National Express Turns To Vodafone Business And IBM To Boost Digital Journey With Hybrid Cloud

LONDON, Aug. 28, 2019 — The Vodafone Business and IBM  venture, which launched earlier this year, today announced it has signed an eight-year deal with National Express, a leading UK-based transport provider with services in eight countries. The agreement covers the provision of cloud and digital services that will underpin National Express’ ‘digital first’ approach; to use the latest technologies to raise customer and safety standards, drive efficiencies and grow its business.

Vodafone Business and IBM announced their intent to join forces in January this year, bringing together their respective strengths in connectivity and hybrid cloud.  Together, they offer customers straightforward access to the technologies needed to integrate multiple clouds and prepare for the next wave of transformation enabled by 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), edge computing and software defined networking (SDN).

Under the agreement, the Vodafone Business and IBM venture will first modernise National Express’ IT estate by moving to IBM Cloud and implementing a hybrid cloud strategy, building on the existing connectivity services provided by Vodafone Business. This will enable National Express to effectively manage multiple clouds in different locations and from different vendors; and to seamlessly scale up and down to support usage spikes.  Additional security and risk management will be added to protect the transport operator’s technology infrastructure and provide greater resilience.

This activity will lay the foundation for future innovation and enable National Express to speed the development of new customer-focused innovations – such as personalised passenger experiences, flexible payment options and always-connected vehicles.

Looking ahead, the Vodafone Business and IBM venture will give National Express access to other cloud services and new technologies such as 5G, IoT, edge computing and analytics. Such technologies will enable the transport operator to adapt to today’s digitally savvy consumers, create the best possible customer experience and drive operational excellence.

Debbie O’Shea, Group Chief Information Officer for National Express said, “Working with the new Vodafone Business and IBM venture forms part of our continued investment in technology to better support our strategic ambitions. This partnership enables us to move to a cloud environment giving us a future-proofed platform with increased flexibility that will better support our business.  It also will provide access to emerging and innovative new technologies.”

Greg Hyttenrauch, Cloud and Security Director, Vodafone Business commented, “This flagship win is a powerful demonstration of the value the Vodafone Business and IBM venture can bring to customers. As cloud services and connectivity become ever more inseparable, there is a clear need for the combined expertise we can deliver. We will provide National Express with the holistic solution it requires to drive digital innovation across its business – faster, simpler and at scale.”

“Leading enterprises around the world are turning to IBM and its hybrid cloud capabilities to modernise their businesses and transform operations,” said Michael Valocchi, IBM General Manager of the venture with Vodafone. “By moving to the IBM Cloud and implementing a hybrid cloud strategy, National Express can now tap the combined strengths of IBM and Vodafone and introduce new, innovative services faster and succeed in a digital world.”

Vodafone has a long-standing relationship with National Express and already provides wide area network connectivity and a Secure Internet Gateway.

About National Express
National Express Group is a leading public transport operator with bus, coach and rail services in the UK, Continental Europe, North Africa, North America and the Middle East. Passengers made 898 million journeys on our services in 2018.

About Vodafone
Vodafone UK connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed line, broadband and the Internet of Things (IoT). We employ around 11,000 people across the UK, and operate more than 400 retail stores nationwide.

Having made the UK’s first mobile phone call and sent the first text, Vodafone has a history as a tech pioneer. In 2018 we made the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G, and were first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. Today we serve over 18 million mobile and fixed line customers in the UK, with 4G network coverage at 99%. Our customers voted us the UK’s Best Mobile Network at the 2018 Trusted Reviews Awards for the second year in a row. To help deliver Gigabit UK, we are rolling out full fibre broadband across 10 cities in partnership with CityFibre, reaching one million homes and business by 2021.

Our ReConnect programme is supporting women and men back into work after a career break, our IoT technology is working to create a low-carbon society and our free Digital Parenting magazine is helping families across the UK to navigate the online world safely. For two years running, we have been named a Top 100 Employer by Stonewall.

We are part of Vodafone Group, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, with mobile operations in 25 countries, partnerships with mobile networks in 44 more, and fixed broadband operations in 19 markets.

