Ecosystem | Definition of Ecosystem by Merriam-Webster

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1 : the complex of a community of organisms and its environment functioning as an ecological unit That influx of fresh water alters the ocean's salinity near the seafloor, a factor that influences the makeup of the ecosystems in those places. Sid Perkins Global warming, if it proceeds as many scientists predict, threatens to undo decades of conservation work and could mean the destruction of the monarch butterfly, the edelweiss, the polar bear and innumerable other species living in fragile ecosystems, an emerging body of scientific evidence suggests. William K. Stevens

2 : something (such as a network of businesses) considered to resemble an ecological ecosystem especially because of its complex interdependent parts Newspaper layoffs have ripple effects for the entire local news ecosystem because, as the Congressional Research Service noted, television, radio and online outlets often "piggyback on reporting done by much larger newspaper staffs." David Sirota Lots of Walmart customers are underserved by banks and other financial institutions, [Daniel] Eckert says; the company's experiments with finance-related products and services help customers "not only save money but also have access to a financial ecosystem they were crowded out from." Rob Walker

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Ecosystem | Definition of Ecosystem by Merriam-Webster

Ecosystem – Wikipedia

This article is about natural ecosystems. For the term used in man-made systems, see Digital ecosystem. For the system of classifying ecologically homogeneous land units, see Biome."Biosystem" redirects here. For the journal, see BioSystems.

A community of living organisms together with the nonliving components of their environment

An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interacting as a system.[2] These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows.[3] Energy enters the system through photosynthesis and is incorporated into plant tissue. By feeding on plants and on one-another, animals play an important role in the movement of matter and energy through the system. They also influence the quantity of plant and microbial biomass present. By breaking down dead organic matter, decomposers release carbon back to the atmosphere and facilitate nutrient cycling by converting nutrients stored in dead biomass back to a form that can be readily used by plants and other microbes.[4]

Ecosystems are controlled by external and internal factors. External factors such as climate, parent material which forms the soil and topography, control the overall structure of an ecosystem but are not themselves influenced by the ecosystem.[5] Unlike external factors, internal factors are controlled, for example, decomposition, root competition, shading, disturbance, succession, and the types of species present.

Ecosystems are dynamic entitiesthey are subject to periodic disturbances and are in the process of recovering from some past disturbance.[6] Ecosystems in similar environments that are located in different parts of the world can end up doing things very differently simply because they have different pools of species present.[5] Internal factors not only control ecosystem processes but are also controlled by them and are often subject to feedback loops.[5]

Resource inputs are generally controlled by external processes like climate and parent material. Resource availability within the ecosystem is controlled by internal factors like decomposition, root competition or shading.[5] Although humans operate within ecosystems, their cumulative effects are large enough to influence external factors like climate.[5]

Biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning, as do the processes of disturbance and succession. Ecosystems provide a variety of goods and services upon which people depend.

The term ecosystem was first used in 1935 in a publication by British ecologist Arthur Tansley.[fn 1][7] Tansley devised the concept to draw attention to the importance of transfers of materials between organisms and their environment.[8] He later refined the term, describing it as "The whole system, ... including not only the organism-complex, but also the whole complex of physical factors forming what we call the environment".[9] Tansley regarded ecosystems not simply as natural units, but as "mental isolates".[9] Tansley later defined the spatial extent of ecosystems using the term ecotope.[10]

G. Evelyn Hutchinson, a limnologist who was a contemporary of Tansley's, combined Charles Elton's ideas about trophic ecology with those of Russian geochemist Vladimir Vernadsky. As a result, he suggested that mineral nutrient availability in a lake limited algal production. This would, in turn, limit the abundance of animals that feed on algae. Raymond Lindeman took these ideas further to suggest that the flow of energy through a lake was the primary driver of the ecosystem. Hutchinson's students, brothers Howard T. Odum and Eugene P. Odum, further developed a "systems approach" to the study of ecosystems. This allowed them to study the flow of energy and material through ecological systems.[8]

Ecosystems are controlled both by external and internal factors. External factors, also called state factors, control the overall structure of an ecosystem and the way things work within it, but are not themselves influenced by the ecosystem. The most important of these is climate.[5] Climate determines the biome in which the ecosystem is embedded. Rainfall patterns and seasonal temperatures influence photosynthesis and thereby determine the amount of water and energy available to the ecosystem.[5]

Parent material determines the nature of the soil in an ecosystem, and influences the supply of mineral nutrients. Topography also controls ecosystem processes by affecting things like microclimate, soil development and the movement of water through a system. For example, ecosystems can be quite different if situated in a small depression on the landscape, versus one present on an adjacent steep hillside.[5]

Other external factors that play an important role in ecosystem functioning include time and potential biota. Similarly, the set of organisms that can potentially be present in an area can also significantly affect ecosystems. Ecosystems in similar environments that are located in different parts of the world can end up doing things very differently simply because they have different pools of species present.[5] The introduction of non-native species can cause substantial shifts in ecosystem function.[11]

Unlike external factors, internal factors in ecosystems not only control ecosystem processes but are also controlled by them. Consequently, they are often subject to feedback loops.[5] While the resource inputs are generally controlled by external processes like climate and parent material, the availability of these resources within the ecosystem is controlled by internal factors like decomposition, root competition or shading.[5] Other factors like disturbance, succession or the types of species present are also internal factors.

Primary production is the production of organic matter from inorganic carbon sources. This mainly occurs through photosynthesis. The energy incorporated through this process supports life on earth, while the carbon makes up much of the organic matter in living and dead biomass, soil carbon and fossil fuels. It also drives the carbon cycle, which influences global climate via the greenhouse effect.

Through the process of photosynthesis, plants capture energy from light and use it to combine carbon dioxide and water to produce carbohydrates and oxygen. The photosynthesis carried out by all the plants in an ecosystem is called the gross primary production (GPP).[12] About half of the GPP is consumed in plant respiration.[13] The remainder, that portion of GPP that is not used up by respiration, is known as the net primary production (NPP).[14] Total photosynthesis is limited by a range of environmental factors. These include the amount of light available, the amount of leaf area a plant has to capture light (shading by other plants is a major limitation of photosynthesis), rate at which carbon dioxide can be supplied to the chloroplasts to support photosynthesis, the availability of water, and the availability of suitable temperatures for carrying out photosynthesis.[12]

Energy and carbon enter ecosystems through photosynthesis, are incorporated into living tissue, transferred to other organisms that feed on the living and dead plant matter, and eventually released through respiration.[14]

The carbon and energy incorporated into plant tissues (net primary production) is either consumed by animals while the plant is alive, or it remains uneaten when the plant tissue dies and becomes detritus. In terrestrial ecosystems, roughly 90% of the net primary production ends up being broken down by decomposers. The remainder is either consumed by animals while still alive and enters the plant-based trophic system, or it is consumed after it has died, and enters the detritus-based trophic system.[citation needed]

In aquatic systems, the proportion of plant biomass that gets consumed by herbivores is much higher.[15]In trophic systems photosynthetic organisms are the primary producers. The organisms that consume their tissues are called primary consumers or secondary producersherbivores. Organisms which feed on microbes (bacteria and fungi) are termed microbivores. Animals that feed on primary consumerscarnivoresare secondary consumers. Each of these constitutes a trophic level.[15]

The sequence of consumptionfrom plant to herbivore, to carnivoreforms a food chain. Real systems are much more complex than thisorganisms will generally feed on more than one form of food, and may feed at more than one trophic level. Carnivores may capture some prey which are part of a plant-based trophic system and others that are part of a detritus-based trophic system (a bird that feeds both on herbivorous grasshoppers and earthworms, which consume detritus). Real systems, with all these complexities, form food webs rather than food chains.[15] The food chain usually consists of four levels of consumption which are producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers, and tertiary consumers.[citation needed]

The carbon and nutrients in dead organic matter are broken down by a group of processes known as decomposition. This releases nutrients that can then be re-used for plant and microbial production and returns carbon dioxide to the atmosphere (or water) where it can be used for photosynthesis. In the absence of decomposition, the dead organic matter would accumulate in an ecosystem, and nutrients and atmospheric carbon dioxide would be depleted.[16] Approximately 90% of terrestrial net primary production goes directly from plant to decomposer.[15]

Decomposition processes can be separated into three categoriesleaching, fragmentation and chemical alteration of dead material. As water moves through dead organic matter, it dissolves and carries with it the water-soluble components. These are then taken up by organisms in the soil, react with mineral soil, or are transported beyond the confines of the ecosystem (and are considered lost to it).[16] Newly shed leaves and newly dead animals have high concentrations of water-soluble components and include sugars, amino acids and mineral nutrients. Leaching is more important in wet environments and much less important in dry ones.[16]

Fragmentation processes break organic material into smaller pieces, exposing new surfaces for colonization by microbes. Freshly shed leaf litter may be inaccessible due to an outer layer of cuticle or bark, and cell contents are protected by a cell wall. Newly dead animals may be covered by an exoskeleton. Fragmentation processes, which break through these protective layers, accelerate the rate of microbial decomposition.[16] Animals fragment detritus as they hunt for food, as does passage through the gut. Freeze-thaw cycles and cycles of wetting and drying also fragment dead material.[16]

The chemical alteration of the dead organic matter is primarily achieved through bacterial and fungal action. Fungal hyphae produce enzymes which can break through the tough outer structures surrounding dead plant material. They also produce enzymes which break down lignin, which allows them access to both cell contents and to the nitrogen in the lignin. Fungi can transfer carbon and nitrogen through their hyphal networks and thus, unlike bacteria, are not dependent solely on locally available resources.[16]

Decomposition rates vary among ecosystems.[17] The rate of decomposition is governed by three sets of factorsthe physical environment (temperature, moisture, and soil properties), the quantity and quality of the dead material available to decomposers, and the nature of the microbial community itself.[18] Temperature controls the rate of microbial respiration; the higher the temperature, the faster microbial decomposition occurs. It also affects soil moisture, which slows microbial growth and reduces leaching. Freeze-thaw cycles also affect decompositionfreezing temperatures kill soil microorganisms, which allows leaching to play a more important role in moving nutrients around. This can be especially important as the soil thaws in the spring, creating a pulse of nutrients which become available.[18]

