Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Day: October 20, 2020

Acquia announces major updates to Digital Experience Platform

Acquia announced major updates to the Acquia Open Digital Experience Platform (DXP) at Acquia Engage. The Acquia Open DXP includes Acquia Marketing Cloud and Acquia Drupal Cloud, a unified solution for multi-experience customer journeys. New enhancements allow developers to create digital experiences faster and help marketers make smarter, data-driven decisions across campaigns.

For developers, the latest enhancements to Drupal Cloud focus on decreasing the time to build, design, and run sites and applications. The new Acquia Migrate Accelerate tool reduces the effort tied to a transition from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9. Currently in beta, the tool reduces time to value for Drupal 9 by providing a user-friendly interface to streamline analysis and planning, DevOps, data imports, and content auditing for migrations. Once organizations are migrated, the new Acquia Cloud IDE makes it faster to build Drupal sites and applications, with one-click access to a cloud-hosted development and testing environment. Acquia Cloud IDE integrates with existing Acquia command-line and automated build tools for Drupal.

Acquia CMS, currently in beta, provides a trusted, secure and turnkey distribution of Drupal 9, reduces time from months to days for implementations, and eliminates up to 80% of setup and update costs. Also in the Drupal Cloud family, Site Studio helps marketers reduce their time-to-publish with drag-and-drop experience creation and visual assembly of content, layout, and designs.

Major updates to Acquia Marketing Cloud give marketers the data and analytics they need to drive smarter decisions. New, real-time 360-degree profiles, identity resolution, and unified segment capabilities within the Acquia Customer Data Platform (CDP) help marketers gain holistic insights into their customers.

Finally, new predictive delivery and custom likelihood models for Acquia CDP help marketers with machine learning capabilities with no need for specialized training or expertise, and enable them to fine-tune and customize predictive models to identify the next-best actions and experiences. Acquia’s machine learning models help identify optimal times for campaigns, best channels for delivery, and more.

Microsoft details T-ULRv2 model that can translate between 94 languages

From Kyle Wiggers at VentureBeat

The same week Facebook open-sourced M2M-100, an AI model that can translate between over 100 languages, Microsoft detailed an algorithm of its own — Turing Universal Language Representation (T-ULRv2) — that can interpret 94 languages. The company claims T-ULRv2 achieves the top results in XTREME, a natural language processing benchmark created by Google, and will use it to improve features like Semantic Search in Word and Suggested Replies in Outlook and Teams ahead of availability in private preview via Azure.

T-ULRv2, a joint collaboration between Microsoft Research and the Microsoft Turing team, contains a total of 550 million parameters, or internal variables that the model leverages to make predictions. (By comparison, M2M-100 has around 15 billion parameters). Microsoft researchers trained T-ULRv2 on a multilingual data corpus from the web that consists of the aforementioned 94 languages. During training, the model learned to translate by predicting masked words from sentences in different languages, occasionally drawing on context clues in pairs of translations like English and French.

As Microsoft VP Saurabh Tiwary and assistant managing director Ming Zhou note in a blog post, the XTREME benchmark covers 40 languages spanning 12 families and 9 tasks that require reasoning about varying levels of syntax. The languages are selected to maximize diversity, coverage in existing tasks, and availability of training data, and the tasks cover a range of paradigms including sentence text classification, structured prediction, sentence retrieval, and cross-lingual question answering. For models to be successful on the XTREME benchmarks, then, they must learn representations that generalize to many standard cross-lingual transfer settings.

The jury is out on T-ULRv2’s potential for bias and its grasp of general knowledge. Some research suggests benchmarks such as XTREME don’t measure models’ knowledge well and that models like T-ULRv2 can exhibit toxicity and prejudice against demographic groups. But the model is in any case a step toward Microsoft’s grand “AI at scale” vision, which seeks to push AI capabilities by training algorithms with increasingly large amounts of data and compute. Already, the company has used its Turing family of models to bolster language understanding across Bing, Office, Dynamics, and its other productivity products.

T-ULRv2 will power current and future language services available through Azure Cognitive Services, Microsoft says. It will also be available as a part of a program for building custom applications, which was announced at Microsoft Ignite 2020 earlier this year. Developers can submit requests for access.,

Alida announces Alida CXM and Alida Analytics

Alida (formerly Vision Critical) launched two new Alida products, enhancing existing core products and introduced their new Technology Industry solution. All these products are aimed at helping organizations uncover customer truths that can be put into action to improve the customer experience. New products include the release of Alida CXM (Customer Experience Management) and Alida Analytics, both previously announced on October 6, 2020. Alida Sparq is the flagship product within the Alida CXM and insights platform. Today’s release delivers several enhancements and innovations to ensure Alida clients can more efficiently understand how customers’ preferences, motivations and sentiments evolve over time, including:

  • Calendar integration through Calendy that allows advocates to book interviews, product and concept walk-throughs, digital customer advisory board meetings and more
  • Sample management to help administrators select the right members at the right time
  • Mobile push notifications to create rules and set real-time alerts
  • Text analytics improvements to allow multiple responses to the same individual activity
  • Sensitive data redaction for users without sensitive data permissions, and more

Alida’s new Technology Industry solution is the second industry-specific package Alida will introduce in the coming months to help clients derive value from their CXM investments. The Technology Industry solution helps clients to inject customer insights and feedback continuously throughout the product life-cycle: from product development to product launch and beyond. The solution includes technology-specific customer experience templates, defined steps and narratives, and best practices to ensure collection of the right feedback to maximize actionable insights.

