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Amazon Cloud Challenges Microsoft in Africa: Maxi-hub in Cape Town

Amazon cloud is expanding in South Africa with a new maxi office in the nascent hitech pole of Cape Town, ready to conquer the leadership in the cloud services to the detriment of the other big stars and players: Microsoft and Google.

According to reports from Reuters, Amazon AWS has rented an entire eight-story building nearing completion in the South African city’s tech hub and has posted a series of announcements to search for staff for the new office. Among the sought-after figures, there is a software developer that the American giant claims to be involved in a team for a “greenfield project” that touches the fields of machine learning, big data analysis, and cloud computing.

Amazon Web Services ( AWS ) is already the world’s number one cloud computing with a share of 32%, compared to 16% of its closest rival, Microsoft, which, however, grows faster, according to research firm Canalys. Microsoft is also completing two data centers in South Africa (in Cape Town and Johannesburg), to serve local customers better. The other players in the cloud have smaller shares, but they are pressing to expand to the detriment of the leaders.

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To strengthen its position with respect to Microsoft, Amazon decides to build data centers in South Africa. In Cape Town and Johannesburg, Jeff Bezos’ group already has Edge locations, infrastructures to increase the speed of transmission from Amazon data centers located outside Africa. In Cape Town, Amazon had so far only a technical center, where it also manages customer support activities.

To attract new customers to the detriment of rivals, Amazon is also offering local start-ups free trials of its cloud service: some companies have already migrated to AWS from other providers such as Google.

Cape Town employs about 35,000 people in the hitech sector and is reached by fiber optic connections. The expansion of Amazon in the hitech pole of the South African city is a sign of the intensification of competition in the cloud services segment and the continuous growth in the demand for computational power that pushes the creation of new data centers in various global locations, as close as possible to final customers.

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Dropbox Releases an Add-on for Gmail for Sharing and Saving Files Easily

Dropbox had signed a partnership with Google which includes the integration of its cloud storage service with the applications on G Suite. The first result of that agreement is the Gmail add-on that allows you to perform several operations on the file without leaving the email service.

The collaboration between the two companies seems surprising, as they offer competing cloud storage services. Ketan Nayak, Product Manager at Dropbox, however, pointed out that 50% of Dropbox users use the G Suite, so this is a decision that benefits both parties. After installing the add-on, you will be able to view, save and share any file without leaving the mailbox. Users no longer have to worry about the available space because it is enough to insert the link to files and folders on Dropbox.

Also Read: Why G Suite Might Be a Good Move for Your Business

The integration between the two services eliminates the need to switch from one application to another. Also, the link will always point to the latest version of the file, so you do not need to send another email with the updated attachment. Of course, attachments received in Gmail can be saved directly to Dropbox. To use the add-on, click on the + sign in the right-hand column of Gmail and search for it in the G Suite Marketplace.

The add-on is available in the web version of Gmail and on Android. In the coming weeks will also arrive on iOS.

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You Can Now Manually Propose a New Meeting Time in Google Calendar

The developers of Google Calendar will release a new tool that will simplify the scheduling of events through the service, reports TechCrunch.

From August 13, Google Calendar users will be able to offer a new date for events that they are going to visit and add notes for their organizer. The organizer will be able to accept or reject the proposal, and if the calendars of other participants in the meeting are publicly available, he will be able to see their workload at the right time.

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To select a new date, for the most part, will have to be done manually. Although Google Calendar already has the built-in artificial intelligence to find events that are convenient for all dates or times, in a new tool, a similar algorithm is not used to transfer appointments. The feature will be available to all users of G Suite and Microsoft Exchange. There are also limitations: it can not be used for events involving more than 200 people, or which last all day.

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What You Should Know about IBM Watson Workspace

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What is Watson Workspace?

IBM Watson Workspace is a messaging app designed to help you and your teams do your best work. Watson Workspace provides you with an excellent, very flexible and also convenient platform which teams can experience group conversations and also share data files in “spaces” which is similar to “channels” in Slack. Aside from that it also allows organizations to create and integrate third-party applications and bots into the feed of the conversation. The application was built in parallel with a handful of cognitive APIs called Watson Work Services that allow developers to improve or integrate with Watson Workspace or create new applications that use its capabilities.

RECOMMENDED READ: Descasio Limited Partners with IBM to Deploy IBM Watson Workspace Across West Africa

One of the most important things to note of IBM Watson Workspace is its cognitive underpinning. This feature is primarily activated with the “Moments” feature, which uses natural language processing and AI to help you cope with the task of managing an active team, especially if you happen to be out for a day or so. Instead of scrolling the volume of messages in the space, click the “Moments” button will give you a summary of the activity that was made since the last viewing, automatically identifying the major topics that were discussed and selecting specific questions, actions and obligations of team members. This capability is a completely different way of managing information overload and a whole lot more targeted solution when compared with simple filtering approaches.

IBM’s distinctive feature is in the power of Watson Workspace Services API – used in Watson Workspace and made available to other platforms.

Who can use it?

Any user can use Watson Workspace.

Core collaboration features in IBM Watson Workspace

  • Native apps for Mac, Window, iOS and Android, responsive web experience
  • Persistent group chat
  • 1:1 direct messaging
  • 1:1 and group video & audio calls powered by Zoom
  • File sharing and storage
  • Inline image viewer
  • System text
  • Unlimited, searchable history with modifiers
  • Typeahead search to find people and spaces
  • Mark as Important
  • Integration with third-party apps
  • Recommended actions from your conversations, powered by Watson
  • Smart summarization with Moments, powered by Watson
  • @mentions (mention a person or everyone in a space) and mentions view
  • Delete messages
  • Emoji reactions
  • See who’s available (Real-time status indicators)
  • See where you last were in a conversation
  • Per space notification settings
  • Mobile push, browser, and email notifications
  • Ability to mute notifications
  • Custom sounds
  • Rich markdown, including code syntax highlighting
  • Slash commands

Watson Workspace App Availability

The app is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android users.

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