Without naming names, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella used his Ignite 2022 keynote address to tout the tech giant’s cloud offerings as better than competitors, with “more cost effective” data, enterprise applications and cybersecurity capabilities, recommending against users cobbling together a series of third-party services.
“Moving to Azure enables cost and operational efficiencies, and we want to help you leverage these savings to accelerate your own innovation,” Nadella said this week. “Azure is the only cloud that supports all organizations and all workloads, from enterprises to startups to highly regulated industries. Azure is the world‘s computer.”
Microsoft held Ignite 2022 online this week with a small in-person element. The company used the event to unveil innovations around security – including a new Defender for DevOps offering – and the Teams collaboration application that has opened up major opportunities for partners, with customers even enlisting Teams as a phone system and demanding Teams-enabled hardware for conference rooms.
Nadella’s warnings against users cobbling together third-party offerings instead of using products from Microsoft comes as rivals such as CrowdStrike CEO George Kurtz continue to put down the Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant’s cybersecurity offerings, in particular, as suboptimal.
Kurtz repeated his criticisms of Microsoft’s security stack this week at CRN parent The Channel Company’s XChange Best of Breed conference in Atlanta.
Among other things, Kurtz attributed certain breaches to Microsoft products, compared the software behemoth’s total security offerings to a “leaky lifeboat” and called its authentication architecture “a mess.”
For his part, Nadella called the Microsoft security stack “a better option – a natively integrated security solution that is supported by a vibrant partner ecosystem” compared to “multiple disconnected solutions from disparate sources that don‘t integrate well and leave gaps.”
With the Microsoft 365 suite of applications – which includes Teams, Word, Excel and PowerPoint – users “can save more than 60 percent compared to a patchwork of solutions,” Nadella said. The recently unveiled Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform offers analytics services “up to 59 percent less than any other cloud analytics out there,” he continued.
And when it comes to public clouds, “for inferencing, Azure is more cost effective than other clouds, delivering up to 2x the performance per dollar. In Azure, we also offer the best tools across the machine learning lifecycle from data preparation to model management.”
Here’s what else Nadella had to say at Ignite 2022.
You are the change agents who make doing more with less possible. Less time, less cost, less complexity, with more innovation, more agility and more resilience. Doing more with less doesn‘t mean working harder or longer. It’s not going to scale. It means applying technology to amplify what you can do and, ultimately, what an organization can achieve amidst today‘s constraints.
Over the past few years, we‘ve talked extensively about digital transformation. But today, we need to deliver on the digital imperative for every organization. And it all comes down to how we can help you do this with the Microsoft Cloud. No other cloud offers the best-of-category products and the best-of suite-solutions. … It all starts at the infrastructure layer and how we’re helping you build agility and optimize your business with Azure.
Moving to the cloud is the best way to align your IT investments to scale with demand so that you can do more with less.
We see this clearly in our data. Moving to Azure enables cost and operational efficiencies, and we want to help you leverage these savings to accelerate your own innovation. Azure is the only cloud that supports all organizations and all workloads, from enterprises to startups to highly regulated industries.
Azure is the world‘s computer. We have more than 60 data center regions connected by 175,000 miles of fiber. But it doesn’t stop there. We want to help you deliver the power of Azure anywhere.
That‘s where Azure Arc comes in. Azure Arc extends the Azure platform so you can build applications with Azure services that can run across on-premises, edge and multi-cloud environments.
As Kubernetes adoption takes off, you can use Arc to run containerized applications with AKS (Microsoft’s Azure Kubernetes Service) on Azure Stack HCI (hyper-converged infrastructure), Windows Server, Windows devices, Windows IoT – enabling a consistent experience across Azure on premises and edge. And we will enable AKS to run on even more platforms going forward.
When we say the trusted computing platform for all organizations and all platforms, we mean it. Azure is the only cloud provider enabling highly regulated industries to bring their most sensitive applications to the cloud.
Azure confidential computing can help you protect data while in use, thanks to enclaves that protect and isolate code and data in a zero-trust environment so that customers can prevent even Azure as the cloud provider from gaining access.
We provide the broadest and deepest set of virtual machines, containers and services powered by the latest confidential capable CPUs (central-processing units) from Intel and AMD as well as confidential GPUs (graphics-processing units) from Nvidia.
And we continue to expand our Azure confidential computing portfolio with confidential VM node pools on AKs, enabling the seamless lift and shift of Linux container workloads and confidential VM options on both Azure Virtual Desktop and SQL on Azure VMs.
I‘m also excited to announce the preview of Azure Managed Confidential Consortium Framework, which allows developers to build, deploy and manage highly sensitive, multi-party applications. … We have seen customers in every industry use confidential computing capabilities today, from F5 for mitigating insider threat risk, HashiCorp for managing customer keys signal for protecting customer contact details, RBC for correlating partner data with credit card transactions, Fireblocks for secure blockchain-based asset and transaction tracking and the Australian startup Carbon Asset Solutions, which is using Azure confidential ledger to ensure that carbon credit data they collect remains secure and tamper free, giving buyers confidence.
When it comes to doing more with less, AI is the ultimate amplifier. It‘s going to change what an application looks like, what the design language of an application is and how it gets built and how it gets delivered.
We are committed to making the promise of AI real for you and doing this responsibly. We built the next generation supercomputers in Azure that are being used by us, OpenAI as well as customers like (Facebook parent) Meta to train some of the largest, most powerful AI models. Azure provides almost 2x higher compute throughput per GPU and near-linear scaling to thousands of GPUs thanks to the world-class networking and system software optimization.
And for inferencing, Azure is more cost effective than other clouds, delivering up to 2x the performance per dollar. In Azure, we also offer the best tools across the machine learning lifecycle from data preparation to model management.
Data scientists and machine learning engineers can use Azure Machine Learning to build, train, deploy and operate large-scale AI models at scale. Azure is also the best platform for PyTorch. … We‘re excited to be launching the Azure Container for PyTorch, bringing together the latest PyTorch version with the best optimization software for training and inference – all tested and optimized for Azure.
And we are helping you build responsibly, with tools like our Responsible AI dashboard which helps you evaluate the performance and fairness of your model.
We ourselves, along with our partners, are using all of these capabilities to train state-of-the-art AI models. …We‘ve trained (the) GPT (generative pre-trained transformer) family of models for human-like language generation, Dall-E for realistic image generation and editing, and Codex for code generation in more than a dozen programming languages. … We fundamentally believe that AI will not only amplify what we can do, but also augment our curiosity, creativity and imagination.
(The Microsoft) Designer (application) is your personal design generator powered by the AI models we just talked about, including Dall-E 2. It creates new designs that the world has never seen before and that are uniquely yours.
Consider how useful this could be for a small business, for example, which wants to create images and content for social media posts, invitations, graphics and much more.
We can start by typing just a few words. With just that, Designer immediately generates templates for you based on what you write, and you can get custom-made images based on your ideas.
