ZEISS Group and Microsoft Corp. announced a multi-year strategic partnership to accelerate ZEISS’ transformation into a digital services provider that is embracing a cloud-first approach. By standardizing its equipment and processes on Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform, ZEISS will be able to provide its customers with enhanced digital experiences, address changing market needs more quickly and increase its productivity.
Leveraging Azure high-performance compute, AI, and IoT services, ZEISS will work with Microsoft to provide original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with new quality management solutions, enable microchip manufacturers to build more powerful, energy-efficient microchips and deliver new digital healthcare solutions for improved clinical workflows, enhanced treatments, and device maintenance. Furthermore, ZEISS will create a seamless experience for its customers through one digital platform and manage all digital ZEISS products through one cloud-native platform to enhance continuous and agile product development.
Microsoft’s datacenter regions around the globe help meet the regional needs of ZEISS’ customers while delivering against highest security, privacy and resiliency standards. ZEISS will build on Microsoft’s experience in software development to grow its own digital capabilities while helping Microsoft enhance its customer-driven product innovation through deep industry insights.
Microsoft Media Relations
WE Communications for Microsoft
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SOURCE Carl Zeiss AG
VLV Development Completes 1.1MW Solar Facility As Part of Bronzeville Micro-Grid Cluster Powering 660 Units of Public Housing
VLV Development (VLV), a Black and veteran-owned company committed to providing clean, renewable energy in urban communities, announces completion of a first of its kind 1.1MW solar facility that is part of the Bronzeville Micro-Grid Cluster in one of the city’s most iconic neighborhoods.
In collaboration with the local utility and other stakeholders, VLV financed, designed and delivered the solar installation located at Dearborn Homes, a 17-building public housing development serving 660 units of federally subsidized housing. VLV worked with local minority solar trainers, contractors and distributors to support the system’s installation. VGI Energy Solutions, LLC, VLV’s energy division, will provide the operations and maintenance of the facility.
At Dearborn Homes, VLV designed and installed approximately 3,000 solar panels across 16 low-income high-rise buildings, the management office and two ground mounted solar arrays. The smart technology includes 22 inverters with the ability to communicate with the utility’s master controller to support islanding and data gathering across Dearborn Homes’ vast campus. Over the past five years, VLV has installed 1.5MW of solar energy on commercial and residential buildings, churches, as well as ground mount solar facilities in the city of Chicago.
“The Dearborn Homes project is an example of transformative action, brought together to protect vulnerable communities while providing community resilient power,” says Faustina Vincent, Managing Partner, VGI Energy Solutions, LLC.
This project will provide the Chicago Housing Authority, Dearborn Homes, a direct savings in excess of $800,000 over the term of the Power Purchase Agreement. The project created 50 direct and indirect full- and part-time jobs for Black and Brown residents and represents a $4.5 million direct investment in clean energy infrastructure.
“We’re making clean energy and resilience accessible, profitable and affordable across the urban landscape,” says Van Vincent, CEO, VLV Development.
IBM and R3 Join Forces to Expand Blockchain Capabilities and Services across Hybrid Cloud
IBM (NYSE: IBM) and R3, an enterprise software firm, today announced a new collaboration to formally expand choice for clients scaling blockchain technology while delivering their highest levels of performance, compliance and data privacy.
As part of the collaboration, R3 announced a new open beta program to bring R3’s enterprise blockchain platform, Corda Enterprise, to IBM LinuxONE next month across the hybrid cloud—both on-premises and the IBM Cloud—delivered via IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services. The R3 on IBM LinuxONE beta program will open on November 2, 2020 and be available on IBM Cloud and on-premises. General availability (GA) is expected in Q1 2021.
Enterprises, especially those in regulated industries, are increasingly looking to build blockchain solutions with advanced security and data privacy features while addressing performance. For clients with highly sensitive data and workloads such as digital identity, digital assets, central bank digital currencies, tokens, payments information, or smart contracts being spread across hybrid cloud environments, IBM LinuxONE provides a highly secured platform certified to meet the highest level of security certification commercially available.1
IBM LinuxONE and IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services provide customers with Confidential Computing capabilities, including ‘Keep Your Own Key’ workload isolation encryption capabilities backed by FIPS 140-2 Level 42 certification, tamper protection from privileged user access and encryption of all data at-rest and in-flight, making the IBM public cloud the industry’s most secure and open public cloud for business.
“In keeping with IBM’s efforts to bring choice to clients in the era of hybrid cloud, we support an open ecosystem of blockchain providers. Bringing R3 to IBM LinuxONE is another exciting example of leveraging our highly secured Confidential Computing capabilities to help our clients of all sizes, across any industry, protect their most sensitive data across the hybrid cloud,” said Ross Mauri, GM of IBM Z. “This announcement builds on the exciting work over the last several months to welcome new workloads to LinuxONE and IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services in emerging areas like blockchain and digital asset custody – and we’re looking forward to taking this next step with R3 to build on this momentum with clients of all sizes from early stage startups to the largest global enterprises.”
