Microsoft Acquires AI Specialist Bonsai

AI services startup Bonsai has been acquired by early investor Microsoft, giving the software giant another automation tool dubbed machine teaching that abstracts machine learning steps so subject experts can train autonomous systems to accomplish specific tasks.

The acquisition would combine Bonsai’s proprietary “deep reinforcement” learning platform with Microsoft Azure cloud tools along with an open source simulator based on Microsoft Research’s AirSim framework. The partners noted that Bonsai’s approach is based on model training in a simulated environment.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) said Wednesday (June 20) Bonsai’s platform would be integrated with its simulation tools and reinforcement learning technology to develop an “AI toolchain” for building autonomous systems for industrial control and calibration tasks.

The toolchain would work with Microsoft’s Azure machine learning framework running on Azure cloud with GPUs and Microsoft’s Project Brainwave. The resulting models are to be deployed on the Azure Internet of Things offering, creating what Microsoft claims is a platform for building and operating “brains” for autonomous systems.

Bonsai, Berkeley, Calif., was founded in 2014 by CEO Mark Hammond and Keen Browne with the goal of adding intelligence to hardware and software applications.

AI platform developers argue that many industrial enterprises lack the tools required to move from generic AI platforms to application-specific models that combine advanced machine learning libraries and algorithms to meet specific industry requirements.

In response, Bonsai expanded access to its services last year in a bid to woe customers to jointly develop AI models for individual use cases.

The startup’s platform abstracts the complexity of libraries like TensorFlow, making the programming and management of AI models more accessible to developers and enterprises.

The startup claims large industrial companies as early customers, including those seeking to improve operations via “dynamic control systems” spanning robotics, wind turbines and machine tuning.

“To realize this vision of making AI more accessible and valuable for all, we have to remove the barriers to development, empowering every developer, regardless of machine learning expertise, to be an AI developer,” Microsoft noted in a blog post  announcing the deal.

UltraSoC embedded analytics and Imperas virtual platforms combine to enhance multicore development and debug

Advanced debug environment for multicore processor designs used for both hardware and simulation

Cambridge, UK – 21 June 2018 / DAC, San FranciscoUltraSoC and Imperas today announced a wide-ranging partnership that will provide developers of multicore systems on chip (SoCs) with a powerful combination of embedded analytics and virtual platform technologies. Under the terms of the agreement, UltraSoC will incorporate key elements of Imperas’ development environment into its tools offering, giving designers a unified system-level pre- and post-silicon development flow, dramatically reducing time-to-revenue and overall development costs.

UltraSoC delivers the industry’s leading independent on-chip monitoring, analytics and debug technology, via a combination of semiconductor IP and associated software. Imperas’ pioneering virtual platforms approach allows software developers to start work at the earliest possible stage in an SoC project, and provides debug tools that give full visibility of the behavior of the entire system. Combining the two companies’ offerings creates a powerful integrated design flow with a common software debug environment that gives a smooth transition as a project develops.

Both companies have a strong pedigree in system-level design approaches, hardware-software integration and multicore architectures: their new combined offering will support all common CPU architectures, including the fast-growing open-standard RISC-V ISA. UltraSoC and Imperas will share a platform at the RISC-V Foundation Pavilion (Booth 2638) at the 55th Design Automation Conference (DAC), in San Francisco from 24th to 28th June. See this page for more information and to contact us to arrange a meeting: https://www.ultrasoc.com/event/dac-2018/

“Working with Imperas allows us to offer multicore designers a commercial-grade, time-saving and ultimately cost-effective platform to develop and launch industry-leading SoC designs,” said Rupert Baines, CEO of UltraSoC. “RISC-V, Arm, whatever the designer’s choice, we provide a complete and optimized solution. Together, UltraSoC and Imperas can provide a unique solution to the issues of complexity, scale and quality faced by the semiconductor industry. Today’s announcement is a first step in realizing that shared world view of solving the challenge of systemic complexity.”

Simon Davidmann, Founder and CEO of Imperas commented: “UltraSoC offers unique embedded analytics technology, giving developers invaluable insights into the SoC and wider system implications. We are delighted to be working together with a common debug environment that supports both hardware and simulation. The combination of Imperas tools and UltraSoC intelligent analytics will offer developers the best integrated environment for multicore processor designs.”

