Tag Archives: Amazon

News You Can Use: 11/23/2016


  • Are Women In Procurement Still Earning Less Than Men? It Seems So

    A female CPO, for example, can expect to earn around 94% of a male colleague’s salary. For regional category managers, women have been found to earn only 69% of a man’s wage.

    This tends to get compounded by the ‘glass-ceiling effect’, in which women find it difficult to break through into the higher levels of an organisation. Only 14% of our CPO sample last year were women.


  • 7 Ways to Politely Shut Down a Conversation
    This one is my favorite…

    5. The ‘pass off.’
    When you are trapped in a rambling conversation, pull in another person to join you if possible. Introduce the topic to the new person, and once the other two get a conversation going, politely excuse yourself and don’t look back.


  • DOD in ‘knife fight’ over supply chain, security chief says

    Department of Defense (DOD) officials increasingly view the Pentagon’s supply chain as a key vulnerability within the defense enterprise, with bad actors seeking to affect systems and steal innovative technologies. This risk extends beyond prime contractors, which have extensive resources to invest in security to medium and small contractors, which in turn may not have those resources.

    The Pentagon’s emphasis on affordability often pushes suppliers to use commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) items, said Frank Kendall, the DOD’s undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics.

    “All of this presents an opportunity for somebody with a nefarious purpose to get at our products,” Kendall said. “The thing that makes me most nervous is a high-end adversary who finds a way to hide something in our weapons systems and lets it sit there until it can be activated at the worst possible time.”


  • Hang in there (from Seth Godin)

    Showing up day after day, week after week, sometimes for years, as your movement slowly gains steam, as your organization hits speed bumps, as the news goes from bad to worse…

    Showing up, it turns out, is the hardest part of making a difference.

    Make a list of the organizations and voices and movements that have made a difference. How old are they? How long have they been at it?

    Creating impact, building something of substance, changing the culture… this is the work of a lifetime, not merely a fun project.


  • Amazon’s logistics venture has yet to make up for costs

    “A full-blown Amazon parcel delivery operation would likely take years to complete, so we believe [FedEx] and UPS would have time to react,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahoney previously told Retail Dive. Similarly, although UPS and FedEx have decades of experience, Amazon’s entry to the logistics market comes with a learning curve, particularly when it comes to aircraft operations and regulations.

    The earliest signs of success, however, may come through the cost-to-sales comparison made by Seeking Alpha. If Amazon seeks to compete with UPS and FedEx, the company needs to see a downward trend in the metric, which would indicate the logistics services are driving profit to the company.


Photo: Katie Montgomery

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SourceCast: Episode 47: Technology Ecosystems


This week I open my home up to listeners as I discuss the issues with personal technology ecosystems in an ever-connected world.  If technology can be so complicated for home use, imagine what large enterprises have to deal with.

Bonus: Since Amazon Echo vs Google Home was a major topic this week, here is a great write up on what both devices can and cannot do.

Photo: Dave Meier

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SourceCast: Episode 43: I’m Sorry Dave


Artificial intelligence is a major IT topic.  Will we create computing systems so complex and powerful that they will deem humans as expendable?  Is there a legitimate A.I. threat? Listen and find out.

Photo: Markus Spiske

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Supplier Report: 8/20/2016

sn_service_Mike Wilson

While IBM is finding ways to keep itself alive (like a 7 year deal with WorkDay), it is also finding ways to keep people alive (see Japanese diagnostic article).

Oracle is trying to do good things for this world by opening a high school on its campus, but then they wipe out their karma by trying to sue google a third time over Java.

Microsoft bought a company from a 17-year-old kid, SalesForces bought a company called BeyondCore, and Cisco might eliminate 14,000 5,500 jobs.


  • IBM Inks Deal with Workday for Cloud Computing

    IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced Workday, a leading provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources, has adopted the IBM Cloud as part of a multi-year strategic partnership. IBM Cloud will become the foundation for Workday’s development and testing environment providing Workday with greater efficiency, flexibility, and global scale.

    Why the Workday cloud deal is good for IBM in RTP

    IBM Cloud will become the foundation for Workday’s development and testing environment, and it’s a big, long-term win for IBM. Workday picked Big Blue over some competitors such as Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (where it already runs part of its business).

    As part of the arrangement, IBM’s platform-as-a-service cloud development tool, BlueMix, will supply many of the services Workday will require.


  • IBM’s Watson Diagnosed Patient in Ten Minutes

    After months of physician-failed diagnosis, a super computer steps in and saves the life of a female patient from Japan, suffering from leukemia.

