IBM has managed to agitate an entire continent this week by being at the center of IT problems occurring with Australia’s online census. The Prime Minister has gone on record saying “heads will roll”…
Acquisitions are still going strong: HPE bought SGI, Randstad bought Monster.com, Apple purchased Turi, and IBM might buy Imperva.
Oracle and Microsoft are both dealing with potential information breaches while EMC is facing an existential crisis… can they compete with AWS?
- IBM’s Watson won Jeopardy, but can it win business from banks?
IBM’s pitch to banks is that Watson can do everything from answering customers’ questions in retail branches to detecting credit card fraud to helping wealth managers make better investment recommendations for their clients.
Bank technology executives said the minimum cost of using software like Watson, including due diligence and training, could reach a few million dollars. It is not uncommon for a full-scale implementation to cost in the tens of millions of dollars, said the executives, who were not authorized to talk to the media.
An IBM spokeswoman noted companies can develop their own applications using Watson’s underlying code if they do not want to pay for a full-scale implementation. The company declined to give details of the software’s costs.
- Will IBM buy Imperva?
IBM is the top potential suitor for Imperva (NYSE:IMPV), but big blue may have to outbid both Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Juniper (NYSE:JNPR). Imperva is working with Qatalyst on a sale after succumbing to pressure from Paul Singer’s Elliott Management.
What is Imperva?
Imperva is a leading provider of data and application security solutions that protect business-critical information in the cloud and on-premises. Founded in 2002, we have enjoyed a steady history of growth and success, generating $234 million in 2015, with over 4,500 customers and 300 partners in more than 90 countries worldwide.
- IBM under fire as census blame game starts
Information has begun to emerge about the confluence of events that led the ABS and IBM to take the site down on census night, which show IBM and ABS staff misinterpreted data and were spooked by fears of a damaging data breach following a fairly standard security threat known as a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.
The website problems were initially blamed on the DDoS attack, which would have made the site inaccessible to users by bombarding it with thousands of logins at once.
However, it was later confirmed that the ABS and IBM decided to take the site down due to security concerns
- What IBM Doesn’t Want You To Know
My takeaway from this interview is merely more solidarity in my original thought on IBM: Great company, awful management. Are these concepts mutually exclusive? No, but they are correlated.
For investors who have unanswered questions on IBM’s cloud competitiveness, perhaps this interview was unsatisfying. I also was expecting more information, as I would like to add to my analysis on my comparison of worthy cloud investments. But for now, we must wait until IBM’s next earnings report.
For now, investors must decide whether to support the shell or the ghost inside. I think that a good enough machine can run decently even with a poor operator. Even if you were to attempt to bring IBM down from the inside, you would have quite a task on your hands.
- IBM finally renews with Vodaphone
Vodafone has renewed its system intergration deal with IBM. The system integration deal is valued at around USD 900 million. The system integration is likely to be outsourced further with small vendors also taking a small part in the deal.
- Microsoft accidentally leaks golden keys that unlock every Windows device
The leak was uncovered by two security researchers MY123 and Slipstream, who revealed in a (Star Wars-style) blog that the security flaw allowed malicious entities with admin rights or physical access to a device can bypass Secure Boot to not only run other operating systems (OS) like Linux or Android on the device but also install and execute rootkits and bootkits, at the most deeply penetrated level of the device.
Microsoft leaks Secure Boot credentials, shows why backdoor ‘golden keys’ can’t work
This particular flaw is only going to be of interest to people that want to run different operating systems on an ARM-based tablet or who want to put Linux on an x86 device that shipped with Secure Boot enabled. Microsoft has already patched the problem and as security flaws go, it’s not huge in and of itself. What it does show, however, is the folly of relying on the idea that backdoors can be locked down and perfectly controlled.
- This former EMC exec says Amazon ate his old business and it will never recover
That traditional storage market, where companies buy specialized hardware called storage arrays to hold and manage corporate data, is never coming back, says Mark Lewis, a longtime storage exec, who was once EMC’s CTO and chief strategy officer.
There are two reasons for the death spiral, he says:
1. Storage technology continually gets faster and cheaper.
2. Amazon changed the game.
- Dell squashes rumors that EMC’s Ambulos is leaving
It said in a statement to CRN: “It is categorically false that Gregg Ambulos will leave Dell after the completion of the merger. Gregg will be key player in the future organisation, a proven industry leader with deep and trusted relationships with channel partners, and will be an important executive as we build the channel business for Dell EMC.”
