Tag Archives: AWS

Supplier Report: 7/21/2017

Cloud technology is the main theme of the week. Microsoft solidified themselves as the #2 cloud company with very strong earnings. Amazon is zoning in on health cloud and lured away a Box executive to make things happen. They also removed certain ownership language in their standard contracts that rubbed many clients the wrong way. Google is attempting to push quantum computing to cloud as industry insiders ponder if their strategy is working.

IBM’s 21st consecutive quarterly loss had news organizations and investors calling for IBM to make a change… any change at this point.

Acquisitions

  • Sprint’s Chairman Has Engaged Warren Buffett About Investment

    Sprint Corp. Chairman Masayoshi Son has engaged Warren Buffett and cable mogul John Malone in discussions about participating in a deal with the wireless company, people familiar with the situation say.

    The contours of the deal the parties are discussing are unclear. The talks are at an early stage and may not result in an agreement, the people said, but one possibility would see Berkshire put more than $10 billion into a transaction.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/sprint-executives-have-engaged-warren-buffett-about-investment-1500055560

  • Uber Rival Grab in Talks for Up to $2 Billion from SoftBank, China’s Didi

    Singapore-based GrabTaxi Holdings Pte is raising as much as $2 billion from Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp and Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing Technology Co., people familiar with the matter said.

    The deal could be completed in the next few weeks and would value Grab, as it is known, at more than $5 billion—making it the region’s most valuable startup. Grab launched in 2012 and operates in 65 cities across seven countries.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-rival-grab-in-talks-for-up-to-2-billion-from-softbank-chinas-didi-1500032435

Artificial Intelligence

  • IBM’s AI can predict schizophrenia by looking at the brain’s blood flow

    The research team first trained its neural network on a 95-member dataset of anonymized fMRI images from the Function Biomedical Informatics Research Network which included scans of both patients with schizophrenia and a healthy control group. These images illustrated the flow of blood through various parts of the brain as the patients completed a simple audio-based exercise. From this data, the neural network cobbled together a predictive model of the likelihood that a patient suffered from schizophrenia based on the blood flow. It was able to accurately discern between the control group and those with schizophrenia 74 percent of the time.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/20/ibms-ai-can-predict-schizophrenia-by-looking-at-the-brains-blo/

Cloud

  • Amazon nabs a top Box exec in health as it goes after the medical industry

    Missy Krasner, vice president and managing director of Box’s healthcare and life sciences group, is headed to the e-commerce company, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The sources, who asked not to be named because the hire hasn’t been announced, didn’t know exactly what role she’ll have.

    Amazon is investing heavily in health across a number of different areas, and another source said Krasner has been talking to Amazon Web Services for several years about a potential move.

    AWS, the cloud division, is bolstering its HIPAA-compliant offerings so that health-care providers and insurers can store and move customer data. Customers include Bristol-Myers Squibb, Siemens and Orion Health.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/20/amazon-hires-box-vp-missy-krasner-to-beef-up-health-division.html

  • Google wants to sell quantum computing in the cloud

    Whether or not you believe Google has honest-to-goodness quantum computers, the bigger problem is their limited access: they’re largely off-limits outside of the company itself. That could change sooner than you think, though. Bloomberg sources understand that Google is gearing up toward using its quantum systems in a “faster, more powerful” computing service than it offers today. It recently started offering access to researchers in order to spur development of tools and apps (including through an open source Project Q initiative), and there’s a new lab it describes as an “embryonic quantum data center.” It’s looking at the practical realities of quantum computing, in other words.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/17/google-puts-quantum-computers-to-work-in-cloud/

  • Is Google’s Cloud Strategy Working?

    Alphabet doesn’t break out its cloud sales, but it believes it could beat Amazon to become the world’s largest cloud infrastructure vendor in the next five years. Amazon generated $3.7 billion in revenue from its cloud division, AWS (Amazon Web Services), in 2Q17, which represented a 42.0% YoY (year-over-year) rise.

    Alphabet’s cloud business will be on the radar of many investors as it reports 2Q17 earnings, mainly due to Google’s comments about its cloud strategy. Google earlier this year suggested that it doesn’t see itself joining rivals Amazon, Microsoft, and Oracle in cloud computing pricing wars.

    Instead, Google wants to compete on the basis of service quality and portray itself as the go-place for cloud services related to data analytics and artificial intelligence.

    http://marketrealist.com/2017/07/is-googles-cloud-strategy-working/

  • Amazon Cloud Service Drops Controversial Clause

    With competition heating up in the cloud computing arena, Amazon.com Inc. is removing a clause from its Amazon Web Services contracts that irked customers worried about their intellectual property (IP).

    Based on an updated version of the AWS customer agreement, the ecommerce giant has remove the non-asset clause from the contract that prevented customers from suing the company over patent infringement. With a tons of companies using AWS for computing and data storage, many were concerned that IP could end up in the hands of Amazon.

    http://www.investopedia.com/news/amazon-cloud-service-drops-controversial-clause/

  • Microsoft Profit Jumps, Fueled by Cloud Computing

    Microsoft doesn’t disclose revenue figures for its Azure and Office 365 businesses, but it said Azure revenue jumped 97% and Office 365 revenue rose 43%.

