Supplier Report: 10/22/2016


Big IT firms are clearly focused on the cloud, but as these companies grow out their infrastructure, we will focus on the differences between the cloud providers and try to find sweet spots.

SalesForce had some very sensitive M&A information leaked.  Will Pega Systems and Tableau get bought or was this some kind of trick to drive up stock prices?

And are the days of the Chinese factory workers numbered?


  • Wipro To Buy Salesforce Superstar Appirio for $500 Million

    Business process services goliath Wipro says it will spend half a billion dollars to purchase cloud services powerhouse Appirio so it can improve its market share and position around Salesforce and Workday.

    The $500 million all-cash acquisition is expected to close by the end of the year, according to a statement. Wipro did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

  • Salesforce.Com, Inc To Buy Tableau Software Inc (NYSE:DATA) Shortly After Declining Twitter Inc Buyout

    Tableau Software Inc. explored a potential sale in recent months, according to people familiar with the matter, as technology companies scramble for partners amid a wave of mergers in the industry.

    The Seattle company was working on a potential sale as recently as this summer before the effort stalled, the people said.

    The Wall Street Journal reported on the document in a front-page article Wednesday that pushed up shares of Tableau as much as 7%, giving it a market value of nearly $4 billion.–wsj-20161020-00076

  • HP Enterprise services merger with CSC could ‘mean more churn’ for company’s federal contractors

    “The combination of these two companies will create a new company with billions in global revenue, including a sizable U.S. federal government business,” it added. “However, the government sector of the new, yet unnamed company may be impacted by the cost take-outs planned by the merger and the distraction of yet another major company reorganization.”

  • Salesforce’s M&A Target List Had 14 Names, But Not Twitter Inc

    Citing an internal presentation allegedly obtained from former Secretary of State and Salesforce Director Colin Powell the WSJ lists 14 companies, including Marketo, Adobe Systems, Hubspot, PegaSystems, Demandware, Tableau, and LinkedIn, as possible candidates.

    According to the presentation, Box and Zendesk were mentioned as well, but their chief executives had less interest. The presentation, which was marked “draft and confidential” and titled “M&A Target Review,” is a 60-slide document which identified 14 possible acquisition targets.

Artificial Intelligence

  • DeepMind’s differentiable neural computer helps you navigate the subway with its memory

    DeepMind’s technique merges notions of memory with more traditional neural networks using a “controller.” The controller saves information by either storing it in a new location or overwriting a previously occupied location. Throughout this process, an association between the information is formed via the timeline of when new data was written in.

    The controller uses that same chronology along with the actual content of what has been saved to retrieve information. The framework created is navigable and proves itself effective for drawing insights from graph data structures.

  • Fighting Diabetes with Watson: Medtronic and IBM Health
  • No More Humans: Foxconn Deploys 40,000 Robots In China

    Dai said currently Foxconn can produce 10,000 robots annually. In the future, those robots are all potential replacements for human labor. For the Kunshan factory alone, Foxconn has cut 60,000 employees.

    Prior to this, labor costs in mainland China were lower than robots; therefore, Foxconn maintained nearly one million workers. However, with the increase of labor costs and the younger generation’s lack of interest in production line work, many companies have launched huge investments in automation.
    What I predicted in this post is starting to come true

  • IBM Watson Will Run On IBM and IBM Alone

    You’ve got to give UBS analyst Steven Milunovich major props. During IBM’s earnings call on Monday, he asked whether IBM Watson, the company’s golden child, will run on rival Amazon Web Services—and he was promptly shot down. “No. Watson runs on our cloud, and our technology will run on IBM’s cloud,” IBM chief financial officer Martin Schroeter responded tersely.



  • IBM and other giants to reform servers and make them faster

    Servers current circuitry is not fast enough, and International Business Machines Corp. has promised to speed the data transfer in servers up to ten times. The group hopes more companies will be part of the team to improve servers speed. Standard microprocessors are getting faster, but their performance is usually delayed because they need to fetch data from nearby memory chips, graphic chips or other elements used to handle certain tasks.

  • Lenovo’s attack plan against Dell EMC? A partnership with Nimble Storage

    The Chinese company, which has what it calls its “dual” headquarters in Morrisville and its server division in Research Triangle Park, just signed a deal with Nimble that allows it to sell Nimble’s all-flash array technology, as well as to use the firm’s predictive analytics capabilities.


    And it’s a segment of the business that has seen major change, particularly as its relationship with longtime partner EMC severed completely when rival technology firm Dell acquired it. Since Dell announced the buy last year, Lenovo has been working to fill the gap. McRae says it’s been a systematic effort.


