With the ever-growing flood of data hitting today’s enterprises, we’re in the midst of a new gold rush. To twist around a line from a Mark Twain character, you might say “there’s gold in them thar hills of data.” But this is true only for those organizations that can put high-performance computing systems, data analytics and artificial intelligence to work to capture nuggets of business value from streams of data.So how do you get started down this path? Mining value from business data is, arguably, a lot more complicated than panning for gold in mountain streams. To be successful, you need a clear view of your business use cases, the help of experts who have been there and done it successfully, and hands-on experiences with the tools of the trade.This is where Dell EMC HPC and AI Centers of Excellence enter the picture. These worldwide hubs for innovation and expertise help your organization jumpstart efforts to put the latest technologies to work in order capitalize on data. The centers provide a place where people come together to experience thought leadership, test new technologies, and share research findings and best practices.People are a big part of the CoE equation. Our HPC and AI Centers of Excellence cultivate local industry partnerships and provide direct input to a wide range of Information Technology creators. Through collaborative efforts, the Centers of Excellence open the door to the vast know‑how and experience in the community, including that of technology developers, service providers and end-users. Even better, the technology companies in the CoE community are eager to incorporate your feedback and needs into their roadmaps.Let’s get more specific. In Dell EMC HPC and AI Centers of Excellence, you can gain a closer understanding of topics like these:High speed data analytics that help you discover new ways to process, visualize and predict future needsAI, machine and deep learning expertise, best practices, testing and tuning on a wide array of the latest technologies to optimize resultsVisualization, modeling and simulation of complex data sets using a range of high powered visual computing solutions across multiple locationsPerformance analysis, optimization and benchmarking to help you find the right technology for the right application and optimize application performanceSystem design, implementation and operation together with monitoring and I/O benchmarking to help avoid performance bottlenecks, decrease power and cooling needs, and address reliability and resilience issuesAdvancing blockchain research at a CoEFor an example of the groundbreaking work being done at Dell EMC Centers of Excellence, look no further than the San Diego Supercomputer Center. The Center provides HPC computational resources, services and expertise to accelerate AI research and discovery in academia, industry and government. At this CoE, professionals from Dell Technologies are working with staff from SDSC, industry companies and academic partners to run a blockchain research lab called BlockLAB.In this hands-on research lab, participants are developing strategies to explore and implement the principal technologies and business use cases for blockchains, distributed ledgers, digital transactions and smart contracts. Among other outcomes, this research is expected to yield a state-of-the-art, end-to-end solution based on a VMware© blockchain stack in a hybrid cloud environment that leverages Virtustream Enterprise Cloud.That’s the kind of leading-edge research that takes place every day at Dell EMC HPC and AI Centers of Excellence around the world — from North America and Europe to Africa, Asia and Australia.To learn moreFor a closer look at the work taking place in our CoEs, visit the HPC and AI Centers of Excellence site. To explore technologies that help your organization capitalize on the power of HPC, data analytics and AI, visit dellemc.com/hpc. And for a more technical view, check out the performance benchmarks at hpcatdell.com. Dell EMC, “Dell Technologies Advances Blockchain Research Through BlockLAB,” September 25, 2018.
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ATP argued it should not have to charge VAT on its services provided to defined contribution (DC) schemes clients, as these schemes are special investment vehicles, with the ECJ agreeing.Both rulings had implications for UK sponsors, DB schemes and DC schemes with regard to VAT treatment for both investment and adminstration costs.However, HMRC did not mimic the PPG ruling regarding scheme sponsors and instead changed its guidance, potentially increasing the tax bill for some sponsors. In an update to schemes, the tax office has now said it will issue updated guidance regarding its interpretation of the ATP victory, and also the PPG case.A reassessment of its initial stance could result in scheme sponsors facing a reduction in the tax bill stemming from its DB scheme.A statement from HMRC said the body held extensive discussions with industry representatives regarding its policy on the PPG case.“In addition to this, the ECJ has issued its decision in ATP,” it said. “HMRC is now further reviewing the VAT treatment of pension scheme administration and fund management services to take account of both the PPG and ATP decisions and to consider whether to make any changes to the guidance.”A spokesman for HMRC said the body could not currently say whether the review would result in a more positive stance for sponsors.However, David Wilson, associate director for VAT at accountancy firm Baker Tilly, said the feedback HMRC received on its interpretation of the PPG ruling was that it was overly restrictive, and not following the spirit of the case.“[HMRC] may be taking a step back and thinking about what it needs to do,” he said.“This was followed by the ATP ruling, and it is just going to have to look at the whole scenario about how it impacts pension funds and how these funds are set up in the UK.“I would assume the industry would have been back to HMRC and questioned the differences between VAT law in the European Union and HMRC.”The recent changes to the DC landscape, outside of any VAT case in Europe, will have significant implications for direct tax on DC savers, and thus government revenue, he added. “It will have to re-think its positions as a result of the ATP judgment,” he said.“Hopefully, we will have some joined-up thinking for how it approaches DC schemes and auto-enrolment going forward and get one desk talking to another.” The UK tax office, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), could offer scheme sponsors a VAT lifeline, as updated guidance on its interpretations of recent European rulings will be issued later this year.The move from HMRC comes after recent victories for two separate entities against their own domestic tax departments regarding the charging of VAT on pension scheme services.In the Netherlands, PPG, an employer, won its case in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) against the Dutch tax authority over whether the investment management fees it pays on behalf of its defined benefit (DB) schemes should be tax exempt.A ruling regarding Danish pensions services provider ATP, on behalf of its client PensionDanmark, followed this.