Cloud is the major theme of the week. IaaS leader Amazon had excellent stock performance this quarter thanks to their AWS offering. While AWS maintains the top position, they have a target on their back…
Google cloud lead Dianne Green believes Google will overtake AWS in 5 years – Oracle also thinks they will overtake AWS. Speaking of “big red”, they are quietly introducing AI elements into their services, which is a surprise considering Ellison’s previous comments on the topic.
Spotify is purchasing a blockchain startup that is demonstrating a very interesting use case for the technology outside of bitcoin.
- Spotify acquires blockchain startup Mediachain to solve music’s attribution problem
Spotify has acquired the Brooklyn-based blockchain startup Mediachain Labs, whose team will join the company’s office in New York where they will work on developing better technology for connecting artists and other rights holders with the tracks hosted on Spotify’s service. Prior to its acquisition, the startup had developed several technologies that could aid in these efforts, including a decentralized, peer-to-peer database to connect applications with media and the information about it, as well as an attribution engine for creators, and a cryptocurrency that rewards creators for their work.
I don’t care about Spotify within the context of this blog, but it is a heck of an example for blockchain use.
- Amazon Strategy Teardown: Building New Business Pillars In AI, Next-Gen Logistics, And Enterprise Cloud Apps
Amazon’s lack of recent interest in high-flying, aka expensive, startups might be due to a culture of conservative investment. For example, Nat Burgess, a mergers-and-acquisitions specialist at TechStrat remarked that Amazon had a good business case for acquiring Twilio to strengthen AWS’ offerings, but likely balked when Twilio went public at a valuation that was 16x revenue. On Amazon’s general approach to M&A, Burgess also suggested that the company’s strategy hinges on fulfilling specific needs instead of wholesale buying their way into markets:
“Amazon is a conservative buyer. They think long term and they don’t get seduced by high-flying valuations….Amazon is unlikely to overpay for a high-flying, fully baked platform as the basis for the next dreamy business. They are more likely to fill gaps through smaller deals, which makes M&A less central to their strategy than it is to a company that expands to entirely new markets through acquisitions.”
- Oracle delivers artificial intelligence across its customer experience cloud
To give you a sense how broad Oracle’s customer experience offering is, the suite includes Oracle Marketing Cloud, Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle CPQ Cloud, Oracle Commerce Cloud, Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Social Cloud. That’s a lot of clouds.
The company hopes to use its flavor of AI technology to bring a level of automation and machine learning to a set of tasks, fueled by the data its many customer experience clouds are collecting. And Oracle claims to have boatloads of data — a collection of more than 5 billion global consumer and business IDs along with more than 7.5 trillion data points collected on a monthly basis, according to the company.
- Google cloud leader predicts company will overtake AWS in 5 years
On the technical side, the company is touting its artificial intelligence and machine learning competencies. On the support side, Google announced it is making its engineers available to its cloud customers as part of a new model for cloud services. It seems as each new month goes by, the company thinks of new ways to make moving to the cloud easier for the enterprise. And now, it can tout big-name customers such as Disney Interactive, Verizon, SAP and Colgate.
- IBM SoftLayer plays hardball in object storage price cuts
Jean Atelsek, a 451 Digital Economics unit analyst, had a canned quote: “The big cloud providers appear to be playing an aggressive game of tit for tat, cutting object storage prices to avoid standing out as expensive. This is the first time there has been a big price war outside compute, and it reflects object storage’s move into the mainstream. While price cuts are good news for cloud buyers, they are now faced with a new level of complexity when comparing providers.”
- Amazon’s Cloud Business Continues to Overshadow E-Commerce
AWS generated $3.6 billion in sales during the quarter, bringing in $890 million in operating income. That’s more than Amazon’s consolidated operating income, underscoring how important the cloud infrastructure business remains to the company’s bottom line.
- IBM Opens Four New BlueMix Cloud Data Centers in U.S.
The new data centers in the U.S. will provide clients with infrastructure designed for running cognitive workloads and will offer access to IoT, blockchain, quantum and Watson services through IBM Bluemix.
The moves are part of IBM’s cloud data center expansion for 2017. IBM has invested heavily in building its global footprint during the past 12 months by tripling data center capacity in the UK, constructing the industry’s first data center in the Nordics and opening data centers in Seoul, South Korea and Chennai, India.
Overall, IBM has 55 data centers in 19 countries on six continents, including 22 in the U.S.
- Google Loses Top Hardware Executive It Poached From Amazon
A Google spokeswoman confirmed Foster’s departure, but declined to comment further. At Amazon, he led development of Kindle tablets, the Echo voice-activated speaker and other devices. He was a marquee hire for Alphabet Inc.’s Google, made just as the internet search giant unfurled the first wave of its own branded devices. Foster didn’t immediately respond to a LinkedIn message seeking comment.At Google, Foster stepped into a new role, vice president of hardware product development, working on the company’s Pixel smartphone and Home speaker, an Echo competitor. His sudden exit marks a setback for Google’s gadget ambitions — the company is planning to release at least two new Pixel smartphone models this fall, according to a person familiar with the company’s plans, who asked not to be identified discussing private matters.
- Micro Focus Shuffles Board In Preparation For HPE Merger
Under the merger agreement, Hewlett Packard has the right to nominate one new non-executive director to Micro Focus’s board, as well as half of the independent non-executive directors.
As a result, Silke Scheiber and Darren Roos will join the Micro Focus board from May 15 as two of the three independent non-executive directors nominated by Hewlett Packard. HP Executive Vice President John Schultz also will join as a non-executive director, but not as an independent.
- Microsoft Just Made Salesforce’s Worst Nightmare Come True With LinkedIn CRM Move
Using its Dynamics 365 to offer information to salespeople, Microsoft will be providing access to data from its LinkedIn Sales Navigator, PC World reports. The two platforms will basically be syncing data, which means that anyone using Dynamics 365 will be able to get details like leads, accounts, opportunity pages, and more via the dashboard.
This is a huge deal because not only does it integrate the features of a workforce management system like Dynamics 365 with the lead generation feature of the LinkedIn Sales Navigator, it also makes the transition seamless all around. This makes Microsoft’s push
into the CRM sector much smoother, which should provide Salesforce plenty to worry about.
- HPE kills off its entire OpenSDN line, pulls plug on customer demos
HPE workers have also been instructed to pretty much keep the move a secret, with no public announcements, and to simply tell customers and partners the tech giant has “discontinued development of HPE OpenSDN” if they ask what’s happening.
This is according to an internal memo seen today by The Register, which declares HPE will no longer support the networking platform it has for years pitched as a solution for ISPs and IT service providers.
- Oracle woos developers with Docker and Wercker
All this effort, however, does raise some questions for both the company and its customers, not least being that company’s joyful rush towards becoming a leading cloud platform provider does open up debate about potentially sensitive issues such as licencing and revenues.
Speaking to diginomica at the recent Oracle:Code developer event in London, where he was keynote speaker, Patil acknowledged that Oracle is going through a generational transformation of its own right now, and part of that process is what impact his work on the development and growth of the Oracle cloud platform and services may have on the company’s long-standing , and heavily on-premise oriented, business models.
- IBM says CEO pay is $33 million; others say it is far higher (thanks SK)
It’s a hefty sum for any CEO, let alone one who’s overseen five years of falling revenue and left shareholders with a total return of less than 0.1 percent.
And the figure might understate her actual compensation — perhaps by 50 percent or more, because of the way IBM values her stock options.
According to proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services, Rometty’s 2016 package may actually exceed $50 million, based on its own estimate for the value of her options at the time they were granted.
Photo: Luke Pamer