Category Archives: Supplier Report

Supplier Report: 6/23/2017

It feels like Amazon is taking over the world – they are buying Whole Foods, they are Gartner’s #1 IaaS provider, they are building a new cloud region in Hong Kong, and they managed to get Wal-mart so mad that the ol’ mart is banning suppliers from doing business with AWS.

I guess it’s good to be the king?

Red Hat is thinking about the future as they grow their services business while Oracle beat market expectations and had quite the stock rally.

Acquisitions

  • Amazon to Buy Whole Foods for $13.7 Billion

    Amazon.com Inc. said on Friday it would buy Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion, including debt, instantly transforming the online giant into a major player in the bricks-and-mortar retail sector it has spent years upending.

    The acquisition, Amazon’s largest by far, gives it a network of more than 460 stores that could serve as beachheads for in-store pickup and its distribution network. It would make Amazon an overnight heavyweight in the all-important grocery business, a major spending segment in which it has struggled to gain a foothold because consumers still largely prefer to shop for food in stores.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-to-buy-whole-foods-for-13-7-billion-1497618446?mg=prod/accounts-wsj

  • Tokyo Takes Lead in Toshiba Chip-Unit Sale Over China Fears

    The Japanese government-led group wasn’t the highest bidder, according to people briefed on the bids. Taiwan-based iPhone assembler Foxconn Technology Group, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. , was ready to offer more, but Japanese government officials said its large China operations raised the risk that technology would leak.

    Toshiba said the Japanese government-led plan is the “best proposal, not only in terms of valuation, but also in respect to certainty of closing, retention of employees, and maintenance of sensitive technology within Japan.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/toshiba-picks-government-led-group-as-preferred-bidder-for-chip-unit-1498015576

Artificial Intelligence

  • SAP Ariba and IBM – Global Strategic Alliance to Deliver Cognitive Procurement Solutions
  • Inside Microsoft’s AI Comeback

    Indeed, Microsoft first rolled out its developer tools for bots in the spring of 2016, as did other large tech companies like Facebook. They were billed as a replacement for apps, and many stakeholders really wanted that to be the case. By last spring, most people used the same small group of apps on their smartphones; the promise of bots was that developers and brands could reach new users again, much like they could in the early days of mobile via the app store. But users didn’t play along. And the deep learning that enabled bots to perform the equivalent of magic was improving faster than a paradigm for how to use them could evolved. “Bots are like apps before the file menu existed,” says Cheng. She explains there isn’t a common set of commands, so users are confused about where to find them and how they work. “Web pages, for example, all have back buttons and they do searches. Conversational apps need those same primitives. You need to be like, ‘Okay, what are the five things that I can always do predictably?’” These understood rules are just starting to be determined.

    https://www.wired.com/story/inside-microsofts-ai-comeback

Cloud

  • Wal-Mart to Vendors: Get Off Amazon’s Cloud

    Wal-Mart is telling some technology companies that if they want its business, they can’t run applications for the retailer on Amazon.com Inc.’s leading cloud-computing service, Amazon Web Services, several tech companies say.

    Amazon’s rise as the dominant player in renting on-demand, web-based computing power and storage has put some competitors, such as Netflix Inc., in the unlikely position of relying on a corporate rival as they move to the cloud.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/wal-mart-to-vendors-get-off-amazons-cloud-1498037402

  • As Amazon, Microsoft and Google Keep Taking Cloud Share, Rivals Are Learning to Specialize

    But whereas Google was alone in the Challengers quadrant last year — everyone besides the big-3 was labeled a Niche Player — Alibaba Group (BABA) , IBM Corp. (IBM) and Oracle Corp. (ORCL) managed to break into the quadrant this year. Some of this may be due to a more lenient attitude towards ranking smaller players on Gartner’s part. But it also might say a thing or two about how each company has learned how to stand out.

    IBM’s ranking appears to have gotten a boost from its efforts to create a next-gen cloud infrastructure for enterprises that relies on proprietary IBM hardware and management software. Gartner also took note of IBM’s ability to use its global footprint to set up cloud data centers in 16 countries, and the potential to use its developer ecosystem to drive adoption of infrastructure services built on top of its Bluemix platform, which initially focused just on cloud app platform (PaaS) services for developers.

    http://realmoney.thestreet.com/articles/06/19/2017/amazon-microsoft-and-google-keep-taking-cloud-share-rivals-are-learning-specialize

  • Amazon announces new AWS Region in Hong Kong

    Amazon announces plans to open an Amazon Web Services Region in Hong Kong next year to make the eighth AWS Region in Asia Pacific.

    https://www.investing.com/news/stock-market-news/amazon-announces-new-aws-region-in-hong-kong-497816

  • Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd says you need these three things to transition to the cloud

    “We historically used to write big contracts,” Hurd gave as an example. “Now we’re going to do a contract with a company that’s a startup. We’re going to go contract with Lyft for financials, but Lyft doesn’t have a procurement department. They don’t have even an IT department, per se. We can’t show up with a bunch of lawyers and a big, thick document. So we changed our process to go to ‘click to accept.’”

    “That single decision, around here, is like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding,’” he added. “It’s just the way we’ve been trained, it’s what’s in our DNA.”

    https://www.recode.net/2017/6/19/15826776/oracle-co-ceo-mark-hurd-says-you-need-these-three-things-transition-cloud-recode-decode

Datacenter/Hardware

Other

  • Microsoft says “fireball” threat overblown

    Today, Microsoft countered Check Point’s initial analysis that 250 million computers and 20 percent of corporate networks were infected with Fireball.

    “While the threat is real, the reported magnitude of its reach might have been overblown,” said Hamish O’Dea of the Windows Defender research team. Check Point said today that it has been working with Microsoft since being notified of the new analysis.