    Overall, Microsoft posted $6.51 billion in fourth-quarter net income, or 83 cents a share, compared with a profit of $3.12 billion, or 39 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding the impact of revenue deferrals and other items, adjusted earnings climbed to 98 cents from 69 cents a year earlier.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/cloud-computing-helps-power-microsoft-earnings-1500583095

Datacenter

  • Michael Dell Says Public Cloud Is Important But It’s Not Everything

    “There’s a boomerang of companies moving to public cloud,” Dell said. “We’re not against it, but it’s not the right place to put all workloads.”

    For 90% of a given company’s predictable computing tasks, running them in-house or in a co-location center, costs less than public cloud, Dell said. A co-location center is a data center used by many businesses, each of which controls their own hardware and software.

    “AWS gets expensive when you scale it up,” Dell said. (That’s a contention that Amazon would likely contest.)

    http://fortune.com/2017/07/17/michael-dell-cloud-computing/

Software/SaaS

  • Rimini Street: Dispute with Oracle is contract law, not copyright

    The smaller company accepted some of the charges against it, saying it will pay $35.6m for “innocently infringing the software”, but appealed against the rest following the October 2016 judgment.

    Without being able to do this, Rimini Street is prevented from carrying out its responsibilities to its own clients, Perry added.

    He argued that Oracle had surrendered its exclusive rights to copying, and that Rimini had permission to copy the software – instead the issue was with the environment that it created and how that environment was used, and on which server it lived.

    “Cross-use and hosting are contract law,” Perry said. “Those are licence disputes… and ought to be resolved as matter of contract law and not copyright law.”

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/07/14/oracle_vs_rimini_street_court_latest/

Other

  • IBM Revenue Decline Continues to Pressure Bottom Line

    The 4.7% drop in second-quarter revenue, to $19.3 billion, marked the 21st consecutive quarter of declining sales at IBM. Profit margins also narrowed across all business units, including the divisions for its main cloud computing and Watson-artificial intelligence operations—two areas Ms. Rometty is counting on to propel the company’s turnaround. Profit fell 6.9% from a year earlier.

    Earnings results exceeded analysts’ expectations. Still, revenue came in below forecasts, and shares in Big Blue slid more than 3% after-hours Tuesday, extending a roughly 8% drop this year through Tuesday’s close. In contrast, the S&P 500’s has gained nearly 9% during the same period.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/ibm-revenue-decline-continues-to-pressure-bottom-line-1500411024

  • To Save IBM, Rometty Needs To Go Big Or Go Home

    Rometty should aggressively rebrand IBM by simply naming it after the one thing in which IBM remains a market leader – Watson. All efforts in the cloud should be geared towards not just acting as a service provider but differentiating IBM by tailoring Watson’s services to the given client’s data so it can augment their decision-making. While they’re at it they can rename their cloud effort Watson Cloud.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanwibberley/2017/07/19/to-save-ibm-rometty-needs-to-go-big-or-go-home/#2479fd827ac0
    Cramer: IBM is just another company that has been ‘Amazoned’

    Regarding IBM’s growth, Cramer said a lot of the initiatives the company is doing have not “kicked in yet, so the stock has not kicked in yet.” He added, “IBM is really burdened by the old business. And the new business — they’re up against these amazing companies.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/19/cramer-ibm-is-just-another-company-that-has-been-amazoned.html

Photo: Robson Hatsukami Morgan

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Supplier Report: 7/14/2017

IBM is coming under fire by Jefferies and competitor OpenText over their AI success (or lack of it).  Jefferies says IBM customers are suffering from complicated implementations and OpenText claims that their AI platform is better and cheaper.

Google is hoping to leverage AI technology to make the world a better place.  And what better way to improve the world than to buy a small AI company in India (…that does have a social  focus).

Meanwhile Verizon made the world a slightly worse place by announcing a security breach that could impact up to 14 million customers.

Acquisitions

Artificial Intelligence

  • Microsoft to use AI to assist the blind, fix bias, and rescue the planet

    In order to make sure that further developments are pursued in the proper fashion—accessible and inclusive to everyone—Microsoft also noted that it is working on an Ethical Design Guide for AI product development, based on CEO Satya Nadella’s 10 principles for AI development.

    “As technology that uses AI gets smarter, we want to ensure that we take a responsible approach to our progress – and one that will ultimately provide the most benefit to our customers and to society as a whole,” Shum said at the event.

    http://www.techrepublic.com/article/microsoft-to-use-ai-to-assist-the-blind-fix-bias-and-rescue-the-planet/

  • Jefferies gives IBM Watson a Wall Street reality check

    Jefferies pulls from an audit of a partnership between IBM Watson and MD Anderson as a case study for IBM’s broader problems scaling Watson. MD Anderson cut its ties with IBM after wasting $60 million on a Watson project that was ultimately deemed, “not ready for human investigational or clinical use.”

    The MD Anderson nightmare doesn’t stand on its own. I regularly hear from startup founders in the AI space that their own financial services and biotech clients have had similar experiences working with IBM.

