Xebia Articles

Taking Back Ownership of Your Data

Posted by Laurence de Jong on Mar 20, 2018 9:00:00 AM

The internet makes information available everywhere, but it also comes with a downside. If a user wants to gain access to specific pages and apps, they are often forced to hand over personal information to third parties, which can lead to undesirable consequences. This article examines the current situation online and describes how decentralized technologies could empower individuals to take back ownership of their data.

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Topics: Agile Software Development

Consensus: The Blockchain Backbone

Posted by Niels Zeilemaker on Mar 13, 2018 9:00:00 AM

One of the defining aspects of a public blockchain is that anyone can add information to it. However, before it is added, the information must be verified. All cooperating nodes in the network must agree on the definitions of valid, and invalid, information. For example, in the case of Bitcoin, there must be a consensus on what defines a legitimate transaction. When the new information is deemed valid by all participating nodes in the network, then the consensus is reached. This article explores how a decentralized network could achieve consensus through two different algorithms: proof-of-work and proof-of-stake.

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Topics: Agile Software Development, Agile Transformations, Big Data & Data Science

How Enterprise-Ready is Blockchain?

Posted by Tom Höfte on Mar 6, 2018 9:00:00 AM

There’s a lot of blockchain-related development already in progress. Start-ups that focus on its various aspects are popping up everywhere. Companies in all sectors are looking at its thread to determine what it could do for their business. There’s even a new career role flying around on LinkedIn, the "blockchain consultant.” So, hype or not, clearly, this trend is gaining some traction.

But how “enterprise-ready” is blockchain technology? 

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Topics: Agile Software Development, Agile Transformations

The New Market Standard for Doing Business

Posted by Dennis Kaltofen on Feb 27, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Interview with Thomas Laffree, innovation director, PGGM

PGGM and APG recently completed the first phase of a collaborative experiment that used blockchain technology to administer pensions. Based on the prototype they co-created, both pension fund service providers have extended their research.

According to Thomas Laffree, innovation director at PGGM and one of the project leaders, the potential impact of blockchain technology on the pension domain is massive. “By working together to develop proof of concepts and getting our heads around this exciting new technology, we’re investigating the true potential of blockchain”.

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Topics: Digital Strategy

Why Your Business Should Be on the WeChat Platform (Part II): WeChat Feature Overview

Posted by Léon Rodenburg on Feb 21, 2018 2:04:53 PM

This three-part series explores how Wechat, the Chinese alternative to WhatsApp, is transforming the on- and offline lives of Chinese consumers and forcing companies to reconsider their marketing and sales strategies.

Part I compares WeChat to WhatsApp and explains why a presence on WeChat matters for any Chinese-facing business. Part II provides an overview of WeChat’s most essential features, describing how it’s typically used day-to-day. It also explains how companies can use WeChat to improve their business in the Chinese market.

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Topics: Agile Software Development

The Rise of Cryptocurrencies

Posted by Thijs Vermeer on Feb 20, 2018 9:00:00 AM

These days, you can’t mention “blockchain” without someone else bringing up bitcoin. Of course, it’s an intriguing topic. A digital coin, with no value at all, suddenly skyrockets and makes people rich, out of thin air! It must be a bubble, scam, fraud - even criminal!

Or is it?

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Topics: Agile Software Development

14 tips to increase focus

Posted by Daniel Burm on Feb 19, 2018 3:49:24 PM

Or how to fight context switching throughout your organisation

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Topics: Agile Transformations

How Blockchain Leads to New Organizational Structures

Posted by Walter van der Scheer on Feb 13, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Tokens and Smart Contracts Redesign Existing Supply Chains

The rise of the internet and big data unleashed public access to a torrent of information. Blockchain is the next wave of this technological revolution. It took some time for the market to embrace the possibilities of the internet and big data, during which, they evolved and matured. The same phenomenon is happening with blockchain.

This article interprets and compares blockchain to the rise of the internet and big data and explains the core elements of its application. It also looks at its potential impact on society.

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Topics: Agile Transformations, Digital Strategy

Stop waiting for your data

Posted by Constantijn Visinescu on Feb 2, 2018 9:30:00 AM

Today, most companies still rely on either traditional databases or data warehouses to generate the reports their management needs to make informed decisions. Those solutions have gotten us pretty far, but they also have some serious drawbacks. For one, loading all that data into the same place and then generating reports can take hours - and that’s only if everything works right the first time around! If something goes wrong during the process (and something often does) it can take even longer.

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Topics: Cloud Infrastructures, Big Data & Data Science

Why Your Business Should Be on the WeChat Platform

Posted by Léon Rodenburg on Jan 25, 2018 1:41:17 PM

Imagine a world without WhatsApp. It probably wouldn’t change much, because WhatsApp has been slow to implement new features that would enable its platform for e-commerce, banking or marketing purposes. In September 2017, the first reports of WhatsApp’s new business-to-consumer (B2C) features arose, with customer support as one of the central axes on which it could swing into the enterprise jungle. This seems to be it for now, as no new reports of other B2C functionality have come out. And, with local and European privacy laws lurking just around the corner, it might take some time before WhatsApp can fly in a B2C context. Until then, WhatsApp will remain just a messaging application.

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Topics: Agile Software Development