The Tech Panda takes a look at recent tech launches.
Cybersecurity: Cisco Secure Application to securely manage cloud native apps in addition to hybrid apps
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) announced the availability of Cisco Secure Application (previously Security Insights for Cloud Native Application Observability) on the Cisco Full-Stack Observability Platform, enabling organizations to bring together application and security teams to securely develop and deploy modern applications. The latest release of Cisco Secure Application helps customers to securely manage cloud native applications in addition to hybrid applications.
“Application security has never been a more pressing priority for businesses, and traditional vulnerability scanning solutions simply don’t provide the information that teams need,” said Ronak Desai, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Full-Stack Observability and AppDynamics. “An organization’s ability to quickly assess risks based on potential business impact, align teams and triage threats is entirely dependent on understanding where vulnerabilities exist, the severity of those risks, the likelihood they will be exploited, and the risk to the business of each issue. This business risk observability can help IT professionals understand and prioritize those risks and is uniquely delivered by Cisco. The availability of Cisco Secure Application on the Cisco Full-Stack Observability Platform is a critical next step in our commitment to providing customers with the tools they need to deliver unmatched and secure digital experiences across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.”
In the race to deliver seamless digital experiences, IT teams have experienced an increase in the need to shift to modern, distributed applications, but according to a recent Cisco study, 92% of global technologists admit that the rush to rapidly innovate and respond to the changing needs of customers has come at the expense of robust application security during software development.
This has left companies exposed to security vulnerabilities and threats, with larger attack surfaces and gaps in their application security layer caused by siloed teams both struggling to gain visibility and the right business context to prioritize vulnerabilities. As a result, organizations are reporting an explosion of security incidents in the modern environment, putting customer data and the reputation of their business at risk.
Cisco Secure Application integrates with Cisco’s industry leading security products and enables customers to:
- Locate and highlight security issues across application entities, including services, workloads, pods, containers and business transactions, and isolate them at speed.
- Prioritize issues with a business risk score that combines application performance data and business impact context from Cisco’s own Cloud Native Application Observability, with real-time vulnerability detection and security intelligence from Cisco’s security products, to identify which business transactions present the greatest risk.
- Accelerate response time to security incidents with real-time remediation guidance, complete with prescriptive actions to prioritize and address the most impactful security vulnerabilities.
AI: A GenAI framework designed to help the HR sector
Altimetrik, a pure-play digital business company, launched Empulse, a GenAI framework designed to help the HR sector enhance data-driven decision-making and employee centricity. Many HR departments have turned to generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) only to find that unstructured data holds them back from getting the insights they’re looking for.
Jayaprakash Nair, Senior Engineering Leader – Data Science, Altimetrik, said, “Empulse is a game-changer for HR analytics. In today’s HR landscape, gathering employee feedback is significant. Tools employed for this purpose, however, operate in isolation, hindering comprehensive insights. To attain a holistic, 360-degree perspective of employees, an intermediary layer is essential to unify these disparate data sources. Empulse serves as a singular gateway for HR teams, offering them an unparalleled 360-degree panoramic view into the intricate landscape of employee sentiment and perception. It harmonizes feedback, empowering informed decisions, and a culture of improvement.”
HR leaders are challenged by drawing analytics from disparate sources like employee feedback spreadsheets, external forums like Glassdoor and Ambitionbox, and internal databases. According to the HR Research Institute, only 13% of organizations are very good at understanding and evaluating people analytics.
When HR teams use GenAI tools, they find common challenges like hallucinations, duplicated topics, and ignored key topics. The Empulse framework is a ready-to-use, deployable code that can resolve these challenges.
- Empulse’s language engine transforms unstructured data into structured insights, encompassing sentiments, topics, intent, and emotions, enabling HR teams to make informed decisions and foster a positive organizational culture.
- It combines the strength of large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT with an intelligent pre- and post-processing engine.
- Empulse provides contextual awareness before an LLM generates results, thereby making them more accurate. It intelligently consolidates similar topics and ensures that critical, yet less frequent topics, are not overlooked.
AI: A hyperlocal discovery & growth platform driven by GenAI
DashLoc, an Indian company specializing in hyperlocal discovery and growth, has introduced its state-of-the-art platform driven by advanced GenAI technology.
