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Contratos leganes con blockchain. Suscribo y ZirconTech logos.

SUSCRIBO-Contratos Digitales y ZirconTech anuncian alianza estratégica para trabajar en el desarrollo de soluciones de contratos inteligentes en Latinoamérica.

SUSCRIBO-Contratos Digitales es una compañía formada en el año 2019 por inversores de diferentes países de Latinoamérica con el objetivo de prestar servicios de digitalización de contratos, firma electrónica y automatización de flujos de negocio utilizando tecnología de smart contracts basados en blockchain.

En marzo de 2020 SUSCRIBO emprendió la búsqueda de un proveedor y socio de tecnología orientado a la especialización en contratos inteligentes para actuar como representante y distribuidor de servicios en la región latinoamericana (LATAM). Durante este proceso de búsqueda, SUSCRIBO optó por ZirconTech como aliado de trabajo en todo lo referente a identificar, evaluar, seleccionar y poner en marcha un servicio de Software as a Service (SaaS) de contratos inteligentes para personas jurídicas y naturales, de naturaleza pública y privada.

ZirconTech es una compañía que ofrece servicios de tecnologías de la información, conformada mayormente por un equipo de profesionales latinoamericanos con más de dos décadas de experiencia en desarrollo de sistemas, soporte e implementación de tecnología; ZirconTech es especialista en blockchain, internet de las cosas, computación en la nube, aplicaciones web y móviles, big data e inteligencia artificial.

Toño Rumbea y Martin Machin, representantes de SUSCRIBO y ZirconTech coincidieron en expresar que “Tras la pandemia de COVID-19, es probable que solo sobrevivan las instituciones que logren digitalizar y automatizar lo antes posible sus procesos y sus archivos contractuales de papel, incorporando la gestión de obligaciones contractuales con otros sistemas empresariales de firma digital, gestión, facturación, cobros y analítica”.

A partir de esta alianza estratégica, los integrantes de SUSCRIBO y ZirconTech llevan a cabo acciones de investigación, ensayo y desarrollo. Actualmente, los especialistas han unido de manera exitosa flujos contractuales inteligentes con CRMs y ERPs de clientes; a la vez que ejecutan proyectos de integración con APIS bancarias transaccionales, con bases de datos tipo buró de crédito e índice de precios, y finalmente actividades con sistemas de firma y certificado electrónico según jurisdicciones. Ambas compañías trabajan también en la estructuración de un componente de soporte técnico en back office para clientes en América Latina.

Más información sobre nosotros en www.zircon.tech

Más información sobre SUSCRIBO-Contratos Digitales en www.suscribo.com

Strategic IT cost optimization. Couple working on cost optimization.

When CIOs face cost optimization on IT companies they need to make a healthy balance between common IT spend, and investments in business innovation. The best strategies are those that pursue innovation while reducing unnecessary costs. According to Cognizant, Strategic IT Cost Optimization techniques are the right path to follow when CIOs want to prepare their organizations to grow. Always looking for the right balance between reducing IT spend on one hand, and increasing investments in innovation and IT improvement initiatives on the other. 

Strategic IT cost optimization process

IT cost optimization cannot be a one-time initiative, They should rather be a continuous process and a guiding principle for managing IT most efficiently. Although organizations can achieve an effective cost savings program, business uncertainty will continue to impact IT organizations. To overcome these situations, a CIO requires a strategic IT cost optimization program to:

  • Generate process efficiencies.
  • Improve the quality of service.
  • Build a stronger value chain.
  • Improve skill management.
  • Increase customer satisfaction.

Now we will focus on the benefits of a strategic cost optimization program. For this, we will follow a process to adapt IT cost optimization to organization goals. This process can help CIOs prioritize cost optimization initiatives by considering the potential cost savings and other benefits such as:

  • Time requirements.
  • Degree of organizational and technical risk.
  • Impact on customers
  • Investment required.
The Definitive Guide to IT Cost Optimization

IT & Business Alignment

Although this article is directed mainly to IT Companies, the concept of IT & Business alignment is an important goal that is not always easy to achieve. The IT & Business alignment integrates IT to the strategy and goals of the organization. To achieve this alignment organizations need to meet some key characteristics:

  • The organization must value its own IT resources as an instrument to enhance the business.
  • Must hold customer service, both externally and internally, at the highest importance.
  • It’s also important to rotate both IT and not IT business professionals across different departments and job functions. 
  • The organization has to provide clear and specific objectives to both the IT and  not IT business sectors. 
  • The organization needs also to create an inclusive business culture to unify the company as a whole.

IT Investment Optimization is the base stone in which lays IT & Business alignment. The following are the most important key point to achieve IT Investment Optimization:

  • Avoid declining IT budgets. 
  • Define new IT investment optimization goals
  • Identify investment opportunities.
  • Prioritize investment portfolio.
  • Develops ongoing governance.

Opportunity Identification

To identify IT cost optimization opportunities, a company should make an IT cost assessment. This practice can help find solutions to the business challenges identified through the merger or acquisition. It can also help generate increased utilization of IT resources and assets.

Alternate sourcing 

This can be an excellent practice when a company looks for a way to optimize IT costs. Every company needs to think about how many people it requires at its offices and how many it can have as outsourced. When thinking about the best outsourcing method, Offshoring can help to optimize cost by relocating activities into another country.

Nevertheless, Nearshoring might be the best option for IT companies that demand the best-qualified employees abroad, and that are linguistically and technically focused. Nearshoring allows IT companies to improve business efficiency but reduce the barriers of traditional offshoring because they outsource their processes to nearby countries. 

Get the ultimate offshore software development guide for CEOs. Download my ebook.

Cutting costs by renegotiating

IT companies can also seek out ways to save money through renegotiation with their vendors. And it can be a very productive practice because many vendors are in the position to negotiate. But it may be not an easy task, so it’s better to follow some important steps to renegotiating with vendors:

  • Consider the market data to support what is requested.
  • Don’t forget that you are trying to rebuild a pre-existing relationship. 
  • Take care of its long-term viability as well as achieving a reduction in costs.
  • Transmit to the vendor that your better financial health will probably translate into higher future orders.
  • Exchange a more favorable rate for a longer contract term.
  • Also, find out how you can help your vendor for saving money.