    The narrative isn’t the product of any single malfunction, but rather the result of overhyped marketing, deficiencies in operating with deep learning and GPUs and intensive data preparation demands.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/07/13/jefferies-gives-ibm-watson-a-wall-street-reality-check/?ncid=rss
    IBM’s Watson, Despite Hype, Outgunned in A.I., Says Jefferies

    Kisner compiles his own estimates for Watson and finds them “somewhat disappointing for investors,” with IBM in the best scenario “barely recouping its cost of capital.”

    “From an EPS perspective, it seems unlikely to us under almost any scenario that Watson will generate meaningful earnings results over the next few years,” he writes. “In our Base case, Watson and associated “pull-through revenue” contributes 3% to Consensus EPS in 2019; in the Bull case, it’s still only 5%.”

    http://www.barrons.com/articles/ibms-watson-despite-hype-outgunned-in-a-i-says-jefferies-1499896835

  • OpenText launches Magellan, an AI platform aimed at IBM’s Watson

    OpenText is using an open source approach with Magellan with integration with Apache Spark and MLlib, a machine learning library. “We are combining the strengths of OpenText and the open source community,” said Adam Howatson, chief marketing officer at OpenText.

    Magellan’s approach will be to enable customers to leverage open source intellectual property and algorithms as well enabling companies to build their own models. Howatson added that OpenText’s Magellan platform will have a lower price point, be available as an appliance and be available on premises or via the cloud.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/opentext-launches-magellan-an-ai-platform-aimed-at-ibms-watson/
    OpenText CEO on AI: Buying IBM may cost you your job (LMAO Mark Barrenechea)

    In a press conference following the announcement, Channelnomics asked Barrenechea how opportunities Magellan enables for resellers differs from those enabled by IBM Watson. The CEO responded by saying that while he’s doubtful of the idea of robots resulting in the loss of IT jobs, buying IBM technology may yield a different result.

    “I do think you lose your job if you buy IBM, and it’s our mission to crush that theme,” Barrenechea said. “That old adage ‘If you buy IBM you won’t lose your job’, I think, is dead. They are locked into their little swim lanes, and opening up insights into all those transactional systems is going to be very hard for them. It’s certainly proving to be massively expensive.”

    The CEO claimed that IBM Watson’s information lake is a “swamp of data”, adding that Magellan is different in its centric applications, focus on automation, AI and APIs and integration between transaction and AI system.

    https://www.channelnomics.com/channelnomics-us/news/3013620/opentext-launches-ai-rival-to-ibm-watson

Cloud

  • Workday finally pops for a PaaS – 10 questions it needs to answer

    In an unusual move, Aneel Bhusri Workday CEO took to the company’s blog to announce an intention for Workday to offer a platform upon which partners can extend the core Workday applications.

    If we take the example of Salesforce, that company has never had intentions of entering certain verticals or, for that matter, certain horizontals but by offering a platform (Force.com) upon which developers can knock themselves out, Salesforce has spawned a multi-billion dollar ecosystem from which it too benefits. The most immediate examples that spring to mind are Apttus in CPQ, FinancialForce in financials and Rootstock in manufacturing, all of which are built upon Salesforce’s PaaS.

    http://diginomica.com/2017/07/11/workday-finally-pops-paas/

Datacenter

  • Dell struggling after EMC purchase

    The $67-billion deal closed last September, so the new partnership is still in its very early stages, but early indications are that the arrangement hasn’t yet fared well, said Will Mitchell, a professor of strategic management at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

    “It doesn’t mean that he can’t turn it around, but it better happen fast,” Mitchell said of Dell Founder, Chairman and CEO Michael Dell.

    Dell’s losses have actually only grown since the EMC deal went through. The company lost $1.5 billion In the first quarter of fiscal 2018, which ended in May. In the same quarter the year prior, Dell lost $139 million.

    http://www.wbjournal.com/article/20170712/NEWS01/307129996

  • HPE wants to grow again, announces new products and services to do it

    Whitman said that, according to IDC, more than half of enterprises have, or are considering bringing workloads back on-prem from the public cloud, thanks to what she referred to as the cloud cliff.

    “The cloud is absolutely the right choice for certain applications and use cases,” she said. But at some point, “they hit what we call the cloud cliff, where either for reasons of control, security, performance or cost, the platform they went with is no longer the best option.” That’s when moving to a hybrid environment makes sense.

    Also:

    While HPE has spun off its enterprise services into DXC, it still retains a robust technology services organization. Now branded Pointnext, HPE says it “helps customers harness the power of hybrid IT, real-time data and analytics, and mobile solutions to enhance customer experiences, create and deliver new digital product and services, and improve core operations at unprecedented speed and efficiency.”

    http://business.financialpost.com/technology/cio/hpe-wants-to-grow-again-announces-new-products-and-services-to-do-it/wcm/8d8cd127-3d07-4eee-a516-485b49251099

Software/SaaS

  • IBM: A Future Blockchain Leader?

    Given the low level of blockchain maturity in general, as well as specific IBM blockchain projects (more on these in the succeeding sections) being in their initial stages, it is too early to assess revenue from specific solutions. However, given the traction that IBM’s cloud-as-a-service offering seems to be getting with over 400 client engagements, blockchain has the potential to become one of the fastest-growing sources of revenue starting in 2017, when many of the first IBM enterprise applications are scheduled to roll out.