Today’s release also includes enhancements to Alida Touchpoint and Alida Surveys.

Wrike announces new integrations with Adobe for collaboration

Wrike announced new integrations with Adobe of their collaborative work management platform at Adobe MAX to allow creative and marketing teams to speed up creative production without leaving their preferred tools. The first integration is a Wrike plugin for Adobe XD, which allows designers to connect to Wrike functionality without leaving XD. The second integration connects the power of Wrike with Adobe Experience Manager, so teams can push and pull digital assets between the two platforms. Adobe has been investing in in-app extensibility with its Unified Extensibility Platform (UXP) to give creative teams faster and easier access to third-party plugins that extend Adobe Creative Cloud apps, like Adobe XD. Adobe Experience Manager Assets is a digital asset management (DAM) application that allows for the storage, management, and distribution of digital assets, along with the ability to build, maintain, and publish websites. This integration with Adobe Experience Manager enhances asset workflows in the following ways:

  • Pull assets from Adobe Experience Manager into a Wrike task
  • Push assets from Wrike to Adobe Experience Manager with metadata
  • Proof Adobe Experience Manager assets in Wrike, including reviewing/commenting on assets and requesting approvals in Wrike
  • Quick search for Adobe Experience Manager assets by using Wrike custom fields
  • View metadata for Adobe Experience Manager assets attached to Wrike
  • Use Adobe Experience Manager assets in Wrike’s Extension for Adobe Creative Cloud

Cloudinary and Contentful partner

Cloudinary announced its partnership with headless content management systems (CMS) provider Contentful. The new partnership offers Contentful users access to Cloudinary’s media experience solutions, including its headless digital asset management (DAM) within Contentful’s CMS, allowing Contentful users to more easily upload, optimize and deliver engaging visual-first experiences at scale. With Cloudinary’s AI-based media experience solutions, Contentful customers automatically benefit from media performance. By leveraging APIs for media management tasks, marketers and developers benefit from an integrated headless tech stack for optimization and automation. Rich media stakeholders can:

  • Benefit from bi-directional access to media assets in Contentful via Cloudinary’s media library, offering the ability to more easily browse, manage, and optimize assets including images, videos, 3D objects and GIFs
  • Automatically optimize assets according to the end-user device for optimal display and ensure every image and video is automatically adjusted for best format and quality
  • Utilize Cloudinary’s innovative AI capabilities for auto-tagging images and videos, all within the media workflow to ensure image and video assets are identified, managed and optimized, all within Contentful.

Contentful users can take advantage of Cloudinary’s media experience capabilities today.,

MariaDB updates MariaDB SkySQL cloud database

MariaDB Corporation announced a major expansion of MariaDB SkySQL cloud database. With this update, SkySQL now runs the latest version of MariaDB Platform X5, which most notably added distributed SQL capabilities for global scale. With the ability to be deployed as clustered or distributed, MariaDB SkySQL addresses customers’ specific needs within one cloud database. Update includes latest versions of MariaDB Enterprise Server, advanced database proxy MaxScale and smart engines ColumnStore and Xpand for new and expanded cloud capabilities, and offers:

  • MariaDB Platform for distributed SQL: Xpand is a new smart engine that delivers distributed SQL through MariaDB Enterprise Server. This functionality is now also available in SkySQL with elastic scale, making it easy to increase or decrease capacity to handle anticipated usage spikes. Xpand in SkySQL also automatically rebalances data hotspots for optimum performance.
  • MariaDB Platform for analytics: SkySQL includes a distributed cloud data warehouse that now provides massively parallel processing (MPP) for scalability and high availability on large datasets.
  • End-to-end security: All SkySQL databases are secure by default. SkySQL now also enforces secure SSL/TLS connections for any database access, avoiding exposure of data due to insecure defaults or configuration choices.
  • Reduced complexity for application development: SkySQL provides a single connection point for applications rather than exposing individual database instances, primaries or high availability replicas. SkySQL manages read/write-splitting, seamless failover and application session migration. The result is fault tolerance and efficient use of resources that is completely transparent to developers and end users.
  • Expanded monitoring: SkySQL monitoring shows the status and all vital metrics for database instances and is customizable. The monitoring tool is updated to support the new topologies enabled in this new release of SkySQL such as Xpand for distributed SQL.

SkySQL is available now. New users who sign up now receive $500 in service credits.

OpenStack Foundation announces name change to Open Infrastructure Foundation

OpenStack Foundation announced that it is changing its corporate name to Open Infrastructure Foundation (OIF) starting in 2021. The name change reflects the organization’s broader commitment and expertise in driving innovations in open source needed to shape the future of infrastructure software. OIF’s goal is to build an open infrastructure for the next decade by solving infrastructure issues raised by continuing demands in new markets. The demands are being driven by modern use cases such as containers, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, 5G, network function virtualization (NFV), and edge computing. OIF continues to build a community to write open source software that addresses these infrastructure markets. OIF wants to ensure that the solutions to these demands are developed in the open, using the same transparent and proven approach to open source.

InMotion Hosting joins the new Open Infrastructure Foundation with a Silver Founding Membership. InMotion Hosting’s latest open source product, Flex Metal Cloud, provides on-demand infrastructure as a service powered by OpenStack. The infrastructure technology simplifies private cloud deployments, increases infrastructure flexibility, and can be deployed in minutes.,

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