#NFC-Technology: Discover the Value of NFC Application For Your #InternetOfThings

NFC APPLICATIONS

Smartphone is increasingly present in our environment. For many of us, it wakes us up in the morning, allows us to know how to dress after checking the weather, accompanies us in transportation, allows us to stay in touch with real world and many other activities related to each of us. In addition to that we are purchasing more and more products and services with our smartphones and our interaction is growing with our environment, home, car or city. And as you know, all this carries the generic name of IOT.

 

With performing all the previously mentioned activities, we leave our traces on the Internet. We leave information on different social medias. Only with the simple use of Gmail, free for the user, we give authorization to Google to use the information contained in our emails. By comments on blogs, on Amazon, on TripAdvisor, on Twitter, pictures on Flicker or Instagram, we therefore share much more information than we think, again, more or less voluntarily, and all this is enriching databases under the generic term of big data. This information is making the economic happiness of many companies, the first being Google, Apple or Amazon. This IOT is mainly an Internet of the data, we give our data that is recovered and exploited by others.

 

As more things are getting connected, concerns over data privacy and security are growing. Using NFC as a communication method can help resolve some of these concerns.

 

This is where the NFC comes in.

 

NFC (=Near Field Communication) technology was born thanks to the coupling of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Technology) with smart cards. RFID is a contactless identification system that has been used for a long time for traceability purposes. It enables simplified transactions, data exchange, pairing, wireless connections and convenience between two objects when in close proximity to one another (about 10 centimeters). Because the communication is one-to-one and requires such close proximity, data privacy is more inherent that with other wireless approaches.

 

The choice of NFC technology on mobile phones is guided by several motivations related to the consumer use of the mobile phone at the present time and by various types of NFC applications conceivable in the field of mobile banking, creative marketing, health. Indeed, in recent years the integration of several technologies (4G, 4G+ networks, GPS, NFC, etc.) into the mobile phone has transformed it into a multiservice tool that cannot be ignored in our daily lives.

 

Today, NFC technology is gaining interest from manufacturers, particularly those in the telephony, IOT and sensors sector, who have integrated it into many consumer Smartphones. There are many applications ranging from electronic payment to time-stamping and localization.

 

Communication Modes of NFC:

 

NFC has 3 communication modes: Card emulation mode, The reader mode and Peer-to-Peer.

 NFC COMMUNICATION MODES

Card emulation mode: In this mode, any NFC enable device, can be used to make transactions instead of using any contactless card. In the case where the NFC enable device is a compatible mobile phone, the SIM card of the operator can be used as a security element by storing encrypted information. There are many different sort of card-type applications, such as, contactless payments, identification card, loyalty card, access control, motel pass cards etc.

 

The reader mode : The mobile terminal becomes a contactless card reader (active mode) or “radio labels” (electronic tags). This mode allows you to read information from various NFC-enables smart objects, only by approaching your mobile phone in front of electronic tags placed on the street, on bus shelters, monuments, posters … or on packages, products = smart advertising. Not only reading but it’s also possible to write information to these smart information sources using the right NFC enabled device.

 

Peer-to-Peer Mode: This mode allows two NFC enabled devices to exchange information, such as vCards, photos, videos, tickets, etc. A device with NFC technology is capable of exchanging information with contactless smart cards but also with other devices equipped with this technology. In peer-to-peer mode, one of reader/writer behaves as a tag, creating a communication link. Using NFC in this mode is equal to having a secure network in your pocket that you can use in any location with peace of mind.

 

 

Study Case: Hotel Room Access

 

Let’s take a first mobile phone user, who usually travels and book hotels for his stay. This person has a SIM card in which an NFC application is installed. His mobile operator, in Belgium, told him that he could access NFC devices thanks to his SIM card because it has a SIM-Centric technology.

 

Our user thus travels on business in different regions of Belgium. The hotels in which he stays ask him to pass his phone in front of a terminal in order to obtain a digital key. So, his phone can be used as a key.

Afterwards, our user goes to a conference in Germany and also wants to check-in in a hotel room. At the time of registration, the reader accepts his SIM card but informs him that his operator will charge him a fee due to this service outside Belgium.

 

Upon returning from the conference, the user asks his operator to change the billing-plan so that he does not have to pay any fees in the future and the operator tells him that this is impossible because at the moment the service costs the operator.

 

In another case our user could book his hotel room online. He would then receive on his mobile phone an electronic key that would be valid throughout the stay and that, when used with the NFC chip and the appropriate application, would allow him to access his room by presenting the mobile in front of the door equipped with an NFC reader.

 

The Clarion Hotel in Stockholm, helped consumers to access directly their rooms and avoid queues by replacing all room keys in 2011 with digital keys for customers already equipped with NFC devices. Same approach for check-out, made with a simple touch between their phones and the lobby reader. 60% of users said they had saved more than ten minutes and 80% would use the system again if they had the opportunity while the hotel was able to reassign check-in staff while removing keys replacement problems.