    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4086778-ibm-future-blockchain-leader

Other

  • Millions of Verizon customers affected by security breach

    Verizon confirmed that a recent security incident exposed the personal identification numbers and other private information pertaining to millions of telecom customers.

    Six million unique Verizon user accounts were affected by a data breach suffered by a third-party vendor detected last month, Verizon said Wednesday.

    UpGuard, a Silicon Valley security firm that first reported the data breach, said as many as 14 million Verizon accounts may have been affected.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jul/13/millions-verizon-customers-impacted-security-breac/

  • Paying Professors: Inside Google’s Academic Influence Campaign

    Google has paid professors whose papers, for instance, declared that the collection of consumer data was a fair exchange for its free services; that the company didn’t use its market dominance to improperly steer users to Google’s commercial sites or its advertisers; and that it hasn’t unfairly quashed competitors. Several papers argued that Google’s search engine should be allowed to link to books and other intellectual property that authors and publishers say should be paid for—a group that includes News Corp, which owns the Journal. News Corp formally complained to European regulators about Google’s handling of news articles in search results.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/paying-professors-inside-googles-academic-influence-campaign-1499785286?mg=prod/accounts-wsj

  • Microsoft CIO Jim DuBois departs amid layoffs; Kurt DelBene named chief digital officer

    DuBois was on sabbatical and decided to leave Microsoft as part of the reorganization of its global sales staff, which also includes thousands of job cuts. DuBois was named CIO in 2013, and he had been with Microsoft since 1993, where he worked in a variety of roles, mostly focused on information technology.

    Kurt DelBene is stepping up to fill the void of DuBois’ departure under his new title of chief digital officer. DelBene currently focuses on corporate strategy, and his new role will also see him working closely with core engineering teams across the company as well as IT. DelBene will also oversee the company’s digital transformation efforts.

    https://www.geekwire.com/2017/microsoft-cio-jim-dubois-departs-amid-layoffs-kurt-delbene-named-chief-digital-officer/

  • Microsoft’s Calibri font is at the center of a political scandal

    Pakistan’s government is in trouble. And its fate may hinge on a Microsoft font. Judicial investigators probing the financial assets of the country’s Prime Minister and his family allege his daughter (and apparent successor) forged documents to hide her ownership of overseas properties. How did they reach that conclusion? The documents from 2006 submitted by Maryam Nawaz (daughter of PM Nawaz Sharif) were in the Calibri font. That font, according to the investigation team’s leaked report, wasn’t publicly available until 2007.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/12/microsoft-calibri-pakistan-fontgate/

  • Accenture handed $26M in Centrelink payments system overhaul

    Accenture Australia has been granted just over $26 million by the Government for the provision of systems integration services as part of the Department of Human Services’ landmark Centrelink payments system overhaul.

    Accenture’s latest purchase order for the project, the contract terms of which run from 26 May to 28 February 2018, was awarded via the Department of Human Service’s ‘Systems integrators for the provision of services related to WPIT [Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation]’ procurement panel, according to tender documents.

    https://www.arnnet.com.au/article/621596/accenture-handed-26m-centrelink-systems-overhaul/

Photo: danist soh

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Supplier Report: 7/7/2017

Microsoft is looking to reduce their sales force by 3000 heads in order to streamline cloud sales. Several reports are stating that this is not a cost cutting move by Microsoft, but rather a refocus.

Some news outlets are questioning IBM’s understanding of potential problems widespread AI implementation could cause.  IBM’s position of AI acting as job-enhancers instead of an instrument of elimination is coming under fire.

More stories of inappropriate behavior of Silicon Valley leadership are making the news. It this really a systematic cultural issue or perception caused by a handful of bad people?

Acquisitions

  • Baidu acquires natural language startup Kitt.ai, maker of chatbot engine ChatFlow

    China’s search giant Baidu has made another acquisition to continue its push into artificial intelligence, and specifically to help it carve out a place for itself as a platform for developers who want to create chatbots and other services based on natural language technology.

    Baidu has acquired Kitt.ai, a profitable startup based out of Seattle that has developed a framework to build and power chatbots and voice-based applications across multiple platforms and devices (presumably named after this Kitt).

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/07/05/baidu-acquires-natural-language-startup-kitt-ai-maker-of-chatbot-engine-chatflow/
    Baidu forms global alliance to accelerate AI adoption in self-driving cars

    Rather than produce self-driving cars itself, Baidu is banking on the open-source platform to “export its technology capability and integrate resources” for a “win-win situation” as artificial intelligence is set to reshape the entire car manufacturing industry, said Lu Qi, chief operating officer of the Nasdaq-listed Baidu.

    http://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/2101384/baidu-forms-global-alliance-accelerate-ai-adoption-self-driving

  • Cisco is relieved the FTC stepped in to protect it from its competitor

    The problem is Broadcom makes a lot of chips for all sorts of networking products, and one of its big customers is Cisco. Right from the start, Broadcom said it would sell off Broadcom’s general networking equipment business. It didn’t want to give the impression that it was competing with its customers. It wanted Brocade for its storage business.

