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IBM sells its Seterus mortgage services product to Mr. Cooper Group

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IBM continued its effort to prune its software portfolio of low-margin products with the sale of its mortgage servicing business to Mr. Cooper Group.

The terms of the deal, announced Friday, were not disclosed. IBM said in a statement that this business generated $200 million in revenue in 2018, though the revenue was declining and the gross margin was below IBM’s overall gross margin for Global Business Services which was 29.8% in the first three quarters of 2018.

“Because the revenue has been declining, this transaction modestly improves Global Business Services revenue trajectory and margin profile,” IBM said.

IBM acquired its Seterus mortgage servicing business during the 2008 financial crisis “to help a client manage a broad mortgage portfolio, including high risk loans,” according to a statement.

“IBM was successful in the mortgage servicing work, and the portfolio is now much more stable,” according to the statement. “The time is now right to divest this business to a mortgage servicing specialist, whose domain-specific expertise and scale can further advance this business.”

The buyer Mr. Cooper Group, formerly known as Nationstar Mortgage Holdings, is a mortgage origination and services business.

It’s all part of the plan

IBM is on a mission to rid its portfolio of low-growth or declining businesses as part of its push toward a “high-value model.” This essentially means the company would rather invest in higher-yield emerging areas such as AI, cloud, and blockchain than figure out a way to help its declining businesses grow.

IBM’s overall revenues declined for nearly six years, before returning to growth in 2018.

Last month, the company sold $1.8 billion in software assets from its Cognitive Solutions segment to the Indian company HCL.

It has similarly sold off low-performing software units for each of the past 14 years.

IBM traded up nearly 4% Friday amid a broad market rebound.

Read more:Here’s why IBM just sold a $1.8 billion chunk of its software business to the Indian IT company HCL

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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