 

Transport users already use their phones as boarding passes and we witness NFC payment systems in restaurants, taxis, shopping malls or distributors. In hospitals, offices, university campuses, we can use our phones to enter buildings, make purchases, use transportation and identify ourselves. NFC phones is even being used to provide physicians with access to your medical history.

 

Industry experts predict that the NFC will continue to revolutionize our lives in the years to come. Our daily checklist – “keys, wallet, phone” – is about to shorten. It will not take long before you see the functionality of these three objects integrated into an NFC compatible handset.

#CloudComputing: Fix The Present Before You Plan The Future

Cloudcomputing

Cloud computing is leading to a major transformation in the terms of digital technology by companies in all economic sectors. The associated challenges relate not only to activity and job creation among digital players, but also to a competitive gain that can be realized by all user companies.

 

The cloud computing model consists of providing remote and on-demand computing resources, infrastructure, platforms or application software. The advantages in terms of cost reduction and ease of access lead to this rapid adoption, which results in a gradual but decisive change in the information systems, activities and related markets.

 

However, complexity and lack of integration is slowing down companies’ adoption of the cloud, according to a study conducted by Oracle on the EMEA area. The wide gap between central IT and the rest of the organization is directing many companies towards a bad approach of the cloud.

 

While many European companies are adopting the Cloud Computing, nearly half of them are facing difficulties due to increased integration costs and data storage. One of the main reasons for this situation is that more than 60% of a company’s total IT spending is now directly managed by the different business units, instead of IT department, which prevents companies from benefiting from cloud services to which they subscribe to. To avoid these problems, IT department must be the one responsible for providing the funds to keep other departments running. Because the budget is an important tool for identifying and executing the IT initiatives that are crucial to each department, therefore it should be well discussed between IT department together with CIOs.

 

Study also revealed that organizations continue to finance their IT investments without taking into account potential revenue and innovative projects: 2/3 decision-makers claim that funding their IT is too traditional and penalizes innovation, and 1/3 decision-maker admit that the IT funding models of their organization are hindering IT innovation. As IT budget can be divided across various categories, depending on the complexity and sophistication of your company/department and its structure, it must reflect benefits of IT strategy. For example, if you’ve been communicating a strategy of migrating to the cloud and highlighting the operational savings, you should reflect those advantages and use them as justification for budget allotment.

 

Companies need to rethink their IT financing models and undertake a profound cultural transformation in order to fully exploit all the benefits of the cloud. 33% of respondents say that an inadequate model of IT funding is currently penalizing their business. 33% are also convinced that their company’s IT culture is insufficient for the cloud age. As a result, 72% of respondents say that a new cloud financing model will allow IT to offer more cloud services to the company, and 70% say it will allow the company to reduce its costs.

 

Problems that companies are facing in cloud computing adoption are less about technology but it’s about the difficulties of synchronization between the different business units. Managers of each department are increasingly making cloud purchasing decisions without involving the CIO or the IT department advice, especially because these purchases are very easy to make. So to be successful with digital business transformation and optimization, CIOs and leaders must brainstorm and communicate the strategy to allow IT spending and functional resource costs to be connected to business processes, outcomes and goals. By developing multiple views of the IT budget and resource allocations per department they can provide a better IT service supply on demand.

#Data : An Important Piece To “The #InternetOfThings” Puzzle

Internet of things

Every day, connected objects generate billions of information that must be processed and analyzed to make them usable. Thanks to the development of connectivity on multiple devices, the arrival of inexpensive sensors and the data inflation they transmit, IoT have took irreplaceable place in our daily lives. IDC forecasts worldwide IOT market to grow more than $7,1 trillion by 2020. The number of devices will more than double from the current level, with 40.9 billion forecasted for 2020.

 

These very serious estimations do not, however, take into account the full extent of this digital revolution. If the design of connected objects is the showcase of the IoT and its vast possibilities, it still requires strong skills on the processing of the exploited data collected from sensors terminals, machines and platforms to interpret it in order to boost productivity and increase performance.

 

Just as in jewel market, the big winners are gold/diamond dealers. In the IOT domain, this role is played by companies able to manage the mountains of data generated by these connected devices because the collected data is profoundly changing the way businesses used to operate. Almost every day, new applications are imagined, with consequences at all levels of organizations because the real added value of connected objects only comes from the uses and the ability of companies to create new services.

 

Several studies demonstrate that companies are still facing a gap between the collection of new data and the presentation of the analyzed information so that it can be understood and explored in great detail, whether it is for a connected house, connected car, a portable terminal or an industrial solution.

 

Here below is the list of tips companies must consider before every IOT project implementation:

 

  • Sort valuable information among a big volume of data:
    Exploiting IoT means generating a huge amount of data. The challenge for companies is to filter the stray information and find the ones that are really important. This is why many companies integrate a flow analysis and a process analysis. The first provides real-time information from data streams such as navigation paths, logs, measurement data, and the second is to take machine data captures.

