Masayoshi Son and John Legere are still playing this whole “will they or won’t they” merger game with TMobile and Sprint. Earlier this week it was off and now parties are coming back to the table.
Amazon also had some drama this week due to news breaking that a British public servant may have influenced the decision to purchase AWS services before taking a lucrative job with the company.
HPE is leaving their historic offices in Palo Alto and downsizing to an Aruba office in Santa Clara. HP, who once employed over 100,000 employees in the area, has reduced staff to approximately 45,000 globally due to restructuring and asset sell-offs.
- Sprint owner SoftBank may be calling off T-Mobile merger
According to Nikkei, SoftBank and T-Mobile’s owner Deutsche Telekom had reached a broad agreement to integrate the two major US carriers, but couldn’t work out an ownership ratio that satisfied both companies.
Nikkei’s sources indicate that SoftBank board members decided to call the talks off on Monday, after a Friday meeting where executives determined “the company would not give up control.” SoftBank is reportedly expected to propose to Deutsche Telekom on Tuesday that they end negotiations.
Update: T-Mobile, Sprint Working to Salvage Merger
T-Mobile made a revised offer, which Sprint is considering, some of the people said. Terms of the new offer were unclear. The two sides could reach a deal within weeks, the people said, but the two companies could still fail to agree on deal terms.
- IBM Watson digs deep on data to pave the way for enterprise AI apps
By 2018, nearly 75% of developers will build AI functionality into their apps, according to an IDC report. However, this requires wading through increasingly complex data that lives in different places, and must be continually and securely ingested, according to an IBM press release.
In response to this challenge, Watson will now include data cataloging and data refining, to improve data visibility and better enforce data security policies so that users can more easily share information across public and private cloud environments.
In addition to the Watson news, IBM also announced plans to extend its Unified Governance Platform with new capabilities, to help companies prepare for increasing governance and regulatory requirements, such as GDPR. They include the ability to have a single view of the Unified Governance Catalog for both structured and unstructured information. It also modified the look of its Datastage Designer with a cognitive design that can recognize and suggest usage patterns, to speed the development of data integration flows.
- IBM kills Bluemix, a year after killing SoftLayer
On Tuesday this week the company changed it again, announcing that “Bluemix is now IBM Cloud”.
The company’s rationale is that “we are merging the Bluemix brand with IBM Cloud brand since they’ve grown to be synonymous.”
Everything IBM does in the cloud comes under the new brand: Watson, PaaS, SaaS – the works.
There’s not much more to the change than branding: the company promises all the stuff currently labelled “Bluemix” will keep running.
- Protecting our Google Docs and Drive Users
On Tuesday, October 31, we mistakenly blocked access to some of our users’ files, including Google Docs. This was due to a short-lived bug that incorrectly flagged some files as violating our terms of service (TOS). The blocking raised questions in the community and we would like to address those questions here.
Tuesday’s bug caused the Google Docs and Drive services to misinterpret the response from these protection systems and erroneously mark some files as TOS violations, thus causing access denials for users of those files. As soon as our teams identified the problem, we removed the bug and worked to restore access to all affected files.
- Microsoft, Oracle, IBM look to lure cloud services customers with new pay structure
Traditionally, companies would ink large software deals based on factors such as the number of a customer’s devices – and not actual subsequent use of the products.The cloud business is a crucial growth area for the traditional enterprise technology pioneers, battling against rivals Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google. The public cloud services global market is likely to increase more than 18 percent to $260.2 billion this year and almost double to $411 billion in 2020, according to Gartner Inc Microsoft, for example, said last week it had generated $20.4 billion in commercial cloud revenue on an annualized basis.
Tying usage to sales incentives should help keep customers on board when it’s time to agree to a new contract, said Stephen White, an analyst with Gartner. “The behaviors of the salespeople need to be more in tune with what a customer actually is going to need and use,” White said. “It certainly makes the renewal discussion easier.”Oracle and IBM declined to comment. Previously, Microsoft had been bundling cloud services, such as Azure for storing and running data and cloud applications, with many of its multiyear deals. Althoff said the shift in pay incentives is a significant change.
