IBM scored a 10 year, $300M deal with Emirate Airlines. While they may be celebrating, HPE is hot on big blue’s AI heels with their Hexis platform.
Oracle is still dealing with last week’s lawsuit news. Investors haven’t overreacted to the possibility of false cloud sales…yet. However, the government is said to be eager to process Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance issues.
- IBM Lands $300 Million Deal with Emirates Airline
Under the new, enhanced-IT managed-services arrangement, IBM will “provide IT Infrastructure delivered as a service, allowing the airline to improve efficiency on its passenger support systems and functions.” The deal calls for fully managed services utilizing IBM’s mainframe, data storage, and the capability to encrypt data in near real-time.
- IBM Shifts Spark Development to its Cloud
IBM said it is expanding access to the data analytics development tools available on its Bluemix cloud platform, giving data scientists working in the R programming language faster access to more data along with new contributions to SparkR, SparkSQL and Apache SparkML.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
- HPE Discover 2016: Meg Whitman keynote
- HPE’s Whitman Says Open to Cloud Deals With Amazon, Google
“We may do something over time with Google and Amazon,” Whitman said Tuesday during an interview at her company’s annual event, Discover 2016, in Las Vegas. “They are not enterprise companies for the most part. They may get there. I know that is their ambition.”
- HPE vs IBM Watson: Machine learning is ‘more than an opportunity for expensive consulting’ says software GM
HPE has maintained an aggressive stance on the company’s proposed future in machine learning and AI at this week’s Discover 2016 conference in Las Vegas. Today, HP Software general manager Robert Youngjohn took another glove off, slyly describing IBM’s Watson as “expensive consulting with a smaller technology platform”.
- HPE Leads Contracting Server Market As Cloud Popularity Grows
“The real driver of global growth continues to be the hyperscale data center segment. The enterprise and small or midsize business (SMB) segments remain relatively flat as end users in these segments accommodated their increased application requirements through virtualization and considered cloud alternatives.” Total sector revenues reached £13 billion during the first quarter of 2016, of which HPE secured $3.3 billion – a quarter of the whole market and an increase of 3.3 percent.
- Oracle’s New Legal Challenge: Of Companies And Culture
While companies are not people, companies can have cultures. What’s at stake in all of these matters, regardless of their ultimate disposition, is what impact they might have on Oracle’s culture and how changes in that culture could potentially lead to conduct that slows the company’s growth and leads to weaker than current valuation metrics. There’s little doubt that Oracle or at least its senior executives have one of the more macho and competitive cultures in corporate America. Larry Ellison, Chairman of the Board and CTO of the company, competes in just about every way he can and against everyone that he can. Mark Hurd, co-president of Oracle, enjoys or is credited with a similar macho personality. It is part of who they are.
The Fortune article about the “redemption” of Mark Hurd said that although Hurd didn’t always care for the niceties of making employees feel good, he always got results. A brief walk down memory lane or conversations with ex-HPE employees might challenge the accuracy of that statement. Talking of things about which I do have first-hand knowledge, Mark Hurd and his colleagues ruined HPE’s software business and destroyed a significant amount of shareholder value in the process.
- Why Oracle’s Fiscal 4Q16 Results Will Likely Miss Expectations
Oracle’s Software segment reported revenues of $6.4 billion in fiscal 3Q16, which was flat on a constant currency basis. Oracle’s cloud revenues, which include SaaS (software-as-a-service), PaaS (platform-as-a-service), and IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service), grew to $735 million. The segment grew by 44% on a YoY constant currency basis.
Oracle’s Hardware and Services segments reported revenues of $1.1 billion and $793 million, respectively. Hardware revenues fell by 2% while services revenues grew a meager 1%
Dell | EMC
- Dell to offload $3.25 billion in junk bonds to further fund EMC buyout
Denali Holding, the parent company of Dell, is offering $3.25bn of senior notes to finance, in part, the acquisition of EMC. Dell has already sold $20bn of investment-grade secured bonds and $5bn of institutional loans to fund the $67bn EMC takeover. Under the deal, EMC shareholders will receive $24.05 per share in cash in addition to tracking stock linked to a portion of EMC’s economic interest in the VMware business.
- Google’s DeepMind Is Developing An AI Kill Switch To Prevent A Skynet Apocalypse
Fortunately, some of the major players are actually also working on systems and methods to help maintain control of super-intelligent AI agents. In fact, a team of researchers at Google-owned DeepMind (the team that built Alpha Go, the machine that beat Lee Sedol handily) , along with University of Oxford scientists, are developing a proverbial kill switch of sorts for AI. Google acquired artificial intelligence startup DeepMind back in 2014 for $580 million or so, and back in the day Google CEO Eric Schmidt called it “an important bet.” Together with U. Oxford, the team has released a paper entitled “Safely Interruptible Agents.”
The paper details the following in abstract: “Reinforcement learning agents interacting with a complex environment like the real world are unlikely to behave optimally all the time. If such an agent is operating in real-time under human supervision, now and then it may be necessary for a human operator to press the big red button to prevent the agent from continuing a harmful sequence of actions—harmful either for the agent or for the environment—and lead the agent into a safer situation.”
Photo: Torsten Dettlaff