And there is no need to spend time creating a new design on your own or searching through thousands of pre-made templates. As you tell Designer what you like, the design becomes tailored for you. One more click, and you have a design ready to go and you can share with the world however you like. It‘s pretty fantastic.
We‘re bringing the power of Dall-E 2 and Designer not just for our own app, but also to our new Image Creator tool in Bing and Edge.
For years, we‘ve been limited to searching for images that already exist on the web. Soon you’ll be able to turn your own words into images you want to see.
We envision a world where everyone – no matter their profession – can have an experience like this for everything they do.
That includes sales. We‘re applying conversational intelligence to Viva Sales to transcribe customer calls and automatically identify highlights and critical follow-ups to ensure better customer service.
And Dynamics 365 is using the same capabilities to help sellers identify new opportunities and suggest next steps to close deals. We’re also applying these models to transform how people build software, which brings us to the third imperative – innovating with the most comprehensive cloud developer platform.
With GitHub Copilot, we are applying Codex to suggest code and entire functions in real time right from your editor, turning natural language prompts into coding suggestions.
It draws context from the code you‘re working on to finish the lines you start and even suggest entire functions. … Just like the rise of compilers and interpreters, we believe AI-assisted coding will fundamentally change the nature of software development, giving developers a new tool to write better code easier and faster.
And for users of Copilot, it‘s already writing 40 percent of the code. And developers are able to code more than 50 percent faster. They tell us they feel more fulfilled and less frustrated when coding and are ultimately able to do more with less.
And we‘re not stopping there. We are experimenting with new functionality through GitHub Copilot Labs, like ‘explain’ code, which lets you highlight a block of code and see what it does in plain English, and ‘translate’ code, which lets you select your language and translate the code into it.
When we think about the future of building software, it‘s clear innovation in building great application experiences is everybody’s job in the organization.
Seventy percent of the new applications will use low-code and no-code by 2025, up from 25 percent in 2020. And we are turning low-code into no-code with the power of AI. We are bringing the same principles and capabilities behind Copilot to Power Platform.
With express design in Power Apps, you can upload a hand drawn sketch and it will be converted into a working app within seconds. It‘s that easy.
You can also describe what you want to do in natural languages and Power Apps will generate a list of most relevant Power Fx formulas for you to choose from. The code essentially writes itself.
And we are going even further, bringing AI-powered Copilot capabilities to Power Automate. You can describe what you want to automate, and it‘ll generate suggested flows to jumpstart your flow creation. And all that’s left for you to do is simply set up the connectors and finalize the flow design. It‘s never been easier for you to build advanced workflows and automation.
The bottom line is it just can‘t be about data scientists or professional developers in your organization. We’re building these new capabilities for you. It‘s about empowering everyone. … We’re introducing new AI Builder capabilities including the feedback loop, which retrains models to continuously Excellerate their performance and accuracy.
One of the most common use cases we see for AI is surfacing the right content at the right time. How do you take the massive amount of content in any organization – proposals, contracts, presentations, designs, invoices, legal documents – and use AI to bring it into the flow of work as well as business process? … We‘re introducing Microsoft Syntex, which uses our AI Builder and Power Automate capabilities to automatically read, tag and index high volumes of content and surface it where it’s needed.
Syntex includes AI-powered summarization, translation and auto-assembly and annotation features. And it‘s, of course, integrated into Microsoft 365 and Teams.
Take a series of PDFs or Word documents in a foreign language, for example, and Syntex will translate them instantly. Open the translated document and Syntex can summarize it, providing highlights and links to the most important information. It‘s pretty fantastic.
With Microsoft 365, we provide a complete cloud-first experience that makes work better for today‘s digitally connected and distributed workforce. Customers can save more than 60 percent compared to a patchwork of solutions.
Microsoft 365 includes Teams plus the apps you always relied on – Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook – as well as new applications for creation and expression like Loop, Clipchamp (video editor), Stream and Designer. And it‘s all built on the Microsoft Graph, which makes available to you information about people, their relationships, all their work artifacts, meetings, events, documents, in one interconnected system.
Thanks to the graph, you can understand how work is changing and how your digitally distributed workforce is working. This is so critical. It all comes alive in the new Microsoft 365 application. It provides personalized recommendations powered by the graph. It brings together all your favorite productivity tools, as well as third-party solutions you choose to add. It‘s your go-to application for all the ways you work today.
Work doesn‘t happen in a vacuum. You need to be great at sync(hronous), async, in-person as well as remote collaboration. In a previous era, you could get away with one or two of these quadrants. But now, you need all four quadrants to be excellent at any given time for work to get done and collaboration to happen.
Teams supports all the ways people work today. It has become essential to how hundreds of millions of people meet, call, chat, collaborate and do business. We‘ve introduced more than 450 capabilities over the past year, and we are announcing new Teams features … This includes Teams premium, which delivers advanced meeting protection so you never have to worry that your most sensitive conversations might be shared.
And also intelligent recap, which uses AI to assign tasks during meetings and call out important moments in the recording. Forget about having to attend every single meeting ever again.
The killer app, of course, for Teams is the Teams app platform and how it has become the organizing layer for all applications you can use to run your business.
Just like mobile devices completely transformed how people consume software, we‘re seeing collaborative applications in Teams transform how people work together. Collaborative apps represent a paradigm shift on how apps are built. Instead of apps being the focal point where users go, collaborative apps bring business workflows, data and insights to where users are.
More than 1,600 third-party applications are available on Teams App Store today. And more than 100,000 companies have deployed their own custom line-of-business applications in Teams.
We‘ve seen leaders from every industry from Canva to ServiceNow build apps that deeply integrate Teams and Microsoft 365 across their workflows. 3M has built a Post-It app on Teams to support all the ways people brainstorm and collaborate, including taking notes on Post-Its.
Handwritten Post-It notes are seamlessly transformed into a digital whiteboard by simply taking a picture. Using the power of the graph, the app assigns tasks, surfaces relevant documents, automatically groups content and includes relevant notes, all within the Teams meeting experience.
SAP is building a Teams app so you can access and update real-time data from SAP’s S4/Hana Cloud directly inside a Teams chat.
And because the experience is built using Adaptive Card-based Loop components, the data can be shared in Outlook and stays in sync across SAP, Teams and Outlook, making it easy for employees to always have access to the latest information wherever they prefer to work. Adaptive Card-based Loop components will be generally available next year.
With Teams Rooms, you’re bringing teams to a growing ecosystem of devices and space configurations to help people stay connected and participate from anywhere. And I’m very excited to announce that Cisco will become a Microsoft Teams Rooms certified device partner and runs teams rooms or Android natively on their room systems.
The certified device portfolio will include multiple meeting devices and peripherals and more to come.
Our approach to space extends to the metaverse and how we’re bringing together the digital and physical worlds. We’re taking an approach to ensure that all our software can benefit users on all their favorite devices.
Our approach to space extends to the metaverse and how we‘re bringing together the digital and physical worlds. We’re taking an approach to ensure that all our software can benefit users on all their favorite devices. … We announced with (Facebook parent) Meta that we are bringing Teams immersive meeting experiences to (the) Quest (virtual reality device) so you can connect, share and collaborate in VR as though you are together in person. … I‘m thrilled to announce the private preview of Mesh avatars in Microsoft Teams globally.