Charlie Hong-Men Su, PhD, Andes Technology CTO and Senior VP, commented, “Imperas virtual platform solutions and tools help in the early phase of SoC and software development, UltraSoC embedded analytics enables hardware-based debug, development and testing. The combination of hardware and simulation solutions will help our mutual customers design the next generation of complex SoCs.”

About UltraSoC
UltraSoC is a pioneering developer of analytics and monitoring technology at the heart of the systems-on-chip (SoCs) that power today’s electronic products. The company’s embedded analytics technology allows product designers to add advanced cybersecurity, functional safety and performance tuning features; and it helps resolve critical issues such as increasing system complexity and ever-decreasing time-to-market. UltraSoC’s technology is delivered as semiconductor IP and software to customers in the consumer electronics, computing and communications industries.

For more information visit www.ultrasoc.com

About Imperas
For information about Imperas, please visit: www.imperas.com

UltraSoC contacts
Andy Gothard:
andy.gothard@ultrasoc.com
+44 7768 082 044

David Marsden
david.marsden@ultrasoc.com
+44 7968 407 739
Twitter: @ultrasoc

Imperas contact:
Holly Stump:
hollys@imperas.com
+1 (408) 209 – 7349
Twitter: @ImperasSoftware

ThoughtWorks Launches Gauge – A Free and Open Source Test Automation Framework

Gauge creates acceptance tests in any language, integrated development environment or ecosystem

JUNE 19, 2018 – CHICAGO, IL – ThoughtWorks, a global software and digital transformation consultancy, today announced the free availability of its newest open source product, Gauge. Available to download for free, Gauge was built to make test automation easy and to help organizations of all sizes on their journey towards continuous delivery.

In today’s hypercompetitive market, the speed at which software is designed and delivered is accelerating and test automation is becoming increasingly valuable. The launch of Gauge builds on ThoughtWorks’ ongoing commitment to open source and their work helping organizations continuously improve and deliver quality software.

“ThoughtWorks has a rich history with test automation, so we are painfully aware of the need for better tools in this space,” said David Rice, managing director of ThoughtWorks Products. “We built Gauge to remove many of the headaches that continually plague our teams when authoring and maintaining automated acceptance suites.”

“Gauge is really just the first step. In the coming months we will be releasing tools to make these tests even faster and more stable,” said Dr. Rebecca Parsons, chief technology officer, ThoughtWorks. “Beyond that we will look to leverage our ongoing R&D in the area of test data management.”

Gauge is designed with reusability and refactorability at its core which allows users to:

  • Write specifications in markdown
  • Script tests in the language/s of their choice (Javascript, C#, Python, Java, Ruby, etc.)
  • Create tests in the IDE of their choice (Visual Studio, VS Code, IntelliJ, etc.)
  • Run tests in parallel
  • Generate custom reports
  • Develop bespoke plugins for custom requirements

“We have a complex Web UI that we run hundreds of tests on, across multiple browser permutations,” said Chris Stanush, test automation engineer and early user of the product. “Gauge has revolutionized our automated testing process, allowing us to write an automated testing framework that is simple to use, even for non-technical users.”

Gauge solves real problems with test maintenance thanks to its contributors and growing community of early adopters.

For more information visit www.gauge.org, follow us on twitter or check out our code on GitHub.

 

SOURCE: ThoughtWorks

Tricentis and QASymphony Merge to Drive Innovation in Continuous Testing for Enterprise DevOps

Next Gen platform disrupts the $34B testing services spend and transforms software testing for DevOps

Mountain View, Calif. — June 20, 2018 — Tricentis and QASymphony announced their agreement to merge under the name of Tricentis.  Tricentis’ market-leading Continuous Testing platform has earned the company unanimous “leader” recognition among the top industry analysts. QASymphony is recognized as the industry’s leading test management solution. The combined solution represents the most modern platform for transforming software testing to keep pace with digital transformation.

“Tricentis and QASymphony are both recognized for their innovative testing solutions,” explained Sandeep Johri, CEO of Tricentis. “Tricentis is known for helping enterprises transform testing from a burdensome manual process that delays software delivery into an automated, continuous process that drives ‘quality at speed.’ The addition of QASymphony’s test management solution strengthens our leadership position and builds on our momentum replacing legacy testing tools.”