Standardization 

According to Gartner, rationalizing and standardizing enterprise applications is one of the best techniques to help CIOs turn to strategic IT cost optimization. It can reduce the application portfolio that always represents a large part of an IT budget. CIOs who standardize and rationalize their application portfolios can reduce and control costs. Savings can range between 15% and 25% of the application budget.

To adopt a standardized infrastructure can help keep in control the cost and enhance working quality. But always take care of how you are investing your organization’s money. It is important to do it with cost optimization in mind, to be sure that you are spending your business capital in the right way. 

Integrating, updating, and modernizing devices and applications were usually the core of every IT-specific cost-cutting in the past. But today new Cloud infrastructure solutions can help reduce complexities and simplify software administration. 

Realization of Benefits

The Realization of Benefits process will let you identify and measure your company’s benefits, enabling your business projects to be implemented with a clear vision of the delivery of outputs. To obtain a proper IT cost optimization you need to apply Realization of Benefits in areas such as software, hosting, networks, end-user computing, and IT overhead management. The following practices can help you with this task:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Infrastructure Rationalization

Gartner recommends that it’s a better plan to first simplify your existing systems, before spending large amounts of money to replace all your existing systems. To achieve this you need to identify existing assets. It’s a good practice to make an inventory of all servers and hardware currently in use and maintain it monthly. Then, you need to identify assets from that inventory list to be rationalized and consolidated. You can get advantages of this knowledge and make Infrastructure rationalization with the following actions:

  • Remove unnecessary assets.
  • Define common processes and tools.
  • Consolidate the number of physical locations where infrastructure is deployed.
  • Adopt virtualization to better utilize infrastructure assets.
  • Rationalize the variety of items in the infrastructure.

You are practicing consolidation when you reduce the number of physical servers, while you are practicing rationalization when you reduce the variety of different server types. Both practices can help you simplify your business IT infrastructure, but rationalization is often overlooked, even when most IT systems have underutilized or inappropriate systems. Consequently, consolidating without rationalizing will only perpetuate unnecessary functions in your infrastructure.

Global Sourcing

Your business can make use of practices such as Global Sourcing to obtain the highest levels of efficiency possible in goods and services from the global market. Many foreign suppliers offer their services at a competitive price, especially in low-cost regions. The main goal of this kind of practice is to improve service costs while maintaining the exacting quality standards required. But don’t forget that Nearshoring might be the best option for IT companies to obtain the best-qualified workers abroad. 

Application Portfolio Rationalization

Another good practice in the search for Realization of Benefits is the Application Portfolio Rationalization according to Apptio. It is the process of cataloging and eliminating duplicate software applications used across an organization. This rationalization practice can help you to improve efficiency by simplifying portfolio complexity. It can also help you to lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) for your business application portfolio. 

When your business application portfolio is aligned to business outcomes, it is when Application rationalization initiatives tend to be more successful. You need to identify a defensible and repeatable process to get the best benefit from your Application Portfolio Rationalization. 

To execute the best plan of action, focus one by one on every activity to maximize success. You can create an application catalog, assign costs, create a point system to assign a score to each application. Last but not least, maintain this as a continuous process to sustain momentum.

About ZirconTech:
A trusted partner that helps organizations thrive in their digital transformations. Mobility, Internet of things, artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing and blockchain technologies.

IT Cost optimization every CEO should do

There are certain practices that every CEO inside IT companies should have in mind when it comes time to deal with IT costs. In this article, I want to talk about 7 key points related to the best practices for IT cost optimization every CEO should follow.   

The 7 key points of IT Cost Optimization:  

  1. IT cost optimization is a continuous discipline
  2. The role of CIO
  3. Improve price and terms with your suppliers
  4. Consolidate shared services
  5. Achieve a standardized infrastructure
  6. Improve data management
  7. IT cost optimization budgeting best practices

  Let’s go now to the topics.     

IT cost optimization is a continuous discipline

There are common questions about cost optimization in IT like: How important is it? Is it the same as resource optimization? Is it just a budget exercise to meet numbers? Like any other problems in the field of cost optimization, we can face it from different angles. According to Gartner cost optimization is a business-focused continuous discipline to drive spending and cost reduction while maximizing business value.   

This includes:  

  • Obtaining the best pricing and terms for all business and IT purchases.
  • Standardizing, simplifying, and rationalizing platforms, applications, processes, and services.
  • Automating and digitizing IT and business operations.

The role of CIO

The role of the CIOs (Chief Information Officer) has changed tremendously in the last 10 years. In the past, they were in charge of bringing technological innovation to the company. But today, they have lost that prominence, and it seems that their main role is just to do the systems work and make operational IT spending as cheap as possible.    Now, more functional areas like CMO, CFO, or logistics are running projects of eCommerce or business intelligence within most IT companies. In these difficult times of COVID-19, It could be a good idea to remind them what the CIOs have to do.    They have to return to manage new projects in the functional areas. And for it, CIOs need to count on strategic partners with the best capabilities, at a reasonable cost, in the most convenient time zone.    

Improve price and terms with your suppliers

IT companies are frequently focused only on getting the best price for requested purchases. But they need also to keep an eye on some key items to improve the cost optimization:  

Key Items:   

  • Implementation support
  • On-site representation
  • Marketing cooperation
  • Training credits
  • Classes on-site
  • Less tangible benefits and compensation
  • Terms help optimize costs too

 This kind of practice makes that every dollar spent worth more for the organization. You need also to be careful with your vendor’s conditions. Try to always avoid this kind of practices:  

  • Being lock-in through contracts with high exit costs
  • Extremely long terms contracts
  • Incur in contract violations by working with a competitor 

These are important points that could limit your company’s ability to try new alternatives, move to new technologies, and achieve important innovations.  On the other hand, you need to implement good practices as a CEO to achieve the best results on cost optimization.