Customers will be able to build their avatars in a way that reflects their identity and can represent them in meetings, giving them the flexibility and choice to be present without ever having to turn on a camera.
The hybrid workplace today is often too ad hoc. Leaders are being asked to rethink their real estate portfolio with very limited data, and employees are being asked to go into the office with very limited understanding of why they should come in in the first place.
That‘s why we’re introducing a new connected workplace category and announcing Microsoft Places. We want to help you turn your space into a place.
A space becomes a place when people provide it meaning. Think about the importance of the Outlook calendar for orchestrating when people meet and collaborate. Places will do the same for where.
You don‘t just, say, show up for a meeting. You show up for purpose and connection. So we are building a new system to help you create a place, including tools to help you see when your colleagues are planning to come in, what meetings are best suited to be in person and reserve the right place for you. And for leaders, we provide recommendations on how to transform your space into a place.
When it comes to Windows, we‘re fundamentally redesigning the operating system from the client to the cloud for hybrid work.
Windows 11 is designed for the future of work today, and from new PCs we announced just this morning to the expansion of our cloud offering from Windows 365 to Azure Virtual Desktop, Windows continues to evolve to work the way you do.
It starts by making you more secure with new cloud-powered features. Enhanced phishing protection helps you better understand whether something is malicious or clean. The combination of Windows Enterprise and Intune helps make your endpoints less vulnerable to evolving security threats.
And with Windows 365, we‘re transforming how you experience windows by bringing together the power of Windows computers with Azure computing. Windows 365 is a completely unique SaaS (software-as-a-service) offering built for this distributed workforce era. What this means is you can now access your cloud PC directly from Windows 11’s taskbar or start menu.
And we‘re also announcing the availability of Windows 365 Government and an enterprise multi-user plan designed for frontline and shift workers.
For far too long, customers have been forced to adopt multiple disconnected (cybersecurity) solutions from disparate sources that don‘t integrate well and leave gaps. We offer a better option – a natively integrated security solution that is supported by a vibrant partner ecosystem.
It starts with Microsoft Entra, our new vision and portfolio for identity and access. It extends to Microsoft Purview … the future of compliance and data governance. As well as Microsoft Priva to help you manage privacy and Microsoft Intune to protect your endpoints and manage them. And, of course, Microsoft Defender and Sentinel.
You get a comprehensive solution that closes gaps and works for you at machine speed. On average, customers save more than 60 percent when they turn to us compared to a multi-vendor solution. Our approach extends to all clouds and all platforms. And we are investing to protect you. … We introduced new innovations in Defender for Cloud, including enhanced security posture management that‘ll help you focus on the most critical risks and provide built-in, multi-cloud security recommendations.
The new Defender for DevOps helps you secure the entire development lifecycle in a unified DevOps security management across multiple environments. We‘re also adding automatic attack disruption to Defender to limit lateral movement and help you stop ransomware before it gets a chance to encrypt your data.
And we are adding new identity governance capabilities to Entra, providing even greater control over digital identities across on-premises, the cloud, so that only the right people are granted the right access to the right resources at the right time, which is so critical in a world where everything is just one login away.
This article originally appeared at crn.com
Rajat Bhargava is an entrepreneur, investor, author and currently CEO and cofounder of JumpCloud.
From the 1980s until the mid-2000s, the monoculture around Microsoft ruled. Users logged into Windows-managed computers and used Office and Windows File Server; businesses relied on Microsoft Active Directory (AD) to manage user identity and access.
Then, IT evolved. On-premises environments and closed systems gave way to the flexibility of the cloud. Organizations adopted Mac- and Linux-based systems. Software as a service (SaaS) environments exploded. Data centers started to be replaced by infrastructure as a service (IaaS) providers. Now, Gartner predicts that over 95% of new digital workloads will be deployed on cloud-native platforms by 2025, a dramatic increase from 30% in 2021.
With cloud servers preferred for data processing and storage, web applications now dominate the market. In part because wired connections gave way to wireless networks and people became more mobile through smartphones, and Google Workspace (aka G Suite, Google Apps) and M365 (aka Office 365) became as popular as machine-based Office applications in the enterprise space.
In this environment, organizations can’t be bound to anachronistic approaches as businesses shift to the cloud and globally distributed workforces. Now’s the time for companies—especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)—to approach IT with an open mind and an open approach.
“Open” in this context doesn’t mean porous or loose; it represents scalability, flexibility and agility in terms of changes in technology and developments in the stack. An open approach improves end user experience, worker productivity and satisfaction. An open approach to IT can be a critical tool in helping organizations establish zero-trust security without sacrificing the agility and flexibility made possible by the cloud.
In this article, I’ll offer some tips to getting started with this approach.
Modernizing IT stacks means making sure that work—remote and hybrid—functions well. Employees care about doing their job; they want easy access to the resources they need. IT teams want a similarly streamlined experience and assurance that company data remains secure without impacting productivity. My company’s survey of 506 SME IT admins found that nearly 75% prefer a single solution to manage employee identities, access and devices than having to manage a number of different solutions. An open directory platform approach incorporates a cloud-hosted “virtual” domain that meets this need, offering the flexibility and security necessary to support modern workplaces.
This means creating an IT environment that consumes identities wherever they live. Not just employee identities but also device identities, allowing your system to be open to receive information from authorized sources anywhere. On the outgoing side, it means creating a single source of user identity that can be propagated out to other devices, other users or to an authorized network.
Identity as a service and cloud directories are vital tools that enable an open approach. Look for those that offer fluidity and the flexibility to change resources any time (for example, from M365 to Google Workspace or vice versa).
Flexible Security Layers
Instead of traditional perimeters, an open approach favors a creation of virtual offices and security perimeters around each employee—and whatever devices they use. Being open doesn’t equate to a cavalier security approach; it’s a way to offer authorized access to resources anywhere that is convenient and tracked for compliance and overall visibility.
Security layers can evolve with each organization’s need and should include:
• Identity layer: A cloud directory houses authentication credentials and establishes centralized access control across user identity, admin access, service accounts and machines. Centering identity within a cloud directory allows SME teams to draw a security perimeter around each employee, enabling updates without disruption and providing access to on-prem and cloud-based resources.
• Device layer: Most IT environments operate within an ever-evolving state of company-issued, personal and mobile devices running some combination of Mac, Windows or Linux systems. In this complicated device ecosystem, organizations should extend user identity to establish device trust, meaning that a device is known and its user is verified. A mobile device management solution (MDM) is one option that can install a remote agent to handle basics—including multifactor authentication (MFA) and permissions—zero-touch onboarding and remote lock, restart or wipe. Determine the control level you need in your device environment, factoring in options like how you honor employee device choice and how you manage your bring your own device (BYOD) policy.