    But Cisco wasn’t exactly comfortable with that idea and the FTC agreed. Broadcom proposed one more restriction: it said it would also “firewall off” the chip-making unit working with Cisco products from Brocade. It agreed that any information about the chips it manufacturers for Cisco cannot somehow find their way into the hands of the Brocade unit, to be used to compete against Cisco.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/cisco-happy-ftc-will-limit-broadcom-with-brocade-2017-7

  • Forrester: Apple Should Buy IBM (LMAO)

    A critical weapon in this war is natural language processing, a form of artificial intelligence. NLP enables machines to accurately understand the human voice, make sense of personal requests, and form credible answers. Amazon leads with Alexa, Google is a close second with Google Home, and Microsoft’s entry is Cortana. Apple’s perpetually annoying and undependable Siri has fallen behind.

    http://www.dabcc.com/forrester-apple-should-buy-ibm/

Artificial Intelligence

  • IBM Is Clueless About AI Risks

    “The crux of its argument is that IBM knows more about AI and about economics than the ‘fearful prophets’ and that any mention of risks is a dangerous, Luddite fallacy,” said Russell.

    On the economics of employment risks, Russell pointed to several “fearful prophets,” including Nobel laureates Robert Shiller, Mike Spence, and Paul Krugman; Klaus Schwab, head of the World Economic Forum; and Larry Summers, former Chief Economist of the World Bank and Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton. “I don’t think one can dismiss their arguments with ad hominem insults,” said Russell. As these thinkers have taken great pains to point out, the pending automation revolution is poised to eliminate countless jobs and displace workers.

    http://gizmodo.com/ibm-is-clueless-about-ai-risks-1796549532

  • Why old tech is scarier than Hollywood AI

    “We have the sci-fi depictions of sentient networks that will turn against us, but the problem is, we’ve already built something way too complex for us to be able to manage as a society,” according to Wendy Nather, principal security strategist at Duo Security. “This is a very shaky foundation that we have to clean out and redo.”

    http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/30/technology/cyberattack-old-tech-hackers-infrastructure/index.html?section=money_topstories

  • Salesforce ‘Einstein’ AI can tell when people are angry in texts and emails

    The Einstein Intent tool allows programmers to understand the intent of customer inquiries, which could make it easier to automatically route leads, escalate service cases or personalize a marketing campaign through a custom app. This could be particularly useful for prioritizing customer service inquiries.

    Traditional keyword-based tools have trouble with complex wording or sarcasm, but this tool is designed to deal with these.

    http://www.netimperative.com/2017/07/salesforce-einstein-ai-can-tell-people-angry-texts-emails/

Cloud

  • Microsoft reorganizing its sales organization around cloud strategy

    Bloomberg reported Friday that Microsoft will cut some jobs and move others around in a reorganization directly impacting two separate divisions of the company. The Worldwide Commercial Business group, led by Judson Althoff, and the global sales and marketing group, led by Jean-Philippe Courtois, will be affected by moves that Bloomberg called “some of the most significant in the sales force in years.”

    https://www.geekwire.com/2017/report-microsoft-reorganizing-sales-organization-around-cloud-strategy/
    WSJ cuts right to the point: Microsoft to Cut Sales Jobs Next Week

    The exact number of layoffs is unclear, though they will hit staff in offices around the world, this person said. Microsoft more than 121,000 employees at the end of March, the last time the company disclosed its head count.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/microsoft-to-cut-sales-jobs-next-week-1498866092
    Microsoft plans up to 3,000 job cuts in a sales staff overhaul to fuel cloud growth

    The job cuts amount to less that 10 percent of the company’s total sales force, and about 75 percent of them will be outside the U.S., the company said.

    “Microsoft is implementing changes to better serve our customers and partners,” a Microsoft spokesperson told CNBC. “Today, we are taking steps to notify some employees that their jobs are under consideration or that their positions will be eliminated. Like all companies, we evaluate our business on a regular basis. This can result in increased investment in some places and, from time-to-time, re-deployment in others.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/06/microsoft-will-layoff-thousands-of-employees.html

  • This chart shows how painful the shift to cloud computing is for IBM and Oracle

    The two technology vendors are set to lose out considerably in IT budgets over the next three years as the result of the shift to cloud, according to the June AlphaWise/Morgan Stanley CIO report. CIOs expect that 46% of their workloads will be in the cloud by the end of 2020, while only 34% will be on-premise.

    Between now and then, the 100 US and European CIOs surveyed expect to decrease spending on IBM by 13%, and to decrease spending on Oracle by 11%.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/ibm-and-oracle-may-be-the-biggest-losers-when-it-comes-to-shifts-in-it-spending-2017-6?r=UK&IR=T

Other

  • Europe Is Becoming a Bigger Problem for Silicon Valley

    Just Friday, Germany approved new legislation imposing €50 million fines on social-media companies that fail to quickly remove hate speech and terrorist content—over strident opposition from Facebook Inc. and other tech companies, which advocate self-regulation to tackle those problems. That step followed the €2.42 billion ($2.76 billion) fine that the European Union’s executive arm levied this week against Alphabet Inc.’s Google for abusing its dominance as a search engine.

