Pepper Money aims to future-proof with Microsoft Azure and Office 365 shift

In a move to keep up with customer demand, financial services firm Pepper Money has spent the last two years shifting what it has described as a “significant portion” of its workload into Microsoft Azure with the help of Harbour IT.
According to Pepper CIO Jeremy Francis, one of the main motivations was to allow employees to focus on servicing customers rather than wasting time maintaining older technology. 

“We wanted to take back control of our technology environment from a high reliance on third-party providers, particularly in the areas whereas a business we want to differentiate using that technology,” he said.

“That’s led us to shift towards building our own proprietary applications where it makes sense, run those applications on platforms like Azure and be able to work in an agile way so that we can not only create that differentiation but do it in a really rapid way.


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Prudential turns to AI to secure computer networks against cyber attacks

Financial services group Prudential is setting up security operations centres in Asia and the US that will allow it to monitor potential security threats on more than 100,000 devices on its networks.

The company, the UK’s largest listed insurer, is rolling out artificial intelligence (AI) driven software that can identify unusual activity on its computer networks and automatically isolate hacking or malware attacks across its IT networks in more than 14 countries.

The project will allow security analysts in two operations centres in Asia and the US to respond to potential hacking, malware or insider threats around the clock.

Prudential plc, a life insurance and financial services company with annual revenues of $94bn in 2019, plans to deploy technology developed by Darktrace, a Cambridge University spin-off, across Asia and Africa before the end of the year.

The company, which demerged from its UK M&G insurance operations in October 2019,

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Chunghwa Telecom goes for Ericsson and Nokia 5G network deployment

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Taiwanese carrier Chunghwa Telecom has skirted around Huawei to select Ericsson and Nokia technology for its 5G network.

Ericsson will be used in the network core. It will also supply radio kit for the 3.5GHz and 28GHz spectrum bands, while Nokia said it will be responsible for 5G radio deployment in central and southern Taiwan.

Chunghwa Telecom is looking to launch its network in July.

“In the process of upgrading to 5G networks, we need to shorten the time it takes to launch new features. Ericsson’s 5G core solution enables our 4G core to flexibly evolve into a shared 4G/5G network,” Chungwa Telecom president of mobile business group Max Chen said.

“Meanwhile, Ericsson’s Cloud VoLTE solution will allow our customers to enjoy a more convenient and higher quality 4G voice service today as well as 5G voice services in the future.”

Ericsson said it had been working

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Ocado pulls website amid coronavirus shopping frenzy

Online supermarket Ocado has closed its website and mobile app under overwhelming pressure from shoppers stocking up during the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis, and will not allow customers to edit existing orders or book a new one for “a few days”.

The retailer’s CEO Melanie Smith said it was taking the step of temporarily suspending new orders to allow it to complete essential work to shore up its distribution of products and delivery slots to make its service as fair and accessible as possible for customers.

“Like all supermarkets, we are working round the clock to keep up with high demand and make sure all of our customers get what they need at this time – especially those more vulnerable and in isolation,” she said.

“As a result, we have made a decision to temporarily close access to so you will not be able to edit an existing order or

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