• IT resource layer: In office environments, employees generally use a form of single sign-on (SSO) to log into their desktop at designated workstations and then get instant access to applications and shared files and servers. In remote, hybrid and other modern IT environments, SSO should include everything from SaaS apps to systems, files, infrastructure and shared networks. Some organizations use SSO solely for web-based applications, while some centralize identity and extend it to virtually any IT resource through authentication protocols like LDAP, SAML, OpenID Connect, SSH, RADIUS and REST.
Given security, ongoing monitoring and compliance needs, visibility is critical to an open IT approach. Considering the breadth of access transactions, businesses should look for a holistic solution with broad coverage.
Basic event logging data is table stakes, and IT solutions should include a method for capturing discrete and unique log formats. That includes logs from SSO and from cloud RADIUS for network connection, LDAP and device connections—any log format for resources deployed in your stack.
Because integration requirements make log analysis and management solutions expensive, challenging to implement and difficult for admins managing custom feeds for authentication protocols, consider options that offer a wide range of analysis by enriching raw data. This can be done with a number of other data points, sessionizing the data through post-processing. Such information provides admins with broad insight across their entire IT environment, not just into a particular service or user.
For many organizations, extending closed legacy systems was a necessity. In the age of hybrid and remote work, it’s proving more of a liability than an asset. An open approach allows companies to embrace a diverse, modern IT environment that can keep pace with what users need, keeping them and company data secure at every access point.
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With digital disruptors eating away at market share and profits hurting from prolonged, intensive cost wars between traditional competitors, businesses had been looking to reduce their cost-to-income ratios even before COVID-19. When the pandemic happened, the urgency hit a new high. On top of that came the scramble to digitize pervasively in order to survive.
But there was a problem. Legacy infrastructure, being cost-inefficient and inflexible, hindered both objectives. The need for technology modernization was never clearer. However, what wasn’t so clear was the path to this modernization.
Should the enterprise rip up and replace the entire system or upgrade it in parts? Should the transformation go “big bang” or proceed incrementally, in phases? To what extent and to which type of cloud should they shift to? And so on.
The Infosys Modernization Radar 2022 addresses these and other questions.
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Currently, 88% of technology assets are legacy systems, half of which are business-critical. An additional concern is that many organizations lack the skills to adapt to the requirements of the digital era. This is why enterprises are rushing to modernize: The report found that 70% to 90% of the legacy estate will be modernized within five years.
Different modernization approaches have different impacts. For example, non-invasive (or less invasive) approaches involve superficial changes to a few technology components and impact the enterprise in select pockets. These methods may be considered when the IT architecture is still acceptable, the system is not overly complex, and the interfaces and integration logic are adequate. Hence they entail less expenditure.
But since these approaches modernize minimally, they are only a stepping stone to a more comprehensive future initiative. Some examples of less and non-invasive modernization include migrating technology frameworks to the cloud, migrating to open-source application servers, and rehosting mainframes.
Invasive strategies modernize thoroughly, making a sizable impact on multiple stakeholders, application layers and processes. Because they involve big changes, like implementing a new package or re-engineering, they take more time and cost more money than non-invasive approaches and carry a higher risk of disruption, but also promise more value.
When an organization’s IT snarl starts to stifle growth, it should look at invasive modernization by way of re-architecting legacy applications to cloud-native infrastructure, migrating traditional relational database management systems to NoSQL-type systems, or simplifying app development and delivery with low-code/no-code platforms.
From the above discussion, it is apparent that not all consequences of modernization are intentional or even desirable. So that brings us back to the earlier question: What is the best modernization strategy for an enterprise?
The truth is that there’s no single answer to this question because the choice of strategy depends on the organization’s context, resources, existing technology landscape, business objectives. However, if the goal is to minimize risk and business disruption, then some approaches are clearly better than others.
In the Infosys Modernization Radar 2022 report, 51% of respondents taking the big-bang approach frequently suffered high levels of disruption, compared to 21% of those who modernized incrementally in phases. This is because big-bang calls for completely rewriting enterprise core systems, an approach that has been very often likened to changing an aircraft engine mid-flight.
Therefore big-bang modernization makes sense only when the applications are small and easily replaceable. But most transformations entail bigger changes, tilting the balance in favor of phased and coexistence approaches, which are less disruptive and support business continuity.
Phased modernization progresses towards microservices architecture and could take the coexistence approach. As the name suggests, this entails the parallel runs of legacy and new systems until the entire modernization — of people, processes and technology — is complete. This requires new cloud locations for managing data transfers between old and new systems.
The modernized stack points to a new location with a routing façade, an abstraction that talks to both modernized and legacy systems. To embrace this path, organizations need to analyze applications in-depth and perform security checks to ensure risks don’t surface in the new architecture.
Strategies such as the Infosys zero-disruption method frequently take the coexistence approach since it is suited to more invasive types of modernization. Planning the parallel operation of both old and new systems until IT infrastructure and applications make their transition is extremely critical.
The coexistence approach enables a complete transformation to make the application scalable, flexible, modular and decoupled, utilizing microservices architecture. A big advantage is that the coexistence method leverages the best cloud offerings and gives the organization access to a rich partner ecosystem.
An example of zero-disruption modernization that I have led is the transformation of the point-of-sale systems of an insurer. More than 50,000 rules (business and UI) involving more than 10 million lines of code were transformed using micro-change management. This reduced ticket inventory by 70%, improved maintenance productivity by about 10% and shortened new policy rollout time by about 30%.
Technology modernization is imperative for meeting consumer expectations, lowering costs, increasing scalability and agility, and competing against nimble, innovative next-generation players. In other words, it is the ticket to future survival.
There are many modernization approaches, and not all of them are equal. For example, the big-bang approach, while quick and sometimes even more affordable, carries a very significant risk of disruption. Since a single hour of critical system downtime could cost as much as $300,000, maintaining business continuity during transformation is a very big priority for enterprises.
The phased coexistence approach mitigates disruption to ensure a seamless and successful transformation.
Gautam Khanna is the vice president and global head of the modernization practice at Infosys.
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Oct 11, 2022 (Alliance News via COMTEX) -- Data analytics is a wide-ranging field. It is not just about developing analytic platform and making predictions. As the amount of data, we are generating increases, data analytics solutions are becoming more and more important.
Data analytics is a type of data science that uses a systematic approach for analysing and making predictions based on data. Data analytics provides businesses with a way to uncover valuable information hidden in the data that is difficult to discover using conventional means.
Businesses can use data analytics solutions to gain actionable insights from their data. They can use these insights to determine what products and services are most cost-effective and make better decisions about how to run their operations.
If you want to find the best data analytics companies, you can consult this list compiled by the DataFlareUp team. The rankings of these data analytics companies were based on several factors, including client reviews, quality, loyalty, flexibility, and capacity.
List of Top 10 Most Promising Data Analytics Companies
In the Data engineering services market, vendors provide solutions that include D&A strategy and operating model design, Data management, Data Analytics and Business Intelligence (BI), Data Science and AI & machine learning, Data Governance, Data Management, and more
Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Technology and Operations services and Accenture Song--all powered by the world's largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 710,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our clients, people, shareholders, partners, and communities. Visit us at accenture.com.