  • IBM Shares Fall Despite Higher-Than-Expected Sales

    Revenue from those areas, which the company calls “strategic imperatives,” rose 16% to $8 billion in the third quarter. Cloud revenue jumped 44% compared with a 30% rise in the second quarter, it said. However, shares of IBM, which reported its 18th straight quarter of declining revenue, were down 3.1% at $150.60 in after-market trading.

  • HP: We’ll Put Laid-Off Workers on Contract

    In light of massive job cuts, HP Inc. has indicated to Business Insider that it may offer affected workers the opportunity to continue their roles as employees at contract agencies. The company stated, “HP has a strong record of success in placing employees in outsourced roles to mitigate the headcount number.” HP has a track record of shifting employees to positions as contract workers from before its 2015 split with Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.

  • HP Enterprise announces more layoffs as cloud business struggles

    The layoffs in the Stackato may indicate HPE is further retreating from the ultra-competitive cloud market amidst tough competition from AWS and Microsoft. Last year, HPE pulled the plug on its Helion hybrid cloud offering. In August, Bill Hilf, HPE’s current cloud leader,announced he was leaving the company to “pursue other opportunities.”

  • Microsoft employees love Satya Nadella a lot more than they did Steve Ballmer

    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella looks especially good, by the report’s reckoning. At the close of 2013, the final days of former chief executive Steve Ballmer’s reign, Microsoft only gave a 51% rating for CEO approval. Nadella took the reigns in February 2014, and the CEO approval rating hit 88% by the end of 2015.

  • Broadcom, Harris Vet Bill Miller Joins NetApp as CIO

    Bill Miller, former senior vice president and chief information officer at Broadcom, has joined NetApp in the same role of CIO and will be responsible for both the company’s information technology organization and ongoing transformation initiatives.

Photo: Rob Roy

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News You Can Use: 10/19/2016


  • 6 Ways to Convince Your Boss That Traveling is Important

    The potential ROI gained from the trip is greater than the trip’s cost:
    For anyone who wants his or her boss to approve a business trip, it’s a good idea to map out the specific costs in advance, then estimate the potential ROI that could be garnered if you attended the event.

    Ensuring you keep all your business expenses related to the trip low — though many trips are tax deductible — will help create an optimistic view of the revenue potential and what positive gains could occur that could become the leverage for future business trips.

  • Rock ’em Sock ’em Telecom Services

    In telecommunications, acquisitions have strong influences on pricing structures, service offerings, and overall capabilities. The competition for these services continues to boom with more localized suppliers playing against the big wigs. Going for the “popular” name does not always result in the best fit for your company. When choosing a provider whether through a formal sourcing engagement or going to the market direct, you need an unbiased opinion and should focus on the facts versus fiction.

  • How To Manage Your Anxiety During Tough Times At Work

    When paranoid thinking creeps into your work life, you tend to look for evidence to prove your thinking right. It’s a cognitive function called“confirmation bias.” When you have a belief, for example, that someone is trying to keep you from getting promoted, you look for evidence that confirms that belief. In this case, you believe your colleague is blocking your promotion. When he doesn’t respond to your email, you see that as evidence of your belief.

    Instead of jumping to this conclusion, ask yourself, “What if the opposite were true?” What if he wasn’t blocking your promotion? What other reasons could there be for not responding to you?

  • How Wells Fargo’s Work Culture May Have Cleared The Way For Scandal

    The key ingredients that foster a hostile work environment, according to Faas, are unreasonable expectations put on employees, an acceptance of questionable practices, and reluctance to complain out of fear of retaliation. “If what we hear in the media about the treatment of whistleblowers is true, Wells Fargo has a much bigger issue than the fraudulent accounts—they have a culture of fear,” he says. “If this is validated, it puts to question the credibility of their leadership’s response.”

  • New Ernst & Young Report: Supply Chain Data “Overwhelms” Businesses, Stunting Automation, Efficiency

    Managing the data growth dilemma: The growing tsunami of data is both a boon and bane to businesses in the digital age. Limitless oceans of data, often reflecting customer experience as it happens, have the potential to remake supply chains and business models. These models can and should be more efficient, productive, flexible and responsive. But right now, data is a mess. The current period of hyper data growth leaves most companies in a position where their ability to uncover business insights is effectively hidden within an increasingly complex and often unfathomable amount of data.

  • Supply Risk and Compliance are Disconnected — That’s a Problem and an Opportunity

    So, you’re stuck in the supply risk swamp and bogged down by compliance regimes. And you know there is waste everywhere and opportunity all around. So, as a supply professional, what should you do? You need to align risk management and compliance management with not just each other but with performance management (including continuous improvement) — and tie them all into your value chain processes. As those processes go upstream and external, this is where procurement and supply chain groups feel this problem — and need for alignment — more than anyone in the enterprise.