 

  • Set and manage priorities:
    The IoT implies different levels of necessity in terms of urgency and latency. It’s important to take this into account because one expects to interact with the “real world” in real time. For example, sensors in mines must trigger an alert as soon as they detect the presence of toxic gases. Similarly, other IoT information may not be needed “just in time”, such as regularly collected data to further refine and improve the predictive model itself. This data can potentially be collected and processed several times a day, for example.

 

  • Design considerations for IoT technologies:
    Information security, privacy and data protection should systematically be worked at the design stage. Unfortunately, in many cases, they are added on later once the intended functionality is in place. This not only limits the effectiveness of the added-on information security and privacy measures, but also is less efficient in terms of the cost to implement them. Although industries are actively working to address this, it stays a major IoT problem.

 

  • Cross the Data:
    In the case of preventive operations, for example, companies want to collect data from objects (such as smart meters) and cross them with relevant relational data, such as maintenance agreements, warranty information and life cycle components. It is therefore essential that companies can rely on the data from which they make important decisions.

 

  • Tracing the data:
    The increased collection of data may raise issues of authentication and trust in the objects. In addition, it should also be noted that by using information collected about and from multiple objects related to a single person, that person may become more easily identifiable and better known. So in order to fully exploit the potential of IoT, tools must be much more flexible and allow users to shape and adapt data in different ways, depending on their needs or those of their organization.

 

Collaboration between the IT team and business experts is more critical than ever before in analyzing IoT data. In addition to those who understand the data, it takes experts to analyze gathered data from specific devices or sensors. While any analyst can understand the data in the context of a company’s performance indicators, only a data specialist would be able to explain what kind of hidden data contains a wealth of information, and how with the right tools, companies can unleash that potential.

#Healthcare Sector – Center of #Cyberattack

HEALTHCARE CYBERATTACK

Nearly 90% of healthcare organizations have been hacked in the last two years. In addition, almost half of them have been exposed to cybercrime more than five times. In 2016, there was not a single week without data piracy or a cyber-attack targeting a health organization somewhere in the world. To be more precious, only during the first three months of 2016, several hospitals were attacked by ransomwares, mostly via blocked access to essential systems for weeks damaging more than 50000 patients records. In 2017, 150 countries were affected by ransom attacks. These number shows that healthcare sector is technically unprepared to combat cybercriminals’ tactics techniques and intrusion procedures.

 

Multiple Vulnerabilities:

Indeed, healthcare organizations are very attractive targets for cybercriminals because they collect, share and store large amounts of highly sensitive personal data, such as medical or banking information, data on insurance and many other details. They also use many connected devices, including highly specialized medical equipment, as well as computers for staff and a growing number of mobile devices. And that’s not to mention the vulnerabilities of medical devices, such as pacemakers or insulin pumps.

 

Intelligent reflections on high technology are currently under way. The problem lies in the fact that most people working in the health field focus primarily on the patient, which is totally normal as far they aren’t cybersecurity specialists. Moreover, like most end users, they are vulnerable to the same types of attacks by cybercriminals to steal information and cause operational damage in other sectors of the industry. However, it would seem, that the main difference is weakness of each sector. According to the findings of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), too many organizations specialized in the field of health do not deploy even the most basic security solutions, such as malware protection tools, firewalls or very simple cryptographic solutions, which is the main cause of this problem.

 

In the other hand, many health organizations do not have to worry about the gaps, concerning cybersecurity, in their systems:

 

  • 86% installed tools against malware
  • 81% use firewalls
  • 64% encrypt the data being transferred and 59% encrypt the stored data
  • 57% deal with patch and vulnerability management
  • 52% installed a mobile device management tool
  • 41% use a Web security gateway and 37% use a security gateway for their email

 

Everyone is suffering, and you?

 

No one is better informed about vulnerabilities in the IT systems of the Healthcare sector than cyber criminals themselves. In a black market filled with credit card information and stolen login credentials, medical records, which usually offer the almost complete profile of the individual to whom they belong, are a highly coveted source of enrichment. Even if the data were to lose market value, cybercriminals will continue to design ransomwares and malicious programs to encrypt important data and “hold them hostage” until the organization pays a ransom; no buyer is more willing to pay than the organization that owns this data and absolutely needs it.

 

Cybercriminals are not the only ones to be on the lookout; Wherever they are, health organizations are subject to data protection regulations. The objectives of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (RGPD) to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) are virtually identical: to ensure the protection of sensitive credentials of all individuals.

 

Medical records are lucrative for a good reason: they usually contain data that remains valid for many years. Whether it is the date of birth, social security number, insurance information or banking data, medical records include all the elements criminals need to launch personalized phishing attacks, commit fraud and Identity theft, or simply monetize information. To obtain this data, they use malicious programs, phishing techniques, as well as malicious web sites, and exploit the vulnerabilities of hard disks and programs of health organizations.