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Capgemini is a global leader in partnering with companies to transform and manage their business by harnessing the power of technology. The Group is guided everyday by its purpose of unleashing human energy through technology for an inclusive and sustainable future. It is a responsible and diverse organization of over 350,000 team members in more than 50 countries. With its strong 55-year heritage and deep industry expertise, Capgemini is trusted by its clients to address the entire breadth of their business needs, from strategy and design to operations, fueled by the fast evolving and innovative world of cloud, data, AI, connectivity, software, digital engineering, and platforms. The Group reported in 2021 global revenues of EUR18 billion.
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Cognizant (Nasdaq-100: CTSH) engineers modern businesses. We help our clients modernize technology, reimagine processes and transform experiences so they can stay ahead in our fast-changing world. Together, we're improving everyday life. See how at www.cognizant.com or @cognizant.
Specialties: Interactive, Intelligent Process Automation, Digital Engineering, Industry & Platform Solutions, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud, Data, Healthcare, Banking, Finance, Fintech, Manufacturing, Retail, Technology, and Salesforce
Indium Software is a leading provider of Digital Engineering solutions with deep expertise in data analytics , Application Engineering, Cloud Engineering, DevOps and Digital Assurance. Indium’s key differentiators are its specialization in Low Code Development , Ai-driven Text Analytics and Partnerships with tech companies such as Mendix, AWS, Denodo and Striim.
Indium has a global presence with key focus in the US, UK, APAC and India with around 2000+ associates and clients ranging from leading ISVs to large enterprises. Industry advocates namely Forbes, Dun & Bradstreet, Clutch have recognized us as a Trusted Digital Engineering partner for Innovative Startups & Visionary Enterprises.
At Indium, we believe in continuous learning from the world around us that helps us perform better and stay ahead in the game. We practice an open work culture, where every Indiumite is encouraged to share knowledge, learn, and grow. Visit us @ www.indiumsoftware.com to know more about us.
Big Data Engineering, Predictive Analytics, Descriptive Analytics, Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Text Analytics, Mendix Development, Data Warehousing, Image & Video Analytics, Blockchain Development, Alpha Software Development, Software Testing Services, Data Analytics Solutions, Big Data Consulting, Performance Testing, Security Testing, STRIIM, Low Code Development, Quality Assurance, Test Automation, and Mendix
Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT, BSE: 507685, NSE: WIPRO) is a leading technology services and consulting company focused on building innovative solutions that address clients' most complex digital transformation needs. Leveraging our holistic portfolio of capabilities in consulting, design, engineering, and operations, we help clients realize their boldest ambitions and build future-ready, sustainable businesses. With over 240,000 employees and business partners across 66 countries, we deliver on the promise of helping our customers, colleagues, and communities, to thrive in an ever-changing world.
Specialties: Consulting, Business Process Outsourcing, Business Application Services, Infrastructure Management, Cloud Services, Analytics and Information Management, Product and Engineering Services, Mobility, Datacentre Managed Services, and Software application management
Hexaware is an automation-led next-generation service provider delivering excellence in IT, BPS and Consulting services. We are driven by a combination of robust strategies, passionate teams and a global culture rooted in innovation and automation. Hexaware's digital offerings have helped clients achieve operational excellence and customer delight.
Our focus lies on taking a leadership position in helping clients attain customer intimacy as their competitive advantage. We are on a journey of metamorphosing the experiences of the customer's customers by leveraging our industry-leading delivery and execution model, built around the strategy-- 'Automate Everything(R), Cloudify Everything(R), Transform Customer Experiences(R)'. Powering Hexaware's complex technology solutions and services is the Bottom-Up Disruption, a disruptive crowdsourcing initiative that brings about innovation and improvement to everyday complexities and, ultimately, growing the clients' business. The digitally empowered, diverse and inclusive workforce of Hexaware represents various nationalities, comprising 24,166 employees, and thoroughly lives the company's philosophy of 'customer success, first and always'.
Exciting, isn't it? Follow Hexaware to get a glimpse of technology disruptions and exciting digital transformations on the horizon. To learn more, visit www.hexaware.com
Specialties: Banking, Financial Services, Healthcare, Insurance, Travel, Transportation, Manufacturing & Consumer, Application Transformation, Enterprise Solutions, BI & Analytics, Digital Assurance, Infrastructure Management Services, Business Process Services., Professional Services, Automation, Cloud, and Customer experience
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Specialties: Audit, Consulting, Financial Advisory, Risk Management, and Tax Services
Teradata is the connected multi-cloud data platform for enterprise analytics, solving data challenges from start to scale. Only Teradata gives you the flexibility to handle the massive and mixed data workloads of the future, today -- making your data easier to consume everywhere, with no added risk.
Our open approach embraces the modern ecosystem to create a seamless experience for ingestion, exploration, development, and operationalization. We've created the fastest path to analytics in the cloud at scale at the lowest risk. Our experience working with thousands of customers and partners around the world, across a wide range of verticals and industries, makes us the most effective platform for delivering business outcomes and unlocking unlimited value by turning data into your greatest asset.
Specialties: Business Analytics Solutions, Hybrid Cloud Solutions, Cloud, Consulting, and Pervasive Data Intelligence
Since we were founded in 2003, we've been driven forward by one mission: helping organizations succeed by transforming their business with data.
We've been into data and analytics long before they were buzzwords that dominated our landscape. And while fancy new tools and silver-bullet solutions have come and gone since the early 2000s, our approach, grounded in fundamentals and focused on the future, has remained as efficient and effective as ever.
Our data analytics consultants help with the entire data and analytics lifecycle--from strategy to implementation--so you can make sense of your data and use it to solve complex business problems.
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– Data Strategy: Get a long-term, guiding plan that defines the people, processes, and technology you need to put in place so you can start using your data to achieve your business goals.
– Data Management: Get the foundation you need to make your data accurate and available to the right people at the right time.
– Analytics: Get BI solutions that automate manual processes, turn data into insights, Excellerate data quality, clearly communicate complex data, and predict trends and behavior.
Specialties: Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, Data Strategy, Data Visualization, Data Science, Data Architecture, Data Prep, Data Governance, Data Infrastructure, Technology Implementation, Qlik, AWS, Microsoft, Snowflake, dbt, databricks, Google, Tableau, Looker, PowerBI, Azure, GCP, Data Management, Data Integration, Data Architecture, and Data Engineering
LatentView Analytics Ltd. is one of the world's largest and fastest-growing digital analytics firms.
We help companies drive digital transformation by helping them combine digital and traditional data to gain a competitive advantage. LatentView Analytics provides a 360-degree view of the digital consumer, enabling companies to predict new revenue streams, anticipate product trends and popularity, Excellerate customer retention rates and optimize investment decisions.
We specialize in Predictive Modeling, Marketing Analytics, Big Data Analytics, Advanced Analytics, Web Analytics, Data Science, Data Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning Applications.
