How Digital technologies Are Transforming the Learning Process?

Digital technology advancements in the recent years have brought major transformations for the education sector. Today’s virtual learning environments have moved learning beyond classrooms, and empowered learners with constant, on-demand access to information.

The powerful combination of disruptive forces has opened up new opportunities to improve and enhance the learning process. Learners and organizations that are quick to respond to the changing technologies and demands of the industry will clearly be on the winning side.

In this article published by Edtech Digest, Anand Subramanian, Senior VP, Delivery, Ness Digital Engineering reveals how digital technologies like augmented reality, Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can help transform learning experiences and redefine the education landscape.

Read more: http://edtechdigest.wordpress.com/2017/03/15/education-empowered-by-digital-technology/

The Idea of Auto – IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a promising, new technology that gives users the ability to control digital devices easily through a comfortable GUI over the Internet. In the corporate world, we perform few repetitive tasks every day to support our main functions. Imagine how productive it could become if we could control some of our day-to-day repetitive activities and utilize that time in doing more significant tasks? From this came the idea of auto–IOT.

What it does?

What is auto-IOT? Simply put, this is the concept of basically automating everything (repetitive tasks at work) using human-device interaction. This includes everything from testing, project management, build management activities, company internal activities etc., or almost anything else you can think of.

How we built it?

Our Ness team developed an auto-IOT GUI that automates the repetitive activities performed by developers/testers/project managers that usually involves manual efforts. The Tool uses human interaction like voice or even SMS as an input to automate tasks. We integrated test automation, project build process, and project management activities like a project plan or estimations. Test automation included complete automation of project applications via human voice. All of these voice commands are scripted at the backend and if the user wants to run the automation the next time, he just needs to run script. This can be done by anyone, not necessarily a test engineer. Similarly, we integrated a project build process. Here the updated code from the repository is fetched, merged and build starts. We don’t need to know the commands used, the project location, or the process — we just say Build Project and it will do the job for us.

What Next?

We can enhance it by involving SMS as input to the tool. Currently it supports only voice commands. Any other internal activities of company or project management can be added further to the tool. Build process can be enhanced further- we can include automatic configuration to the desired environment, server start up for application, and perform auto commits for the code developed.

Advantages

  • Automates and controls the repetitive organizational and project tasks, avoiding human intervention to save manual effort.
  • Increases productive time for the team.
  • Helpful in urgent situations and can be run by anyone when needed.
  • Promotes greater stakeholder participation and increases testing process productivity.
  • Going script-less will ensure you achieve test automation benefits much faster than promised by script-based test automation.

Securing Microservices with Oauth2 and JWT

Microservices is a fairly new, but already trending architectural term. Many big players like Netflix, Amazon or eBay built their portals or services based on this approach. The core attribute of microservices architecture is componentization – components are wrapped around business functionality, have to satisfy very targeted functions and are deployed to many independent environments. Thus, at the end, we have a distributed system with many components where authentication and authorization is a particular challenge.

Source: icapis.com

Previously, in monolithic systems, we needed only one shared security barrier since components were conjoined. Security barrier could easily check caller’s identity against authentication service and then pass his credentials to other components. So, when more components were required to serve one request, only one call for user identity had to be done.

Source: icapis.com

When applying the same principle of security barrier in the microservices world, we would need to replicate the approach for each particular microservice. This is highly inefficient since it requires multiple calls to get user identity once a request needs to access multiple components. And what more, multiplying of security barrier for every component is not just only ineffective, but also insecure.

Answering these challenges, a number of new industry standards have been introduced like Oauth2, OpenID and JWT. Implementation of these standards provides the ability to secure distributed microservices with the Single Sign-On (SSO) approach.

In the picture, you can see what the Oauth2 basic scenario looks like:

  • The client requests the protected resource from the resource server.
  • Authenticates by presenting the access token.
  • The resource server validates the access token, and if valid, serves the request.

The Access token in basic Oauth2 scenario is opaque – so it has no “useful” information about the user. In other words, we are not able to get the user identity in component without having to again request an authentication service with user repository. So, this approach still doesn’t fix the problem with efficiency.

However, the solution for this particular challange has been already introduced with the concept of OpenID as an identity layer on top of Oauth2.

In the updated authorization flow, the Authorization Server, which is also called an OpenID Connect Provider, returns an ID Token (user identity) along with the Access token to the client (see picture below).

This data is then passed between the authorization flow parties and thus OAuth2 becomes identity aware.

