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Tech News

15-09-2017
Innovation and Technology Venture Fund

The Government has launched the Innovation and Technology Venture Fund on 15-09-2017. It is now open for application by venture capital funds to become co-investment partners (Deadline: 15-01-2018). A briefing session will be held on 03-10-2017 at the Hong Kong Science Park. Interested venture capital funds are welcome to attend.

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21-05-2018
Allianz Malaysia transforms digitally to improve customer experience

Allianz Malaysia recently tasked global systems integrator Dimension Data as its 'key business solutions partner' to enhance its customer experience, while setting up a portal that provides in-depth information on customer journeys.Allianz has been engaging with Dimension Data since 2015, when the team deployed a Voice Contact Center solution to improve customer engagement.The newly implemented omnichannel case management solution is enhancing Allianz’s processes in handling enquiries and complaints from clients, while providing the team with a holistic view of each client’s journey.Dimension Data’s Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report (GCXBR) 2017 revealed that 9 channels of communication are now a norm, explaining the rise of digital channels such as email, chat and social media channels.Like 81% of the companies surveyed in GCXBR 2017, Allianz recognized customer experience (CX) as a competitive differentiator and wanted to further improve its CX capabilities in areas such as first-call resolution (FCR) and agent efficiency in resolving enquiries.Both parties believe it is a timely move for Allianz to move its contact center to an Omnichannel Case Management Automation Platform, as part of their strategic direction to divert more client enquiries towards digital channels.Allianz has also deployed a Client Engagement Management Platform to offer self-service options to customers."We take pride in being digital-ready and view digital as a marked investment towards our future. Since the implementation of this Omnichannel Management Platform, we have seen significant improvements which have positively impacted both our operations and customers. We are now seen as a gamechanger in the FSI industry, for being the first local insurer to successfully implement this platform," said Sean Wang, Chief Operations Officer for Allianz Malaysia Berhad.  He added: "More importantly, we have managed to improve our customers' experience, giving us a competitive edge in the industry. Our end-customer satisfaction level has increased up to 70% as a result of this project. This is all thanks to Dimension Data for their collaborative efforts and guidance towards fulfilling our commitment to our customers."“We are glad to play a part in helping Allianz set the benchmark within the highly competitive FSI industry. Our success was highly dependent on the team’s acute knowledge of industry trends to drive this digital transformation," said Henrick Choo, Managing Director of Dimension Data Malaysia. 

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21-05-2018
AVANI Hotels & Resorts rolls out online pre-arrival check-in

AVANI Hotels & Resorts is offering guests its latest innovative convenience with online check-in available prior to arrival.Modern travellers who want to start exploring their destination as soon as possible can expedite the check-in process at any AVANI Hotels & Resorts property around the world.With each completed booking at www.avanihotels.com, guests will receive an option to complete a pre-arrival online check-in. The online check-in process is swift and secure – guests will arrive at the property to find their room and key card ready for immediate occupancy (subject to room availability).AVANI Hotels & Resorts currently operates 23 properties in Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, most recently debuting in Australia, New Zealand, and Laos. The brand has also got a pipeline of new properties under development including in new destinations such as South Korea, Tunisia, the Maldives, Mauritius, and Oman.At select AVANI properties, a dedicated lane will be available for those who completed the online process for an even faster check-in. Some properties have special welcomes for guests who complete their check-in online: at AVANI+ Luang Prabang, there will be special welcome cocktails, served by the pool, under a hundred-year-old Banyan tree; at AVANI Riverside Bangkok, guests can relax with a welcome drink at the comfy living space by reception before going to their room where they will find special room amenities.Guests can also take make additional requests during their online check-in to ensure the perfect stay. Whether it is extra down pillows, airport transfers, or exploration tips, AVANI can ensure a seamless arrival experience. 

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21-05-2018
BT subsidiary EE to implement customer experience management based on Ericsson Expert Analytics

EE, the UK's largest mobile operator and part of the BT Group, has opted to implement a next-generation customer experience management (CEM) system based on Ericsson Expert Analytics.The multi-year agreement with Ericsson includes software, implementation services and IT managed support services. The solution will support multiple services, including 2G, 3G, 4G, VoLTE and VoWiFi, and is aimed at improving subscriber satisfaction, net promoter score, propensity to call, and first-call resolution rate.Dave Salam, EE Director of Mobility and Analytics, said: "With Ericsson Expert Analytics supporting our new customer experience management capability, we will be better able to understand our customers' experience in real-time, and the detailed insights provided will help us keep improving network quality."Ericsson Expert Analytics will measure the perceived customer experience for each subscriber, providing actionable insights based on data collected in real-time from network elements and probes, as well as from operations and business support systems. 

