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Bank, Telecom Firm Launch Straight2Bank Wallet Collections Service

Standard Chartered Bank and MTN Uganda Limited have signed an agreement to allow MTN Mobile Money collections for Corporate and Business clients directly into their Standard Chartered Bank accounts on a real time basis. This solution is dubbed Straight2Bank Wallet Collections and will be delivered through the Bank’s Straight2Bank electronic banking platform.

Mr. Albert R. Saltson, Standard Chartered Bank’s Chief Executive Officer while delivering his remarks commended the collaboration with MTN Uganda saying the service will enhance the Bank’s client proposition and ability to extend its world-class financial services to clients countrywide.

“One of our strategic aspirations as Standard Chartered Bank is to be the Main Digital Bank for our customers and this commitment is reaffirmed by the launch of the Straight2Bank Wallet Collections solution today.

We will continue to invest in technology to keep pace with local and global developments. As a result the Bank in the recent past set aside USD 1.5 billion to be invested in technology and processes upgrade globally over three years. 

As part of this journey, Standard Chartered Bank Uganda has invested in digital innovations such as; the upgrade of the online banking platform, Launch of the Mobile app, Introduction of mobile wallets, Cash Deposit Machines and the replacement of ATMs across our network.

Client centricity remains a core priority for the Bank as we continue to build on our expertise and capabilities to support clients in capturing the opportunities presented by the global move towards a cashless society.” Saltson said.

While addressing the guests, Mr. Wim Vanhelleputte, CEO of MTN Uganda said;

“Since inception, MTN Mobile Money has played a remarkable role in fostering financial inclusion in Uganda. Initially offering a platform for our customers to cash in and cash out, MTN Mobile Money’s service offering has undergone several modifications to include bills and taxes payment, purchase of goods and services, defied existing geographical borders to enable customers to send and receive money internationally in real time.

Just earlier this week, we launched a partnership with National Social Security Fund to enable millions of unbanked Ugandans remit their social security payments to the Fund to save for their future and a better retirement.”

Key features of Straight2Bank Wallet collections are:-

  • Enabling Corporate and Business clients to receive MTN Mobile Money payments directly into their bank account(s) on a real time basis.
  • Automatic, real time email notifications, along with online reporting
  • Risks associated with handling  cash payments are mitigated
  • Promoting financial inclusion

The Head of Transaction Banking at Standard Chartered Bank Uganda Mr. Keval Bid, added, “The Straight2Bank Wallet Collections solution is another way we are relieving some of the operational pressures of our corporate clients so they can focus more time and energy on running their core businesses more efficiently and profitably.  Standard Chartered currently provides cash management solutions for more than 900 companies in Uganda, with more than 70% of those companies using our award winning online portal, Straight2Bank.” 

In his closing remarks, Dr. Robin Kibuka, Board Chairman for Standard Chartered Bank Uganda thanked MTN Uganda for partnering with Standard Chartered Bank to increase access to financial services and ultimately contributing to Bank of Uganda’s goal of financial inclusion.

He added, “As the pioneers of Mobile Money in Uganda, you helped start a revolution that has increased the penetration of financial services. We are proud to be associated with you and recognise the tremendous contribution you continue to make towards Uganda’s economic growth and individual livelihoods.

To our dear customers, thank you for banking with us. We value your loyalty and pledge to continue innovating and developing solutions that guarantee value for both your businesses and individual growth.”

This service will significantly lower operating costs and risks associated with managing cash, shorten the debt collection period and ultimately help to boost efficiency in the working capital management for Standard Chartered’s corporate clients.

 

Huawei To Build One of Five Major World Clouds

Huawei Connect on 5th September 2017 opened at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre. More than 20,000 ICT industry leaders and experts gathered from over 150 countries and regions to jointly explore the direction of advancements in digital technology, share new opportunities, drive industry digitization, and embark on a path to new growth.

The theme of this year's event is ‘Grow with the Cloud’, focusing on the practical implementation of Huawei's cloud strategy, first unveiled at last year's event. Topics under this theme include business, technology, and ecosystem strategies in the cloud era.

Guo Ping, Huawei's Rotating CEO, gave a keynote entitled Grow with the Cloud: Enabling an Intelligent World at HUAWEI CONNECT 2017.

Huawei Cloud – A look at Huawei's uniquely structured ‘Cloud DNA’

Guo Ping, Huawei's Rotating CEO, kicked off the event with a keynote entitled Grow with the Cloud: Enabling an Intelligent World.

