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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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%.
- 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.
- Larry Ellison’s Biggest Battle: Amazon, Microsoft And SAP Grabbing Oracle Database Customers
Microsoft recently surpassed Oracle—for the first time ever—as the world’s best on-premise Operational Database System as ranked by Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for both execution and vision, according to Microsoft EVP Scott Guthrie, speaking at an investor conference late last year. So if Microsoft can match or surpass Oracle’s database quality and performance on-premise with SQL 2016, that’s a huge reassurance for customers looking to expand as well into the cloud.
- Looks like HPE is getting in on the Blockchain game…
- Slack is reportedly raising another $500 million — and Amazon, Google, and Microsoft might try to buy it
Swisher also reports that the massive fundraising round from Slack, which currently has about $1 billion in revenue, has attracted interest in a potential acquisition from Amazon, Google, Salesforce, and Microsoft, though no formal offers have been made. Bloomberg originally reported Amazon’s interest in a Slack acquisition, with a potential bid of $9 billion or more.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Photo: Alex Knight