Supplier Report: 4/1/2017

There are so many rumors this week, yet so little facts. If you haven’t heard, there is talk that Oracle might try to buy Accenture consulting. For every article reporting the possibility, there are two shooting down the idea as… extremely impracticable.

Reports are still squawking that Microsoft could buy Citrix and that HPE is interested in purchasing back-up company Veeam.

While these companies decide what to buy next, Elon Musk is working on methods to directly connect your brain to computer systems and AI. How far away are we from the free version of McAfee security for your head?

Acquisitions

  • Analysts turn skeptical eye to Oracle/Accenture buyout speculation

    The Register reported that Oracle hired advisers to explore buying Accenture — an $80B company — outright, though with usual cautions that any such deal’s at an early stage.

    Also…

    Citigroup’s Walter Pritchard is of a similar skeptical mindset: “Accenture has relationships with nearly all software companies we cover, many of which compete with Oracle (SAP, Salesforce, Workday), making it difficult for an Oracle-owned Accenture to be viewed as independent.”

    https://seekingalpha.com/news/3254224-analysts-turn-skeptical-eye-oracle-accenture-buyout-speculation

  • GE invests $2 million in Alchemist Accelerator to back industrial IoT startups

    Alchemist Accelerator Managing Partner Ravi Belani said, “Industrial applications and next gen internet in industry are exciting right now. Robots and drones get a lot of attention. But AI and machine learning advances are also making forecasting and automation possible in ways we never even imagined.”

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/29/ge-invests-2-million-in-alchemist-accelerator-to-back-industrial-iot-startups/?ncid=rss

  • Is that a Veeam in HPE’s eye? IT giant may gobble backup biz

    However, HPE has recently bought SimpliVity for $650m and is buying Nimble Storage for $1.2bn – meaning it’s spending $1.85bn buying two suppliers. Does it have the appetite for a third?

    Veeam was founded in 2006 by CTO Andrei Baranov and President Ratmir Timashev. It had an undisclosed funding round in 2013. It is based in Baar, Switzerland. Its revenue and customer growth has been fantastic as it mined the golden backup seam of virtual machine protection better than anybody else.

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/03/30/is_that_a_veeam_in_hpes_eye/​

  • Citrix may be selling, but is Microsoft buying?

    When making such claims in October 2015, Madden added that Microsoft will buy Citrix when they have to, “and not a day sooner”. Fast forward 18 months however and many now believe such a day has arrived.

    http://www.arnnet.com.au/article/616611/citrix-may-selling-microsoft-buying/

  • Apple has acquired Workflow, a powerful automation tool for iPad and iPhone

    Apple has finalized a deal to acquire Workflow today — a tool that lets you hook together apps and functions within apps in strings of commands to automate tasks. We’ve been tracking this one for a while but were able to confirm just now that the ink on the deal is drying as we speak.

    I haven’t been able to get financial details for the deal, but if I come up with them I’ll update. As far as I know it was a solid payday for the team and small upside for investors. Workflow had raised an unannounced seed round of what we’re hearing was in the range of a couple million from Lowercase, Eniac and General Catalyst.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/22/apple-has-acquired-workflow-a-powerful-automation-tool-for-ipad-and-iphone/

Artificial Intelligence

  • Elon Musk’s Neuralink wants to boost the brain to keep up with AI

    Neuralink isn’t going to be focused on upgrading ordinary human brainpower at first however, according to the WSJ report. Instead, it’ll explore how brain interfaces might alleviate the symptoms of dangerous and chronic medical conditions.

    These could include epilepsy and severe depressive disorder, according to the report. These efforts could build on existing therapies that use electrodes in the brain to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s, giving Neuralink a starting point with established science and an easier path to approval for human use. Clearing that lower hurdle would then set the company up for its longer-term goal of human augmentation.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/27/elon-musks-neuralink-wants-to-boost-the-brain-to-keep-up-with-ai/?ncid=rss

  • Why AI should augment, not replace, humans

    There is clearly an effort to have humans help train the AIs, but I’m not yet seeing much effort in returning the favor to the humans. We have massive growing problems with the care and effective development of people as well. AI’s have massive knowledge on how to help recognize these problems and advise the employee how to deal with them.

    This is where I think we need to make a breakthrough so that the human isn’t just making the AI a better part of the partnership by advancing its knowledge, but where the AI makes the human a more productive member of the team by dealing with his or her shortcomings as well. Then we get the kind of synergy an augmentation model anticipates and have the potential to reach the full potential of this new class of team.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3184572/artificial-intelligence/why-ai-should-augment-not-replace-humans.html

  • AI advances can slow a Salesforce cloud migration

    “There’s a general fear or distrust of new technology, because [government organizations] have used certain tools for so long,” Bhartiya said. “That’s exacerbated by newer technology, like mobile or AI. AI also introduces an interesting rub, because on the face of it, it looks like you’re replacing jobs with technology, and that’s not something you do in government.”

    http://searchsalesforce.techtarget.com/news/450415433/AI-advances-can-slow-a-Salesforce-cloud-migration

Cloud

  • IBM and Red Hat Partner on Hybrid Cloud and OpenStack Adoption

    IBM and Red Hat just announced a “strategic collaboration designed to help enterprises benefit from the OpenStack platform’s speed and economics while more easily extending their existing Red Hat virtualized and cloud workloads to the IBM Private Cloud.” As part of the agreement, IBM has become a Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider.