 

Moreover, impaired data involve risks that go beyond financial fraud: they pose a real threat to the safety of the patient. Who are you dealing with? Is this the right medicine and the right dose? Who owns this MRI that I am reading? Is this patient on a diabetic diet? Is the data sharing of this patient secure? Who has access to this data, who can copy them on an external storage device, take them home on his laptop? Is the person I prescribe this prescription really the one she claims to be? Is this person truly a qualified physician or has he / she stolen the identifiers of another?

 

In this environment, protecting the authenticity of data, transactions, access and presence on all systems (and the devices connected to them) isn’t an easy task. As these threats continue to evolve, Healthcare organizations must take an equally agile approach to cybersecurity. A solution based on access to the latest information on threats and available in the Cloud can help them keep abreast of developments in cybercrime techniques. Automatic learning combined with optimal human expertise can certainly help healthcare organizations to anticipate, prevent, detect and respond quickly and appropriately to threats.

 

Piracy, Malicious Attacks and Phishing attacks

 

Criminal attacks are the main cause of data piracy in the health sector and account for 50% of cases. In the course of 2016, a significant number of unwanted e-mails with attachments and malicious links were recorded. Spam and phishing are particularly noteworthy because they are one of the most common and simple ways cybercriminals use to launch attacks and access systems, steal information, or run ransomwares.

 

Healthcare organizations must protect sensitive patient data and business applications from the threats they face. It is preferable for healthcare organizations to adopt an agile approach to cybersecurity that allows them to use the most up-to-date information on threats rather than relying on the widely used traditional techniques for which cybercriminals have developed solutions.

#CyberCrime: Is your #ECommerce Secure enough for Growth?

Advances in technology, logistics, payments, coupled with increasing internet and mobile access have created more than US $1.9 trillion global online shopping arena, where millions of consumers no longer ‘go’ shopping, but literally ‘are’ shopping, at every moment and everywhere via different devices.

The development of each e-commerce business relies heavily on the user experience. But what happens when technologies that aim to optimize this experience can also be the reason of cybercrime?

Ecommerce cyber-crime

More and more economic sectors are transforming by technology and e-commerce. Improved customer experience, simplified supplier relationships, development of digital marketing operations, disruption of sales techniques are the benefits of these new technologies. While vendors have enthusiastically embraced new technologies, they have been less responsive to cybersecurity:

 

  • 55% say they haven’t invested in this area in the last 12 months
  • 69% of European traders say they have been targeted by cyber attacks
  • 53% of all retail fraud, in the UK, occurs online and represent an overall loss amounting to 100£ million

 

When we look at those high level cyber-attacks of companies such as, Target and Home Depot, which have allowed more than 100 million customer records to be hijacked, or we look at #Wannacry worldwide #CyberAttack which infected more than 230000 computer over 150 countries,  it’s very easy to understand why customer’s trust can be affected.

 

  • 19% of consumers say they are willing to stop buying from a cyber-attacked vendor
  • 33% say they would avoid buying from a seller who had been hacked in the last three months for fear of exposing their personal data.

 

Clearly cybercrime does not only affect the perception of clients; E-commerce companies are among the most affected players in recovering from a cyber-attack or an infraction: a study indicates that they need 33 hours to solve problems caused by piracy, 26% reported delays with their customers, and 93% of attacks had affected their ability to function.

 

The same statistics also indicate that cybersecurity is only beneficial to organizations. It’s an element of differentiation, which protects technologies and preserves the continuity of activities. To combat cyber threats, e-traders must be as skilled as cybercriminals. Therefore, #CyberSecurity needs to be integrated at the beginning of any innovation or transformation processes, not added on later. Proper integration into your strategy from the beginning can help you turn your cyber risk into opportunity. Plus, cyber security solutions that can evolve and adapt while leveraging the latest information on threats are essential. However, given the number of channels to be protected, it is important that cybersecurity remains simple, does not create heavy administrative tasks and does not lose sight of the essential: business!

 

Size doesn’t matter!

 

Many small and medium-sized enterprises mistakenly think they are not a target for cybercriminals. The reality is quite different: not only they do have attractive data for criminals, but they are also known for the weakness of their security solutions, making them easy prey:

 

  • 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses
  • 60% of small businesses go bankrupt within six months of a cyber attack
  • 48% of security violations are due to malicious actions

 

Online commerce is based entirely on customer’s trust. Customers want a more personalized service and a reward for their loyalty. Relationships with suppliers are built on trust and data sharing protection. With loyalty programs merchants of all sizes collect, share and store large amounts of sensitive information such as payment information, supplier contact information and pricing data. This information is stored and shared through devices connected to a network and technologies such as the Internet, mail servers, tablets and smartphones. Associated with the details of a payment card, it is the type of information that strongly attracts cybercriminals:

 

  • Names, addresses, birthdates, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, identifiers, and product preferences gathered within loyalty programs provide valuable data for phishing and identity theft.
  • Billing and pricing information, as well as vendor payment information, may be stolen or exploited for phishing attacks.
  • Connection information about vendors and other third parties can be a very interesting “backdoor” for cybercriminals seeking to attack companies that work with yours.