IBM Expands Cloud Capabilities in Latin America, to Help Companies Accelerate Shift to Hybrid Cloud

New IBM Cloud multizone region in Brazil expected to provide cloud services to run mission-critical applications closer to home
Companies like BRF and Elaw are shifting to IBM Cloud
News builds on IBM’s existing global network of 60 cloud data centers and 18 availability zones across six multizone regions

SAO PAULO, Aug. 27, 2019  IBM today announced an expansion of its global cloud footprint, with plans to launch a new IBM Cloud multizone region (MZR) in Latin America by late 2020. The MZR in Brazil will become IBM’s first in Latin America, and will help clients in the region quickly deploy mission-critical workloads and applications across hybrid cloud environments.

Additionally, clients such as BRF and Elaw are adopting IBM Cloud for IT cost efficiency and flexibility in their business operations and to unleash the power of their data with AI.

Located in São Paulo, Brazil, the new MZR will be designed to provide clients with a consistent set of IBM public cloud services, from enterprise-grade infrastructure to AI services. The MZR will help increase disaster recovery capabilities by interconnecting three independent availability zones – each of which contains independent cooling, networking and power — within the same geography.

As companies in Latin America and around the world move toward the next chapter of their cloud journeys to drive innovation and differentiation, 80 percent of their mission-critical workloads – from supply chains to core banking systems – still remain to be moved to the cloud. Increasingly, organizations are incorporating elements from their on-premises infrastructure, and private and public clouds to create a comprehensive hybrid cloud strategy. To do this, companies need to manage and maintain these architectures, and ensure they are optimized to run efficiently across any environment.

The Latin American MZR brings even more regional capacity and capability by offering a complete portfolio of services, including IBM Watson, blockchain, IoT and analytics. Additionally, clients will be able to deploy multizone Kubernetes clusters across the MZRs via the IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service, simplifying how they deploy and manage containerized applications and adding further consistency to their experience.

“As organizations seek to increase their pace of innovation to stay competitive, they are looking to open source, hybrid multicloud environments that can ignite a new wave of digital innovation from new projects and modernization of legacy systems. IDC expects that by 2022, over half of Latin American GDP will be made digital, heavily enabled by enterprises advancing in their journeys to the cloud,” said Alejandro Florean, consulting Vice-president, IDC Latin America. “With this new cloud multizone region, IBM is well positioned to help enterprises in Latin America differentiate themselves in their industries by capitalizing on this emerging hybrid multicloud world.”

“Our continued cloud investment reflects that clients are increasingly seeking hybrid cloud environments that offer access to cutting edge tools including AI, analytics, IoT and blockchain to boost competitiveness,” said Tonny Martins, General Manager, IBM Brazil. “As companies in Brazil look to gain greater control of their data in the face of upcoming tighter compliance and protection regulations, IBM offers the cloud capabilities that allow them to innovate and take advantage of data from all sources across any hybrid multicloud environment.”

“The cloud market is being redefined as hybrid. As companies shift more of their business applications to the cloud, they are looking to build efficiencies and maintain security as they look to manage data, services, and workflows across a hybrid multicloud environment,” said Ana Paula Assis, General Manager, IBM Latin America. “The new IBM Cloud multizone region is being designed to bring a portfolio of enterprise-grade infrastructure and services to deliver our best possibilities and benefits of hybrid cloud to clients in Latin America.”

Clients are accelerating their Journey to Cloud
Companies of all sizes and are migrating critical workloads to IBM Cloud to drive the next chapter of digital reinvention. This includes companies such as BRF and Elaw.

BRF, one of the biggest food companies in the world, has migrated over 70 percent of its workloads to the IBM Cloud in recent years, enabling integration of its mission-critical systems to support business international expansion. With more than 40 production units currently in Brazil, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Turkey, BRF was able to reduce IT costs with IBM Services and scale its operations to multiple countries by tapping into IBM Cloud’s global reach.

Elaw, one of the leading Brazilian suppliers of legal technology solutions in Brazil, provides artificial intelligence-based services. Currently, by using IBM Watson Natural Language Understanding and Natural Language Classifier services on IBM Cloud, Elaw can identify most recurring claims in labor lawsuits, understand what most influences in each topic and then predict which legal approach might be most effective in dealing with this case while improving provisioning of financial resources in the event of loss.