“Today’s CIOs are responsible for ramping up innovation through accelerated software delivery,” explained Barry Libenson, Global Chief Information Officer at Experian. “Amid this demand for rapid innovation, CIOs are recognizing that software testing often delays their digital transformation goals. In fact, testing is now commonly cited as the #1 bottleneck to delivery speed. When testing lags behind development, the organization is forced to delay their innovation and that’s no longer an option.  It’s inevitable that software testing must be transformed to keep pace with Agile development and DevOps.”

“Global 2000 organizations remain locked into legacy testing platforms that were designed decades ago to enable manual testing processes,” explained Dave Keil, CEO of QASymphony. “Scaled agile and enterprise DevOps initiatives have changed the game. Yet, legacy testing technologies such as those by HPE (now Micro Focus) and CA are throttling speed and innovation. QASymphony has experienced triple-digit growth over the past year—allowing us to aggressively invest in our technology, infrastructure and people to meet the emerging needs of our customers.”

QASymphony’s 100+ employees will be joining Tricentis’ 450+ employees. Sandeep Johri will lead the organization as CEO and Dave Keil will assume the role of COO. The combined company will have a global presence with offices in the US, EMEA and Asia.   The transaction is expected to close within 90 days.

The integration will reflect the commitment to innovation and customer success that both companies share—to learn more, register for the upcoming webinar.  Additionally, the company will be showcasing the roadmap and solution at Accelerate 2018 in Vienna.

DevOps Impact

The market for software testing (recently estimated at $34 billion)[1] has reached an inflection point. DevOps adoption is rising rapidly, and both Gartner and Forrester report that transforming testing is a primary factor for DevOps success.[2]  Yet, software testing remains a predominantly manual activity that delays releases and consumes 30-40 percent of an organization’s application budget[3],[4]Tricentis Continuous Testing solutions accelerate delivery and free up significant budget that can be reallocated to underfunded innovation initiatives.

Gartner’s Joachim Herschmann and Thomas Murphy report: “As DevOps principles gain significant traction in enterprises, testing and QA is no longer a stage in delivery but an integral DevOps activity that exists in various forms through all areas. Automation has become an indispensable element in these efforts, and there has been renewed focus on software test automation tools as part of a larger toolchain that enables DevOps.”[5]

About Tricentis

With the industry’s No. 1 Continuous Testing platform, Tricentis is recognized for reinventing software testing for DevOps. Through risk-based testing, scriptless end-to-end test automation, and the industry’s most extensive technology support, Tricentis breaks through the barriers experienced with conventional software testing methods. Our innovative technologies simplify testing for even the most complex enterprise applications—transforming testing from a roadblock to a catalyst for innovation. The result is accelerated software delivery speed, improved cost efficiency, and reduced business risk.

Tricentis is the only vendor to achieve “leader” status in all three top analyst reports (i.e., the “Triple Crown.”) This honor is based on our technical leadership, innovation, and a Global 2000 customer base of 800+ companies, including global enterprises such as Allianz, ANZ Bank, Experian, First Data, HSBC, Lexmark, Merck, Sentry Insurance, Starbucks, Telstra, UBS, Vantiv (now WorldPay), Vodafone, and Whole Foods. These customers rely on Tricentis to achieve and sustain test automation rates of over 90 percent—increasing risk coverage while accelerating testing to keep pace with Agile and DevOps.

Tricentis has a global presence in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, India, Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, Poland, United States and the UK. To learn more, visit https://www.tricentis.com or follow us on LinkedInTwitter, and Facebook.

About QASymphony

QASymphony accelerates digital transformation with software testing solutions that help enterprises prioritize quality, develop reliable software and increase speed to market. The qTest platform streamlines software testing in agile and DevOps environments and centralizes testing efforts across the enterprise. By taking a strategic approach to quality, QASymphony enables enterprises to develop higher-quality software, faster, to better support new business models and customer experiences.