Photo: JD Weiher

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SourceCast: Episode 44: They took our jobs


What happens when artificial intelligence and machines become so skilled that there are no jobs left for human beings? Will a post work world be paradise or bring on the end of society?

Photo: Randy Jacob
Audio Clips: Elon Musk (SpaceX), Comedy Central (South Park)

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Supplier Report: 10/15/2016


Large IT companies are running into some M&A trouble. Verizon wants a discount on their Yahoo acquisition, Saleforce is trying to block the Microsoft’s purchase of Linkedin, and Oracle is struggling to make their purchase of Netsuite a reality.

Cloud was a big topic this week – Google has officially rebranded their cloud offerings as “Google Cloud” due to customer confusion (good move), IBM CEO Ginni Rometty explains her company’s position on blockchain (and discusses if AI can replace her), and VMWare is available on AWS.

HP Inc is cutting 4,000 jobs but former EMC CEO Joe Tucci found one!


Artificial Intelligence

  • Could Watson Replace Ginni Rometty? What She’s Not Saying About AI, Jobs & Disruption

    IBM has bet it’s future on AI, cloud computing and data/information/knowledge management. All three areas are about reducing costs and improving productivity by decreasing human labor.Cloud computing, for example, could easily be described as the technology delivery model that kills software developers, applications support professionals and data center managers. There’s a straight line from the number of jobs IBM eliminates and its stock price. If Watsonbecomes a friendly assistant that charges for its pedantic services, IBM will fail. But if Watson enables large-scale labor replacement, IBM’s stock will rise.

  • Artificial intelligence positioned to be a game-changer (follow link for the video)

    One of the technologies just hatched is called Gabriel. It uses Google Glass to gather data about your surroundings and advises you how to react. It’s like an angel on your shoulder whispering advice or instructions. In this case trying to direct us how to win a game of ping pong but the possibilities go beyond bragging rights.


  • IBM wins $62 million contract to run private cloud pilot at Army’s Redstone Arsenal

    IBM won the work as a task order under the Army’s Private Cloud II indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract. The $62 million award includes one base year and four option years, during which the company will build, then own and operate a data center on Army property at Redstone Arsenal, near Huntsville, Alabama.

  • VMware and AWS Announce New Hybrid Cloud Service, “VMware Cloud on AWS”

    Amazon and VMWare today announced a strategic alliance to build and deliver a seamlessly integrated hybrid offering that will give customers the full software-defined data center (SDDC) experience from the leader in the private cloud, running on the world’s most popular, trusted, and robust public cloud. VMware Cloud™ on AWS will enable customers to run applications across VMware vSphere®-based private, public, and hybrid cloud environments. Delivered, sold, and supported by VMware as an on-demand, elastically scalable service, VMware Cloud on AWS will allow VMware customers to use their existing VMware software and tools to leverage AWS’s global footprint and breadth of services, including storage, databases, analytics, and more

  • IBM CEO Rometty’s position on blockchain

    Good to hear IBM’s direct stance on the platform and what their vision is
  • IBM’s Cleversafe storage platform is becoming a cloud service

    Cleversafe’s innovation in object storage was to combine encryption with erasure coding and geographic dispersal of data. SecureSlice encrypts unstructured data, stores the key with the data, and then breaks up that data and puts it on several different storage nodes. In IBM Cloud Object Storage, those nodes can be in data centers spread across an entire continent.

  • Google’s Diane Greene providing a status on Google’s cloud platform:
  • IBM says its new Cloud Object Storage allows easily moving and splitting data

    The service is built on technology dubbed SecureSlice, which combines encryption, erasure coding and geographic dispersal of data. Erasure coding is a form of data protection. IBM acquired the SecureSlice technology when it bought Cleversafe last year for $1.3 billion. The technology automatically encrypts each segment of data before it’s erasure-coded and dispersed, and the data can only be reassembled where it was originally received.

  • Amazon cloud boss Andy Jassy fires back at Oracle’s Larry Ellison, says stats were ‘made up’

    Instead, Jassy pointed to what analysts are saying about AWS. For example, Gartner said in its Magic Quadrant report last year that AWS is 10-times bigger than its next 14 competitors combined, while putting it at the top of the list against this year.

    Deutsche Bank also wrote in a recent note, “Oracle talked up its ‘next-gen’ infrastructure as a cheaper rival to AWS, but we don’t believe it will be competitive anytime soon.


  • IBM, Google, others to unveil new open interface to take on Intel

    The new standard, called Open Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface (OpenCAPI), is an open forum to provide a high bandwidth, low latency open interface design specification.

    The open interface will help corporate and cloud data centers to speed up big data, machine learning, analytics and other emerging workloads.

