.

Alex Henderson

Similarly, can you talk a bit about the Ghost product and the progress or what’s going on there in terms of commercializing it into a product that’s used outside of the government security infrastructure play?

John Wood

Sure. And actually you made a comment that I’d like to extend a little bit. One of the things that we have learned about our Xacta is that, it’s in the language of the government. And one of the things that we have to do is we have had to really change verbiage, how we describe things that we do inside of Xacta and I will give you an example.

There is something called a poem in the government world. Poem doesn’t mean anything to the commercial guys. Remediation is the commercial equivalent of a poem. So we had to make changes in the product itself that more reflected what it is that the commercial world want it, which was also something that we had to build in.

As it relates to the -- as it relates to Ghost, we have continued to -- we have got continued progress with JCI offering Ghost as an embedded option with their cameras. Those cameras will -- if you will be hidden on the internet and their security product sales continue to be a very healthy growing business.

We expect a small level of sales out of that to happen late this year with this offering. And again, you have had some -- not turnover but promotions over there. So getting it off the ground has just taken longer than we would have liked.

Having said that, there are other organizations that are looking to do very similar things with JCI and we are in the midst of negotiating those -- with those other players and our hope is that we will be able to roll out some other announcements about how we are building that capability inside of these other players.

Now just to remind you, what we do with advanced cyber analytics is, all of that activity is hidden behind Ghost as well. So there is a -- there are opportunities for us with Ghost, both within our existing customer set, as well as selling through other players.

Alex Henderson

Since we are going around into the second round of questions, I am going to ask one more, if it’s okay. If not then just let me know. But I was hoping you could talk a little bit about the security networking business. It sounds like some projects were pulled forward in that business into the first half and just the favorable timing comment. Does that mean that you are expecting little less in the back half of the year from Security Networks?

Mark Griffin

So not in Secure Networks, the dynamic within Secure Networks, the team there is doing a really terrific job of managing their supply chain risk. And so when we set guidance we account for their supply chain risk in guidance and they have been outperforming that risk. So the program management teams there are doing a terrific job and outperforming guidance.

The pull-forward I think that you are referencing is more or less Security Solutions side. We did have some higher margin order on one program in particular within that business that came into the second quarter that we were otherwise expecting to more so come in the second half. So that’s the favorable…

Alex Henderson

Mark, but….

Mark Griffin

…there.

Alex Henderson

But if you pulled forward the availability of supply then you deployed products sooner than expected. Doesn’t that come out of your pipeline?

Mark Griffin

I am not sure I understand the question.

Alex Henderson

You have got an order from a government agency to deploy a, I don’t know, choose a location…

Mark Griffin

Oh! I think that lapped….

Alex Henderson

… and you told you can’t deploy because you don’t have the product…

Mark Griffin

Alex I think you are ….

Alex Henderson

[Inaudible]

Mark Griffin

…referring to last year. You are talking about the pull-forward last year in 2021, the pull-forward on the Secure...

Alex Henderson

No. I am not. Mark, I am talking about the current environment. You used that as an example because they could not know specifically which projects we are involved. But you have a pipeline of business that you need to deploy gear for in order to get the revenue. If you get the parts sooner than expected…

Mark Griffin

Yeah.

Alex Henderson

… then that do reduces your pipeline into the forward period, correct?

John Wood

That assumes that the pipeline is static, Alex. So the pipeline is not static.

Alex Henderson

Okay. So there’s no erosion in the outlook for the back half of the year within that because of the pull-forward of parts?

John Wood

Not the revenue line.

Mark Griffin

Correct.

Alex Henderson

Thank you. That’s what I was looking for.

Mark Griffin

Yeah. Thanks, Alex.

Operator

Thank you. And I am showing no further questions and I would like to turn the conference back over to John Wood for any further remarks.

John Wood

Oh! Thank you very much, Operator. Well, first, I really well thank our shareholders for your ongoing support. And despite the current environment, I am pleased with our recent performance. And well, our year-to-date has progressed as we have expected. We are taking a balanced approach to the second half and we remain very focused on delivering for our customers and our shareholders. And again, I just want to say thank you to all of you for listening and to the analysts for asking questions and covering our stock. Thanks a lot everybody.

Operator

This concludes today’s conference call. Thank you for participating -- this concludes today’s conference call. Thank you for participating. You may now disconnect. Everyone, have a great day.

Tue, 09 Aug 2022 06:45:00 -0500 en text/html https://seekingalpha.com/article/4532115-telos-corporations-tls-ceo-john-wood-on-q2-2022-results-earnings-call-transcript
Killexams : IBM report: Middle Eastern consumers pay the price as regional data breach costs reach all-time high

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: IBM, the leading global technology company, has published a study highlighting the importance of cybersecurity in an increasingly digital age. According to IBM Security’s annual Cost of a Data Breach Report,  the Middle East has incurred losses of SAR 28 million from data breaches  in 2022 alone — this figure already exceeding the total amount of losses accrued in each of the last eight years. 

The latest edition of the Cost of a Data Breach Report — now in its 17th year — reveals costlier and higher-impact data breaches than ever before. As outlined by the study, the global average cost of a data breach has reached an all-time high of $4.35 million for surveyed organizations. With breach costs increasing nearly 13% over the last two years of the report, the findings suggest these incidents may also be contributing to rising costs of goods and services. In fact, 60% of studied organizations raised their product or services prices due to the breach, when the cost of goods is already soaring worldwide amid inflation and supply chain issues.

Notably, the report ranks the Middle East2 among the top five countries and regions for the highest average cost of a data breach. As per the study, the average total cost of a data breach in the Middle East amounted to SAR 28 million in 2022, the region being second only to the United States on the list. The report also spotlights the industries across the Middle East that have suffered the highest per-record costs in millions; the financial (SAR 1,039), health (SAR 991) and energy (SAR 950) sectors taking first, second and third spot, respectively.    

Fahad Alanazi, IBM Saudi General Manager, said: “Today, more so than ever, in an increasingly connected and digital age, cybersecurity is of the utmost importance. It is essential to safeguard businesses and privacy. As the digital economy continues to evolve, enhanced security will be the marker of a modern, world class digital ecosystem.” 

He continued: “At IBM, we take great pride in enabling the people, businesses and communities we serve to fulfil their potential by empowering them with state-of-the-art services and support. Our findings reiterate just how important it is for us, as a technology leader, to continue pioneering solutions that will help the Kingdom distinguish itself as the tech capital of the region.”

The perpetuality of cyberattacks is also shedding light on the “haunting effect” data breaches are having on businesses, with the IBM report finding 83% of studied organizations have experienced more than one data breach in their lifetime. Another factor rising over time is the after-effects of breaches on these organizations, which linger long after they occur, as nearly 50% of breach costs are incurred more than a year after the breach.

The 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report is based on in-depth analysis of real-world data breaches experienced by 550 organizations globally between March 2021 and March 2022. The research, which was sponsored and analyzed by IBM Security, was conducted by the Ponemon Institute.

Some of the key global findings in the 2022 IBM report include:

  • Critical Infrastructure Lags in Zero Trust – Almost 80% of critical infrastructure organizations studied don’t adopt zero trust strategies, seeing average breach costs rise to $5.4 million – a $1.17 million increase compared to those that do. All while 28% breaches amongst these organizations were ransomware or destructive attacks.
  • It Doesn’t Pay to Pay – Ransomware victims in the study that opted to pay threat actors’ ransom demands saw only $610,000 less in average breach costs compared to those that chose not to pay – not including the cost of the ransom. Factoring in the high cost of ransom payments, the financial toll may rise even higher, suggesting that simply paying the ransom may not be an effective strategy.
  • Security Immaturity in Clouds – Forty-three percent of studied organizations are in the early stages or have not started applying security practices across their cloud environments, observing over $660,000 on average in higher breach costs than studied organizations with mature security across their cloud environments. 
  • Security AI and Automation Leads as Multi-Million Dollar Cost Saver – Participating organizations fully deploying security AI and automation incurred $3.05 million less on average in breach costs compared to studied organizations that have not deployed the technology – the biggest cost saver observed in the study.

“Businesses need to put their security defenses on the offense and beat attackers to the punch. It’s time to stop the adversary from achieving their objectives and start to minimize the impact of attacks. The more businesses try to perfect their perimeter instead of investing in detection and response, the more breaches can fuel cost of living increases.” said Charles Henderson, Global Head of IBM Security X-Force. “This report shows that the right strategies coupled with the right technologies can help make all the difference when businesses are attacked.”

Over-trusting Critical Infrastructure Organizations 

Concerns over critical infrastructure targeting appear to be increasing globally over the past year, with many governments’ cybersecurity agencies urging vigilance against disruptive attacks. In fact, IBM’s report reveals that ransomware and destructive attacks represented 28% of breaches amongst critical infrastructure organizations studied, highlighting how threat actors are seeking to fracture the global supply chains that rely on these organizations. This includes financial services, industrial, transportation and healthcare companies amongst others.

Despite the call for caution, and a year after the Biden Administration issued a cybersecurity executive order that centers around the importance of adopting a zero trust approach to strengthen the nation’s cybersecurity, only 21% of critical infrastructure organizations studied adopt a zero trust security model, according to the report. Add to that, 17% of breaches at critical infrastructure organizations were caused due to a business partner being initially compromised, highlighting the security risks that over-trusting environments pose.

Businesses that Pay the Ransom Aren’t Getting a “Bargain” 

According to the 2022 IBM report, businesses that paid threat actors’ ransom demands saw $610,000 less in average breach costs compared to those that chose not to pay – not including the ransom amount paid. However, when accounting for the average ransom payment, which according to Sophos reached $812,000 in 2021, businesses that opt to pay the ransom could net higher total costs - all while inadvertently funding future ransomware attacks with capital that could be allocated to remediation and recovery efforts and looking at potential federal offenses.

The persistence of ransomware, despite significant global efforts to impede it, is fueled by the industrialization of cybercrime. IBM Security X-Force discovered the duration of studied enterprise ransomware attacks shows a drop of 94% over the past three years – from over two months to just under four days. These exponentially shorter attack lifecycles can prompt higher impact attacks, as cybersecurity incident responders are left with very short windows of opportunity to detect and contain attacks. With “time to ransom” dropping to a matter of hours, it's essential that businesses prioritize rigorous testing of incident response (IR) playbooks ahead of time. But the report states that as many as 37% of organizations studied that have incident response plans don’t test them regularly.