Sumit Singh, Co-Founder & Head of Growth at DashLoc, shared, “Leveraging the power of GenAI technology and our proprietary DashLoc Local Algorithm, we are revolutionizing hyperlocal discovery with a focus on personalization, precision, and user-driven experiences. Our mission extends beyond merely establishing an online presence; we aim to assist enterprises in boosting footfall to their physical establishments and enhancing their brand visibility across all possible channels. Presently, we are collaborating with over 50 clients across various sectors including BFSI, FMCG, LifeStyle, Hospitality, Automobiles, Building Materials, Appliances, and more. DashLoc is at the forefront of shaping the future of hyperlocal discovery, raising the bar for innovation and community-centric solutions in India.”
- DashLoc now offers a conversational and intuitive search experience, letting users find the nearby physical business. This enhances the overall user experience, making it feel like a conversation with a knowledgeable local expert. Real-time updates are another perk, ensuring users are always informed about local happenings.
- Its proprietary local algorithm along with search generative experience of Google further distinguishes the platform. It combines AI-driven insights with local expertise to provide unmatched hyperlocal accuracy. This algorithm is expected to be a game-changer for local businesses as it optimizes their reach and targets the right audience.
Generative AI: To give customers petabyte-scale, fast data collection, search & storage for generative AI-powered cybersecurity innovations
CrowdStrike (Nasdaq: CRWD) is bringing the power of generative AI and XDR to all with the next generation of its market-defining CrowdStrike Falcon platform. Powered by the same technology as CrowdStrike’s Next-Gen SIEM offering, CrowdStrike Falcon LogScale, the new ‘Raptor’ release of Falcon gives customers the petabyte-scale, lightning fast data collection, search and storage needed to fuel the next era of generative AI-powered cybersecurity innovations to stay ahead of rapidly evolving adversary tradecraft and stop breaches.
In addition to querying the massive datasets in the Falcon platform, Charlotte AI also benefits from CrowdStrike’s unique human-validated content. This encompasses the world’s highest-fidelity security data and trillions of security events, continuously improved through a human feedback loop from CrowdStrike’s Counter Adversary Operations and Managed Services threat intelligence and hunting team of experts.
The Raptor release upgrade will be rolled out to all current CrowdStrike Falcon customers over the next year, starting in late September of 2023.
“Security is a data problem at its core, and traditional approaches to leveraging data are quickly proving to be no match for the speed and tradecraft of today’s adversaries,” said Mike Sentonas, president of CrowdStrike. “CrowdStrike pioneered how cloud-scale data, behavioral AI, and automation can be effectively used to stop breaches that evaded legacy solutions. With the Raptor release, customers can take advantage of data and AI with the speed needed to defeat sophisticated adversaries.”
Rolling out to all CrowdStrike Falcon customers over the next year with initial upgrades starting in late September 2023, the “Raptor” release includes:
- First AI-powered Incident Creator with Charlotte AI Investigator: Radically transform the speed and efficiency of investigations by automating incident creation and investigation with AI. Starting with a seed of information, Charlotte AI Investigator automatically correlates related context into a single incident and generates an LLM-powered incident summary for understanding by security analysts of all skill levels.
- XDR for All: Bring the power of XDR to everyone. All CrowdStrike EDR customers now get native XDR to accelerate investigations with comprehensive endpoint, identity, cloud, and data protection telemetry from across the CrowdStrike platform.
- XDR Incident Workbench: Dramatically accelerate investigation and response times with a re-imagined and lightning-fast user experience for EDR/XDR, designed around incidents, not standalone alerts.
- Collaborative Incident Command Center: Work incidents in real-time with security analysts from any location, at any time, from a unified source of truth.
- Lightning-Fast Search: Search across massive volumes of data with sub-second latency to rapidly find and eradicate adversaries and risks.
- The Raptor release further accelerates CrowdStrike’s generative AI cybersecurity analyst, Charlotte AI. In private customer preview, Charlotte AI introduces the ability for customers to ask natural language questions – in English and dozens of other languages – and receive intuitive answers from the Falcon platform.
- Charlotte AI pricing: When generally available, Charlotte AI will use a familiar and simple model of per endpoint pricing, similar to many CrowdStrike modules, and will include the number of Charlotte AI queries. For organizations that need more queries, CrowdStrike is offering flexible options so customers can use what they need without onerous overage charges.
AI & Data Analytics: A high-performance end-to-end transportation planning, settlement, & execution platform powered by advanced analytics
3SC Solutions launched iTMS (Intelligent Transport Management Solution), at the Express Logistics and Supply Chain Conclave 2023. It’s a high-performance end-to-end transportation planning, settlement, and execution platform powered by advanced analytics to unlock logistics excellence and financial efficiency.