"The cloud is a cornerstone of the intelligent world," he said. "Society is experiencing a tangible Matthew effect in digital technology development. Because of this, as well as economies of scale in investment, clouds around the world will begin to converge – becoming more and more centralized.

In the future, we predict there will be five major clouds in the world. Huawei will work with our partners to build one of those five clouds, and we've got the technology and know-how to do it."

In his speech, Guo Ping assured customers and partners that Huawei has made strategic investments in the public cloud domain, and will provide long-term public cloud services.

The company will build a global cloud network based on its own public clouds, as well as clouds that it has built together with partners. Guo likened Huawei's strategy to the three major airline alliances – SkyTeam, Star Alliance, and Oneworld – which take passengers wherever they need to go in the world. Huawei Cloud, he said, will open up the world to its users.

He went on to explain Huawei's business model for the cloud, emphasizing that Huawei will monetize technology and services, not data. He said, "Huawei's Cloud DNA is made of a unique combination of technology, security, services, and shared success."

Huawei’s ‘Cloud DNA’ explained:

First, Huawei is a tech company. Building on 30 years of R&D experience, Huawei has decided to invest heavily in cloud platforms, while developing new capabilities in fields like big data and artificial intelligence to meet customer demand for service upgrades and innovation.

The second element of Huawei's Cloud DNA is security. Huawei provides end-to-end security solutions – from chipsets to services – that effectively address the challenges of cloud security. Huawei's full-stack capabilities ensure a level of security that far succeeds that of any independent IT system.

The third element is service. Unlike companies that were born in the cloud, Huawei grew with the cloud. The company's own IT architecture is extremely complex, so it understands the needs and challenges of large global companies, and is well positioned to help governments and large enterprises go digital.

Shared success is the final element of Huawei's Cloud DNA. At last year's event, Huawei laid out its vision to help cultivate a thriving and diverse ecosystem. At the time, Guo proclaimed that Huawei has its sights set on only 1% of that ecosystem. For the remaining 99%, Huawei will work with its partners to bring their products to 172 countries and regions, achieving business success together.

Guo wrapped up his keynote with details on Huawei's hybrid cloud solutions that specifically target the needs of governments and enterprises, including a diverse array of success stories from around the world.

Architecturally speaking, Huawei Cloud builds on the company's decades of experience in devices, networks, clouds, and other digital domains, and is better equipped to achieve synergy between devices and the cloud. Moving forward, Huawei will continue leveraging the strengths of its global platform to build an open ecosystem that thrives on shared success.

Building a cloud network with global coverage

Mr. Zheng Yelai, President of Huawei's Cloud BU, also presented on the first day of the event, sharing his team's progress on Huawei Cloud. He shared case studies from 12 automobile companies (including Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz), Philips, the Commercial and Industrial Bank of China (ICBC), and several government service platforms that have chosen to use Huawei Cloud and the cloud services from Huawei's partners.

Zheng Yelai said, "Our people have an in-depth understanding of our customers' business scenarios, whether they're working in R&D, marketing, or sales. We keep a close eye on the needs of our customers, and innovate accordingly. We've developed Huawei Cloud to help enterprises go digital more smoothly, and help ensure the success of more companies who are willing to innovate."

Today, Huawei also announced the launch of its new Enterprise Intelligence cloud services, which the company will provide with a platform of general and scenario-specific solutions. This combination of Huawei Cloud and EI makes Huawei Cloud more intelligent, and will help create greater industry value with new advancements in technology.

Huawei's public clouds and private clouds have a unified architecture, support smooth evolution, and deliver a consistent experience. Companies can efficiently and freely deploy their services on public or private cloud platforms, which readily support service migration and expansion. To prevent vendor lock-in, Huawei offers hybrid cloud solutions that enable integration with third-party public cloud platforms, including those from Amazon and Microsoft.

Huawei has worked with its partners to build a cloud network that has global coverage, providing complete solutions that help Chinese companies go global, and that also help companies outside China enter the Chinese market.

Huawei Cloud is the result of innovations in hardware, software, data, connections, and architecture. At HUAWEI CONNECT 2017, Huawei will launch flagship solutions in each of these domains to further enable the digital agenda of customers across nine different sectors, including government and public utilities, finance, telecom, energy, transformation, and manufacturing.

Platform + Ecosystem: Focusing on practical application

HUAWEI CONNECT 2017 is all about platforms and ecosystems, focusing on practical application and hands-on experience. This year's event brings together members of the vast global ICT ecosystem in an interactive exhibition hall over 20,000 square meters in area, 30% larger than last year. Over 60 sponsors, 10 industry organizations, and 130 joint solution partners are participating in the exhibition, and around 1,000 partners have joined Huawei at the event.