We practice transparency and accountability at all levels. Every employee is aware of their responsibility and has access to every leadership level, including the CEO. We encourage our employees to think big and not be limited by current ideas and perspectives.
Our long-term vision as a company is to inspire and transform businesses to excel in the digital world by harnessing the power of data and analytics.
Specialties: Marketing Analytics, Business Analytics, Supply Chain Analytics, Risk Analytics, Customer Analytics, Advanced analytics, Big Data, Social Media Analytics, Predictive Analytics, Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Subscription Commerce, Data Engineering, and Data Science
Data analytics solutions can Excellerate the performance of a business and make it more efficient. It can also help businesses identify market gaps and make the most of opportunities that develop.
In order to choose the best data analytics company for your business, you should identify the level of data your business currently has, the types of data your business generates, and the data needs of your business. This will help you choose the right data analytics solution that meets your needs.
Make use of this Top 10 data analytic Service providers to narrow down your search and start your digital journey.
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Multinational professional services consultancy Beca prides itself on its ability to build connections, with teams of experts designing world-leading projects and also working with clients to deliver advisory and digital solutions. When its ageing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system was getting in the way of providing seamless client service and clogging its new business pipeline, it turned to Capgemini and Microsoft for a new Dynamics 365 platform capable of managing both scale and complexity. And even in its early days, the new CRM is building connections Beca’s founders would be proud of.
Few New Zealand businesses have the history and the success of Beca, which has grown to have over 3,800 employees working in numerous locations across the Asia Pacific region.
But like other businesses that have grown and evolved over so many years, the technology stack had grown in an ad hoc fashion too. The Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) across the business had become a set of disparate systems, with a lot of duplication, inefficiencies and “walls” between one team and the next. Capturing and sharing client details between teams was difficult, and there was no way of capturing important client information, correspondence and interactions.
“At Beca, we don’t just sell a single product. As a professional services business, we provide engineering design and solutions, we are project managers, we are an environmental and planning consultancy, we develop digital products and solutions, we are architects and sustainability experts, and offer a raft of other services too. We often have many parts of our business working with our clients at any given time. This requires a much more sophisticated approach to account management. And our clients expect us to know them and understand their businesses,” explains Damian Pedreschi, Group Director Client Experience at Beca.
Beca wanted a way to bring all its clients together in a single “source of truth” CRM, creating a unified approach for all regions while also benefiting from the latest technological improvements to do more for its clients than before. It chose tech partner Intergen (now Capgemini) for the job, with a brand-new Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform to go enterprise-wide.
The Capgemini team, headed by Dynamics Practice Lead Bruce Edwards and delivery specialist Lindi du Toit, hosted demo sessions modelling the scenario which brought to the fore many out-of-the-box solutions.
Microsoft recommended establishing a charter to guide the process, working closely with all the partners to put the right frameworks in place and set a clear vision for the project, also providing funding for a proof of concept to create excitement about what the new platform would look like. With its dedicated change specialists, it also led change workshops, including one dedicated to Beca’s executive team, about how to manage and communicate change on such a major scale.
“Our Customer Success team is dedicated to helping our customers get the best value out of their implementation. For us, it’s about working together in partnership to help them be a success,” explains Daniel Lund, Senior Customer Success Manager at Microsoft New Zealand.
Capgemini’s Bruce says Beca understood straight away that the investment was not in the product, but the change the product enabled.
“It was so great to see how engaged the Beca team were. The level of enthusiasm was incredible. Beca’s got an intranet site dedicated to their Dynamics 365 transformation that’s better than anything I’ve ever seen. We gave them the responsibility of developing their own user stories (identifying who the different users across the business were and their requirements from the new CRM), and they ran with it,” added Lindi.
To realise the value of Beca’s Microsoft licences as soon as possible, get change underway faster and mitigate the risks of a ‘one big bang’ approach, the decision was made to roll out the platform in two different releases. Demonstrating the benefits and seamlessness of the first, smaller release would help them create more buy-in for the full project, showing the art of the possible.
In November 2021, the first release was ready.
“Making the sales and delivery side of the rollout seamless really took away any fear for the full go-live and gave everyone confidence in a single source of truth,” explains Abbie Gunning, Principal in Beca’s Business Transformation Office.
The second phase of the Dynamics project went live in May 2022, removing the old, obsolete sales and opportunity management system and putting everything into Dynamics 365.
Although it’s still early days, Beca’s people are loving it.
“It’s got great user adoption. That was always a problem under the old system. And we all know, if people aren’t using a system, it’s not successful. That’s all changed now,” Lindi says.
Adds Bruce: “It’s more than a Customer Relationship Management system or a sales tool. It’s a platform for the whole organisation to build their digital transformation from.”
Now the whole organisation has an effective account planning tool, having a 360 degree view of the client for the first time.
Not only have all client details and email interactions been captured in one system, making the whole end-to-end client relationship totally visible across all parts of the organisation, Beca now has a way to build on the conversations different team members are having with clients and spot new business opportunities based on the full picture.
It’s even helping Beca’s people be more innovative and learn new skills. Abbie says because people have transparency of what others are doing with clients, it’s helped inspire them with new ideas and ways of doing things.
Instead of being on Word or Excel documents, Beca’s pursuit planning is all online now too. That’s an internal process where people involved in new business bids can review which opportunities landed, why bids were successful (or not) and where they could Excellerate next time. Where managers used to struggle to get feedback, it’s now a lot easier.
“From what was a leap into the unknown, it’s now a perfect example of what can be achieved on a global scale with Dynamics 365,” says Daniel Lund. “One of the highlights of the project was the strong partnership between Beca, Capgemini and Microsoft. It always felt like one team, working collaboratively, challenging and inspiring each other. This meant a fun project but also a better solution, as we were all able to work through any challenges and opportunities to make effective decisions.”
But it didn’t end up being the final rollout.
Microsoft’s Project Ops tool is the next part of the implementation process, aimed at bringing project delivery into the new platform. And of course, reporting on any and all of this is super easy, thanks to the platform’s inbuilt analytics capabilities, so exploring Dynamics 365’s reporting tools is also on the cards.
With much better integrated data and enterprise-wide transparency now at its disposal, Beca is also now rolling out Dynamics 365’s Context IQ capabilities to Excellerate collaboration. Another area the Microsoft Customer Success team focused on was helping Beca get the most out of its new platform, introducing Beca to a host of new Teams collaboration tools, Beca is now investigating client support “swarming”, which automatically suggests experts with the relevant skills to help with a client service issue, so they can be invited to a conversation.
Says Damian: “We’ve only just started. But now we have disparate groups all moving to a single way of doing things, and we’re able to respond to our clients in many new ways, adding value and seeing new business opportunities in ways we couldn’t before. It’s already been well worth it.”
Tags: Beca, Capgemini, CRM, Dynamics 365
The international community deserves credit for trying to negotiate, pressure, or conjure up democratic reform in Venezuela. But it’s time to realize that five separate internationally-sponsored efforts since 2002 haven’t led to a democratic opening. Nor have sanctions cracked the inner circle of the dictatorship. The diplomatic recognition of Juan Guaidó as interim president hasn’t inspired change within Venezuela.