“The infrastructure of financial markets will be rewritten in the next few years, with new technologies bringing a complete shift in how services are created and delivered. While underlying technologies emerge in several areas like blockchain—security, robustness and scalability of new solutions remain critical aspects of any new development. As one of the few custodians integrating public and permissioned blockchains within a universal blockchain platform, it’s an honor to be part of this alliance to work with R3 and IBM to bring new solutions to market designed to facilitate the institutional adoption of digital assets at scale.” Alessio Quaglini, CEO and Cofounder of Hex Trust, a joint IBM and R3 client.
As the hybrid cloud market opportunity for blockchain continues to grow, IBM Services is also expanding their existing Corda capabilities by establishing a R3 center of excellence. This is intended to provide services to IBM clients that have or plan to adopt R3 solutions, including trained and Corda-certified solution architects, strategy and design consultants, subject matter experts (SMEs) and a delivery pool that can quickly engage to help them advance their network and solution deployment.
“This center of excellence is being designed to innovate and incubate client-requested ideas and use cases leveraging IBM’s deep expertise in developing and standing up commercially available production grade blockchain networks,” said Jason Kelley, General Manager, IBM Blockchain Services. “We will use IBM methods, including design thinking, to focus efforts on developing interoperability solutions for disparate blockchain networks, digital assets and currencies and industry-focused use cases.”
As part of this effort, IBM plans to work with clients across industry ecosystems, in both buyer and supplier roles, across hybrid ecosystems, underpinned by the openness and security of IBM LinuxONE, with the goal of advancing a network of networks to a hybrid of hybrids.
IBM Services, along with infrastructure support on IBM LinuxONE for R3’s Corda Enterprise platform, will complement IBM’s existing blockchain services and offerings to bring even more choice to the market. IBM Blockchain Services provide organizations a range of opportunities to access valuable new channels, strategic partnerships and resources to accelerate growth.
“Corda Enterprise and IBM LinuxONE bring together IBM’s best security, efficiency and scalability features in blockchain and hybrid cloud. The result is assurance that customers can run their most sensitive workloads with transparency and flexibility,” said David E. Rutter, CEO of R3 “Blockchain is fast emerging as the technology of choice to drive digital transformation and R3 and IBM will provide access to the privacy and security inherent in blockchain technology underpinned by IBM LinuxONE. This combined with the deeply knowledgeable team within IBM Services’ new R3 center of excellence, can empower customers to level up their digital transformation drive.”
Hillebrand Acquires Braid
With this acquisition, Hillebrand aims to strengthen its position as a leading global logistics service provider not only for alcoholic beverages but also for other non-hazardous bulk liquids commodities.
Hillebrand, a world leading forwarding, transport and logistics provider to the alcoholic beverage industry and products that require special care, officially announces its acquisition of Braid, a key player in bulk liquids logistics. Through this acquisition, Hillebrand strengthens its expertise in handling non-hazardous liquids in bulk, such as wine, olive oil, non-hazardous chemicals, juices and edible oils, which adds to its long-established experience in full service logistics services of cased goods.
“Braid offers an exciting opportunity for Hillebrand to strengthen its network of services, products, skills, knowledge and teams,” explains Cees van Gent, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Hillebrand. “With its global reach, wide range of customized logistics solutions in bulk liquids transportation, as well as its manufacturing and technology know-how, the acquisition of Braid supports Hillebrand’s strategy to not only lead the market in logistics services for alcoholic beverages but also for non-hazardous bulk liquids.”
Braid is recognized as a diversified group offering innovative bulk liquids logistics services worldwide, which will not only complement Hillebrand’s array of bulk liquids solutions, but also expand its manufacturing capabilities, with two more facilities located in the United Kingdom and China. The combination of Hillebrand’s bulk liquids services and Braid will create a world leading end-to-end service provider for bulk liquids and one of the largest food-grade ISO tank operators globally.
Allan Leddra, CEO of Braid, comments “Hillebrand’s acquisition of Braid provides a major growth opportunity for both businesses. The two companies will achieve more as a unit, increasing value for customers, given both companies’ high reputation for providing a leading customer experience in bulk liquids logistics.” Allan Leddra and his management team will join Hillebrand to drive a successful integration and continue to grow the consolidated bulk liquids business of Braid and Hillebrand. “We also share the same values and culture, so we are confident that our employees will smoothly integrate in the new organization and will find new growing opportunities within Hillebrand.”
Both Hillebrand and Braid share their commitment for a safe and sustainable transportation of goods, with high investments in R&D to create innovative and environmentally friendly solutions for their customers. The shared knowledge and expertise in non-hazardous commodities, the aim to provide an end-to-end service to even more customers, in addition to a wider product offering, are part of the benefits of bringing the two companies under one corporation.
Despite the current global Covid-19 situation, Hillebrand’s and Braid’s service and financial performance have remained very resilient. Hillebrand continues to pursue its business plan objectives of growing both organically and through acquisitions, to expand customer service and tailor-made solutions worldwide. “This marks a further step in our journey to make Hillebrand an even more robust, bigger and better company than it is today, through our buy and build strategy,” details van Gent. This acquisition represents the third one in the past year, after 3W-Logistik (Germany) and Royal Logistics (USA), and is expected to result in greater efficiencies and significantly increase Hillebrand’s product offering.
Hillebrand’s bulk liquids services and Braid will, for the time being, continue to run their operations separately. However, bringing both businesses together will gradually unfold within the next 12 months. “It goes without saying that our customers will continue to receive the same high quality service, which they have come to expect,” concludes van Gent.
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