    Also

    One factor in the policing has been tech firms’ disruption of traditional industrial giants in Europe. In response, many legacy players have lobbied for new rules and tougher enforcement against the interlopers—and found open ears. European telecom firms, angry about seeing their revenue from text messages undercut by chat apps, were among the first to advocate new legislation to mandate a “level playing field.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/europe-is-becoming-a-bigger-problem-for-silicon-valley-1498849603

  • Amazon Plans to Join Red Hat and GE in Boston’s Hottest Tech Hub

    Seattle-based Amazon, a giant in retail and cloud computing, will take 150,000 square feet former warehouse right by the Fort Point Channel, which separates Boston from South Boston, according to the report.

    This week, Red Hat (RHAT) officially launched a new engineering lab and briefing center in South Boston. And part of the reason Progress Software bought Kinvey, an application development specialist, is to use that company as a downtown Boston center. Progress, itself, is based in the Boston suburbs.

    http://fortune.com/2017/06/30/amazon-boston-fort-point/

  • Dave McClure resigns as general partner of 500 Startups funds

    Dave McClure has resigned as a general partner of all funds and entities managed by 500 Startups, the seed investment group he founded in 2010, Axios has learned. The move comes after several women accused McClure of inappropriate behavior.

    https://www.axios.com/exclusive-dave-mcclure-resigns-as-general-partner-of-500-startups-2452701900.html
    McClure: I’m a Creep. I’m Sorry.

    I made advances towards multiple women in work-related situations, where it was clearly inappropriate. I put people in compromising and inappropriate situations, and I selfishly took advantage of those situations where I should have known better. My behavior was inexcusable and wrong.

    https://500hats.com/im-a-creep-i-m-sorry-d2c13e996ea0

  • Samsung Reduces Its Global Workforce Due To Restructuring

    Samsung, one of the largest electronics company in the world, was forced to reduce its global workforce due to the restructuring of its business operations in China, based on company data. The data shows that the electronics giant has reduced the number of its employees in 2016 by 5.2 percent, from 325,677 down to 308,745. In its South Korean home base, Samsung has cut down its workforce by 3.8 percent and is now down to 93,204 while it slashed the number of its employees abroad by 5.8 percent and is now currently 215,541. It was in China where the largest workforce reduction was implemented in 2016 where the labor force was slashed down by 17.5 percent and is now down to just 37, 070. However, the North and South American workforce experienced an increase in employee numbers by 8.5 percent, and now count 25,988 employees.

    https://www.androidheadlines.com/2017/07/samsung-reduces-global-workforce-due-restructuring.html

Photo: Alexandre Chambon

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Supplier Report: 6/9/2017

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%.

Acquisitions

Artificial Intelligence

  • 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.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3198635/artificial-intelligence/why-google-is-betting-big-on-ai.html

  • 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.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3200184/it-industry/why-google-might-lose-the-enterprise-ai-wars.html

Cloud

  • 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.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/02/lululemon-ceo-blames-ibm-for-site-outage.html

  • 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.)

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/07/facebook-planning-to-move-whatsapp-off-ibms-public-cloud.html

  • 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.

    https://www.onmsft.com/news/microsoft-restructures-cloud-data-ai-organizations

Datacenter/Hardware

Other

  • 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.

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/06/06/lloyds_confirms_ibm_cloudy_outsourcing/

  • 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.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-wins-the-race-to-1-000-1496440170

  • 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.

    https://www.recode.net/2017/6/7/15759274/merger-completed-layoffs-combined-aol-yahoo-could-reach-1000

  • 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.

    https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/06/07/ibm-community-college-partnerships-support-next-gen-it-training.aspx?admgarea=news

Photo: Dawid Zawiła

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Supplier Report: 6/2/2017

Should investors lay IBM’s current problem’s at Ginni Rometty’s feet or is her predecessor Sam Palmisano truly to blame? While investors are busy finger-pointing, IBM’s global services division declined another 2%.

But it wasn’t all bad news for big blue, they acquired a company to help bolster their “Connections” platform and another news source is touting just how good Watson is at suggesting cancer treatments.

Meanwhile in Japan, Toshiba is still struggling to sell off their memory chip business in a last-ditch effort to keep the company afloat and NTT quietly invested in NoSQL database provider MarkLogic.

Acquisitions

  • IBM Acquires XCC Digital Work Hub to Strengthen IBM Connections

    Armonk, NY-based IBM acquired the XCC technology from its partner, Cologne, Germany-based TIMETOACT GROUP. XCC is a digital workplace hub that IBM officials said will create a “single destination” personalized homepage for employees. The company made the announcement at its DNUG44 collaboration conference in Berlin this morning.

    XCC’s hub will be renamed the IBM Connections Engagement Center and will live under the portfolio of IBM Connections, IBM’s enterprise collaboration suite that competes with the likes of Microsoft, Slack and Atlassian.

    http://www.cmswire.com/digital-workplace/ibm-acquires-xcc-digital-work-hub-to-strengthen-ibm-connections/

  • Micro Focus’ $8.8bn software acquisition approved by investors

    The approval for the $8.8bn deal comes only weeks after Micro Focus issued a damaging warning on its growth prospects because of a slowdown in sales at the former Hewlett-Packard assets.