    “We tried to reassess the number of infections, and from recent data we know for sure that numbers are at least 40 million, but could be much more,” said Maya Horowitz, Group Manager, Check Point Threat Intelligence.

    https://threatpost.com/microsoft-says-fireball-threat-overblown/126472/

  • Oracle leaps to record as cloud transition hits turning point

    Oracle Corp. was late to the cloud revolution, allowing upstarts like Salesforce.com Inc. to find significant market share with software delivered over the internet, and has suffered while making an acquisition-fueled push into the space.

    The Band-Aid appears to have come off Oracle’s wound, however, and the company seems assured that its healed finances will be better than ever. Investors showed belief after Oracle’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report Wednesday evening, sending shares that had never cracked $47 in regular trading, adjusted for splits, to more than $51 in after-hours action. If that move holds, Oracle would be worth more than $200 billion.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oracle-leaps-to-record-as-cloud-transition-hits-turning-point-2017-06-21

  • Former EMC Chief Joe Tucci Is Joining This VC Firm

    Joe Tucci, who left his long-time gig as chairman and CEO of EMC after selling the company to Dell, is now special adviser to 83North, an investment firm focusing on European and Israeli startups.

    83North, formerly known as Greylock IL, has offices in London, New York, and Tel Aviv. It has backed startups including Hybris, the German e-commerce company bought by SAP in 2013, and Israeli storage startup ScaleIO, which EMC acquired the same year.

    http://fortune.com/2017/06/19/emc-joe-tucci-vc-83-north/

  • Meg Whitman Cedes One of Her HPE Titles To This Exec

    Hewlett-Packard Enterprise has promoted a 22-year veteran of the company to president. The move comes as HPE continues to sort out its businesses after a series of acquisitions, divestitures, and layoffs.

    The new president, Antonio Neri, was most recently executive vice president and general manager of HPE’s Enterprise group, which sells data center servers, storage, networking to corporate customers.

    http://fortune.com/2017/06/21/meg-whitman-names-new-hpe-president/

  • Red Hat’s comeback rolls on, thanks to a surging application development business

    The Raleigh, North Carolina-based company actually quickened growth in sales of subscriptions for application development tools from the pace it set in its fiscal first quarter. Application development-related and other emerging technology subscription revenues were $139 million, up 41 percent year-over-year and slightly above the previous quarter’s 40 percent growth pace. Subscription revenue for Red Hat’s core infrastructure business rose 14 percent, to $458 million, an impressive gain on top of an already large base.

    Chief Executive Jim Whitehurst  said Red Hat is shifting its business from being a low-cost provider of open-source alternative software to a strategic platform for cloud migration. “We’ve moved from having a seat the table with the purchasing department to having a seat at the table with the CIO,” he said. Sales of core infrastructure platforms like Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenStack, he added, “provides a tailwind for our other offerings.”

    https://siliconangle.com/blog/2017/06/20/red-hat-continues-comeback-strong-quarterly-results-driven-surging-application-development-business/

Photo: Benjamin Davies

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Supplier Report: 6/16/2017

Flush with cash, SoftBank is starting to execute on their 300 year plan. Softbank took Boston Dynamics off of Google’s hands… if you are going to have a multi-century strategy, it makes sense to buy a robotics company.

Dell’s financials are down $1.5b as they pay off the massive debt incurred to buy EMC. Slack is taking in $500M of funding as AWS and Microsoft contemplate buying the company. Verizon has finally closed their acquisition of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer is officially gone.

Acquisitions

  • SoftBank to Buy Two Pioneers in Advanced Robots From Google Parent

    SoftBank Group Corp. said it would buy Boston Dynamics from Alphabet Inc. The company builds robots that can perform feats such as pirouetting and climbing stairs, highlighting the Japanese company’s long-term investment horizon.

    Price and other terms weren’t disclosed.

    The deal comes more than a year after the Google parent dissolved its robotics group and started seeking buyers for Boston Dynamics, the unit at the centerpiece of the program. People close to Alphabet have said the company decided to sell Boston Dynamics when it resisted developing a commercial product within the next several years.

    The deal also includes Schaft, a Japanese robotics maker that achieved fame by winning a challenge held by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in 2013 for robots to perform rescue tasks.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/softbank-to-buy-two-pioneers-in-advanced-robots-1496972870?mg=prod/accounts-wsj

  • PokitDok Acquires Pharmacy and Software Assets of Oration PBC

    PokitDok, an API platform to free, secure, and unify data has acquired the pharmacy and software assets of Oration PBC. The acquisition enables PokitDok to complete support for delivery of essential commercial pharmacy benefit data, via its APIs, so organizations, providers and consumers have tools to make better healthcare and treatment decisions. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

    http://hitconsultant.net/2017/06/13/pokitdok-acquires-pharmacy-software-assets-oration-pbc/

Cloud

  • IBM will put connected car data to better use

    As cars get smarter, we’re going to have to deal with all of the information our daily drives create in a way we’ve never had to bother with before. Thankfully, IBM is offering to be the middleman that represents our vehicles in the confusing new world of automotive cloud telematics. The company has signed a deal with BMW that will see the BMW CarData platform connect to IBM’s Bluemix cloud. The idea is that IBM will host and analyze your information and then pass it to third parties — with your consent — when required.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/14/ibm-bmw-connected-car-data/

  • Gartner’s IaaS Magic Quadrant includes Alibaba, IBM

    “The IBM Cloud experience is currently disjointed,” Gartner writes, noting that the company hasn’t updated its SoftLayer infrastructure since its purchase two years ago.

    https://seekingalpha.com/news/3273838-gartners-iaas-magic-quadrant-includes-alibaba-ibm

Datacenter

  • IBM and HPE’s Server Businesses Aren’t Just Pressured By the Cloud Anymore

    It also wasn’t too surprising that sales of servers designed by cloud giants and supplied by ODMs grew strongly following a Q4 lull, as the likes of Amazon and Facebook continued spending heavily on capex. IDC estimated sales of such servers, which it refers to as ODM Direct, grew 41.8% to $1.2 billion (10.4% of industry revenue). It added one unnamed cloud firm single-handedly accounted for over 10% of the 2.21 million servers shipped during the quarter.

