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IBM Debuts Commercial Quantum Computing Systems

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IBM has made available an industry-first initiative to build commercially available universal quantum computing systems.

The company says IBM Q quantum systems and services will be delivered via the IBM Cloud platform.

It adds that while technologies that currently run on existing computers, such as Watson, can help find patterns and insights buried in vast amounts of existing data, quantum computers will deliver solutions to important problems where patterns cannot be seen because the data doesn’t exist and the possibilities that one needs to explore to get to the answer are too enormous to ever be processed by traditional computers.

Quantum computing studies theoretical computation systems (quantum computers) that make direct use of quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform operations on data. Quantum computers are different from binary digital electronic computers based on transistors.

The IBM Quantum Experience enables anyone to connect to IBM’s quantum processor via the IBM Cloud, to run algorithms and experiments, work with the individual quantum bits, and explore tutorials and simulations around what might be possible with quantum computing.

“IBM has invested over decades to growing the field of quantum computing and we are committed to expanding access to quantum systems and their powerful capabilities for the science and business communities,” says Arvind Krishna, senior vice-president of hybrid cloud and director for IBM Research.

“Following Watson and blockchain, we believe quantum computing will provide the next powerful set of services delivered via the IBM Cloud platform, and promises to be the next major technology that has the potential to drive a new era of innovation across industries.”

IBM intends to build IBM Q systems to expand the application domain of quantum computing. The computing company notes that a key metric will be the power of a quantum computer expressed by the “Quantum Volume”, which includes the number of qubits, quality of quantum operations, qubit connectivity and parallelism.

As a first step to increase Quantum Volume, IBM aims at constructing commercial IBM Q systems with less than 50 qubits in the next few years to demonstrate capabilities beyond today’s classical systems, and plans to collaborate with key industry partners to develop applications that exploit the quantum speedup of the systems.

IBM Q systems will be designed to tackle problems that are currently seen as too complex and exponential in nature for classical computing systems to handle.

The company explains that one of the first and most promising applications for quantum computing will be in the area of chemistry. Even for simple molecules like caffeine, the number of quantum states in the molecule can be astoundingly large – so large that all the conventional computing memory and processing power scientists could ever build could not handle the problem, it notes.

IBM’s scientists have developed techniques to efficiently explore the simulation of chemistry problems on quantum processors and experimental demonstrations of various molecules are in progress.

In the future, the goal will be to scale to even more complex molecules and try to predict chemical properties with higher precision than possible with classical computers.

“Classical computers are extraordinarily powerful and will continue to advance and underpin everything we do in business and society. But there are many problems that will never be penetrated by a classical computer. To create knowledge from much greater depths of complexity, we need a quantum computer,” says Tom Rosamilia, senior vice-president of IBM Systems.

“We envision IBM Q systems working in concert with our portfolio of classical high-performance systems to address problems that are currently unsolvable, but hold tremendous untapped value.”

 

 

 

 

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So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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E-Business

Cisco urges Retailers on Network System Skills ahead of Black Friday

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Cisco has urged Nigeria retailers to equip their employees with basic network system skills as Black Friday and Cyber Monday begin today.

According to Alfie Hamid, Regional Manager for Corporate Affairs for Cisco Africa, ‘Many retailers have missed empowering their own workforces with, for example, digital collaboration tools, real-time customer insights, and virtual assistance. A workforce that is armed with relevant knowledge and insights is also essential to improving the in-store customer experience, a key differentiator for bricks-and-mortar retailers over their online rivals.’

According to research from Cisco, employee productivity technologies can deliver the greatest value for increasing efficiency, optimising the checkout process and improving worker collaboration. Investments in these areas also contribute to improved shopper experiences and increased loyalty. Just 6% of retailers’ 2016 investment priorities were focused on employee productivity use cases, despite research indicating that use cases deliver the greatest return on investment for retailers; in other words, digitisation is a $187 billion (roughly R2,6 trillion) opportunity, according to Cisco.

“The key initiatives that improve employee productivity all rely on a network that understands how people interact, can be customised easily, and can control access irrespective of the device that the employee is using – all things that today’s retail employees demand,” Hamid says.

In retail, investments in workforce digitisation deliver value to operations, the labour equation, and talent retention. Since all of these support new and compelling customer experiences, digitising the workforce enables a value chain that is critical to retail success.

“A focus on technology investments that empower employees takes on a whole new meaning in Nigeria, which already struggles to overcome education and training challenges,” Hamid says. “With digitisation, companies have an opportunity to improve skills across the board in the retail industry, which will contribute hugely to the growth of the country’s economy, whether on Black Friday or throughout the year.”

 

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Black Friday: Yudala Records Unprecedented Spike In Online Traffic

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By peter oluka

Yudala, Nigeria’s pioneer online and offline e-commerce company is recording an unprecedented spike in online traffic  as eager shoppers thronged the company’s website www.yudala.comfrom midnight to be the first to take advantage of the company’s Black Friday offers.

This year’s edition of Black Friday, a globally celebrated shopping festival, is being marked officially today, Friday November 24th, 2017.

Insights garnered from the shopping activity on the Yudala website show that online traffic on www.yudala.com commenced a steady spike from 11:49pm on Thursday night as early bird shoppers began to lay in wait for the official commencement of the Black Friday midnight rush for deals.