    The investor meeting, held near St Pauls in London, was attended by only one shareholder. Approval for the multibillion merger and a $500m return of cash to shareholders was passed without objection in less than 10 minutes. The vote was passed with a 99.9 per cent approval.

    https://www.ft.com/content/976c93f8-4221-11e7-82b6-896b95f30f58

  • Dell further ties itself to VMware

    Initial reports set the price at $67 billion, but Dell now says it was just over $58 billion. Either way, a good portion of the funding was borrowed.Selling off VMware – at its current market cap of about $34 billion – would certainly change the math, but so too would losing VMware’s future potential contributions.

    VMware still functions as its own publicly traded company, as it did under EMC, but it is now majority-owned by Dell Technologies. And unlike other parts of Dell’s new empire, VMware is growing at 10 percent a year.

    http://www.wbjournal.com/article/20170529/PRINTEDITION/170529955/1002

  • Intel CEO explains why he spent $15 billion on Mobileye

    Krzanich said that someday “if you get a ransomware or some kind of virus on one portion of the device,” Intel will not only have backups, but they could “refresh your car on the fly.” While he acknowledged that there are some potential privacy concerns, Krzanich believes that connected cars will be “much safer.”

    “In order for those cars to drive, they do have to look,” said Krzanich about self-driving cars. “There’s a lot of social good that can come out of this.”

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/01/intel-ceo-explains-why-he-spent-15-billion-on-mobileye/?ncid=rss

  • NTT Data announces strategic investment in NoSQL database provider MarkLogic

    MarkLogic positions itself as a database system for integrating data from various data silos, something that’s a growing problem for large enterprises as they look into how they can get the most value out of their data. Over the years (and often because of acquisitions), different groups in a company often use different database systems, and now they are looking for ways to bring all of this information together again. Typically, the way to do that is by bringing that data into a schema-less NoSQL database, which is where MarkLogic comes in.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/31/ntt-data-announces-strategic-investment-in-nosql-database-provider-marklogic/?ncid=rss

  • Toshiba Fights to Clear Way for Chip-Unit Sale

    Toshiba said it would transfer the joint venture back to the core Toshiba group, and remove that part of its chip unit from a sale. The company says the joint venture includes manufacturing equipment, but not the key NAND flash manufacturing processes or the plants or engineers in Japan.

    The move defuses Western Digital’s claim that the sale of the chip unit to a third party would be a breach of its joint venture rights, Toshiba’s lawyers said in a letter dated Wednesday.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/toshiba-makes-legal-concession-on-sale-of-memory-chip-unit-1496239072?mg=prod/accounts-wsj

Artificial Intelligence

  • IBM’s Watson is really good at creating cancer treatment plans

    In a handful of studies being presented at ASCO, researchers show that Watson for Oncology is pretty dang good at recommending treatments for a variety of different cancers. From research done in India, Watson’s treatment recommendations were in agreement with those of physicians 96 percent of the time for lung cancer, 93 percent of the time for rectal cancer, and 81 percent of the time for colon cancer.

    And there were comparable rates of agreement for colorectal, lung, breast and gastric cancer treatments in a Thai-based study. Additionally, Watson was able to screen breast and lung cancer patients for clinical trial eligibility 78 percent faster than a human, reducing screening time from 110 minutes down to just 24.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/01/ibm-watson-cancer-treatment-plans/

  • Google has reportedly launched a new AI-focused venture capital program

    According to Axios, Patterson and company will reportedly be co-investing with GV when it makes sense to do so. Check sizes, it says, will range from $1 million and $10 million to start, though it isn’t yet clear how much Google plans to commit to the program, yearly or otherwise.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/26/google-has-reportedly-launched-a-new-ai-focused-venture-capital-program/?ncid=rss

Cloud

  • VMware to rally nearly 20% on Amazon partnership, analyst says

    “The recent partnership between VMware and AWS [Amazon Web Services] has been received with great positivity and excitement, according to our channel work,” analyst Jayson Noland wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. “Naturally, a co-development between the respective leaders in private and public clouds should offer an unparalleled level of seamlessness in hybrid cloud mobility, which to date remains one of the largest challenges to enterprise cloud deployment.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/31/cloud-play-vmware-to-rally-nearly-20-percent-on-amazon-partnership-analyst-says.html

  • Oracle Bucks the Pricing Trend in the Cloud

    Oracle has been acting as if to buck cloud computing pricing trends. Amazon and Microsoft have been waging cloud pricing wars, with Amazon recently trimming AWS costs by as much as 21% on certain services.

    However, Oracle has been hiking prices. Earlier this year, the company updated its licensing policy in a fashion that dramatically increased the cost of running Oracle software on AWS and Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform. Oracle doubled the cost of running its database on these foreign clouds.

    http://marketrealist.com/2017/05/oracle-bucks-pricing-trend-cloud/

Datacenter

  • MongoDB Taking Share From Oracle In $40 Billion Market

    When you take into account the full cost to a company, MongoDB offered an irresistible bargain. “We believe that the cost of the software should equal that of the hardware. We typically charge $5,000 per server per year for the software to run on a server that costs about $5,000. Our competition charges hundreds of thousands of dollars per server-year plus $50,000 a year in maintenance and their software runs on $10,000 servers,” said Schireson.