It will always be profitable to:  

  • Establish win-win relationships with suppliers
  • Improve speed and accuracy
  • Minimize the risk of new implementations

Consolidate shared services

It will be better for people in charge of the administration of Storage, System, and Network, to work under the same team. This way your organization will minimize rework, reduce duplication of efforts, and achieve consistency in operations.   Try to avoid pair application and production support services exclusively with the product groups they support. Because this can limit those resources from adding more value to the organization as a whole. Although these groups are part of the IT staff, their priorities have to be defined to the whole business benefit.   While still being part of their original business groups, the IT staff can provide knowledge, information, and the flow of ideas when they are engaged with other organization’s groups. This kind of practice can also improve the better balance and sharing of the business workloads.    

The Definitive Guide to IT Cost Optimization

 

Achieve a standardized infrastructure

To adopt a standardized infrastructure can help keep in control the cost and enhance working quality. Cloud infrastructure helps workers to check through the data and work in a much faster way. Cloud infrastructure can also save time, speed up the work, and help lower the cost of different processes and systems.    But it doesn’t mean that you can invest your organization’s money without any judgments. It is essential to do it with cost optimization in mind, to be sure that you are spending your business capital in the right way. Always be secure that you are getting the best return out of it.    Integrating, updating, and modernizing devices and applications were usually the core of every IT-specific cost-cutting in the past. But today new Cloud infrastructure solutions can help reduce complexities and simplify software administration.   If you are in the point of upgrading to a Cloud environment, the next point can be very useful for you:  

  • Adopting a hybrid, multi-cloud architecture is a superb idea to speed up processes.
  • The process of your organization will be very much agile and convergent within a cloud infrastructure.
  • To centralize control and administration it is better to unify diverse systems.
  • Implementing a Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) can reduce the number of resources required to maintain all the elements of conventional “hardware-defined” systems by virtualizing them.
  • Although investing in HCI has high initial costs, it can significantly reduce overall data center footprint, maintenance, and support costs. 
  • HCI will add scalability, data efficiency, and faster deployment to your organization’s systems.

Improve data management

Data is undoubtedly a company’s most important asset. Therefore, it should be treated and managed accordingly. In addition to this, a survey by Harvard Business Review showed that cost efficiency is a significant benefit of a data-driven enterprise.   The important point is to give the right data to the right people at the right time. When organizations get strategic about data and analytics, they can introduce a data maturity framework that can save up to 25% of the company’s revenue.   The fact to achieve digitizing most of the repeatable internal processes can permit your organization to chase more business goals, maximize productivity, and improve ROI.   Gartner revealed that it is expected that two-thirds of customer experience projects will make use of IT by 2022, up from 50 percent in 2017. As most support questions are repeated, so these answers can be automated.    Customer support through chatbots, called virtual customer assistants (VCA), is becoming more common every day. Besides that, it is a more effective use of resources. This will make it possible that the support staff gives real attention to the customers with deeper issues.    Gartner’s study reported that organizations reduced up to 70% of call, chat, and email inquiries and a 33% cost-saving per voice engagement after implementing a VCA.      

IT cost optimization budgeting best practices

Budgets are a strategic tool: So it is better to spend to support certain goals and avoid spending in not essential areas.  

Manage your budget like it’s your money: Be responsible for what you want your team to accomplish. It’s a good practice to look at areas that you’ve fallen short in the past and analyze new strategies.   

Be transparent with your team: It is beneficial when your direct-reports know precisely what they can spend on new investing like new software or training. In the end, it will generate a more trusting relationship.  

Difference between cost optimization with cost-cutting: It is usual to confuse cost optimization with cost-cutting or reduction for some business managers, but they are very different concepts. Cost-cutting will aim to reduce the cost of every expense. On the other hand, cost optimization is more about spending the right cost at the right place.   

Regular Review and Monitoring: a regular audit of the entire system can help to understand the cost of the whole operation. It is a good practice to examine the methods used and the values they are adding to the workforce. This will serve to determine whether they are useful or not for the business.   

Nearshoring, Offshoring: You need a regular staff to manage your business offices. But hiring new employees requires a significant amount of investment. It is a good practice to think about how many people you require at your offices and how many you can have as outsourced. Then you have to think about the best outsourcing method.   With Offshoring, for example, the operating activities are relocated to another country. But Nearshoring might be the best option for IT companies that are linguistically and technically focused on highly qualified employees abroad.    With Nearshoring you outsource your business processes to companies in a nearby country. This method allows IT companies to maximize business efficiency but reduce the barriers of traditional offshoring. This way your regular staff will have easy communication with your outsource staff, due to the same spoken language, minor cultural differences, and within the same time zone.         

Final Words

To finalize let say that it is essential to get cost optimization, so you’ll know that you are spending the right amount at the right place, and getting a proper return out of it. Following the practices mentioned above can help make great IT cost optimization.    The global COVID-19 pandemic affected the economy remarkably. As a result, a growing number of businesses are looking into tactics that optimize IT costs. Be aware of the latest IT cost optimization initiatives with this guide: The Definitive Guide to IT Cost Optimization.

About ZirconTech:
A trusted partner that helps organizations thrive in their digital transformations. Mobility, Internet of things, artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing and blockchain technologies.

The Definitive Guide to IT Cost Optimization
IT cost optimization refers to a series of strategic, programmatic, and innovative tactics businesses utilize to sustain enterprise-wide programs. As a CFO, CIO, or executive of IT the responsibility to weigh in steps to take to reduce IT operating costs lies with you.
If you want to be prepared to maximize cost savings while sustaining business value dowload this guide.

What will you find in this guide:

Cost Management and Control framework

Defining Cost Managment

  • Resource Allocation
  • Estimate Operational Costs
  • Cost Budgeting

Defining Cost Control

Developing a Strategic Cost Optimization

  • Setting Your Priorities Straight
  • Optimize Costs While Keeping Your Team Productive
  • Align Your Strategy to Your Business Goals
  • Long-term Cost Optimization Opportunities

Key personnel involved in IT Cost Optimization

Cost Optimization Initiatives

  • Automation
  • IT Infrastructure
  • DevOps (Cloud)
  • LowCode
  • Offshore
The Definitive Guide to IT Cost Optimization

About ZirconTech:
A trusted partner that helps organizations thrive in their digital transformations. Mobility, Internet of things, artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing and blockchain technologies.