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21-05-2018
TIBCO and Amazon Web Services break risk calculation record

In large-scale computational tests utilizing TIBCO DataSynapse GridServer on Amazon Web Services (AWS), TIBCO demonstrated the capacity to perform risk calculations across 1.3 million computer cores – a result never before recorded for DataSynapse GridServer.GridServer is a more aaffordable solution that provides computation ability equivalent to some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers.The GridServer solution on AWS can actively allocate resources via the cloud, based on level of urgency. The process automatically detects when a computer’s performance will slow down, then resources available on AWS will provide the necessary power to continue computations at peak available performance. GridServer on AWS decreases IT constraints and expands capabilities by delivering better advancements in time-to-results, resiliency, throughput, and time-to-deploy.“Offering our customers the ability to leverage one of the most powerful supercomputers is a huge achievement,” said Nelson Petracek, global chief technology officer, TIBCO. “With the TIBCO Connected Intelligence platform of solutions, companies can build a system that automatically allocates cloud resources on demand. GridServer embeds an AWS architecture that is highly scalable, both in terms of speed and throughput, and is ideal for industries that require high-volume calculations, such as financial services, healthcare, and oil and gas.”By employing TIBCO GridServer on AWS, users can take advantage of on-demand cloud computing with an almost infinite capacity for computation-intensive applications. For example, the GridServer software can turn risk reports for stock traders from a 6- to 8-hour process to a 15-minute intra-day cycle, enabling traders to make more educated decisions.The robust solution can also analyze large volumes of data in connection with  risk, trading, financial models, and more, in preparation for the upcoming Fundamental Review of the Trading Book (FRTB) requirements going into effect in 2019. TIBCO’s GridServer product will supplement investment banks’ capacity for the daily FRTB calculations, which will significantly increase the requirements for large-scale grid computing environments. 

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21-05-2018
Radar software uses ML for greater insurance pricing sophistication

Willis Towers Watson said the newest version of its product pricing and portfolio management decision tool for insurance companies, Radar Pricing solution version 4.0, will allow users to build Gradient Boosting Machines (GBMs), a machine learning technique, and classification models utilizing a premium rating segmentation technique, directly within Radar’s decision support environment.Radar 4.0’s new features enhance insurers' agility and ability to identify complex behaviors in a highly visual manner, building machine learning models without the need to learn any programming skills.With the addition of the insurance rating software Radar Live, portfolio’s financial objectives can be achieved through improved speed and efficiency by directly deploying enhanced rating and underwriting strategies.“In increasingly competitive global markets, Radar 4.0 delivers a simplified and efficient process, greater pricing sophistication, and the latest analytical techniques to support insurers' top and bottom line growth,” said Michael Freeman, Head of Software and Technology Practice, Asia-Pacific at Willis Towers Watson.Future software releases of the series builds upon this capability by providing enhanced data structures to simplify the use of Radar Live within commercial lines environments. The reporting capability is significantly improved by the integrated display of rich cartographic data. Caption: Image from iStockPhoto

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20-05-2018
Polish Credit Office stakes claim to first banking records on the blockchain

