IT security professionals had a rough week due to the proliferation of the WannaCry ransomware virus. The virus locked the IT systems of several corporations and hospitals over the weekend.
IBMers also had another rough week. Even more employees are being asked to abandon work from home and come back into the office. IBM also announced that they are sun-setting their procurement platform Emptoris and moving customers over to rival Ariba.
Ariba owner SAP recently announced compatibility with the big three cloud providers AWS, Google, and Azure… which should give those migrating customers more options.
Apple acquires AI company Lattice Data, a specialist in unstructured ‘dark data’, for $200M
Specifically, Apple has picked up Lattice Data, a company that applies an AI enabled inference engine to take unstructured, “dark” data and turn it into structured (and more usable) information. We’ve heard from a single source that Apple has paid a price of around $200 million.
The deal was closed a couple of weeks ago, the source said, and about 20 engineers have joined the larger company.
SAP Cloud now compatible with AWS, Google and Azure
With this announcement, SAP has positioned itself as the first end-to-end digital enterprise platform to allow customers to choose between the major infrastructure-as-a-service providers. SAP will provide full multi-cloud support for the cloud platform, and all cloud actions can be controlled by the client through a simple, unified command center.
Customers may select infrastructure powered by SAP, or by Amazon Web Services. Microsoft Azure is currently available as a public preview and Google Cloud Platform as a demo showcase, and all may be managed using the new SAP Cloud Platform cockpit.
This is 90 minutes, but they go into real details about the platform
IBM builds its most powerful universal quantum computing processors
Launched in March 2017, IBM Q is an industry-first initiative to build commercially available universal quantum computing systems for business and science applications. IBM Q systems and services will be delivered via the IBM Cloud platform. IBM first opened public access to its quantum processors one year ago, to serve as an enablement tool for scientific research, a resource for university classrooms, and a catalyst of enthusiasm for the field. To date users have run more than 300,000 quantum experiments on the IBM Cloud.
With the introduction of two new processors today for IBM Q, the company is building the foundation for solving practical problems in business and science that are intractable even with today’s most powerful classical computing systems.
Cosmos DB launches Microsoft Azure databases at Oracle
For those lost on the type of cloud computing tasks that Azure handles: Microsoft Azure is not your typical cloud computing service that allows you to directly upload your selfies and work on documents. Cosmos DB is designed for “planet-scale” applications, giving developers fine control over the replication policies and reliability.
Cloud-computing providers like Microsoft and Amazon often use examples like Black Friday to pitch their services.
SAP Ariba and IBM Join Forces to Transform Procurement with SAP Leonardo and Watson
“We’ve built a cognitive procurement platform trained specifically to understand procurement transactions and unstructured data such as weather, non-standard part numbers in contracts and complex pricing structures,” said Jesus Mantas, General Manager, Cognitive Process Transformation, IBM Global Business Services. “By combining the power of IBM Watson on the IBM Cloud with SAP Ariba, we are leaping existing procurement benchmarks and delivering unprecedented value to our joint clients.”
Rather than tossing barbs at IBM in this final chapter as we slowly bury Emptoris over the coming years — or complain about what did and did not work in earlier Emptoris releases — we should remember everything the firm did to lead the technology charge for procurement. It’s easy to forget that Emptoris got its start back when FreeMarkets was still running auctions over a dedicated IP network and Ariba was still proving out the market opportunity for its operational resource management solution (ORMS).
Oracle crushed in defeat as Java world votes ‘No’ to modular overhaul
The database goliath has lost a Java Community public-review ballot by 13 to 10 that was to have approved its Java Platform Module System (JPMS) specification as a final draft. Executive Committee members ignored dire warnings from Oracle spec lead Mark Reinhold in an open letter where he claimed that a “no” vote would not only delay Java 9 but also be a “vote against the Java Community Process itself”.
The JSR, number 376, needed a two-thirds majority to pass.
In that bluntly worded letter, Oracle’s Java platform chief also chastised IBM and Red Hat for suggesting that they might vote against JPMS.
Microsoft Guns for Oracle Customers with Database Migration Service
In a blog post, Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie, executive vice president in the cloud and enterprise group, said the new service “seamlessly migrates third-party and SQL Server databases into Azure SQL Database with near-zero application downtime.”