Gartner’s Top Technology Trends for 2021

Gartner, Inc. has recently introduced the Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2021 during their virtual IT symposium. Strategic IT analysts and experts made projections based on their findings on how the COVID-19 pandemic shaped technology. In light of the global health crisis, tech companies, big and small, adapted and reshaped their approach to the extent of molding tech trends for the following year.

Gartner elucidated on a comprehensive list of trends that executives and leaders should expect for 2021. A majority of these trends are focused on embracing the pandemic’s impact and how it molds the IT landscape. We will focus on the Gartner trends surrounding Cloud tech, Blockchain, Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence in this article.

Cloud Trends

When it comes to setting the cloud tech expectations next year, Gartner highlighted the distributed cloud’s importance. A distributed cloud allows businesses to relay responsibilities and cloud services across different IT functions. Regardless of the location, business operations become manageable with the use of a public cloud provider.

Analysts found that remote work arrangements and freelancing opportunities are here to stay even during post-pandemic. Not only it promotes convenience, but it can also streamline the workflow and deployment of the product. With the help of a reliable cloud, organizations can withstand low-latency scenarios while reducing data costs. Simultaneously, distributed cloud accommodates laws that dictate data must remain in a specific geographical area.

Blockchain Trends

Blockchain continues to pick up its pace in the wake of the current business climate and beyond. Gartner trends inform us that blockchain technology to secure data and devices will continue for 2021. According to their findings, three technologies will emerge to improve privacy-enhancing features and protect data. These are new methods that facilitate differential privacy, refines homomorphic encryption, and a reliable environment to process and analyze data.

Over the years, the issue surrounding privacy continues to grow. Therefore, businesses perform strategies that encrypt data when outsourced vendors or partners utilize them. This safety net allows organizations to collaborate across regions without compromising security, data privacy, and confidentiality. Businesses must perform extra precautions before sharing, processing, and accessing any form of data.

Get the ultimate offshore software development guide for CEOs. Download my ebook.

Internet of Things

As one of the most prominent aspects of technology over the years, the Internet-of-Things plays a fundamental role in the coming years. IoT aims to leverage data for wide-scale networks to bridge a gap between information and technology. Gartner emphasized an extension to IoT, the Internet-of-Behaviors to flourish in 2021. IoB interconnects devices to gather data sources that impact a change in consumer behavior. The IoB integrates data to the customers to influence their actions with the use of feedback loops.

Experts noticed how a majority of auto companies make use of telematics to monitor consumers’ driving behaviors. With that in mind, it helps them shape their product that targets driver performance, routing, and safety. Another example can be found in employees’ transition to remote work arrangements when the pandemic hit the world. The introduction of automated tools and applications to adapt to the current situation eased this shift’s burden. From videoconferencing tools, AI-powered assistants to virtual meeting technology, these approaches leverage employee engagement and improve workflow. The increasing advancements and sophistication of technology that processes data opened doors of opportunities for this trend to remain.

Artificial Intelligence

Gartner trends for 2021 highlighted AI engineering’s role in facilitating scalability, advancement, and AI model innovation. Although a handful of AI projects can face maintenance and governance issues, this challenge can be possible to overcome. Analysts from Gartner have found that 53% of AI  models can make it from prototype to production. It may not be a huge percentage, but it shows a significant improvement in streamlining dynamic AI development.

Gartner sees the importance of designating an AI engineering function as part of the DevOps team to increase success chances. Pushing for collaboration across multiple disciplines paves the way for creating sustainable AI operations at scale. With CIOs, executives, and stakeholders taking part in these projects’ design and governance, there can be a tremendous improvement in AI models.

The Bottom Line

The conjugation of Gartner’s trends aims to reinforce the role of data and technology in the business landscape. These trends are worth exploring to improve the value of products while imposing authority over IT technology usage.

As one of the main trends in the IT market throughout the years, offshoring software development seems to be the most practical way to adapt to the latest trends. After experiencing the global pandemic, it becomes imperative to decide on strategies to sustain software development regardless of a significant crisis. Additionally,  businesses big and small made a crucial decision to take this opportunity to reduce development costs.

Offshoring software development teams in countries like Argentina and Uruguay can further your business goals. They take pride in high-quality IT services, real-time collaboration, travel proximity, and cultural similarity to fulfill your needs. If you are looking into offshoring the leading tech experts to Argentina and Uruguay, contact us at ZirconTech today!

About ZirconTech:
A trusted partner that helps organizations thrive in their digital transformations. Mobility, internet of things, artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing and blockchain technologies.

Enterprise Ethereum Adoption: virtual event

In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic the EEA events are not happening physically in New York City, that is why today it took place the First Ever Virtual Event.

It was a half-day event to explore blockchain applications, technical insights, reference architectures, and practical business use cases. Our teams connected remotely from New York, Buenos Aires and Montevideo.

The content of the event covered everything from the state of Ethereum in the enterprise to the growing use of the Ethereum Mainnet for business process automation.

The topics included among others:

  • The State of Enterprise Ethereum Adoption
  • Use Cases Built on Ethereum Mainnet
  • Baseline Protocol
  • Ethereum Adoption Tracks
  • The Enterprise Blockchain Technology Stack and Roadmap
  • Ethereum in Finance
  • Community: Through the Lens of the Ethereum Foundation
  • Blockchain for Social Impact

Speakers from many global companies included Banco Santander, BP, EY, Microsoft, JP Morgan, Ethereum Foundation, ConsenSys, Chainlink, Unibright, Fnality, Envision Blockchain Solutions, PegaSys, Provide Technologies and LimeChain.

The networking platform worked very well and we had the opportunity to interact and meet colleagues in the community.


ZirconTech team has been working for several years with the Ethereum platform, and has been keeping up to date with enterprise customer demands by developing competencies and implementing projects in Quorum and Hyperledger Besu.

Quorum is a platform developed by J.P. Morgan through its Blockchain Center of Excellence, leading efforts for Distributed Ledger Technology applications. It is an enterprise blockchain platform, a fork of the public Ethereum client ‘geth’ with several protocol level enhancements to support business needs. The primary purpose of the Quorum project was to develop an enterprise Ethereum client which empowers businesses to embrace and benefit from blockchain technology.