Polish Credit Office (Biuro Informacji Kredytowej - BIK), touted as one of the largest credit bureau in Central and Eastern Europe announced efforts to deploy a blockchain solution from Fintech startup Billon to provide secure storage of sensitive customer information.The Billon blockchain technology is claimed as a fully-GDPR compliant solution that offers total visibility, trackable history and full data integrity for any client-facing document including banking records, loan agreements, insurance claims, telephone bills and terms & conditions.BIK says it tracks nearly 140 million credit histories of over 1 million businesses and 24 million people."We believe that blockchain technology will transform client communications in the financial sector. Our solution will soon be expanded to include electronic delivery with active confirmation and remote signing of online agreements. It is also important that the solution meets legal requirements of a durable medium of information, as well as the EU GDPR requirements," said Mariusz Cholewa, President of BIK.RELATED: Countdown to GDPR: final reality checkBIK and Billon developed the solution for durable medium of information, defined by EU regulations and directives such as MIFID II and IDD directives. The partnership saw eight Polish banks participating in trials, which established that Billon's scalable blockchain architecture could publish over 150 million documents every month. This would be more than sufficient for even the largest institutions to move to paperless customer service.The solution has been approved following extensive consultation with the Polish Office of Competition (UOKiK) and Data Protection Regulator (GIODO), making it one of the world's first Regtech compliant blockchain solutions, and the only one with on-chain data storage and a mechanism enabling "the right to erase personal data". Currently, the only major alternatives to this are hardware-based archive solutions such as legacy WORM drives. Compared to them, Billon's solution offers 30% saving in TCO, ensuring minimal upfront costs."It is now possible to move away from the constraints of closed central databases to a democratic blockchain-based Internet where every user will be able to control their identity," explained Andrzej Horoszczak, CEO of Billon.According to Horoszczak, the Billon blockchain platform streamlines customer service processes and implements customer rights such as the "right to be forgotten".“We're fixing the problem of consumer data control, creating a level playing field between individuals and corporations. The benefits could affect more than the financial sector, and we anticipate it will soon be adopted by industries such as telecommunications, insurance and utilities. Our cooperation is only the first step to introducing mass blockchain technology use for trusted document management.” He concluded. Caption: Image from iStockPhoto

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19-05-2018
Thriving e-commerce in APAC and how brands can reduce fraud

E-commerce in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) is booming - with 71 percent of APAC consumers making an online purchase, according to a new report co-authored by IDC and Experian. On the flip side, the risk of fraud is high too, and one in five customers have already fallen victim.Based on a consumer survey across ten APAC markets namely Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, the “Digital Consumer Insights 2018” report delves into how well businesses mitigate fraud risk through the eyes of their customers.Fraud onlineThe escalating possibility of online fraud is unsurprisingly perhaps, considering the sheer popularity of buying and selling products online and via mobile devices. Indeed, electronics, travel and groceries currently top the list in terms of popularity, according to the report.“Asia Pacific is one of the most dynamic digital and mobile economies in the world. “71% are buying online, and 63% who have adopted mobile payments consider them convenient,” said Ben Elliott, CEO of Experian Asia Pacific.“But as more people adopt faster and more effortless ways to shop, bank and engage with businesses, fraud exposure will increase. This is a concern with 18% of consumers in the region already experiencing fraud,” he said.Consumers in mature economies like Hong Kong and Singapore are largely more aware of fraud risks and act in a more conservative manner, says Elliot. Consumers in these regions sometimes ditch an online transaction when they perceive a potential fraud risk, compared to emerging economies like Vietnam with less fraud awareness and where purchases could be more driven by convenience.Growing awarenessOn the flip side, greater digital convenience is also linked to higher fraud exposure, which can be a problem to both consumers and businesses – the former through higher costs being passed down. The silver lining: consumers were more likely to want to adopt security measures as they become more aware of the risk of fraud, which helps businesses.In the APAC, 13% of consumers are now willing to adopt biometrics, with India (21%), Vietnam and China (both at 18%) leading the charge as early adopters. Australia (9%), Japan and New Zealand (both at 8%) are the least willing to do so.The report suggested that one of the best ways companies can protect their customers is by leveraging high-quality customer data to effectively verify transactions. This is easier said than done though, with a proportion of consumers either intentionally submitting inaccurate information to avoid disclosing data or making mistakes in the details they provide.Ultimately, this boils down into an issue of trust, and an area where marketers can contribute. They can do that by doing more to communicate the value of collected data, as well as convincing customers that they can be trusted as custodians of personal data.The full report can be accessed here (free registration).Further reading:Mobile and timing are crucial for enhanced online salesHow mobile is changing the face of selling onlineCross-border e-commerce growth will outstrip domestic online retail: study Caption: Image credit: iStockphoto by Getty Images

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19-05-2018
AI-endowed messaging app touted as record-keeping compliant