The qTest platform streamlines development workflows by seamlessly integrating testing with leading automation, development and delivery tools including Atlassian’s Jira, CA Agile Central, Github, Selenium, Cucumber, Jenkins and many more. QASymphony is trusted by leading enterprises including Forcepoint, PFSweb, Cisco, Samsung, Verizon and Office Depot.

Media Contact
Victoria Brown
Revere
+1 (650) 850-2009

Victoria.brown@revereagency.co

QASymphony Contact Information
Kira Mondrus
QASymphony
+1 (844) 798-4386
Kiramondrus@qasymphony.com

Tricentis Contact Information
Noel Wurst
Tricentis
+1 (904) 673-4427
n.wurst@tricentis.com

Appetite for apps outstrips capacity to develop them in UK businesses

OutSystems latest State of Application Development report highlights challenges for businesses developing apps in the UK

19th June 2018 – London, UK – UK businesses are at risk of experiencing an “app crunch” as fierce demand for apps meets a developer skills shortage and a lack of investment in customer-facing tools, according to the latest State of Application Development report from OutSystems, the global leader in low-code rapid application development.

The 2018 global research report examines the challenges faced, development priorities and acceleration strategies of IT teams worldwide, putting the spotlight on critical issues.

Five key findings defining the UK market

  • Demand for Apps is booming: demand for apps in the UK is higher than the global average, with 45% of UK IT professionals stating they will develop more than 10 apps in 2018 (compared with 42% globally) and 14% aiming to deliver more than 100 apps this year (compared with 10% globally).
  • Backlogs are a significant problem: 61% of UK organisations report a backlog in app development with 17% having more than 10 apps behind schedule.
  • The skills shortage is more acute in the UK: 67% of UK respondents had hired web or mobile developers in the past year with 87% of those surveyed reporting difficulties in hiring the right talent, compared with an average of 80% reporting difficulties globally.
  • Lack of investment in customer-facing tools: while UK businesses are prioritising the development of customer-facing applications over internal business apps, they are less than half as likely as their global counterparts to have invested in customer-centric tools such as customer journey mapping, design thinking and lean UX. This will limit their ability to deliver compelling, customer-focused apps.
  • The UK is behind the curve in low-code adoption: the UK lags the rest of the world in adopting low code, with only 24% of organisations using rapid application development systems/platforms, compared with 34% globally.

Nick Pike, Vice-President UK & Ireland at OutSystems commented: “Demand for apps in the UK is clearly booming, but our survey indicates that the availability of developer talent and investment in customer-centric tools are not keeping pace. As demand outstrips supply the app development crunch will bite. This means backlogs are likely to increase resulting in frustration among UK businesses as they face delays in digital transformation programmes. They need to think strategically about investing in the tools that can accelerate app development, boost the productivity of developers and help them develop the kinds of customer-facing apps that they want to build.”

Worldwide, the survey found robust evidence that low code adoption has crossed the chasm and is becoming a mainstream approach to meeting the challenges of swift, agile and controlled app development among the “early majority”. 34% of businesses said that they were already using low-code and a further 9% plan to do so. The growth potential in the low-code market is underlined by OutSystems recent $360m investment funding round, demonstrating that the sector is set for expansion in the near- to mid-term.

Organisations that are already using low-code reported major benefits and were 21% more likely to describe their organisation as being happy or somewhat happy with the speed of app development and three times more likely to report having no app development backlog. Low-code is also fuelling agile and DevOps, with organisations that are using rapid application development more likely to describe their level of maturity as further advanced than those that do not use it.

Those using low-code also reported better governance of citizen development, being three times more likely to describe it as highly governed than counterparts that don’t use low-code platforms.

Summarising the global picture, Nick Pike comments: “Organisations who are embracing low-code/rapid application development are reaping considerable performance benefits. They are developing faster and more efficiently, with fewer back logs and greater satisfaction overall. As low-code continues to become mainstream we will see more organisations using it as an essential catalyst to power business transformation.”

The OutSystems State of the Application Development Survey was conducted in March 2018. More than 3500 IT professionals in over 116 countries took part.