Hyperledger Besu is an open-source Ethereum client developed under the Apache 2.0 license and written in Java. It runs on the Ethereum public network, private networks, and test networks such as Rinkeby, Ropsten, and Görli. Besu implements Proof of Work (Ethash) and Proof of Authority (IBFT 2.0 and Clique) consensus mechanisms.

The welcome of the event to the state of Enterprise Ethereum Adoption was from John Whelan, (Banco Santander) and Yorke Rhodes III (Microsoft). John highlighted the 5th birthday of Ethereum Mainnet as the day of the event. He is the Chairman of the board of EEA, and te Managing Director of Digital Investment Innovation at Banco Santander.

Maria Concepcion (Coty) de Monteverde, from Banco Santander spoke about Finance applications, the Digital Bonds issuance on the Ethereum Mainnet. She is the Blockchain Center of Excellence Director in Santander, and is a Board Member at the Alastria Blockchain Ecosystem.

More finance applications with Ethereuem came from Christine Moy (J.P. Morgan), Artem Korenyuk (DTCC); Valerie Dahiya (Perkins Coie LLP) and Adam Clarke (Fnality).

Vanessa Grellet from ConsenSys addressed the topic of Blockchain for Social Impact, talking about Payments and Financial Inclusion.

Earlier on July 8th, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance announced the appointment of Dr. Daniel Burnett as Executive Director, who was instrumental in the rollout of the Baseline Protocol, and is a former PegaSys Blockchain Standards Architect. During the event, EEA Chairman John Whelan hosted a fireside chat with Daniel “Dan” Burnett. Dan will serve as a catalyst for the EEA’s growth by identifying ways to accelerate the pace of Ethereum innovation and adoption.


This month was also published some key ecosystem results like the Ethereum Mainnet Use Case Analysis v1. The EEA published the first analysis in a series of reports focused on the current state of the Ethereum ecosystem and utilization of the Ethereum public blockchain (Mainnet) –

2020 has been a year of remarkable enterprise Ethereum advances from the Baseline Protocol to enterprise Mainnet use cases in automation, business integration, finance, supply chain, and sustainability-focused carbon accounting efforts”. Daniel Norkin at Envision Blockchain and Tas Dienes at the Ethereum Foundation worked in tha analysis. The insights play a key role to Ethereum adoption and utilization. Stefan Schmidt at Unibright, Mark Caraway at BlockApps, and John Wolpert at ConsenSys also provided valuable contributions to this report.

EdoxOnline Blockchain Electronic Bill of Lading eBL

In the midst of the complications that the coronavirus presents for the trade of products linked to agriculture, Argentine developments facilitates the electronic transmission of documents through the digitization of processes represent a great advantage, and are already being used by firms like Cargill, Bunge and Dreyfus. In COVID-19 times, this application aims to avoid obstacles to the agricultural trade.

Global Share is a company dedicated to the continuous improvement of business processes, providing innovative solutions to companies to add up value and competitive advantage by improving their processes productivity. One year ago, Global Share announced a major milestone in EdoxOnline history, the brand new development for the preparation, issuance, signing, transmission, negotiation and presentation of the electronic Bill of Lading (e-BL). ZirconTech has been a key partner implementing blockchain technology in the solution architecture in 2018-2019.


The synergy between state of art technology and professional experience in supply chains, logistics and commercial networks, allows Global Share to offer a spectrum of tools and optimization solutions to improve processes. One year ago (on April 2019) Global Share announced the incorporation of blockchain technology to the e-BL platform to position EdoxOnline (www.edoxonline.com) to the top podium category of companies providing such functionality running within full and extreme security capabilities.

Global Share therefore confirmed its leadership in the agribusiness industry, and has been determined to reach out to the horizon stated in its Vision by adding innovative solutions that help customers receive important benefits as a result of the streamlined processes that these innovations produce.

“The unloading of bulk carriers in China -one of the three largest trading partners of Argentina along with Brazil and the United States- requires the presentation of documentation by the importer, particularly the Bill of Lading (BL), to the carrier and local customs. In the international trade industry to achieve the authorization of the unloading -in the vast majority of cases-, you must send the documents via courier from the exporting country to the destination country, where the importer files to claim ownership of the cargo, either bulk commodities or containerized products”, says a report by Global Share.

Then it notes that the coronavirus “makes visible the problem of delivering paper documents in a complex and global supply chain” and highlights that “the absence of documents is causing significant congestion in the main ports of the Asian giant, and consequently generating logistics costs for delays”. According to the report, the penalty for delay in unloading large ships averages $ 30,000 a day.

“While it is unfortunate that these situations have to bring to light the benefits of electronic document transmission, we hope that the industry as a whole will continue to adopt digital processes to facilitate global trading” said Alejandro Pernias, CEO of Global Share. .

EdoxOnline reportedly recently released the first ever electronic bill of lading with blockchain technology. “It allows a Chinese importer, or any country in the world, to present the necessary documentation to release their cargo in front of the carrier and customs authorities,” he said.

The blockchain based Bill of Lading (e-BL)

Solutions such as the electronic Bill of Lading (e-BL), electronic Phytosanitary Certificate (e-Phyto) and electronic Origin Certificate (e-OC) have been embracing the International Trade of Commodities, thus helping all trading companies go paperless, as they also streamline the whole shipping documents issuance process. On June 11th 2019, the IG (Group of Protection & Indemnity insurance Clubs) approved Global Share S.A. EdoxOnline platform. The legal frameworks for this new generation of e-BL providers’ systems were scrutinized by the IG to ensure that e-BLs created on them are capable of performing the three functions of a bill of lading, namely as a receipt, a document of title and a contract of carriage. Liabilities arising in respect of the carriage of cargo under e-BLs created on these systems are now covered by the IG Clubs as if the bills of lading had been issued in traditional paper form.