Lalit Das, Founder and CEO said, “The platform altogether changes the entire outlook of supply chain resilience, it strengthens adaptability, efficiency and cost effectiveness throughout the logistic process. The Intelligent Transportation Management System is capable of empowering businesses to navigate through the intricacies of a changing landscape of supply chain. It will help them to stay on top of customer demands while simultaneously maintaining operational efficiency even in challenging times.”
- An integrated transportation management solution that uses artificial intelligence and data analytics
- The system combines multiple functionalities making daily operations more efficient, starting off with Order AI tool, which makes the process of order acquisition automated ultimately refining product configurations and pricing.
- Shipment Planning and Optimization bargaining cutting edge technologies like artificial Intelligence and machine learning to make dispatch routes and delivery schedules faster all the while increasing accuracy with the ability to adapt to real-time situations.
- Execution Orchestration Tool, tracking with geo-tags, it provides intel about potential delays and reroutes accordingly for better delivery performance.
- Two tools Contract & Rate Management and Billing & Settlement assist in simplifying overseas trade processes and auditing of logistic related financials respectively.
AI: Credit Course in Virtual Events
VOSMOS, a tech startup in Metaverse and virtual experiences, in collaboration with IIEM, Delhi launched a Credit Course in Virtual Events. The course has been developed to make the Gen Z tech savvy and equip them with additional expertise to widen their horizon of career options.
Piyush Gupta, CEO, VOSMOS says “With the world becoming more digital and in the global economic situation, virtual events have provided a cost-effective alternative to traditional in-person events. However, there is a gap in the demand and the skilled professionals required to conduct such events. Our course is aimed to bridge this gap and empower future event managers with a must-have skill set. Additionally, students will learn how to use our VOSMOS virtual events platform to create immersive and engaging experiences, giving them the tools, they need to succeed in this growing field.”
Sandesh Shetty, Associate Director, Product Development, VOSMOS mentions “Our virtual events platform, VOSMOS Events is a must-have in every marketer’s toolkit, as it provides the tools and resources needed to create successful virtual events that engage and convert audiences. The VOSMOS platform is designed to be immersive, simple, and easy to use, so that anyone can create engaging virtual events. With the launch of our virtual events course, we are excited to empower the next generation of event managers with the skills they need to succeed in this growing field.”
The launch comes as a response to the rapidly growing virtual events market not only in India but also globally. With the huge demand for small and large-scale virtual events from sectors like automobile, FMCG, retail there will be increased demand for skilled tech savvy professionals in the future. This course will provide a learning ground for the college goers and add on to their skills.
- It will be conducted online with expert instructors from VOSMOS throwing light on the important aspects of the growing virtual events industry and teaching them the technicalities and skills required for the job.
- Students who have enrolled in the course are the ones pursuing Diploma, BBA and MBA at the IIEM institute. Post completion, the students will be rewarded Certificate of Completion issued by CL Educate (a listed Edtech Company in India) as well as top 2 performers will get an internship with them to work on global virtual event projects.
- The topics to be covered extensively in this online course will include the marketer’s point of view as well as the audience’s point of view.
- The students will be taught the nuances of planning and preparation required for conducting virtual events, the technical aspect of production and management, content creation and delivery while also exploring marketing and promotion aspect of the events.
- AI will be an important part of the course where the experts from VOSMOS will explain how to measure success and analytics through AI.
- The students enrolled in this course will also get an opportunity to build their own virtual event on VOSMOS DIY events platform.
Gaming: A gaming portal based on ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’
Neela Films, renowned for its iconic television show ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah,’ (TMKOC) which has consistently dominated the TV charts for the past two decades, announced its digital foray into gaming, animation, and e-commerce with its new venture Neela Mediatech Pvt. Ltd. The company has infused INR 24 crore along with the rights to the valuable IP, TMKOC. With this, the company will diversify and extend the country’s biggest IP going beyond show production. The new venture aims to reach 100 million game downloads by March 2024.