 

To obtain this data, cybercriminals use malicious programs, phishing techniques, malicious websites and vulnerabilities in the most common programs. For cybercriminals seeking to steal money as quickly as possible, ransomware and DDoS attacks exploit the value your company places on data and operations by keeping them hostage and offline till you pay the ransom fee. In this environment, protecting the availability of systems has never been so difficult.

 

True Cyber Security for E-Commercials

 

It is illusory to think that we can prevent all cyber-attacks. In an environment where it is impossible to block everything, the way traders react to attacks is extremely important. E-retailers must ensure that phishing attacks, malicious programs, threats to mobile devices and cyber threats they face won’t impact their customers and the availability of their e-commerce site.

 

In situations where internal access to third-party websites, unauthorized devices and USB or none-secure devices, traders can adopt a proactive multi-layer approach to cybersecurity. Such positioning allows to overcome the risk of data loss, fraud and downtime that could compromise sales, customer confidence and reputation.

 

Cyber Security solutions for Business must be able to protects users from known, unknown, or advanced threats via multilevel technologies designed to block threats, regardless of the means used. Malware detection, cloud-based threat intelligence must be enforced by next-generation technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms.

Chatbots – Trends and Opportunities in E-Commerce

Evolutions of #Ecommerce is nothing without #Chatbots, #ArtificialIntelligence and #MachineLearning. These notions represent the new technologies trends that increase the competitiveness of an e-commerce. By 2016, 9 out of 10 customers globally were using messaging to interact with companies. To remain competitive, e-commerce must adapt to the rapid evolution of digital technologies and the behavior of Internet users.

 

Chatbot and ecommerce

Statistics shows that average time saving per chatbot inquiry when compared with traditional call centers is 4+ minutes in chatbots for the banking & healthcare sectors. By 2022 $8 billion in cost savings is expected. Therefore, application leaders need to include bots in their mobile app strategies to get ahead of this trend.

 

The phenomenon of Chatbots should transform the relationship between companies and their customers and evolve it towards a personalized one-to-one relationship. Indeed, Chatbots technology comes at a time when with the rise of messaging apps, the way many of us use social media to share and interact is fundamentally changing. According to Business Insider report, 80% of businesses want chatbots by 2020.

 

Fact: statistics shows the number of global messaging apps users in the first Q1 of 2017 is increased of 17% compared to Q4 of 2016. Messenger, WhatsApp and WeChat are leading with 1.2 Billion monthly active users fallowing by Viber which has 889 million monthly active users. On next spot, we have Skype with 260 million users. Click here to know more stats.

 

The evolution of e-commerce applications (on-line ordering, on-demand service) is based mainly on the responsiveness and dynamism of Chatbots that adapt to the user-friendly environment. The integration of Chatbots to mobile applications will bring more user-friendliness and ergonomics. The companies will be able to respond to the user’s needs directly via the conversation without having them to change the application. According to Gartner chatbots will power 85% of all customer service interactions by the year 2020.

 

The Chatbots are positioning more and more in the lives of individuals. For e-commerce companies, chat bot presents these advantages:

  • Enhance the user experience: Virtual assistants are committed to improve the user experience on smartphones by providing them with practical information and by offering them the possibility to interact with their apps.
  • Set up a new chat channel: chatbots, mostly on messaging platforms, allows customers to place orders and follow them via a conversational interface.
  • Inform and facilitate access to information: The most intuitive feature is to use Chatbots as an enhanced search engine by helping the user to search and access the right information.
  • Guide: Chatbots accompany customers in their product choices by giving them personalized advice and responding to their questions.
  • Sell differently: Chatbots are able to search, plan, reserve and place orders from a single conversation.
  • Assisting and retaining Chatbots by using messaging platforms as an additional channel for customer relations, is an effective tool for keeping customers loyal to their orders.

 

Chatbots, a phenomenon to follow closely

Chatbot services have enormous potential. But, as with any new technology, companies need to carefully consider what implementation challenges might come across. For example, they must not forget that with the use of Chatbots, they won’t have entire control over their client’s experience, so developing great services will be hard. As the number of chatbots is set to explode, how do they plan to ensure their stands out? What makes their service essential compared with their competitors?

There is also the challenge of to the point communication with a client. Customers will quickly turn away from chatbots that can’t comprehend straightforward questions. So companies must think how quickly can you shift customers to a human interaction?

As with all customer-facing technologies, privacy and security are critical. Security issues should be considered strictly while integrating a chatbot strategy. Customers won’t use services they don’t trust with their data.