    What was, surprising, though is that both firms reported Dell, the world’s second-biggest server vendor, saw meaningful sales growth in spite of the headwinds faced by peers. IDC estimated Dell’s server sales grew 4.7% to $2.37 billion, leading its market share to rise to 20.1% from 18.3% a year ago. By contrast, the firm had estimated Dell’s server sales were roughly flat in Q4. Gartner gave Dell a 19% Q1 share, up from 17.3%.

    http://realmoney.thestreet.com/articles/06/09/2017/ibm-and-hpes-server-businesses-arent-just-pressured-cloud-anymore

  • Dell slumps to $1.5bn operating loss in first quarter in new structure

    For its first quarter ending 5 May 2017, the Texas-based giant posted an operating loss of $1.5bn on revenues of $17.8bn. Dell is a private company, but still divulges its numbers, partly because it now owns VMware courtesy of its recent merger with EMC.

    Dell’s Client Solutions Group saw revenue rise six per cent year on year to $9.1bn and operating income hit $374m.

    https://www.channelnomics.eu/channelnomics-eu/news/3011688/dell-grows-but-profits-hit-by-component-cost-headwinds

Software/SaaS

Other

  • IBM’s Harriet Green named top 100 creative people for work with Watson

    “I don’t much believe in artificial intelligence,” says Harriet Green, who is one of the executives helping to run IBM’s AI platform. “I believe in augmented intelligence. With Watson, we can augment capabilities that clients already have.”

    “We have reached a tipping point with IoT innovation,” Green said.

    “IBM Watson IoT has more than 6,000 clients and partners around the world, many who are eager to “co-innovate,” she added. IBM is investing $3 billion to prepare Watson for IoT.

    This past February, Green helped IBM open its $200 million global headquarters in Munich, Germany. The center houses the Watson Internet of Things business. It is designed to drive collaboration and innovation with dozens of clients and partners in what IBM executives call “first-ever cognitive collaboratories.”

    http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/ibms-harriet-green-named-top-100-creative-people-work-watson

  • Uber just pissed off dozens of longtime employees; now they’re gunning for management

    Earlier this week, at a staff meeting in San Francisco, Uber executives revealed to the company’s 12,000 employees that 20 of their colleagues had been fired and that 57 are still being probed over harassment, discrimination and inappropriate behavior, following a string of accusations that Uber had created a toxic workplace and allowed complaints to go unaddressed for years.

    Yesterday, Uber fired senior executive Eric Alexander after it was leaked to Recode that Alexander had obtained the medical records of an Uber passenger in India who was raped in 2014 by her driver.

    Recode also reported that Alexander had shared the woman’s file with Kalanick and his senior vice president, Emil Michael, and that the three men suspected the woman of working with Uber’s regional competitor in India, Ola, to hamper its chances of success there.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/08/uber-just-pissed-off-dozens-of-longtime-employees-now-theyre-gunning-for-management/?ncid=rss

  • Verizon Seals $4.5 Billion Yahoo Purchase as Mayer Heads Out

    The companies officially closed the $4.5 billion agreement Tuesday, following Yahoo shareholder approval last week. Yahoo properties including Sports and Finance will become part of a new Verizon unit called Oath, which is home to brands like AOL, TechCrunch and the Huffington Post. Oath will be overseen by former AOL Chief Executive Officer Tim Armstrong, while Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, 42, is stepping down.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-13/verizon-seals-4-5-billion-yahoo-purchase-as-mayer-heads-out
    Verizon Launches New Ad and Content Unit as Yahoo Deal Closes

    Distribution will also be a factor: Soon, some of Oath’s content brands will be automatically available on the “decktop” of Verizon subscribers’ phones through its AppFlash app, for example. Verizon’s go90 mobile video app, will also become more integrated with Oath’s content properties. And entirely new mobile content brands are set to launch before the end of the year, created by Oath’s internal Factory unit.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/verizon-launches-new-ad-and-content-unit-as-yahoo-deal-completes-1497362908

Photo: Alex Knight

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Supplier Report: 6/9/2017

This is starting to get repetitive… IBM had another rough week.

There are rumors that Facebook-owned Whatsapp is moving from their current IBM-hosted infrastructure to an in-house Facebook solution.  Lululemon is also considering moving away from IBM cloud due to a recent outage.

As always, it wasn’t all bad news, IBM did score a 10-year outsourcing deal with Lloyds and they introduced a new transistor type for 5nm silicon chips (there was an insane amount of coverage on this).

Google is betting big on AI, and it might backfire due to their “lack of enterprise focus”.  Meanwhile Verizon is finalizing their acquisition of Yahoo and is expected to reduce their workforce by 20%.

Acquisitions

Artificial Intelligence

  • Why Google is betting big on AI

    Google may not be the leader of cloud computing, but novel developments have spurred Sundar Pichai, the company’s CEO, to openly recognise this as an economic opportunity and possibly a challenge. The release of second generation cloud tensor processing units (TPU) is making cloud computing and machine learning faster and more efficient.

