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Cisco Webex sees surge in users as companies operate remotely

first_imgTopics : “What we are doing now [is that] we want to help businesses in Indonesia, communities [and] the education sector with free services. Anyone can use Webex for free,” Cisco Systems Indonesia managing director Marian Kacaribu told reporters on March 26 via a video conference on the Webex platform.“We hope that it can help enterprises and the continuity of business so that it can minimize the impact [of the pandemic] on productivity and the economy,” she added, explaining that before the outbreak, the company had only offered a 40-minute limit to its free services.As of now, Cisco Systems Indonesia is offering a broad range of free services, including an unlimited number of meetings, capacity of up to 100 people in every meeting without a limit in duration, unlimited messaging, as well as access to Webex Teams, team collaboration services where users can conduct group chats, video calls, share documents and use collaboration tools such as the whiteboard feature.Marina said considering there had been a spike in usage, the company had made sure that its backend system could support the growing number of users and would continually adjust its capacity to enhance user experience. Web conferencing platform Cisco Webex has seen a surge in usage numbers as companies and education institutions around the world switch to working remotely and distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company’s data indicates.The company recorded 4 million meetings globally on March 18 alone, nearly double the number of meetings that took place on its platform before the outbreak. In the first 20 days of March, there had been an accumulated 7 billion minutes of meetings on Webex, with the duration of the meetings 22 percent longer than usual.The company also saw a drastic increase in users signing up on its platform. On March 16, the number of newly registered users reached 240,000. center_img Security is also an aspect the company prioritizes. Webex has installed a user verification system so that companies and other institutions can be certain that their virtual rooms can only be accessed by their employees or other designated members.For additional protection, the company is offering a 90-day trial for its Cisco Umbrella and Cisco AnyConnect, in which the former feature serves as the first line of defense against threats on the internet and the latter simplifies secure endpoint access. The offer will be available until July 1. In the education sector, Cisco Systems Indonesia has been collaborating with the Education and Culture Ministry to help support the ministry’s distance learning program. Other education institutions that were already on the platform, for example, Gadjah Mada University (UGM), have strengthened their coordination with the company to scale-up operations. Marina noted that UGM would conduct up to 8,000 online courses over Webex..last_img read more

Joseph Mariathasan: How should pension funds invest in EM?

first_imgAccording to a recent survey by Mallowstreet, 90% of its UK institutional investor respondents are either retaining existing allocations to emerging markets (EM) or increasing them. Only 2.5% are decreasing, and 7.5% still have no allocations.What should these investors be looking for, both in terms of investment opportunities and the underlying factors driving them? What is apparent is that is just sticking to market capitalisation indices as benchmarks is likely to be misguided for a number of reasons.MSCI recently announced the inclusion of Chinese A-shares in its indices, adding 222 shares to its Emerging Markets and ACWI benchmarks from June 2018. Longer term, if China continues to liberalise the A-shares market and MSCI is to fully include them, China’s weight in the MSCI Emerging Markets index could rise to 40.8% from 28%.As the index provider says, institutional investors who have not examined how A-shares might fit into their portfolios should not underestimate the work involved in preparing, creating and maintaining such an allocation. Would A-shares inclusion alter emerging markets’ role in asset allocation? What is China’s role in emerging market equity allocation? MSCI also states that a sensible starting point would be to revisit the role of emerging markets in the policy asset allocation, including how China fits into that sub-asset class. Investors considering EM equity investments have to first decide whether to adopt an active or a passive approach. The obvious attraction of passive investment is cost, but the problem with market-cap-weighted indices is that the better a stock does, the greater the weighting, so they have a pro-momentum and anti-value bias. In addition, investors sticking closely to cap-weighted market indices are getting little exposure to the grand themes driving EM growth – the increasing spending power of middle-income consumers and the favourable demographics of younger populations.Alternative approaches such as fundamental indices conceptually get round this problem but end up introducing new issues of even more pronounced sector skews: two-thirds of the index universe is composed of financial, energy and basic materials companies, while one company (Petrobras) accounts for 9% of the total market cap. Petrobras is very volatile and subject to political interference, as are many other large companies such as Samsung.Valuation dispersions are much higher in EM – and that means greater opportunities for active management. If investing in EM equities benefits from active management, then the logical conclusion is that investors should seriously consider investing in emerging market private equity. It represents a more active approach to investment than listed equities.Accessing attractive but widely dispersed EM private equity opportunities is a challenge for investors – funds-of-funds provide one accessible solution.Pension funds are still very wary of investing in EM private equity, but risks are misperceived and much lower than imagined. The opportunity set is very large. Until the 1800s, China and India represented more than 50% of global economic output and, by 2030, five of the 10 largest economies will be EM, according to the US Department of Agriculture.Four key economic segments – food and agriculture, cities, energy and materials, and healthcare – could create a few hundred million new jobs by this point, and almost 90% of them would be in EM. The optionality value of such investing is high, while the opportunity costs are low.At a time in which valuations of private equity investments in the US and Europe are very high, shifting to EM at much lower valuations does seem to make sense.last_img read more