Hybrid Cloud Advantage

The report also showcased hybrid cloud environments as the most prevalent (45%) infrastructure amongst organizations studied. Averaging $3.8 million in breach costs, businesses that adopted a hybrid cloud model observed lower breach costs compared to businesses with a solely public or private cloud model, which experienced $5.02 million and $4.24 million on average respectively. In fact, hybrid cloud adopters studied were able to identify and contain data breaches 15 days faster on average than the global average of 277 days for participants.

The report highlights that 45% of studied breaches occurred in the cloud, emphasizing the importance of cloud security. However, a significant 43% of reporting organizations stated they are just in the early stages or have not started implementing security practices to protect their cloud environments, observing higher breach costs3 . Businesses studied that did not implement security practices across their cloud environments required an average 108 more days to identify and contain a data breach than those consistently applying security practices across all their domains. 

Additional findings in the 2022 IBM report include:

  • Phishing Becomes Costliest Breach Cause – While compromised credentials continued to reign as the most common cause of a breach (19%), phishing was the second (16%) and the costliest cause, leading to $4.91 million in average breach costs for responding organizations.
  • Healthcare Breach Costs Hit Double Digits for First Time Ever– For the 12th year in a row, healthcare participants saw the costliest breaches amongst industries with average breach costs in healthcare increasing by nearly $1 million to reach a record high of $10.1 million.
  • Insufficient Security Staffing – Sixty-two percent of studied organizations stated they are not sufficiently staffed to meet their security needs, averaging $550,000 more in breach costs than those that state they are sufficiently staffed.

Additional Sources

  • To download a copy of the 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report, please visit: https://www.ibm.com/security/data-breach. 
  • Read more about the report’s top findings in this IBM Security Intelligence blog.
  • Sign up for the 2022 IBM Security Cost of a Data Breach webinar on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. ET here.
  • Connect with the IBM Security X-Force team for a personalized review of the findings: https://ibm.biz/book-a-consult.

-Ends-

About IBM Security

IBM Security offers one of the most advanced and integrated portfolios of enterprise security products and services. The portfolio, supported by world-renowned IBM Security X-Force® research, enables organizations to effectively manage risk and defend against emerging threats. IBM operates one of the world's broadest security research, development, and delivery organizations, monitors 150 billion+ security events per day in more than 130 countries, and has been granted more than 10,000 security patents worldwide. For more information, please check www.ibm.com/security, follow @IBMSecurity on Twitter or visit the IBM Security Intelligence blog.

Wed, 27 Jul 2022 22:20:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.zawya.com/en/press-release/research-and-studies/ibm-report-middle-eastern-consumers-pay-the-price-as-regional-data-breach-costs-reach-all-time-high-q1wbuec0
Killexams : This Is the Best Way to Invest in Clean Energy Right Now

If you've bought gas in the past few months, you've felt the surge in fuel prices firsthand, pushing the cost of generating energy, transporting goods, and driving through the roof. In fact, energy costs are the main contributor to the record 9.1% inflation rate in the United States today.

Similarly, the War in Ukraine and the sanctions levied against Russia by the U.S. and Europe make clean energy technology an increasingly important priority for policymakers. Russia is the largest exporter of oil to global markets, and it supplied 32% of Europe's natural gas needs in 2021.

As a result, policymakers are urgently trying to reduce dependence on Russian energy and increasingly paying attention to clean tech like solar, wind, and hydroelectric. In fact, there's a major new bill on the Senate floor that plans to invest $379 billion into climate and energy spending throughout the next few years.

I think there will be a lot more money where that came from, and investors who act now can potentially bank profits on this trend.

But some approaches will be more lucrative than others. You could invest in a clean energy ETF like iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (NASDAQ: ICLN). It's up 3.6% YTD, compared to -13% on the S&P 500. Not bad.

But the real money is in private equity - investing directly in the companies leading the clean energy charge and poised to skyrocket in the years ahead. This is an extremely hot field right now for startups, with billions of VC dollars going into the space.

I think investors like you need to join them. Here's why...

Clean, Green, and Mean Energy

I've told you before about my excitement for the trillion-dollar opportunity in clean energy, but it's only become more pressing throughout 2022.

Apart from turning energy production green, we're also at the beginning of a long-term trend toward electrifying transportation globally.

In fact, a recent article in Bloomberg suggests we've already seen the peak of the internal combustion engine (a.k.a. an engine that burns fuel for power). Quietly (literally and figuratively), electric vehicles are starting to make up a larger and larger share of new car sales. Meanwhile, electric buses are being deployed in cities globally, and a few different startups and corporations are researching how to electrify aviation.

With all these positive tailwinds behind clean energy, it's no wonder we saw $19 billion of VC investment across more than 500 clean-energy startups in the first half of this year. The sector is hot - and it's staying that way.

Made in America

Like clean energy, the manufacturing sector is experiencing increased momentum due to geopolitical competition between the United States and China. For the past few decades, China's been the factory of the world, producing iPhones, fridges, t-shirts, pans, and every other good you can imagine.

However, tensions have risen between the U.S. and China since the Trump administration imposed wide-ranging tariffs on Chinese goods, kicking off a trade war that's continued ever since. Well, the Biden administration not only maintained much of the Trump-era policies imposed on China, it broadened them in many areas. As a result, tensions between the U.S. and China are currently at unprecedented levels.

This puts the supply chains of most businesses at risk of disruption if things escalate further. Today, business leaders across the nation are increasingly focused on moving manufacturing out of China and back to U.S. soil - also known as "reshoring." In fact, the most recent public earnings reports saw record mention of the word "reshoring."

I've personally invested in many companies that sit in and around this trend, including Relativity Space, a startup that designs and builds space-launch rockets for the U.S. private sector and military. For many years we depended on Russian rockets to launch our astronauts and packages into space. Startups like Relativity Space and SpaceX are changing that.

"Made in America" is the new phrase on the tip of every business leader's tongue, and clean energy is top of mind for every policymaker. As investors, we should pay very close attention to those facts and build our portfolios in 2022 and beyond accordingly.

A lot of investors have been hit hard by market volatility this year, and it's understandable that many people want to find safe havens for their money amidst all this chaos.

One thing to remember is this: some of the biggest companies in the world began as startups during the most volatile markets imaginable. Microsoft, IBM, General Motors ... all worth billions today ... all born during the worst recessions in history, and all made their early investors very rich.

For generations, America's wealthiest investors have turned to angel investing to weather tough markets. Now even regular investors can get in.

Get all the details here...

Follow Money Morning onFacebook and Twitter.

Join the conversation. Click here to jump to comments…

Thu, 04 Aug 2022 05:16:00 -0500 Buck Jordan en text/html https://moneymorning.com/2022/08/04/this-is-the-best-way-to-invest-in-clean-energy-right-now/
Killexams : The risky new way of building mobile broadband networks, explained by Rakuten Mobile CEO Tareq Amin

In 2019, the Trump administration brokered a deal allowing T-Mobile to buy Sprint as long as it helped Dish Network stand up a new 5G network to keep the number of national wireless carriers at four and preserve competition in the mobile market. You can say a lot about that deal, but it happened. And now, in 2022, Dish’s network — which is called Project Genesis, that’s a real name — is slowly getting off the ground. And it’s built on a new kind of wireless technology called Open Radio Access Network, or ORAN. Dish’s network is only the third ORAN network in the entire world, and if ORAN works, it will radically change how the entire wireless industry operates.

I have wanted to know more about ORAN for a long time. So today, I’m talking to Tareq Amin, CEO of Rakuten Mobile. Rakuten Mobile is a new wireless carrier in Japan. It just launched in 2020. It’s also the world’s first ORAN network, and Tareq basically pushed this whole concept into existence.

Tareq’s big idea, an Open Radio Access Network, is to break apart the hardware and software and make it so that many more vendors can build radio access hardware that Rakuten Mobile can run its own software on. Think about it like a Mac versus a PC: a Mac is Apple hardware running Apple’s software, while a PC can come from anyone and run Windows just fine or run another operating system if you want.

That’s the promise of ORAN: that it will increase competition and lower costs for cellular base station hardware, allow for more software innovation, and generally make networks faster and more reliable because operators like Rakuten Mobile will be in tighter control of the software that runs the networks and move all that software from the hardware itself to cloud services like Amazon AWS.

Since Rakuten Mobile is making all this software that can run on open hardware, they can sell it to other people. So Tareq is also the CEO of Rakuten Symphony, which — you guessed it — is helping Dish run its network here along with another network called 1&1 in Germany.

I really wanted to know if ORAN is going to work, and how Tareq managed to make it happen in such a traditional industry. So we got into it — like, really into it.

Okay, Tareq Amin, CEO of Rakuten Mobile. Here we go.

Tareq Amin is the CEO of Rakuten Mobile and the CEO of Rakuten Symphony. Welcome to Decoder.

Thank you, Nilay. Pleasure being with you.

I am excited to talk to you. Rakuten Mobile is one of the leaders in this next generation of wireless networks being built and I am very curious about it. It is in Japan, but we have a largely US-based audience, so can you explain what Rakuten is? What kind of company is it, and what is its presence like in Japan?

The Rakuten Group as a whole is not a telecom company, but mostly an internet services company. It started as one of the earliest e-commerce technology companies in Japan. Today, it is one of the largest in e-commerce, fintech, banking, travel, et cetera. These significant internet services were primarily built around a massive ecosystem in Japan, and the only missing piece for Rakuten as a group was the mobile connectivity business. That is why I came to Japan, to help build and launch a disruptive architecture for its mobile 4G/5G network.

Let me make a really bad comparison here. This company has been a huge internet services provider for a while. This is kind of like if Yahoo was massively successful and started a wireless network.

Correct. I mean, think of Amazon. What would happen if Amazon launched a mobile network in the US? This is the best analogy I could give, because Rakuten operates at that scale in Japan. This company with a disruptive mindset, disruptive skill set, disruptive culture, and disruptive organization endorsed my super crazy idea of how we should build this next-generation mobile infrastructure. I think that is where I attribute most of the success. The company’s DNA and culture is just remarkably different.

So it’s huge. How is it structured overall? How is Rakuten Mobile a part of that structure?

Of all the entities today, I think the founder and chairman of the company, Mickey [Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani], is probably one of the most innovative leaders I have ever had the opportunity to work with. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy the interactions we have with him. He is down to earth and his leadership style is definitely hands-on; he doesn’t really operate at a high level.