IBM Developing New Cloud Services and Technology to Help Keep Data Secured from Future Fault-Tolerant Quantum Computers

– New quantum risk assessment and subscription services available to clients
– IBM Cloud will begin to provide quantum-safe cryptography services on the public cloud in 2020
– IBM Research demonstrates world’s first quantum computing safe tape drive prototype
– IBM donates quantum-safe cryptographic algorithms to open source community

ARMONK, N.Y., Aug. 23, 2019  — Today at the Second Post-Quantum Cryptography Standardization Conference organized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), IBM (NYSE: IBM) took a major step towards maintaining the highest level of security of its client’s data and privacy in the future from fault-tolerant quantum computers.

With today’s news, IBM is announcing that it will begin to provide, what the industry would call, quantum-safe cryptography services on the IBM public cloud in 2020 and is now offering a Quantum Risk Assessment from IBM Security to help customers assess their risk in the quantum world. Additionally, IBM cryptographers have prototyped the world’s first quantum computing safe enterprise class tape, an important step before commercialization.

IBM is also committed to making quantum-safe algorithms available through the open source community. As an industry, we can only become secure if new quantum-safe algorithms are tested, interoperable and easily consumable in common security standards. To this end, IBM is donating algorithms and support to a number of open source projects such as

These new services and technologies are building on IBM’s leading position in quantum computing and leverage decades of research in cryptography to protect data at rest and in motion.

IBM first made quantum computers available through its public cloud in May 2016 with the IBM Q Experience platform. As of today, users have executed more than 28 million experiments and simulations on the quantum cloud platform and published over 180 third-party research papers.

Preparing Cybersecurity for a Quantum World

Quantum computing is an emerging form of technology that takes advantage of quantum mechanical phenomena to solve certain types of problems that are effectively impossible to solve on classical computers. As quantum systems become more powerful, they will also impact information security and will create new opportunities for improving security for data both on-premises and in the cloud.

At the current rate of progress in quantum computing, it is expected that data protected by the asymmetric encryption methods used today may become insecure within the next 10-30 years. While years away, data can be harvested today, stored and decrypted in the future with a powerful enough quantum computer. While the industry is still finalizing post-quantum cryptography standards, businesses and other organizations can start preparing today.

IBM Takes Steps to Help Clients Maintain Security in the Future World of Quantum Computing

With more enterprises turning to the cloud for their mission-critical data, IBM is bringing together its hybrid cloud leadership with quantum and security research expertise to stay at the forefront of future quantum cybersecurity threats.

IBM will begin to unveil quantum-safe cryptography services on its public cloud in 2020. To help clients achieve quantum-safe protection of their data while it is in-transit within IBM Cloud, IBM will enhance its TLS/SSL implementations in IBM Cloud services using algorithms designed to be quantum-safe leveraging open standards and open source technology. IBM is also evaluating approaches to provide services that render quantum-safe digital signatures.

“IBM Cloud is taking the critical steps needed to help enterprises ensure their data stays secure in a quantum future,” said Harish Grama, general manager, IBM Cloud. “Starting in 2020, IBM Cloud will roll out new services that will help keep data secured and private from the emerging cybersecurity challenges presented by future quantum computers.”

IBM Research Donating Cryptographic Algorithms to Open Community, Demonstrates First Quantum-Safe Tape Storage Prototype

“In order to prepare for the impact that quantum computers are expected to have on data security, IBM Research has been developing cryptographic algorithms that are designed to be resistant to the potential security concerns posed by quantum computers,” said Vadim Lyubashevsky, cryptographer, IBM Research. “Our jointly developed quantum-safe algorithms, part of a lattice cryptography suite called CRYSTALS, are based on the hardness of mathematical problems that have been studied since the 1980’s and have not succumbed to any algorithmic attacks, either classical or quantum. This is why we have made our algorithms open source and have submitted them to NIST for standardization.”

IBM has actively supported NIST on its journey to standardize quantum safe cryptography with preparatory input, algorithm submissions, analysis of submitted algorithms and feedback to the process. We will continue this commitment by contributing our learning as we migrate IBM’s own systems and services to become quantum-safe based on the NIST standards, which are expected to be available between 2022-2024.

CRYSTALS (Cryptographic Suite for Algebraic Lattices) is developed jointly in collaboration with several academic and commercial partners including ENS Lyon, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica and Radboud University. It’s based on two quantum resistant cryptographic primitives – Kyber, a secure key encapsulation mechanism, and Dilithium, a secure digital signature algorithm. CRYSTALS has been donated to, to further develop open standards.