    Google’s TPUs deliver an open source machine learning framework allowing massive scaling and dissemination of applications through the cloud. This innovation will expedite the process of intake, normalization, model training and deployment by essentially using machine learning to automate algorithms. In effect, this is automating deep learning by using machine learning. Google is calling this creation AutoML, and it is the breakthrough of the company’s AI research group, Google Brain.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3198635/artificial-intelligence/why-google-is-betting-big-on-ai.html

  • Why Google might lose the enterprise AI wars

    Two major obstacles stand in Google’s way to cloud AI dominance: data gravity and lack of backwards compatibility. To illustrate the issue of data gravity, look no further than Amazon’s Snowball device. This chair-sized flash drive, capable of storing 80 TB of precious enterprise data, is physically shipped to a customer’s on-premise data centers to load petabytes of data and then shipped back to Amazon for upload to AWS servers. Ironically, manual transfer is significantly faster and cheaper for large data sets than any internet method. Enterprises with data-hungry AI applications will have an easier time running algorithms on-prem or on AWS and Azure, where their data already lives.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3200184/it-industry/why-google-might-lose-the-enterprise-ai-wars.html

Cloud

  • Lululemon CEO blames IBM for site outage, says it’s looking at other options

    Some of Lululemon’s sales happen via its website, which is hosted on IBM’s public cloud. The site went down midday on May 22 and came back online about 20 hours later.

    “I talked to Ginni [Rometty, IBM’s CEO]; our team was up 36 hours straight,” Potdevin told CNBC. “We’re not satisfied with what happened. We’re looking at our options.”

    Other public clouds include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Alphabet’s Google Cloud Platform. Lululemon could also opt to set up its own data center infrastructure and reduce its dependency on third-party cloud-computing resources. IBM’s other cloud customers include Citi, the U.S. Interior Department, Macy’s and Whirlpool.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/02/lululemon-ceo-blames-ibm-for-site-outage.html

  • Facebook is planning to move WhatsApp off IBM’s public cloud, source says

    The WhatsApp move, which could begin later this year, would result in IBM losing a high profile customer for its public cloud. A source claims that WhatsApp has been one of IBM’s top five public cloud customers in terms of revenue, and was at one point spending $2 million a month with IBM. (IBM says WhatsApp is not currently one of its top five public cloud customers.)

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/07/facebook-planning-to-move-whatsapp-off-ibms-public-cloud.html

  • Microsoft restructures cloud, data, AI organizations

    As part of a reorganization announced internally within the company on June 7th, Microsoft has chosen to restructure its cloud, data, and AI organizations. The changes reportedly take effect immediately and were reportedly announced by Scott Guthrie, and Harry Shum (via ZDNet.)

    Part of the changes include a new Cloud AI Platform organization, led by Corporate Vice President Joseph Sirosh. This division will be responsible for Azure Search, Azure Machine Learning, the Microsoft Bot Framework, R Server and the Algorithms and Data Science Solution team. Since Joseph Sirosh previously handled the Data Platform group at Microsoft, it now will be led by Corporate Vice President of Azure, Jason Zander, and be part of a new Azure + Data Platform Group.

    https://www.onmsft.com/news/microsoft-restructures-cloud-data-ai-organizations

Datacenter/Hardware

Other

  • Lloyds finally inks mega 10-year cloudy outsourcing deal with IBM

    Those talks concluded today, with Lloyds announcing to staff it has “signed one of the largest cloud transformation deals” within the financial sector. The shift to IBM’s private cloud will take three years.

    “Most colleagues working in Infrastructure Technology Services supporting these systems and delivering change will transition to IBM, with a number retained in Lloyds Banking Group to manage the relationship, service and governance of IBM,” said the memo.

    As a result, around 500 staff will transfer to IBM on 1 September 2017. Some 1,000 contractors who currently support Lloyds Banking Group will also move to support IBM.

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/06/06/lloyds_confirms_ibm_cloudy_outsourcing/

  • Amazon Wins the Race to $1,000

    Soaring gains among tech and internet stocks have concerned some investors, particularly those who remember the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s. But others expect these stocks to continue to advance. Thomas Lee, a U.S. portfolio strategist at Fundstrat Global Advisors, on Friday forecast that Facebook, Amazon, Netflix Inc. and Alphabet—a group collectively known by the acronym FANG—could climb another 20% to 40% by the end of the year. These companies, he said, represent a dense concentration of earnings and sales growth that is hard to find elsewhere in the market.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-wins-the-race-to-1-000-1496440170

  • As the merger is completed, layoffs of up to 1,000 jobs at the combined AOL and Yahoo are expected

    According to sources, layoffs are expected to take place across AOL and Yahoo that could number up to 1,000 jobs. That is less than 20 percent of the combined company, according to sources.

    This action is not unexpected, given that both companies have a lot of redundancies, including in human resources, finance, marketing and general administration.

    https://www.recode.net/2017/6/7/15759274/merger-completed-layoffs-combined-aol-yahoo-could-reach-1000

  • IBM Community College Partnerships Support Next-Gen IT Training

    The technology company will collaborate with the participating institutions on curriculum design for next-generation IT skills; offer community college students opportunities for internships and apprenticeships; and hire students for IBM careers. The partnership will include schools in or near Columbia, MO, Rocket Center, WV, Dubuque, IA, Boulder, CO, Poughkeepsie, NY, Raleigh, NC, Austin, TX, Dallas and Houston — areas which the company notes have traditionally been underserved by high-tech employers.

    https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/06/07/ibm-community-college-partnerships-support-next-gen-it-training.aspx?admgarea=news

Photo: Dawid Zawiła

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Supplier Report: 6/2/2017

Should investors lay IBM’s current problem’s at Ginni Rometty’s feet or is her predecessor Sam Palmisano truly to blame? While investors are busy finger-pointing, IBM’s global services division declined another 2%.