 

While AI is gaining momentum and investment, chatbots are getting better with natural language and learning. This increasing facility has enabled better customer experiences, cost efficiencies and potential revenue increases within the e-commerce sphere. Chatbots are therefore a phenomenon to continue to follow closely. And Organizations wanting to deploy messenger chatbots, marketers and chatbot developers should consider compatibility, the consumers’ lifestyle and shopping preferences, for a successful implementation. Similarly, the consumers’ privacy concerns and resistance to intrusive mobile advertisement are important topics to be considered.

Everything You Should Know About #Chatbots

Innovation is everyone’s business … The growth of any organization is based on the innovations that they are able to bring to the industry. For now Bot’s revolution is on the march: Gartner predicts that by 2019, ¼ of households in developed countries will use a bot as a privileged interface for access to services at home (personal service, Food delivery …).

Everyone talks about chatbots … but what is a bot? Before explaining a bot, let’s begin by emphasizing the difference between bots and Artificial Intelligence which are two separate subjects. If they work well together, they are nevertheless two distinct things.

 

A bot is a program that automatically interacts with a user: the coffee machine is one, for example. When a button is pressed, it produces coffee mechanically. During a conversation, chat, messaging, in a community, anywhere … you can have bots that respond to a human in the place of a human. This concept that generates all the current buzz is now an essential force of the Customer Experience.  A multitude of learning and research technologies have been in existence for decades, enabling the bot to continue to learn and develop through the huge number of databases.

The idea of ​​today is that a bot can be inserted in a conversation in such way that one can no longer distinguish the bot from a human, by responding in the same way, for example, or by allowing the bot find relevant content in the sense that it will have drawn from the user’s sentences.

 

Artificial Intelligence affects everything that comes close to human behavior. Understanding language, being able to formulate sentences, to disseminate meaning and emotions through written and oral language are at the heart of Artificial Intelligence.

It also deals with the recognition of images and their interpretation: knowing how to recognize shapes, colors … In all fields of Artificial Intelligence’s application, the most useful for the bots are those that revolve around the Language: NLP (Natural Language Processing), which allows the bot to understand the user’s language and the NLG (Natural Language Generation), allowing the bot to express itself.

Very important for the bot too, machine learning ensures its learning from a knowledge base, upgraded from various sources, and allows it to optimize itself. In short, Artificial Intelligence is a tool in the service of a bot so that it becomes more and more efficient.

 

The integration of chatbots today is one of the key to the success of the digital client relationship

At present, 55% of Internet users use instant messaging on a daily basis. For the thirties generation, webchat and social media are the first channels of contacts. Within five years, it is expected that up to 80% of our uses will be via conversational services.

Today, among the 5 applications most downloaded 4 are applications of instant messaging … The messaging is thus about to anticipate all the other channels of communication and the Chatbots open immense opportunities to enrich or reinvent the Customer experience: they are the natural extension of virtual assistants. In a context where developments are only accelerating, Chatbots are a new and more modern form of assistance to consumers.

The Virtual Assistant or Dynamic Frequently Asked Questions has appeared many years ago on websites. Some virtual assistants are very popular and part of the natural landscape: before Siri, Cortana and Google Now, there was already Lea at the SNCF, Laura at EDF, Lucie at SFR … and the Chatbot is none other than the deployment of this same assistance on every new platforms in which one should no longer hesitate to invest. Flexibility and experimentation are the only means to stay at the forefront of the digital market and to move ahead in a market that is constantly changing.

chatbot

 

The chatbots: the next step in the evolution of our habits

 

It is necessary to design the bots not as a function in vogue to test but as a next step in the evolution of our habits of research and relationship. To do this, we must first understand our habits in order to develop bots adapted to them.

The robot must above all be relevant by all the high-performing tasks it can perform. Companies must think of the bot always according to the client’s journey: to identify when to involve the bot and to define its objective. The introduction of a bot involves first a study of the client’s problem: an examination of the context and the typology of the contact. Then, there are several essential steps when designing the bot itself: studying the point of contact, identifying what is inducing flux and analyzing the origin of the audience, and then working on the “design” of the bot. The development of bots opens up real opportunities to better serve the customer.

Conducted tests showed that 80% of users accepted a first level of automated responses. What matters is that the relay is established “without friction”. The bot simplifies the first level of contact for the agent by precisely qualifying and routing the request. The agent who will follow the conversation will be able to devote his expertise and his time to deal with more complex situations, to trigger specialized interfaces that will enrich the client’s journey, and to live a relationship around interest or passion client. Thanks to Artificial Intelligence and bots, which will be able to group the clients into thematic clusters, the agent will be able to offer advice tailored to several people at the same time, optimizing his time while organizing communities of customers. Our navigation habits and our uses are continually evolving. The bot and the messaging create a considerable added value in the quality of our future conversations .

The Lessons of #CloudComputing – What Have We Learned So Far?