    Red Hat Cloud Access will be available for IBM Cloud by the end of Q2 2017.

    https://virtualizationreview.com/articles/2017/03/23/ibm-red-hat-partner-on-hybrid-cloud-openstack.aspx

  • Amazon Web Services jumps into call-center market with new ‘Amazon Connect’ service

    Amazon Web Services just unveiled a new service for running call centers, dubbed Amazon Connect, leveraging the same technology used by Amazon.com’s own customer service system to route and manage calls using automatic speech recognition and artificial intelligence.

    The announcement is the latest move by the cloud giant beyond its core infrastructure technologies and into higher-level cloud services. Amazon says the service incorporates its Lex technology, an artificial intelligence service for speech recognition and natural language processing, which also powers the company’s Alexa virtual assistant.

    http://www.geekwire.com/2017/amazon-web-services-jumps-call-center-market-new-amazon-connect-service/

Datacenter

  • Why IaaS Could Be a Key Theme of Oracle’s Cloud Strategy

    Amazon and Microsoft are the top two leading players in the cloud space and as a result, customers seem to prefer them over Oracle for moving their workloads to former IaaS vendors. If Oracle doesn’t offer an improved IaaS, its PaaS and SaaS offerings could also suffer because companies often prefer to obtain all cloud services from one vendor. SaaS is believed to be the most highly deployed global service.

    By focusing on IaaS, Oracle can attract its customers to its bundle of cloud offerings. Apart from offering stronger capabilities than its competitors, as the chart above shows, Oracle lowered the cost of its IaaS offerings to compete with its peers, especially Amazon. However, it is a debatable point as to how long these players can engage in price wars.

    http://marketrealist.com/2017/03/iaas-key-theme-oracles-cloud-strategy/

Software/SaaS

  • Is your organization at risk after HPE ALM sale to Micro Focus?

    However, Micro Focus has not been completely transparent about future plans with its products. This makes it challenging for businesses to determine which products will continue to support their needs. None of Micro Focus’ product pages, documentation, or release notes discusses product vision regarding current industry technologies or practices.

    Also…

    Integration is a key necessity for any business building software and can often be the deciding factor to eliminate entire vendors when a company is looking to upgrade or to roll out new installations. Micro Focus’ lack of clarity on its existing product pages, particularly in regard to integration with other systems, adds to the risk and confusion around its acquisition of HPE’s tools. This is an area that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

    http://www.itproportal.com/features/is-your-organisation-at-risk-after-hpe-alm-sale-to-micro-focus/

  • Blockchain achieving new heights of value in logistics arena

    The various ways in which the blockchain’s ability to transform logistics is considerable. From the new Procurement app by SAP Ariba, which seeks to simplify and perfect the running of a supply chain, to “Chained Finance,” at FoxConn, an alternative banking system available to vendors seeking short-term funding within the supply chain, blockchain is a dynamic approach to be a perfect fit for the industry.

    http://www.supplychaindive.com/news/blockchain-value-kestrel-solas-2017/438830/

  • IBM vs Microsoft: Two Tech Giants, Two Blockchain Visions

    While Microsoft’s BaaS is designed to work with a range of protocols, it has shown a preference for the ethereum blockchain, and soft-launched the service at an ethereum event in 2015.

    Most of its recent partnership announcements are with startups that use ethereum as their base, and Microsoft is a founding member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, recently set up to explore business adaptations of the public blockchain.

    IBM, on the other hand, has so far largely stayed away from public blockchains. Its BaaS service is based on Hyperledger’s Fabric codebase, of which IBM wrote a large part.

    http://www.coindesk.com/ibm-vs-microsoft-two-tech-giants-two-blockchain-visions/

Other

  • Oracle’s increased cloud profits are cool for Catz
    The information in the article has been covered several times here at The Source, but the headline was so exquisitely bad, I had to call it out.
    http://normangeestar.net/2017/03/26/oracle-s-increased-cloud-profits-are-cool-for-catz/
  • No, Microsoft isn’t spying on everything you type in Windows 10

    Yes, there is a built-in keylogger inside Windows 10 that’s supposed to help Microsoft improve typing experiences for Windows users. “Send Microsoft info about how I write to help us improve typing and writing in the future,” the settings says. In a FAQ, Microsoft explains that it’s collecting keystrokes to improve handwriting and pronunciation recognition, not to monitor everything you do.

    It appears that said setting caused some commotion over on Reddit recently. According to Myce, some users found that turning the setting off doesn’t work, as Windows 10 turns it back on. Myce has not replicated the issue, however.

    That said, if you want to turn off the feature yourself, go to Start, Settings, Privacy, General, and disable the feature right there.

    http://bgr.com/2017/03/24/how-to-disable-windows-10-keylogger/

Photo: Chuttersnap

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