Movie Review: Foosball: The Unbeatables

 

Sophos reveals ambitious Project Galileo tracking systems

IT teams are going to have less work should Sophos' newest system be used for protecting a company's data. “It's about various [IT security] products talking to each other to enhance overall security and deal with various threats,” explains Gerhard Eschelbeck referring to Project Galileo. Eschelbeck is chief technology officer and senior vice president at Sophos, a 30-year-old information security provider based in London, the UK. With operations in six continents and barely 1,500 staff, Sophos ranks among the few genuine cybersecurity firms whose roots go back to a time before anti-virus products weren't as much of a big deal as today. Eschelbeck was in the country to unveil Project Galileo and Sophos' new unified threat management products during the Philippine leg of the Sophos Asean Roadshow, which includes Singapore and Malaysia. Rather than announce another acquisition of a fledgling start-up or an updated threat detection software, Sophos is flexing its R&D muscle with Project Galileo. Funded in-house and a contender for a new industry standard, Galileo – named after the Renaissance astrologer—streamlines a company's data protection arsenal, from firewalls to file scanners. “This will be a game changer in the IT security industry,” Eschelbeck, who is Austrian, announced at a press conference that marked his first trip to the Philippines. Project Galileo allows users to monitor traffic on either the office network or their personal device. They can keep tab on what is happening, what is going out, and what happens over time. This is known as the 4-dimensional approach to IT security. According to Eschelbeck, this new revolutionary approach to IT security can help small and medium business enterprises (SMEs) achieve optimum data protection minus the budget strain of hiring a full-time IT staff and the burden of upgrading software or equipment. "For the end-users, it's about visibility, and knowing their environment. We have a new reporting capability that allows customers to create customized reports for and about their environment for better security," he added. Also, Eschelbeck believes enterprise security software and hardware should be comprehensive, simple and effective. This is in line with Sophos' long-term strategy to get SME clients rather than large multinationals. In the Philippines, where between 97 and 99% of businesses are SMEs and IT investments are still becoming the norm, Sophos has rich pickings. Eschelbeck believes that aside from the product, Sophos' customers will value their new-found scalability and comprehensiveness. Since most of their hardware and services are changeable, the Sophos CTO said this is a good way to achieve excellent, up-to-date security for SMEs.

 

Netsuite: Demand for cloud storage up 36% by 2016

Netsuite Asia VP Reginald Singh (2nd from L), leads the conference as Big Chill chief operating consultant Rusty Lemon (L), Netsuite Worldwide Support VP James Dantow (C), and Coca-cola Foundation president Cecile Alcantara (R) look on The biggest trend shaking up enterprise storage is 36% of businesses will be in the cloud by 2016. This was revealed by US software giant Netsuite, whose VP for Asia Reginald Singh hosted a recent press conference at Makati Shangri-La Hotel. “What drives this is the pressure on organizations to create profitability,” says Singh. “There's always been a focus on managing costs, and what cloud computing does is it gives a real alternative for not having large IT organizations maintaining it (corporate data) and backing it up.” “From a people and capital perspective, it's a better choice than buying server and storage equipment which depreciate over time," the Netsuite VP added. Based on Netsuite's forecast, the Philippines is open to adopting the cloud system, as well as other countries like Vietnam. Meanwhile, enterprise resource planning (ERP) cloud usage is up by 37% in China and 28% in India. Cloud storage is a popular choice for businesses looking to incorporate mobile, analytics and collaboration into their ERP systems that offer real-time data for customer-centric approach while at the same time wanting to get a cost-effective and scalable system to expand their operations. "Companies are looking for end-to-end software platforms, where they can design their own reports, generate leads, pull up customer information, manage mobile apps, and connect to social networks. Cloud ERPs can do all of that," says Singh. Big Chill chief operating consultant Rusty Lemon and Coca-cola Foundation president Cecile Alcantara were also on hand to share how cloud storage streamlined and updated their processes. With cloud storage having arrived in force locally, Netsuite is planning to expand operations in the Philippines. "We're going to start hiring a lot of people soon," says Netsuite VP for Worldwide Support James Dantow. According to Dantow, there will be vacancies for ERP experts, software developers, system analysts, and other IT professionals in their Makati office. "There's no need to move (for employment opportunities) to Singapore anymore. Sorry, Reggie," Dantow jested, referring to Netsuite Asia VP Singh, who is currently based in Singapore.