But it wasn’t all bad news for big blue, they acquired a company to help bolster their “Connections” platform and another news source is touting just how good Watson is at suggesting cancer treatments.

Meanwhile in Japan, Toshiba is still struggling to sell off their memory chip business in a last-ditch effort to keep the company afloat and NTT quietly invested in NoSQL database provider MarkLogic.

Acquisitions

  • IBM Acquires XCC Digital Work Hub to Strengthen IBM Connections

    Armonk, NY-based IBM acquired the XCC technology from its partner, Cologne, Germany-based TIMETOACT GROUP. XCC is a digital workplace hub that IBM officials said will create a “single destination” personalized homepage for employees. The company made the announcement at its DNUG44 collaboration conference in Berlin this morning.

    XCC’s hub will be renamed the IBM Connections Engagement Center and will live under the portfolio of IBM Connections, IBM’s enterprise collaboration suite that competes with the likes of Microsoft, Slack and Atlassian.

    http://www.cmswire.com/digital-workplace/ibm-acquires-xcc-digital-work-hub-to-strengthen-ibm-connections/

  • Micro Focus’ $8.8bn software acquisition approved by investors

    The approval for the $8.8bn deal comes only weeks after Micro Focus issued a damaging warning on its growth prospects because of a slowdown in sales at the former Hewlett-Packard assets.

    The investor meeting, held near St Pauls in London, was attended by only one shareholder. Approval for the multibillion merger and a $500m return of cash to shareholders was passed without objection in less than 10 minutes. The vote was passed with a 99.9 per cent approval.

    https://www.ft.com/content/976c93f8-4221-11e7-82b6-896b95f30f58

  • Dell further ties itself to VMware

    Initial reports set the price at $67 billion, but Dell now says it was just over $58 billion. Either way, a good portion of the funding was borrowed.Selling off VMware – at its current market cap of about $34 billion – would certainly change the math, but so too would losing VMware’s future potential contributions.

    VMware still functions as its own publicly traded company, as it did under EMC, but it is now majority-owned by Dell Technologies. And unlike other parts of Dell’s new empire, VMware is growing at 10 percent a year.

    http://www.wbjournal.com/article/20170529/PRINTEDITION/170529955/1002

  • Intel CEO explains why he spent $15 billion on Mobileye

    Krzanich said that someday “if you get a ransomware or some kind of virus on one portion of the device,” Intel will not only have backups, but they could “refresh your car on the fly.” While he acknowledged that there are some potential privacy concerns, Krzanich believes that connected cars will be “much safer.”

    “In order for those cars to drive, they do have to look,” said Krzanich about self-driving cars. “There’s a lot of social good that can come out of this.”

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/01/intel-ceo-explains-why-he-spent-15-billion-on-mobileye/?ncid=rss

  • NTT Data announces strategic investment in NoSQL database provider MarkLogic

    MarkLogic positions itself as a database system for integrating data from various data silos, something that’s a growing problem for large enterprises as they look into how they can get the most value out of their data. Over the years (and often because of acquisitions), different groups in a company often use different database systems, and now they are looking for ways to bring all of this information together again. Typically, the way to do that is by bringing that data into a schema-less NoSQL database, which is where MarkLogic comes in.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/31/ntt-data-announces-strategic-investment-in-nosql-database-provider-marklogic/?ncid=rss

  • Toshiba Fights to Clear Way for Chip-Unit Sale

    Toshiba said it would transfer the joint venture back to the core Toshiba group, and remove that part of its chip unit from a sale. The company says the joint venture includes manufacturing equipment, but not the key NAND flash manufacturing processes or the plants or engineers in Japan.

    The move defuses Western Digital’s claim that the sale of the chip unit to a third party would be a breach of its joint venture rights, Toshiba’s lawyers said in a letter dated Wednesday.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/toshiba-makes-legal-concession-on-sale-of-memory-chip-unit-1496239072?mg=prod/accounts-wsj

Artificial Intelligence

  • IBM’s Watson is really good at creating cancer treatment plans

    In a handful of studies being presented at ASCO, researchers show that Watson for Oncology is pretty dang good at recommending treatments for a variety of different cancers. From research done in India, Watson’s treatment recommendations were in agreement with those of physicians 96 percent of the time for lung cancer, 93 percent of the time for rectal cancer, and 81 percent of the time for colon cancer.

    And there were comparable rates of agreement for colorectal, lung, breast and gastric cancer treatments in a Thai-based study. Additionally, Watson was able to screen breast and lung cancer patients for clinical trial eligibility 78 percent faster than a human, reducing screening time from 110 minutes down to just 24.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/01/ibm-watson-cancer-treatment-plans/

  • Google has reportedly launched a new AI-focused venture capital program

    According to Axios, Patterson and company will reportedly be co-investing with GV when it makes sense to do so. Check sizes, it says, will range from $1 million and $10 million to start, though it isn’t yet clear how much Google plans to commit to the program, yearly or otherwise.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/26/google-has-reportedly-launched-a-new-ai-focused-venture-capital-program/?ncid=rss

Cloud

  • VMware to rally nearly 20% on Amazon partnership, analyst says

    “The recent partnership between VMware and AWS [Amazon Web Services] has been received with great positivity and excitement, according to our channel work,” analyst Jayson Noland wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. “Naturally, a co-development between the respective leaders in private and public clouds should offer an unparalleled level of seamlessness in hybrid cloud mobility, which to date remains one of the largest challenges to enterprise cloud deployment.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/31/cloud-play-vmware-to-rally-nearly-20-percent-on-amazon-partnership-analyst-says.html

  • Oracle Bucks the Pricing Trend in the Cloud

    Oracle has been acting as if to buck cloud computing pricing trends. Amazon and Microsoft have been waging cloud pricing wars, with Amazon recently trimming AWS costs by as much as 21% on certain services.