Creator, Producer and Managing Director of Neela Film Production and Neela Mediatech, Asit Kumarr Modi has also been well known for his role as author and creator of the popular show series. Announcing the new venture, he says, “We’ve been at the helm in the entertainment space for decades, and now, with gaming emerging as the next frontier of entertainment, we’re taking a bold leap to offer our audience more excitement and value. Our strategic vision includes reinforcing our content pipeline, captivating the mobile-first gaming community, and establishing ourselves as the go-to YouTube Channel for children. With this we hope to redefine the entertainment space ensuring that our audience continue to enjoy exceptional and immersive experiences”.
Neela Mediatech’s primary mission is to leverage the show’s captive audience viewer base of 60 million individuals taking entertainment to new heights. The gaming vertical has debuted with 15 games and over 5 million downloads, while the YouTube Rhymes/ Baalgeet Channel has already crossed 1.5 million subscribers across various languages, including English, Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi and Bengali. With more than 5 million downloads already, the platform aims to captivate mobile-first consumers fulfilling their gaming needs.
- The new gaming portal christened, ‘TMKOC’ Play, short for ‘Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’, will be based on the popular show theme, reliving the tv characters for the online audience going beyond television.
- The portal will host free-to-play games, cloud-based adventures, and blockchain-powered quests to virtual reality odysseys for the burgeoning show audience.
- It will have animated shows and rhymes catering to children.
- The games offered will be across single and multiple-play formats like Bhide Scooter Race, Run Jetha Run, and Jump Bhide Jump, among many more.
FinTech: A dedicated platform for hassle-free investment in fixed deposits
Fintech startup Fixed announced the official launch of Fixed Invest, a dedicated platform for hassle-free investment in fixed deposits (FDs) for Indian investors. While Fixed Invest facilitates the user to book the FD across any issuer, without the need to open a new bank account with the issuer, the money flows directly to the issuer from the user’s bank account, making Fixed Invest a safe and reliable platform. All this at zero convenience fee and no paperwork hassle.
“Fixed deposits are one of the safest and most popular avenues of investment. Yet access to it is limited to one’s own bank only. We have unlocked and simplified the process so that investors can search, compare, invest and track FDs on a single platform across banks and corporates,” said Akshar Shah, founder, Fixed.
- Fixed Invest assures users a convenient experience of opening a fixed deposit within three minutes through a seamless paperless process.
- Prospective investors can log onto the Fixed Invest platform to browse through a range of FD options by banks and corporates.
- They can choose an FD and even compare with their existing bank deposits.
- Once chosen, investors can quickly complete the online KYC process on the platform and start an investment right away.
- To open an FD account through Fixed Invest, one need not create a traditional savings bank account.
- Not only can investors keep track of their gains, but the platform will also offer tailored investment plans basis goals of investors.
- Fixed Invest allows investors to invest up to Rs 2 crore for any tenure from seven days to 60 months.
- Only those FD options that are regulated by the Reserve Bank of India are available on the platform.
- Fixed Invest is the first and only platform to give back to the users when they book a FD through the platform, up to 0.30% of the amount invested on select deposits.
- Currently, FD options from five issuers are available on the platform— AU Small Finance Bank, Fincare Small Finance Bank, Bajaj Finserv, Shriram Finance and Mahindra Finance, making it the largest player in the segment so far.
AI: An initiative to accelerate organizations’ development of real-time AI applications
Confluent, Inc. (NASDAQ:CFLT), the data streaming company, announced Data Streaming for AI, an initiative to accelerate organizations’ development of real-time AI applications. Achieving real-time AI demands more than fast algorithms; it requires trustworthy, relevant data served in the moment for smarter, faster insights.
“Data streaming is foundational technology for the future of AI,” said Jay Kreps, CEO and Cofounder, Confluent. “Continuously enriched, trustworthy data streams are key to building next-gen AI applications that are accurate and have the rich, real-time context modern use cases demand. We want to make it easier for every company to build powerful AI applications and are leveraging our expansive ecosystem of partners and data streaming expertise to help achieve that.”
“Although there’s significant growth in the number of companies experimenting with generative AI, many face roadblocks from a fractured data infrastructure that lacks real-time data availability and trust,” said Stewart Bond, Vice President, Data Intelligence and Integration Software, IDC. “Data management is the most important area of investment as organizations build an intelligence architecture that delivers insights at scale, supports collective learning, and fosters a data culture. Those that get it right have seen a 4x improvement in business outcomes by removing real-time data availability and trust roadblocks through data streaming, governance, security, and integration–so it’s worth the journey.”
