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  • IBM is working to get enterprises to adopt blockchain database technology that the company says will bring innovative, new ways to manage data. Blockchain is, at its simplest, a digital ledger. More specifically, blockchain is a distributed database with a series of records called blocks. As more records are added, they’re timestamped and linked to each other. While Bitcoin is the best example of a technology that uses a blockchain, many companies believe it also could be employed in medical, financial and manufacturing industries. IBM is perhaps the biggest promoter of blockchain technology and on Dec. 7 it announced a new ecosystem aimed at getting enterprises to use blockchain in ways that could change how they process their business transactions. Several companies already have signed on to the ecosystem, and IBM plans to add more in the coming months. Still, there are many questions about IBM’s blockchain ecosystem and how it might impact the enterprise. This slide show will discuss blockchain in more detail and why IBM sees so much potential in it.

  • The company is commercializing a version of its SQL Server database software that supports Linux, and now early adopters can finally take it for a spin.

  • New in-memory data technology that makes short work out of big data analytics is now available on Microsoft's Azure SQL cloud database.

     

  • New features and enhancements involve database management, data management, analytical intelligence and application development.

  • Next month, Microsoft will start rolling out Access to Office 365 Business and Business Premium customers.

  • Q&A: IBM is focusing its Watson cognitive computing technology on the area of embodied cognition, according to Grady Booch, chief scientist of Watson/M.

  • Developing a data strategy for the digital age can seem terrifying. Oozing streams of data, haunting ghosts of outdated tools, the stupefying fear of making a million-dollar mistake. This Halloween season, or strategizing season, don’t let big data horror stories scare you into inaction. The reality of big, streaming data is that organizations will have to exorcise some long-entrenched demons that represent the way they think about data management. The insidious little gremlin data drift wreaks all sorts of havoc on data systems, especially those that require constant hand coding and use legacy extract, transform, load (ETL) tools to harness information. The shift to data in motion requires a mindset shift toward building continuous data operations capabilities that are in tune with the time-sensitive, dynamic nature of today’s data, capabilities that stop the data drift gremlin from multiplying. Based on interviews with executives at data performance management specialist StreamSets, eWEEK examines some of the horrors of data management. Here are a few items about data management to consider.

  • NEWS ANALYSIS: IBM CEO Ginni Rometty keynoted the company's World of Watson conference in Las Vegas and drove home that Watson is the AI platform for business.

  • IBM has introduced Watson into the online education market in a deal with Pearson, while others are using Watson Virtual Agent to streamline business operations.

  • IBM Watson Health and Quest Diagnostics have partnered to deliver IBM Watson Genomics, the first commercial offering from Watson for Genomics.

  • During Microsoft's Machine Learning and Data Science Summit at the Ignite conference in September, eWEEK sat down with Herain Oberoi, senior director of product management for cloud and enterprise, to discuss how data-driven intelligence is now the key strategic asset of business. "Everything that's happening in the world around us—every purchase, upload, shipment, tweet, keystroke, sensor reading and customer interaction—is producing incredibly rich data that can help us create new experiences, new efficiencies, new business models and even new inventions," he said. Using this data can be a differentiator for businesses. For example, IDC estimates companies that are leaders in using data assets to their advantage will capture $1.6 trillion more in business value than those that lag behind. Cortana Intelligence is Microsoft's family of big data, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) platform and solutions, Oberoi said. This slide show presents 10 examples of companies using Microsoft technology, including Cortana Intelligence, to power their big data, advanced analytics and AI environments, as well as five solution scenarios in which businesses can capitalize on advanced analytics.

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