    However, Oracle has been hiking prices. Earlier this year, the company updated its licensing policy in a fashion that dramatically increased the cost of running Oracle software on AWS and Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform. Oracle doubled the cost of running its database on these foreign clouds.

    http://marketrealist.com/2017/05/oracle-bucks-pricing-trend-cloud/

Datacenter

  • MongoDB Taking Share From Oracle In $40 Billion Market

    When you take into account the full cost to a company, MongoDB offered an irresistible bargain. “We believe that the cost of the software should equal that of the hardware. We typically charge $5,000 per server per year for the software to run on a server that costs about $5,000. Our competition charges hundreds of thousands of dollars per server-year plus $50,000 a year in maintenance and their software runs on $10,000 servers,” said Schireson.

    Regrettably, MongoDB declined to provide revenue growth details. But its headcount growth suggested that demand for the product was soaring. Schireson argued, “When I joined as CEO in 2011, the company had 20 employees. That went to 100 by the end of 2011 and 200 by the end of 2012. [As of October 2013] we have 320 people and expect to end the year at between 350 and 400. And we plan to add 200 more in 2014. We now have 600 customers.”

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2017/05/30/mongodb-taking-share-from-oracle-in-40-billion-market/#2e06dd5a3156

  • IBM believes that hybrid cloud is the future of computing

    “When we work with private and public clouds on workload assessment, customers think of what would go Hybrid. We do studies and assessment with our customers every day. So, there is no doubt or question in our mind that hybrid is the way to go,” Vikas Arora, Cloud Business Leader for IBM India and South Asia, told IANS.

    He said IBM believes that it has the best of enterprise cloud and hybrid is a very core capability that it has, adding that there is a need of a global footprint of datacenters.

    http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/ibm-believes-that-hybrid-cloud-is-the-future-of-computing-378615.html

  • Red Hat director talks Reactive and changing middleware layer

    Sharples also shared his opinion on how the middleware layer is changing, such as the shift away from enterprise service buses (ESBs). The ESB, he said, became a burden in the eyes of many software administrators who saw it as a single “choke point” and potential source of universal failure.

    “It became that part of your application code was now embedded within this infrastructure,” Sharples said. “So, it didn’t provide a good separation of concerns.”

    http://searchmicroservices.techtarget.com/video/Red-Hat-director-talks-Reactive-and-changing-middleware-layer

  • HPE meets lowered expectations as execs insist worst is over, but investors not so sure

    HPE’s results were expected to be dismal, and the company surprised no one with earnings that met Wall Street expectations on a 13 percent plunge in revenue compared to the same quarter last year. About the only positive news was that net revenues of $9.9 billion slightly exceeded consensus estimates of $9.64 billion, and that the company reaffirmed its earnings guidance for the rest of the year.

    Exact comparisons to last year’s figures aren’t practical because HPE completed the sale of its services business to Computer Sciences Corp. just last month, shedding 100,000 employees in the process. In after-hours trading, the stock declined a little more than 2 percent.

    https://siliconangle.com/blog/2017/05/31/hpe-meets-lowered-expectations-execs-insist-worst/

Software/SaaS

  • Blockchains are the new Linux, not the new Internet

    Decentralized blockchain solutions are vastly more democratic, and more technically compelling, than the hermetically-sealed, walled-garden, Stack-ruled Internet of today. Similarly, open-source Linux was vastly more democratic, and more technically compelling, than the Microsoft and Apple OSes which ruled computing at the time. But nobody used it except a tiny coterie of hackers. It was too clunky; too complicated; too counterintuitive; required jumping through too many hoops — and Linux’s dirty secret was that the mainstream solutions were, in fact, actually fine, for most people.

    Sound familiar? Today there’s a lot of work going into decentralized distributed storage keyed on blockchain indexes; Storj, Sia, Blockstack, et al. This is amazing, groundbreaking work… but why would an ordinary person, one already comfortable with Box or Dropbox, switch over to Storj or Blockstack? The centralized solution works just fine for them, and, because it’s centralized, they know who to call if something goes wrong. Blockstack in particular is more than “just” storage … but what compelling pain point is it solving for the average user?

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/28/double-double-cryptocoin-bubble/?ncid=rss

  • Concord wants to become the Google Docs of contracts

    Concord wants to centralize everything related to contract management into one service, and this service is supposed to work for all sorts of teams. Companies like Just Eat have been using it across the board, from the sales team to the HR team.

    And it starts with writing new contracts. Concord lets you create and edit contracts directly in your browser. If you want to send it to a coworker, you just share the Concord document. The platform then tracks changes and versions so that everybody across your organization stays on the same page. And those contracts are legally binding.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/31/concord-wants-to-become-the-google-docs-of-contracts/?ncid=rss

Other

  • What’s Stopping IBM’s Global Business Services from Growing?

    The GBS segment’s revenue fell 2% to $4.0 billion in the quarter. The segment encompasses consulting, global process services, and application management services. It provides customers with these services by integrating them with the company’s offerings, including Watson, cloud, blockchain, and technology services.

    The migration of customers from big on-premises projects and models to the cloud system has led to a fall in IBM’s traditional back office implementation business.

    http://marketrealist.com/2017/06/whats-stopping-ibms-global-business-services-from-growing/

  • Is Management Really to Blame for IBM’s Woes?

    Shares of IBM have declined 8% this year, while the S&P 500 has gained 8%. The reasons are easy to see — the company’s revenue has fallen annually for 20 straight quarters, Warren Buffett sold about 30% of Berkshire’s stake in February, and Moody’s downgraded its credit rating in early May.