- Russian hackers appear to have infiltrated up to 330,000 computer cash registers sold by Oracle
“Oracle Security has detected and addressed malicious code in certain legacy MICROS systems. Oracle’s Corporate network and Oracle’s other cloud and service offerings were not impacted by this code. Payment card data is encrypted both at rest and in transit in the MICROS hosted environment.
“To prevent a recurrence, Oracle implemented additional security measures for the legacy MICROS systems. Consistent with standard security remediation protocols, Oracle is requiring MICROS customers to change the passwords for all MICROS accounts.
“Information for customers on how to change your passwords has been published on My Oracle Support (Doc ID 2165744.1). We also recommend that you change the password for any account that was used by a MICROS representative to access your on-premises systems.”
Oracle CSO Mary Ann Davidson on Security: Oracle, still clueless about security
In 2012, for example, Davidson lambasted the Payment Card Industry Security (PCI) Standards Council for requiring “vendors to disclose (dare we say ‘tell all?’) to PCI any known security vulnerabilities and associated security breaches.” Or, as she put it more succinctly, “tell your customers that you have to rat them out to PCI.”
She added, just to make it perfectly clear where she’s coming from, that information on security vulnerabilities at Oracle is on a “need to know” basis.
- Oracle’s Data Breach May Explain Spate of Retail Hacks
The MICROS system compromise could explain why so many shops, hotels, and retail outlets have been suffered breaches at their point of sale systems in the past months, said Avivah Litan, an analyst in Gartner IT -0.03% . Asked whether she believed that this breach has something to do with a recent spate of stolen payment card data in retail andhotel hacks, Litan told Fortune, “I think it’s very likely.”
- Oracle says it didn’t ask employee to cook cloud accounts
The software and cloud computing giant appears to be fleshing out its original stand that the employee had been terminated for poor performance and not as a whistleblower, which would give her a number of protections under securities laws.
In a filing in June in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Svetlana Blackburn, a senior finance manager for North America SaaS/Cloud Revenue, alleged that her superiors had instructed her to “to add millions of dollars in accruals to financial reports, with no concrete or foreseeable billing to support the numbers,” an act that she had warned was improper and suspect accounting.
- Apple acquires Turi, a machine learning company
Apple declined to comment on the financial terms of the deal, but Geekwiresuggests that it was upwards of $200 million.
This isn’t the first acquisition Apple has made in the AI/machine-learning space. It acquired Perceptio, a company that specialized in machine learning and image recognition, back in September 2015.
- Salesforce CEO Sees News Of Oracle’s NetSuite Deal As Mere Drop In Pond
“We would not expect the combination of these companies to create any meaningful technology/product synergies,” he said.
- Will Meg Whitman pick head or heart?
Whitman is continuing to shrink the house that Hewlett and Packard built and that her predecessors Carly Fiorina and Mark Hurd greatly expanded. That would make it easier to swallow up. In May, the company announced plans to merge its services arm into rival CSC in a deal worth $8.5 billion. (Hewlett-Packard had bought EDS, the heart of the division that’s now being sold off, for $13.9 billion in 2008.)
Richard Kugele, an analyst with Needham & Co., estimates that a buyer would need to pay nearly $50 billion for the company, a 40 percent premium over its current market value.
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise acquires high-performance computer company SGI in $275 million deal
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is to acquire SGI, the company formerly known as Silicon Graphics, for $275 million in cash and debt, equal to around $7.75 per share. HPE says the move will help its push into the big data analytics and high-performance computing (HPC) markets.
SGI has approximately 1100 employees worldwide and brought in $533 million in revenue in its 2016 fiscal year, according to the statement – a drop from the $767 million it made in 2013. Its HPC and big data analytics products are used in the scientific, technical, business and government communities.
- Randstad To Acquire Monster For $429 Million
My colleague John Zappe, who has covered the company for years, said in 2011 Monster was a “takeover target” and noted that there’d been 20 or so rumors of a sale. Then, he said the company’s market cap was about a billion dollars, after decreasing by billions. Randstad, which has about 30,000 employees in 39 countries, will pay $429 million for Monster now.
Photo: Kale Nimz