Tag Archives: Cisco

Supplier Report: 2/16/2018

Moves are being made this week!  Both Oracle and Google (along with Roche and OpenText) announced acquisitions.  If you pair that with comments made by Oracle CEO Mark Hurd about the economy, it seems that the M&A drought is subsiding.

Equifax, the company that allowed hackers to gain access to all of the information needed to open a line of credit in your name, announced that hackers probably got even MORE information that initially reported.  News also came out this week that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has stopped investigations into the breach.

Amazon is going after UPS and Fedex and also reducing their workforce in certain areas (while increasing headcount in their Alexa and AI departments).

Acquisitions

  • Roche to Acquire Healthcare-Software Company Flatiron for $1.9 Billion

    Pharmaceuticals firm Roche Holding AG RHHBY 1.16% has agreed to buy the shares it doesn’t already own of Flatiron Health Inc., an oncology software company, for $1.9 billion, the companies said Thursday.

    Switzerland-based Roche said the deal is part of an effort to accelerate its development and delivery of medicines for cancer patients. Roche already owns 12.6% of New York City-based Flatiron Health, which was launched in 2012.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/roche-to-acquire-healthcare-software-company-flatiron-for-1-9-billion-1518732811

  • Google to acquire Xively IoT platform from LogMeIn for $50M

    Google announced today that it intends to buy Xively from LogMeIn for $50 million, giving Google Cloud an established IoT platform to add to their product portfolio.

    In a blog post announcing the acquisition, Google indicated it wants to use this purchase as a springboard into the growing IoT market, which it believes will reach 20 billion connected things by 2020. With Xively they are getting a tool that enables device designers to build connectivity directly into the design process while providing a cloud-mobile connection between the end user app and the connected thing, whatever that happens to be.

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/15/google-to-acquire-xively-iot-platform-from-logmein/

  • Oracle acquires cloud security startup Zenedge

    Oracle announced today that it reached an agreement to acquire Zenedge, a company that provides firewalls and denial-of-service mitigation to enterprises.

    The deal is part of Oracle’s overall work to build out its cloud platform, providing customers with security features for their applications that help them stay secure and running in a hostile web environment. Zenedge fits in with the company’s previous acquisition of Dyn, a domain name system (DNS) provider that helps determine how traffic gets directed between different applications.

    https://venturebeat.com/2018/02/15/oracle-acquires-cloud-security-startup-zenedge/

  • Consolidation in the cloud as OpenText buys Hightail and Carbonite grabs Mozy from Dell

    Mark J. Barrenechea, who holds several titles at OpenText including vice chairman, CEO and CTO, says the addition of Hightail helps them meet yet another content management use case. “The acquisition of Hightail underscores our commitment to delivering differentiated content solutions in the cloud that enable marketers and creative professionals to share, produce, and securely collaborate on digital content,” Barrenechea said in a statement.

    This could allow them to compete with Adobe, at least on the file sharing side. Adobe has a big stake in the creative market and providing solutions for creating and sharing the large files they produce.

    Today’s acquisition comes on the heels of the sale of another early cloud company when Dell sold Mozy to Carbonite yesterday for $145 million. Mozy, a cloud backup service, which launched in 2005, was sold to EMC in 2007 for $76 million. You may recall that Dell purchased EMC in Oct 2015 for $67 billion. That deal closed in September 2016.

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/14/consolidation-in-the-cloud-as-opentext-buys-hightail-and-carbonite-grabs-mozy-from-dell/?ncid=rss

  • Equinix acquires Infomart Dallas hub for $800m

    Equinix, which was recently listed as the top data centre operator in the world by Cloudscene’s latest leaderboard rankings, will benefit greatly from the acquisition of the 1.6 million gross sq ft landmark facility. The highly interconnected hub will further strengthen Equinix’s global platform.