None of these well-intentioned efforts have succeeded because of the intractability of the Nicolas Maduro regime, the absence of a credible leadership option in the opposition, and the inadequacy of tools available to the international community. provide Maduro credit; he’s a catastrophe as a strategic leader, but he and his cronies, schooled in the short-term political culture of Venezuela, have been able to hang on. For Maduro, every day he’s still in charge is a good day.
A new approach is needed.
Part of the solution will be in place when the opposition has created a realistic and attractive governance option. That’s their mission, and the ability of the international community to help them do so is extremely limited.
A different kind of negotiation should be part of a new approach. With Presidents Gabriel Boric in Chile and Gustavo Petro in Colombia, combined with the possible election of Lula in Brazil — depending on the results of the upcoming elections there — there may well be a critical mass of progressive democratic leaders in South America. Unlike well-intentioned extra-hemispheric actors, each of these South American nations has paid significant costs for Venezuela’s instability: in millions of impoverished refugees straining social services, in cross-border security problems, and in dramatically decreased trade. The security and financial wellbeing of all three nations have been damaged by the Venezuelan mess. Their interest in addressing those concerns, along with their shared commitment to a progressive democratic model, present these leaders an unprecedented opportunity to press now for fresh talks focused on achievable solutions to Venezuela’s continuing problems.
Chile, Colombia, and Brazil should focus on practical and incremental steps going forward. A few examples of useful courses for discussion would be: loosening media restrictions to permit at least one media outlet with an opposition viewpoint; agreement to permit opposition leaders to freely travel and speak within Venezuela; the establishment of a timeline for elections at some level to test Bolivarian reliability; a regularization of migration from Venezuela; and a reliable mechanism for providing humanitarian and health assistance to Venezuelans. Critics will dismiss such matters as tried and failed, but they have not been addressed under the auspices of weighty and politically well-positioned leaders like Lula, Boric, and Petro. Importantly, much as was done during the Colombian peace talks with the FARC, questions about lifting sanctions imposed by external actors should be pushed off until later in the discussions, when and if real progress is made.
The involvement of Boric, Petro, and potentially Lula brings additional advantages. They can serve as mentors to the Venezuelan opposition. Each of those leaders participated in long, frustrating, but ultimately successful political enterprises against an existing order which each believed to be fundamentally closed to real reform. Their achievements in gaining power through their nation’s democratic processes can serve as model and inspiration for the beleaguered Venezuelan opposition.&nbsp;
To be sure, there will be obstacles. If the regional leaders take up this cause, their views of reform may not completely overlap with those of the U.S. Additionally, some foreign policy stances of the new Petro government will cause skepticism. Colombia’s understandable re-establishment of relations with Venezuela has in practice been clumsily handled by the new Colombian ambassador, and Bogota’s lame refusal to join OAS condemnation of the Ortega dictatorship in Nicaragua was concerning. Chile may be distracted after the accurate defeat of the constitutional referendum — but on the other hand, a change in focus might be refreshing for Boric. And finally, while Lula might well participate in South American outreach to Maduro, a re-elected Jair Bolsonaro almost certainly would not.&nbsp;&nbsp;
Nonetheless, a regional approach by these leaders is worth the effort. The Venezuelan people have suffered enough, and the Maduro regime has wrecked the country enough. Based on their nations’ interests and their democratic principles, the current crop of progressive South American leaders can press for real democratic change in a way that 20 years of desultory talks coordinated by well-meaning but disinterested outsiders has not.
Ambassador Kevin Whitaker&nbsp;is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center. He served 42 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, achieving the rank of career minister. He was U.S. ambassador to Colombia from 2014 to 2019, the longest-serving ambassador to that nation in a century. Follow him on Twitter @AmbWhitaker
President Joe Biden made unexpected headlines this week by launching a new initiative that will see Venezuelan migrants turned away at the southern border — but some critics say there's more show than substance to the program.
The Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday that Venezuelans entering the United States illegally will be returned to Mexico as a way to reduce the number of people arriving at the border. The move seemed to be a response to pleas from border state politicians to stem the tide of illegal migration.
BORDER CHIEF: REPUBLICAN BUS STUNTS COULD ENCOURAGE MORE ILLEGAL MIGRATION
“These actions make clear that there is a lawful and orderly way for Venezuelans to enter the United States, and lawful entry is the only way,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. “Those who attempt to cross the southern border of the United States illegally will be returned to Mexico and will be ineligible for this process in the future. Those who follow the lawful process will have the opportunity to travel safely to the United States and become eligible to work here.”
The southern border has been a hot issue on the Right since Biden took office, with GOP Govs. Doug Ducey (R-AZ), Greg Abbott (R-TX), and Ron DeSantis (R-FL) attracting headlines in accurate months with taxpayer-funded buses and planes sending volunteer migrants to places like Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Martha's Vineyard.
Biden's approval rating on immigration is just 35.3%, per the RealClearPolitics average, which is lower than his overall approval rating. The president ended the Trump-era "Remain in Mexico" policy upon taking office, and migrant encounters have surged.
Since January 2021, the number of noncitizens apprehended attempting to enter the country or denied admission at a port of entry has increased threefold, reaching over 200,000 encounters per month on several occasions. More than 2 million migrant encounters have taken place this fiscal year.
The DHS move may be one sign that the administration is finally listening. As part of the deal, the U.S. will collaborate with Mexico to target human smuggling operations, according to a press release, with new migration checkpoints, additional resources and personnel, and "joint targeting" of human smuggling organizations.
The move would seem to align with the wishes of figures like Abbott.
"Cartels are using social media to recruit drivers for human smuggling operations, like this one in Hidalgo Co.," he tweeted the same day as the DHS announcement. "Until Pres. Biden cracks down on cartels & secures the border, Texas will respond in full force to prevent the smuggling of people into Texas."
But many conservatives are skeptical, seeing the move as a midterm ploy that will have little real-world effect.
"Biden cares more about performative politics and his party's midterm chances than he does saving lives and addressing the humanitarian crisis Democrats created at the southern border," said Republican National Committee spokesman Will O'Grady. "There is no quick fix to this problem — but new leadership would be a solid start. Also, where is Kamala Harris?"
Harris was set to lead the Biden administration's efforts on the border but has not been a strong presence there. She has mostly focused on the root causes of immigration, visiting the border only once and skipping the area during a trip to Texas last weekend.
Beyond the optics, critics say the new program will not be effective, as it only affects immigrants from Venezuela and will also allow 24,000 migrants from that country to apply for a parole program.
The Heritage Foundation's Lora Ries describes it as a signal rather than a major substantive change.
"This administration is dealing with the border crisis by whack-a-mole," said Ries, director of the conservative think tank's Border Security and Immigration Center. "We've got Operation Allies Welcome for Afghanistan refugees, then they created the Uniting for Ukraine program, and now the volunteering for Venezuela program. They're creating new programs instead of sticking to preexisting avenues in the law, namely our Refugee Admissions Programs."