The Azure database migration service sounds like a similar play by Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2015, which saw companies move 1,000 databases over to AWS in week one, according to Business Insider. Not all of these were Oracle customers.
But as the database leader in customer-run data centers, Oracle is most at risk from the new Microsoft offerings, Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with the research firm Moor Insights & Strategy, told Fox Business.
The ongoing layoffs by the leading IT companies in India is continuing, in fact on an increasing note with IBM joining the league newly. In a major development, sources close to IBM disclosed that the company may release at least 5,000 employees over the next few quarters.
“The process has already started. Managers have been asked to identify under performers,” says a person close to the development.
“This is factually incorrect. We are not going to comment further on rumours and speculation. Re-skilling and rebalancing is an ongoing process as we accelerate the benefits of cognitive and cloud technologies for clients around the world,” a spokesperson for IBM told ET.
ET quotes a source saying IBM had handed over pink slips to 200 employees in a business unit last year.
Hospitals Across England Infected With Ransomware, Leaving Patients Without Care
In a statement, NHS Digital said it believed the malware variant is Wanna Decryptor, a Trojan virus that employs AES-128 encryption to render files inaccessible.
The BBC reports the attack struck hospitals in London, Blackburn, Cumbria, Hertfordshire, and Nottingham. Phone systems in certain areas also appear to be down.
Without computer access, many healthcare providers are resorting to pen and pads to keep track of their patients. A physician in Liverpool told the Guardian that his unit manually severed its connection to the broader NHS system in an attempt to stave off the infection. “[N]o computers means no records, no prescriptions, no results,” he said.
If you think you might be vulnerable to WannaCry, or you don’t remember installing any updates over the past month, your first step is to address that issue immediately. As Sean Dillon, the RiskSense security analyst who reverse engineered DoublePulsar, told ThreatPost: “This is the most critical Windows patch since [Conficker],” which is one the largest similar infections to date.
Despite having been patch nearly a decade ago, the Conficker worm is still in circulation. “I find it everywhere,” says Dillon, adding that WannaCry, too, “is going to be on networks for years.”
“This attack provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem,” Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer at Microsoft, wrote in the wake of the “WannaCry” computer virus attack, which crippled computers worldwide.
He compared it to the U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen. “And this most recent attack represents a completely unintended but disconcerting link between the two most serious forms of cybersecurity threats in the world today — nation-state action and organized criminal action,” he added.
You can shout “Alexa, call grandma” and your grandmother will appear on the screen of the device. You know that if your grandmother is not at home she won’t even get notified, so it won’t feel like you’re interrupting something.
More importantly, everyone will be able to use the device, young kids and elderly people included. It’s much easier to buy an Echo Show and give it to the grandparents than explaining to them how to use a smartphone if they aren’t using one already. The Echo Show will be at the center of the living room or kitchen. It’s going to bring the family together and people are going to love this thing.
IBM, a Pioneer of Remote Work, Calls Workers Back to the Office
The company won’t say how many of its 380,000 employees are affected by the policy change, which so far has been rolled out to its Watson division, software development, digital marketing, and design—divisions that employ tens of thousands of workers.
It’s not about where people work. Where people work isn’t as important as how or why they work. Remember from Daniel Pink’s research on Motivation 2.0 that autonomy is one of three main drivers for people, along with purpose and mastery. If employees don’t feel their autonomous needs are being met, then off to another job they go.
IBM Empower 2015: The Evolution of Supplier Engagement General Session The Empower event took place last week, I have been scanning the web to see if any video was released:
The recent CPO study from the IBM Institute for Business Value highlights the changing relationship between the enterprise and their suppliers. The procurement organization and its internal stakeholders are the conduit to innovation and value held within the supply chain. Unlocking that potential is key to driving the next wave of transformation and evolution. Join us in the Empower general session to hear the debate about what’s next for procurement and learn from your peers on what they are doing to release the value from their supply base.
Why businesses should combine NPS with analytics
Alec Gardner, general manager ANZ, Teradata, says, “Businesses should be using data analytics in conjunction with NPS to enhance customer satisfaction, and in many cases, even help predict NPS.” “Doing this lets companies use data analytics to proactively seek customer sentiment using channels such as social media well ahead of the customer’s intention to contact the company,” Gardner says. ”Discovery analytics from big data sources lets companies gain new insights about competitors as well as their own products or services.”