The fundamental belief of Rakuten is around synergistic impact for its ecosystem. The company has 71 internet-facing services in Japan — we also operate globally, by the way — and you as a consumer have one membership ID that you benefit from. The points/membership/loyalty is the foundation of what this company works on. Regardless of which services you consume, they are all tied through this unique ID across all 71.

The companies and the organizations internally have subsidiaries and legal structures that would separate all of them, but synergistically, they are all connected through this membership/points/loyalty system. We think it is really critical to grow the synergistic impact of not just one service, but the collective services, to the end consumer.

Today, Rakuten Mobile is a subsidiary of the group, and Rakuten Symphony is more focused on our platform business. It focuses on the globalization of the technology and architecture we have done in Japan, by selling and promoting to global customers.

When you say Symphony, do you mean the wireless network technology or the technology of the whole company?

Symphony itself is much more than just wireless. Of course, it has Edge Cloud connectivity architecture, the wireless technology stack for 4G/5G, and life cycle management for automation operations. In August of last year we launched Rakuten Symphony as a formal entity to take all the technology we have now and promote it to a global customer base.

I think one of the reasons you and I are having this conversation is because Dish Network in the United States is a Symphony customer. They are launching a next-generation 5G network and I have been very curious about how that is going. It sounds like Symphony is a big piece of the puzzle there.

To give you a bit of background, maybe we should start with the mobile business in Japan, because it is the foundation this idea initially started from. So, I would tell you, I have had a super crazy life. I am really blessed that I had the opportunity to work with amazing leaders and across three continents so far. My previous experiences before coming to Japan, which involved building another large greenfield network in India called Reliance Jio, have taught me quite a bit.

To be very frank with you, it taught me the value of the US dollar. When you go into a country where the economy of units — how much you could charge a consumer — is one to two US dollars, the idea of supply chain procurement and cost has to change. You have to find a way to build cost-efficient networks.

The launch of Reliance Jio was very successful and became a really good Cinderella story for the industry. I am extremely thankful for what Jio has taught me personally, and I have always wondered what I would do differently if I had a second opportunity to build a greenfield.

To give everybody listening to this podcast some perspective, the mobile technology industry has been about nothing but hardware changes since the inception of the first 1G in 1981. You just take the old hardware and replace it with new hardware. Nothing has changed in the way we deploy networks when the Gs change, even now in 2022. It is still complex and expensive, and I don’t think the essence of AI and autonomy exist in the DNA of these networks. That is why when you look at the cost expenditures to build new technology like 5G, it is so cost-prohibitive.

It was by coincidence that I met the chairman and CEO of Rakuten group, Mickey Mikitani, and I loved everything that Rakuten is all about. Like most people, I didn’t necessarily know who Rakuten was at the time. I only knew of them because I love football (soccer) and they were a big sponsor of FC Barcelona.

When Mickey started explaining the company fabric to me, about its DNA and internet services, I thought about what a significant opportunity he would have if he adopted a different architecture in how these networks are deployed — one that moves away from proprietary hardware. What would happen if we remove the hardware completely and build the world’s first, and only, cloud-native software telco?

Let me be really honest with you, this was just in PPT at the time. I conceived the idea thinking about what I would do differently if I were granted another opportunity like Reliance Jio. One of the first key elements I wanted to change is adopting this unique cloud architecture, because nobody had really deployed an end-to-end horizontal cloud across any telco yet.

The second element — which you have probably heard of because the industry has been talking about it excitedly — is this thing called Open RAN, which is the idea of disaggregating hardware and software. The third element, my ultimate dream, is the enablement of a full autonomous network that is able to run itself, fix itself, and heal itself without human beings.

This is the journey of mobile, and I think this is what differentiates us so much. I can’t say I had a recipe that defined what success would look like, but I was obsessed. Obsessed with creating a world-class organization with a larger ecosystem, and getting everybody motivated about this concept that did not exist four years ago.

Now here we are, post commercial launch. The world is celebrating what we have done. They like and enjoy the ideas around this disaggregated network, and they love the concept of cloud-native architecture. What I love the most is that we opened up a healthy debate across the globe. We really encourage and support what Dish is doing in the United States by deploying Open RAN as an architecture. I think this is absolutely the right platform to build resilient, scalable, cost-effective mobile networks for the future.

That is the high-level story of how this journey started with a super crazy, ambitious idea that nobody thought would succeed. If you go back four years to some of the press releases that were published, I cannot tell you how many times I was told I’m crazy or that I’m going to fail. As I said, we became fanatic about this idea, and that is what drove us all to emotionally connect to the mission, the objective. I am very, very happy to see the results that the team has achieved.

I want to take that in stages. I definitely want to talk about Jio, because it is a really interesting foundational element of this whole story. I want to talk about what you have built with O-RAN, and how that works in the industry. I also want to talk about where it could go as a platform for the network providers. But I have to ask you the Decoder question first. You have described your ideas as super crazy like five times now. You are the CEO of a big wireless provider in Japan, and you are selling that stuff to other CEOs. I have to ask you the Decoder question. How do you make decisions?

I know this might sound a little controversial, but I have to tell you. In any project I have taken, even from my early days, we have always been taught that you have to have a Plan A and a Plan B. This has never worked for me. I have a concept I call, “No Plan B for me.”

I don’t go in thinking, “This project will fail, therefore I need to look at alternatives and options,” so I am absolutely not panic about making big, bold decisions. I live by a basic philosophy that it is okay to fail sometimes, but let’s fail fast so we can pick ourselves up and progress. I am not saying people shouldn’t have Option A and Option B. I just feel that, for me personally, Option B might give my mind the opportunity to entertain that there is an escape clause. That may not necessarily be a good thing when working on ambitious projects. I think you need to be committed to your beliefs and ideas.

I have made some tough calls during my career, but for whatever reason, I have never really been panic about the consequences of failure. Sometimes we learn more from the mistakes we make and from having difficult experiences, whether they are personal or professional. I think my decision-making capability is one that is very bold, trying to make the team believe in the objectives that we are trying to accomplish and not worrying about failure. Sometimes you just need to be focused on the idea and the mission. Yes, the results are important, but that is not the only thing I am married to.

This is how I have operated all my life, and so far, I am really happy with some of the thinking I have adopted. I am not saying people should not have options in their lives, but this idea of “no Plan B” has its merits in certain projects. How can you adapt your leadership style when approaching projects, rather than thinking, “What is the other option?”

I think with deploying millions upon millions of dollars of mobile broadband equipment, it often feels like you have got to be committed. Let’s talk about that, starting with Jio. If the listeners don’t know, Reliance Jio is now the biggest carrier in India. It is extremely popular, but it launched as a pretty disruptive challenger against other carriers of 4G like Airtel. You just gave it away for free for like the first six months, and it has been lower-cost ever since. This is not the new idea though, right? It is not the open hardware-software disaggregated network that you are talking about now. How did you make Jio so cheap at the beginning?

I will tell you a one-minute prelude. I was sitting very comfortably in Newport Beach when I got a call from my friend. He asked me if I would be interested in going to India and being part of a leadership team to build this ambitious, audacious idea for a massive network at scale, in a country that has north of 1.3 billion people. My first reaction was, “What do I know about India? I have colleagues, but I have never really been there.”

It seemed like an interesting opportunity, and he encouraged me to go meet the executive leadership team of Reliance Jio. I remember flying to Dallas to have a conversation with three leaders that I didn’t really know at the time. One of them in particular, I have to tell you, the more he talked, the more I just wanted to listen. I was amazed by his ambition for what he wanted to achieve in the country.

What was his name?

Mukesh Ambani. I have learned quite a bit from him. India was ranked 154th in the world in mobile broadband penetration before Reliance Jio. The idea was, “Can we assemble an organization that brings ubiquitous connectivity anywhere and everywhere you go across the country? Can 1.3 billion people benefit from this massive transformation that offers cutting-edge services?”

At the time, LTE was the service that Jio launched with. I was really amazed by this ambition and how big it was. I said, “This is an opportunity I just cannot pass up.” It was much bigger than the financial reward; it was an opportunity of learning and understanding. I truly enjoy meeting different cultures. The more I interact with people from different parts of the world, the more it fuels the energy inside me.

So I picked myself up and I moved to India. I landed in the old Mumbai airport, and when I powered on my device, I saw a symbol I hadn’t seen in the US for a decade — 2G. I knew the opportunity Jio had if we did this right. I mean, think about it. 2G. What is really the definition of broadband? 256 kilobits per second? That’s not internet services. The foundation of Jio started with this.

I will tell you the big things that I have learned. Most people think the way you achieve the best pricing is through a process called request for proposals and reverse auctions, to bring vendors and partners to compete against each other. Sometimes there is a better way to do this. You find larger companies where the CEOs have emotion and connection to the idea that you are building, and are willing to work with you as a true partner.

One of the key, fundamental pillars I learned from Jio is that not everything is about status quo. How you run provider selection, vendor selection, or requests for proposal, everything starts from the top leadership of partners you select. They need the ability to connect with the emotional journey — because it is an emotional journey after all — to do something at the scale of what Jio wanted to do. One of the biggest lessons I learned is the process of selecting suppliers who are uniquely different.

In terms of building a network at a relatively low cost, I will explain how this Open RAN idea came in. During my tenure at Jio, I really started thinking that in order to build a network at scale, regardless of how cheap your labor is, you need to fundamentally change your operating platforms for digitization. Jio would have north of 100,000 people a day working in the field, deploying sites. How do you manage them — give them tasks, check on the quality of installation they do, and audit the work before you turn up any of the bay stations, sites, or radio units?

I have driven this entire digitization and the digital workflows associated with it to connect everybody in India, whether it is Jio employees, contractors, or distributed organizations. Up to 400,000 people at any instant of time would come to the systems that my team has built. That changed everything. It changed the mentality of how we drive cost efficiency and how we run the operations.

This is where I would tell you that big building blocks started formulating in my mind around automation and its impact to operational efficiency if you approach it with a completely fundamental point of view from the current legacy systems you find in other telcos. Because of the constraint of financial pressure on what we call the average revenue per user, the RPU, which is the measurement of how much you charge a mobile customer, I wanted to find a different way to deploy the network.