    The Dallas metro represents one of the largest enterprise and colocation markets in the Americas and the eight Equinix IBX data centres house more than 100 network service providers—more than any other data centre provider in the Dallas metro area.

    http://www.capacitymedia.com/Article/3787932/Equinix-acquires-Infomart-Dallas-hub-for-800m

Cloud

  • LinkedIn still hasn’t moved to Azure, continues to run its own data centers

    However, despite Microsoft owning LinkedIn, the company has no obligation to adopt Azure, a pattern seen before. Last year, Amazon acquired Whole Foods in a $13.7 billion deal, and the company made no public announcement of adopting AWS. At the time of acquisition, Whole Foods ran on Azure.

    Still, Microsoft is the “preferred” cloud vendor for some heavyweight companies including Adobe and Columbia Sportswear. However, if companies don’t adopt Azure, Microsoft often boasts enterprise customers through its SaaS solutions.

    https://www.ciodive.com/news/linkedin-still-hasnt-moved-to-azure-continues-to-run-its-own-data-centers/516748/

  • Oracle to Launch 12 Cloud Data Centers Around the World

    Oracle announced Monday a plan to add 12 locations to the list of availability regions hosting its new enterprise cloud platform. Today, the platform is hosted in two locations in the US and one in Europe.

    Most of the expansion will be in Asia, where the new platform, launched in 2016, currently has no physical presence. Oracle’s plan includes new cloud data centers in China, India, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. (It’s expanding in China in partnership with Tencent, according to The Wall Street Journal.)

    Oracle is also adding data centers in Europe (Amsterdam and Switzerland), where the platform is currently hosted in Frankfurt, with an upcoming London region.

    http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/oracle/oracle-launch-12-cloud-data-centers-around-world

Security

  • Apple intern reportedly leaked iPhone source code

    According to Motherboard, the intern who stole the code took it and distributed it to a small group of five friends in the iOS jailbreaking community in order to help them with their ongoing efforts to circumvent Apple’s locked down mobile operating system. The former employee apparently took “all sorts of Apple internal tools and whatnot,” according to one of the individuals who had originally received the code, including additional source code that was apparently not included in the initial leak.

    The plan was originally to make sure that the code never left the initial circle of five friends, but apparently the code spread beyond the original group sometime last year. Eventually, the code was then posted in a Discord chat group, and was shared to Reddit roughly four months ago (although that post was apparently removed by a moderation bot automatically).

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/9/16997266/apple-source-code-leak-intern-internal-tools-jailbreaking-github-ios-9

  • Equifax breach may have exposed more data than first thought

    The 2017 Equifax data breach was already extremely serious by itself, but there are hints it was somehow worse. CNN has learned that Equifax told the US Senate Banking Committee that more data may have been exposed than initially determined. The hack may have compromised more driver’s license info, such as the issuing data and host state, as well as tax IDs. In theory, it would be that much easier for intruders to commit fraud.

    https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/10/equifax-breach-may-have-exposed-more-data/
    32 senators want to know if US regulators halted Equifax probe

    Earlier this week, a Reuters report suggested that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) had halted its investigation into last year’s massive Equifax data breach. Reuters sources said that even basic steps expected in such a probe hadn’t been taken and efforts had stalled since Mick Mulvaney took over as head of the CFPB late last year. Now, 31 Democratic senators and one Independent have written a letter to Mulvaney asking if that is indeed the case and if so, why.

    Reuters sources said that Mulvaney has neither ordered subpoenas against Equifax nor collected any sworn testimony from company executives. Additionally, reviews of how Equifax protects its data and on-site cybersecurity exams of other credit bureaus — which the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency all offered to assist with — have been put on hold. The bank regulators who had offered to help were reportedly told that there were no exams planned and their assistance wouldn’t be needed.

    https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/08/senators-ask-if-us-regulators-halted-equifax-probe/

  • Consumers prefer security over convenience for the first time ever, IBM Security report finds

    “We always talk about the ease of use, and not impacting user experience, etc, but it turns out that when it comes to their financial accounts…people actually would go the extra mile and will use extra security,” Kessem said. Whether it’s using two factor authentication, an SMS message on top of their password, or any other additional step for extra protection, people still want to use it. Some 74% of respondents said that they would use extra security when it comes to those accounts, she said.

    https://www.techrepublic.com/article/ibm-security-report-security-now-outweighs-convenience/

  • ‘BuckHacker’ Search Engine Lets You Easily Dig Through Exposed Amazon Servers

    Digging through S3 buckets certainly isn’t new. Chris Vickery, director of cyber risk research at security firm UpGuard, has cornered something of a niche for himself by regularly finding noteworthy datasets in exposed buckets. According to research published in September 2017, some 7 percent of S3 servers may be exposed.