Decomposition rates are low under very wet or very dry conditions. Decomposition rates are highest in wet, moist conditions with adequate levels of oxygen. Wet soils tend to become deficient in oxygen (this is especially true in wetlands), which slows microbial growth. In dry soils, decomposition slows as well, but bacteria continue to grow (albeit at a slower rate) even after soils become too dry to support plant growth.[18]

Ecosystems continually exchange energy and carbon with the wider environment. Mineral nutrients, on the other hand, are mostly cycled back and forth between plants, animals, microbes and the soil. Most nitrogen enters ecosystems through biological nitrogen fixation, is deposited through precipitation, dust, gases or is applied as fertilizer.[19]

Since most terrestrial ecosystems are nitrogen-limited, nitrogen cycling is an important control on ecosystem production.[19]

Until modern times, nitrogen fixation was the major source of nitrogen for ecosystems. Nitrogen-fixing bacteria either live symbiotically with plants or live freely in the soil. The energetic cost is high for plants which support nitrogen-fixing symbiontsas much as 25% of gross primary production when measured in controlled conditions. Many members of the legume plant family support nitrogen-fixing symbionts. Some cyanobacteria are also capable of nitrogen fixation. These are phototrophs, which carry out photosynthesis. Like other nitrogen-fixing bacteria, they can either be free-living or have symbiotic relationships with plants.[19] Other sources of nitrogen include acid deposition produced through the combustion of fossil fuels, ammonia gas which evaporates from agricultural fields which have had fertilizers applied to them, and dust.[19] Anthropogenic nitrogen inputs account for about 80% of all nitrogen fluxes in ecosystems.[19]

When plant tissues are shed or are eaten, the nitrogen in those tissues becomes available to animals and microbes. Microbial decomposition releases nitrogen compounds from dead organic matter in the soil, where plants, fungi, and bacteria compete for it. Some soil bacteria use organic nitrogen-containing compounds as a source of carbon, and release ammonium ions into the soil. This process is known as nitrogen mineralization. Others convert ammonium to nitrite and nitrate ions, a process known as nitrification. Nitric oxide and nitrous oxide are also produced during nitrification.[19] Under nitrogen-rich and oxygen-poor conditions, nitrates and nitrites are converted to nitrogen gas, a process known as denitrification.[19]

Other important nutrients include phosphorus, sulfur, calcium, potassium, magnesium and manganese.[20][17] Phosphorus enters ecosystems through weathering. As ecosystems age this supply diminishes, making phosphorus-limitation more common in older landscapes (especially in the tropics).[20] Calcium and sulfur are also produced by weathering, but acid deposition is an important source of sulfur in many ecosystems. Although magnesium and manganese are produced by weathering, exchanges between soil organic matter and living cells account for a significant portion of ecosystem fluxes. Potassium is primarily cycled between living cells and soil organic matter.[20]

Biodiversity plays an important role in ecosystem functioning.[22] The reason for this is that ecosystem processes are driven by the number of species in an ecosystem, the exact nature of each individual species, and the relative abundance organisms within these species.[23] Ecosystem processes are broad generalizations that actually take place through the actions of individual organisms. The nature of the organismsthe species, functional groups and trophic levels to which they belongdictates the sorts of actions these individuals are capable of carrying out and the relative efficiency with which they do so.[citation needed]

Ecological theory suggests that in order to coexist, species must have some level of limiting similaritythey must be different from one another in some fundamental way, otherwise one species would competitively exclude the other.[24] Despite this, the cumulative effect of additional species in an ecosystem is not linearadditional species may enhance nitrogen retention, for example, but beyond some level of species richness, additional species may have little additive effect.[23]

The addition (or loss) of species which are ecologically similar to those already present in an ecosystem tends to only have a small effect on ecosystem function. Ecologically distinct species, on the other hand, have a much larger effect. Similarly, dominant species have a large effect on ecosystem function, while rare species tend to have a small effect. Keystone species tend to have an effect on ecosystem function that is disproportionate to their abundance in an ecosystem.[23] Similarly, an ecosystem engineer is any organism that creates, significantly modifies, maintains or destroys a habitat.[citation needed]

Ecosystems are dynamic entities. They are subject to periodic disturbances and are in the process of recovering from some past disturbance.[6] When a perturbation occurs, an ecosystem responds by moving away from its initial state. The tendency of an ecosystem to remain close to its equilibrium state, despite that disturbance, is termed its resistance. On the other hand, the speed with which it returns to its initial state after disturbance is called its resilience.[6] Time plays a role in the development of soil from bare rock and the recovery of a community from disturbance.[5]

From one year to another, ecosystems experience variation in their biotic and abiotic environments. A drought, a colder than usual winter, and a pest outbreak all are short-term variability in environmental conditions. Animal populations vary from year to year, building up during resource-rich periods and crashing as they overshoot their food supply. These changes play out in changes in net primary production decomposition rates, and other ecosystem processes.[6] Longer-term changes also shape ecosystem processesthe forests of eastern North America still show legacies of cultivation which ceased 200 years ago, while methane production in eastern Siberian lakes is controlled by organic matter which accumulated during the Pleistocene.[6]

Disturbance also plays an important role in ecological processes. F. Stuart Chapin and coauthors define disturbance as "a relatively discrete event in time and space that alters the structure of populations, communities, and ecosystems and causes changes in resources availability or the physical environment".[25] This can range from tree falls and insect outbreaks to hurricanes and wildfires to volcanic eruptions. Such disturbances can cause large changes in plant, animal and microbe populations, as well soil organic matter content.[6] Disturbance is followed by succession, a "directional change in ecosystem structure and functioning resulting from biotically driven changes in resources supply."[25]

The frequency and severity of disturbance determine the way it affects ecosystem function. A major disturbance like a volcanic eruption or glacial advance and retreat leave behind soils that lack plants, animals or organic matter. Ecosystems that experience such disturbances undergo primary succession. A less severe disturbance like forest fires, hurricanes or cultivation result in secondary succession and a faster recovery.[6] More severe disturbance and more frequent disturbance result in longer recovery times.[6]

Ecosystem ecology studies the processes and dynamics of ecosystems, and the way the flow of matter and energy through them structures natural systems. The study of ecosystems can cover 10 orders of magnitude, from the surface layers of rocks to the surface of the planet.[26]

There is no single definition of what constitutes an ecosystem.[27] German ecologist Ernst-Detlef Schulze and coauthors defined an ecosystem as an area which is "uniform regarding the biological turnover, and contains all the fluxes above and below the ground area under consideration." They explicitly reject Gene Likens' use of entire river catchments as "too wide a demarcation" to be a single ecosystem, given the level of heterogeneity within such an area.[28] Other authors have suggested that an ecosystem can encompass a much larger area, even the whole planet.[29] Schulze and coauthors also rejected the idea that a single rotting log could be studied as an ecosystem because the size of the flows between the log and its surroundings are too large, relative to the proportion cycles within the log.[28] Philosopher of science Mark Sagoff considers the failure to define "the kind of object it studies" to be an obstacle to the development of theory in ecosystem ecology.[27]

Ecosystems can be studied through a variety of approachestheoretical studies, studies monitoring specific ecosystems over long periods of time, those that look at differences between ecosystems to elucidate how they work and direct manipulative experimentation.[30] Studies can be carried out at a variety of scales, ranging from whole-ecosystem studies to studying microcosms or mesocosms (simplified representations of ecosystems).[31] American ecologist Stephen R. Carpenter has argued that microcosm experiments can be "irrelevant and diversionary" if they are not carried out in conjunction with field studies done at the ecosystem scale. Microcosm experiments often fail to accurately predict ecosystem-level dynamics.[32]

The Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study started in 1963 to study the White Mountains in New Hampshire. It was the first successful attempt to study an entire watershed as an ecosystem. The study used stream chemistry as a means of monitoring ecosystem properties, and developed a detailed biogeochemical model of the ecosystem.[33] Long-term research at the site led to the discovery of acid rain in North America in 1972. Researchers documented the depletion of soil cations (especially calcium) over the next several decades.[34]

Human activities are important in almost all ecosystems. Although humans exist and operate within ecosystems, their cumulative effects are large enough to influence external factors like climate.[5]

Ecosystems provide a variety of goods and services upon which people depend.[35] Ecosystem goods include the "tangible, material products" of ecosystem processes such as food, construction material, medicinal plants.[36] They also include less tangible items like tourism and recreation, and genes from wild plants and animals that can be used to improve domestic species.[35]

Ecosystem services, on the other hand, are generally "improvements in the condition or location of things of value".[36] These include things like the maintenance of hydrological cycles, cleaning air and water, the maintenance of oxygen in the atmosphere, crop pollination and even things like beauty, inspiration and opportunities for research.[35] While material from the ecosystem had traditionally been recognized as being the basis for things of economic value, ecosystem services tend to be taken for granted.[36]

When natural resource management is applied to whole ecosystems, rather than single species, it is termed ecosystem management.[37] Although definitions of ecosystem management abound, there is a common set of principles which underlie these definitions.[38] A fundamental principle is the long-term sustainability of the production of goods and services by the ecosystem;[38] "intergenerational sustainability [is] a precondition for management, not an afterthought".[35]

While ecosystem management can be used as part of a plan for wilderness conservation, it can also be used in intensively managed ecosystems[35] (see, for example, agroecosystem and close to nature forestry).

As human population and per capita consumption grow, so do the resource demands imposed on ecosystems and the effects of the human ecological footprint. Natural resources are vulnerable and limited. The environmental impacts of anthropogenic actions are becoming more apparent. Problems for all ecosystems include: environmental pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss. For terrestrial ecosystems further threats include air pollution, soil degradation, and deforestation. For aquatic ecosystems threats include also unsustainable exploitation of marine resources (for example overfishing of certain species), marine pollution, microplastics pollution, water pollution, the warming of oceans, and building on coastal areas.[39]

Society is increasingly becoming aware that ecosystem services are not only limited but also that they are threatened by human activities. The need to better consider long-term ecosystem health and its role in enabling human habitation and economic activity is urgent. To help inform decision-makers, many ecosystem services are being assigned economic values, often based on the cost of replacement with anthropogenic alternatives. The ongoing challenge of prescribing economic value to nature, for example through biodiversity banking, is prompting transdisciplinary shifts in how we recognize and manage the environment, social responsibility, business opportunities, and our future as a species.[citation needed]

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Ecosystem - Wikipedia

Has Arm Discovered the Ecosystem Keys? – The Next Platform

Arm server development is a reality and a growing one at that. Not just from a performance point of view but also, perhaps more important, from an ecosystem view.