    IBM Watson Health has committed to developing a partnership between humanity and technology with the goal of transforming global health. With the ability to read 40 million documents in 15 seconds, IBM’s Watson –super computer powered with artificial intelligence- studied the patient’s medical records for ten minutes and was able to compare her type of cancer against 20 million oncological records, according to International Business Times.

    Physicians in Japan decided to try out IBM’s Watson on patients after all other treatment options had failed. The Watson revealed that the patient’s condition was another form of leukemia and required a different treatment from the one originally prescribed. So far, this is proving to be a life-saving approach.


  • As census failure blame points at IBM, why we shouldn’t be surprised by its failings

    IBM has already been banned from being allowed to work with Queensland State departments after its A$1.25 billion payroll failure in 2013.

    The fact that IBM may be at fault in this particular software project should not come as a surprise. Firstly, software projects are generally hard and there is evidence that a majority will fail for a variety of reasons, but a principle one being failure to capture all of the requirements correctly. This certainly appears to be the cause in the poor preparation for the eCensus project.


  • CEO Ginni Rometty Tells Bloomberg Businessweek How IBM Plans to Compete With Google

    She told Chafkin that she views IBM as “the grown-up company” to the startup tech companies. She said people from Google and Facebook come to IBM because “they really want to have an impact on serious things.”

    In other words, you can work on an app at Google or you can help move jet planes around at IBM, Chafkin explained.



  • Oracle builds a high school on their campus

    Oracle knew it had to be part of this new way of teaching, modeled after Stanford’s school of design. “It’s not a production design or fashion design or interior design. Design thinking is a way to solve a problem,” Design Tech High School executive director Ken Montgomery said.

    Problems like global warming. “A lot of our programs and how we learn are done through projects. It’s not like you are sitting in a classroom getting a lecture, you’re doing a hands-on activity to help reinforce what you are learning in the classroom,” student Nick Dal Porto said.


  • Can NetSuite Take Oracle to $10 Billion in SaaS Revenues?

    Oracle is already the number two player in ERP after SAP, but they have half the market share than the German software company. The Global ERP market is expected to reach $41.69 billion by 2020 and the only real competitors in this space are SAP and Oracle.

    Now that NetSuite has joined hands with Oracle, they have a real shot at closing the gap with the industry leader SAP.


  • Oracle craves cloud companies

    Oracle follows a familiar pattern of either acquiring companies that bolster its existing market position in areas such as ERP or CRM, or buying firms that help it fill in gaps in the company’s broad portfolio, says Gartner analyst Chad Eschinger, who covers the company closely. In chronological order, CIO.com explores 10 key cloud deals Oracle has made over the years.


  • Oracle accuses Google of lying during Java copyright trial

    Oracle is now planning to appeal the verdict after already seeking a new trial, on the grounds that Google presented so little evidence during the trial to support its case that Oracle should win, despite the jury’s findings. Furthermore, the corporation hasn’t ruled out filing a new claim against Google’s Chrome OS, for infringing on its copyright in the desktop space. Despite the recent verdict, it doesn’t appear that this dispute will be going away any time soon.



  • MIT and Microsoft unveil on-skin device controlling technology

    The fact is that “DuoSkin” is the name of the whole project and process, the tattoo just happens to be the physical vehicle for it. Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao, a Taiwan native, explains on a video how in her homeland “flash tattoos” are a highly popular and cheap way to express yourself, and how she wanted to capture that same essence to make a real breakthrough in wearable technologies.

    With this in mind, the “DuoSkin” technology relies on any graphic design software to create the tattoo, a regular printer to print the design on tattoo paper, a vinyl cutter to cut it out, and then gold leaf film to trace the tattoo once again for the final product. The user just haves to apply the metallic-looking design onto their skin like they would do with any other temporary tattoo: just a gentle rub and some damp cloth to turn your skin into a computer interface.


  • Microsoft acquires Beam, will compete against Twitch

    How long has Beam been around for? Not long, with the company launching in January, with over 100,000 users joining the service in the last few months. Beam also won TechCrunch Distrupt’s $50,000 prize startup competition in May.

    Chad Gibson, a partner group program manager at Microsoft’s Xbox Live division said in a statement: “We at Xbox are excited about this convergence between playing and watching, and want to provide gamers with the freedom and choice to have great multiplayer experiences across all of Beam’s platforms. This acquisition will help gamers enjoy the games they want, with the people they want, and on the devices they want”.


  • Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Buyout of LinkedIn Starting to Look Even Smarter

    LinkedIn finished with adjusted EBITDA of $292 million and non-GAAP net income of $153 million. Although a non-cash charge of $101 million led to a GAAP net loss of $119 million, that’s a one-time charge and LinkedIn appears poised to start reporting a GAAP net profit consistently. Some cost synergies brought about by the merger might help the company achieve profitability even sooner.

    Additionally, investors should note that MSFT might not even have contemplated a merger during LinkedIn’s better times — LinkedIn stock was already down 40% YTD before the deal was announced.

    That said, with a fast-growing top line as well as a rapidly expanding bottom line, there’s a solid chance LNKD might be able to pay for itself and Microsoft might not have to make another huge write-off a la Nokia, and it could avoid damaging investor confidence in Microsoft stock.



  • New HPE releases bring enterprise-level storage to SMB market

    The Palo Alto, Calif.-based IT giant, which spun off from the original Hewlett-Packard Company last year, released two new storage solutions today – the flexible hybrid cloud-based StoreVirtual 3200 and solid-state drive (SSD) based MSA 2042 – specifically aimed at helping SMBs modernize their on-site infrastructure without breaking the bank.



  • Cisco Reportedly Plans To Lay Off About 14,000 Employees, Or 20 Percent Of Its Workforce

    San Jose, California-based Cisco is expected to announce the cuts within the next few weeks, the report said, as the company transitions from its hardware roots into a software-centric organization.

    IT professionals: Time to brace for more layoffs

    Chowdhry said he expects job cuts to rise drastically as more companies subscribe to “super cloud” services from the likes of Amazon and Microsoft . These services manage hardware, software, networks and databases and eliminate the need for workers to manage various technology layers, Chowdhry said.

    In January, Chowdhry estimated that layoffs in the tech industry would hit 330,000 this year. On Wednesday, he said he had raised his estimate to 370,000. Some other analysts said that forecast was too bleak.


  • Why Hewlett Packard Enterprise bought SGI

    So why would HPE, which split from HP last year and has since been spinning off units at a regular pace, suddenly be buying SGI? Particularly as it’s only a week since rumours began to swirl that HPE was itself about to be bought by private equity firms.

    The answer, it would seem, is to fully ground itself in the growing areas of big data, AI and HPC.

    In its announcement of the acquisition, HPE itself referenced SGI’s HPC and big data analytics credentials, with the executive VP and GM of the company’s enterprise group, Antonio Neri, saying: “At HPE, we are focused on empowering data-driven organisations. SGI’s innovative technologies and services, including its best-in-class big data analytics and [HPC] solutions, complement HPE’s proven data centre solutions.”


  • Salesforce gobbles up analytics outfit BeyondCore (for undisclosed sum)

    BeyondCore touts its tight integration with Microsoft Office with its ‘BeyondCore Apps for Office’ solutions. It looks as though the firm will have a degree of autonomy post-completion, but it will be interesting to see what happens to this integration moving forward.


  • Amazon Takes Shot At Microsoft And IBM With Its Latest Analytics Service

    Real-time stream analytics are certainly a big deal for customers running IoT, gaming, and AdTech solutions in the cloud. It provides an opportunity to query the never ending stream of data, which is always in motion. For example, with stream analytics, Uber can easily find out how many taxis crossed a specific tollgate in the last 10 minutes. Also known as fast data, real time streams are becoming an essential element of enterprise Big Data strategy.


  • Will IBM Edge Trounce HPE Discover Again This Year?

    While IBM continues to execute on game changing unique technologies like Watson, its Open Power initiative, and its impressive move to turn infrastructure capability into a competitive advantage, HPE has failed to deliver on Moonshot, Memristor, and Itanium—its answer to IBM’s Power—is effectively a dead technology. In fact, most of HPE’s acquisitions since Whitman appear to be in some form of distress.


Photo: Mike Wilson

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Supplier Report: 8/6/2016


Yet another week where M&A dominates the news.

Verizon bought another company (Fleetmatics), SalesForce purchased Quip, and there are rumors that HPE might be up for sale (all of it or some of it). IBM is showing interest in purchasing point of sale company Revel.

IBM is also actually responsible for some technology news this week.  Their health AI systems are starting to target cancer symptoms as a means of early detection. They also maybe created an artificial neuron for super computers.