The key difference with this second generation e-BL systems is their reliance on blockchain technology.  Unlike three years ago, blockchain is today no longer just a buzzword but has many real applications. A blockchain may be a public or a private digital network used for recording transactional events in encrypted form, storing the same in a distributed ledger (i.e. the computers).  A private blockchain network can feature a level of centralization. Access is limited by a governing body to a number of participants only.  Public blockchain networks however run on thousands of computers and do not have a ‘central administrator’.  It is not possible to shut down, block or limit access to a public blockchain network. EdoxOnline’s product is based on the Ethereum blockchain; the best known public blockchain which also enables the use of smart contracts.  The publicly distributed ledger contains a permanent record of all transactions, providing transparency and enabling auditability of all events. Without a central registry, there is no central point of attack for hackers.

EdoxOnline is the first e-BL system created implementing blockchain technology. The company was set up in 2007 by a group of international trade experts to provide the industry with a collaborative digital platform to streamline the issuance of shipping and commercial documents. On EdoxOnline’s system, all the participants to a trade, from shippers to customs agents, interact in real-time, reliably, efficiently, and in a secure manner.

ZirconTech helped Global Share in the implementation of the solution that tracks the changes in the documentation over time and ensures tamper proof and no possibility of modifying the information of the same. ZirconTech proposed to identify the documents through hashes (SHA256) and then leave the same “notarized” in the Ethereum blockchain using a document ID and the mentioned hash. Each change in the document is registered using the corresponding ID and hash update. For this project a smart contract was developed using Solidity and an API using NodeJS.

How does EdoxOnline work?

From a user interface perspective, this blockchain based system look very similar to first generation eBL providers approved by the IG but the way in which it works differs. The system encrypt and store all the data associated with the eBL, i.e. the parties involved, their status and the transactions, on a blockchain decentralised network each time a new transaction is performed. Users registering to use the system are deemed to have accepted, and thus be bound by, the terms and conditions of these providers’ multilateral agreements.

Significantly, the service provider running the network is not a principal to the transaction and has no access to the users’ information, ensuring privacy for the users. The system otherwise shares the following similarities with first generation eBL providers:

• The system replicates the process flow and roles performed by the paper BL.

• It has a legal framework governing the use of the system. Users agree to treat electronic documentation within the system as the functional and legal equivalent of paper documents, and undertake not to challenge the validity of any transaction or communication made on the ground that the same was made in e-form, instead of in paper form and/or that it is not signed or sealed. The legal framework is a multilateral agreement between all users and between each user and the system provider.

•  The legal framework for edoxOnline comprises of its “e-BL Terms and Conditions”, version 1, dated 18 May 2018, accompanied by its Management User’s Guide. 

• edoxOnline relies on the principle of novation to transfer rights and obligations. The parties contractually agree that there is a novation of the contract of carriage each time the eBL is transferred from one holder to the next. On a transfer, the rights held by the transferor are extinguished. The transferee takes those rights instead and becomes a party to the contract of carriage, allowing him to sue the carrier under the same terms originally agreed between the carrier and the shipper.

• edoxOnline also relies on the principle of attornment to enable the new holder of the eBL to obtain title in the goods. The users agree in advance under the terms and conditions that there will be an attornment each time the eBL is transferred.

•  The system is accessed via apps and users do not need to invest in special hardware.

•   The eBL created on the system can be sent in draft form for approval between the shipper and the carrier, and can also be passed back and forth between holders in this way if, for example, amendments to the document need to be made. Like a paper BL however, there can only be one holder of an eBL at any time. 

•  The system also offers the possibility to create and to transfer other trade documents such as cargo certificates, invoices, packing lists, etc.

•  The system has procedures for switching eBLs to paper BLs at any point in the transactions.

•   The system is regularly tested against all forms of cyber attacks, and the providers have insurance for cyber risks and professional E&O risks.

•   edoxOnline is free for carriers to use.

Global Share was confident that the EdoxOnline electronic Bill of Lading (e-BL) would meet its customers’ expectations and business needs, going paperless and efficient, and has become a reality.

The UK P&I Club is one of the oldest P&I clubs in the world and has released a report highlighting the benefits of EdoxOnline. The UK P&I Club provides Protection and Indemnity insurance in respect of third party liabilities and expenses arising from owning ships or operating ships as principals.  One of the largest mutual marine protection and indemnity organizations it insures over 240 million tonnes of owned and chartered ships from more than fifty countries across the globe. The UK P&I Club gives security with its A (Stable) Standard & Poor’s rating and accessibility with a claims service on hand in 350 ports. 


About Zircon Tech:

A trusted partner that helps organizations thrive in their digital transformations. Mobility, internet of things, artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing and blockchain technologies.

Contact Information:

E-mail: contact@zircon.tech

Phone: +1 347-571-9089 / +54 911-5755-4198

Twitter: @zircon_tech

Web: www.zircon.tech

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Montevideo, Uruguay

New York, United States

Santiago, Chile

References and sources:

Global Share announces the launch of Electronic Bill of Lading under Blockchain technology

Zircon Tech helps Global Share to launch Electronic Bill of Ladings using blockchain technology

https://zircon.tech/blog/2019/04/25/zircon-tech-helps-global-share-to-launch-electronic-bill-of-ladings-using-blockchain-technology/

Argentina: ZirconTech encourages the use of blockchain technology for electronic shipping invoices

https://es.cointelegraph.com/news/argentina-zircon-tech-promotes-the-use-of-blockchain-technology-for-electronic-shipment-invoices

Coronavirus: local development aims to avoid obstacles to the agricultural trade

https://www.lanacion.com.ar/economia/campo/coronavirus-desarrollo-local-apunta-evitar-trabas-comercio-nid2336613

Electronic Bills of Lading – An Update Part I

https://www.ukpandi.com/knowledge-publications/publications/article/electronic-bills-of-lading-an-update-part-i-151842/

Cloud business cases involving blockchain technologies

Working in blockchain projects not only means working in the blockchain technology itself. Any initiative involving blockchain technology needs to take care of the mobile, front end and back-office systems, as well as the cloud environments. ZirconTech also helps companies in all these aspects by providing an integrated and seamless service. As a custom software development company ZirconTech builds custom software solutions, mobile apps, CRM integrations, operating systems & more.

