Microsoft acquires open source startup Citus Data
Microsoft announced this week that it has acquired San Francisco-based open source startup Citus Data in order to improve its cloud computing capabilities. Citus Data specializes in the open source data software PostgreSQL, particularly making its databases more scaleable. According to Techcrunch, “Citus’ open-source PostgreSQL extension essentially turns the application into a distributed database and, while there has been a lot of hype around the NoSQL movement and document stores, relational databases — and especially PostgreSQL — are still a growing market, in part because of tools from companies like Citus that overcome some of their earlier limitations.”
Citus Data’s role within Microsoft will be tied to the company’s Azure cloud computing service, with the goal of accelerating “the delivery of key, enterprise-ready features from Azure to PostgreSQL and enable critical PostgreSQL workloads to run on Azure with confidence,” said Rohan Kumar, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Azure Data.
Microsoft launched its fully managed community-based database service for PostgreSQL in March 2018, and it will now provide a version of PostgreSQL that scales more efficiently in response to growing demand.
"Microsoft and Citus Data will further unlock the power of data, enabling customers to scale complex multi-tenant SaaS applications ... with the familiar PostgreSQL tools developers know and love," Kumar said.
According to a company press release, Citus Data has become one of the latest open-source tech companies to have joined Microsoft since the Washington state-based internet and software giant announced the purchase of the world's largest open-source coding site GitHub with US$7.5bn in June 2018.
Ivy.ai’s new chatbot streamlines resources and policies
Ivy.ai, a creator of AI chatbots for higher education, is offering a chatbot that helps institutions streamline name, image, and likeness policies for athletic programmes.
This solution will allow athletic departments to dramatically reduce inbound inquiries while answering inquiries related to compliance, financial aid impact, how-to documents, and best practice training videos.
It will allow institutions to condense information in a way that is easily accessible and eliminates the need for student-athletes to read complicated manuals. Institutions can also engage with student-athletes via a real-time feedback loop to see which topics truly matter and what needs further clarification. This allows administrators to be proactive and provide a competitive edge in recruiting.
Helping institutions connect their students with information
“Athletic departments at colleges and universities are overwhelmed by the challenges posed by the name, image and likeness legislation,” said Mary Frances Coryell, Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Partnership.
“Ivy.ai is uniquely positioned in the market to help institutions connect their student-athletes with policies and information related to NIL such as state laws, restrictions and relevant contacts. Our chatbot can digest all relevant policy information and provide answers to student-athletes at any time on any device. We expect the NIL market to move quickly, so student-athletes deserve the answers on their terms, rather than exclusively during work hours.”
Primary use cases for the chatbot include:
- Answering commonly asked questions related to name, image and likeness
- Communicate policies such as state laws, restrictions and compliance regulations
- Provide contact information for various advisors and agencies
- Connect training materials for athletes to improve their branding
- Engage in two-way reactive and proactive communication to keep policies student-centric
Back in March 2020, the company offered schools a free COVID-19 Response System, including a customisable COVID-19 Response Bot, a human-to-human live chat system and an SMS Text platform. These services are offered completely free of charge.
"The customisable COVID-19 Response Bot will help schools connect their students with important information, such as the school's operational status, where to go for treatment, and what to do to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus. We already added that information to all of our clients' AI chatbots, and we found that in many cases students needed additional support. That's why we're including our human-to-human Live Chat system in this offer. The SMS Text platform can be used to drive awareness to this communications channel for your students." said Mark McNasby, CEO of Ivy.ai.