PwC in Mainland China and Hong Kong touted the new ’Intelligent Archive’ solution as a compliant mobile messaging tool with chatbot technology. It combines the abilities to record and archive business conversations on mobile messaging platforms, in a secure and compliant way, with intelligent productivity & customer service features.The May 4, 2018 circular issued by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission provides guidance on implementing controls and procedures of which staff members of intermediaries are expected to put in place when using instant messaging applications to receive client orders, among others.“Messenger apps are becoming increasingly widely used in the business world. To accommodate their clients’ communication preferences, many banks are exploring how to effectively use these applications, whilst also meeting regulatory archiving requirements,” said Andrew Watkins, Technology and Disruption Leader, PwC China and Hong Kong.The recording conversations feature developed by PwC allows companies to comply with relevant regulatory requirements that stress the importance of compliance monitoring and centralized record-keeping of client orders through instant messaging applications.Watkins noted that the PwC solution provides banks with the flexibility and security to communicate with and serve their clients using selected messenger apps in a secure and compliant way.Intelligent Archive provides an audit trail of communications as well as an archive retrieval system. Notably, the monitoring system allows financial institutions to comply with regulatory policies and respond to informational requests.The solution also features an in-application chatbot serving as a ‘Smart Concierge’ – a digital assistant capable of helping client support staff identify, for example, suitable products and access product marketing materials, all without leaving the messaging interface. During a conversation, records of actions are recorded within the archive for later review and audit trail.  “The battle for the customer interface is fierce as usage of mobile messaging platforms becomes ubiquitous in daily lives both at work and home. Intelligent Archive’s A.I.-powered chatbot empowers client support staff to optimize the user experience through a seamless and secure channel with consumers that is contextual, highly personal and direct,” says Matthew Phillips, PwC China and Hong Kong Financial Services Leader. Caption: Image from iStockPhoto

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18-05-2018
PCCW Media launches one stop entertainment OTT platform

PCCW Media’s new Now E video content platform offers access to thousands of hours of Hollywood and Asian movies and dramas

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18-05-2018
Less than a third of Asia-Pacific firms ready for GDPR

An ISACA report shows only around half of the companies surveyed expect to be compliant with the EU GDPR this year

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18-05-2018
US Reps rejects Trump's lifeline for ZTE

ZTE has vowed to fight the ban on US companies selling components to the Chinese vendor

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18-05-2018
The best free BI tools for 2018

Business intelligence platforms can help enterprises analyze data from various sources to inform decision-making

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18-05-2018
Senior living projects gaining traction in India

As Asian countries address the new realities of ageing crisis and increasing life expectancy, senior living is now becoming a next bet for investors. According to recently released Colliers Research report on Senior Housing Outlook 2018, countries such as Japan have grappled with an ageing population for some time, while others are just beginning to realize that they will need to act quickly in order to address ageing-related issues. Macau and Singapore, for example, will see their senior populations skyrocket by 301% and 195%, respectively, by 2050.Even fast-developing countries where seniors are a smaller presence, such as India and the Philippines, will face difficulties if many of their young people continue to work overseas and are largely unable to attend to the immediate needs of elderly parents. In such scenarios, more infrastructure will be needed to cater to rising number of seniors who will be residing independently and need different degrees of daily assistance and medical care."Few factors in Indian scenario such as concern in maintenance of properties during retirement days, restricted income source for seniors, rising crime rate against elderly people, emotional challenges such as lack of companionship and security, and other healthcare aspects should drive the need for senior housing in India in coming days. However, the market will take its own time to adopt the trend, considering the Indian system of living," says Ravi Ahuja, Senior Executive Director, Mumbai & Developer Services at Colliers International India. As per Census of India, 2011, India had about 98 million elderly citizens, and this number is likely to grow in future. Also, the overall life expectancy is also on the rise, fueling the rush to address retiree's demand in the country. According to Colliers Research, the major senior housing categories that have emerged this far can be summed up as housing developments for active seniors, in-home care, assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities.Developers such as Ashiana housing, Brigade, Athashree, Vedaanta are experimenting with these projects. While the senior living market is miniscule, the demand will grow in future, owing to factors such as growing awareness among seniors about the benefits of living in senior housing and numerous facilities offered by them."Most of the living projects in India follow outright sales, pay-back schemes and lifetime lease models at present. However, factors like affordability, location accessibility, safety and security, land value, involvement of expertise in operations and maintenance of the communities, etc. will be the key factors driving the success of senior living communities in India in coming days," says, Surabhi Arora, Senior Associate Director, Research at Colliers International India.  At present the senior living projects are making their advent in Indian cities such as Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Kochi, Coimbatore, etc.Housing developments for active seniorsHousing developments for active seniors tends to be the most prevalent offering, since it requires no or minimal specialist care facilities, and are therefore easiest for developers to build. Such developments are typically restricted to those 55 or over, and provide several single- or multi-family housing options for retirees. They tend to attract mobile, independent seniors with facilities such as clubhouses, golf courses and tennis courts as well as social and recreational programs. Services such as housekeeping, transportation and maintenance may be included in the standard fees.In-home care Individuals who lack the desire or resources move to a designated facility and receive short or long-term care that they need in the comfort of their own homes. Care services can include anything from arranging entertainment to assistance in taking medication or hospice supervision. As services tend to be part-time, this is the lowest-cost option, but must often be supplemented with family members or friends able to play the role of caregiver on a more sustained basis.Assisted living facilities Assisted living developments have trained and licensed staff to assist seniors who lack options for in-home care, but have reached the stage where they may require help with everyday activities such as cleaning, preparing meals or taking medications.Skilled nursing care facilities These developments offer round-the-clock care for individuals who suffer from chronic health conditions that are too complex to be treated at home or in assisted living developments, and have highly-trained staff and facilities spanning areas such as physical, occupational and respiratory therapy. Facilities may include a small number of assisted living and/or Alzheimer's/dementia units.

