2017 is finally in full swing… I uncovered 7 acquisitions this week by major IT suppliers. It seems like a great time to be in the AI game, everybody wants to buy a tiny cognitive firm…
As AI profit grows, IBM is experiencing decline in their traditional sweet spots like storage. Blue’s cloud profits are also increasing, but Amazon is growing exponentially faster than competitors like Google and Microsoft.
IBM and Microsoft both got victories by having certain platforms reach new levels of government certification and clearance. Take the wins where you can get them!
- HP Enterprise just bought a $1 billion startup for $650 million
At the time of SimpliVity’s last fundraising, in March 2015, the company had declared that it was valued at “more than $1 billion.” All in all, SimpliVity had raised $276 million from investors like Kleiner Perkins, Accel, and Waypoint Capital.
By buying SimpliVity, HP Enterprise takes the startup’s capabilities and adds it to their own — crucial as the company moves to compete with the combined Dell EMC juggernaut, following the close of their mega-merger. Dell EMC, for its part, has been investing heavily in the market, and resells Nutanix hardware to its customers.
Nutanix Evolving Beyond Dell Relationship, Says Pacific Crest
Kurtz spoke with CFO Duston Williams and also chief marking officer Howard Ting, along with a group of investors, and came away with the impression that the company is taking steps that could offset some of its reliance on privately held Dell, which sells Nutanix equipment and has made up 10% of sales.
- Microsoft acquires Simplygon to boost 3D innovation
This is part of Microsoft’s “3D for everyone” strategy that will be the focus in the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update. According to Tsunoda, Simplygon, a company with reputable expertise in 3D, could help Microsoft simplify the process of capturing creating, and sharing 3D information. Microsoft’s new online creator community, Remix3D.com, and the new Paint 3D application codenamed “Beihai” will be complemented by Simplygon technology.
Among the most important new features implemented into the Windows 10 Creators Update is a wide range of 3D capabilities that cater to creative types, according to Digital Trends. In the next version of Windows 10, in fact, 3D will take a central role, with the ability to scan objects and import them into the new Paint 3D app as 3D objects. It will also be possible to share these objects to the new Remix 3D community sharing site and interact with them using Windows Holographic and HoloLens.
- Salesforce’s Quip acquires startup Unity&Variety
Quip, the productivity platform that Salesforce acquired last year, announced its Friday that the firm Unity&Variety will be joining its team.
The small Unity&Variety design team — which includes Joey Flynn, Drew Hamlin and Andy Chung — will help Quip “build the next generation of productivity tools,” Quip announced via Twitter. They’ll work on adding creative and visual elements to Quip, according to Salesforce. Has produced at least one public app, the game Pinchworm.
- Why Salesforce Acquired Twin Prime
Salesforce (CRM) continued its buyout spree in December 2016 with its acquisition of Twin Prime, a startup focused on ML (machine learning) that facilitates enhanced performance of mobile apps. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
- Microsoft just bought an AI startup that can outperform Facebook and Google (Thanks JD!)
The Verge covered Maluuba in the summer of 2016, when the startup shared the results of an AI system that could read and comprehend text with near human capability, outperforming similar systems shown off by Google and Facebook. Along with acquiring the company, Microsoft has also established closer ties with Yoshua Bengio, a pioneer in the field of deep learning who served as an advisor to Maluuba, and will now become and advisor to Microsoft’s AI division.
- Google acquires Fabric developer platform and team from Twitter
Google is taking over Twitter’s mobile app developer platform Fabric, as well as its Crashlytics crash reporting system, Answers mobile app analytics, Digits SMS login system and FastLane development automation system. Twitter launched Fabric as a modular SDK in 2014 to allow developers to pick and choose different tools to improve their apps, and it now serves apps reaching 2.5 billion users built by 580,000 developers.
Twitter is definitely trying to slim down to look more attractive for acquisition.
- Oracle Snaps Up Apiary, a Little API Company with Big Customers
Oracle says it is buying Apiary, a company that specializes in managing and monitoring application programming interfaces, or APIs, which offer standard ways to connect software applications. Both software giants and large Fortune 500 companies are scrambling to add expertise in building, monitoring, and documenting these crucial pieces of technology.
- IBM’s Ginni Rometty Entirely Correct Here – AI Will Create Different Jobs, Not No Jobs
“It is a partnership between man and machine, if you want to put it that way,” Rometty said in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“Think more about activities changing with the technologies. When you do your job, there will be things that take you a lot of time to research and do,” she said. “Yes, they’ll be done faster. Then you have the time to do what I think we all humans do best.”
- Moving from Data to Insights: The Future is Cognitive (IBM Webinar)
- Microsoft CEO Nadella: ‘Steer AI away from replacing people’
Nadella says he’s warned Microsoft and its rivals to steer clear of “parlor tricks” that show AI’s power without preserving workers’ dignity.
“The fundamental need of every person is to be able to use their time more effectively, not to say, ‘Let us replace you’,” Nadella told Bloomberg at this week’s DLD conference in Munich.
- Sears Uses IBM Watson to Bring Artificial Intelligence to Tire Shopping
Sears Auto Center announced the pilot launch of its Digital Tire Journey, a web app that uses IBM Watson Natural Language Classifier service to help customers find the best tires that fit their needs. Hoffman Estates-based Sears says that beyond a vehicle’s make and model, customers need tires that are built for their everyday routines, and its new AI-powered site is designed to make the shopping experience more efficient.
Is Sears going to be open long enough to reap the benefits of this technology?
- Oracle and Google Refine Their Cloud Pitches to Take On Amazon
Companies with consumer DNA are not used to providing in-person or telephone support simply because the economics won’t support that expense. That’s why Amazon had to re-boot to approach these sorts of businesses by, for example, cultivating relationships with big systems integrators like Cap Gemini and Accenture that have worked with big businesses for decades.