Russia denies its nuclear plants are source of radiation leak

first_imgRadiation levels around the two powers stations “have remained unchanged in June,” a spokesperson for the state controlled nuclear power operator Rosenergoatom told Tass news agency. (BBC) RUSSIA has said a leak of nuclear material detected over Scandinavia did not come from one of its power plants. The Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant is operating normally, Russian officials said.GETTY IMAGES It said the material could indicate “damage to a fuel element.” But in a statement, Russia’s nuclear energy body said its two power stations in the north-west – the Leningrad NPP and the Kola NPP – were working normally and that no leaks had been reported. Nuclear safety watchdogs in Finland, Norway and Sweden said last week they had found higher-than-usual amounts of radioactive isotopes in the atmosphere. A Dutch public health body said that, after analyzing the data, it believed the material came “from the direction of western Russia.”last_img read more

Postcards celebrate toboggan run’s 80th anniversary

first_imgIndinapolis, In. — Pokagon State Park has been thrilling winter guests with its 90-foot tall toboggan run since Franklin D. Roosevelt was president.To celebrate that longevity, the Steuben County Tourism Bureau has made commemorative postcards to celebrate the run’s 80-year anniversary. From Dec. 21 to Jan. 1, each toboggan will receive one postcard while supplies last.Toboggan rental is $13 a toboggan per hour. One toboggan will hold up to four riders. There is a gate admission fee of $7 for in-state vehicles, $9 for out of state vehicles, or $2 a person on a bus or commercial van. For more information visit www.tobogganrun.com.Pokagon State Park (on.IN.gov/pokagonsp) is at 450 Lane 100 Lake James, Angola, 46703last_img read more

Leicester, City join Eaglets’ Akinkumni Amoo chase

first_imgRelatedPostsNo Content Available Nigeria U17 whiz Akinkumni Amoo is attracting interest from across Europe.Leicester City are set to battle European giants Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain for the signature of Amoo.Arsenal and Manchester City have also watched Amoo’s progress at the U17 World Cup.Amoo is tied to local club Sidos FC. Tags: Akinwunmi AmooSidos FClast_img

Harford in talks over Magpies role

first_imgMick Harford is in talks with Newcastle over a role at St James’ Park. Sunderland-born Harford had a brief spell with the Magpies as a player from August 1981 to March 1982 having launched his career at Lincoln, and went on to play for Bristol City, Birmingham, Luton, Derby, Chelsea, the Black Cats, Coventry and Wimbledon, forging a reputation as a no-nonsense frontman. He began his coaching career at Wimbledon before following Kinnear to Luton and then Nottingham Forest, and later became a manager in his own right at Rotherham, Luton and QPR. Harford’s 13 months as assistant to Karl Robinson at MK Dons came to an end in June, and it was later announced he was to take up a coaching role at Millwall. Should he be appointed to assist Kinnear, the move would do little to ease the tension at St James’ which was created when Kinnear was parachuted in above manager Alan Pardew by owner Mike Ashley. The 66-year-old Kinnear’s arrival was greeted with both anger and astonishment as he was put in charge of all football-related matters, but particularly the club’s transfer affairs. To date, not a single senior player has been added to the squad, while Steve Harper, Danny Simpson and James Perch have been allowed to leave, although Harper and Simpson were always moving on anyway. Pardew’s priority is to recruit two proven strikers with Aston Villa’s Darren Bent high on his list, although the ongoing stalemate over Papiss Cisse’s refusal to wear the logo of sponsor Wonga on his shirt remains a serious complication. Press Association Sport understands the former Wimbledon striker has held discussions over a role working alongside new director of football Joe Kinnear. The 54-year-old played under Kinnear during their time together at the Dons and remains a close ally of the Irishman. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Poyet predicts eventful run-in