 

Jabra unveils new cutting edge headsets

Ben Samman showcasing the Jabra PRO 935 Ben Samman (L), managing channel director for APAC at Jabra with Arthur Florentino, assistant web editor for China Business State-of-the-art technology helps BPOs retain both their employees and their clients' customers. This was revealed by Jabra Asia Pacific managing director Ben Samman during his recent visit in September to launch the Jabra Biz2300, the 900 series, and the Motion Office. These devices help BPO workers in their jobs with easier communication and ease of use. In a very stressful environment, not worrying about communication breakdown on both ends or equipment issues can take the load off a BPO worker's shoulders. "It has the best noise reduction in the market," Samman said of the new headsets. According to the Jabra director, a study by a third party audio lab concluded that Jabra's noise reduction technology was 30-50% better than their closest competitor. He reiterated that noise reduction allows clearer recording playback for auditing and lowers operational costs. "Costs go down - you get shorter call times and receive more calls. Noise reduction also helps companies fit more people in the same space - real estate and utilization goes down. You get less stressed out employees, so attrition goes down and that's cost," Samman explained. Not only that, the materials used to make the headsets ensure they're clean and sanitary - an important aspect for centers that have agents who share headsets. The earpieces also use the same noise reduction technology, while its Kevlar cord and 360-degree rotating arm ensures less breakage and downtime. "Things break. I'll be happy to sell you another headset, but the real important thing here is the downtime. You have an agent who is doing nothing. He's not being productive," he said. The 30-gram headsets also make it easier to wear for agents and to mass deploy for IT personnel. "Sometimes, you get people that say that our technology is not possible. I believe (customer) education is key here. And an open mind," he added. In an e-mail to China Business Philippines, Samman noted, "In such a competitive industry where attrition is high, lower attrition means lower training and recruitment costs, higher employee knowledge that stays in the firm which translates into better customers satisfaction scores, more customers and eventually higher profits." “We are committed to continuing to support the success of the BPO industry in the Philippines by continuing to innovate, continuing to serve our customers through our nationwide network of distributors and resellers and continuing to do our part to make Filipino hospitality a global phenomenon," the Singapore-based executive ended.

 

Lenovo adds two new ThinkPad products

TAGUIG—Lenovo announced two of its latest additions to its ThinkPad portfolio: the ThinkPad 8 and the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. The ThinkPad 8 is Lenovo's premium Windows-powered tab. Its premium feel is made possible by its machine-cut aluminum body. Techy yuppies who are always on the go will have all they need with this Intel Bay Trail Quad Core-powered device. They can also capture videos and photos with its 8 megapixel camera. The ThinkPad 8 allows users to immediately activate the camera by just opening the tablet's cover to expose the lens. It comes with 128GB of internal storage. The tablet can also be expanded into a desktop PC by attaching the tablet to a ThinkPad USB dock station. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a slim but indestructible gadget, pushing boundaries by being the lightest 14-inch Ultrabook. Weighing only 2.8 pounds, it's made from the same material as aircrafts and race cars: Carbon Fiber. Lenovo redesigned the keyboard layout for the ThinkPad X1, improving the touch experience for professionals. The ThinkPad X1 also comes with an LTE variant. Both ThinkPad 8 and ThinkPad X1 Carbon is now available at the Think Exclusive Store at SM North Edsa for Php25,490 and Php105,000 respectively.

China Business–Philippines

How I saved money on my last trip to China

MANILA—Full disclosure: EastWest Bank is an advertiser.

But I wanted to write this story a month before they decided to advertise in China Business. See, I finally found a way to get rid of my forex headaches when traveling overseas.

Headache number one is having to stash multiple currencies at whatever current buying rate there is at the time of your travel. And then, you have to sell any leftover currencies at a loss when you come back home.

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Youth games pits China against world

For two weeks in August, teenagers from more than 100 different countries took part in the second summer Youth Olympic Games.

Best described as a teen-friendly counterpart to the regular supersized Olympics and its excesses, the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games is low key by comparison.

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Call for Entries to the MET Open 2014

The Metropolitan Museum of Manila announces an open call for the MET Open 2014, a curated benefit exhibition that will showcase artworks that best represent contemporary Filipino art. MET Open 2014 endeavours to discover new creations that take various forms extending our visual experience of the society we live in today. This exhibit is slated from September 15 till September 27, 2014.

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No Facebook? No Problem.

I'm now sitting on the steps of a bus in Minqin county, Gansu province, very far into northwest China. Except for the chatter of five gentlemen a dozen yards away and the singing of birds overhead, it is a quiet afternoon.

Such moments of solitude are rare for a journalist covering China under an official itinerary—which makes this brief isolation more precious.

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The Car of the Future

The average university student may be thinking about the next finals exam he is about to take. But while Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk was still at university, he was thinking about the future of humanity.

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Cars

When I worked for a big commodity trader in Hong Kong a few years ago, we had a young risk manager who used to sit in front of multiple screens all day long looking at multiple parabolics.

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