ZirconTech has leveraged its cloud computing and scalable systems capabilities in several blockchain projects.


Digital commodity trading platform with an integrated supply chain solution

ZirconTech delved into the agribusiness sector helping a company that evolved piloting trading platforms and completed trades with Thailand, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Cambodia, Switzerland and England, bringing the transparency needed to the supply chain process. This greater level of transparency allows insurance partners to better assess, control risk and to give users access to first-class insurance coverage.

ZirconTech was involved in this blockchain platform that automates and simplifies the complexity of some commodities trading, increasing security, transparency, efficiency, traceability and trust with verifiable, immutable data. Implemented with Hyperledger Fabric blockchain technology, it helped to create an enterprise-standard, automated platform for removal of friction in the commodities supply chain, lowering risk and cost for traders, insurers, shippers and other stakeholders.

From the cloud perspective, ZirconTech engineers worked in visionary cloud management using the most recently available services. We worked in a proof of concept with Amazon AWS blockchain services: Amazon Managed Blockchain and KMS (Key Management Service).

There were involved infrastructures from different companies: each company provided its own services and they had to communicate with trust. Microsoft Azure platforms had to be migrated to AWS. The goal was to create a flexible platform and enable new participants to add new servers quickly and easily.

AWS stack in this project included Elastic Beanstalk, EC2, S3 and Cloudwatch. Additionally, we used Docker and Kubernetes to scale up nodes.

ZirconTech partnered with a company in Los Angeles (California) to help the commodity exchange based in Zug (Switzerland) and Singapore.


 

 

 

 

 

Digital platform for taking donations and sharing information with donors

ZirconTech has been working in a US based bitcoin platform offering unprecedented transparency in the donation process, giving donors the ability to transfer, track, and provide a permanent record of the route of global financial transactions from inception to endpoint.

The platform works in AWS and has interesting functionalities connecting with the blockchains, with a DevOps management in the orchestration process of production releases using several tools and continuous integration. It works in AWS based in EC2 (Elastic Compute), with autoscaling, Nginx and a Jenkins continuous integration pipeline. It also uses other AWS services such as S3 (Simple Storage Service), Cloudfront, RDS (Relational Database Service), Elasticache and VPC (Virtual Private Cloud).


CRM platform for artists

ZirconTech team is working in a mobile application for artists which is used as CRM and to build a website to share their work and social networks. 0The backend is built with AWS services, Elastic Beanstalk, EC2, CodePipeline, CodeBuild, S3, DynamoDB and VPC (Virtual Private Cloud). Terraform is used to orchestrate the architecture.

Continuous integration is also used in this project.

 

Cloud adoption strategy for digital transformation

Working with Cloud platforms for many years, we have developed the expertise and framework to deliver consultancy services for cloud adoption strategy, application transformation, and support. We have experience with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud and OpenStack (including, IaaS, Containers, Serverless technologies among others).


Scalable platforms have become increasingly important in today’s digitally connected world.  To enable digital products through a robust architecture we apply our best practices and patterns in the designing of backend ecosystems which allow us to enable businesses to accelerate in an agile way. We have a wide array of experience in providing backend solutions that support scalability, security, availability, performance, quality and high adaptability to internal and external integrations.

Gartner has identified several business objectives driving platform trends in 2020:

– Business success demands continuous real-time intelligence

– Technology innovation demands excellence in cloud-centric computing

– Business innovation demands a new level of business-IT collaboration

And Gartner’s key trends in PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) and platform innovation could be seen in the following chart:

ZirconTech is following all these trends to help companies to get aligned with current and future business and technology scenarios.

Consultancy services for cloud adoption strategy

Digital transformation initiatives include cloud projects that can be very complex, and there are multiple scenarios from small to extremely large. ZirconTech can help companies to understand where they are to create a roadmap for an increasing cloud adoption path. Clouds could be hybrid, involve multiple vendor, be private or public, and we can help companies to understand the best fit scenario considering the starting point, the organization culture and economic reality.

Our goal is to deliver a customized solution using cloud and digital transformation technologies to maximize the organizations potential and bring a concrete impact on the business. ZirconTech will always bring customization to meet the demands of the customers’ business and unique needs.

Strategy and roadmap definition in digital transformation initiatives

– Current state assessment (AS-IS), technology and business needs

– Design a framework model to minimize disruption in the current scenario and accelerate the adoption of the new technology landscape

– Create a business and technology roadmap having in mind the impact and ROI (return on investment)

– Integrate the framework model and the cloud strategy with current enterprise technology initiatives and general information technology strategies.

Implementation and management

Multiple scenarios could be addressed. From data center migrations, application transformation for a cloud-first organization approaches, to developing new applications in the cloud.

ZirconTech helps companies to build a reliable technology baseline for business growth and innovation, including sound capabilities in agile methodologies and DevOps delivering with minimal.

Cloud Strategy

There’s no cloud strategy without considering current economic scenario and business goals. It is important to identify key challenges and come with a right solution. The process will address problems and opportunities very specific to customers organizations. Strategy implementation must consider company reality and create a tailored roadmap of continuous digital transformation.

Cloud technology assessment and business needs

Assessment of the current state of the technology landscape and accelerate cloud adoption initiatives.

Best practices for cloud adoption acceleration. It is very important to understand the company reality and potential impact in the organization and the financial requirements. Lots of organizations are already going through cloud usage, many have tested advanced concepts in pilot applications or services but have not thrived to scale organization wide and converted into repeatable processes.

One view could be looking at Gartner’s cloud-native platform experience chart.

ZirconTech can check current organization’s processes, identify the technology infrastructure and applications landscape scenarios, considering key aspects to prepare for an increased cloud migration or new implementations. From the current state (AS-IS), we will identify important gaps, and create a future scenario (TO-BE) with a roadmap including specific initiatives, actions and tasks to address the transformation.

Creating a business case for cloud initiatives

The goal is to accelerate the adoption of a new technology landscape while designing a framework model to minimize disruption in the current scenario.