Cloud computing

In a remarkably short period of time, cloud computing has moved from a marginal to a fundamental element of IT operations. Thus, in just ten years, CIOs were presented with an opportunity to break the rules and create a new model for the implementation of IT. The cloud now regroups one-third of all spending on IT infrastructure, according to IDC. In terms of software, Gartner predicts the worldwide total spending in business applications of cloud services will grow 18% in 2017 to $246.8B, up from $209.2B in 2016.

While cloud computing is essential in the IT strategy, it’s good to highlight where the cloud has brought benefits and in which areas companies still have to prove.

Let’s find below what is working and where there is still work to be done.

 

Practice of cloud computing to bridge gaps in services

Cloud computing should be seen as a form of flexible outsourcing. It is only one vector among others for the provision of services. In computing on demand, what matters is how the company subscribes to services and benefits, not how they are delivered.

Cloud computing has the advantage of offering a very different model from the traditional ways of purchasing enterprise computing, where an ISD would acquire hardware and software for a specific location. This may be appropriate for services limited to a regional market, but can encounter problems of latency at the global level. This can be very problematic, especially if you are managing IT for a highly transactional business such as a financial institution, or if you ship large amounts of data, such as in oil and gas exploration. The cloud enables CIOs to ease these performance issues by purchasing on-demand computing to create omnipresent service delivery.

You can rely on the third party to provide the diverse service you need, while they, as an expert, have the capability to deliver peak capabilities and performance where and when you need it.  As a CIO, you can expect the platform to work and be available. Now, many IT executives will do their best to avoid possessing new physical hardware, while being assured that the service will be well provided. The cloud enables IT managers to take a step towards hosting and achieve high levels of backup and security for a defined fee.

 

Adopt a cloud computing mindset

A company must have a long-term goal to migrate as much IT capacity to the cloud as it provides a cost-effective way to gain access to new skills and expertise. It can be difficult to keep in touch of all the innovations associated with the cloud; so, make sure to spend enough time to brainstorm and talking with future IT professionals to get an idea of ​​what’s going to happen. They are probably more aware of the next big phenomenon that will affect the company. The culture that surrounds IT management is evolving, and that’s why you have to take a look at the new services that are available on the market and encourage employees to adopt a mindset favoring cloud computing.

However, a migration to the cloud must be carefully managed, including governance and information security. By definition, major providers (such as Amazon and Google) should be much better at securing data. However, CIOs need to be aware that convincing the rest of the company of the benefits of cloud computing can be a slow process, particularly with regard to governance, security and approval issues.

 

Let the cloud take care of core domains

Cloud computing integration must bring a tremendous solution to your organization’s operational challenge. The starting point concerns a number of core areas that CIOs can easily deliver on demand.

If you are using products such as Salesforce and Office 365, you’d have to be crazy to want to host them yourself. Better to let someone else, expert in this field, take charge of your operational concerns. The cloud also serves as a one-time solution to problems involving certain operational projects.

 

Finding a balance and determining how to manage legacy systems

IT managers would be foolish to dismiss cloud computing, if only in terms of the quality of the service. However, while businesses will continue to migrate on-demand services, much remains to be done. We’ve noticed that some companies are opting ​​for an on-demand model and there are others that buy more internal resources.

For CIOs, moving to an on-demand model can be a headache. You have your systems inherited and at some point, you will have to consider migrating these services to cloud computing, but it’s possible, as the momentum is in favor of computing demand, despite persistent concerns about security and governance.

 

Security and Privacy

The main challenge to cloud computing is how it addresses the security and privacy concerns of businesses thinking of adopting it. The fact that the valuable enterprise data will reside outside the corporate firewall raises serious concerns. After the #WannaCry attack, hacking and various attacks to cloud infrastructure are affecting multiple (potential) clients. These risks can be mitigated by using security applications, encrypted file systems, data loss software, and buying security hardware to track unusual behavior across servers.

 

Reliability and Availability

Cloud providers still lack round-the-clock service; this results in frequent outages. It is important to monitor the service being provided using internal or third-party tools. It is vital to have plans to supervise usage, SLAs, performance, robustness, and business dependency of these services.

#DigitalTransformation: No Future Without a Functional Website

From the butcher around the corner to the largest multinationals in the world, about every company is actively present on the internet via a website and that has become absolutely necessary. It’s just logical reasoning as the customers spend more and more time on the internet, via multiple devices, it’s normal to be online as a business.

And only being present is not enough. A site is a lot more than just a business card today. It has become a full communication channel. And consumers expect you to be as accessible via the site as via the phone. And of course, it is also a graphic and semantic reflection of your company. The kind of site you have, the pictures that are on it and the language already tells others very much about the type of business you are.

 

Customers are more and more on the internet, it’s only logical that you should be there as a business

 

Digital transformation

Daily task

As an online business, you don’t want to confuse quality with quantity. Don’t spend your time on easy and low impact tasks instead of strategic one’s, especially when your website is your only sales channel. Even if you opt to work with a specialized IT company, keeping the site running is a full day job. In some cases, only the deep adaptations to the site and the performance take specialists into account. But keeping up-to-date with information, uploading photos of products, keeping track of payments, ensure that all descriptions and prices are correct and the overall look is an in-house task.