Be it the Marvell ThunderX2 processor or the Ampere eMAG Skylark processor, the hyperscale, cloud, enterprise ecosystems are willing to adopt these new processors to further improve their TCO or dollars/core.

The all-important ecosystem is catching up with Arm, which is key to the momentum necessary to make the Arm servers a sustainable reality. With AWS launching their version of Arm instances i.e. Graviton processors, theres the much needed push to make the software ecosystem more widely acceptable in the industry. Not just that, AWS even announced bare-metal offerinings for EC2 A1 instances.

Slowly but steadily, Arm has also made a mark for itself in high performance computing, something we expect to see in full force at this years Supercomputing Conference. Arm has the most traction in terms of deployments and software development in HPC in the United States, Europe and Japan with each region leading the way along different trajectories to deploy systems based on the Arm architecture for their supercomputers.

All of this has taken time and extended development, of course. The first wave of Arm based servers came in 2010 until 2014 and were more experimental in nature than real production systems.

The first 64-bit Arm design i.e. the ARMv8-A was introduced in 2011 and since then the Arm server ecosystem have seen lots of ups and downs. ZTSystems, in November 2010 had launched a 1U Data Center Arm server based on Cortex-A9 cores (32-bit) which was supposed to be energy efficient and a denser solution compared to Intel Servers. Then came Calxeda with their version of 32-bit Arm servers i.e. the EnergyCore-ECX-1000 which did not see adoption and Calxeda eventually went defunct in 2013. In 2011 AppliedMicro launched the X-Gene 1 processor followed by X-Gene 2 in 2014. Samsung, Cavium (now Marvell) and AMD came up with their versions of Arm processors which tried to penetrate the server market but could not generate tangible interest among the end-users to adopt these technologies.

Arm servers have undergone a transformation in terms of development and early signs of this were seen in a semi-secret project within Broadcom which was taking shape in the form of Project Vulcan. The idea was to develop a world class 64-bit serious Arm server to take on Intel in the HPC and cloud market.

In late 2016, when Avago gave up on Broadcoms ambitions to develop a first class Arm server, Cavium jumped in and brought the Vulcan IP and Team on-board and fully funded the Vulcan project, re-christened as Cavium ThunderX2 now, Marvell ThunderX2. In more ways than one, the ThunderX2 is a serious contender to Intel and AMD in the HPC, hyperscale and cloud businesses.

To make things better for the Arm ecosystem, in 2017, a brand new company, Ampere Computing bought the X-Gene assets and re-introduced the X-Gene processor as the Ampere eMAG processor. It needs to be mentioned that Qualcomm tried its hand at building a true Data Center Arm Server Centriq based on the Falkor Architecture and given Qualcomms standing, with time, it could have made their data center server project a success. However, for reasons unknown to many, they chose to significantly disinvest and many personnel from Qualcomms Centriq project were hired by Ampere Computing in Raleigh. Huawei has a very compelling Arm Server offering in the Kunpeng 920, which is a 7-nm, 64 core CPU.

Figure 1: Diverse Arm architectures (source)

The question many have is whether the Arm server ecosystem is mature enough to be excited about?

The ecosystem has come a long way to become a stable one. However, it has many miles to go to reach the same level as x86. Given this momentum, it would not be surprising if the likes of Google, Facebook, Tencent etc. are actively experimenting with Arm platforms. Amazon and Microsoft have already invested in Arm platforms in their respective clouds i.e. AWS & Azure.

Figure 2: Commits to Linux GitHub repository for x86 vs. arm64 as of 13th November, 2019

The contributions towards enabling aarch64 for Linux operating system have steadily increased since 2012 while the growth rate for x86 has not been as consistent. These are good indications that the Arm ecosystem is here to stay and growing.

An ongoing debate among software engineers is whether to implement a business logic in a monolithic architecture or take the same logic and break it down into multiple pieces. There is a growing trend of organizations moving to a Microservices architecture for various reasons be it unit testing, ease of deployment, server performance among many others. Also, microservices based architecture are relatively easy to scale compared to a monolith. Linaro, Arm and Arm Server Manufacturers are leading this charge. Also, Packet is providing the developer community a platform to develop and sustain the ecosystem.

If theres one area where Arm servers have taken the biggest strides, it is definitely be High Performance Computing (HPC). The Arm ecosystem for HPC is also the most developed compared to Arms progress in cloud datacenters.

The momentum for Arm in HPC was driven by many centers, but Dr. Simon McIntosh-Smith and the University of Bristol and Cray hosting the 1st Isambard Hackathon to optimize HPC applications for ThunderX2 based servers back in November 2017 at Bristol. This was promptly followed up by a 2nd Isambard Hackathon in March 2018.

Most of the HPC applications compile and run out of the box for Arm based servers with Arm compilers, GCC, OpenMPI, OpenMP support.

I participated in both representing Cavium Inc, assisting developers, architects and engineers optimize their codes/applications for ThunderX2 Processors. Collectively, we optimized key HPC applications like NAMD, UM-NEMO, OpenFOAM, NWCHEM, CASTEP, etc. and compared to Intel CPU Architectures like Broadwell and Skylake. Prof Smith and team did a detailed study identifying the opportunities and benefits of Arm Servers with regards to the incumbent Intel servers with compelling performance per dollar for the Arm-based servers.

Figure 3: Cray-Isambard performance comparison on mini-apps

Figure 4: Cray-Isambard performance comparison on key Archer applications

Figure 5: Cavium Inc. published HPC Performance comparison vs. Intel Skylake CPUs (2017)

This was a significant movement that Arm servers needed in the HPC space. The two Isambard hackathons also fast-tracked the Arm HPC development with Arm optimizing their compilers as well as Math libraries in collaboration with Arm server manufacturers like Cavium Inc (now Marvell Semiconductors). There is tremendous movement in the Arm HPC Performance Libraries optimization world. Arm has invested in optimizing GEMM, SVE, spMM, spMV and FFT libraries in collaboration with developers and Silicon manufacturers like Marvell. The Arm Allinea Studio has successfully established itself as a go-to tool for Arm server Workload Analysis, similar to what VTune would be for Intel.

Another major milestone was the Vanguard Astra Arm based supercomputer at Sandia National Laboratories powered by DoE, Cavium and HPE. This is the first Arm based supercomputer to make the TOP500 list at 156th position as of June 2019 and 198th rank in the November 2019 rankings. The building blocks are HPE Apollo 70 platforms, Marvell ThunderX2 CPUs with 4xEDR Infiniband interconnect. The Astra Supercomputer is made up of 2592 compute servers i.e. 145k cores and 663 TB memory. US DoE is making a concerted effort to invest in diverse as well as future proof technologies such as Arm, in its path towards achieving exascale computing.

Figure 6: Astra, the Arm based supercomputer debuted on the TOP500 list in November 2018

Europe and Asia are taking huge strides in deploying Arm based clusters and systems for HPC and Research. Be it Monte-Carlo, Isambard or CINECA-E4 projects in Europe or Japans Arm based Fugaku supercomputer, its just the beginning of a new era of Arm in HPC. Cray is betting big with the A64FX Arm chip built by Fujitsu. The A64FX prototype is number one on the Green500 list and 160th on the Top500 list..

HPC workloads tend to be highly parallelizable in nature, and Arm CPUs provide an opportunity to leverage lots of cores at reasonable price points. Further, having competition in the CPU market benefits all buyers, not just HPC shops, to negotiate the best resources for their workloads.

Marvell is a pioneer in more ways than one in introducing the Arm server ecosystem to the hyperscale world with Marvell and Microsoft partnering on ThunderX2 platforms for Azure. Oracle has invested $40 Million in Ampere Computing, which is home to the ARMv8 eMAG processor. Oracle also has plans to massively expand their datacenter footprint in the coming months and this investment in Ampere could mean potential deployment of eMAG processors in Oracle Data Centers.

In the recent past, theres been a slew of announcements regarding enhancements to the Arm ecosystem. VMware announced 64-bit support Arm Support. In an official announcement, DDN announced professional support for Lustre on Arm servers in 2018 In mid 2019 at ISC, AMI announced firmware support for the Marvell ThunderX2 Arm based servers in March 2019.

NVIDIA announced CUDA support for Arm at ISC19 and backed it up with a major announcement of introducing a reference design to enable organizations to build GPU-accelerated Arm based servers, which is a big shift towards enabling Arm to be successful in the HPC and accelerated computing segment. Imagine a system with power efficient Arm based CPUs with GPUs for training and AI ASICs for inference. Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence pose interesting opportunities & the collaboration with NVIDIA will enable this segment for Arm based solutions.

Like Intel, AMD and Arm, Ampere Computing too has created a developer program for developers to build and expand their Cloud Ecosystem. This will enable further and faster integration of Arm servers in the hyperscale and datacenter world in a much more open and collaborative way.

While the ecosystem still needs more time to grow and mature, it is steadily moving towards that nirvana of It just works. With the emergence of Arm in the computer architecture world along with RISC-V and many other semiconductor start-ups, its only a matter of time until aarch64 is the new normal like x86. That is what the community is all striving towards.

Once the developers are convinced that their software stack just works on Arm Servers, it would be a big win for the Arm Server ecosystem, and I for one am willing to make the bold claim that for many workloads especially HPC It just works

About the Author

Indraneil Gokhale is a Performance Engineer and leads the Hardware Engineering team at Box Inc. Indraneil has previously worked at Cavium (now Marvell), Uber and Intel. Indraneil has experience in optimizing HPC applications and workloads for x86 and aarch64 architectures. He has published white papers, book chapters on optimizing the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) application. Indraneil holds a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University, USA and a Bachelors Degree in EEE from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, India.

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Has Arm Discovered the Ecosystem Keys? - The Next Platform

Integrating Global Seagrass and Mangrove Ecosystem Observations – Eos

In many nearshore waters around the world, seagrasses and mangroves (coastal saltwater forests) provide habitat and food for diverse organisms and valuable ecosystem services to people. Although human activities threaten these habitats, assessing their status and trends is made difficult by a lack of coordination, standardization, and integration between in situ and remotely sensed observations.

To advance coordinated international observations of these ecosystems, including observations of essential ocean variables (EOVs) and essential biodiversity variables (EBVs), multidisciplinary experts recently convened at a workshop jointly sponsored by the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON). Participants focused on current in situ and remote sensing observing capabilities, the technological innovations required to overcome the limitations of these two approaches, and how to promote data accessibility for use by a range of stakeholders.