The current scenario (AS-IS) and future landscape (TO-BE) will have important financial implications. Creating a right business case is very important because we need to consider not only cost savings around physical infrastructure and its migration to the cloud, which includes software licensing, release of physical assets and real estate infrastructure. There are short term changes but also we need to look at the future considering all the additional capabilities and gains that could be achieved with new models of operations, accelerated time to market, innovation, customer retention and acquisition, etc.

Gartner’s view of Business-IT Continuum:

Operations models in cloud environments

Increased cloud adoption environments require teams with automated processes enabled by DevOps and clear policies and responsibilities across involved teams. Creating pilots in specific environments with key employees to expose to a new operation culture, understand what works fine and what doesn’t bring advantage is a proven success path. After those initiatives we can work with the company to define a customized operating model that fits better and a roadmap for further implementation.

In the digital transformation process when organizations increase the cloud adoption we need to consider the scenarios where different groups manage to adopt new technologies and handle the legacy technologies and processes. We need to consider these challenges in the plan and work together with an agile mechanism to have a successful adoption.

Gartner’s integrated low-code suite vision:

Creating a cloud adoption roadmap

The business and technology roadmap must have in mind the impact and ROI (return on investment). The implementation activities will get from the current scenario through possible steps.

In this step it will be considered the best cloud technology models for your company, including the options of public, private, multi cloud, or hybrid, and what are the most suitable vendors. A detailed implementation plan will follow addressing topics like governance, security and risk management whenever needed.

We can help with proof of concepts and pilots to evaluate cloud technologies, applications and vendors, in order to take the best and effective strategic paths.

Yefim Natis, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner recommends several aspects in 2020 that we consider in our projects:

– Fund diversity of platform technologies to be ready for the key trends in IT early, by avoiding exclusive long-term commitments to any platform solutions

– Break boundaries between central IT and business units to deliver continuous business innovation, by prioritizing democratized technologies and establishing business-IT communities and practices.

– Take a decisive position on cloud computing to eliminate confusion and conflict in tactical technology decisions, by creating a clear and concise cloud strategy statement

– Take manageable risks with leading edge technologies and unfamiliar architectures to achieve continuous intelligence for your business, by using event processing, augmented analytics, AI/ML and real-time decision automation.

Global Legal Hackaton 2020 Argentina

Del 6 al 8 de marzo se realizó el Global Legal Hackathon en más de 50 ciudades de 25 países de todo el mundo, con más de 5.000 participantes.

Aún es ampliamente considerado como el Hackathon legal más grande del mundo y podría muy bien ser uno de los más grandes (si no el más grande) de 2020. Este año, muchos participaron en los Estados Unidos y el Reino Unido, junto con Argentina y Brasil, hasta China, Sudáfrica y varios más. La gente lanzó ideas, formó equipos y creó soluciones legales basadas en la tecnología. Al final del evento estos equipos presentaron sus soluciones a un panel de jueces. En última instancia, había un equipo ganador en cada ubicación los cuales avanzaron a la siguiente ronda.


Los ganadores y participantes anteriores de #GLH2018 y #GLH2019 vuelven a ser anfitriones por primera vez después de crear compañías y organizaciones. Hay una afluencia de apoyo de los participantes anteriores para continuar por tercer año consecutivo o incluso solicitar ser voluntario, lo que demuestra que la comunidad que ha creado el Global Legal Hackathon es algo muy importante.

La idea sigue siendo la misma: reunir a las personas para ver si pueden construir un modelo de trabajo de un producto legal basado en software. Se trata de dar la oportunidad a cualquiera de probar una idea y proporcionar la mejor plataforma para hacerlo.

Este año se lanzó un #GLHInclusivityChallenge. Coincidiendo con el Día Internacional de la Mujer, los equipos de Hackathon se inspiraron para desarrollar nuevas soluciones para aumentar la equidad, la diversidad y la inclusión en la industria legal del mundo.

El año pasado el #GLH2019 se desarrolló el 23 y 24 e incluyó a Buenos Aires en la agenda.
A último momento, ZirconTech pudo trabajar remotamente y presentar una solución en la cual se creaba una plantilla para contratos de servicios profesionales que podía ser activado en la plataforma Monax.
La edición #GLH2020 en Buenos Aires presentó una notoria superación. BILDENLEX ABOGADOS y la Asociación LEGALTECH ARGENTINA han venido trabajando activamente en desarrollar acciones distintivas para que la innovación legal permita nuevas perspectivas de trabajo. Del 6 al 8 de marzo de 2020 tuvo lugar en Buenos Aires el Tercer Global Legal Hackathon organizado por BILDENLEX ABOGADOS y otras instituciones. El evento se desarrolló en las oficinas de IOV Labs.

Los objetivos de la competencia comprendieron en el ámbito privado, la empresa y la práctica del derecho. En el ámbito público, la gobernabilidad, los sistemas legales y el acceso a la justicia. Finalmente, desde el punto de vista de la diversidad se procuraba enfrentar el desafío de la inclusividad. Los participantes y equipos de todo el mundo, en cada ciudad de Global Legal Hackaton, tenían el desafío de inventar nuevas formas de aumentar la equidad, la diversidad y la inclusión en la industria legal.

ZirconTech participó como sponsor del evento que llevó adelante Bildenlex Abogados con otras instituciones.

Apertura del evento – Día 1

Juan Pablo Mas Velez abrió el evento en directo, vía videoconferencia desde Francia.

Primer panel
GLH2020 Argentina – Mariano Heller – cómo innovar en la justicia
GLH2020 Argentina: Quiroga – intersección entre el derecho y la tecnología
Comienzo del Día 2

Guillermo Navarro, socio fundador de Bildenlex Abogados decía recién terminado el hackaton que “no había palabras para explicar lo que salió. Con la presencia de más de 120 personas y 7 equipos, compitieron durante 3 días para llevar a cabo una aplicación”.

Los equipos ganadores fueron los siguientes:

1- Mayoría: Impulsores legales de class action
2- Behive: gestión y optimización de las causas probono
3- Segui tu causa: Accesibilidad de la información judicial

Luego del Global Legal Hackaton la organización presentó el mapa de Legaltech Argentino, e invitó a otras entidades a sumarse. Luego de la presentación del viernes prentenden ampliar y que llegue a todos los profesionales que se quieran sumar.