The program has also drawn criticism from the other side, with Venezuelan American Alliance President Maria Antonietta Diaz telling the Wall Street Journal that "a quota of 24,000 is not enough" and promising to demonstrate the need for a higher number.
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Biden is keenly aware of the criticism he'd receive if he took strong action to secure the border, Ries previously told the Washington Examiner, saying the president has decided he'd rather get beat up by the Right than by the Left on the issue.
Yet some Democrats are also beginning to sound the alarm. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) placed responsibility squarely on Biden and his administration to tackle an influx of immigrants coming to her state.
Describing the situation as a worsening “humanitarian crisis,” Hochul lamented a lack of federal action to address the declining situation.
“We really are looking for a federal response to this, to take ownership of a crisis, and we’ll be there to help," she said. "But this belongs to the federal government."
Major chemical companies are backing pyrolysis plants that convert plastic waste into hydrocarbon feedstocks that can be turned into plastics again. The process uses high temperatures in the absence of oxygen to break down plastics into a mixture of smaller molecules known as pyrolysis oil. But the practice has its critics, according to a cover story in Chemical & Engineering News.
Proponents of pyrolysis argue that the process can make up for the shortcomings of traditional recycling, which captures only about 9% of plastics in the U.S., according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. But environmentalists are not yet convinced, and a growing number of jurisdictions, such as California, don't consider pyrolysis recycling at all, writes Senior Editor Alex Tullo. Critics say that pyrolysis facilities can't actually accept the mixed plastic waste that they claim to, as residual contaminants gum up the process too much. A second charge is that pyrolysis is really just incineration. Another concern is scale. Pyrolysis and other forms of chemical recycling have roughly 120,000 t of capacity currently onstream in the U.S.—a miniscule fraction of the 56 million t of overall plastics production in North America in 2021.
Industry executives say they are more committed than ever to recycling and are eager to practice pyrolysis at large scale. Firms are building facilities that are bigger than before to increase capacity. Many companies are attempting to take in more mixed waste, with approaches such as using catalysts and adsorbents to filter out particulate matter and eliminate the most reactive compounds from the feedstock stream. And interest in pyrolysis is taking off, with petrochemical companies building infrastructure to process the products of pyrolysis plants and large engineering companies licensing technology to third parties that want to get into the business. How the technology works in the real world will go a long way to determining the public's perception of the plastics industry.
Citation: Controversial approach aims to expand plastics recycling (2022, October 12) retrieved 17 October 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-10-controversial-approach-aims-plastics-recycling.html
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The NSW government is renewing its approach to preventing suicide, saying lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic present an opportunity to pivot.
The focus will be on people and communities, with care targeting prevention, early intervention and aftercare.
The new five-year plan from the NSW Mental Health Commission comes after dire warnings of spiking suicide rates throughout the pandemic went mostly unrealised, Mental Health Minister Bronnie Taylor told AAP.
"(Very respected) people came out during the pandemic ... saying the mental health outcomes would be catastrophic," she said.
These outlooks did not come to fruition and the number of suicides dropped slightly after the outbreak of COVID-19 in NSW, from 946 in 2019, to 901 in 2020, and 918 in 2021, Ms Taylor said.
From January 1 to July 31 this year, 586 people died by suicide, according to NSW Health data.
Ms Taylor attributed this to the resilience of the health and emergency response sector, adding the government had taken the opportunity to Excellerate its approach after consulting with dozens of suicide prevention experts and agencies.
More than half of people who attempt to take their own life have never made contact with any kind of health service, meaning intervention after an event is vital, both for victims and their communities.
"Aftercare is so important because if you have a suicide in your community, it affects everybody," Ms Taylor said.
"If we can go in immediately after that and put wraparound services in place, we decrease that risk of further suicides in the area," she said.
While developing the framework, the commission heard the voices of people with experience of suicide and suicide attempts, Mental Health Commissioner Catherine Lourey said.
"For each life lost to suicide in NSW, there are also significant impacts for their families and friends," she said.
Ms Taylor said the pandemic triggered a generational shift and gave people a bigger voice to speak up about mental health issues.
"I think that's a really powerful thing," she said.
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MILWAUKEE – Most voters in Wisconsin who spoke with Fox News said addressing climate change is more important than curbing inflation ahead of the November midterm elections.
"Climate change is going to affect our children, our children's children," Heather, from Green Bay, said.
But Matt, from Milwaukee, said he cares more about lowering inflation as he feels the impact of price hikes every day.
"It comes out of my pocket," Matt said. "I pay for that, and it's easy for me to pick out."
2022 MIDTERM NEWS DEMS AND REPUBLICANS FIGHT TO CONTROL SENATE, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Nearly 80% of Democratic Wisconsin voters said climate change was the most concerning issue, an August Marquette University poll found. Inflation, which nationally hit a 40-year record-high of 9.1% in June, ranked sixth.
Climate change is "only going to get worse if we don't act on it now," London, from Milwaukee, said.
But 91% of Republican voters polled in the Marquette survey said inflation was their top issue. They rated climate change last.
"I really don't care about climate change," Matt said. "It's normal for temperature to change."
But Christian, from Milwaukee, said Americans need to think about potentially drastic climate changes ahead in the next few decades.
"If it's already at 100 degrees it's just going to go up from that," Christian said.
U.S. cities reached record-high temperatures over the summer, ranking as the third-hottest season in history. The extreme heat the Pacific Northwest experienced was a once-in-10,000 years event and was driven by climate change, a UCLA researcher found.
CLIMATE CHANGE PROPOSALS PUTTING AMERICAN FOOD SUPPLY AT RISK, DAIRY FARMER SAYS
"I would lean towards climate change being a long-term problem," Miles, from Wisconsin, said.
David, visiting from Texas, told Fox News: "Climate change is part of a more dire an issue of something that needs to be corrected while the other will eventually correct itself." He said the U.S. recovered from heightened inflation in the past.
Democrats across the country have implemented policies in an effort to slow climate change. Congress, for example, in August passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which included tax subsidies for electric vehicles. Gov. Gavin Newsom recently announced that California would ban the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035.
"Climate change is something that may be on a trajectory that there is no up and down," David said.
US FARMERS CAN SUPPLY LONG-TERM ENERGY AND CLIMATE SOLUTIONS
But one man visiting from Florida said inflation is more important as it "determines the entire economy and affects every family."
While gas prices decreased slightly after surpassing $5 per gallon in June, grocery store costs, among other expenses, remain high.
"It's critical that that be addressed," one man said on high inflation. "Climate change is more of a long-term aspiration."
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Heather told Fox News that voters shouldn't have to choose if climate change or inflation is more important, as it's critical for politicians to handle multiple dire issues at once.
"You don’t tackle inflation and ignore climate change," Heather said.
If the government can "only tackle one issue at a time than they probably shouldn’t be there," Heather said. "We should probably elect somebody else."