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%.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- IBM creates a new transistor type for 5nm silicon chips
This new process created by IBM will make it possible for engineers to put as many as 30 billion transistors on to a chip the size of a single human fingernail, using a new process called gate-all-around (GAA) transistors, which uses horizontal layers of stacked silicon to enable a fourth “gate” on transistors on the chip.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Photo: Dawid ZawiÅ‚a