IBM has tested CRYSTALS successfully on a prototype IBM TS1160 tape drive using both Kyber and Dilithium in combination with symmetric AES-256 encryption to enable the world’s first quantum computing safe tape drive. The new algorithms are implemented as part of the tape drive’s firmware and could be provided to customers as a firmware upgrade for existing tape drives and/or included in the firmware of future generations of tape drives.

To help clients assess their potential risks and begin the quantum-safe journey, IBM Security is also offering a quantum data risk assessment service to help clients develop a quantum-safe cryptography implementation strategy.

To educate security professionals and executives on migrating to the next generation of quantum-safe cryptography, IBM Research has recently launched a Security Subscription service which provides quarterly reports and seminars. The next seminar is currently planned for October 2, 2019 in Zurich, Switzerland.

To learn more about quantum computing and its impact on information security, download the IBM Institute for Business Value report: Wielding a double-edged sword: Preparing cybersecurity now for a quantum world

Leading Tech, Telecom, Pharma, Beverage and Manufacturing Companies Collaborate with IBM and Chainyard to Simplify Supply Chain Management Using a New Blockchain Network

Anheuser-Busch InBev, Cisco GlaxoSmithKline, Lenovo, Nokia, Schneider Electric and Vodafone to Tackle Supplier Information Management Challenges

ARMONK, N.Y., — IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Chainyard today announced Trust Your Supplier (TYS), a new blockchain network designed to improve supplier qualification, validation, onboarding and life cycle information management. Anheuser-Busch InBev, Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, Lenovo, Nokia, Schneider Electric and Vodafone are founding participants alongside IBM in the network and share a common goal of solving challenges related to supplier information management. IBM’s industry expertise and Chainyard’s product capabilities building on IBM Blockchain Platform have brought this solution to market.

Traditional methods of managing suppliers often involve cumbersome manual processes, which make it difficult to verify identities and track documents like ISO certifications, bank account information, tax certifications, and certificates of insurance throughout the lifecycle of a supplier. By using a decentralized approach and an immutable audit trail built on blockchain, Trust Your Supplier is designed to eliminate manual time-consuming processes and help reduce the risk of fraud and errors, ultimately creating frictionless connectivity across supply chains. By 2023, blockchain will support the global movement and tracking of $2 trillion of goods and services annually, according to technology research firm Gartner Inc.*

“Blockchain has the ability to completely transform how companies onboard and manage their supplier network for the future,” said Renee Ure, Chief Supply Chain Officer for Lenovo’s Data Center Group. “Through Trust Your Supplier, both buyers and suppliers will the see the procurement benefits of blockchain through reductions in cost, complexity and speed.”

Trust Your Supplier creates a digital passport for supplier identity on the blockchain network that allows suppliers to share information with any permissioned buyer on the network. Blockchain ensures a permissioned based data sharing network. This should help reduce the time and cost associated with qualifying, validating and managing new suppliers while creating new business opportunities among suppliers and buyers. Third-party validators, such as Dun & Bradstreet, Ecovadis and RapidRatings provide outside verification or audit capabilities directly on the network.

The Trust Your Supplier blockchain network can also connect existing procurement business networks by relaying necessary supplier data required for exchanging Purchase Orders and invoices, without the need for suppliers to enter it in multiple different networks and automating on-boarding process to those networks. The IBM Supply Chain Business Network can connect to Trust Your Supplier using open industry programming interfaces for access to existing verified supplier information.

“Working with IBM and Chainyard on this blockchain initiative represents a great opportunity for Nokia to further enhance our suppliers’ experience and optimize the onboarding process,” said Sanjay Mehta, Vice President Procurement, Nokia. “Using the latest technology to address a classical challenge will be of benefit for everyone, and further increase the speed of using innovative solutions.”

IBM has over 18,500 suppliers around the world and will begin using the Trust Your Supplier network initially onboarding 4,000 of its own North American suppliers over the next few months. IBM Procurement projects a 70 to 80 percent reduction in the cycle time to onboard new suppliers, with a potential 50 percent reduction in administrative costs within its own business.

The Trust Your Supplier network is currently in limited availability with existing participants with plans for commercial availability later in Quarter 3 of 2019. TYS is built on the IBM Blockchain Platform hosted on the IBM Cloud.