A Central Bank Will Issue a Consumer-ready Digital Currency Within Five Years, a New OMFIF and IBM Report Finds

ARMONK, N.Y. and LONDON, Oct. 29, 2019 — Policy-makers at a number of central banks around the world are seriously considering developing and issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC), with a consumer-ready CBDC likely to arrive in the next five years. That is the key finding from a report from IBM (NYSE: IBM) and OMFIF, a central banking think tank.

The report, commissioned by IBM, encompasses an in-depth survey of officials from 23 central banks in advanced and emerging economies. The findings present a holistic picture of policy-makers’ approaches to setting up a retail CBDC. The survey projects that the first CBDC will be produced within five years in a small economy and respond to a specific policy objective with a well-defined use.

A consumer-ready CBDC is likely to require some form of public-private partnership. Central banks are hampered in their ability to offer financial services, and private companies will probably fill the gap.

Without regulation, private sector digital currencies could possibly undermine central banks’ monetary sovereignty and threaten financial stability. Central banking policy-makers and regulators increasingly acknowledge that understanding and, where appropriate, incorporating these technologies into their own functions may have to be an essential part of their mandate.

Key findings:

  • In dealing with digital currencies, policy objectives will remain central bankers’ pre-eminent concern; advances in technology alone will not determine how CBDCs are designed or whether they will be introduced.
  • 73% of central bank survey respondents would require retail CBDCs to be available under all circumstances and for all types of payments where cash is currently used.
  • More than half of respondents said they were very concerned about the possibility that private challengers like Libra would critically undermine monetary sovereignty.
  • 82% of those responding said their greatest financial stability concern from CBDC implementation was the risk of digital bank ‘runs’ which could damage stability and confidence.
  • 64% of respondents said outsourceable ‘intermediation’ functions, such as customer onboarding, would be important for CBDC implementation.

‘The concept of retail CDBCs has moved rapidly from being the thought experiment of technical experts and philosophers to the subject of boardroom debates focused on tangible, near-term reforms,’ said Philip Middleton, OMFIF deputy chairman. ‘When senior central bankers speculate publicly about the possibility of a universal digital currency, it is a happy endorsement of the reports’ timeliness.’

‘Central banks surveyed are interested in positioning themselves to launch their own retail CBDCs, as the findings of this report make clear,’ said Saket Sinha, global vice president, IBM Blockchain Financial Services. ‘Large banks and technology companies will have a major role to play as new public private partnerships are formed to promote interoperability, create services, and extend financial inclusion.’

The survey was conducted between July-September 2019, involving central banks from 13 advanced economies and 10 emerging markets.

Welcome to the World Premiere of HCL Domino, Notes, and Sametime v11, and Connections v6.5. HCL global launch begins.

Welcome to the World Premiere of HCL Domino, Notes, and Sametime v11, and Connections v6.5. HCL global launch begins.

Join live broadcast from Tokyo on December 4

HCL global launch begins. New versions of Domino, Connections and Sametime — live demos, news, roadmaps, technical sessions.

Welcome to the World Premiere of Domino, Notes, and Sametime v11, and Connections v6.5. This will be a historic day, marking the first major product releases for these iconic products under HCL Digital Solutions. Tune in live to hear the latest product features, hear from thought leaders, and find out how you can upgrade to the latest versions.

AGENDA includes:

  • Live from Tokyo Keynote: A Major HCL Milestone.
    Richard Jefts, General Manger, HCL Digital Solutions
  • Domino V11: Why Modernizing Beats Migrating.
  • Domino V11 Demo: One Vendor, One Solution, One Stack. The Only Stack You Need.
    Andrew Manby, Vice President of Product Management, HCL Domino
  • We Hear You: HCL Connections 6.5 = More Value from Your Investment.
  • Boost Engagement with HCL Connections 6.5: We’ll Show You How.
    Danielle Baptiste, Vice President of Product Management, HCL Connections
  • Get Started with Domino V11 and Connections 6.5 Today.
    François Nasser, Global Sales Leader, HCL Digital Solutions

For registration, please, go to the page: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8965223601101319179

IBM is Recognized as a 2019 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide.

ARMONK, N.Y., Oct. 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — today announced that the IBM public cloud has been named a 2019 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for cloud infrastructure as a service.

The Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice Distinction is based on feedback and ratings from end-user professionals who have experience purchasing, implementing and using cloud infrastructure as a service, worldwide. Gartner defines cloud infrastructure as a service as a standardized, highly automated offering, where compute resources, complemented by storage and networking capabilities, are owned by a service provider and offered to the customer on demand. The resources are scalable and elastic in near real time, and metered by use. Self-service interfaces are exposed directly to the customer, including a web-based UI and an API. The resources may be single-tenant or multitenant, and hosted by the service provider or on-premises in the customer’s data center. Thus, this market covers both public and private cloud IaaS offerings.

