From bare-metal servers and Linux containers to public and private clouds, the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform drives new levels of intelligence, automation and developer productivity, delivering a more consistent business foundation
Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, the operating system designed to span the breadth of deployments across enterprise IT. For any workload running on any environment, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 delivers one enterprise Linux experience to meet the unique technology needs of evolving enterprises. From deploying new Linux workloads into production to launching digital transformation strategies, the next-generation enterprise is built on top of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 is the operating system redesigned for the hybrid cloud era and built to support the workloads and operations that stretch from enterprise datacenters to multiple public clouds. Red Hat understands that the operating system should do more than simply exist as part of a technology stack; it should be the catalyst for innovation. From Linux containers and hybrid cloud to DevOps and artificial intelligence (AI), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 is built to not just support enterprise IT in the hybrid cloud, but to help these new technology strategies thrive.
As the importance of hybrid cloud and multicloud deployments grow, the operating system must evolve as well. According to IDC, 70 percent of customers already deploy multicloud environments and 64 percent of applications in a typical IT portfolio today are based in a cloud environment, whether public or private. Red Hat views the operating system as the keystone to this IT innovation and more, especially as Red Hat Enterprise Linux is poised to impact more than $10 trillion in global business revenues in 2019, according to a Red Hat-sponsored IDC study.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8: Intelligent Linux for the hybrid cloud
For more than 15 years, Red Hat has helped enterprises innovate on Linux, first in their datacenters and now across the hybrid cloud. As datacenters grow in scale and scope and workload complexity builds, the skills required to deploy and maintain Linux-based production systems become increasingly critical. With the announcement of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, this intelligence and expertise is now built-in to Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions by default with Red Hat Insights, delivering Red Hat’s Linux expertise as-a-service.
Red Hat Insights helps proactively identify and remediate IT issues, from security vulnerabilities to stability problems. It uses predictive analytics based on Red Hat’s vast knowledge of open technologies to help administrators avoid problems and unplanned downtime in production environments.
Managing systems dispersed across a variety of on-premise and cloud-based infrastructure can present a significant challenge to IT organizations.Red Hat Smart Management, a layered add-on for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, helps IT teams gain the benefits of hybrid cloud computing while minimizing its inherent management complexities. Combining Red Hat Satellite for on-premise systems management and cloud management services for distributed Red Hat Enterprise Linux deployments, Red Hat Smart Management provides rich capabilities to manage, patch, configure and provision Red Hat Enterprise Linux deployments across the hybrid cloud.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8: Blazing a faster path to modern applications
To meet evolving business demands, IT organizations are looking to new workloads, from artificial intelligence (AI) to the Internet-of-Things (IoT), to drive competitive advantages in crowded marketplaces. Linux provides the innovative muscle to power these differentiated services, but only Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 delivers this innovation along with a hardened code base, extensive security updates, award-winning support and a vast ecosystem of tested and validated supporting technologies.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux has always been known as a stable and secure foundation for applications. However, in the past it was hard to get the most up-to-date languages and frameworks that developers wanted without compromising that stability. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 introduces Application Streams – fast-moving languages, frameworks and developer tools are updated frequently in this stream without impacting the core resources that have made Red Hat Enterprise Linux an enterprise benchmark. This melds faster developer innovation with production stability in a single, enterprise-class operating system.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8: Introducing a world of opportunity for everyone
Linux continues to be the number one operating system for developers building the next generation of enterprise applications. As these applications move into production, stability, enhanced security and testing/certification on existing hardware and environments become paramount needs. This shifts the onus from developers to operations teams and, paired with the trend of Linux being looked to as a primary platform for production applications, makes Linux administration and management skills critical for modern datacenters. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 is designed to lower the barrier to entry for Linux, enabling greater accessibility for Windows administrators, Linux beginners and new systems administrators without fear of the command line.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 abstracts away many of the deep complexities of granular sysadmin tasks behind the Red Hat Enterprise Linux web console. The console provides an intuitive, consistent graphical interface for managing and monitoring Red Hat Enterprise Linux system, from the health of virtual machines to overall system performance. To further improve ease of use, Red Hat Enterprise Linux supports in-place upgrades, providing a more streamlined, efficient and timely path for users to convert Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 instances to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 systems.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 also includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux System Roles, which automate many of the more complex tasks around managing and configuring Linux in production. Powered by Red Hat Ansible Automation, System Roles are pre-configured Ansible modules that enable ready-made automated workflows for handling common, complex sysadmin tasks. This automation makes it easier for new systems administrators to adopt Linux protocols and helps to eliminate human error as the cause of common configuration issues.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux: Enabling the world of possibilities without sacrificing security
IT innovation is rooted in open source, with Linux often serving as the catalyst for major advancements in enterprise technology, from Linux containers and Kubernetes to serverless and AI. Backed by a more secure, hardened open source supply chain, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 helps pave the way for IT organizations to adopt production-ready innovation by deploying only the necessary packages for specific workloads. This enhances the adoption of emerging technologies while helping to minimize potential risk.