Most seagrass monitoring is done in situ. Global monitoring networks (e.g., SeagrassNet, Seagrass-Watch) use similar low-cost protocols, such as visual surveys, offering promise for efforts to standardize best practices and interoperability. Remote sensing tools that generate high spatial resolution multispectral and hyperspectral images based on reflectance signatures provide data on seagrass spatial coverage at larger scales, but in situ verification is needed for species identification and plant health assessment.

The Global Mangrove Watch has documented a nearly 6% decline in global mangrove extent since 1996 using satellite data and available in situ observations.The Global Mangrove Watch (GMW) has documented a nearly 6% decline in global mangrove extent since 1996 using satellite data and available in situ observations. In situ sampling efforts are essential for validating maps derived from such satellite data and for assessing species composition, but at present these efforts are very limited and are not coordinated with each other. Thus, extracting similar data fields from existing data sets is resource intensive.

Workshop participants made recommendations for future seagrass observing, including integrating remote sensing and in situ data, linking existing in situ capacity across nations and networks, and leveraging these capabilities with promising technologies such as photo and video transects, including those produced using autonomous underwater vehicles. Participants agreed that advances in artificial intelligence applications for image processing will be needed to improve and speed up transformation of images into data products.

Participants also offered recommendations to improve mangrove observations, including linking in situ data (e.g., species composition surveys) to satellite data to validate maps and identifying existing in situ and drone sampling capacities and gaps.

For both seagrass and mangrove ecosystems, workshop participants agreed that coordinated observations will benefit from standardizing which plant parameters are measured as indicators of ecosystem health and condition; adopting data management practices based on findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR) principles; organizing disparate data; and linking data systems to the Ocean Biogeographic Information System and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Standard operating procedures for OceanBestPractices could be developed from the Blue Carbon Manual (mangroves) and the protocols of SeagrassNet and Seagrass-Watch. Training and capacity development will be critical to expanding global coverage and ensuring continuity of observations.

The success of coordinated global seagrass and mangrove observations will require strengthening engagement between the field observation and remote sensing communities and nurturing partnerships.Overall, workshop attendees concluded that the success of coordinated global seagrass and mangrove observations will require strengthening engagement between the field observation and remote sensing communities and nurturing partnerships, including those with developing countries. Coordination and governance can be facilitated by system-specific groups such as the International Seagrass Experts Network and GMW and by GOOS and the MBON, which are working to implement observations of essential ocean variables to strengthen global observing, conservation, and sustainable development.

The participant list and presentations are available at the workshop website. We acknowledge support from NASA, GOOS, and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, and we thank the participants for their contributions.

Emmett Duffy, Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network and Marine Global Earth Observatory, Smithsonian Institution, Edgewater, Md.; Lisa Maria Rebelo, International Water Management Institute, Vientiane, Laos; and Patricia Miloslavich ([emailprotected]), Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia; also at Oceans and Atmosphere, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Hobart, Australia, and Universidad Simn Bolvar, Caracas, Venezuela

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Integrating Global Seagrass and Mangrove Ecosystem Observations - Eos

The collapse of the information ecosystem poses profound risks for humanity – The Guardian

For the last few years, scientists have argued that were living through a distinctly new geological age. They call it the Anthropocene: a new age characterized by humanitys profound impact on Earth itself as evidenced by pollution, mass extinction and climate change.

We are currently facing a new systemic collapse, one that has built far more swiftly but poses potent risks for all of humanity: the collapse of the information ecosystem. We see it play out every day with the viral spread of misinformation, widening news deserts and the proliferation of fake news. This collapse has much in common with the environmental collapse of the planet that were only now beginning to grasp, and its consequences for life as we know it are shaping up to be just as profound.

The digital revolution greatly expanded human knowledge and wealth much as the industrial revolution did 150 years earlier when new technologies, notably the combustion engine, brought about extraordinary economic growth. And much like the building of great railways and interstate highways allowed people to connect, the creation of tools that allow anyone to be their own publisher has made it possible for new voices to reach large audiences around the world.

The collapse of the information ecosystem has already wreaked havoc on our political systems

But if the price of the industrial revolution was planetary destruction on an unimaginable scale, the digital revolution may be costly in a different but similarly destructive way. William Randolph Hearst owned the means of production and was free to publish made up stories to sell papers and stoke the Spanish-American war. Today, everyone is free to be their own propagandist.

The scale of the threat is hard to overstate.

When the scientists behind the Doomsday clock published their yearly assessment of how close we are to planetary doom, they added a new dimension to the dual threats of nuclear proliferation and climate change, namely the intentional corruption of the information ecosystem on which modern civilization depends.

What weve seen in recent years isnt just the collapse of informational authority. It is the destruction of the pact between the purveyors of quality information and the businesses that wanted to reach the consumers of that information.

In 2018, Facebook, Google and Amazon have sucked up nearly 70% of all digital advertising dollars, effectively taking the place of the old monopolies.

Some news organizations have become profitable by persuading their audience to pay for the journalism once heavily subsidized by advertisers. Others, such as the Guardian and HuffPost, have created membership programs that ask audiences to support journalism once heavily subsidized by advertisers. Still others now rely on foundations or wealthy patrons, with people such as Jeff Bezos taking the place of Pulitzer or Hearst.

But this is not enough to make the provision of high-quality and affordable information sustainable. Since 2008, at least 28,000 journalists have lost their jobs. Today, we get much less foreign news as news organizations close their bureaus, and local news may go the way of the dodo as newspapers across the country fold.

The scale of the threat is hard to overstate

The collapse of the information ecosystem has already wreaked havoc on our political systems. It has undermined democratic elections. It has shaken basic trust in institutions. It has left us with a world in which anyone is free to choose their own facts. It threatens to fundamentally destabilize the existing world order.

That world is a very dangerous one for humans in general, but it poses special and serious risks for businesses. Without facts, what are contracts? Without facts, what are laws? A world without facts is as dangerous for companies as it is for citizens.

Most major corporations have sustainability policies and seek to limit, as much as possible, the harm caused to the environment by their products. This is partly due to consumer pressure. But its also because companies have realized that climate change carries catastrophic business risks.

Just as companies decarbonize their businesses, they should think carefully about how they contribute to the destruction of our information ecosystem and choose to reach consumers on platforms that slow rather than increase the pace of information ecosystem collapse.

I am not suggesting anyone must immediately abandon Facebook or Google advertising platforms. But I do propose an experiment. What if the chief marketing officer of every major corporation set aside a substantial chunk of their marketing budget and devoted it to high-quality news? Of the $130bn devoted to digital advertising, set $50bn aside for news.

Indeed, the withdrawal of advertising dollars would be the single most powerful way to change the practices of companies that contribute most powerfully to the information ecosystem crisis. It dwarfs anything a regulatory body could do to alter the behavior of these platforms. When the FTC slapped a $5bnn fine on Facebook this summer, investors sent its shares soaring.

Advertisers love these platforms for the same reason industrialists love carbon-based energy: it provides powerful, measurable fuel for their businesses. But increasingly they are becoming wary of these platforms because they are full of disinformation, fraud and abuse. Just as companies are weaning themselves from substances that pollute our air, water and lands, companies should wean themselves from platforms that are destroying our information ecosystem. Its just good business.

The Doomsday clock stands at two minutes to midnight. But this new normal is not normal. As the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists put it earlier this year:

Nuclear war and climate change threaten the physical infrastructure that provides the food, energy, and other necessities required for human life. But to thrive, prosper, and advance, people also need reliable information about their world factual information, in abundance.

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The collapse of the information ecosystem poses profound risks for humanity - The Guardian

Dreamforce 2019: Salesforce Outlines Initiatives To Ignite Ecosystem Growth – CRN: The Biggest Tech News For Partners And The IT Channel

Soon after founding Salesforce, CTO Parker Harris forcefully argued to CEO Marc Benioff that the new company should avoid building a channel.

"Marc, whatever you do, we do not want consultants," Harris said he told his co-founder twenty years ago.

Harris wanted the innovative cloud-based CRM to be a no-code platform, and systems integrators and consultants would ruin that vision, "because people are going to write code."

Thankfully, Benioff rejected his bad advice, Salesforce's CTO told thousands of ecosystem partners attending a keynote Tuesday at the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco.

[Related: Salesforce Dreamforce Keynote: AI, Integration, Alicia Keys And Protestors]

"We need you," Harris told those consultants he once hoped to shun.

Harris now sees partners who "speak the language of the customer" as vital to the company's strategy of extending into industry verticals. And Salesforce especially needs SIs as it leverages its MuleSoft platform to bring in data from Oracle and SAP ERPs, enabling implementation of a "single source of truth" concept presented through the Customer Truth 360 tooling unveiled earlier that day.

As the CRM leader chases Benioff's ambitious goal to double the business over the next few years, recruiting new partners, enabling existing ones to scale, and encouraging startups to form is a larger priority than ever before. The company has previously said it's aiming to build a channel of 250,000 services partners.

To that end, Salesforce channel leaders outlined specific initiatives Tuesday around enhanced advisory services, a new Architect Certification Program, expanded partner learning, and new resources to help customers identify implementation partners best-suited to their aims.

Tyler Prince, Salesforce's executive vice president of industries, innovation and partners, told representatives of the consultancies, digital agencies and ISVs attending the partner keynote that Salesforce is focused on helping them meet the increasing demands of customers in an era of rapid disruption.

"Salesforce is a different kind of company. I hope we're a different kind of partner to you as well," Prince said.

The opportunity for Salesforce's channel is massive, Prince noted, citing an IDC report that predicts by 2024 the Salesforce ecosystem will generate six times more revenue than Salesforce itself.

"Most of that is represented by solutions and services you provide," Prince told partners.

Kai Hsiung, chief growth officer at Silverline, was one of those in attendance, as he's been for every Dreamforce partner keynote.

To eventually enable the 250,000 partners needed to support Benioff's $28 billion revenue target, "the partner program will have to grow and adjust based on the different partner types out there," Hsiung told CRN.

Salesforce is making a valiant effort to that, Hsiung said.

"The next step is to figure out how to rightsize the enablement based on partner size, industry focus, product focus, geographic focus," Hsiung said. And "they are very much in tune with the feedback partners like Silverline are providing them."