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18-05-2018
BT joins forces with Europol to build a safer cyber space

BT has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Europol, The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Co-operation, to share knowledge about major cyber threats and attacks, as the two organizations reinforce their efforts to create a safer cyber space for citizens, businesses and governments.The agreement, which was signed by both parties at Europol’s Headquarters in The Hague in the Netherlands, provides a framework for BT and Europol to exchange threat intelligence data as well as information relating to cyber security trends, technical expertise and industry best practice.Steven Wilson, Head of Business, European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), said: “The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding between Europol and BT will improve our capabilities and increase our effectiveness in preventing, prosecuting and disrupting cybercrime. Working co-operation of this type between Europol and industry is the most effective way in which we can hope to secure cyberspace for European citizens and businesses. I am confident that the high level of expertise that BT brings will result in a significant benefit to our Europe wide investigations.”Kevin Brown, VP, BT Security Threat Intelligence, said: “As one of the world’s largest cyber security businesses, we at BT have long held the view that coordinated, cross border collaboration is key to stemming the global cyber-crime epidemic.“We’re working with other law enforcement agencies in a similar vein to better share cyber security intelligence, expertise and best practices to help them expose and take action against the organized gangs of cyber criminals lurking in the dark corners of the web.”BT is committed to sharing its threat intelligence data with industry partners and law enforcement agencies such as Europol in a secure and trusted way, as a means of better protecting UK and global customers from the rapidly expanding cyber-crime industry. Earlier this year, it became the first telecommunications provider in the world to start sharing information about malicious software and websites on a large scale with other ISPs via a free online portal – the Malware Information Sharing Platform (MISP). Since the platform was launched, BT’s worldwide team of more than 2,500 cyber security experts have so far helped to identify and have shared the details of more than 200,000 malicious domains. The recipients of BT’s threat intelligence data have then been able to take the appropriate course of action to protect their customers and stakeholders against the specific threats identified.Europol created the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) in 2013 to strengthen the law enforcement response to cybercrime in the EU in a bid to better protect EU citizens, businesses and governments from online crime. It also operates the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT), which aims to drive intelligence led, coordinated action against key cybercrime threats and targets by facilitating the joint identification, prioritization, preparation and initiation of cross-border investigations and operations by its partners.

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17-05-2018
Nearly half of HK consumers use an e-wallet

Neilsen’s Hong Kong eCommerce Study 2017 shows that mobile wallet adoption has increased significantly year-on-year

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CyberLink Vol.116 May 2018

Message from CEO

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CyberLink Vol.115 March 2018

Check out the key drivers for the new economy at IES 2018

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CyberLink Vol.114 February 2018

Cyberport to launch first offsite Smart-Space in Tsuen Wan

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