When you build a network like Jio that has to support 1.3 billion, it’s not just about these big, massive radio sites you deploy. We need things called small cells, which are products that look like Wi-Fi access points, but you deploy lots of them to achieve what we call a heterogeneous design, a design that has big and small sites to meet capacity and coverage requirements.

I prepared an amazing presentation about small cells to the leadership team of Jio and I thought I kicked it out of the park. But then I was asked a question I have never heard in my life. Imagine! I am a veteran in this industry and have been doing this for a very long time. Someone said, “Tareq, I love your strategy. Can you tell me who the chipset provider is for the small cell product?” I’m like, “What are you talking about?” I have never been asked such a question by any operator that I have ever worked for outside of India.

I was told, “Look, Tareq, money doesn’t grow on trees in India. You need to know the cost. To know the cost, you must understand the component cost.” That was the first building block. I said, “Okay, next time I come to this meeting, I am not going to be uneducated anymore.”

I took on a small project which, at the time, did not seem audacious to me. I said, “Look, if I go to an electronics shop in the US, like a Best Buy, I could buy a Wi-Fi access point for $100. If I buy an enterprise access point from a large supplier, it costs $1,000.” I wanted to know what the difference is, so I hired five of the best university graduates one could ask for, and I asked them a trivial question. “Open both boxes, write the part numbers.” I had a really great friend at Qualcomm, and I remember this gentleman saying, “Tareq, you are becoming too dangerous.”

Right. You are the network operator. You’re their margin.

That is where everything started clicking for me. The chairman of Jio was not afraid to think the way I wanted to think, so I told him, “Look, I want to build our own Wi-Fi access point. If we buy an access point at $1,000, I am now convinced I could get you an access point at sub-$100.” A year later, the total cost of the Wi-Fi access point we built in Jio was $35.

This delta between $1,000 and $35 translates to a substantial amount of money saved, and it started by disaggregating everything. Jio enabled its cost structure, and it was able to offer it for free because it had an amazing partnership with suppliers that secured great business terms. Simplification of technology, LTE only, and an amazing process for network rollout all played huge factors in lowering the cost and economics for Jio.

Let me ask you more about that. Jio is a transformative network, and is now obviously the most popular in India. You were able to offer a much lower-cost product than the traditional cell providers with what sounds like very clever business moves. You went and negotiated new kinds of provider agreements and you said, “We have to actually integrate our products, find lower chips at cost, and make our own products. We have to build a new, efficient way to deploy the network with our technicians.”

To your credit, those are excellent management moves. At their core though, they are not technology moves. Now that you are onto Rakuten and saying you are going to build O-RAN, that is a technology play. Broadly, it sounds like you are going to take the management playbook that made Jio work, and now you are lowering costs even further with the technology of O-RAN — or you are proving out a technology that will one day enable further lower costs.

There were two things I could not do in Jio, and it’s not really anybody’s fault, the timing just wasn’t right. If you look at building a mobile network, I think everybody now more or less understands that you need antennas, bay stations, radio access, and core network infrastructure. But unless you are in this industry, you don’t realize the complexity of the operation tools that one needs in order to run and manage this distributed massive infrastructure.

The first thing I wanted to change in Jio is the traditional architecture. This management layer is called OSS [operation subsystems], and it is archaic, to put it politely. If you work in an adjacent vertical industry such as hyperscalers, an internet-facing company, you will be scratching your head saying, “I cannot believe this is how networks are managed today.”

Despite the elegance of the Gs and changing from one to five, the process of managing a network is as archaic as you could ever imagine. The idea of a true customer experience management is aloof; it is still a dream that nobody has enabled. The first thing I wanted to do is to change the paradigm of having thousands of disaggregated toolsets to manage a network into a consolidated platform. It was an idea that I couldn’t drive in Jio. I will tell you why that is even more important than Open RAN. These building blocks are for new architecture, the next generation of OSS.

If we build these operation platforms on a new modern architecture that supports real-time telemetry, the idea is to get real-time information about every element and node that you have into your network. Being able to correlate them and apply AI machine learning on top of them requires modern-age platforms. It is so critical to my dream.

Our success will not be celebrated because of Open RAN, but the grander vision of having Rakuten talked about as a company that does what Tesla has done for the electric industry in terms of autonomy. Autonomy in mobile networks is an absolutely amazing opportunity to build a resilient and reliable network that has better security architecture and does not need the complexity of the way we run and manage networks today. That was the first building block.

The impact of these big building blocks is massive. Here is the second thing I couldn’t do in Reliance Jio at the time. If you look at a pie chart on the cost structure for mobile networks, you may say, “Where do we spend money?” Regardless of geography, regardless of country, 70 to 80 percent of your spending always goes into this thing called radio access. Radio access today has been a private club that is really meant for about four or five companies, and that’s it. There is no diversification of the supply chain. You have no option but to buy from Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei, or ZTE. Nobody else could sell you the products of radio access.

The radio access products are the base stations?

Correct. Those are the base stations.

That is the components of the cell tower.

Yes, and they contribute to about 70 percent of the capex [capital expenditure]. They are the one area that no startup has ever embraced and said, “You know what? Why don’t we try to disaggregate this? Why don’t we start to move away from the traditional architecture for how these base stations are deployed? Instead of running on custom hardware, custom ASICs, let’s use true software that runs on commodity appliances equivalent to what you would find inside data centers.”

This concept has been talked about, but nobody was willing to take the risk in any startup. Maybe I was wrong that your job is secure if you pick a traditional vendor. That is what I was thinking through, four years ago.

This is like “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM.”

Something like that.

Let me ask you this. Is it because the initial investment is so high? There are not many startup wireless networks in the world. When they do start, they need an enormous amount of capital just to buy the spectrum. Are the stakes too high to take that kind of risk?

I think as an industry, we make the mistake of not rewarding and supporting startups the way we should. Our ability to incubate and build a thriving ecosystem that is built on new innovations, ideas, and startups is still a dream. I do not think anyone in telecom would argue with that. The reality is that everybody wants to see it happening, but we are just not there yet.

It was complex to do what we did in Japan. It was not simple, nor was it easy. When you have a running network carrying massive amounts of traffic, of course there are risks that you are going to have to take. The risk in that case is ensuring that you don’t disrupt your running base with poor quality services. Maybe the fear in people’s minds is that this technology is not ready, or integrating it into their networks is too complex, or they don’t have the right skillset to go into a software-defined world where they will need to upscale or hire new organization.

You said that right now the four vendors are Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei, and ZTE. You have moved to Open RAN, open radio access, in Japan. Do you have more vendors than those four? Are you actually using the commodity hardware with the software defined network? Or is it still those four vendors but now you can run your code on them?

The foundation of success for Rakuten Mobile today started by Rakuten itself enabling and acquiring one of the most disruptive companies in this Open RAN space. We bought a company in Boston called Altiostar, and I thought they had everything one could dream about, except nobody was willing to give them a chance. I diversified my hardware supply chain and purchased hardware through 11 suppliers. I mandated where manufacturing can happen, in terms of product, security, and chipsets. Also, the era that we entered focused on heightened security, especially around 5G. I felt really good about our ability to control manufacturing and supply chain.

The software Altiostar provided was the radio software for this entire open access network in Japan. Altiostar software is now running over 290,000 radiating elements. I mean, this is massive; 98 percent of the population coverage of Japan is served there.

I give huge credit to the large vendors. Nokia had a very big internal debate when I told them, “I want to buy your hardware, but not your software.” I know their board had to approve it, but this is the beauty of software disaggregation. Now, I buy one hardware aspect of the Nokia and Altiostar is running the radio software for that platform. We now have a diversified supply chain and we are no longer just counting on four hardware suppliers. We have a common software stack. The big building block, which is this OSS, has enabled our own platforms and tools.

Rakuten has purchased Altiostar from Boston. We have purchased an innovative cloud company in Silicon Valley called Robin.io for our Edge Cloud. We have purchased the OSS company called InnoEye and formulated this integrated technology stack that is now part of Rakuten Symphony.

You have described Rakuten’s network as being in the cloud several times. Very simply, what does it mean for a wireless network to be cloud-based?

To give you an image, four years ago I was asked to do a keynote in Japan on my first day there. Thanks to my translator, I think people understood the concepts I was explaining to them. I said, “Here is an image of what we don’t want to build.”

If I show you how to deliver voice and video messaging, most of the telecom networks across the world, even today, are still running into boxes of hardware. Having a cloud network means that your workloads are now moved away from proprietary implementation, to a complete network function software components. These software components run with the beauty of what is called microservices for software, and run with the elegance of things that cloud inherently supports, like capacity management, auto-elasticity, scale in, and scale out.

This is basic terminology. I’m not telling you about things that have been invented by Rakuten Mobile. It is thanks to Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, who have innovated like crazy on the cloud. I have just benefited from the innovation that they have done to deliver on scalability, resiliency, reliability, and a cost efficiency that one could never have imagined.

When it comes to the cost, this is a hyper-operation structure. There are 279,000 radiating elements, and the operational headcount in Rakuten Mobile is still sitting below 250 people.

That’s crazy.

As the number increases, there is no direct proportionality between the number of units in the network versus the number of employees in the network. There is absolutely no direct correlation whatsoever anymore. To me, that is what cloud is all about. All the things on top of it are modules that you need to derive to the operational efficiency that we did in Japan.

From an end user perspective, you have now architected this network differently. You have created a small revolution in the wireless industry from the provider level, where you can buy any hardware from 11 suppliers and run your software on it. Does the end user see an appreciable difference in quality? Or does it just lower the cost?

There is a huge difference from the end user point of view. One of the key reasons that Rakuten was encouraged and supported was because we were determined to enter the mobile segment in Japan. We felt that competition was stagnant, and the cost per user is one of the most expensive in the world.

To benefit the end consumer, we took a chapter from Jio’s strategy on lowering the cost burden economically. We did something that was so simple. At the time, the average plan rate in Japan was sitting about $100 US per user. We dropped that cost to $27 US, unlimited, no caps. When you go inside our stores, we change everything. We said, “Look, you don’t need to think about the plans. There is only one plan. That’s it.”

From a choices point of view, we made life super simple. We bundled local, we bundled international, we bundled everything under one local plan, and we tied it synergistically to the larger ecosystem of Rakuten. You acquire points as you buy things on e-commerce, as you buy things on our travel website, as you buy things from Rakuten Energy, or as you subscribe to Rakuten Bank. You could then use these points to pay off your cellular bill. The $27 could effectively be zero, because of the synergistic impact of other services you consume in Rakuten and the points you acquire from all of them.