That's why this year Salesforce has introduced so many new partner programs and initiatives, while also ending programs that became less relevant, he added.

Lori Steele, Salesforce's executive vice president for global customer success and professional services, earned a round of applause when telling the keynote's attendees: "our purpose as an organization is not to compete with the partner ecosystem, but to work together, to collaborate and bring the best of Salesforce to our customers."

Currently, half of Salesforce professional services are delivered through partners. "That's good, but it's not good enough," Steele said.

Customers are "really looking for us to come together with shared goals, shared measures," she said.

To deliver more value through its channel, Salesforce is implementing a new engagement model through which Salesforce's advisory services arm looks to collaborate closer with the channel. Salesforce will bring partners into engagements at critical junctures in the customer lifecycle and work closely with them to ensure challenging integration projects are successful, Steele said.

Salesforce wants to leverage the capabilities of partners and complement their skills, while "doing the right thing for customers at the right time," she told Dreamforce attendees.

Enablement is another important component of that vision, she said, and the company is doing "brilliant things with Trailhead."

That Salesforce learning platform isn't just about training, but also bringing best practices to partners and offering them opportunities to shadow Salesforce engineers in the field.

Randy Davis, a partner at Chicago-based Salesforce consultancy Sikich, said Salesforce execs delivered "an inspiring message to the whole partner community" at the keynote.

That message is reflected in an increased investment in partner programs, Davis told CRN.

"As they grow, they need to rely on partners more," Davis said. "It's extremely important partners are enabled with the right training and resources to make customers successful."

Earlier this year, Salesforce launched Trailhead for Partners, a learning system aiming to help consultants develop the talent they need to fuel their growth. Building upon that, a Partner Learning Camp was introduced at this year's Dreamforce, powered by the customized myTrailhead platform.

Prince also suggested to partners they familiarize themselves with innovations on the AppExchange marketplace.

"At a rapid rate, customers are going on the AppExchange not only to find cool apps, but to find a consultant," Prince said. "Use this to your advantage."

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Dreamforce 2019: Salesforce Outlines Initiatives To Ignite Ecosystem Growth - CRN: The Biggest Tech News For Partners And The IT Channel

Ten Predictions On The Future Of Work, VC And The Tech Ecosystem For 2020 And Beyond – Forbes

What are YOUR tech, VC and future of work predictions for the year ahead?

Its that time of year. Not just for holiday shopping, expensive, crowded flights, and hopefully the creation of happy memories surrounded by loved ones. Its also that time when futurists ranging from academics and journalists to VCs like me get asked to contemplate all the ways in which budding trends will accelerate to a point that they begin to change the way we live, work and play. As an investor who focuses largely on the future of work, I spend a lot of time assessing how technological advances and economic and social change coalesce to impact the workforces of today and decades to come. So, here are my predictions for the year and decade about to begin.

Prediction 1: Direct listings will become the norm, not the exception. However, this is such a major change that it wont happen overnight. In 2019 we saw Pinterest and Slack both successfully direct list. In 2020 not only will more consumer brands direct list, but so will additional enterprise companies inspired by Slacks example. Slowly but surely over the next few years direct listings will emerge as the new best practice to capture value for founders, employees and investors. Wall Street will find new ways to extract value from this changing tide.

Prediction 2: Silicon Valley will fall a bit further from its perch at the pinnacle of tech innovation. Im not a Silicon Valley doomsayer. I believe that the nucleus of the worlds most mature tech ecosystem will continue to cultivate and nurture numerous innovative, game-changing startups to come. But I also believe that talent exists everywhere, and increasingly so does opportunity, so smaller tech hubs are giving Silicon Valley the fiercest competition of its existence. Outside of the US, Im excited about the continued growth of Indias vibrant tech ecosystem. Within the US, Im particularly bullish about the Pacific Northwest, which I believe will continue to gain ground on its larger, southern cousin as the third generation of spinoffs from Amazon and Microsoft and then newly minted unicorns like Auth0 and Outreach create a new tidal storm of B2B innovation.

Prediction 3: A significantly greater share of the professional workforce will shift from full-time to gig employees. Companies are always seeking to reduce costs and liabilities, but during a recession these efforts reach a fever pitch. Today many people think of Uber and Lyft drivers, Instacart and Postmates delivery workers and hair stylists when they think of gig employees, but the reality is that the gig economy is already far more wide-reaching. According to Deloitte, more than 40% of workers are currently employed in alternative work arrangements, such as gig and contract work. Over the next decade, that number will increase dramatically.

Prediction 4: The workforce will become dramatically more geographically distributed. Most experts agree that a recession is coming. The question isnt really about whether itll happen but when. When it does arrive, the recession will accelerate a number of trends already unrolling, the first of which is the rapid distribution of the enterprise workforce. Today geographically distributed teams are the exception. Within the next few years, theyll become the norm. Expect companies with 1 or 2 main offices to split into 4 or 5 smaller ones, and I expect a greater share of employees to work remotely several days a week or even permanently.

Prediction 5: The talent wars will remain fierce-- even during the recession. Even in a weak economy, businesses must hire and retain exceptional talent. This isnt to say that compensation and benefits will hold steady--they wont, but sought-after skills will remain in high-demand. To retain and develop employees while keeping their costs in check, enterprises will look to talent management tools that are both efficient and scalable. Expect to see more AI-based tools and fewer high-priced, in-person consultants.

Prediction 6: Any high-growth, low-margin company will face public scrutiny. In fact, we dont have to wait for 2020 for this to occur. The market pendulum is swinging away from growth at all costs towards efficiency and profitability-- especially among consumer goods firms where many of the unit economics are currently upside down. As my colleague Patricia Nakache told the New York Times, A lot of these highly valued companies have run into the buzz saw of Wall Streetreminding us that profitability matters.

Prediction 7: New KPIs will emerge as each companys north star. As SaaS becomes more ubiquitous and touches every industry vertical, net revenue retention, sales and marketing efficiency (for enterprise) and unit economics (for consumer) will become the north star metrics towards which all management teams and boards will manage and optimize.

Prediction 8: The next generation of VCs will finally assume the service role theyre paid to do. Venture capital still flows like water for especially talented entrepreneurs and promising startups. While for years VCs could rest on their wallets, the new guard of investors--the more service-oriented, extension-of-your-team sort--will overtake the old guard due to their willingness to serve their environment rather than assuming that everyone will adapt to them simply because they always have. As part of this transformation, the brands of VC firms will increasingly take a backseat to the brands of the individual partners who will come to be known among entrepreneurs not just for their savvy bets, but, equally importantly, for their service and value-add to entrepreneurs. The VCs who win will have the people skills to authentically connect with and win over founders, the go-to-market skills to help founding teams scale their businesses, and the work ethic to be known as a partner who doesnt just pick winners, but actually helps nurture and grow them.

Prediction 9: The fight to own the developer heart, mind and wallet will continue unabated. More than a decade ago, Steve Ballmer famously brought his developer-centric business strategy into the Internet mainstream with his classic, albeit cringe-worthy, developers, developers, developers chant. In proof that sometimes the best strategies have the most staying power, his mantra is still true today, even if the technologies the developers are building upon have long since evolved. In 2020, well see even more companies fight for the hearts and minds of developers--not just the major platform plays like Microsoft, Google, Apple, Oracle and Salesforce, but also a newer generation of tech giants like Zoom and Slack hoping to bring much-needed agility into the workplace. Developers should expect a lot of appreciation--and even more free t-shirts--to come their way.

Prediction 10: Software will continue to eat every vertical at a faster pace than ever before. It has been almost a decade since Marc Andreessen famously wrote in the Wall Street Journal that software is eating the world. His prediction proved to be sage because its just as true today as its ever been and will remain so in the decade to come. Even non-technology companies like WeWork pitched themselves as software companies in order to increase their value. Over the next decade, well see software devour the few remaining legacy verticals that have managed thus far to avoid digital transformation.

What do you think? What are YOUR tech, VC and future of work predictions for the year ahead? Share them with me on Twitter @kmehandru #FOWpredictions2020.

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Ten Predictions On The Future Of Work, VC And The Tech Ecosystem For 2020 And Beyond - Forbes

Galt Earth Day: Lucero Farms partners with the ecosystem – The Galt Herald

Editors note: This article is part of an ongoing series of articles that features local businesses that use clean, healthy and sustainable practices and are doing their part to help keep our earth beautiful. The series will lead up to the Galt Earth Day Celebration in April 2020 presented by the Galt Beautification Committee and the Galt Community of Character Coalition.

Curt and Pricella Lucero love the rolling hills and natural waterways that take water to their pond. They respect and protect the ecosystem of their organic farm. There is an amazing variety of birds that call their pond home.

When Curt was asked if the birds eat his crops, he said they actually help by eating the insects.

How do they handle the insects that eat their leafy vegetables, Curt said he grows enough for everybody. They are partners in the ecosystem.

They took land that had been used for grazing and now grow fields of vegetables and fruits to feed people locally and in the Bay Area.

After serving in the Army for 20 years, he came back to the family business of farming. It is a more peaceful life, but still challenging.

It takes patience to deal with the unpredictable weather. He grows the seeds in his greenhouse, plants the plants and if hail comes, he has to start over.

Lucero Organic Farms is an example of how the agricultural industry respects the earth.

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Galt Earth Day: Lucero Farms partners with the ecosystem - The Galt Herald

Why Your Organization Needs an Innovation Ecosystem – Harvard Business Review

Executive Summary

To ensure their companies stay innovative, leaders need to create an ecosystem that allows winning ideas to consistently emerge. In two decades of strategy consulting and research, the authors have learned that building such an ecosystem requires developing capabilities for exploring new ideas, experimentation, accepting failure, and working with external partners.

Ecosystems have become an important topic for business leaders. The pace of change in contemporary business environments means that the creation of value and decision making cannot be centralized. This is particularly true when it comes to innovation. Leaders need to accept that they dont always have the winning ideas and focus on creating an ecosystem that allows winning ideas to consistently emerge. In two decades of strategy consulting and research with over 100 companies, we have learned that building such an ecosystem requires developing capabilities for exploring new ideas, experimentation, accepting failure, and working with external partners.

The first step is for leaders to focus on how they manage their internal innovation teams. These teams should be managed using the same principles that are used to manage external startups. For example, instead of only selecting ideas that come from business plans and roadmaps, companies should take a portfolio approach that involves making multiple small bets on projects, tracking progress via key metrics, such as customer willingness to pay, and increasing investments only in those ideas that show evidence of traction. For this process to work, leaders have to accept that not all projects will work some will fail.