- Microsoft Turns up the Heat on Oracle, Amazon, and IBM Databases
While transitioning database platforms is still a significant task to undertake and the cost can still be high even if the tool is free, Microsoft knows that as companies look to move away from on-premises to cloud services, that’s a natural time to consider migrating. By offering this tool now, as more companies work to plan out the future (or lack of future) for their own local metal, the offer may entice some to leave their old db tech behind.
Microsoft has become much more aggressive in this space in the past few years as the company looks to position its technology, both software and hardware (Azure) ahead of legacy competitors like Oracle and IBM. The reason for this is that they are trying to catch up to the next generation of service providers, like Amazon, and by using their own tools and tech as a leverage, it’s fostering the growth of Azure.
- HPE to move HQ from Palo Alto to Santa Clara as it consolidates Silicon Valley footprint
After two years of massive restructuring and staff reductions, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is selling its headquarters on land it has owned in Palo Alto, California since 1957, the company announced on Thursday.
The headquarters will move to nearby Santa Clara, at a new 23,000 square-foot office complex originally built to house Aruba, a company acquired by HPE in 2015. Some of the staff will also move to existing offices in San Jose and Milpitas.
HPE wouldn’t disclose how many people work in Silicon Valley, but the company has around 45,000 employees globally.
Make sure you update those purchase orders!
- The continuous flow of execs between AWS, Microsoft, IBM and government
According to a report in the Times today, the Home Office’s former chief digital officer, Norman Driskell, took a job with Amazon Web Services (AWS) without gaining the necessary approvals first – a trend that has been highlighted by the National Audit Office in recent months as a concern.
Driskell oversaw multimillion pound contracts with AWS during his time at the Home Office and has also set up one of Europe’s largest AWS user groups in his spare time, before taking up the job as a public sector lead with the cloud hosting giant.
A senior civil servant with a £130,000 salary reportedly breached transparency rules when he quit and joined Amazon
The Home Office reportedly paid the US firm £1.2 million in the 18 months prior to Driskell’s departure, which happened in November 2016. In February 2017, just three months later, the Home Office awarded AWS a two-year contract worth £4.8 million, according to The Times.
Under the new contract, the Home Office will reportedly move immigration data from a remote provider to an “in-house AWS solution.”
- IBM Elects Two New Members to Its Board of Directors
Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer, said: “Joe Swedish and Rick Waddell are distinguished leaders in their fields, and we are delighted to add their insights and leadership to the IBM board. Mr. Swedish brings experience as a transformational leader in health care in both the payer and provider space, and Mr. Waddell’s experience enhances the strong financial services expertise on the board. Their perspectives on contemporary business issues and their experience running data-intensive enterprises will be an asset to IBM and to our shareholders.”
- SoftBank, Facebook, and Amazon commit to 8,700-mile transpacific subsea cable system
Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank is joining forces with Facebook, Amazon, and a number of other technology companies to build a new 14,000 km (8,700 mile) transpacific subsea cable connecting Asia with North America.
The Jupiter cable system will have two landing points in Japan — at Shima in the Mie prefecture and at Maruyama in the Chiba prefecture — as well as one at Daet in the Philippines and one near Los Angeles in the U.S.
- Amazon’s HQ2 could go to Washington D.C., where it has over 500 job openings, says analyst
While it remains unclear what city Amazon will pick, analysts at Baird Equity Research believe Washington D.C. has one major edge over others: current number of job openings.
As of last Friday, Washington D.C. had 531 corporate jobs available, the most after Seattle and the San Francisco-Bay Area. If you exclude West Coast cities, and use current job openings density as an important measure for Amazon’s HQ2 criteria, Washington D.C. would be a front-runner to win the bid, Baird Equity Research wrote in a note Monday.
“We view this as relevant to the HQ2 search, as Amazon might prioritize locations based on already having a sizable non-fulfillment workforce,” the note said.
- Just Think: What Amazon Could Do to the Pharmacy Business
Noticing that an Amazon customer seems to be taking an awful lot of medication to lose weight, the company might pitch fitness machines or online yoga classes. But it could also provide entertainment suggestions—free with that Prime account—that would go nicely with the state of your health. If Amazon can tell from all that Xanax you’re ordering that you seem to be having a hard time, it might recommend video offerings like “Love, Actually” or “8 Hours: Ocean Lights & Whale Songs.”
Photo: Joey Kyber