Major partners in attendance include SAP, Accenture, Chinasoft International, HGST, Intel, Microsoft, Centerm, and Infosys. They will jointly showcase their latest progress and best practices in ICT technology, and participate in a broad range of activities during the event, including keynotes, booth exhibitions, sponsor events, and technical sessions.

Over 10 industry alliances, including the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), Beijing Disaster Backup and Recovery Technology and Industry Alliance, Edge Computing Consortium (ECC), GSMA, Industrial Internet Consortium, OpenSDS, and OpenStack, are also in attendance.

To expose its ICT capabilities to developer partners, Huawei will also launch its new software development cloud, DevCloud 2.0. As an R&D cloud platform that integrates Huawei's 30 years of experience in R&D, cutting-edge R&D concepts, and advanced R&D tools, DevCloud 2.0 will expose over 3,000 of Huawei's ICT capabilities through public APIs, and open the doors to 20 local OpenLabs around the world to developers. The end goal is to make software development simple and more efficient, helping developer partners innovate and successfully monetize new services.

HUAWEI CONNECT 2017, Huawei's flagship event for the global ICT industry, was held at the Shanghai New International Exhibition Centre from September 5-7. The theme is Grow with the Cloud. Huawei will be exploring how to realize new growth through digital transformation together with its customers and partners at this global platform for open collaboration.

Huawei Cloud Releases Six Innovative Solutions At Huawei Connect

Joy Huang, Vice President of Huawei’s IT Product Line, announced six innovative solutions designed Huawei Connect 2017 which was held at Shanghai New International Exhibition Centre.

In a keynote speech titled "All Connected, All Cloud, All Intelligent",  Huang said the innovative solutions which include innovations in hardware, software, data, connection, architecture, and hybrid cloud will help enterprises with digital transformation.

At the same time, Huawei also shared success stories and best practices learned in working with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile Company Ltd. on digital transformation.

"The digital transformation in many industries will bring human beings to an intelligent world in the future, and innovation will be the driving force of the revolution," said Joy Huang.

"Increasingly, innovation will take place in the cloud, and the cloud will need the all-round strength. Huawei Cloud is committed to be an enabler of intelligent world, delivering continuous innovations of technologies and capabilities on Huawei Cloud to help customers succeed in their digital transformation."

Presenting its innovation in hardware, software, data, connection, architecture, and hybrid cloud:

Hardware innovation: Atlas is Huawei's new-generation intelligent cloud hardware platform. In the scenarios of the public cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), and high-performance computing (HPC), Atlas pools resources of graphics processing units (GPUs), hard disk drives (HDDs), and solid state drives (SSDs) using heterogeneous resource pools and intelligent orchestration.

The platform provides on-demand hardware resources to meet the requirements of different service models, doubling resource utilization. In addition, logic servers can be deployed within seconds, supporting quick service rollout.

Software innovation: Huawei DevCloud enables tools, capabilities, and process services on Huawei Cloud, sharing Huawei's accumulated development experience with enterprises.

Data innovation: Huawei Cloud enterprise intelligence (EI) services assist enterprises in data innovation to create an intelligent world. Huawei Cloud not only offers platform services, such as deep learning, graph analysis, and search, but also AI services, such as image tagging, intelligent audits, graph rebuilding, automated handling of customs declarations using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and intelligent packing, enabling smarter enterprises.

To meet the enterprise requirements for a distributed IT architecture, Huawei introduced three secure and reliable distributed database services on Huawei Cloud, including the distributed Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) enterprise data warehouse LibrA, distributed Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) enterprise database Derecho, and distributed MySQL database Taurus.

Connection innovation: Huawei Cloud Internet of Things (IoT) platform is a full-stack platform that includes SIM card management, device management, and application enablement layer, having features of secure connection, cross-industry ecosystem, and easy integration. The platform provides a wide spectrum of industry enabling suites and templates, so that Huawei Cloud better matches IoT and Internet of Vehicles (IoV) scenarios.

Architecture innovation: Huawei Cloud released the FusionCloud Stack solution and introduced enterprise storage services with 99.9999% reliability. As an extended module of the public cloud, FusionCloud Stack can be deployed in enterprises' data centers.

If the network connecting to the public cloud fails, the local system can continue to provide services to enterprises. This solution maintains a consistent user experience of the public cloud, more secure data sovereignty, low latency, and zero local maintenance, helping migrating enterprises' mission-critical services to cloud securely.