To enhance security, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 supports the OpenSSL 1.1.1 and TLS 1.3 cryptographic standards. This provides access to some of the strongest, latest standards in cryptographic protection that can be implemented system-wide via a single command, limiting the need for application-specific policies and tuning.
With cloud-native applications and services frequently driving digital transformation, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 delivers full support for the Red Hat container toolkit. Based on open standards, the toolkit provides technologies for creating, running and sharing containerized applications. It helps to streamline container development and eliminates the need for bulky, less secure container daemons.
Every datacenter. Every cloud. Every application.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 drives a thriving partner ecosystem, as is expected of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, encompassing thousands of certified applications, Linux container images, hardware configurations and cloud providers. Building on the deep collaborations forged by Red Hat with other IT leaders and through extensive testing, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 drives added value for specific hardware configurations and workloads, including the Arm and POWER architectures as well as real-time applications and SAP solutions.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 forms the foundation for Red Hat’s entire hybrid cloud portfolio, starting with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4 and the upcoming Red Hat OpenStack Platform 15. Also built on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 is the forthcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS, a minimal footprint operating system designed to host Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform deployments.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 is also broadly supported as a guest operating system on Red Hat hybrid cloud infrastructure, including Red Hat OpenShift 4, Red Hat OpenStack Platform 15 and Red Hat Virtualization 4.3.
The launch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 also coincides with the general availability of the Red Hat Universal Base Image, a userspace image derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux for building Red Hat certified Linux containers. The Red Hat Universal Base Image is available to all developers with or without a Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription, providing a more secure and reliable foundation for building enterprise-ready containerized applications. Applications built with the Universal Base Image can be run anywhere with the benefits of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux life cycle and support from Red Hat when run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.
Ahli Bank, Oman, is SunTec’s 50th customer for its Indirect Taxation Solution
SunTec’s GCC VAT compliance solution to help Ahli Bank automate end-to-end VAT compliance process, manage regulatory changes, and seamlessly integrate it with the existing IT ecosystem
SunTec, the world’s #1 relationship-based pricing and billing company and the provider of #1 GST and VAT compliance solution for Banks and Financial Services in GCC and India, has partnered with Ahli Bank, Oman, to provide its GCC VAT compliance solution.
The win is a landmark one for SunTec as it marks the 50th customer for its indirect taxation solution. SunTec has garnered 24 customers in India and this is the 26th customer in the Middle East to acquire the solution.
VAT is likely to be introduced in Oman in early 2021 and Ahli Bank has taken the proactive step of adopting a VAT compliance solution to ensure operational efficiency, enhance revenue, and augment customer experience.
Amit Dua, President – Client Facing Groups, SunTec, said, “We are delighted to partner with Ahli Bank, Oman in what marks a historic win, in their journey to ensure VAT compliance. We understand that the VAT landscape is evolving within the GCC, and therefore, our solution offers agility to respond to these changing regulatory requirements. With the Xelerate platform and GCC VAT compliance solution, Ahli Bank can digitize the entire VAT compliance process and comply with least number of changes to their existing technology infrastructure.”
He added, “VAT is a crucial step that the GCC countries have taken to implement tax regimes. It is imperative for banks and financial institutions to have a robust and scalable solution to accommodate their specific needs. Ahli Bank joins the list of more than 20 banks who have adopted our GCC VAT Compliance solution. I’m proud to say that approximately 3 billion transactions per annum are processed through our GCC VAT/ GST compliance solution across our client base.”
Said Abdullah Al Hatmi, CEO at Ahli Bank, added: “It is extremely crucial for us to be ready for VAT compliance. We are very happy to partner with SunTec to deploy GCC VAT compliance solution. With SunTec we will have a single solution in place covering all aspects of VAT compliance and we will be future-proofed given that any future regulatory changes will be handled by the solution with ease.”
SunTec’s GCC VAT compliance solution based on the Xelerate platform will enable the bank to smoothly comply with GCC VAT regulations and manage potential regulatory changes with ease. The single end-to-end solution helps automate the entire VAT compliance process including centralized rule-based tax determination, input tax recovery, tax invoice, reconciliation, corrections, adjustments, statements, and regulatory reporting.