Enterprises are operating in a hybrid multicloud landscape, and they will find themselves at different points on this spectrum for the next several years as they migrate, modernize, and build new applications to the cloud. Public cloud plays a critical role in this hybrid architecture because of the efficiency, scale and access to high value services it provides for even the most complex workloads.

The IBM public cloud delivers the capabilities required by the world’s largest and most complex enterprises, including market leading security, data and app protection; open source innovation; and enterprise-grade capabilities for the most robust workloads.

“Building on thousands of engagements with clients from every industry, IBM continues to enhance our public cloud to meet the requirements of clients in even the most heavily regulated environments,” said Harish Grama, General Manager, IBM Public Cloud. “Enterprises from all over the world and from every industry are entrusting their business to the IBM public cloud. I believe being named a 2019 Customers’ Choice for cloud infrastructure as a service demonstrates the important role IBM Cloud is playing in accelerating the cloud journey, regardless of where clients are starting.”

TBCASoft, IBM and SoftBank Corp. Announce Plans to Transform the Telecommunications Industry with Cross-Carrier Blockchain Solutions

LOS ANGELES & TOKYO – TBCASoft, IBM and SoftBank Corp. today announced that they are entering into a strategic collaboration to support the transformation of the telecommunications industry that is intended to use cross-carrier blockchain technology designed to enable new synergies throughout the industry, provide new services to telecom carriers and their subscribers, and foster innovative business models.

Based on the planned agreement, TBCASoft will bring technology and solutions, IBM will bring its blockchain technology, experience in integrating and scaling blockchain networks, and software solutions, and SoftBank will bring its telecommunications expertise to the collaboration. Together, the companies will aim to enable carriers to leverage blockchain technology through the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG) Consortium, a global carrier blockchain consortium co-founded by TBCASoft and SoftBank.

The three companies share a common vision and believe that carriers are well-positioned to harness the benefits of blockchain technology. TBCASoft has created a cross-carrier blockchain network that already includes 18 participants. This network is designed to support several industry-specific use cases including cross-border payments, digital identity, and telecom supply chain, leading to substantial opportunities for industry members.

The first application to be launched by the CBSG Consortium is the Cross-Carrier Payment System (CCPS), which will be designed to allow traveling mobile subscribers to use their mobile payment app with local merchants while abroad. TBCASoft blockchain technology aims to help optimize transaction records and clearing between different telecom carriers, also referred to as over-the-top (OTT) payment solutions. CCPS provides interoperability across different OTT payment networks, making established networks of merchants instantly available to telecom carrier subscribers.

IBM has worked closely with TBCASoft to define the consortium strategy, and, through this new strategic collaboration, will also support the scaling of the ecosystem, leveraging the experience gained through working with 80% of the world’s telecommunication carriers. To provide telecom carriers added flexibility, TBCASoft plans to use IBM Blockchain Platform in its blockchain stack to offer open technology that can be used in multiple cloud environments.

SoftBank is one of the founders of the CBSG Consortium and the first adopter of CCPS. The Japanese telecom leader is providing industry expertise, strategic support and technical services to make the launch of CCPS possible. SoftBank aims to launch the payment system in Tokyo in 2020.

Ling Wu, Founder and CEO of TBCASoft, said, “As the global pioneer of cross-carrier blockchain solutions, we have been working closely with leading telecommunication carriers in the past 3 years under the CBSG consortium to drive adoption of CCPS platform. As the technology provider of CCPS, we are extremely excited to see the strong momentum of the platform and how it is positioned as an important pillar of the telecommunication transformation strategy. We believe that this collaboration will bring greater combined values to our customers, partners, and the telecommunication industry.”

Utpal Mangla, Vice President & Partner for Blockchain, IBM Telecommunications Services said, “As telecommunication networks evolve and we move into 5G era, carriers will help transform into digital service providers and provide consistent customer experiences across multiple platforms. Leveraging a telecommunications blockchain network that can enable improved cross-carrier relations, cross carrier payment can help transform the way telecom carriers transact with partners and customers to deliver innovative payment solutions.”

Daichi Nozaki, VP & Head of SoftBank Corp. Global Business Division, said, “We are proud to contribute to this project, which utilizes our expertise as the first adopter of the CCPS platform. We look forward to working on this ecosystem transformation initiated by the telecommunications industry, with carriers around the world united as one through blockchain technology.”