    Regrettably, MongoDB declined to provide revenue growth details. But its headcount growth suggested that demand for the product was soaring. Schireson argued, “When I joined as CEO in 2011, the company had 20 employees. That went to 100 by the end of 2011 and 200 by the end of 2012. [As of October 2013] we have 320 people and expect to end the year at between 350 and 400. And we plan to add 200 more in 2014. We now have 600 customers.”

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2017/05/30/mongodb-taking-share-from-oracle-in-40-billion-market/#2e06dd5a3156

  • IBM believes that hybrid cloud is the future of computing

    “When we work with private and public clouds on workload assessment, customers think of what would go Hybrid. We do studies and assessment with our customers every day. So, there is no doubt or question in our mind that hybrid is the way to go,” Vikas Arora, Cloud Business Leader for IBM India and South Asia, told IANS.

    He said IBM believes that it has the best of enterprise cloud and hybrid is a very core capability that it has, adding that there is a need of a global footprint of datacenters.

    http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/ibm-believes-that-hybrid-cloud-is-the-future-of-computing-378615.html

  • Red Hat director talks Reactive and changing middleware layer

    Sharples also shared his opinion on how the middleware layer is changing, such as the shift away from enterprise service buses (ESBs). The ESB, he said, became a burden in the eyes of many software administrators who saw it as a single “choke point” and potential source of universal failure.

    “It became that part of your application code was now embedded within this infrastructure,” Sharples said. “So, it didn’t provide a good separation of concerns.”

    http://searchmicroservices.techtarget.com/video/Red-Hat-director-talks-Reactive-and-changing-middleware-layer

  • HPE meets lowered expectations as execs insist worst is over, but investors not so sure

    HPE’s results were expected to be dismal, and the company surprised no one with earnings that met Wall Street expectations on a 13 percent plunge in revenue compared to the same quarter last year. About the only positive news was that net revenues of $9.9 billion slightly exceeded consensus estimates of $9.64 billion, and that the company reaffirmed its earnings guidance for the rest of the year.

    Exact comparisons to last year’s figures aren’t practical because HPE completed the sale of its services business to Computer Sciences Corp. just last month, shedding 100,000 employees in the process. In after-hours trading, the stock declined a little more than 2 percent.

    https://siliconangle.com/blog/2017/05/31/hpe-meets-lowered-expectations-execs-insist-worst/

Software/SaaS

  • Blockchains are the new Linux, not the new Internet

    Decentralized blockchain solutions are vastly more democratic, and more technically compelling, than the hermetically-sealed, walled-garden, Stack-ruled Internet of today. Similarly, open-source Linux was vastly more democratic, and more technically compelling, than the Microsoft and Apple OSes which ruled computing at the time. But nobody used it except a tiny coterie of hackers. It was too clunky; too complicated; too counterintuitive; required jumping through too many hoops — and Linux’s dirty secret was that the mainstream solutions were, in fact, actually fine, for most people.

    Sound familiar? Today there’s a lot of work going into decentralized distributed storage keyed on blockchain indexes; Storj, Sia, Blockstack, et al. This is amazing, groundbreaking work… but why would an ordinary person, one already comfortable with Box or Dropbox, switch over to Storj or Blockstack? The centralized solution works just fine for them, and, because it’s centralized, they know who to call if something goes wrong. Blockstack in particular is more than “just” storage … but what compelling pain point is it solving for the average user?

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/28/double-double-cryptocoin-bubble/?ncid=rss

  • Concord wants to become the Google Docs of contracts

    Concord wants to centralize everything related to contract management into one service, and this service is supposed to work for all sorts of teams. Companies like Just Eat have been using it across the board, from the sales team to the HR team.

    And it starts with writing new contracts. Concord lets you create and edit contracts directly in your browser. If you want to send it to a coworker, you just share the Concord document. The platform then tracks changes and versions so that everybody across your organization stays on the same page. And those contracts are legally binding.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/31/concord-wants-to-become-the-google-docs-of-contracts/?ncid=rss

Other

  • What’s Stopping IBM’s Global Business Services from Growing?

    The GBS segment’s revenue fell 2% to $4.0 billion in the quarter. The segment encompasses consulting, global process services, and application management services. It provides customers with these services by integrating them with the company’s offerings, including Watson, cloud, blockchain, and technology services.

    The migration of customers from big on-premises projects and models to the cloud system has led to a fall in IBM’s traditional back office implementation business.

    http://marketrealist.com/2017/06/whats-stopping-ibms-global-business-services-from-growing/

  • Is Management Really to Blame for IBM’s Woes?

    Shares of IBM have declined 8% this year, while the S&P 500 has gained 8%. The reasons are easy to see — the company’s revenue has fallen annually for 20 straight quarters, Warren Buffett sold about 30% of Berkshire’s stake in February, and Moody’s downgraded its credit rating in early May.

    Amid all those negative headlines, it’s easy to blame IBM’s management for its current woes. However, it makes more sense to blame former CEO Sam Palmisano for most of those problems. Rometty initially waited too long to abandon Palmisano’s quixotic plan, but her moves over the past three years indicate that she knows how to turn around the aging company. Therefore, investors should keep those facts in mind before assuming that IBM would fare better under new management.

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/05/27/is-management-really-to-blame-for-ibms-woes.aspx

Photo: Hermes Rivera

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