 

Basic conditions

Handling a running website isn’t as easy as counting one-two-three. Because of the requirements of a good website, there are some basic conditions. You need to make sure that your website’s graphic don’t confuse visitor and make him leave your page. That means finding immediately what customers looking for and not losing too much time with pop-ups and such notifications. Even the language selection must be automate as much as possible based on user history. Also, a call to action (“call us” or “push here for a chat conversation”.) must be functional. All deeper content may be further in the site.

 

Classic

Just like in clothing, there are trends and modes in website design. Long scrolling home pages are the best example. Be sure that if a visitor has to scroll a lot, it must be for a good reason.

At the top of the page a functional basic menu and at the bottom of it user must get credentials or customer testimonials. Be very economical with too many colors, striking fonts or bold layouts. And there are good reasons why you do not often see that kind of thing: it draws attention to the essence, it makes reading the site just harder and it looks very unprofessional. As far as reading is concerned, too long text on a webpage are too heavy. You limit yourself to a handful of paragraphs per page. If you have to explain difficult things, for example, if you want to propose a particular policy as an insurance company, you can make a synthesis on the homepage and click your visitors to the full text. Whether you provide a separate PDF that they can download and print.

There is nothing above a classic, quiet layout. May be in 1998 you could get away with all those flashy conditions, not any more.

 

Responsive design

ResponsiveDesign

Another thing to keep in mind is that more internet surfers are not only using a PC to use your website but they use multiple devices such as tablet or phone to visit your site. Therefore, responsive design has been invented to facilitate the navigation via multiple devices formats. That is another important trend of today: sites adapt themselves to the device they are viewed on. This way you offer an optimal navigation and all information is easily readable on a large screen PC, tablets and on smartphone. Studies shows that more and more customers use a mobile device to consult company’s websites and that’s about 80%.

If you have difficulties or you need advices on technical issues, don’t hesitate to contact-us. We’ll be happy to assist you.

Survey: Is #CloudSecurity Still a Concern in 2017

The need to run Business more efficiently, improve time-to-market and enhance user experience is driving more and more enterprises to embrace the cloud as part of their IT strategy. You must note that “Cloud” still has many different meanings; IaaS, SaaS, PaaS and so on. Equally interesting is the fact that enterprises today deploy a variety of cloud delivery models to restructure processes and increase agility. IT teams usually have good visibility into and control over their on-premise networks. But when it comes to cloud environments, it’s not as easy to see and react to threats. Regardless of how your organization defines “Cloud”, it’s important to make sure your security can adapt to your organization’s cloud strategies.

 

57% of companies remain skeptical about the security of migration to cloud environments. The loss of “physical control” of data remains a major concern. Companies are still suspicious about the risk of switching from traditional computing to cloud computing environments, reveals a new study by Forbes, which also mentions that the massive trend is towards migration to the cloud.

Cloud Security

The survey reveals that even if the cloud is not a new technology, this market still has a strong growth potential, if security is strong. Forbes says that 65% of companies remain skeptical about the security of migration to cloud environments. Specifically, 40% of companies are concerned about the loss of “physical control” of the data involved in cloud computing.

 

The study also finds that companies seem more comfortable with hybrid cloud deployments in this period of migration to the cloud. 44% of organizations prefer this method. In addition to that, Hybrid cloud adoption grew 3X in the last year, increasing from 19% to 57% of organizations surveyed. Private clouds also seem to be a safer option for many.

 

Think Security Upstream of Cloud Migration Projects

Security Threat in clouds

At the top of the cloud migration concerns, unauthorized access ranks first among 61% of respondents in the study. For 52% online piracy is a second fear.

Cloud security risks are on the top of the barriers list of cloud adoption (33%). The most dramatic shift is the lack of staff and expertise to manage cloud security (28%) – moving from #5 to #2 and trading places with legal and regulatory concerns (24%) as key barriers to cloud adoption.

 

Finally, it is noted that companies are increasingly considering enhancing the security upstream of their cloud deployments, with a focus on new internal policies. 56% of respondents said they plan to improve identity management and authentication. 51% of companies use encryption to go to the cloud. Finally, 45% of medium and large companies plan to implement audits as part of a migration to the cloud.

 

Only 13% of companies still reject the idea of ​​moving to cloud computing infrastructures. But 30% admit that if they perceive that security is improving, they may reconsider their point of view. While process efficiencies and network agility are key cloud drivers, enterprises of all sizes continually cite cloud security as their top concern. Despite this, cloud adoption continues to rise.

 

Cloud adoption certainly provides many benefits, but enterprise security needs to adapt to this new environment. The end goal of a cloud security strategy must be to permit organizations to realize the full benefits of the cloud without letting security slow them down.

*For the survey, more than 600 IT professionals worldwide, in various sectors, were selected.