From 12am, traffic on the Yudala website had grossed over 50,000 hits, with shoppers who placed their orders between the hours of 12am – 1am enjoying an additional incentive of free shipping of their orders nationwide. Furthermore, Yudala had made available over 500,000 Early Bird deals on its website for shoppers who place their orders between the hours of 12am – 11:59am today, Friday November 24th.

Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, Vice President at Yudala disclosed that the company was determined to make it a memorable Black Friday for its teeming customers.

“If you are yet to visit the website www.yudala.com, now is the time to do so.  We had Mystery Products up on the website from 12am at 99% off so, from midnight on Friday, we were already processing loads of orders from shoppers who were taking advantage of our early bird deals. Electronics, mobile phones, home appliances, wines and groceries, consumer goods and computing products are among some of the most ordered items. Remember, the Early Bird Deals run till 11:59am today so there is still ample opportunity for many Nigerians to enjoy our unmatched offerings.

“If you miss the early bird deals, then you can take advantage of our Lunch Time Deals which runs from 12pm till 4:59pm today and if you fall into the class of those who prefer to do their Black Friday shopping later in the day, then you can enjoy our Sunset Deals from 5pm till 11:59pm. Also, shoppers who place their orders on the stroke of 11:11am or 12:12pm will get free tickets to the Yudala Christmas party.

“You also stand a chance to spin a wheel of fortune at six Yudala stores in Lagos today to walk home with a free gift. Simply visit any of the Yudala stores in Bode Thomas, Surulere; Admiralty Way, Lekki; The Palms Shopping Mall; Medical Road, Ikeja; Redemption Crescent in Gbagada or the one at Cherub Mall on Lekki-Epe Expressway to experience what Black Friday is all about, courtesy of Yudala.

“No other company offers you all of these mouth-watering options for Black Friday: best prices, mega deals and genuine products. With Yudala, You Live Well,” he concluded.

Interestingly, Yudala is also adding an extra dimension on social media for its walk-in customers.

For shoppers who find their way to the Yudala Experience Store at The Palms Shopping Mall in Lekki today, there is a unique opportunity to follow the “Make a wish” live feed on Instagram at the store.

Yudala has generated loads of frenzy on its Instagram live feed where the company is giving followers a chance to make a wish and see it fulfilled. Many lucky followers have won amazing freebies including laptops, mobile phones, electronics, shopping vouchers and other exciting give-away items through this medium.

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P&G Hosts FMITI, Recommits To Build Indigenous Manufacturing Capacity

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By peter oluka

Procter and Gamble (P&G) Nigeria, leading manufacturing company and makers of brands like Always® and Pampers® recently engaged select local raw material suppliers in Nigeria to an interactive meeting with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and representatives from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).

The meeting was convened to assess the capability of local businesses and seek their participation in strengthening our raw material localization objectives in line with the Backward Integration Program (BIP) of the FederalGovernment.

This is following the recent commissioning of P&G Nigeria’s Always Production Line in June, which was officially done by the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. At this event, the consumer goods company, reiterated its commitment to investing in Nigeria and its support towards the Federal Government’s diversification efforts .

The new local production of P&G’s Feminine Care product not only promotes inclusive growth but is also boosting job creation and value add to the economy.

Speaking at the meeting, George Nassar, the managing director of Procter and Gamble Nigeria, commended the Ministry’s gesture to engage local businesses saying; “we praise the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment on their willingness to engage local suppliers and assess the capability of their businesses. That, on its own, is very encouraging and we believe today’s meeting is pivotal to accelerating our local sourcing projects.”

According to Nassar, “P&G Nigeria currently procures 100% of the packaging materials for its products locally and is working towards increasing the local sourcing of the raw materials we use. We will continue to partner with the government in our quest to achieve this.

P&G is committed to doing business with more locally owned businesses and we appreciate the role the Federal Government is playing towards improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria and as a business will continue to foster a strong partnership with them to boost this effort.”

He also charged the Federal Government to continue its efforts towards enabling local entrepreneurship development and helping them with the capabilities required to produce raw materials locally. ‘This will go a long way in actualizing its economic development agenda,” he said.

Speaking on the objectives of the meetings; Temitope Iluyemi, director of Government Relations and Public Policy for Procter & Gamble Africa Operations said; “Backward integration is essential to the growth of the Nigerian economy and P&G’s aim is to manufacture as close as possible to its consumers, encourage our global partners to do the same and thereby promote technology transfer. We will work to pre-qualify local suppliers for materials used in the production of consumer packaged products and by extension, build capability of local manufacturers to compete effectively in regional value chains and further strengthen the diversification efforts of the Nigerian government”

Dr. Francis Alaneme, deputy director, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment also commented, “We want to increase the local sourcing of raw materials in the country and it is imperative to create opportunities like this to promote growth and provide a platform for cross-sharing and capability building.  Partnering with corporate organizations like P&G to engage these businesseswill grant us more access to notable suppliers of raw materials in the manufacturing sector and we commend the company’s effort in taking the lead on this.”

P&G has a long-standing record of building capability of local businesses for growth and development and enabling local entrepreneurship development. The company has trained hundreds of SMEs and has been involved in a series of skills building programs. In 2015, it partnered with National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), to host a symposium, bringing together leading academics, thought leaders, local entrepreneurs and industry members to discuss the critical issues of development in technology to promote growth through research and technology transfer in Africa.

Through the engagement sessions, all parties hope to explore ways of ensuring raw material inputs are effectively sourced locally; carve out strategies to mitigate the challenges that are being faced and ultimately help local suppliers meet the requirements needed to better support the Nigerian Manufacturing Sector.

 

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