first_img Poyet’s men have three games in hand on Fulham, Cardiff and Norwich and two on Palace, West Brom, Swansea, Hull and West Ham, all of whom are within striking distance as a result. However, they will have to rediscover their touch in front of goal – and quickly – if they are to ease themselves out of trouble. Three times before the break, Scotland international Steven Fletcher was presented with the kind of opportunities – not gilt-edged, but presentable – which he regularly dispatched without a second thought during the early months of his time on Wearside. Fletcher did not reappear after the restart, but Poyet later revealed that was due to an injury which represents a significant concern as he reflected upon the striker’s misfortune. The 46-year-old Uruguayan said: “Look, I’m not going to put everything on luck, but yes, sometimes you need an own goal, a deflected shot to go in, whatever. “It’s not going for us, but we will keep trying. The problem is we lost Fletch, I hope with nothing serious, but he twisted his ankle badly and we are going to check on him today and tomorrow to see the extent of the injury. “But that’s why everybody needs to be ready, because the chance is coming for you and you need to take it.” Replacement Jozy Altidore could have won it within six minutes of his arrival, but Palace keeper Julian Speroni pulled off a fine reaction save, although the Argentinian needed the help of the crossbar to repel Fabio Borini’s 83rd-minute strike. It might have been significantly worse for the Black Cats, but Dikgacoi’s last-gasp strike flew inches wide to leave Tony Pulis the more satisfied of the two managers. He said: “Julian had two proper saves to make, so I am delighted with the players. They are very, very tired in there and they have given it everything, and that’s all we can ask, all we can ask from them. “We haven’t got the quality that other clubs have got, but the players have got big hearts and they do work very, very hard for me.” Head coach Poyet had classified the game as a must-win affair in advance but, having been thwarted, has challenged his players to redress the balance when they head into what represents another six-pointer at Norwich on Saturday. He said: “That’s the way, and now we need to make this point be a good one by going and winning three at Norwich or winning three at Liverpool or wherever it is because, if not, it’s going to be like two points dropped. “I remember at the end of December everybody was saying, ‘If you can nick something from Everton and beat Cardiff…’. “And then it was the other way around and the four points were there somehow, suffering one way and coming back encouraged the other way, because it’s like that. “It’s going to be tight, it’s going to be a goal, and we need to make sure we don’t give that goal away, we don’t give any mistakes, any presents to anyone, and we tried our best to do that. “The future will tell if we are good enough to stay up or not.” Ultimately, another eventful weekend of football saw Sunderland end it one place better off in 18th, but two points further adrift of safety. Such is the depth of their plight that news of arch-rivals Newcastle’s 1-0 defeat at Fulham was greeted by silence rather than the usual roar of approval, with the bottom-of-the-table west Londoners having closed to within a point as a result. Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has warned his players there will be further twists and turns before their destiny is decided. One the face of it, the Black Cats passed up a glorious opportunity to ease their Barclays Premier League relegation fears on Saturday when they squandered a series of chances to claim three precious points against fellow strugglers Crystal Palace. However, had Kagisho Dikgacoi thumped his late shot just inside, rather than just outside the upright, they would have emerged empty-handed, and a 0-0 draw at least gave them some reward for their efforts. Press Associationlast_img read more

Pienaar set for return at Hull

first_img “We will assess him before Sunday to see whether he can play a part or not. “Darron Gibson (out for the entire season after cruciate ligament surgery) has been working with the team as well. “That is really good timing because he has been able to finish the season strong from his point of view. “I don’t know if Darron will make it in time to be involved with the squad but it is a positive sign nonetheless. “From that point of view it is the same squad that we had for Manchester City, apart from Ryan Ledson, who is going to join the England Under-17s setup at the European Championships where we wish him well.” Press Association A knee problem means the South African has not played since the FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Arsenal at the start of March. “Steven has been working with the team and that is very positive,” manager Roberto Martinez told evertontv. center_img Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar is set to return for their final match of the season at Hull on Sunday. last_img read more

Girls on the Run program starting

first_imgELLSWORTH — Girls on the Run, a 10-week program for girls in grades 3-5 at the Down East Family YMCA, is set to begin its 2018 campaign next week.Trained volunteer coaches use research-based curricula to teach foundational lessons through dynamic discussions, activities and running games.Over the course of the program, participants develop essential skills to help them navigate their worlds and establish a lifetime appreciation for health and fitness.Practice times are Mondays and Thursdays from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Down East Family YMCA. The first session will be held Monday, Sept. 10.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textRegistration is open online via the Girls on the Run Maine website. For more information, contact Kim Formby at FormbyK@Gmail.com.last_img read more

Crawford cops 6th Annual Star Party Rentals cycling title

first_imgYOUNG Berbician cyclist Romello Crawford once again was top of the podium, continuing his amazing run of form, this time capturing the feature Schoolboys & Invitational 35-lap race of the sixth Annual Star Party Rentals 11-race cycling meet.With the title up for grabs, as last year’s champion Hamzah Eastman is competing abroad, Crawford was head and shoulders above the other 20 starters. He crossed the finish line in one hour 17 minutes 21.18 seconds.He was followed by Christopher ‘Chicken Legs’ Griffith while Briton John was third, Paul Cho-Wee-Nam, Deeraj Garbarran and John Williams were fourth, fifth and sixth in that order.The sprint prizes were shared among Griffith and Crawford who had three each while Paul DeNobrega and Dwayne Gibbs Jr bagged one apiece.In the Veterans category, Warren ‘40’ McKay was triumphant in the Under-50 event while Junior Niles and Lear Nunes settled for second and third respectively. In the Over-50 race, Kennard Lovell was the victor ahead of second-placed Bochel Samaroo and Kevin Jeffrey.Meanwhile, Jonathan Ramsuchit was victorious on his return to cycling, copping the Juvenile event ahead of Sherwin Sampson and Steve Bhimsin who were second and third respectively.In the BMX Boys and Girls 12-14 race, Sampson was the winner while Bhimsin and Jaheme Henry finished second and third in that order.last_img read more