Terms and details of the definitive agreement will be finalized in the coming months.

Aegean Airlines, BNP Paribas, Elaw Tecnologia SA and Home Trust Select IBM Cloud for Mission-Critical Workloads

New capabilities make IBM’s public cloud the most open and secure platform for enterprises to run their core business

ARMONK, N.Y., today announced that clients in highly regulated industries, including Aegean Airlines, BNP Paribas, Elaw Tecnologia SA and Home Trust, are selecting IBM Cloud as their preferred destination for mission-critical workloads.

IBM also announced new capabilities that make its public cloud the industry’s most secure and open cloud for business, including:

  • The industry’s only commercially available state-of-art cryptographic technology for the cloud called “Keep Your Own Key.”1 This gives enterprises the ability to retain control of their own encryption keys — and the hardware security modules that protect them — so customers are the only ones who can control access to their data.
  • Increased bandwidth for its next-gen virtual servers on the cloud up to 80 Gbps, making the IBM public cloud hyperscale-ready. Designed so enterprises can access IBM public cloud services and scale their networks quicker than ever before, all within a controlled, secured environment that is suited for sensitive workloads.
  • An expansion of IBM’s global cloud data center footprint with new multizone regions (MZR) planned for Toronto, Canada and Osaka, Japan by the end of 2020, building on the recently announced MZR in Sao Paulo, Brazil. These regions will help clients quickly deploy mission-critical workloads and applications across hybrid cloud environments, and gain access to a consistent set of IBM public cloud services – from enterprise-grade infrastructure to AI services.
  • The same IBM Power Systems technology behind the world’s smartest supercomputers, Summit and Sierra, is expected to be available for select geographies by the end of 2019 in the IBM Cloud giving organizations a new, powerful option to begin developing and training their AI applications. IBM’s support of Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Power Systems reinforces our commitment to clients to provide a flexible, secure and open, hybrid multicloud platform for their workloads.
  • New features to be made available for IBM Security Advisor to detect security misconfigurations so companies can better assess their security postures and take corrective actions.

IBM reported last week that its cloud business generated more than $20 billion dollars in revenue over the last 12 months. Today’s news complements IBM’s existing cloud offerings for private and on-premises environments – including those from recently-acquired Red Hat – enabling the company to provide comprehensive, open multicloud hybrid solutions.

“Open architectures, based on Kubernetes and containers, are driving the next wave of cloud-based innovation. That’s why IBM has just completed a two-year journey to enhance its public cloud on a foundation of open source software,” said Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President, Cloud and Cognitive Software, IBM. “Today, we are going a step further by unveiling new capabilities for the IBM public cloud, designed to provide clients with the highest available level of security, leading data protection and enterprise-grade infrastructure to run Red Hat OpenShift.”

Aegean Airlines has adopted IBM Cloud to transform its internal business processes and further enhance its customer experience.

“IBM is the strategic provider that will support our determination and willingness to innovate and achieve excellence at both organizational and business process level,” said AEGEAN Group’s Chief Information Office, Aristeidis Kamvysis. “By utilizing IBM Cloud, we’re able to infuse IBM Watson into our applications in order to gain better business insights, while improving business operations in a reliable, scalable, and agile environment.”

With the consumer experience a top priority, banks like BNP Paribas must deal with the rapidly changing needs of customers, while also managing evolving security and regulatory guidelines, and a variety of complex data and workloads.

BNP Paribas is leveraging the IBM Cloud and adopting a hybrid cloud strategy to overcome these challenges and support its development and innovation within the ever-increasing need for security and compliance. This includes a BNP Paribas dedicated cloud based on IBM public cloud technology that offers the best of both worlds: the security of a private cloud, with the breadth of catalog and economics of a public cloud. Due to launch in mid 2020, it will provide access to the full range of IBM Cloud IaaS and PaaS services, including IBM’s Watson AI services, and will run in a Multizone Region dedicated to BNP Paribas in the Paris area to provide high availability and resilience. BNP Paribas will migrate its IT and applications to this dedicated cloud, complementing it with the IBM public cloud in the US, Asia and Europe. Together, BNP Paribas and IBM look to define and establish the cloud platform to help meet the regulatory and security controls facing BNP Paribas’ critical banking workloads.

“With the increasing regulation restrictions in the financial services industry, institutions have been historically challenged to use cloud, and public clouds in particular. By working with IBM, we are able to provide the innovation and agility that public clouds can offer, combined with the security necessary to remain compliant,” said Bernard Gavgani, BNP Paribas Group Chief Information Officer. “This approach enables us to innovate faster, provide a better customer experience, enter into new business models and tap into new technologies, such as AI.”