Would Rakuten Mobile be profitable at $27 a customer? Is it being subsidized by the larger Rakuten?

We have to be profitable. Spectrum here is not auctioned in Japan; we are allocated spectrum, but there are conditions to it. You cannot just run a business that is not profitable standalone. So we will break even in Rakuten Mobile and make it standalone.

The way I think about it, it is not subsidized by the ecosystem. If I acquire you as a mobile customer, because of the impact I could bring to that larger sales contribution of you potentially buying from e-commerce or travel, I am using connectivity to empower the purchases of these 70-plus internet services, so we are actually contributing to the larger group. As long as the total top line revenue is increased because of mobile contribution, the group as a whole is going to be in good shape.

Even with standalone mobile, we are committed to our break-even point. We need to make it a profitable standalone business. The group as a whole has remarkable synergistic impact in our business. That is the benefit in value.

Now there is another benefit on the network architecture. Today we talk about the essence of marketing with Edge. The definition is so simple. It is all about bringing content as close to your device as humanly possible, to bring content close to you. I would always argue, if you have nothing but virtual machines or network functions that are software, the ability for you to move these software components from large data centers and all the way to the Edge is trivial. Hardware reallocation becomes more complex.

When the Edge use cases in Rakuten Mobile get delivered, you are hopefully going to hear some very amazing news about the lowest latency in the world delivered over the 5G network. This is the beginning of what is possible for new use cases for the consumer.

Think of cloud gaming. It has never been successful, at least in wireless, because networks could not sustain the latency that it would require. Speed, in my opinion, is a stupid metric to talk about. We should talk about latency, latency, latency! How do you deliver sub-4-millisecond latency on a wireless network?

It hasn’t happened yet on licensed spectrum, but I think you are going to see it very soon. There is an advantage to this software architecture and the creation of new age applications for cloud gaming. Even as we talk, people are getting excited about the metaverse, which will need these use cases to come alive in the mobile fabric.

So you have talked about Open RAN, how you have built it, how you have architected the network for Rakuten Mobile, how you have new software layers, and how you have new hardware relationships. You are also the CEO of Rakuten Symphony, which is the company inside Rakuten that would then license all these components to other vendors. Dish Network in this country is one of those providers, and they are at the beginning stages of trying to build a brand new greenfield Open RAN 5G network. If you were going to build an Open RAN network in the United States, how would you do it?

My focus would probably be a lot different than many people would think. It is not about technology. I have never in my life approached a problem where I think technology is the issue. We do not give ourselves enough credit for how creative we are as human beings and our ability to solve complex problems.

The first thing I would start with is structure, organization, and culture. What is the culture you need to have to do amazing, disruptive things? When I moved to Japan, I didn’t know anything about it. I always knew that I wanted to visit, but I didn’t know about the complexities and challenges I would have to face. I mean, imagine being in the heart of Tokyo, being largely driven and supported by an amazing leadership team that says, “The world is your canvas, hire from anywhere.”

I have brought in 17 nationalities — relocated, not as expats, as full-time employees in our office in Japan. Being this diversified, multicultural organization was the key. I did my own recruiting and handpicked my team. My focus was initially to find people with the spirits of warriors, that were willing to take on tough challenges and the bruises that came along with them, that would not get discouraged by people telling them something would not work.

Long story short, I would not build a network that has looked the same for 30 years. I would not build a network just because Rakuten has done it this way. I think networks of the future must have this essence of software and must have autonomy built into its DNA. This is not just about Open RAN, this is a holistic approach for fundamental transformation in the network architecture.

I ask this question a lot and the answers always surprise me. Most companies that I think of as hardware companies, once they make the investment in software, they end up with more software engineers than hardware engineers. Is that the case for you?

I have no hardware engineers at all. None. I think from the beginning, this was done by design. I knew that I could create an ecosystem in hardware, and I don’t want to be in the hardware business. From a fundamental business model, I had enough credible relationships in this industry to cultivate and create an ecosystem for people that just enjoy being in hardware design. But that is not us; it is not our fabric, not our DNA.

The more I look at the world, the more I see the success of companies that have invested heavily into the right skill sets, whether it is from data science, AI, ML, or the various software organizations that they have built. This is what I thought we needed.

If you go to Rakuten Symphony’s largest R&D center in India, we now have over 3,500 people that only do software. To me, that is an asset that is unprecedented in terms of the extent of capability, what we could build, what we could deliver, and the scale that we could deliver at. I don’t want to invest in hardware. I just think that it is not my business.

Our investment is all about platform. I really enjoy seeing the advancements that we have enabled, though we are still early in this journey. I have a lot of other things I want to accomplish before I say that Symphony has succeeded.

Symphony is a first-of-its-kind company, since it is going to sell a new kind of operating platform to other carriers. Do you have competitors? Do you see this being the next turn of the wireless industry? Are we going to see other platform integrators like Symphony show up and say to carriers, “Hey, we can do this part for you. You can focus on customer service or fighting with the FCC or whatever it is that carriers do”?

To be very honest with you, I love the idea of having more competitors in this space. It challenges my own team to stay on top of their toes, which is really good. At the same time, having more entrants come into the space would help me cultivate the hardware ecosystem today.

Symphony is uniquely positioned; there are not a whole lot of people that could provide the integrated stack that Symphony has. Symphony’s biggest advantage is that it has a running, live lab carrying a large commercial customer base called Rakuten Mobile. Nobody tells me, “Don’t do this or that on Rakuten Mobile.” I could do disruptive ideas or disruptive innovation, and test and validate new products and technologies before giving them to anybody else.

It’s good to be the CEO of both.

I know. This is one of the reasons I accepted and volunteered. I thought for the short term, it would be important to be able to control these two ecosystems, because Japan is a quality-sensitive market. If I build a high-quality network, nobody will doubt whether Symphony’s technology stack is credible, scalable, reliable, or secure. We are uniquely positioned because of our ability to deliver on a robust automation platform, Open RAN software technology architecture, and innovative Edge Cloud software.

I don’t see many in the industry that have the technology capabilities today that Symphony offers. People have bits and pieces of what we have, but when I look at the integrated stack, I’m really happy to see that we have some unique intellectual properties and IPs that are remarkably differentiated from the market today.

So Dish is obviously a client. We will see how their network goes. Are you talking to Telefónica, Verizon, and British Telecom? Are they thinking about O-RAN in this way?

Since it’s public in the US, I can talk about it. As I mentioned before, it is not just about the O-RAN discussion for me, it is about the whole story. We announced in the last Mobile World Congress that AT&T is working with Rakuten Symphony on a few disruptive applications around the digital workflow on the operation for wireless and wireline, the same as Telefónica in the UK and Telefónica in Germany. Our first big breakthrough was an integrated stack.

In the heart of Europe, in Germany, we are the provider for a new greenfield operator called 1&1. I told the CEO of 1&1 that my dream is to build Rakuten 2.0 in Germany, so we are building the entire fabric of this network. It has been an amazing journey to take all the lessons learned from Japan and be able now to bring them to Germany. We are in the early stages, but I am really optimistic to see what the future will hold for Open RAN as a whole for Symphony.

Rakuten Mobile and Rakuten Symphony have opened a well-needed, healthy debate in the industry about radio access provider alternatives and diversification that we need in order to move away into a software-driven network. We feel that is a big accomplishment for us.

As you build out the O-RAN networks, one thing that we know very well in the United States is that our handset vendors — Apple, Samsung, Google, Motorola — are very picky about qualifying their devices for networks.

Oh yes.

Is there a difference in the conversation between a traditional network and an O-RAN network, when you go and talk to the Apples and Samsungs of the world?

Yes. Before we were approved as a mobile company to be able to sell their devices, I have to tell you about the pleasure of working with the likes of Apple. I’m being really honest about this; I really liked it. Their burden to quality was really high, as was their ability to accept and certify a quality of network. I thought if we got the certification that we needed from them, that’s another third-party audit; I would have cleared a big quality hurdle.

The Apple engineering team is really strong. They really understood the technology, which was great. There are a lot of facets to do with it that are fascinating. No matter how great it is, I had to pass a set of KPIs and metrics for device certification. This was not trivial. I went through the same journey with Jio, so I kind of have some ideas about the burdens to acceptance from large device manufacturing companies. I also knew that this is a process of identifying issues, solving them, coming back to the device vendors, and continuing to reiterate in improving the quality.

I went through the same journey in mobile, but just slightly after our commercial launch, when we got our commercial certification on being able to sell Apple devices, that was a big relief for all of us. A big relief, because it means that we have reached a quality level that they deem is minimally acceptable to carry the device.

Of course we monitor the quality every day, so I’m really happy that we have done this. We have proven that the Open RAN network, especially the software that we have built in Japan, is running with amazing reliability. Rather than celebrating our courageous attempt to do something good for everybody, the early days of our journey were all about skepticism. Like, “This will not work. This will not work.”

Was Apple more skeptical of your network going into tests than others since the technology is different?

The device vendors were very supportive. The skepticism came from the fear, uncertainty, and doubt from traditional OEMs and vendors who wanted to tell everybody that this technology is horrible. It was to such an extent I ignored everything. I still do today. I say you cannot argue the benefit of cloud brought to IT and enterprise. There is an indisputable benefit to this. When it comes to telco, why would you argue the advantage and benefit of moving all your workloads to the cloud?

I think this debate is ending, and it is ending much quicker and in a better place for everybody. I have huge admiration for what Apple has done. It’s a really impressive company. The more that we continue to engage with them, the more we can tell that this company is obsessed with quality. I thought if we cleared the hurdle of getting their acceptance, then it shows another validation for us that we are running a high-quality network. They are a strategic, critical part of our provider ecosystem today in Japan.

Let me flip this question around real quick. One of my favorite things about the Indian smartphone market is how wide open it is on the device side. This is something that happened after Jio rolled out, but I was friends with a former editor of Gadgets 360 in India, Kunal Dua, and he told me, “My team covers 12 to 15 Android phone launches a week.”

The device market is wide open, you can connect anything, there are dual SIMs, and the real consumer experience of picking a phone is of unlimited choice. That is not the case in the United States or in other countries. What do you think the benefits of that are? I am quite honestly jealous that there is that much choice in that market.