While the promise of AI has been around for years, there’s been a resurgence thanks to breakthroughs across reusable large language models (LLM), more accessible machine learning models, and more powerful GPU capabilities. This has sparked organizations to accelerate their AI investments. However, a fundamental challenge in modern AI is a lack of access to the relevant, real-time data that AI applications need in a timely, secure, and scalable way.
For the past decade, AI heavily relied on historical data, integrated with slow, batch-based point-to-point pipelines that rendered data stale and inconsistent by the time it arrived. That’s no longer adequate for the real-time AI use cases today’s businesses are trying to launch, like predictive fraud detection, generative AI travel assistants, or personalized recommendations. Compounding the problem are issues with poor data governance and scalability. As a result, the pace of AI advancements is stifled as developers are constantly tackling issues with out-of-date results and untrustworthy AI hallucinations. This isn’t just a technical hurdle; it’s a roadblock to AI innovation.
To help companies unlock the full potential of AI with the freshest contextual data from across their business, Confluent is expanding partnerships with leading companies in the AI and vector database space, including MongoDB, Pinecone, Rockset, Weaviate, and Zilliz. It is also demonstrating product innovations that incorporate the latest advances in AI into its platform, with capabilities like a generative AI-powered assistant that helps generate code and answer questions about the data streaming environment.
- Confluent AI Assistant: To help teams get contextual answers they need to speed up engineering innovations on Confluent, the Confluent AI Assistant turns natural language inputs—like “What was my most expensive environment last month?” or “Give me an API request to produce messages to my orders topic”—into helpful suggestions and accurate code that’s specific to their deployment. This is made possible by combining publicly available information, such as Confluent documentation, with contextual customer information to provide specific, timely responses. It will be available to Confluent Cloud customers in 2024.
- AI for Apache Flink® SQL: Over the next several months, Confluent will announce a series of updates to its newly announced Flink service for Confluent Cloud that bring AI capabilities into Flink SQL. On the main stage of Current, the data streaming industry event, Confluent will demo how Flink can make OpenAI API calls directly within Flink SQL. This unlocks endless use cases, such as rating the sentiment of product reviews or summarizing vendors’ item descriptions. It will help alleviate the complexities of stream processing, accelerating time to insight.
Low code: Upgrade to help retail banks streamline time-consuming chargeback processes
Pegasystems Inc. (NASDAQ: PEGA), the low-code platform provider announced new enhancements in Pega Smart Dispute™ to help retail banks streamline time-consuming chargeback processes. By infusing its Pega Process AI™ technology into the software, Pega helps banks make smarter decisions to resolve each case, enabling them to save time, money, and effort while accelerating the resolution of transaction disputes and fraud claims for its customers.
“The increase in chargebacks is causing more strain to bank staff who are already overwhelmed with increasing amounts of regulation and fraud in the post-pandemic world,” said Steve Morgan, industry market leader, banking, Pega. “By introducing Pega’s proven, scalable, and secure AI into our proven Pega Smart Dispute solution, we’ve added another useful innovation that will help banks further streamline processes to resolve disputes faster, save employees time, and increase customer satisfaction.”
Chargebacks – the process by which consumers dispute the validity of a card transaction – are on the rise around the world, partially driven by an increase in fraud. Each request kicks off a time-intensive process for the card-issuing bank, which needs to carefully investigate these disputes, determine if a refund is warranted, and work with the various payment networks’ complex and ever-changing rules to process them.
By using Pega Process AI within Pega Smart Dispute, the software automatically analyzes a transaction dispute to predict the likelihood of it being approved through the validation rules of payment networks like Visa. With that critical information, banks can optimize an efficient and low-cost path to resolution. For example, the bank might automate cases with a high success probability while assigning more human resources to investigate low probability cases. This not only saves banks labor costs but also leads to faster resolution for their customers.
In addition to Pega Process AI, the latest version of Pega Smart Dispute includes several other significant updates to its proven solution to help banks further streamline the disputes process, including:
- Expanded support for different payment types: Building on Pega’s pre-built workflows for Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, Pega Smart Dispute now provides improved workflow templates that help banks quickly build workflows to manage new and emerging payment types. The solution ships with pre-configured resolution pathways for Zelle or ACH exceptions.
- Support for Regulation II: The software also supports compliance with new Regulation II rules from the US Federal Reserve System for cases of card-not-present (CNP) transactions.
- Updated compliance rules: Pega updates Pega Smart Dispute with the latest chargeback rules from Visa and Mastercard twice per year (effective in April and October), helping clients process disputes against the latest guidance.