SunTec GCC VAT Compliance solution is architected to meet the unique needs of banks and financial services firms and can easily integrate with existing IT systems. The solution is designed to process all taxable transactions across business lines and applications, reduce cost of compliance, mitigate potential risk of compliance violations, penalties, and reputational risk.
Securing Digital Transformation in Financial Services
By Bindu Sundaresan, Director, AT&T Cybersecurity
In the last year, financial services organizations have been pushed to speed up their digitization strategies faster than they could have ever anticipated. The COVID pandemic has closed the doors of many physical banks, forced them to move many interactions with customers to digital and introduce new measures so employees can carry out their jobs from home.
The uptake of digital banking has been immense with a recent report from World Retail Banking revealing that 57 percent of consumers prefer internet banking in the Covid-19 era. Today, connected consumers expect near-real-time online transactions at their own convenience, 24X7, and they expect banks, credit card providers, and stockbrokers to provide uninterrupted web services wherever they are in the world.
However, while this digitization has enabled banks to fully serve their customers during the pandemic, it has raised the security stakes considerably.
All around the world, while financial services organizations are adapting and taking advantage of digital technology to make consumer banking and payments safer, faster and more convenient, cyber criminals have been looking at ways to exploit these new initiatives.
What are the best ways financial organizations can embrace digital transformation, without compromising on security?
Embracing Digital Transformation Security
Financial institutions have long been a top target for cyber criminals and as these organizations broaden their digital footprint, their risk profiles change, and their attack surface widens.
In fact, a recent report from AT&T Business revealed that many organizations have noted an increase in malicious activity and cyber-related fraud against themselves and their customers, since the coronavirus pandemic struck. The attacks on institutions are typically happening through malware or social engineering campaigns, while customers are especially vulnerable to phishing with cyber criminals sending out fake COVID-related emails disguised as if coming from banks.
To help understand and manage these risks, financial organizations need to be proactive with their cybersecurity. One of the most important steps they can take is embedding security into new services from the very beginning. This will enable business leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources efficiently, and understand the value of systems and information.
Banks and other financial institutions handle some of the most sensitive information for their customers and business – Personally Identifiable Information (PII), credit card numbers, and account information. However, as access points to reach this information increases, security should be embedded into systems earlier in the development process. To help achieve this, security teams need to work more closely with developer teams at the beginning of development stages when new technology is being introduced, rather than security being bolted on at the end, which is something that has traditionally happened.
Building a security-conscious culture is also essential, particularly as employees today are more frequently working from home. Employees need to be educated about the most current fraud and phishing scams and how to avoid them. They should be instructed to access sensitive data from a secure network, using their company device, and through the prescribed channels—not by clicking a link in a newly received e-mail. Employees should not open unexpected e-mail attachments and should report suspicious e-mails to the company’s IT department.
Since external IT services are ubiquitous in today’s business environment, it is imperative that as financial services organizations assess technology providers to provide that these services do not pose an immediate impact, while also strategizing how best to fortify resilience against third-party challenges. Many third-party services are critical to an organization’s success, including technical support, cloud-based financial applications, security monitoring, email and data backup solutions. Vendor management is a complex and time-intensive task which many organizations do not, and in many cases, cannot dedicate the time and resources to managing. For companies with a small number of vendors, this can be manageable, but most organizations will need additional support to create and implement these programs effectively. By dedicating resources to developing a program, organizations can begin to understand and eliminate the threats posed by third parties.
Financial institutions should also consider implementing a Zero-Trust approach within their security strategy. Zero Trust is a cybersecurity model with a tenet that any endpoint connecting to a network should not be trusted by default. With Zero Trust, everything and everyone— including users, devices, endpoints —must be properly verified before access to the network is allowed. The protocols for a Zero Trust network outline specific rules in place to govern the amount of access granted to users, based upon the type of user, their location, and how they are accessing the network. If the security status of any connecting endpoint or user cannot be resolved, the Zero Trust network will deny the connection by default.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, financial organizations have been forced to change the way they operate. Employees are now working more frequently from home and many banking services can now be done online. While these steps have been vital to keep the finance industry moving during the pandemic, they have introduced new security challenges.
As these organizations embrace digital transformation and are shifting to the cloud, simplifying technology infrastructure and outsourcing workloads to third parties, they are also expanding their cyber risk. Cyber has become more prolific across systems, platforms, and people — employees, customers, and partners — and enterprise leadership must correlate all of this to stay ahead of the adversary and help protect the organization’s most valuable assets.