What to Ask, and Not Ask, Your Cloud Hosting Provider
Don’t Ask: What is the provider’s availability record? This may seem like a very important question, and it is. However, it should be noted that if you’re researching a reputable hosting provider, many of the organizations that report on downtime don’t look at the clients of the provider, but only at the provider’s website. This can create false positive or negative results, since it isn’t a customer production environment.
I read this Fast Company article this morning and thought it would be good to share (I think this will sound very familiar to something happening in July):
THE MESSY BUSINESS OF REINVENTING HAPPINESS
It is a tale of corporate politics, personal feuds, and turf wars. But it also the story of a success, even though the project didn’t fully deliver on its massive ambitions. This is what happens when a huge corporation tries to reinvent itself. This is what you have to do when you better make it work.
Could major layoffs be looming for IBM? I find this interesting after reading last week that IBM acknowledged that the deep staff cuts and wholesale moves to international labor hurt their reputation and skill base.
According to The Register, IBM will swap its present computer software/hardware/solutions structure into extra granular units (Investigation, Sales & Delivery, Systems, Worldwide Technologies Services, Cloud, Watson, Security, Commerce, Analytics).
Bloomberg confirms the organizational shift (but no mention of massive layoffs).
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) named Robert LeBlanc as senior vice president of IBM Cloud, a dedicated unit being created to speed up the company’s development of its cloud-computing business, according to a person familiar with the matter.
“We have hired in some smart, younger people to work on our [IBM] z Series systems, but many times they take the job just because they need one,” said one 50-something IT manager with a large New York City bank. “Too often their attitude is, ‘I’ll do my do time here and move on to something I am more interested in.’ That sort of turnover can be frustrating when you are trying to build a team.”
The appointment of Kurian, 48, comes in the wake of Larry Ellison moving over from the role of chief executive officer (CEO) of the $38-billion software, solutions and hardware company to that of executive chairman, having handed the reins of the company to Safra Catz and Mark Hurd. The Indian spokesperson of Oracle confirmed the elevation but declined to comment further.
Oracle Corporation has in over a year, gone through extensive acquisitions, Responsys, Comendium, Eloqua, Bluekai – to have a well-evolved cloud-based marketing platform in Data Cloud. Therefore, Oracle Corporations intention of building marketing solutions around its data-driven acquisitions will position it as a leader in this segment. As most technology companies begin to recognize ‘big data’ as the way forward and engage in different verticals of data analytics.
Why the PC isn’t quite dead yet… I am going to take this a step further to get on my soapbox about computing. I don’t get why people think desktop machines should go away. For work purposes, when you expect people to go home and log back in, sure a laptop is a good solution (unless you buy cheap clients and access a remote desktop). But for home use – I prefer a desktop. I have a tablet for my mobile computing. I want a nice monitor and a proper keyboard and decent place to sit when I sit down to work. I rarely use the laptop screen (unless it is a 2nd screen) and I need a real keyboard. http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/computers/ces-2015-why-the-pc-isnt-quite-dead-yet-20150107-12jvmn.html
Another example of HP failing to deliver on a services contract (covered the initial dispute a few weeks ago):
Gov. Chris Christie’s administration is getting a $7.5 million refund from the information technology company hired nearly nine years ago to develop a massive software program intended to run New Jersey’s multi-billion-dollar network of social service programs, a state spokeswoman confirmed tonight.
Why does the SalesForce CEO love FitBit? **cough**big data collection **cough** http://www.businessinsider.com/marc-benioff-obsessed-with-fitbit-and-big-data-2015-1 This my fair readers is going to be a major issue for our world in the next 3 years. The price of these things are going to drop to under 20 bucks. We are going to give these things away and the need to collect and make the data meaningful is going to be massive. This is the future – and I want to get ahead of it now.
Tune into this 20 minute video to hear Tony Abate, Chief Procurement Officer at CIGNA, speak about the the changing dynamics of supply chain management. Learn how CIGNA’s use of advanced sourcing has driven innovation and built stronger relationships with suppliers, all while delivering year over year sustainable savings.