Our research and consulting work with Bosch provides an example of how to set up and manage an innovation pipeline with internal startups. The Bosch Accelerator Program provides a structured way for internal innovation teams to systematically validate the viability of their business ideas. Leaders and innovation managers select cohorts of 25-30 teams from all over the world that work together for 6-12 months. Teams receive an initial funding of approximately 120,000 and get three months to test whether their business-model ideas could scale. Depending on the results, teams can obtain an additional budget of 300,000 or more.

Since 2017, Bosch has invested in more than 169 teams. From these teams, 70% stopped their projects after the first investment and 72% of the remaining teams stopped after the second investment. With this process Bosch has discovered 14 teams that have successfully taken their projects to scale with follow-on funding.

Of course, even with the best in-house talent and innovation process, companies cannot come up with the best ideas on their own. Thats why a complete innovation ecosystem requires collaboration with external innovators. Just look at successful tech companies Tencent and Alibaba: according to the Financial Times, they generate over a third of their revenues from investments in external startups.

The banking industry is one arena in which incumbents have found it useful to work with external startups. Given the high number of emerging startups and technologies (in 2018 global venture capital investments in fintech startups set an annual record of $39.6 billion, with 1,463 companies raising funding), corporate leaders cant predict which fintech startups will eventually win the market. The best way to find out is to work with these startups by providing a collaborative platform that allows the best ideas to gain traction.

Several Nordic financial institutions we have interviewed and worked with recognized this challenge. Institutions such as Nordea, Spar Nord and Danske Bank co-funded and sponsored the creation of Copenhagen Fintech, an institution that gives large financial institutions access to invest in and collaborate with the startups. In our interviews with Thomas Krogh Jensen, the CEO of Copenhagen Fintech, he noted how collaborating with startups has provided companies with accelerated market validation and global scale.

We also conducted interviews with another member of the Copenhagen Fintech board, Ole Madsen, who is Senior Vice President of Spar Nord bank. Madsen and his team created an open platform on which fintech startups could build and test their applications. The aim was to give innovative startups access to a platform with a banking license and a large customer base. In return, Spar Nord gets access to the latest fintech innovations. So far, Madsen told us, the bank has invested in a dozen startup ideas, six of which have been successfully integrated onto the Spar Nord banking platform.

This ecosystem approach to innovation, leveraging talent both inside and outside of the company, is the best way to respond to a competitive, ever-changing environment. If leaders want to build a sustainable growth engine for the company, they need to create the right conditions for the best ideas to get picked up.

This article is part of a series connected to the 11th Global Peter Drucker Forum.

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Why Your Organization Needs an Innovation Ecosystem - Harvard Business Review

Ecosystem Kickstarter is a cardboard structure that fights soil erosion – Dezeen

Dutch designer Thom Bindels has developed Ecosystem Kickstarter, a honeycomb-shaped cardboard frame that can help small-scale farmers grow crops in degraded soil.

The simple, modular, cardboard system, which was first presented at Dutch Design Week, is embedded in a slope of degraded earth and filled with local soil.

This forms a terracing structure to prevent the runoff of seeds and nutrients in rainwater.

Ecosystem Kickstarter (Ecokick) biodegrades, and when it does it will grow a strip of "perennial terracing vegetation" because the cardboard is enriched with seeds and nutrients.

The resulting terraced crops fulfil the same stabilising function the cardboard originally served. In between these organic fortifications, food crops are protected from erosion and able to flourish.

Ultimately, this could break the vicious cycle of soil erosion, which is exacerbated by climate change as long periods of drought followed by brief, torrential rainfall mean that fertile top soil and seeds are flushed away before they get a chance to germinate.

This leads to a lack of vegetation, which in turn makes it even harder for water to penetrate into the baked soil in the future.

"When this process continues for too long, the ecosystem can no longer restore itself," Bindels told Dezeen. "A negative spiral of erosion causes a lack of nutrients in the soil, a lack of soil activity and a lack of groundwater."

"The point where an ecosystem is no longer able to restore itself is called the ecological threshold. But once the ecosystem is kickstarted back on top of this threshold, it will be able to maintain itself again," he continued.

To achieve this, the prototypes combine a number of existing anti-erosion practices used by farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa into one low-cost product for mass-production.

The manufacturing process starts in the project's workshop in Amsterdam, with thecardboard being folded into the double-layered honeycomb structure.

"After this we add six holes in the side and smaller ones at the top of the fold, to enable the germinating seeds to grow their roots and sprout through the top before the cardboard is decomposed," said Bindels, who studied at the Design Academy Eindhoven.

In the latest prototype, a solution of fertiliser is applied to the bottom of the cardboard strip and the seeds are added in a prepared strip that's slipped between the cardboard layers.

The structure is then closed with a paper fastener which connects the folds without adding extra material.

Once planted into the ground, the Ecokick protects the rooting system of the growing vegetation while in its most vulnerable stage. And as the cardboard finally decomposes, it gives carbon back into the soil.

"By building up carbon in the soil you not only store CO2 but together with the other nutrients, it can facilitate a good start for a fertile landscape," explained Bindels.

"Soil in areas that suffer from erosion often lacks organic matter, which is important for water retention and a healthy soil system full of fungi and bacteria."

In allowing the permanent system of terraced vegetation to put down roots, Ecokick improves the soil structure to enable farmers to grow their crops and push the ecosystem over that ecological threshold.

"By using the rooting structures of vegetation to stabilise the soil of the terraces, water can infiltrate and farmers can harvest the perennial vegetation to feed cattle while leaving the root structures intact and the plants alive," he said.

The team behind Ecokick has been testing the product on site in Uganda since last September, in order to develop the prototypes. And eventually, Bindels wants to create a simple, low-tech production line so that the product can be made locally, anywhere in the world.

This would not only embolden the local economy and make it more self-sufficient but also eliminate the carbon emissions associated with transporting the product.

"We want to set up collaborations with small-scale paper makers in Uganda to research possibilities on the usage of local fibres such as banana stem, papyrus or agricultural waste materials such as sugar cane," said Bindels.

By stipulating that the fibres used in the project can only come from sustainably managed lands, he hopes to give an added incentive to local farmers to adopt eco-friendly production methods.

Elsewhere, designers have been working to replace the plastic and cotton in our clothing with materials made from organisms such as algae, which rather than emitting carbon are capable of sequestering it.

In architecture, vertical farms have been explored as a way to bring nature back into our cities and offer a more sustainable alternative to current agricultural practices, as for example in a modular residential tower cum urban farm by Austrian studio Precht.

Photography is by Lou van Reemst and Thom Bindels.

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Ecosystem Kickstarter is a cardboard structure that fights soil erosion - Dezeen

Sapiens Expands Its Partnership Ecosystem With Lightico to Enhance Digital Customer Interactions for the Insurance Market – MarTech Series

Sapiens partners with Lightico to streamline the last mile of the insurance customer journey

Sapiens International Corporation, a leading global provider of software solutions for the insurance industry, announced it has expanded its growing ecosystem by partnering with Lightico, an industry leader that offers a next generation platform for digital customer interactions for the insurance market.

Todays consumers have been trained by companies like Amazon, Uber, Apple and Netflix to expect instant experiences anywhere, especially on their mobile phones. Lightico helps insurers and other businesses accelerate and simplify complex processes during the critical last mile of the customer journey, said Zviki Ben-Ishay, co-founder and CEO, Lightico. Our technology empowers businesses to deliver the instant digital experiences consumers demand by eliminating the ping-pong of paperwork, endless emails and redundant phone calls that plague sales and service processes.

Marketing Technology News: Accenture Interactive Completes Acquisition of French Data Marketing Firm Sutter Mills

Lightico was built to address the need to connect the front-end customer experience to back-end systems, and its technology aims to transform how businesses complete customer-facing processes. It has received more than 10 awards and recognitions for its innovative technology, including Amdocs Best Partner in the Digital Domain and Genesys App of the Year. The company was also recently a 2019 finalist for a CCW Excellence Award for Disruptive Technology of the Year.

Marketing Technology News: SAP and Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team Power Up Their Business Performance Partnership

To help its clients speed sales, improve customer satisfaction and reduce claims cycle times, Sapiens will offer its relevant solutions, includingSapiens core P&C and life, pension and annuities offerings, with Lighticos industry-leading platform. This combined offering will free up agents to focus on their core business.

Sapiens is constantly analyzing new insurtech offerings, so that we can continue to enhance our product and services portfolio, and help our customers grow their business, said Roni Al-Dor, Sapiens president and CEO. Sapiens is excited about this partnership, which we believe will shift paperwork to digital processes, empowering insurers to close more sales and offer a premium customer experience to their customers.

Marketing Technology News: HP Introduces New 3D Printing Subscriptions, Services, and Partnerships to Accelerate Customers Digital Manufacturing Journey

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Sapiens Expands Its Partnership Ecosystem With Lightico to Enhance Digital Customer Interactions for the Insurance Market - MarTech Series

How human and animal excrement harm the planet’s ecosystem – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Cows emit potent greenhouse gases as they digest food. The vast amount of manure they produce is also contributing to the spread of antibiotic resistance. Credit: Feliciano Guimares. (Creative Commons.)

As Taro Gomis famous childrens book says, All living things eat, so everyone poops. Indeed, 7.6 billion humans and their domesticated animals are estimated to produce at least 4 trillion kilograms of poop each yearenough to fill approximately 1.6 million Olympic-sized swimming pools. The massive amount of human and animal excrement that we and our domesticated animals produce is changing the ecosystem of our planet in dangerous ways.

All this poop has to go somewhere, and much of it gets spread on agricultural fields as fertilizer. Soils need the microbes and nutrients in manure to be healthy, but were not managing manure properly, and the mismanagement is causing serious environmental and health problems. Current methods for managing and using agricultural manuredomesticated animals account for about 85 percent of the feces produced in a yearspread antimicrobial resistance genes, contaminate crops and waterways with microbes, and produce potent greenhouse gas emissions such as methane and nitrous oxide.

Poop is spreading antimicrobial resistance. Excessive antibiotic use in humans and animals has resulted in an increase in the number of resistant bacteria in the environment. Those bacteria can be found in the vast quantities of human and animal feces modern civilization and agriculture producea waste stream that, when it mixes with soil, helps to spread antibiotic resistance to other microbes at alarming speed. Research on DNA in the soil is shedding light on the scope of the problem.