Together with IBM, Elaw Tecnologia SA, a company that specializes in the development of corporate solutions for legal management, created a new cognitive solution that automates cumbersome and high-volume legal tasks, hosted on IBM Cloud.

“The strict labor laws in Brazil result in a vast number of labor lawsuits. To streamline legal processes, we worked with IBM to develop a AI-enabled legal process management solution to improve efficiency and productivity for our lawyers,” said Guilherme Bordon, Chief Executive Officer, Elaw. “The solution is hosted on IBM Cloud to enable Elaw to access IBM Watson APIs, automate processes and provide a secured platform for confidential information.”

Home Trust, a federally regulated trust company based in Canada, recently migrated its IT infrastructure to IBM’s public cloud to transform its operations, while still maintaining end-to-end visibility and management over its platforms and applications. By migrating to the cloud, Home Trust now has access to flexible and scalable computing services, as well as access to higher value technologies, including AI, to digitally transform its offerings.

“For many financial institutions, upgrading core systems can disrupt underlying business operations and impact efficiency,” said Victor DiRisio, Chief Information Officer at Home Trust. “By choosing IBM Cloud, we are able to modernize our IT environment while realizing the economic benefits of cloud computing. It ensures that new solutions are immediately useable, rapidly deployable and can ultimately offer a superior customer experience.”

New IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite Takes Aim at $50 Billion Market by Helping Clients Reduce Costs and Untangle the Complexities of Their Global Supply Chains

With IBM Sterling and Red Hat OpenShift, clients can build intelligent, self-correcting, Watson AI- and IBM Blockchain-powered supply chains and modernize existing supply chain applications

ARMONK, N.Y.,  — IBM (NYSE: IBM) today introduced a new integrated supply chain suite, embedded with Watson AI and IBM Blockchain and open to developers, to help organizations make their supply chains smarter, more efficient and better able to make decisions to adjust to disruptions and opportunities in an era when globalization has made supplier networks more complex and vulnerable than ever.

The new IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite, built on the market-leading foundation of Sterling B2B Network and Sterling Order Management, enables manufacturers, retailers and other types of businesses to integrate critical data, business networks and supply chain processes while capitalizing on the benefits of technologies like Watson AI, IBM Blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT). These intelligent, self-correcting supply chains are designed to learn from experience, creating greater reliability, transparency and security while providing new competitive advantages.

With this launch, IBM is delivering a secured, open platform with hybrid-cloud support that enables organizations to integrate their own data and networks – and the data and networks of their suppliers and customers – with the Sterling Supply Chain Suite. This flexibility enables enterprises to update and tailor their supply-chain solutions to meet their unique business needs. The open-architecture capabilities are strengthened by IBM’s recent acquisition of Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of enterprise open-source solutions.

“Supply chains are now mission-critical systems for all businesses to drive success and profitability,” said Bob Lord, Senior Vice President, Cognitive Applications and Developer Ecosystems, IBM. “Many organizations have risen to the top of their industries by building efficient and agile supply chains. By modernizing supply chains on top of open, hybrid-cloud platforms and infusing Watson AI, IBM Blockchain and IoT into their networks, the IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite can help companies across all industries enter a new era of global competitiveness.”

IBM sees a $50 billion market in technologies that will enable global businesses to digitally transform their supply chains. “IBM,” Lord said, “means to be number one in that market.”

Current IBM Sterling clients include leading companies in distribution, industrial manufacturing, retail, and financial services, such as Adidas, AmerisourceBergen, Fossil, Greenworks, Home Depot, Lenovo, Li & Fung, Misumi, Parker Hannifin, Scotiabank, and Whirlpool Corporation.

With retail locations across Spain and Portugal and operations in many other countries through resellers and e-commerce, El Corte Ingles, headquartered in Madrid, is the biggest department store group in Europe.

“The complex, global nature of our omni-channel operations presents a significant supply chain challenge that could be turned into a business opportunity, if the right technology is applied,” said Juan Andres Pro Dios, CIO, El Corte Ingles. “The IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite provides open development capabilities that let us quickly tailor solutions to meet our unique business needs. This allows us to embrace operational complexity while optimizing operational performance and improving omni-channel customer experiences.”

“Publicis Sapient’s global brand is tested daily in our client engagements as we collaborate to modernize purpose-built supply chain solutions. Speed and delivery are essential to our shared success,” said Chris Davey, Chief Strategist, Publicis Sapient. “How we transform supply chain is in the ability to quickly customize solutions by empowering clients with APIs, reusable assets and connectors to incorporate third-party applications and data, while connecting to critical business networks to extend the IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite in ways that drive competitive differentiation for our clients.”