    And tools already exist for quickly grinding through leaky Amazon servers: ‘AWSBucketDump’ “is a tool to quickly enumerate AWS S3 buckets to look for loot,” the project’s Github page reads. As the BuckHacker administrator pointed out, you can also find some exposed buckets with a specific Google search.

    BuckHacker doesn’t only return results for exposed servers. It also includes entries labelled as “Access Denied”, and “The specified bucket does not exist,” meaning, obviously, you can’t simply go access whatever data they contain. But it may still be useful for scoping out whether a target is using S3 at all.

    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/j5bgm3/buckhacke-amazon-server-search-engine-aws-security

  • Don’t use Huawei phones, say heads of FBI, CIA, and NSA

    During his testimony, FBI Director Chris Wray said the government was “deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks.” He added that this would provide “the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.”

    These warnings are nothing new. The US intelligence community has long been wary of Huawei, which was founded by a former engineer in China’s People’s Liberation Army and has been described by US politicians as “effectively an arm of the Chinese government.” This caution led to a ban on Huawei bidding for US government contracts in 2014, and it’s now causing problems for the company’s push into consumer electronics.

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/14/17011246/huawei-phones-safe-us-intelligence-chief-fears

Datacenter/Hardware

  • One Man’s Quest to Make Google’s Gadgets Great

    Google could no longer afford to make ho-hum gadgets. Alphabet, its parent company, had become the world’s second-largest corporation by building software that worked for everyone, everywhere, delivered through apps and websites. But the nature of computing is changing, and its next phase won’t revolve around app stores and smartphones. It will center instead on artificially intelligent devices that fit seamlessly into their owners’ everyday lives. It will feature voice assistants, simple wearables, smart appliances in homes, and augmented-reality gadgets on your face and in your brain.

    In other words, the future involves a whole lot more hardware, and for Google that shift represents an existential threat. Users won’t go to Google.com to search for things; they’ll just ask their Echo because it’s within earshot, and they won’t care what algorithms it uses to answer the question. Or they’ll use Siri, because it’s right there in a button on their iPhone. Google needed to figure out, once and for all, how to compete with the beautiful gadgets made by Amazon, Apple, and everyone else in tech. Especially the ones coming out of Cupertino.

    https://www.wired.com/story/one-mans-quest-to-make-googles-gadgets-great/

Other

  • Amazon to Launch Delivery Service That Would Vie With FedEx, UPS

    Amazon expects to roll out the delivery service in Los Angeles in coming weeks with third-party merchants that sell goods via its website, according to the people. Amazon then aims to expand the service to more cities as soon as this year, some of the people say.

    While the program is being piloted with the company’s third-party sellers, it is envisioned as eventually accommodating other businesses as well, according to some of the people. Amazon is planning to undercut UPS and FedEx on pricing, although the exact rate structure is still unclear, these people said.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-to-launch-delivery-service-that-would-vie-with-fedex-ups-1518175920

  • Amazon is cutting hundreds of employees to shift resources to fast-growing businesses

    The Seattle Times first reported that Amazon was laying off “hundreds” of employees and “managing out” others as the company consolidates its retail operations.

    A person familiar with the matter says the cuts are focused on Amazon’s Seattle headquarters and will affect some workers globally. The layoffs will occur in the consumer retail business, a unit that includes Amazon’s toys, books and groceries units, to make room for head count in businesses that are growing, like Alexa, AWS and digital entertainment. Jeff Bezos, in a statement in the last earnings report, said Amazon would “double down” on Alexa after blowing past projections.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/12/amazon-laying-off-hundreds–report.html

  • Oracle CEO Mark Hurd Says Corporate IT Spending Set to Jump

    “People have not invested in IT for a decade, so we have old stuff out there,” Mr. Hurd told senior corporate technology managers Monday at the company’s CloudWorld event in New York.

    Mr. Hurd said most companies have shied away from spending as U.S. economic growth hovered below 3% in recent years: “If the market is only growing at 2%, that means your business is only going to grow 2%,” he said.

    Business spending on IT has been flat “because GDP is flat,” he said, referring to gross domestic product, a broad measure of economic growth. To hedge against lackluster growth, companies have cut IT budgets to improve cash flow, while funneling costs into managing the increasing risk of cyber attacks, breaches and other risks, he said.

    https://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2018/02/12/oracle-ceo-mark-hurd-says-corporate-it-spending-set-to-jump/

  • Cisco to Bring $67 Billion to U.S. After New Tax Law

    The networking-gear maker said Wednesday it would repatriate $67 billion of its foreign cash holdings to the U.S. this quarter, in one of the largest repatriation plans yet revealed.

    Cisco plans to spend much of the newly repatriated cash on share buybacks and dividends, it said Wednesday while reporting earnings, amounting to about $44 billion over the next two years.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/cisco-returns-to-growth-after-two-year-sales-slump-1518645580

Photo: Anastasia Yılmaz

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Supplier Report: 2/3/2018

Amazon continues to eat the world.  The news of the company officially creating a private healthcare consortium with JPM and Berkshire has sent investors scrambling.  With few details, the world has to wait to fully understand the impact.

Add Cisco to the list of companies that knew about a major security flaw for months and didn’t tell customers.  The bug impacts the company’s adaptive security appliance (ASA) and scored a 10 out of 10 on the Common Vulnerability Scoring System.

Is VMWare going to buy Dell so the company can go public again and pay down debt? Maybe?

Acquisitions

  • VMware May Buy Dell in Biggest-Ever Tech Deal

    Why would Dell, which already owns 80 percent of VMware, sell itself back to the smaller company? There are a few compelling reasons.

    The reverse merger would allow Dell to once again become a public company without having to undergo a fresh initial public offering (IPO). The company went private in 2013 in a $24.4 billion deal that gave ownership control to founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners. Dell is reportedly carrying around $50 billion in debt, but going public through VMware would allow Dell and Silver Lake to sell back some of their shares publicly, both to offset the debt and to cash in themselves.

    https://www.pcmag.com/news/358828/report-vmware-may-buy-dell-in-biggest-ever-tech-deal

  • SAP to acquire CallidusCloud, beefs out CX and LMS offerings

    The deal, reported to be worth $2.4bn and funded from an unspecified mix of cash and acquisition term loan is expected to complete in Q2 FY2018 following the usual regulatory song and dance. The deal is a 21% premium on CallidusCloud 30-day weighted volume.

    The press release on the acquisition focuses upon CallidusCloud’s sales performance management (SPM) solutions that Gartner rates as the leader in that segment. CallidusCloud also appears in the leaders’ segment for the configure, price, quote (CPQ) market as assessed by Forrester. The acquisition, which will be folded into SAP’s hybris solution, positions SAP ahead of arch-rival Oracle.

    https://diginomica.com/2018/01/30/sap-acquire-calliduscloud-beefs-cx-offerings/

  • Fujifilm acquires Xerox for $6.1 billion

    “The new Fuji Xerox will be better positioned to compete in today’s environment with truly global scale, increased presence in fast-growing markets, and innovation capabilities to effectively meet our customers’ rapidly-evolving demands.”

    Beyond photocopying, Xerox is probably best known in the tech world for failing to capitalize on a number of 1970s-era inventions that eventually became standard on modern personal computers. Ethernet, the mouse, the laser printer, and many other protocols and technologies were created at its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) for the first time.

    As part of the deal, $2.5 billion will be returned to shareholders while 10,000 jobs in Asia will be cut.

    https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/01/fujifilm-acquires-xerox-for-6-1-billion/

  • Red Hat to Acquire CoreOS, Expanding its Kubernetes and Containers Leadership

    Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire CoreOS, Inc., an innovator and leader in Kubernetes and container-native solutions, for a purchase price of $250 million, subject to certain adjustments at closing that are not expected to be material. Red Hat’s acquisition of CoreOS will further its vision of enabling customers to build any application and deploy them in any environment with the flexibility afforded by open source. By combining CoreOS’s complementary capabilities with Red Hat’s already broad Kubernetes and container-based portfolio, including Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat aims to further accelerate adoption and development of the industry’s leading hybrid cloud platform for modern application workloads.

    https://www.redhat.com/en/about/press-releases/red-hat-acquire-coreos-expanding-its-kubernetes-and-containers-leadership

Artificial Intelligence

  • iPhone assembler Foxconn pledges $340m for AI venture

    “We will at least invest some 10 billion New Taiwan dollars ($342 million) over five years to recruit top talent and deploy artificial intelligence applications in all the manufacturing sites,” said Chairman Terry Gou.

    “It’s likely that we could even pour in some $10 billion or more if we find the deployments are very successful or can really generate results,” said Gou.

    Gou added that his company aimed to recruit up to 100 top AI experts globally and would open up thousands of jobs for young talent should they have good ideas on how to develop applications using machine learning and deep learning techniques.

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/AC/iPhone-assembler-Foxconn-pledges-340m-for-AI-venture

  • Google credits AI for stopping more rogue Android apps in 2017

    It credits Google Play Protect for one of the biggest improvements: its ability to spot extremely harmful apps that commit fraud, steal info or allow hijacks. While there weren’t many of them, the mechanism reduced the number of installations by an “order of magnitude” over 2016, Google said. It added that it took down over 250,000 copycat apps (those trying to piggyback off the success of popular apps) and “tens of thousands” of apps violating policies against apps that feature hate speech, illegal acts and porn.

    Google is fully aware that its system isn’t foolproof, and that some apps will still slip through the cracks. The improvements do make a better case for sticking to Google Play for app downloads when you can, though.

    https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/30/google-credits-ai-for-stopping-more-rogue-android-apps-in-2017/

Cloud

  • Oracle CEO Urges Enterprises to Ditch Data Centers and Move to Cloud

    “CEOs and CFOs have to get out of the data center business. The $200 billion system integrator industry is non-sustainable,” said Hurd.

    With the Oracle Cloud and other cloud systems, customers don’t update their systems, the updates come to them automatically. The same is true for the latest security updates and patches keeping systems more current at a cost that Hurd said will always be much cheaper than maintaining your own data center.

    “The likelihood you’re more secure than if you used an enterprise cloud provider is zero,” said Hurd. “Oracle Cloud will be more secure than any individual customer could hope to be.”

    http://www.eweek.com/cloud/oracle-ceo-urges-enterprises-to-ditch-data-centers-and-move-to-cloud
    I am sure people will move… but will they move to Oracle Cloud?

  • Google’s G Suite is no Microsoft killer, but still winning converts

    G Suite may never be an Office killer. Just 15 companies listed in the S&P 500 currently have Google’s business tools, according to a review of public email server data by Reuters. Its $1.3 billion in G Suite sales ranked a distant No. 2 behind Office’s $13.8 billion, according to 2016 data from Gartner.

    But Mann and other analysts say that second place is not a bad spot. Smartphones and artificial intelligence have opened up new opportunities for Google to get on the radar of corporate IT departments even if it never tops Microsoft, they said. A robust G Suite is a cornerstone of Google’s efforts to diversify revenue, which overwhelmingly comes from online ad sales.

    At a minimum, Google is loosening loyalty to Microsoft at a time when the Redmond, Washington-based giant also faces competition from startups such as chat service Slack that offer specialized online business tools. Google’s low-cost, subscription-based G Suite has also pushed Microsoft to adopt a similar strategy with Office 365, an online version of its popular software.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-alphabet-gsuite/googles-g-suite-is-no-microsoft-killer-but-still-winning-converts-idUSKBN1FL3ZX

Security

  • If your businesses uses a Cisco VPN, patch it now to avoid critical flaw

    Cisco is urging users of its Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance to patch their systems to protect against a critical VPN vulnerability. Addressed in a security advisory, Cisco noted that the flaw received a Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) score of 10 out of 10—the highest possible rating.

    The vulnerability specifically affects devices running the vulnerable version of the appliance software that also have the webvpn feature enabled, the advisory said. In this instance webvpn must be configured globally, but must also “be one enabled interface via the enable in the configuration,” the advisory said. To determine if that is the case in your organization, an admin must “use the show running-config webvpn command at the CLI and verify that the command returns at least one enable line,” the advisory said.

    https://www.techrepublic.com/article/if-your-businesses-uses-a-cisco-vpn-patch-it-now-to-avoid-critical-flaw/
    Cisco ‘waited 80 days’ before revealing it had been patching its critical VPN flaw

    Cisco’s advisory also included a table showing which versions of ASA were affected and the first release that had a fix. It was not immediately clear from Cisco’s table when it released the first fixed version.

    However, Colin Edwards, a system administrator, filled in the blanks in his own table with the release date for fixed versions of ASA, which shows Cisco actually rolled-out its first fixed version way back on November 10.

    As Edwards points out, Cisco decided to fix a super-critical bug in some products but then waited 80 days before it told sysadmins they needed to update now.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/cisco-waited-80-days-before-revealing-it-had-been-patching-its-critical-vpn-flaw/

Data Center/Hardware

  • Samsung topples Intel to become the world’s largest chipmaker

    The Korean tech giant’s chipset division — which has long been its biggest hitter — grossed total revenue of $69 billion in 2017, eclipsing the $62.8 billion Intel reported for last year. That was a record year for Intel — and an annual increase of six percent — but it wasn’t enough to stop Samsung from knocking it from the top spot, which Bloomberg reports it had occupied since 1992.

    The writing was on the wall last year when Samsung beat Intel on a quarterly basis, but now it has held out for an annual win.

    The change of position highlights Samsung’s focus on mobile, and in particular memory chips which are an essential part of smartphones. Intel’s chips may be in 90 percent of the world’s computers, but it missed the mobile boom and is playing catch-up.

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/30/samsung-intel-worlds-largest-chipmaker/?ncid=rss

  • Lenovo to miss mobile turnaround target, posts third quarter net loss

    The segment, accounting for over 70 percent of Lenovo’s top line, saw an 8 percent rise in revenue over the period, despite a 0.2 percentage point year-on-year drop in market share, thanks to premium products such as datachables.

    Lenovo’s overall revenue for the October-December period came in at a three-year high of $12.94 billion, up slightly from $12.17 billion a year ago.

    Its bottom line for the period, however, swung to a loss of $289 million, versus a $98 million profit a year ago, dented by the one-off charge of $400 million linked to a reassessment of U.S. deferred tax assets.

    Lenovo reiterated that the short-term business outlook was challenging, but said in the longer term U.S. corporate tax cuts would “positively impact” earnings of its operations.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lenovo-results/lenovo-to-miss-mobile-turnaround-target-posts-third-quarter-net-loss-idUSKBN1FL3HX

Other

  • How Amazon, JPM and Berkshire could disrupt healthcare (or not)

    “At 1.1 million employees and growing, they are already a decent sized ‘health plan’ in themselves and could essentially operate as its own payer entity or possibly an ‘Accountable Care Organization’ for their employees,” Bhagat said in an email.

    “At a minimum it gives the companies more power to hold existing payer vendors more accountable for health and cost outcomes for their employees. It gives them a chance to deliver better healthcare and reduced costs and change the market dynamics in the commercial healthcare space.”

    All three firms also have tens of millions of customers, who could conceivably become among those eventually privy to their new dynamics.