For decades, nobody knew what microbes existed in the soil, because most soil microbes couldnt be cultured in laboratories. This changed once scientists began using a new technology called metagenomics to extract DNA directly from the soil. Metagenomics can assess the genetic material present in environments. While the technique doesnt allow researchers to identify individual microbes, the DNA soil findings were nonetheless astounding. Antibiotic resistance genes were everywhere, including in soils from the Arctic, the Antarctic, and other areas that had never received anthropogenic antibiotic exposure. These antibiotic resistance genes appeared to be ancient and to pre-date human antibiotic use.

Microbes appear to use antibiotics as a form of communication. To handle these antibiotics, microbes have evolved resistance genes. To describe the spread of these genes, scientists have coined a term: the global resistome. Excessive use of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture have affected this world wide web of resistance genes. By inundating the planet with manureexposing soils to antibiotics and to antibiotic resistance geneswe are changing its microbial ecology. As a result, microbes are sharing antibiotic resistance genes with each other. And they are doing this much faster than pharmaceutical companies can develop new antibiotics.

Cattle, manure, and climate change. Of course, animal manure is doing more than just helping spread antibiotic resistance; its also contributing to climate change. Massive amounts of manure emit methane and nitrous oxide, which are much more potent greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide. Ruminant animals like cows also produce emissions when they belch or pass gas. These manure and digestive emissions account for 7 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The chief offenders responsible for this alarming figure are beef and dairy cattle, which produce about 62 percent of such emissions. The amount of methane produced during the process by which cows and other ruminants digest food, which is called enteric fermentation, varies depending upon feed quality and composition.

Policies to reduce livestock emissions must focus on three areas: enteric fermentation, manure management, and feed management. The good news is there are some methods that can help. High feed quality and feed additives such as bromoform, an organic compound found in seaweed, may reduce methane emissions from enteric fermentation by 50 to 90 percent, but the compounds still require more testing. Storing manure in liquid form in ponds or lagoons emits more methane than storing it in solid form. Methane digesters, meanwhile, can capture the gas emitted from manure and convert it to renewable energy. However, these technologies are not cheap and require financial incentives if they are to be widely adopted; Europe has embraced such incentives more effectively than the United States has.

The massive amounts of human and animal feces produced each year require improved national and international policies and state-of-the-art technologies to address the impacts it has on global health, the planets biome, and the atmosphere. If we want to live sustainably in our microbial world, we need to address poop.

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How human and animal excrement harm the planet's ecosystem - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

THE CONNECTIVITY B2B ECOSYSTEM: How 5G and next-gen networks are transforming the role telecoms play in enterp – Business Insider India

Connectivity is central to doing business today - enterprises rely on telecoms to connect the various sprawling parts of their businesses as they engage in digital transformation and modernize practices. It will become even more important as telecoms roll out their blazing-fast 5G networks, which enable near-instantaneous communication alongside complementary wireless protocols that let companies monitor assets scattered around the world.

5G and other next-generation networks can allow telecoms to become the key partner in enterprise connectivity, where they previously were one among many. But telecoms aren't uncontested in trying to take advantage of the growing opportunity in enabling enterprise transformation: Cloud, software, and technology vendors are also out for the market, setting the stage for a clash of titans between two connectivity models that will reign in different industry verticals.

In the Connectivity B2B Ecosystem Report, Business Insider Intelligence unpacks the enterprise telecommunications ecosystem at the cusp of the 5G era. First, we highlight the ways that companies employ telecommunications technology in business, both today and in the near future with 5G. Next, we look at the various types of companies involved in the wider ecosystem and explore the relationships between these company archetypes. Then, we examine the players involved in these relationships and look at specific efforts and initiatives that are driving change and transforming the companies involved. Finally, we look to some of the key trends that will define the next decade of B2B telecommunications.

In full, the report:

The companies mentioned in this report are: Amazon, Arm, Artik, Arundo Analytics, AT&T, C3 IoT, Cisco, Dell, Ericsson, Everactive, GE, Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Hitachi, Honeywell, Huawei, IBM, Intel, MediaTek, Microsoft, Nokia, Nvidia, Oracle, Particle, PTC, Qualcomm, Salesforce, Samsung, SAP, Semtech, Siemens, Sierra Wireless, Sigfox, Splunk, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

Interested in getting the full report? Here are three ways to access it:

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THE CONNECTIVITY B2B ECOSYSTEM: How 5G and next-gen networks are transforming the role telecoms play in enterp - Business Insider India

Working in Partnership to Power the News Ecosystem – Reuters

As the worlds largest news provider, Reuters has a unique place in the industry. Reuters Connect sits at the heart of our business; an award-winning digital platform that powers the news ecosystem, bringing content and customers together.

Reuters Connect News Agency Partners

Today, we are excited to announce that Reuters Connect is growing, as we move to make it the most comprehensive collection of real-time, multimedia news content anywhere in the world, offering our customers an unrivaled breadth and depth of content.

Let me explain how.

Reuters works with news organizations and publishers of all sizes around the world. With a birds eye view of the industry, we can see how digital transformation is affecting our customers. For example, we know its more important than ever for news providers to reach beyond traditional borders. Our data tells us that news which once would have been considered domestic or local, now has global appeal, as the world is getting smaller; Brexit is a topic of conversation in Birmingham, Alabama, as well as Birmingham in the UK.

We are addressing that opportunity through strategic partnerships with the news agencies that fuel our industry. Reuters has both a world-class newsroom and a powerful global distribution network. Now we are opening up our distribution network to provide agencies of all sizes with truly global reach.

Through our new partnerships, we will offer customers the best global news agency content in one place, with contributions from all parts of the world, alongside Reuters own outstanding journalism.

Were delighted to announce seven new agencies are joining the Reuters Connect platform today, in addition to the eight already there. By leveraging Reuters global distribution network, all our partners can better monetize their content and elevate their brands.

This new partner content complements the vast output from our own world-class newsroom of around 2,500 journalists in 200 locations worldwide. Combining the output from Reuters news with our 60-plus content partners, we currently offer more than 20 million pieces of news content; videos, pictures and text stories. A staggering total that only grows with each passing day.

Importantly, customers can access this incredible array of content through Connect Points, which gives them the freedom to choose the content that suits their needs.

As the news ecosystem gets bigger and more complex, Reuters Connect provides a single destination that brings buyers and sellers together on a simple, digital platform. Our latest partnerships will help us create the most comprehensive news platform available. We hope youll join us.

Media Contact:


[Reuters PR Blog Post]

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Working in Partnership to Power the News Ecosystem - Reuters

Mellanox, JVP To Develop Haifa’s Tech And Innovation Ecosystem With $14M Investment | Technology News – NoCamels – Israeli Innovation News

Israels Mellanox Technologies and Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) are part of a group that won a tender this week by the Israeli Innovation Authority to develop Haifas technology and innovation ecosystem with an investment of NIS 50 million ($14 million) over the next four years.

Mellanox and JVP are joined by Mati Haifa, an innovation center that nurtures Haifa-based startups in development, and the Israel Initiative 2020, an NGO led by JVP founder Dr. Erel Margalit that works to bridge socio-economic gaps in Israel, to form the ILAB group.

ILAB will receive a NIS 25 million ($7.22 million) grant from the Israel Innovation Authority and will match that amount to promote and integrate extensive entrepreneurial activity in the city.

SEE ALSO: M&Ms, Snickers Maker Inks R&D Deal With JVP For Israeli Food Tech Solutions

The goal is to turn Haifa into a major innovation center in the areas of digital health, energy environment, advanced industry 4.0, and smart transport, the group said in a statement. ILAB has had a similar goal over the past three decades to transform the downtown area of Haifa into a vibrant entrepreneurial, social, and cultural district while creating an affinity for Haifas ecosystem, leveraging the citys human capital, hospital, research institutions, and companies, and encouraging entrepreneurship and prosperity of the citys diverse population.

ILAB plans to support 150 startups by establishing dedicated workspaces and launching unique acceleration programs across the city. The group will also set up an innovation and entrepreneurship center in the downtown area for startups.

Haifa is not only the capital of the north but also the first city from which Israeli high-tech emerged, Dr. Margalit said in a statement. We will bring Haifa back to the forefront of the global high-tech scene and position the city as one of Israels innovation capitals.

The connection between investors and companies JVP, Mellanox, Mati Haifa, and academic institutions such as the Technion and the University of Haifa, will not only bring investment and startups to Haifa, but also breathe life into downtown Haifa and make it a place that young people not only want to work in but stay and create the next big thing. We are proud to be the first venture capital fund to launch investment activities in Haifa.

Mellanox Technologies started 20 years ago as a startup company and still maintains that spirit. We appreciate the vision, courage and entrepreneurial spirit that underpins technology ventures in their early stages, said Eyal Waldman, CEO and founder of Mellanox, which is set to be acquired by Nvidia for close to $7 billion in a deal announced earlier this year.

SEE ALSO: Nvidia To Acquire Israels Mellanox Technologies For $6.9 Billion

We believe that through ILAB, Mellanox will help realize Haifa and northern Israels technological potential by contributing from its experience as a startup and through its extensive global network, Waldman said.

The combination of the Innovation Authoritys budgets along with the capital coming from leading businesses and efficient resource management is what is needed for local startups in Haifa to prevent negative immigration of young people and spur unprecedented technological entrepreneurship, said Eran Alfonte, CEO of Mati Haifa.

Entrepreneurs and startups involved in the initiative will be able to tap intoJVPs and Mellanoxs international business relationships as well as benefit from their investment abilities, tech platforms, and experience with regional branding and development.

Last year, JVP inaugurated a new, international digital health center in Haifas downtown area.

JVP has also been pursuing food tech innovation in northern Israel, opening a food tech accelerator in Kiryat Shmona in the Galilee last year.

The food tech center is also part of Margalits Israel Initiative 2020 economic development plan to create tech hubs in seven regions in Israel that are remote to Tel Aviv, in hopes of bringing more families and young professionals to live in those areas and upping the standard of living.