Hybrid cloud innovation: The FusionBridge hybrid cloud solution is based on the OpenStack cloud platform, with an innovative injection cascading architecture that is used to implement homogeneous or heterogeneous hybrid cloud.

This solution provides a cross-cloud unified service catalog to shield the differentiation of using multiple cloud platforms. With an undifferentiated cross-cloud service image using HyperContainer, cross-cloud Overlay network automation, and unified vAPP deployment service, the solution easily implements cross-cloud distributed deployment and on-demand expansion of customer services.

FusionBridge also provides customers with a Graphical User Interface (GUI) or an Operation and Maintenance (O&M) portal to help customers reduce workloads and simplify cross-cloud management.

In the Era of Cloud 2.0, technologies, such as cloud computing, big data, AI, and IoT, will make use of data and scenario innovations of industrial enterprises. Huawei Cloud works with partners to provide differentiated cloud, big data, and AI services, meeting the customer requirements of increasingly complex scenarios.

"Holding the principle that science and technology are the primary productive forces, ICBC has emphasized technical innovations in the definition of the future-oriented smart bank and established multiple innovative laboratories,” said Wang Xiaoping, Fellow of the Software Development Center, ICBC.

"As one of ICBC's important partners, Huawei makes joint innovations with ICBC and provides great support for the development of ICBC's next-generation big data platform, so that big data can better serve multiple businesses, such as customer marketing, risk control, customer service, and operating management."

Tang Teng, VP of Product Planning, Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile Company Ltd., introduced their new "5A+" strategy and the key services layout of the transformation to mobility services.

In 2020, Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile will work with leading partners in ICT and Internet fields to launch various mobility services, such as social ride sharing, car sharing & infotainment, and fleet management, and build the ICT integrated IoV platform.

With 10 years of cloud computing experience, Huawei grows with customers through continuous technology advancement. Since the Cloud BU's formation in March 2017, it has seen a 238% increase in Huawei's cloud user base, and has released 40 new cloud services, including the data warehouse service, advanced DDoS service, and CDN service.

As of now, Huawei has released a total number of 85 cloud services. In the meantime, over 4,500 new features have been added to Huawei Cloud. Today, 197 companies on the Fortune Global 500 list and 45 companies in the Fortune Global 100 have chosen Huawei as their digital transformation partner.

HUAWEI CONNECT 2017, Huawei's flagship event for the global ICT industry, was held at the Shanghai New International Exhibition Centre from September 5-7. The theme is Grow with the Cloud.

Huawei will be exploring how to realize new growth through digital transformation together with its customers and partners at this global platform for open collaboration.

Equatorial Guinea, Burkina Faso Tie Up Liquefied Natural Gas Agreement

The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons representing the Government of Equatorial Guinea has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Burkina Faso to supply the West African country with Liquefied Natural Gas LNG and build critical infrastructure to import, store and transport gas.

The initial three-year agreement compels both sides to negotiate and sign an LNG sales and purchase agreement (SPA) and a terminal use agreement (TUA) that will be the basis for their first LNG exchange. The MoU also calls for Equatorial Guinea to explore and produce oil and gas in Burkina Faso.

"We are very pleased to strike this agreement and be given the opportunity to supply our African brothers in Burkina Faso with crucial gas resources," said H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea.

"This collaboration with Burkina Faso, part of our LNG 2 Africa initiative, highlights the important responsibility of African countries to cooperate in the energy sector and build the necessary infrastructure to strengthen our economies."

As part of the agreement, both sides will commission a technical study for the construction of regasification and LNG storage terminals and will exchange knowledge and data. They will also work to build regasification and storage terminals in Burkina Faso and transport infrastructure, either by pipeline or LNG carrier.

Equatorial Guinea is one of Africa's biggest LNG producers, exporting 3.4 million tonnes per annum of LNG to destinations worldwide.

It is committed to significantly expanding its export capacity through the 2.2 million tonnes per annum Fortuna FLNG project, which is on track to reach final investment decision by the end of the year. When it goes online in 2020, Fortuna will be Africa's first deepwater FLNG project.

In May, Equatorial Guinea entered into a binding agreement with the OneLNG joint venture to explore the liquefaction and commercialization of natural gas in offshore blocks O and I.

Bringing online new LNG volumes will enable Equatorial Guinea to sell gas to higher priced markets in Africa and beyond while retaining a share in profits for onward marketing.

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