Now Google must do the same. When it comes to big customers, Driscoll said: “Sometimes you need to take a client to dinner and talk to them—especially when they’re spending a few million dollars a year with you.”
- Microsoft cloud gets Pentagon’s top security rating
The Pentagon has given the highest security rating for unclassified data to Microsoft’s federal cloud offerings, Azure Government and a Defense Department-specific iteration of Office 365. The Microsoft services were granted Level 5 provisional authority to operate certification.
According to Microsoft, the rating makes it the first and only cloud provider that can offer a complete DOD cloud solution that is approved at that security level for controlled unclassified information (CUI).
- IBM Analytics: A Unique Positioning within the Cloud Computing Industry
IBM’s strength lies in its relationships with the largest companies in the world, most of whom are already its clients. IBM also knows that the bulk of these companies will prefer the hybrid cloud model so they retain a greater measure of control over their data; in addition, there are those who will not move out of their private clouds.
In order to leverage that strength, IBM Analytics has decided to take the deployment-agnostic route for its analytics business. That way, they don’t rub their existing clients the wrong way, but are also there to support those clients who are seriously looking at public cloud as an option.
- Why IaaS Growth is Critical to Cloud Computing
The first wave of cloud growth came from basic software applications moving to the cloud. The second, and larger wave will come from things like AI-based applications, the globally connected Internet of Things, cloud gaming, virtual reality and other forward technologies.
And to support that kind of environment, IaaS must necessarily continue to grow at the current pace, or faster. The more we move into cloud the more cloud we need – to move into! SaaS proliferation supported by IaaS expansion is the engine for cloud growth – this year and for the next several years.
- IBM Re-Ups with U.S. Army for $62M Cloud Deal
According to the Army, the project required Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Impact Level 5 (IL-5) Provisional Authorization to manage controlled, unclassified information. IBM is the only company to be authorized by DISA at IL-5 to run Infrastructure-as-a-Service solutions on government premises. IBM announced the accreditation in February which included a condition limiting the initial number of tenants in the cloud; according to today’s announcement, that condition was removed in September.
- 50TB hand made storage array (10 gb/s write speeds )
- IBM is letting storage hardware revenues slip gently off into the night
IBM’s results announcement material said that storage HW revenues were down 10 per cent on the year. Our calculation is that they are thus $718.2m, compared to $768m a year ago. In the fourth 2010 quarter Big Blue’s storage hardware revenues were $1.2bn; six years later they are $718m, a 40.2 per cent drop.
- Oracle’s Strategy to Hit $10 Billion in SaaS Revenues
For a lot of enterprises, a single-vendor solution for SaaS products is preferable, and that’s how Oracle wants to position itself. Microsoft is taking baby steps towards that same goal as well as it uses its strength in one SaaS area (Office 365) to strengthen another (Dynamics 365.) Both companies know that the head-on approach to taking on a segment leader like Salesforce is not the best solution.
- Proposed CEO of the Enlarged Micro Focus Group
The Board is now pleased to announce that Chris Hsu, currently Chief Operating Officer of HPE and Executive Vice President of HPE Software, will become CEO of the Enlarged Group following completion of the transaction. This appoinment will further strengthen the Board and Executive management of the Enlarged Group. As part of its succession plan the Board was fortunate to have multiple internal candidates that were well qualified for the role.
- Oracle latest tech firm sued by Department of Labor
The legal complaint asks the court to order the cancellation of all of Oracle’s federal contracts unless it prohibits discriminatory hiring practices and makes up for lost compensation and employment benefits to those affected.
“The complaint is politically motivated, based on false allegations, and wholly without merit,” Deborah Hellinger, a spokeswoman for Oracle, said in a statement provided to CNNMoney. “Oracle values diversity and inclusion, and is a responsible equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.”
- Adobe and Salesforce among best US workplaces in the technology sector
The rankings are based on employee feedback about how frequently they experience behaviors that create a great workplace, taking into consideration factors such as the quality of the employee benefits programme, support for a work-life balance, transparency of communication, degree of collaboration, and the opportunity for professional development. The rankings also take into account whether these experiences are consistent regardless of gender, race, ethnicity and job role.
- Salesforce Is Opening an Innovation Hub Near Amazon and Microsoft
Salesforce announced plans for this expansion in October 2015, and still plans to double its local workforce in the new neighborhood to nearly 500 people. The new Bellevue Salesforce Engineering and Innovation Hub will even include “dedicated mindfulness areas.”
- A new CEO for DocuSign
Effective this week, Daniel Springer is taking the reigns and former CEO Keith Krach is moving to a chairman role.
With a reported valuation of more than $3 billion, 14-year-old DocuSign is said to be scaling, with speculation that it’s nearing its long-awaited IPO. Though he couldn’t comment on timing, Springer happens to have experience with IPOs — he brought Responsys public in 2011 and later helped it get acquired by Oracle.
- IBM: Revenues Will Grow In 2017
To revamp growth, the company has invested over $30 billion in five key growth areas: Analytics, Cloud, Mobile, Security and Social. These areas offer incredible potential that is beginning to be captured. From today’s earnings’ release, we can see that year over year, Analytics grew 9% to $19.5 billion, Cloud 35% to $13.7 billion, Mobile 35% to $4.1 billion and Security 14% to $2 billion (Social, though, fell by 10% to $1 billion). Revenues generated by these areas have grown to $32.8 billion and now represent 41% of the company’s total revenues. Such growth is impressive considering that, in 2010, strategic imperatives represented only 13% of total revenues. Growth is slowing down because the segments are becoming larger, but these growth rates are still more appropriate for a tech start-up rather than for a giant like IBM.
Photo: Josh Willink