    The healthcare industry isn’t holding its breath:

    “Walmart pioneered this with their $4 generic drugs,” Spencer Millerberg, CEO at marketplace analytics firm One Click Retail, said in an email. “But they stopped short by not completely addressing issues the government and private businesses couldn’t solve. Where Walmart left off, Amazon is picking up.”

    To be fair, Walmart’s effort has been stymied by realities, something that Amazon has yet to confront. In practice, its healthcare delivery was cumbersome and unprofitable, according to John Sarich, vice president of strategy at VUE Software, a firm that specializes in innovating and automating business processes for the insurance industry. Those are two things that are against the retail giant’s core nature. “Walmart took a run at being a Medicare Advantage vendor as well as selling Part D (pharmacy),” Sarich said. “What started out as a way to make money ended up with tying people up in explaining plans and benefits with very little revenue coming into Walmart. It was never a moneymaker for Walmart.”

    https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/how-amazon-jpm-and-berkshire-could-disrupt-healthcare-or-not/516003/
    CVS, other health stocks down upon Amazon, JPMorgan, Berkshire healthcare co news

    However, CVS, UnitedHealth and others were down after the news came out, indicating investors’ displeasure at the announcement. CVS dropped by just over 4 percent by midday, UnitedHealth plunged a whopping 11.5 percent, Express Scripts was off by 3.6 percent, Cigna was down by just under 7 percent and Walgreens fell by 2.6 percent.

    The plunge isn’t a surprise considering the deal may affect these companies in various ways. Amazon has made indications it would be moving into drug delivery, affecting CVS, Walgreens and Express Scripts’ models.

    The announcement also possibly affects health insurance providers like UnitedHealth and Cigna, as well. The three companies collectively employ 880,000 people and the plan is to cover all U.S. employees, though it’s not clear how many of the 880,000 are working internationally versus in the States.

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/30/cvs-other-health-stocks-down-upon-amazon-jpmorgan-berkshire-healthcare-co-news/?ncid=rss

  • Amazon’s ad business grew 60 percent this quarter

    In its fourth-quarter earnings today, Amazon reported that “other” revenue, which mostly means advertising, plus its co-branded credit card agreements, increased to $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter. That’s 60 percent growth year over year.

    In the third quarter, “other” revenue grew 58 percent year over year to $1.12 billion.

    “Advertising was a key contributor [to strong growth],” director of investor relations Dave Fildes said on the earnings call. “We continue to make the offering more valuable. We’re focused on finding ways to work with those companies – vendors or sellers — coming to us and offer them a great experience on the website and ability to reach customers.”

    The company hinted more was to come in terms of building out the platform. CFO Brian Olsavsky said that Amazon has found itself as a “key lean-in from brands and agencies into the e-commerce marketing space,” which has helped bolster that growth.

    https://digiday.com/marketing/amazons-ad-business-grew-60-percent-quarter/

  • There’s no way the government is building its own 5G network

    there’s just no way that the U.S. government, even at its best and most efficient, and if it started bipartisan work on this tomorrow, could be in any way competitive in the timing and scale of such a deployment. It takes billions of dollars and years of work to lay the foundation for something like this, and others have a huge head start. And let us not forget that we are experiencing one of an endless series of budget crises, which would not be alleviated by the proposal of this kind of massive undertaking.

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/29/theres-no-way-the-government-is-building-its-own-5g-network/?ncid=rss

Photo: Patrick Hendry

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SourceCast: Episode 95: Youtube Edition

Google made friends with Cisco and SaleForce, who in turn made friends with AWS and Facebook. Can these partnerships truly add value when the players keep shrinking?

Photo: Sneaky Elbow

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SourceCast: Episode 93: Vlog Edition

Here is the weekly YouTube port of SourceCast covering Cisco’s recent acquisitions and strategy overview since CEO Chuck Robins joined in 2015.

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SourceCast: Episode 93: Cisco, You Have My Attention

Cisco purchased two companies last week and announced a strategic partnership with Google. Since I haven’t covered Cisco much on the blog and podcast, I deep dive into what the company has been doing and what they plan to do in the future.

Photo: Anthony de Kroon

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