    Amid all those negative headlines, it’s easy to blame IBM’s management for its current woes. However, it makes more sense to blame former CEO Sam Palmisano for most of those problems. Rometty initially waited too long to abandon Palmisano’s quixotic plan, but her moves over the past three years indicate that she knows how to turn around the aging company. Therefore, investors should keep those facts in mind before assuming that IBM would fare better under new management.

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/05/27/is-management-really-to-blame-for-ibms-woes.aspx

Photo: Hermes Rivera

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Supplier Report: 5/26/2017

The keystone topics that drive this blog (AI and cloud) were quiet this week, while concepts like security and software claimed more space.

WannaCry was a dominant topic early in the week highlighting the need for IT security focus throughout the entire organization.

IBM has been making headlines not for cloud or AI, but for their remote work policies (again) and product line retirements.

AWS is getting good press for showing the value of experience in a culture that “doesn’t trust anyone over 30”.

Acquisitions

  • Red Hat to acquire Codenvy as part of its growing container strategy

    Codenvy is the company built on top of the open source project, Eclipse Che, which fits with Red Hat’s overall strategy to build commercial tools on top of open source projects. It offers a cloud-based integrated development environment (IDEs) for individual developers, teams or enterprises. IDEs are essentially workspaces for coding, building and testing apps.

    The company did not reveal the purchase price.

    http://wwpi.com/2017/05/25/red-hat-set-to-acquire-agile-and-cloud-native-development-tools-vendor-codenvy/

  • Microsoft to buy security firm Hexadite for $100M as Cloudyn still in progress

    Hexadite has to date raised $10.5 million in funding, according to Crunchbase, with investors including HP Ventures, YL Ventures, TenEleven Ventures and Moshe Lichtman of Israel Venture Partners. Notably, Lichtman is a ten-year veteran of Microsoft, which could point to one connection between the startup and its alleged acquirer. Its last round, of $8 million, was raised last year.

    If accurate, the Hexadite acquisition would be one of a series of security acquisitions that Microsoft has made in Israel. Past deals include Aorato, Adallom and Secure Islands.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/24/microsoft-hexadite-100m-cloudyn/?ncid=rss

  • Softbank’s Nvidia stake is reportedly worth $4BN

    When Softbank announced the first close of its Vision Fund this weekend — securing an initial commitment of $93 billion, from investors including Apple, Qualcomm and Foxconn — it also quietly disclosed it had taken a stake in Nvidia.

    Bloomberg is today reporting the size of that stake is $4 billion, for 4.9 per cent of the company, which it says would make Softbank the fourth largest investor in the chipmaker.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/24/softbanks-nvidia-stake-is-reportedly-worth-4bn/?ncid=rss

Artificial Intelligence

  • Lawmakers aim to ‘get smart’ about A.I. with help from giants like Amazon, Google, and IBM

    On Wednesday, he announced the launch of the bipartisan Congressional Artificial Intelligence Caucus, which will look to inform lawmakers on the current state of AI and then push for policy that could boost economic activity around AI and help citizens whose jobs are being replaced by automation.

    Regarding potential job loss:

    Despite some fears about the effects of automation and AI on the workforce, Delaney is optimistic. “Data clearly demonstrates that innovation creates more jobs than it takes away,” Delaney told CNBC. The trouble is that people don’t understand the nature of the jobs that will be created, he said. The caucus will focus on these issues, as well as education, immigration reform and funding basic research.

    Delaney is familiar with the idea of universal basic income, where the government would pay all citizens a basic stipend to let them buy necessities. Some Silicon Valley leaders have discussed this as a way to help workers whose jobs will increasingly be replaced by automation.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/24/congressional-ai-caucus-working-with-amazon-google-ibm.html

Cloud

  • Marc Benioff Touts Amazon as Salesforce’s New Best Friend

    It is now clear that Salesforce sees AWS as a strategic ally as it battles all of those rivals. Salesforce had formerly been quite chummy with Microsoft, but that relationship soured fast when Microsoft outbid Salesforce in its $26.2 billion bid to buy LinkedIn. While Microsoft had always competed somewhat with Salesforce in sales software known as customer relationship management or CRM, the competition has heated up since that development. Speaking with Jim Cramer on CNBC Thursday, Benioff made sure to say that 21st Century Fox is moving 20,000 employees from Microsoft Office to Quip, business software that Salesforce acquired two years ago.

    http://fortune.com/2017/05/19/salesforce-amazon-benioff/

Security

  • Almost all WannaCry victims were running Windows 7

    According to data released today by Kaspersky Lab, roughly 98 percent of the computers affected by the ransomware were running some version of Windows 7, with less than one in a thousand running Windows XP. 2008 R2 Server clients were also hit hard, making up just over 1 percent of infections.

    https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/19/15665488/wannacry-windows-7-version-xp-patched-victim-statistics
    For WannaCry Victims, a Possible Way Out (not really)

    By Friday, a second French computer-security researcher, Benjamin Delpy, built a tool called Wannakiwi that does the heavy lifting of unscrambling the encrypted files. Europol, the European Union’s police agency, said Friday its cybercrime center had tested the tool and succeeded in recovering data in some circumstances.

    Because the Wannakiwi tool works by grabbing data from the computer’s memory, it only will work for a small number of fortunate users.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/for-wannacry-victims-a-possible-way-out-1495226045

  • All IT Jobs Are Cybersecurity Jobs Now

    Despite all the money we’ve spent—Gartner estimates $81.6 billion on cybersecurity in 2016—things are, on the whole, getting worse, says Chris Bronk, associate director of the Center for Information Security Research and Education at the University of Houston. “Some individual companies are doing better,” adds Dr. Bronk. “But as an entire society, we’re not doing better yet.”