To download an executive summary of the survey’s key findings please visit: The State of Application Development, 2018

About OutSystems
Thousands of customers worldwide trust OutSystems, the number one low-code platform for rapid application development. Engineers with an obsessive attention to detail crafted every aspect of the OutSystems platform to help organisations build enterprise-grade apps and transform their business faster. OutSystems is the only solution that combines the power of low-code development with advanced mobile capabilities, enabling visual development of entire applications that easily integrate with existing systems. Explore careers at OutSystems, named a Top Cloud Employer by Forbes three years in a row.

Visit us at www.outsystems.com, or follow us on Twitter @OutSystems or LinkedIn.

Contacts
Agency

Michael Bartley (UK)
C8 Consulting
+44 (0) 118 949 7750
michael@c8consulting.co.uk

Confirmit Partners with Imperium to Increase Accuracy and Confidence in Feedback Data

Imperium’s RelevantID Technology Helps Prevent Duplicate Entries and Fraudulent Survey Participants

London, UK, New York, NY, Westport, CT, and Oslo, Norway: 19 June, 2018Confirmit, the world’s leading SaaS vendor for multi-channel Customer ExperienceEmployee Engagement, and Market Research solutions, today announced its partnership with Imperium, a world leader in Digital Fingerprinting, data verification and fraud protection. The partnership will help prevent duplicate entries or fraudulent survey participants in order to protect the integrity of data.

Imperium’s technology used with Confirmit’s solutions will enable companies to improve survey response rates, prevent automated participants or bots from completing surveys, and reduce the effort spent on data cleaning. Additionally, the technology increases data quality by determining a unique device fingerprint for each participant, thereby avoiding duplicate responses when using multiple sample sources, and protecting against fraudulent participants.

“The quality of online feedback data is a major concern for Market Research and Customer Experience program managers who rely on such data to make critical business decisions,” Marshall Harrison, CEO, Imperium. “We want survey data to be as accurate as possible, and our technology will help Confirmit customers prevent duplicate survey entries and fraudulent participants giving dubious response data.”

Imperium’s technology, RelevantID, analyses several characteristics from a participant’s device and runs them through proprietary algorithms to calculate a unique device fingerprint. RelevantID will flag each time a participant starts a survey, so it is able to detect if multiple e-mail accounts are being used to take surveys from a single computer. In real time, RelevantID also identifies geographic location of the user considering multiple pieces of information (country, state, postal code, and IP address) and returns a fraud profile score that the company can use to decide whether to include or exclude them from the survey.

“Survey results can be significantly affected by a small percentage of duplicate or fraudulent respondents,” said Terry Lawlor, Executive Vice President for Product Management, Confirmit. “Our partnership with Imperium addresses the need for organisations to maximise data quality and protect against fraud. We have made it easier for our customers to implement RelevantID and to see the positive effect that Imperium’s technology can have on their feedback data.”

-Ends-

About Confirmit
Confirmit is the world’s leading SaaS vendor for multi-channel Customer Experience, Employee Engagement, and Market Research solutions. The company has offices in Oslo (headquarters), Grimstad, London, Moscow, New York, San Francisco, Sydney, Vancouver, and Yaroslavl. Confirmit’s software is also distributed through partner resellers in Madrid, Milan, Salvador, and Tokyo.

Confirmit powers Global 5000 companies and Market Research agencies worldwide with a wide range of software products for feedback / data collection, panel management, data processing, analysis, and reporting. Customers include Aurora, British Airways, British Standards Institution, Copart, Cross-Tab, Dow Chemical, GfK, GlaxoSmithKline, GMO Research, KeepFactor, Morehead Associates, Nielsen, Research Now, RS Components, QRS, SSI, Sony Mobile Communications, and Swisscom. Visit www.confirmit.com for more information.

About Imperium
Imperium is the leading provider of data quality, and anti-fraud solutions for the marketing research industry and beyond. For more than ten years, some of the most respected global companies have come to rely on our industry-leading suite of technological services, designed to verify self-reported personal information and restrict fraudulent online activities. Imperium services include RelevantID®, Verity®, Verity Append™, Verity Challenge™, Verity SSN™, Real Answer®, Capture®, Address Correction™ and ChildGuardOnline™. For more information please visit www.imperium.com.

Confirmit Media Contact
Nicola Lockyer
Indigo River
nicola@indigo-river.co.uk

Imperium Media Contact
Jennifer Weitz
Imperium
jweitz@imperium.com

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