As per OpenID implementation, a very popular and widely integrated one is JWT – JSON Web Tokens. It is an open industry standard and the basic term there is a “claim”, which can be a particular user attribute (uuid, email), timestamps, name/value pairs etc (check http://jwt.io).

So, in summary, the security approach described above introduces the concept of digital identity which can be elegantly used in our authentication and authorization scenarios. This approach has already become very popular and has been adopted by companies like Google, Facebook etc.

I have shared my code in Github (http://github.com/volodan/oauth). The example is built upon the latest Spring Framework technologies like Spring OAuth, Spring Security and Spring JWT and shows how we can bundle these new technologies together and build a simple authorization and resource server using OAuth2 with a focus on microservice-driven architecture.

Chief People Officers Take Up the Digital Transformation Baton

In an article for the Deccan Herald, Narayanan Nair, Ness’s Chief People Officer, highlights the increasingly important role chief people officers are playing in driving the enterprise digital transformation agenda.  “Fostering a people-centric and innovation-driven work culture would be a high priority for all enterprises and a key responsibility for HR leaders,” he writes.

read more »

Education Empowered by Digital Technology

Anand Subramanian, Senior VP, Delivery, at Ness has authored an article for EdTech Digest titled, “Education empowered by Digital Technology. The article shares insights on how digital technologies like 3D printing, machine learning and IoT are transforming the education landscape, and are bringing new opportunities to enhance the learning process.

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What I Learned From My First Experience of Organizing a Hackathon at Ness

Hackathons are currently garnering a lot of attention and there are good reasons for their popularity.

Organizations want change, and they want to engage employees in new ways to be able to drive fast changes. Hackathons are a fun, effective way of doing this, and that’s what make them so popular among modern day organizations.

Short duration tech hackathons especially have the potential to bring together energetic and passionate coders to drive innovative ideas in a span of just a few hours, compared against days and months.

Recently we organized a hackathon at Ness named “Gear up 2017”. The outcomes and the overall experience of being a part of the event was so rewarding that I wanted to share some of the key learnings in a blog.

Let me give you a little background on how it all started. It all began with my Program Director walking up to me one day and saying, “Let’s plan to have another hackathon event — start preparing.” Although I had never hosted a hackathon, I was instantly thrilled at the idea and was ready to take the plunge.

Today, as I sit back, reflecting on the entire event, some essential learnings shine through. Here are the key lessons from this event and hackathons in general:

Stimulates Creative Thinking

Hackathons bring out deeper levels of employee creativity that are hard to generate in routine day-to-day scenarios.

This event motivated employees to step out of their routine tasks and use their inherent skills to develop new ideas. The outcome was in the form of some great applications built using the latest technologies.

Also, the platform enables employees to shed inhibitions and take up unconventional challenges.

A colleague of mine, who is usually scared to try his hand at any new technology in client projects, was approached by a QA manager to develop an idea in Android. Even though he did not have a prior experience in Android, he took up the challenge as he wanted to participate in the hackathon. This bears testimony to the fact that the event was instrumental in stimulating creative ideas.

Fosters Collaboration

Hackathons encourage an open culture where employees come together, brainstorm and generate collective ideas. It brings together a range of perspectives and views of working on a problem, which significantly increases the chances of driving the best outcomes.

We saw many cross-functional teams participating at this Ness hackathon. Every phase of the event, right from the planning to execution was a collaborative effort. It certainly helped enhance team spirit and trust.

Drives Customer-Centric Innovation

On a more realistic note, what makes hackathons so effective is the fact that they are focused on specific outcomes and solutions to real problems. It can be about driving better customer experiences, speed or agility, or process optimization that could enable better results for customers.

The ability to drive customer-centric innovation and put innovative ideas to life is an incredible value that hackathons can offer.

This hackathon gave an opportunity to think out of the box and think innovatively in terms of ideas and technologies — which is extremely important for an IT organisation.

At an individual level, I felt that the hackathon offered tons of learning and every participant came out acquiring a new ability. It might have been a new skill or a fresh idea or approach of implementing a concept. At the end of the 30 hours of hacking each techie had something to add to their existing skill sets.

The Hackathon at Ness was more like a game, a sport that infused excitement and enthusiasm in the participants. At the same time, it led to some constructive developments, which not only were a big value add to individual employees, but to the organization.

A big thanks to all the participants, judges, support staff and the audience for making this hackathon event a grand success.

Looking forward to hosting more such Hackathons at Ness. Cheers!