The Importance of Open, Trusted Collaboration
IBM believes the global economy is becoming ever more reliant on the interactions of connected companies that can tap into data troves from sources like IoT, GPS positioning and continuous weather monitoring. In this data-rich environment, the potential business value of the modern supply chain has never been higher.

And yet, critical business relationships often hinge on continuous collaboration, transparency and trust to succeed. While some applications and processes must remain safely tucked inside an organization’s four walls, many others must find their way to the cloud to take full advantage of the benefits of AI-enabled open collaboration by companies, suppliers and customers.

“Optimizing individual supply chain functions and processes has helped enterprises progress as far as they can,” said Simon Ellis, Vice President, IDC. ”But the growing complexity of global supply chains continues to increase beyond the capabilities of traditional or legacy systems.”

The IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite’s open, integrated platform easily connects to each supply chain’s unique supplier ecosystem. Innovations include:

  • Trusted connectivity built to scale, backed by IBM Blockchain. The IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite provides frictionless, secured connectivity and collaboration with customers, partners and suppliers. Enterprises can quickly leverage IBM Sterling’s existing multi-enterprise business network, a community of more than 800,000 preconnected trading partners executing 3 billion transactions a year.
  • Real-time intelligence and actionable recommendations. Applications and control towers, embedded with AI and trained in supply chain, provide end-to-end visibility, real-time alerts and recommendations that can be automated for self-correcting actions to drive better business outcomes. Clients using individual Sterling applications, such as IBM Sterling Fulfillment Optimizer with Watson, in their supply chains today have lowered shipping cost per order by an average of 7 percent. IBM has also deployed these Sterling capabilities in its own global supply chain to reduce disruption mitigation time from days to hours, becoming 95 percent more efficient at tackling recurring supply chain challenges.
  • Open to developers to create tailored solutions. The IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite allows systems integrators and developers to build, extend and integrate tailored supply chain solutions that can interoperate with other business networks and applications. It also enables clients to bring in third party data, so that all connected applications and networks can benefit from it. The Suite’s Developer Hub provides a global community of developers, open-source programs and a library of knowledge resources to help quickly solve unique supply chain challenges.
  • Hybrid-cloud integration to extend existing supply chain investments. Instead of requiring time-consuming and expensive migrations, the Suite’s enterprise-ready containerized software, along with IBM Cloud Paks, allows clients to extend the value and reach of their legacy applications and data. This hybrid approach means clients have the freedom to choose where to run their workloads and the ability to link them to value-added services in the IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite. For example, once certified, IBM Sterling Order Management containers for Red Hat OpenShift will allow clients to continue to run their software in their own datacenter – or in any cloud.

IBM Positioned as a Leader in 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Outsourcing and Hybrid Infrastructure Managed Services in Europe and Asia/Pacific

ARMONK, N.Y.,  — IBM (NYSE: IBM) has announced that Gartner Inc. has positioned IBM as a Leader in the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Outsourcing and Hybrid Infrastructure Managed Services for Europe and Asia/Pacific. IBM was again positioned the highest in ability to execute.

Today’s announcement falls on the heels of its recent announcement that Gartner positioned IBM as Leader in the same for the North American market.

“As cloud and AI become the price of doing business, we believe IBM’s recognition in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Data Center Outsourcing and Hybrid Infrastructure Managed Services in all three of the markets that Gartner tracks is validation of the IBM Services portfolio,” said Archana Vemulapalli, IBM General Manager for IS Offering Strategy, Management and Development. “Today’s announcement is a testament to our commitment to continue to deliver highly resilient, scalable and secure services, so clients can adopt hybrid cloud with confidence and know that our services integration model will give them the competitive advantages they need.”

According to the reports, Gartner analyzed ability to execute and completeness of vision of the data center outsourcing and hybrid infrastructure services offerings for providers in all three geographies.

The Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Outsourcing and Hybrid Infrastructure Managed Services, North America report (Mark Ray, Daniel Barros, et al., 13 June 2019) can be accessed here under license:

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Outsourcing and Hybrid Infrastructure Managed Services, Europe report (Claudio Da Rold, David Groombridge, Rene Buest, 18 June 2019) can be accessed here under license:

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Outsourcing and Hybrid Infrastructure Managed Services, Asia/Pacific report (DD Mishra, To Chee Eng, Claudio Da Rold, 24 July 2019) can be accessed here under license: