AS Watson Group partners with Infosys for digital transformation
The world’s largest health and beauty retailer, AS Watson Group (ASW), has appointed Infosys as its Official Technology Partner to accelerate its digital transformation initiatives.
The move is part of ASW’s Technology Partnership Program that aims to develop strategic industry partnerships to support its own internal aspirations. Within this, Infosys will provide ASW with its expertise including data science and artificial intelligence (AI) services.
“We believe every technology partner whom we have chosen to work with is more than just a vendor,” said Malina Ngai, Group Chief Operating Officer of ASW.
“Traditional client-vendor relationships are short-term, lack transparency and continuity. The Partnership Program is designed to transform the short term contractual relationship to a longer term strategic relationship to create a win-win for both parties. “
ASW will look to leverage the expertise of Infosys to build AI and machine Learning frameworks that will be vital to the company’s customer centric analytics platform, in addition to optimising its operational efficiency and scalability.
“It is imperative that companies embrace digital technologies if they want to stay relevant and it is inevitable especially in the highly competitive and dynamic retail industry,” Said Ravi Kumar S, President and Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Infosys.
“We will leverage our vast experience in the retail industry, our deep understanding of global markets as well as our extensive digital capabilities to help the A.S. Watson Group achieve its objectives.”
Home to brands such as Superdrug, Savers and Watson's, ASW manages 13,700 stores across 24 markets globally, with approximately 3bn annual customers.
Discord buys Sentropy to fight against hate and abuse online
Discord, a popular chat app, has acquired the software company Sentropy to bolster its efforts to combat online abuse and harassment. Sentropy, monitors online networks for abuse and harassment, then offers users a way to block problematic people and filter out messages they don’t want to see.
First launched in 2015 and currently boasting 150 million monthly active users, Discord plans to integrate Sentropy’s own products into its existing toolkit and the company will also bring the smaller company’s leadership group aboard. Discord currently uses a “multilevel” approach to moderation, and a Trust and Safety (T&S) team dedicated to protecting users and shaping content moderation policies comprised 15% of Discord’s workforce as of May 2020.
“T&S tech and processes should not be used as a competitive advantage,” Sentropy CEO John Redgrave said in a blog post on the announcement. “We all deserve digital and physical safety, and moderators deserve better tooling to help them do one of the hardest jobs online more effectively and with fewer harmful impacts.”
Cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse
Redgrave elaborated on the company’s natural connection with Discord: “Discord represents the next generation of social companies — a generation where users are not the product to be sold, but the engine of connectivity, creativity, and growth. In this model, user privacy and user safety are essential product features, not an afterthought. The success of this model depends upon building next-generation Trust and Safety into every product. We don’t take this responsibility lightly and are humbled to work at the scale of Discord and with Discord’s resources to increase the depth of our impact.”
Sentropy launched out of stealth last summer with an AI system designed to detect, track and cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse. The company emerged then with $13 million in funding from notable backers including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and his VC firm Initialized Capital, King River Capital, Horizons Ventures and Playground Global.
“We are excited to help Discord decide how we can most effectively share with the rest of the Internet the best practices, technology, and tools that we’ve developed to protect our own communities,” Redgrave said.