    The article provides several suggestions on how to deal with security issues, especially for smaller companies:

    Retrain IT staff on security—or replace them. In today’s world of ever-multiplying threats and dependence on connected assets, all IT staff must now be cybersecurity staff first. “The good news is that you don’t need that dedicated person to run your email server anymore—they can run security,” says Dr. Bronk.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/all-it-jobs-are-cybersecurity-jobs-now-1495364418

  • Microsoft’s Old Software Is Dangerous. Is There a Duty to Fix It?

    All of this raises the question of whether Microsoft, which declined to comment for this story, should have done more to fix the faulty software in the first place. The company’s after-the-fact approach to safety differs from other industries, such as car companies, where manufacturers have faced massive liability for failing to warn people about faulty ignition switches and other defective products.

    There’s also the fact Windows is a closed software platform. This means any defects in its source code are hard to detect because the internal workings that make it run—the source code—are all but invisible to those outside the company. This is why some people like Eban Moglen, a noted computer law professor at Columbia University, considers platforms like Windows to be intrinsically dangerous.

    http://fortune.com/2017/05/20/microsoft-ransomware-legal/

Software/SaaS

  • IBM’s ShinyHappy™ SAP Ariba deal papers over SaaS fail

    IBM’s product is called “Emptoris”, from a company of the same name, and was reported to have come with a US$600m price tag when Big Blue acquired it in 2011. Big Blue bought Emptoris to advance the “Smarter Commerce” play it ran a few years ago, in pursuit of what it described as “a $20 billion market opportunity in software alone.”

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/23/ibm_discontinues_emptoris/
    Never knew the investment IBM made on Emptoris…

  • Hadoop: It Offers Rich Technology With Slimmer-Than-Expected Margins

    As technology, Hadoop is broadly used across the computing infrastructure of web service providers. Big Data is proliferating as well in commercial uses. As it is increasingly adopted in Enterprise computing, its attractiveness as a business will become increasingly clear. Hadoop is far less costly than present comparable Enterprise technologies such as Data Warehousing. Surely it offers strong growth. Yet for some specific reasons, Hadoop is relatively less profitable than other types of software, mainly because so much of the technology is Open Source and freely available.  There is no fee in its licensing, as we noted above. No fee revenue, less profit

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnsonpierr/2017/05/19/the-elephant-in-the-room-with-hadoop-it-offers-rich-technology-with-slimmer-than-expected-margins/#f137831518a1

  • Java creator James Gosling leaves Liquid Robotics (Boeing) to join AWS

    James Gosling plans to join Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a “distinguished engineer,” according to a Facebook post penned by Gosling on Monday. Gosling did not say what he’ll do at AWS. But in addition to programming, Gosling is also familiar with the process of deploying IoT systems, according to Venture Beat.

    Companies like AWS and Google are increasingly dependent on programmers to help them make technologies more useful to the general public by creating applications. Both companies have been known to give away cloud credits and other gifts to developers willing to help them. Bringing Gosling on board helps show programmers that AWS is programmer-friendly and could help the company attract more of them.

    http://www.ciodive.com/news/java-creator-james-gosling-to-join-aws/443407/

Other

  • China’s Lenovo to Reboot After Losing PC Crown to HP

    For the first time in four years, Lenovo—a company that gained acclaim a decade ago for turning around storied U.S. personal-computer maker IBM — slipped from the top spot this year to No. 2 in the personal-computer market, behind rival Hewlett-Packard. Lenovo has also fallen to No. 8 in the number of smartphones shipped globally, from No. 3 when it acquired another U.S. brand, Motorola, in late 2014.

    Lenovo’s Hong Kong-listed stock has fallen nearly 60% since the Motorola acquisition.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-lenovo-to-reboot-after-losing-pc-crown-to-hp-1495702920

  • SAP has designs on new government business

    “Imagine you’re a government employee and you take a trip. In the U.S., as soon as it’s approved and before you’ve even taken it, the government needs to set aside the money and record the liability for that approved spend, and then they need that approval to flow into all the impacted cost centers,” he said. “How you encumber, how you take that spend and how you put it as a liability, it starts to look like a core ERP use case.”

    Koch sees a billion-dollar opportunity for SAP and its integration partners in the 90,000 U.S. government entities that are potential users of ByDesign.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3197826/software-as-a-service/sap-has-designs-on-new-government-business.html

  • The FCC’s case against net neutrality rests on a deliberate misrepresentation of how the internet works

    This analysis is like saying that because someone built a bridge, they also created the entire city on far side of it. It’s absurd, and in fact the argument was already tried and found wanting in a federal court just three weeks ago. Anyone with a modicum of technical knowledge will find this explanation of how the internet and web work truly wrongheaded and entirely incorrect. It’s hard to think of this as anything other than a willful misrepresentation of the facts.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/23/the-fccs-case-against-net-neutrality-rests-on-a-fundamental-deliberate-misunderstanding-of-how-the-internet-works/?ncid=
    rss

  • How SoftBank and Saudi Arabia Settled Their Differences to Birth the World’s Biggest Tech Fund

    Although some level of wrangling is common in such deals, the back-and-forth from the Saudi negotiators, mostly PIF lawyers, made SoftBank executives begin to wonder if the Saudis were stalling. On at least one occasion, SoftBank executives sought assurance from PIF that the fund wouldn’t be scuttled. PIF negotiators assured their Japanese counterparts that MbS was 100% committed to its success.

    SoftBank, which has 80 people in Silicon Valley and London looking for and processing deals, already has lined up a dozen deals of a billion dollars or more for the fund to invest in, with plans to work on “blockbuster” transactions of tens of billions of dollars in the future, said a person who helped set up the fund.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/behind-the-long-painful-birth-of-the-worlds-biggest-tech-fund-1495214782

Photo: Flash Bros

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