    The consortium plans to make the OpenCAPI specification available to the public before the end of the year and expects servers and related products based on the new standard in the second half of 2017, it said in a statement.

  • Dell shows off new logo…

    This looks like something Silicon Valley would do to make fun of an IT company.


  • Joe Tucci Named Chairman of Bridge Growth Partners

    Bridge Growth Partners, LLC, a sector-focused, growth-oriented private equity firm, today announced that Joseph M. Tucci, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EMC Corporation and former Chairman of VMWare, has been named Chairman of the firm. Tucci has served on the firm’s Investment Committee and Advisory Board since Bridge Growth Partners was established in late 2013.

  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise will have approximately $9 billion in net cash at the end of FY17

    Hewlett Packard Enterprise is expected to host analyst meeting event on October 18, and according to Mr. Hosseini, the management will surely divulge information regarding the high level of cash in the company’s balance sheet. Furthermore, the analyst expects insight regarding growth initiatives and the strategy used by the company in order to promote secular growth trends in key areas of business.

  • HP Inc will cut up to 4,000 jobs by 2019

    The world’s second-largest PC supplier has struggled in a dwindling market, and hopes the cutbacks will save the company between $200 to $300 million annually by 2020.

    However, HP will also incur an estimated $350 million to $500 million in restructuring costs.

    The announcement comes during a global decline in PC sales, dropping 5.7% in the third quarter compared to last year according to a report by Gartner. This represents the longest period of decline in the history of the PC industry.

Photo: Tao Wen

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News You Can Use: 10/12/2016


  • Is Job Hopping Really Just A Basic Human Need?

    The idea that you learn quickly at the beginning and your progress slows later on is what we call the learning curve, and it’s real. It’s also motivating at first; it feels great to know that your skills are growing so fast that you can see a difference from week to week. It can be much more frustrating to be stuck in a rut later on, feeling like you’re making incremental gains at best.

    One thing that job switching provides is lots of opportunities to pull yourself up the steep part of the learning curve. It can actually be addicting to continually place yourself in situations that force you to rise to new challenges. You might like that experience so much that you find yourself job hopping over and over again as a result.

  • Here’s what makes IBM, McKinsey, and 12 other big companies some of the best places for moms to work

    Working Mother magazine just identified the 100 best companies for working moms to honor those organizations that are setting the standard for work-life practices in the US.

    To compile the list, which is now in its 31st year, Working Mother surveyed hundreds of companies with more than 400 questions about their paid time off and leave policies, workforce profile, benefits, women’s issues and advancement, flexibility policies, and company culture, among other things.
    I actually wrote an article about IBM’s pro-mother position over at BabyCenter:

  • How to pull workers back from the brink of burnout

    Unfortunately, simply working longer hours doesn’t lead to better work. As CNBC recently reported, a Stanford University study found that employee productivity falls off a cliff after 55 hours per week. After 20 years of working in Silicon Valley, I understand that this can be hard to accept. I didn’t accept it myself until recently, when, for the first time in my career, I took a position where I am not expected to be always-on. In fact, I’m encouraged to be off, and I’ve never been more productive. But I struggled with the shift. I pushed back hard. It took time for me to assimilate to this “new normal.”

  • How organizations enshrine collective stupidity and employees are rewarded for checking their brains at the office door (thanks for the suggestion KS)

    At least $14 billion gets spent every year on leadership development in the US alone yet, according to researchers such as Jeffrey Pfeffer at Stanford, it has virtually no impact on improving the quality of leaders. In our own research, we found that most employees in knowledge-intensive firms didn’t need much leadership. People working at the coalface were self-motivated and often knew their jobs much better than their bosses did. Their superiors’ cack-handed attempts to be leaders were often seen as a pointless distraction from the real work. George, a manager in a high-tech engineering firm, told us he saw himself as a very ‘open’. When we asked his subordinates what he actually did, they told us that he provides breakfast in the morning and runs an annual beer-tasting.
    While this article had me shaking my head in agreement a few times, it is lacking in actual facts to back up the perception. But an excellent rant none the less.

  • Reality check: Philly’s cloud ambitions grind to a halt after transition

    Outdated and overly complex IT procurement processes also impact the city’s ability to transform. Rather than trying to outline every possible requirement to squeeze into one enormous procurement for a completely new system, the city should look to more agile development, like its FastFWD program. FastFWD focused on problem-based procurement and tested applicability and feasibility before moving to wide-spread enterprise procurement. Finding more flexible funding options is the key for moving towards more flexible development and deployment models. Tech companies can be advocates for agile development and procurement by being realistic in their proposed solutions with measurable and attainable goals and timelines.

Photo: Noah Siliman

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