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Mellanox, JVP To Develop Haifa's Tech And Innovation Ecosystem With $14M Investment | Technology News - NoCamels - Israeli Innovation News

Oracle’s Aubrey Hawes on Open Banking and ecosystem building – Tearsheet


Zack Miller | November 14, 2019

Todays guest is Aubrey Hawes who leads Oracles sales consulting team around its banking products, including open banking and core banking monetization. The software provider began early, thinking about the move to open banking and charting a path to open APIs. The company today has 2000 APIs used by hundreds of the largest banks in the world. Oracle also encourages ecosystem building on its platform, including some of the top fintech firms as well as emerging new players.

We discuss Oracles work in financial services and the challenges and opportunities its clients face. Aubrey describes the tech firms approach to open banking and the various initiatives Oracle undertakes to drive the growth and depth of its fintech ecosystem.

Subscribe:Apple PodcastsISoundCloudISpotifyIGoogle PodcastsThe following excerpts were edited for clarity.

Oracles been in the banking vertical software space for over ten years. We made several acquisitions the largest was i-flex that built core banking applications it deployed around the globe. Based on that deep understanding of financial services, we started to see the opening up of the banking ecosystem and a reduction in costs in the move to the cloud. Not everyone needs to buy a Sun Microsystem server. Now, you can create creative solutions with low-cost cloud computing.

We saw an opportunity to define APIs that allow new startups to co-exist and integrate with banks. Theres a symbiotic relationship between banks and fintechs that help institutions reach new markets and new customers. They are complementary. That drove us to develop a robust set of APIs.

We started our work around open APIs around five years ago. When we launched, we probably had about 250 APIs. Now, we have over 1600 APIs and expanded our capabilities beyond consumer retail to the corporate side of the bank. As we released the APIs, weve shared them with our existing installed base.

Weve also run hackathons where we brought in fintechs to build on top of these APIs to help their fintech ideas come to life with real banking data. The most recent one we did was at SIBOS in the UK where we started to pull in some unique companies. One was Bankifi, which gives microbusinesses the ability to do accounts payable and payments as a value-added service on top of a deposit account at the bank. Personetics is an AI chatbot engine which requires a robust set of services it can call to get answers.

Oracle for Startups is our program which gives startups resources to develop on Oracle. Were seeing an explosion of smaller startups and our program incentivizes them to develop on our platform in a cost-effective way. In fintech, we work to nurture startups in our industry. Why wouldnt fintechs want to partner with us? We have over 500 core banking deployments around the globe.

The largest banks typically have their own innovation programs and curate their own sets of fintech companies they want to collaborate with. If youre not a large bank, you probably dont have the resources to do that. The fact that Oracle has a set of fintechs that work with our open APIs gives these banks a ready set of technologies that they can plug in around chatbots or identity verification or KYC. Weve mapped the different functional types of fintechs we can work with so we could go provide these to our banking clients around their needs.

A good example of our work in the space is KeyBank. Its a top 20 US bank, a super-regional headquartered out of Cleveland. We started with digitization of their self service strategy. The bank is also branding its work in financial wellness, the same way we care about our physical health. To do that, they needed to modernize their experiences which included a couple of acquisitions, including HelloWallet.

Charlotte is the number two banking hub in the U.S. Bank of America is headquartered here and Truist, the merged entity of SunTrust and BB&T, will be based here as well. Fifth Third, Wells Fargo, Ally, MetLife, Aflac Ventures, AIG all have large presences here to access the local talent.

Charlotte launched the non-profit Carolina Fintech Hub which has the backing of banks, EY, and Oracle. Theres a community effort to look at attracting more fintech to Charlotte we already have a few like Avid Exchange and LendingTree. We want to attract talent to the area. Weve also launched a workforce initiative to address economic mobility in the city. The fintech hub is looking at getting talent that has aptitude and giving them formal training to get work in the industry.


Oracle's Aubrey Hawes on Open Banking and ecosystem building - Tearsheet

Vermont Futures Project recommends strengthening the innovation ecosystem – Vermont Biz

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Futures Project announces recommendations to grow and sustain Vermont businesses with further development and additional support to enhance Vermonts current innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

To secure our economic future, the Vermont Futures Project has identified the need to scale and grow Vermonts mid-sized businesses, defined as having 20 to 499 employees. These companies are the mainstay of Vermonts employment base which provide stable jobs, good pay and career opportunities at a scale that fits Vermonts culture, region to region.

Scott Fewell, CEO of Liquid Measurement Systems in Franklin County stated, Business innovation paves the way for economic growth, as it supports discoveries and even further entrepreneurship.

The Vermont Futures Project provided the following recommendations for private businesses, state government, non-profits and individuals:

About the Vermont Futures Project

The Vermont Futures Project promotes the long-term economic health of Vermont through leadership, research and education. The Vermont Futures Project seeks to inform the conversation about Vermonts economic future and demonstrate how a healthy economy contributes to Vermonts vibrant communities and unique quality of life.

Source: Montpelier, VT (October 24, 2019) The Vermont Futures Project

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Vermont Futures Project recommends strengthening the innovation ecosystem - Vermont Biz

Android 9 was installed on less than a quarter of the ecosystem as Android 10 launched – The Verge

Google is announcing that last years version of Android, Android 9, accounted for 22.6 percent of the ecosystem as of this past August. Thats more than twice as good as the update rate from Android 7 to 8 was the year before, but its still abysmally low compared to the update rates on the iPhone less than a month after launch, iOS 13 now accounts for half of all iPhones.

By comparison, fewer than a quarter of Android users had even made it to the previous version of the operating system when Android 10 launched on September 3rd.

But credit where due: Google has made significant progress in getting manufacturers and carriers to push out Android updates more quickly. Its just that Google has so much further to go with Android updates that even significant progress doesnt look like its enough when compared to iOS.

Google is marking that progress today as a way to show that its Project Treble technology is having a meaningful impact on updates. Treble modularizes Android in order to make it easier to update. Its a technical solution that is just one of several ways Google is trying to solve the update problem for Android.

Google has also put out a chart showing these adoption rates in raw numbers of users, which makes things look quite a bit rosier than they would if it were a percentage-based chart. Then again, 600 million active users is nothing to sneeze at:

The other promising sign is the improved cadence of phones launching beta versions of Android 10. Samsung launched its Android 10 Beta for Galaxy phones just over a week ago, which was a month or so earlier than it managed last year. Betas arent shipping software, of course, but its a move in the right direction.

Again, its important to keep this all in context: Google may have doubled the number of phones updating to its most recent software, but its measuring itself a year or so after that software was released. Google has made significant progress on getting critical security patches out to many more phones more quickly, however, and the new Project Mainline should improve those numbers, too.

Given the way the Android ecosystem is structured, Google will likely never be able to match Apples upgrade numbers for iOS but that doesnt mean it shouldnt aim to double itself again next year. Or better yet: aim for those Android upgrades to happen after just a few months, rather than waiting a year.

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Android 9 was installed on less than a quarter of the ecosystem as Android 10 launched - The Verge

Leave those fall leaves for a nicer lawn and a healthier ecosystem – Greater Greater Washington

Autumn in DC by Vladimer Shioshvili licensed under Creative Commons.

This region loves its trees.

Where there are trees, there are leaves.

Leaves are beautiful, but leaves fall.

And when they fall, leaves are raked or worse blown by noisy leaf blowers (except in the District, which has banned those infernal contraptions).

Meanwhile, the Washington region loves other things, like fireflies and butterflies. And here we have a great chance to save ourselves work, reduce noise, save money (if you hire others to do the work for you), and help the things we love.

Leave those leaves on the ground. Yes, get them off the sidewalk and steps, where they are slippery when wet. Get them away from the door so you wont track them into the house. Get them off the storm drains. Otherwise, let them be.

Some of our butterflies overwinter right here in our yards, some hibernating as adults, some as cocoons, and some as caterpillars. They may burrow into the soil or tuck into crevices, under or in between logs or underneath loose bark on trees. Leaf litter provides them with much-needed protection from the elements. Give them a nice warm blanket for the winter and enjoy the results next summer.

If you'd like to help the butterflies, leave the leaves. Image by Jessica licensed under Creative Commons.

Other invertebrates love the leaf cover, too. Spiders, snails, worms, beetles, millipedes, and other insects all benefit from the winter protection. Those insects then feed the birds and bats that are in steep decline and can use every bit of help we can give them.

But wont leaves kill the lawn, you may ask? Thats an old myth. Research done at Michigan State University from 2003 to 2009 used mulched leaf litter on the campus lawns. The researchers found that that leaving the leaves on your yard in such a manner not only does your lawn no harm, but it can actually impede weed growth.

So long as you are mowing the lawn, the leaves get mulched in the bargain. Both the grass clippings which help the chopped-up leaves to decay and the leaves will actually benefit the lawn. Of course, your lawn guy disputes that. Leaving the leaves cuts into his revenue. Thank the lawn guy for his advice. Leave the leaves.

To mulch or not to mulch

A light layer of whole leaves (under two inches in depth) wont hurt the lawn, but if you want to remove them, rake them under the shrubs. Thats actually better than mulching the leaves because mulching can destroy butterfly eggs, caterpillars, and larvae that have taken shelter.

If you do mulch the leaves, however, try using leaf mulch instead of bark mulch for weed suppression in your garden beds. The native ground-nesting bees cant get through bark mulch to enter and exit their underground burrows but do just fine with leaf mulch.

Whole leaves will not hurt perennials. A thick layer of leaves provides insulation against bitter cold weather and can protect newly planted perennials when frost-heave may expose tender roots. Walk through Rock Creek or any nearby park in the spring, where leaves have piled up year after year, and look at the wildflowers sending stems and flowers above those piles of leaves.

If you are lucky enough to have lots of lots of big trees and a massive number of leaves, another option is to put up a simple wire compost basket using wire fencing or just buy one. Pile the leaves inside and walk away. In the late spring, the leaves will have transformed into leaf compost, also known as leaf mold. Although it adds few nutrients to the soil, it is great for amending compacted soil or soil with a high clay content.

Need more reasons? Its trendy, requires less yard work, and allows more football-watching time. Plus there will be fewer leafblowers! A win for all!

Ellen Paul lives to bird and birds to live, but, along the way, she also notices the insects, mammals, and plants that surround us. She works to protect the habitat for all our native flora and fauna. Shes also on a mission to eradicate all the vinca, English ivy, lesser celandine, and other non-natives within a five-mile radius of her home.

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Leave those fall leaves for a nicer lawn and a healthier ecosystem - Greater Greater Washington