  • IBM IC detects cancer before symptoms appear

    “The societal impact of this research is that it could enable physicians to detect cancer early…when there are more possibilities of being cured,” Stolovitzky said. “We wanted this research to be in the area of cancer and also the area of detecting DNA and viruses like Zika. Everything reduces down to the same thing: being able to have a small and affordable diagnostic tool that can detect minute quantities of biomarker particles that tell physicians something about a person’s health.”scale of biology


  • IBM is reportedly in talks to buy point-of-sale software firm Revel Systems

    Bloomberg reports IBM (IBM) is in early talks to acquire Revel Systems, provider of an iPad-based point-of-sale (POS) hardware and software system for merchants.

    Revel competes with Square, PayPal (PYPL) , NCR (NCR) and others in the iPad POS market; its customers include Cinnabon, Chobani, and Popeyes. It has 750 employees, and was valued at more than $500 million in a $13.5 million 2015 funding round.

    Is IBM Setting Up To Buy Revel Systems?

    With a Revel acquisition, IBM could theoretically refill a hole in its product line that has existed since the firm sold its point-of-sale business to Toshiba for $800 million in 2012. Revel, on the other hand, could possibly find itself with a soft exit from a market where funding rounds are getting fewer and further between.


  • IBM creates first-ever artificial neurons that behave like the real thing

    IBM researchers in Switzerland have created an artificial neuron that behaves just like the real thing. For the first time in history, artificial phase-change neurons have been grouped together (in a population of 500 synthesized in a lab) to process a neurological signal in more or less the same way that biological neurons transmit messages. They can be made exceptionally small and are similar in power and energy usage to biological neurons, and can even produce results with random variations, also just like biological neurons.


  • IBM’s Wager on Open Source Is Still Paying Off

    “It became apparent that open source could be the de facto standards we needed to be the engine to go out and drive things,” Moore said in his keynote at ApacheCon. “[The contributions] were bets; we didn’t know how this was going to come out, and we didn’t know if open source would grow, we knew there would be roadblocks and things we’d have to overcome along the way, but it had promise. We thought this would be the way of the future.”


Hewlett Packard Enterprise | HP Inc

  • Is Hewlett Packard Enterprise up for sale?

    As explained by author Kevin McLaughlin, “a buyout would allow HPE, currently the world’s largest seller of servers and storage systems, to streamline outside the glare of public scrutiny.”

    Following McLaughlin’s claims, shares in the company spiked seven percent on the stock exchange, yet closed around 3.5 percent as more details of the potential deal emerged.

    According to Reuters, the firms are focused on acquiring certain software assets from the vendor, worth somewhere between $US6 billion and $US8 billion, rather than the entire company.

    HPE Reportedly Considers Going Private

    Reuters reported last week that sources familiar with the HPE private equity discussion said that buyout firms are focused on acquiring some software assets that HPE has been considering divesting, and that those are worth between $6 billion and $8 billion.

    The Reuters report added that the deal was for just the software assets and not the entire company. HPE’s software assets include technology gained in acquisitions such as Vertica Systems, Autonomy, and Mercury. The technologies include data analytics, cloud orchestration, and systems management. That group hasn’t been paying off as strongly as the company’s hardware business has.

    $40 billion buyout rumour persists as HPE cloud chief and storage boss leave company

    A number of key executives are to leave Hewlett Packard Enterprise, with the top-level departures coming at a time when rumours abound that the company is subject to a $40 billion takeover attempt.

    Head of Cloud Bill Hilf, along with Manish Goel, HPE’s storage boss, are set to leave the company for pastures new. However, the reshuffle did not stop there, with Robert Vriji, managing director of sales for the Americas also set to leave, as well as the high-profile retirement of Martin Fink, CTO and head of HP Labs. Fink will retire at the end of the year.


  • PE Firms Looking to Acquire Hewlett Packard Enterprise Software Assets Worth $6B-$8B

    Private equity firms, including KKR NYSEKK, Apollo and Carlyle Group are seeking to acquire certain software assets from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, according to sources reported by Reuters on Friday. Earlier in the day, The Information reported those firms might make a bid for all of HPE.

    Hewlett Packard Enterprise declined comment on the report, while KKR, Apollo and Carlyle did not comment.



  • INFINIDAT Reports 60% Quarter Over Quarter Growth in Q2

    INFINIDAT continued to achieve significant sales traction in key vertical markets in Q2, reporting that 32 percent of sales was to leading firms in the finance sector, 28 percent was in technology, telecommunications and cloud services, and 24 percent was in healthcare and life sciences. INFINIDAT added several new customers in Q2, including BT (world-leading communications services provider), HMSA/Hawaii Medical Service Association (health insurer), Triple C (cloud services provider), and Credit Andorra (financial services).