I think a couple of things in India really benefit the country quite a bit. When you have massive volume, people are intrigued to enter these economies that exist. Certain things have changed in Japan as well. The government policies are mandating the support for open device ecosystems.

In our case, we even told them that 100 percent of our device portfolio will support eSIM, which gives you the ability and flexibility to switch carriers within one second. You can just say, “Oh, I don’t like this. I like this.” The freedom of choices is just unparalleled. We, as Rakuten Mobile, changed the business model. We said, “Look, we will enable eSIM. There are no fees for termination of contracts. There are no fees for anything. If you don’t like us, you can leave. If you do like us, you are part of our family.”

We made it really simple, because it is a dream for us to build an open ecosystem. We are trying to see if it is relatively successful to open up a storefront for open device markets, since we own a very large e-commerce website. Come in, purchase, and acquire.

The difference between India and the US is that India does not subsidize the device. As a consumer in the US, you have been trained that you can buy an iPhone by signing a contract, and the iPhone will be subsidized by the carrier. A consumer could benefit from this open device ecosystem, but there would have to be a mentality change. Will a consumer accept the idea that they have to buy a device? From a carrier point of view, I still argue that if they don’t subsidize, maybe they could lower the cost of their tariffs.

It is still an evolution. For us in mobile, we have pretty much adopted what India has done. We said, “bring your own device,” and we promoted all these devices that you are talking about in India. We brought them into our e-commerce site. In Japanese, it is called Ichiba. So we brought them to the Ichiba website, gave them a storefront, let them advertise, and let them market. Our website has a massive amount of daily active users that come to it, and we do not necessarily benefit from selling their devices, but we don’t want to subsidize any device. That is subjective.

What is the biggest challenge of O-RAN? You have a long history in this industry. I’m sure many challenges are familiar to you in building a traditional network. What is the biggest, most surprising challenge of building it in this way?

Let me tell you the part that I was surprised about. Some parts were easier, some more difficult. If I take you to a traditional base station and we examine what is really there at this radio site, we will find that almost 95 percent of every deployment is the same. Basically, there is a big refrigerator cabinet, and inside this cabinet there is something called the base band. This is the brain of the base station. This base band was built on custom ASICs that large companies needed to constantly invest into this hardware development for.

The first thing that we did was remove the software and make it more like an off-the-shelf appliance, like a traditional data center server. I recognize that the software only gets better; there are no issues with software. The difficult part was that the hardware components you need for the base station are really complex.

At every site, there is an antenna that has a transmitting unit, called either a remote radiohead, or massive MIMO in 5G. These products need to support a huge diversity of spectrum bands, because in every country there are different spectrum bands and different bandwidth. If you are a traditional provider — say Nokia, Ericsson, Huawei, ZTE — these companies have invested in a large organization, with tens of thousands of people, whose entire job is to create this massive hardware that could support all these diversified spectrum bands.

My number-one challenge with Rakuten Mobile is to find these hardware suppliers, because there are not a whole lot of them for Open RAN. The hardware suppliers that could support diversified spectrum requirements — because country to country it will be different — turned out to be a really big challenge. The approach that we have taken in Japan is to go to middle-size companies and startups. I funded them and encourage them to build the hardware that we need.

My biggest challenge and my biggest headache is spending time trying to find a company that has capability and scale to become the hardware provider for Open RAN at the right cost structure. The hardware you need for both 4G and 5G is not to be underestimated. I think it is easier to solve the issues around some of the RF units that one would need for these base stations. This is my personal challenge, and I know the industry as a whole needs to solve for this.

I know these are complicated products, but are these companies panic that it is a race to the bottom? Most PC vendors ship the same Intel processor, the same basic parts, and they have to differentiate around the edges or do services for recurring revenue. We talk about this on Decoder all the time. The big four that you mentioned sell you the whole stack and then charge for service and support. That is a very high-margin business. If you commoditize the hardware and say, “I am going to run my own software,” do those companies worry it is just a race to the bottom?

Let’s differentiate between large companies and new entrants. I think new entrants in hardware are comfortable and content, understanding the value they provide by being commodity suppliers. Let me give you an analogy. Let’s say Apple uses Foxconn to manufacture its devices. I am sure Foxconn will not tell you they are unhappy about this business model. It has built their entire strategy around high-value engineering, high-yield, and high-capacity manufacturing, because that is how they make revenue. They do not bundle support services.

I found that the new age manufacturing companies I was looking for were companies like Foxconn. Companies that understand the new business model that I want to create.

The most amazing thing that the US, and some companies are probably not aware of, is the elegance that we have in the United States around silicon companies. It is amazing how they genuinely are one of the most innovative in the world in terms of capability. It still exists in the US; we still control this. Today, Qualcomm, Intel, Nvidia, Broadcom, and many other companies, provide a lot of technology in a way that is needed for these products. We go and build reference designs directly with the silicon companies, and then I take that reference design, go to a contract manufacturer, and say, “Build this reference design.”

This new way of working seems like the future. Hopefully one day, for the hardware supply chain ecosystem, many companies like Foxconn will start to exist and will appreciate the value they need to build hardware for all suppliers. Maybe Ericsson or Nokia will one day have to look and evaluate a pivoting opportunity to go into a software world that may have a much better valuation.

Look at the stock price of traditional telecom companies today. Look at the stock price of ServiceNow, a digital workflow tool. Look at the difference between them. One is a complete SaaS model; one lives on a traditional business model. I don’t think the market appreciates and recognizes that this may be the right thing to do.

It seems like it is inevitable. It is just a matter of time for traditional vendors to start pivoting. I want this hardware to be commoditized. It is very important. The value you compete on has to be software, it cannot be hardware.

Rakuten Mobile is only a couple years old. It is the fourth carrier in Japan, and you have 5 million subscribers. Japan is a big country. KDDI has 10X the subscribers. Is the ambition to be the number one carrier, like Jio became the number one carrier in India? How would you get there?

I am really proud about what we have done in Japan. I think for many people that have been through this journey of building networks, they will know it is not a trivial process. We had two pragmatic challenges.

First, we had to prove to the world that a new technology actually works and delivers on cost, resiliency, and reliability. That’s a check mark; done. That is not just me telling you today, but audited by a third party. Look at the performance, quality and reliability we do. Second, if you are in the mobile business, I think you have one area that new technology cannot easily solve for you. You need to have ubiquitous coverage everywhere and anywhere you go.

I am not sure if you have ever visited Tokyo, Japan, but you should know this is a concrete jungle. It’s amazing. The density that exists in an area like Tokyo, the subways and the coverage you have to provide for them, and the amount of capacity you have to cater for, is not trivial. In two years, we have been able to build a network to cater for 96 percent of Japan coverage. I have never seen the speed that a network could be built at, at this scale.

So our ambition is not to be a fourth mobile operator in Japan. It is by far to be a highly disruptive ecosystem provider in which we want to take the number-one position in this country. The approach we take here is very simple. We need to ensure that ubiquitous, high-quality coverage is delivered anywhere you go in Japan. We are almost there.

I’m not just talking about the outdoors. High-rises, indoor, deep indoor, basements, subways. Anything and everywhere you go, an amazing network must be delivered. And second is the point/membership/loyalty that I talked to you about earlier. We think that’s a huge differentiator from the competitors, just to bring a much bigger value, and being obsessed about the customer experience and the services that we have offered.

From being an infant, to where we are today, I am really happy about what the team has accomplished, but we have a lot of work that we need to focus on to finish the last remaining 3 percent of our build. That percent is extremely important to achieve the quality of coverage that we need to really be at par and better.

I know my cost today is 40 percent cheaper in running my network than any competitor in Japan. I have an advantage that is virtually impossible for anybody in Japan to compete against today around network cost structure. So that gives me a leg up on what we could do, what business models we could experiment with, and the actions that we will take. You will see us very decisive in our approach, because we don’t want just to be another carrier in Japan. We want to be leading mobile operators in this country.

All right, Tareq. That was amazing. I feel like I could talk to you for another full hour about this. Thank you so much for being on Decoder.

Thank you.

Tue, 09 Aug 2022 03:35:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.theverge.com/23297756/5g-rakuten-mobile-ceo-oran-cloud-network-decoder
Killexams : Workload Scheduling Software Market Size and Growth 2022 Analysis Report by Development Plans, Manufactures, Latest Innovations and Forecast to 2028

The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.

Aug 03, 2022 (The Expresswire) -- "Final Report will add the analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on this industry."

Global “Workload Scheduling Software Market” 2022 report presents a comprehensive study of the entire Global market including market size, share trends, market dynamics, and overview by segmentation by types, applications, manufactures and geographical regions. The report offers the most up-to-date industry data on the real market situation and future outlook for the Workload Scheduling Software market. The report also provides up-to-date historical market size data for the period and an illustrative forecast to 2028 covering key market aspects like market value and volume for Workload Scheduling Software industry.

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Market Analysis and Insights: Global Workload Scheduling Software Market

System management software is an application that manages all applications of an enterprise such as scheduling and automation, event management, workload scheduling, and performance management. Workload scheduling software is also known as batch scheduling software. It automates, monitors, and controls jobs or workflows in an organization. It allows the execution of background jobs that are unattended by the system administrator, aligning IT with business objectives to Improve an organization's performance and reduce the total cost of ownership. This process is known as batch processing. Workload scheduling software provides a centralized view of operations to the system administrator at various levels: project, organizational, and enterprise.
The global Workload Scheduling Software market size is projected to reach USD million by 2028, from USD million in 2021, at a CAGR of during 2022-2028.
According to the report, workload scheduling involves automation of jobs, in which tasks are executed without human intervention. Solutions like ERP and customer relationship management (CRM) are used in organizations across the globe. ERP, which is a business management software, is a suite of integrated applications that is being used by organizations in various sectors for data collection and interpretation related to business activities such as sales and inventory management. CRM software is used to manage customer data and access business information.