Web Data Extraction Simplified With Machine Learning

Having access to the right information at the right time can be a huge competitive differentiator for organizations operating in the digital era. Today, data holds tremendous business value, but in reality, what matters more is being able to cull out valuable information from the vast pool of raw, unstructured data to enable effective and timely decision making. And that’s a complex task.

In this article published by Tech Target’s SearchITChannel, Moshe Kranc, Ness’ chief technology officer notes important insights on Web data extraction and how custom, commercial offerings bolstered by machine learning can significantly ease the process.

Read more http://searchitchannel.techtarget.com/tip/Web-data-extraction-Custom-commercial-offerings-ease-the-task

Ness Digital Engineering Celebrates the Success of Its Timisoara Technology Innovation Center and Inauguration of Its New Office Location

Romanian campus driven by region’s deep engineering talent pool

TEANECK, N.J. – March 9, 2017 – Celebrating one year in Timisoara, Ness Digital Engineering, a provider of digital transformation and custom software engineering services, officially moves into its new, larger Technology Innovation Center in Timisoara, Romania, situated in the United Business Centre 2, Openville Timişoara mixed-use project. The Center, a sister location to Ness’ Technology Innovation Center in Iasi, Romania, enables Ness to tap into Romania’s abundant engineering talent in automotive engineering, big data, cloud and platform engineering to develop and deliver solutions that help its clients lead their industries.

“Over the past year, our team in Timisoara has been successfully delivering innovation to clients in the automotive, media & entertainment, and marketing/online advertising industries, and we’re excited that the team is moving into its new state-of-the-art facility,” said Paul Lombardo, Ness Digital Engineering CEO. “We’re well equipped to accelerate digital transformation solutions for our customers, and we’re looking forward to many more successful years of growth.”

The Ness team in Timisoara has helped clients develop innovative solutions during the Centre’s first year of operations, including:

  • Supporting Autoliv in creating industry-leading active safety systems for automotive by using data from various vehicle sensors
  • Helping media and entertainment companies track and distribute profits from multiple sources in real-time to artists
  • Enabling retailers and marketers to increase revenues by personalizing the mix of products for customers

Ness’s Timisoara Technology Innovation Center currently has more than 60 employees, and it expects to grow to a few hundred employees over the next three years.  The Center is focused on delivering state-of-the-art solutions for Ness’ customers in both the U.S. and Europe. Timisoara is known for its talent base in the Automotive and Big Data arenas. To enable the digital transformation of its customers, Ness is investing in becoming the employer of choice for the brightest engineers in Timisoara for automotive, Internet of Things, big data, embedded systems, web development, mobile development, cloud development, and machine learning, among others.

Ness selected the new United Business Center 2 in Openville as its office location based on its successful partnership established several years ago in Iaşi, Romania with the IULIUS Group and the location’s access to a complete range of services and benefits provided in the Openville project and Iulius Mall. Ness occupies an area of 2,800 sqm in the United Business Centre 2 in Openville Timisoara.

About Ness Digital Engineering

Ness Digital Engineering designs and builds digital platforms and software that help organizations engage customers, differentiate their brands, and drive revenue growth. Our customer experience designers, software engineers and data experts partner with clients to develop roadmaps that identify ongoing opportunities to increase the value of their digital products and services. Through agile development of minimum viable products (MVPs), our clients can test new ideas in the market and continually adapt to changing business conditions—giving our clients the leverage to lead market disruption in their industries and compete more effectively to drive revenue growth. For more information, visit ness.com.

Media Contacts

In Romania:

Irina Craciun-Talpa
Senior Marketing Consultant
Ness Digital Engineering
[email protected]
+40 232 210 423

Globally:

Vivek Kangath
Global Manager – Corporate Communications
Ness Digital Engineering
[email protected]
+91 80 41961027

Amy Legere
Greenough
[email protected]biz
617.275.6517

How to Get the Devops Culture Right?

Devops is an inevitable change for any modern-day IT organization. It’s a great approach that resolves one of the biggest woes of the IT organization – breaking down IT silos to make software development and operations teams work together so that we have an IT organization that is integrated, agile and responsive.

Yet, despite its numerous benefits, devops adoption can be challenging and many a times organizations fail to get the desired results. Why? That’s because cultural shifts are crucial to devops success and the inability to attain these often results in failed outcomes.

So, how do you make devops work for your business? In this article published by CIO Review, Amit Gupta, Associate VP of Delivery, Ness Digital Engineering offers some key insights into how organizations can attain devops success through building a devops mindset into their cultural fabric.

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