  • How Dell Raised $67 Billion for the Biggest Tech Deal Ever

    Some of Dell’s own potential banks balked early on, arguing that they simply could not sell enough junk bonds to finance the deal, and other lenders refused to participate if they could not easily resell some of the loans to other investors.

    Then Dell, Silver Lake and the bankers came up with an idea, pushed hard by Mr. Durban: Sell more high-rated loans and bonds, a questionable idea for a junk-rated company like Dell.



  • Oracle’s Latest Purchase Opens the Door for More Pricey Tech Deals

    Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies like Salesforce, which deliver software over the Internet, are of particular interest because that sales delivery model is becoming more successful with corporate customers. Neeraj Agrawal, a general partner with Battery Ventures, estimates that SaaS—as hot as it’s been—still represents just 15% of current software market, but he suggests that won’t be the case for long.


  • Verizon buys Fleetmatics for $2.4B in cash to step up in telematics

    More generally, the acquisition of Fleetmatics points to ways that Verizon is continuing to use its balance sheet to finance investments into newer areas to offset continuing declines in its core, legacy business of basic phone services. As that market has become increasingly commoditized and people turn to other, digitised forms of communication away from traditional voice services, Verizon is hoping to invest into newer areas to move beyond “dumb pipe” status to keep its margins up, and revenues growing.

    While its acquisition of AOL (and now Yahoo) will help Verizon scale up its media, advertising and content operations, Fleetmatics is pointing straight to Verizon’s ambitions in enterprise services, and specifically enterprise mobility.


  • Salesforce buys word processing app Quip for $750M

    It’s not clear why Quip — which was growing and in the enviable position of being very selective about taking funding from VCs — decided to sell up to Salesforce. But it’s an interesting turn in the ongoing consolidation that we’ve seen in the enterprise market, and how that is transforming the bigger companies that are doing the buying.


  • AWS prints money for Amazon, but can Microsoft, Google and IBM catch up?

    As revealed last week, the AWS division of Amazon reported 58 percent year-to-year growth to almost $US2.9 billion, supported by continued operating efficiency that enabled the business to reach $US718 million in operating profit.

    Worldwide Cloud infrastructure services expenditure grew 52.3 percent year on year in Q2 2016, with Canalys findings pitching AWS as the leading Cloud infrastructure services provider, accounting for 30.4 percent of total spend.


  • Is the End Near for Tableau Software Inc?

    Data visualization company, Tableau is scheduled to report second quarter earnings tonight, after the market closes. The stock is perpetually one of the most beaten down during earnings season. After Q4 earnings, shares dropped nearly 50%, only to drop an additional 10% following Q1 earnings. Early indications appear as if they are heading in the same direction ahead of tonight’s report. Just this week Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock to “hold” from “buy” on concerns of slow margin growth. For Tableau to stop the slow bleed, it will have to convince investors that this and future quarters can generate sustainable growth.


  • Teradata: Could This Be The Start Of Something Big?

    At this point, TDC has more than $7.20/share in cash although 98% of the cash is offshore. It also has long-term debt of $552 million. The current enterprise value is $3.44 billion which produces an EV/S for the current year of 1.49X. Based on the company’s current projection, the free cash flow yield for TDC will be 8% or so. The company indicated that there is potential upside to the free cash flow estimate based on the year-ending profile of assets and liabilities, particularly A/R. The company has a P/E of 12X current year non-GAAP earnings. Stock-based comp is quite low at around 10% of reported non-GAAP earnings. The other adjusting items have to do with one-time charges related to the disposition of the company’s marketing assets business as well as reorganization costs. With those kind of valuation metrics, there is plenty of upside if the company’s efforts to re-invent itself are even marginally successful. With that level of valuation, the company presents a very attractive acquisition target to both strategic and private equity investors. In the wake of the company’s guidance for the next two quarters, I think downside exposure is very limited as well.

    Big Data acquisitions: All about the enterprise

    Why would Teradata execute a services play not just once, but twice? Ultimately, it would seem to come down to Enterprise sales. Implementing big data — and doing it successfully — is still hard, and experienced consulting shops/Systems Integrators (SIs) can make enterprise customers feel a lot more confident moving forward with it. That puts them in the perfect position to recommend tools and technologies. So, having a manageably small, but geographically distributed, services organization can be very helpful to Teradata indeed.


Photo: Phoebe Dill

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