The major players covered in the Workload Scheduling Software market report are:

● BMC Software ● Broadcom ● IBM ● VMWare ● Adaptive Computing ● ASG Technologies ● Cisco ● Microsoft ● Stonebranch ● Wrike ● ServiceNow ● Symantec ● Sanicon Services ● Cloudify

Get a trial Copy of the Workload Scheduling Software Market Report 2022

Global Workload Scheduling Software Market: Drivers and Restrains

The research report has incorporated the analysis of different factors that augment the market’s growth. It constitutes trends, restraints, and drivers that transform the market in either a positive or negative manner. This section also provides the scope of different segments and applications that can potentially influence the market in the future. The detailed information is based on current trends and historic milestones. This section also provides an analysis of the volume of production about the global market and about each type from 2017 to 2028. This section mentions the volume of production by region from 2017 to 2028. Pricing analysis is included in the report according to each type from the year 2017 to 2028, manufacturer from 2017 to 2022, region from 2017 to 2022, and global price from 2017 to 2028.

A thorough evaluation of the restrains included in the report portrays the contrast to drivers and gives room for strategic planning. Factors that overshadow the market growth are pivotal as they can be understood to devise different bends for getting hold of the lucrative opportunities that are present in the ever-growing market. Additionally, insights into market expert’s opinions have been taken to understand the market better.

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Global Workload Scheduling Software Market: Segment Analysis

The research report includes specific segments by region (country), by manufacturers, by Type and by Application. Each type provides information about the production during the forecast period of 2017 to 2028. By Application segment also provides consumption during the forecast period of 2017 to 2028. Understanding the segments helps in identifying the importance of different factors that aid the market growth.

Segment by Type

● On-Premises ● Cloud-Based

Segment by Application

● Large Enterprises ● Small And Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) ● Government Organizations

Workload Scheduling Software Market Key Points:

● Characterize, portray and Forecast Workload Scheduling Software item market by product type, application, manufactures and geographical regions. ● give venture outside climate investigation. ● give systems to organization to manage the effect of COVID-19. ● give market dynamic examination, including market driving variables, market improvement requirements. ● give market passage system examination to new players or players who are prepared to enter the market, including market section definition, client investigation, conveyance model, item informing and situating, and cost procedure investigation. ● Stay aware of worldwide market drifts and give examination of the effect of the COVID-19 scourge on significant locales of the world. ● Break down the market chances of partners and furnish market pioneers with subtleties of the cutthroat scene.

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Geographical Segmentation:

Geographically, this report is segmented into several key regions, with sales, revenue, market share, and Workload Scheduling Software market growth rate in these regions, from 2015 to 2028, covering

● North America (United States, Canada and Mexico) ● Europe (Germany, UK, France, Italy, Russia and Turkey etc.) ● Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam) ● South America (Brazil etc.) ● Middle East and Africa (Egypt and GCC Countries)

Some of the key questions answered in this report:

● Who are the worldwide key Players of the Workload Scheduling Software Industry? ● How the opposition goes in what was in store connected with Workload Scheduling Software? ● Which is the most driving country in the Workload Scheduling Software industry? ● What are the Workload Scheduling Software market valuable open doors and dangers looked by the manufactures in the worldwide Workload Scheduling Software Industry? ● Which application/end-client or item type might look for gradual development possibilities? What is the portion of the overall industry of each kind and application? ● What centered approach and imperatives are holding the Workload Scheduling Software market? ● What are the various deals, promoting, and dissemination diverts in the worldwide business? ● What are the key market patterns influencing the development of the Workload Scheduling Software market? ● Financial effect on the Workload Scheduling Software business and improvement pattern of the Workload Scheduling Software business?

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Detailed TOC of Global Workload Scheduling Software Market Research Report 2022

1 Workload Scheduling Software Market Overview

1.1 Product Overview and Scope

1.2 Segment by Type

1.2.1 Global Market Size Growth Rate Analysis by Type 2022 VS 2028

1.3 Workload Scheduling Software Segment by Application

1.3.1 Global Consumption Comparison by Application: 2022 VS 2028

1.4 Global Market Growth Prospects

1.4.1 Global Revenue Estimates and Forecasts (2017-2028)

1.4.2 Global Production Capacity Estimates and Forecasts (2017-2028)

1.4.3 Global Production Estimates and Forecasts (2017-2028)

1.5 Global Market Size by Region

1.5.1 Global Market Size Estimates and Forecasts by Region: 2017 VS 2021 VS 2028

1.5.2 North America Workload Scheduling Software Estimates and Forecasts (2017-2028)

1.5.3 Europe Estimates and Forecasts (2017-2028)

1.5.4 China Estimates and Forecasts (2017-2028)

1.5.5 Japan Estimates and Forecasts (2017-2028)

2 Workload Scheduling Software Market Competition by Manufacturers

2.1 Global Production Capacity Market Share by Manufacturers (2017-2022)

2.2 Global Revenue Market Share by Manufacturers (2017-2022)

2.3 Market Share by Company Type (Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3)

2.4 Global Average Price by Manufacturers (2017-2022)

2.5 Manufacturers Production Sites, Area Served, Product Types

2.6 Market Competitive Situation and Trends

2.6.1 Market Concentration Rate

2.6.2 Global 5 and 10 Largest Workload Scheduling Software Players Market Share by Revenue

2.6.3 Mergers and Acquisitions, Expansion

3 Workload Scheduling Software Production Capacity by Region

3.1 Global Production Capacity of Workload Scheduling Software Market Share by Region (2017-2022)

3.2 Global Revenue Market Share by Region (2017-2022)

3.3 Global Production Capacity, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2017-2022)

3.4 North America Production

3.4.1 North America Production Growth Rate (2017-2022)

3.4.2 North America Production Capacity, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2017-2022)

3.5 Europe Production

3.5.1 Europe Production Growth Rate (2017-2022)

3.5.2 Europe Production Capacity, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2017-2022)

3.6 China Production

3.6.1 China Production Growth Rate (2017-2022)

3.6.2 China Production Capacity, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2017-2022)

3.7 Japan Production

3.7.1 Japan Production Growth Rate (2017-2022)

3.7.2 Japan Production Capacity, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2017-2022)

4 Global Workload Scheduling Software Market Consumption by Region

4.1 Global Consumption by Region

4.1.1 Global Consumption by Region

4.1.2 Global Consumption Market Share by Region

4.2 North America

4.2.1 North America Consumption by Country

4.2.2 United States

4.2.3 Canada

4.3 Europe

4.3.1 Europe Consumption by Country

4.3.2 Germany

4.3.3 France

4.3.4 U.K.

4.3.5 Italy

4.3.6 Russia

4.4 Asia Pacific

4.4.1 Asia Pacific Consumption by Region

4.4.2 China

4.4.3 Japan

4.4.4 South Korea

4.4.5 China Taiwan

4.4.6 Southeast Asia

4.4.7 India

4.4.8 Australia

4.5 Latin America

4.5.1 Latin America Consumption by Country

4.5.2 Mexico

4.5.3 Brazil

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5 Workload Scheduling Software Market Segment by Type

5.1 Global Production Market Share by Type (2017-2022)

5.2 Global Revenue Market Share by Type (2017-2022)

5.3 Global Price by Type (2017-2022)

6 Workload Scheduling Software Market Segment by Application

6.1 Global Production Market Share by Application (2017-2022)

6.2 Global Revenue Market Share by Application (2017-2022)

6.3 Global Price by Application (2017-2022)

7 Workload Scheduling Software Market Key Companies Profiled

7.1 Manufacture 1

7.1.1 Manufacture 1 Corporation Information

7.1.2 Manufacture 1 Product Portfolio

7.1.3 Manufacture 1 Production Capacity, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2017-2022)

7.1.4 Manufacture 1 Main Business and Markets Served

7.1.5 Manufacture 1 recent Developments/Updates

7.2 Manufacture 2

7.2.1 Manufacture 2 Corporation Information

7.2.2 Manufacture 2 Product Portfolio

7.2.3 Manufacture 2 Production Capacity, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2017-2022)

7.2.4 Manufacture 2 Main Business and Markets Served

7.2.5 Manufacture 2 recent Developments/Updates

7.3 Manufacture 3

7.3.1 Manufacture 3 Corporation Information

7.3.2 Manufacture 3 Product Portfolio

7.3.3 Manufacture 3 Production Capacity, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2017-2022)

7.3.4 Manufacture 3 Main Business and Markets Served

7.3.5 Manufacture 3 recent Developments/Updates

8 Workload Scheduling Software Manufacturing Cost Analysis

8.1 Key Raw Materials Analysis

8.1.1 Key Raw Materials

8.1.2 Key Suppliers of Raw Materials

8.2 Proportion of Manufacturing Cost Structure

8.3 Manufacturing Process Analysis of Workload Scheduling Software

8.4 Workload Scheduling Software Industrial Chain Analysis

9 Marketing Channel, Distributors and Customers

9.1 Marketing Channel

9.2 Workload Scheduling Software Distributors List

9.3 Workload Scheduling Software Customers

10 Market Dynamics

10.1 Workload Scheduling Software Industry Trends

10.2 Workload Scheduling Software Market Drivers

10.3 Workload Scheduling Software Market Challenges

10.4 Workload Scheduling Software Market Restraints

11 Production and Supply Forecast

11.1 Global Forecasted Production of Workload Scheduling Software by Region (2023-2028)

11.2 North America Workload Scheduling Software Production, Revenue Forecast (2023-2028)

11.3 Europe Workload Scheduling Software Production, Revenue Forecast (2023-2028)

11.4 China Workload Scheduling Software Production, Revenue Forecast (2023-2028)

11.5 Japan Workload Scheduling Software Production, Revenue Forecast (2023-2028)

12 Consumption and Demand Forecast

12.1 Global Forecasted Demand Analysis of Workload Scheduling Software

12.2 North America Forecasted Consumption of Workload Scheduling Software by Country

12.3 Europe Market Forecasted Consumption of Workload Scheduling Software by Country

12.4 Asia Pacific Market Forecasted Consumption of Workload Scheduling Software by Region

12.5 Latin America Forecasted Consumption of Workload Scheduling Software by Country

13 Forecast by Type and by Application (2023-2028)

13.1 Global Production, Revenue and Price Forecast by Type (2023-2028)

13.1.1 Global Forecasted Production of Workload Scheduling Software by Type (2023-2028)

13.1.2 Global Forecasted Revenue of Workload Scheduling Software by Type (2023-2028)

13.1.3 Global Forecasted Price of Workload Scheduling Software by Type (2023-2028)

13.2 Global Forecasted Consumption of Workload Scheduling Software by Application (2023-2028)

13.2.1 Global Forecasted Production of Workload Scheduling Software by Application (2023-2028)

13.2.2 Global Forecasted Revenue of Workload Scheduling Software by Application (2023-2028)

13.2.3 Global Forecasted Price of Workload Scheduling Software by Application (2023-2028)

14 Research Finding and Conclusion

15 Methodology and Data Source

15.1 Methodology/Research Approach

15.1.1 Research Programs/Design

15.1.2 Market Size Estimation

15.1.3 Market Breakdown and Data Triangulation

15.2 Data Source

15.2.1 Secondary Sources

15.2.2 Primary Sources

15.3 Author List

15.4 Disclaimer

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Tue, 02 Aug 2022 18:15:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/workload-scheduling-software-market-size-and-growth-2022-analysis-report-by-development-plans-manufactures-latest-innovations-and-forecast-to-2028-2022-08-03
Killexams : Digital-Led and Innovation-Driven

Digital Finance Forum of Global Digital Economy Conference 2022 Kicked off

BEIJING, Aug. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- With the development of information technology, the world has entered the era of digital economy. The modern financial industry is one of the industries with the highest degree of digitization and the closest ties to the digital economy as well as an important driver of growth for the high-quality development of the digital economy.