Financial institutions therefore must be increasingly vigilant, and increasingly well-equipped technologically, to protect themselves from sophisticated attacks. In this way, digital transformation becomes both a critical contributing factor in the problem of growing cyber risks today—and a critical resource for solving it.
Using technology to optimise your finance
By Mark Pullen, CEO, Xledger
Covid-19 restrictions and ongoing uncertainty have prompted a fundamental switch in mindset across a multitude of different sectors. Many organisations have begun to recognise that outsourcing their finance can make them more agile and give them the competitive edge they need to compete and scale effectively in today’s market.
Solving the pain points
Inefficient processes are prone to causing delays and errors which can have a huge impact on the bottom line when viewed at scale. They can also negatively impact the client experience, causing frustration with missed deadlines and mounting uncompleted tasks.
New finance technology is automating many of the daily, monotonous back office functions such as bank reconciliation and invoice entry, meaning that the nature of the work that a finance professional provides will change. This presents a huge opportunity as it gives these employees the opportunity to be involved in higher-level work. Technology can also provide a resource that gives real time insight, allowing for better strategic decision making, which is so key in the current climate.
Optimising your finance function
Outsourcing high-value services within the finance function can improve workflow by implementing a defined and transparent process which streamlines operations. For a finance department, this can speed up areas that require internal controls such as expense reporting and cash release, but it can also speed up the full lifecycle of a project; from time tracking and resource to accounting and billing.
There is also a cost efficiency benefit when outsourcing, as management bandwidth is effectively increased by eliminating the need to be involved in many of the day to day processes. Instead this time can be focused on other business priorities and planning for future growth.
Outsourcing accounting functions to bespoke and standardised technologies means using data led processes that can be measured, optimised and benchmarked against in-house requirements. These processes can also be undertaken remotely, boosting the resilience of your business in these uncertain times.
Case study box-out: RPC Tyche
RPC Tyche is a global insurance software supplier with offices in London, Paris, and the USA. Initially a division of award-winning law firm RPC, but now a stand-alone entity, RPC Tyche’s main software offerings support capital modelling, and pricing commercial insurance and reinsurance.
As part of a restructuring process following the de-coupling with the law firm RPC, RPC Tyche had to separate its back-office processes. They remained under the umbrella of the law firm while the changes were taking place, so initially had some flexibility with the shared finance system, but time was running out to separate the two entities cleanly. As a stand-alone company, RPC Tyche now needed its own financial system; one that could align with its new business processes and that could be implemented quickly to deliver the organisation’s business objectives. Furthermore, they needed a new finance solution that could help them grow exponentially, facilitate a globally diverse group structure, and still maintain efficiency when operating as a small team.
Gavin Dilley, Chief Finance Officer for RPC Tyche commented, “Following an initial discussion with a third-party advisor regarding Xero and Quickbooks, we were recommended Xledger because we required a swift and scalable solution. After contacting Xledger, their tried and tested implementation methodology ultimately assured us that we would achieve the fast-paced implementation needed for our go-live objective. We also really liked that Xledger was a multi-tenanted, true cloud solution with its scalability setting it apart from the competitors.”
Implementation and training
Following conversations with Xledger, RPC Tyche created a project management team to keep everything on track on their side, an arrangement that Gavin emphasised “worked really well.” He said that “as a small project team, the flexibility to undergo substantial configuration during the training sessions with the Xledger consultants brought focus and enabled us to dedicate sufficient time to the system without distractions.”
Although the implementation was expected to take three months, RPC Tyche experienced hold-ups owing to the separating of back-office processes, so they were pleased when it was mutually agreed to facilitate a one-month delay.
“The implementation process was highly effective, and we’re very happy with the results,” said Gavin. “Since implementing the Xledger solution, we’ve been so pleased we haven’t had to dip back into the old system as the transfer of historic data has been particularly successful.” RPC Tyche had a large volume of historic data and transactions, including timesheets and work in progress reports that were all successfully migrated to Xledger during implementation. “We’re particularly happy with how easy it has been to onboard our new Finance Controller, due to flexible training and the system being so intuitive.”
Gavin added, “Since implementing Xledger, we have far greater reporting flexibility, better distribution of skills within the finance team and are naturally more self-sufficient because we can make amendments to the system without relying on the software provider.
The system is easy to use, and the purchase order functionalities, integrated workflows and automation of processes have enabled us to be highly efficient, even as a small finance team. Not to mention that the Xledger support team are incredibly responsive, so we can continually maintain productivity.”
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