May 19, 2020

Woolworths Drops BlackBerrys for iPhone 5s

Australia
Woolworths
Qantas
Apple
Bizclik Editor
2 min
Woolworths Drops BlackBerrys for iPhone 5s

Another RIM customer bites the dust.

Following in the July footsteps of Qantas Airways, Woolworths supermarkets are dropping the Canadian mobile provider for Apple, equipping staff in its 800-plus locations with flashy new iPhone 5s.

The decision to switch over came as a result of the immensely successful iPad trial launched in August. “Woolworths issues 890 iPads to its store managers at its national conference in Sydney,” reported The Australian. “The rollout was greeted with excitement and cheers at the event.

“What the iPads are allowing store managers to do is spread out their work throughout the day. It’s an exercise in getting them out of their back offices and into stores. Most say that are saving eight hours per week.”

SEE RELATED STORIES FROM THE WDM CONTENT NETWORK:

Read the October issue of Business Review Australia

According to Mac Daily News, the supermarket chain once deployed more than 700 BlackBerrys, but will issue new iPhones once all old phones have been collected.

The move is yet another blow to RIM (Research in Motion) who have seen many big corporations, including IBM Australia and Qantas, depart this year.

"The iPhone offers a user-friendly interface and simple access to emails, contacts and calendars, as well as meeting all Qantas' security requirements," a Qantas spokesman told Fairfax Media back in July.

Fairfax Media also pointed out that several major Australian banks and government departments continue to rely on RIM mobile technology. 

Share article

Jul 18, 2021

Beyond Limits: Cognitive AI in APAC

BeyondLimits
Mitsui
AI
Energy
3 min
Artificial intelligence startup Beyond Limits and global investment company Mitsui have partnered up to bring AI to the energy industry

Courtesy of current estimates, it looks like Asia-Pacific AI will be worth US$136bn by 2025. Its governments and corporations invest more money than the rest of the world in AI tech, the data of its citizens is considered fair game, and its pilots are small-scale and, as a result, ruthlessly effective. This is why, according to Jeff Olson, Cognizant’s Associate Vice President for Projects, AI and Analytics, Digital Business and Technology, the APAC region ‘is right on the edge of an AI explosion’. 

 

Now, startup Beyond Limits is pushing the boundaries of what AI can do, mirroring humans in its ability to find solutions with even limited information. As of this July, it’s partnered up with Mitsui, a global trading and investment company, to expand its impact in APAC. 

How Does Beyond Limits Work? 

Most AI companies claim that they can help businesses make better decisions. But many need astoundingly large stores of data to feed their information-hungry algorithms. Beyond Limits, in contrast, takes a different tack. Perfect data, after all, is largely a pipe dream kept alive by PhD students. In reality, systems must often make decisions from small, incomplete sets of intel. 

 

But Beyond Limits’ AI is no black box. ‘When little to no data is available, Beyond Limits symbolic technologies rely on deductive, inductive, and abductive reasoning capabilities’, explained Clare Walker, Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. While making these leaps in logic, however, the system also keeps track, ensuring that humans can review the AI’s ‘thought process’. 

Why Partner With Mitsui? 

Beyond Limits is built for specific applications such as energy, utilities, and healthcare—but lacks the extensive industry network of Mitsui. Partnering allows Beyond Limits to access a portfolio of firms specialising in minerals and metals, energy, infrastructure, and chemicals. ‘We’ve been working on this deal for several years’, said Mitsui’s Deputy General Manager Hiroki Tanabe. ‘Mitsui’s global portfolio and Beyond Limits’ AI technology will...deliver impact’. 

 

In the first test of that dramatic statement, Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) will soon deploy Beyond Limits’ new system. If everything goes according to plan, LNG will optimise how it extracts and refines energy, making money for both itself and investors—including Mitsui. This, in fact, is Mitsui’s strategy: go digital and don’t look back. 

 

Why Does This Matter? 

Forty-five percent of Asia-Pacific companies surveyed in Cognizant’s thought leadership ebook consider themselves AI leaders. Positivity bias, that oh-so-common tendency of humans to position themselves as above average as compared to others, strikes again. (Most small companies fail to launch successful AI projects on their own.) And partly, this is because firms fail to integrate AI with industry expertise. 

 

 ‘A large part of the focus on talent for AI today has been getting the people who are strong in mathematics, AI, and technologies’, said Olson. ‘But where you make your money out of AI projects is when you apply them to your business’. In short: APAC nations looking for ways to bridge the gap might follow Beyond Limits and Mitsui’s playbook—coupling startup AI with a corporate network.

 

Share article