The Digital Finance Forum of the Global Digital Economy Conference (hereinafter referred to as GDEC) 2022 kicked off in the Beijing Banking & Insurance Business Park in Shijingshan District on July 30. As an important part of the thematic forums of this GDEC, the Digital Finance Forum is organized by the Shijingshan District People’s Government of Beijing Municipality and Asia Digital Group. The forum, as a platform for in-depth exchange, centered on building a bridge for financial industries, driving financial innovation and digital strategic upgrade under the new dual-cycle pattern and helping the development of digital finance in China’s capital.

Wang Wei, First Class Inspector of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Economy and Information Technology, Zhao Weijiu, Member of Standing Committee of CPC of Beijing Local Financial Supervision and Administration, Deputy Director of Beijing Local Financial Supervision and Administration, Li Xin, Deputy Secretary of CPC Beijing Shijingshan District, Mayor of Shijingshan District People’s Government of Beijing Municipality, Zhu Dongfang, President of Asia Digital Group and other guests were present on site. Over 20 important guests in the financial sector from 10+ countries were invited to attend the forum offline or online to discuss the transformation of the digital financial industry with focus on the trend of digital finance. More than 100 visitors from financial institutions and enterprises joined the on-site events, supplemented with online links involving 1.2 million people.

Adopting the Market-Oriented Operation Led by Government

Nowadays, the digital economy with the deep integration of information technology and the real economy has become a global trend, and the corresponding financial digital transformation has also become the main task of financial industry transformation when the government-led and market-oriented operation plays an irreplaceable role.

According to the speech delivered by Wang Wei, First Class Inspector of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Economy and Information Technology, Beijing, centering on the construction of the national financial management center, will further promote the innovative practice of digital finance, in cooperation with the Beijing Local Financial Supervision and Administration to build a modern digital financial system in China’s capital, Improve the level of digital finance supporting the development of the real economy, and help the construction of Beijing into a global model city of digital economy. It is necessary to take such measures as supporting the implementation of key digital financial institutions and major projects, improving the digitalization of financial infrastructure, increasing the openness of public data and social data, accelerating the implementation of the Beijing Digital Economy Promotion Regulations, deepening the construction of the Beijing International Data Exchange and the Zone for Financial Data and providing data of higher quality as a key factor of production.

Zhao Weiju, Member of Standing Committee of CPC of Beijing Local Financial Supervision and Administration, Deputy Director of Beijing Local Financial Supervision and Administration, pointed out in his speech that Beijing’s fintech will take the deepening of digital industrialization and financial digitization as the main task, with focus on both the supply side and the demand side, give full play to the synergistic effect of financial reform and financial opening and take stronger steps to enhance the innovation of a modern digital financial system that fits the positioning of the capital so as to build a strong and solid network for building Beijing into a benchmark city for the global digital economy. Great efforts will be made to foster the main body of the digital financial industry, strengthen the R&D and innovation of digital financial technology, expand the experience of the digital financial application scenarios, construct and Improve the supervision system of digital finance, and optimize the industrial layout of digital finance.

Li Xin, Deputy Secretary of CPC Beijing Shijingshan District, Mayor of Shijingshan District People’s Government of Beijing Municipality, noted in his speech that Shijingshan District has seized development opportunities and issued the Five-Year Plan for Digital Economy, in alignment with the development orientation of the Beijing Banking & Insurance Business Park given by the State Council to build a National Financial Industry Demonstration Zone. In this way, the financial digital transformation is regarded as the support of strategic importance for the development of regional digital economy. In order to further promote the development of digital finance, Li Xin proposed four guarantees, that is, building a consensus on cooperation to promote the development of digital finance, creating an ecological environment conducive to the its development, fostering new drivers of growth for digital finance and constructing the “circle of friends” of digital finance.

Jointly Exploring the Path to Future via Exchange of Ideas

Lenny Zhao, Vice President and Head of Visa Consulting and Analytics (VCA), Visa Greater China, delivered a speech themed as “Responsible Innovation Fostering the Sustainable Development of Digital Payment”, reflecting the thinking and commitment of the world’s leading digital technology companies to digital payment security to advance the sustainable development of the digital economy.

Fan Bin, VP & Senior Partner, IBM Consulting Greater China Group, General Manager, IBM Consulting China Financial Service Sector, delivered a speech on the theme of “Let’s Create a Digital Finance New Era”, and Jin Songhua, CFO of Microsoft Greater China talked about “AI Empowers Innovation for Sustainable Growth”, both expounding their ideas for the future of new digital finance, and sharing their experience in the development of digital finance in related industries. Fiona Ma, Treasurer of California, USA, Tom Simpson, Managing Director, China Operations & China Chief Representative China-Britain Business Council, Arno Oudijn, Financial Counsellor at the Netherlands Embassy and Kasia Greco, Vice President, Vienna Chamber of Commerce & Industry delivered speeches on courses such as “UK-China Digital Finance Overview and Outlook” and “Fintech Developments, an Outsiders’ Perspective”. They have explored new trends and hot issues in the development of digital finance from a broader perspective beyond the industry to seek for opportunities to deepen cooperation and development with digital finance in China.

The roundtable discussion around “Critical Thinking with Digital Intelligence to Reconstruct Financial” was moderated by Zhang Li, executive vice president of Asia Digital Group. A lively discussion on digital intelligence, the core of the transformation of the digital financial format was presented among guests including Li Xianxia, Member of Standing Committee of CPC Beijing Shijingshan District, Deputy Mayor of Shijingshan District People’s Government of Beijing Municipality, Li Wenhua, Deputy Mayor of Shijingshan District People’s Government of Beijing Municipality, Zhang Ning, Director of the Central University of Finance and Economics, Liu Dongmin, Director of the Division of International Finance, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Li Junping, Vice President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, Michael Jing, Senior Vice President of BOE, Du Xiaozheng, GM of Business Analysis Division at GienTech, Chairman of Data Development Committee at GienTech, Bu Renhai, Data Solutions Expert of China Information.

Promoting Steady Progress in Digital Financial Innovation Guided by Think Tank

In order to further enhance and promote the development of digital finance in Shijingshan District, this Digital Finance Forum witnessed the signing of the strategic cooperation framework agreement between the Shijingshan District People’s Government and Asia Digital Group, represented by Li Xianxia, Member of Standing Committee of CPC Beijing Shijingshan District, Deputy Mayor of Shijingshan District People’s Government of Beijing Municipality and Zhang Li, Executive Vice President of Asia Digital Group respectively.

Meanwhile, in order to strengthen the Shijingshan District Digital Finance Consultant Team, Li Xin, Deputy Secretary of CPC Beijing Shijingshan District, Mayor of Shijingshan District People’s Government of Beijing Municipality presented letters of appointment for senior consultants of digital finance of Shijingshan District to over guests from academia and business in digital finance, including Fan Bin, VP & Senior Partner, IBM Consulting Greater China Group, General Manager, IBM Consulting China Financial Service Sector, Jin Songhua, CFO of Microsoft Greater China, Zhang Li, Executive Vice President of Asia Digital Group, Huang Hongying, Vice President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, Li Junping, Vice President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, Michael Jing, Senior Vice President of BOE, Liu Dongmin, Director of the Division of International Finance, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Zhang Ning, Director of the Central University of Finance and Economics, Du Xiaozheng, GM of Business Analysis Division at GienTech, Chairman of Data Development Committee at GienTech, Huang Wanzhong, Chief Data Expert of China Information, Vice Chairman of DAMA China, International Data Management Association, Wu Lianfeng, Vice President & Chief Research Analyst IDC China, Doris Liu, Head of Inward Investment China (Hong Kong), Scottish Development International, Qu Shaoguang, Vice General Manager of China Financial Computerization Group, Zhang Shaofeng, Founder, Chairman, CEO of Bairong Inc., Li Fan, Secretary of the Party Committee, General Manager of the Tech Innovation Department of China Everbright Group, Han Bo, Board Director, President of Longyingzhida (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd., etc. The consultants and leaders of Shijingshan District conducted in-depth exchanges and discussions at the subsequent meeting on the development of modern financial industry in Shijingshan District, and offered suggestions for promoting steady and solid progress in the innovation of digital finance in this area.

In addition, this forum utilized AI, VR, AR and other digital technologies to build a cloud platform that breaks the boundaries of time and space through cloud conferences, livestreaming videos, cloud exhibitions and cloud docking, together with offline conferences. The cloud platform can enable the global audience to experience as if they were here, with latest projects and research results presented in a detailed and multi-dimensional manner from such enterprises as China CITIC Bank, Bank of Beijing Shijingshan Sub-branch, China Banking and Insurance Information Technology Management Co., Ltd., CRCC Cyber Information Technology Co., Ltd., China Banking and Insurance Information Technology Management (Beijing) Co., Ltd., Beijing Iron Ore Trading Center Corporation, Beijing Shangrong Factoring, BOB-Cardif Life Insurance Co., Ltd. Beijing Branch, Guobao Life Insurance Co., Ltd. Beijing Branch and Bairong Inc.

The Digital Finance Forum of this GDEC is committed to building a diversified digital finance platform based on the present and facing the future through the release of academic achievements, the collision of cutting-edge ideas, the face-to-face communication between government and market and the technological display of digital financial projects.

View original content: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/digital-led-and-innovation-driven-301597069.html

SOURCE Asia Digital Group

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