Tag Archives: Google

Supplier Report: 3/25/2017

IBM hosted their Interconnect conference in Las Vegas this week… so there was alot of IBM news. Big blue announced their cloud storage platform would cost less than AWS and Azure. They also continued their AI and Blockchain marketing campaigns.

But as IBM is attempting to make Watson synonymous with AI, some critics are asking if Watson is too complex to invest in as less complicated and cheaper alternatives become available.

Acquisitions

  • Amazon to acquire Souq, a Middle East clone once valued at $1B, for $650M

    According to multiple reports that we have confirmed with our own sources, the e-commerce giant has acquired Souq, often described as the Amazon of the Arab world and the region’s biggest e-commerce player, for a price of $650 million, to spearhead its Middle East business. “The ink is dry” on the deal already, one source close to the company tells us.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/23/amazon-to-acquire-souq-a-middle-east-clone-once-valued-at-1b-for-650m/?ncid=rss

  • Why IBM spent $200 million to buy a huge Salesforce partner with Marc Benioff’s blessing
    IBM purchased BlueWolf last year, but became a big topic during Interconnect

    IBM’s current consulting business has been in decline for the past few years because companies are rarely embarking on the kind of huge, multi-million, old-school IT projects they used to hire IBM to do, such as installing massive new SAP systems at enterprises. IBM is a huge SAP partner. Those old-school deals have an high failure rate: running over time, over budget and sometimes winding up in court.

    Companies are turning to cloud computing instead, especially Salesforce.

    IBM is already a consulting partner with Salesforce. Bluewolf speeds up its plans. In other words, IBM views Salesforce as its next SAP when it comes to its consulting business.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/why-ibm-bought-a-huge-salesforce-partner-2016-3

  • ‘You will see us do more acquisitions’: A conversation with HPE CEO Meg Whitman

    I think it’s really about a very focused strategy about hybrid IT, the intelligent edge, and the services to make it all happen. And now, we have to deliver the innovation, get the right partner network of companies. We are really curating Silicon Valley, whether it’s Arista, Docker, Chef, Mesosphere, Turbonomic, SaltStack. Innovation in the digital age is a team sport, and we can’t do this all by ourselves. What we can do is curate the best of the best for our solutions.

    I suspect now you will see us do more acquisitions. We’ve sort of shrunk down to the core, and we will make investments and acquisitions in that very core strategy of hybrid IT and the intelligent edge, and probably some services. We’ll probably partner with security companies to build in security into our offerings.

    http://business.financialpost.com/fp-tech-desk/cio/you-will-see-us-do-more-acquisitions-a-conversation-with-hpe-ceo-meg-whitman

Artificial Intelligence

  • IBM Bets The Company On Cloud, AI, And Blockchain

    Watson supports tax advisors in the company’s retail locations, helping them to find the most deductions for customers. However, getting Watson up to speed at H&R Block was a significant effort. “Watson has ingested about 600 million data points before we started,” explained Bill Cobb, CEO of H&R Block. “It also learned the tax code.”

    This enormous commitment of person-hours from highly qualified professionals as well as vast quantities of data makes Watson more of a consultant’s tool, best suited for selling the time of IBM consultants, more so than a modular, LEGO-block style plug-in for customers to incorporate directly into their own applications.

    IBM tried to downplay this drawback at InterConnect, but compared to many of the more innovative AI technologies on the market today that don’t require the same kind of labor-intensive training, Watson comes across as being an earlier generation of AI technology.

    AI, therefore, may be a good bet, but it’s not clear that Watson itself is.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonbloomberg/2017/03/22/ibm-bets-the-company-on-cloud-ai-and-blockchain/#2cf2848d776d

    AI, therefore, may be a good bet, but it’s not clear that Watson itself is.

Cloud

  • To Compete With AWS, Oracle Will Need More Data Centers

    If Oracle means to compete at scale with Amazon, Microsoft and Google, it will likely need to back up its tough talk with more data centers. As Oracle builds momentum in cloud computing, it has shifted from building its own data centers to leasing wholesale space from data center developers, enabling it to accelerate its expansion.

    But Oracle’s cloud infrastructure remains significantly smaller than its three cloud rivals. That’s why Oracle’s strong momentum is good news for data center developers, including the publicly-held real estate investment trusts (REITs), who have been among the leading beneficiaries of the cloud infrastructure expansions by Microsoft and Amazon.

    http://datacenterfrontier.com/to-compete-with-aws-oracle-will-need-more-data-centers/

  • IBM Cloud Chief Lays Out Big Blue’s Case

    IBM has long-running relationships with almost every Fortune 500 company and its C-level executives, which is an advantage. Its disadvantage is that Amazon Web Services has been wooing and winning business customers to its public cloud over the last 10 years. IBM was late to this information technology delivery model, in which one company amasses and manages vast pools of computing, networking, and storage resources in data centers around the world and then rents them to paying customers. Many of those customers view public cloud services as a way to augment or even replace their own data centers.

    http://fortune.com/2017/03/20/ibm-cloud-chief/
    IBM aims to undercut AWS and Azure with new ‘Flex’ cloud storage service

    According to IBM, Flex will provide tiered “pay as you use” storage options that will be both cheaper and higher performing than competitive offerings from Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. The company says it is cutting the price to store and access data “by more than 50 percent compared to AWS S3 IA and Azure GRS Cool Tier” and that it is unique in doing so.

    http://www.geekwire.com/2017/ibm-aims-undercut-aws-azure-new-flex-cloud-storage-service/
    I can’t be reading this right, IBM doesn’t aim to undercut anything 🙂

  • Does Oracle’s AWS Pricing Increase Make Strategic Sense?

    “This change in licensing terms effectively doubles the licensing requirements for some cloud implementations,” said Craig Guarente, CEO of Palisade Compliance. While it is not yet clear how aggressively Oracle will attempt to enforce this provision for new or old licenses, it does represent an attempt to lower the relative price of using the Oracle cloud.

    Additionally…

    So then will this price change actually cause more people to use the Oracle cloud? For that to happen, someone would have to switch their entire cloud deployment from AWS or Azure to the Oracle cloud for the sake of the increased cost of one part of the infrastructure. Given that Oracle isn’t in the mix in most of the cloud deployments I’ve heard of, and that its cloud is far behind both AWS and Azure in terms of features, adoption, and ecosystem, it is likely that it would cost a huge amount more to move to the Oracle cloud than to stay with AWS or Azure, so no, this policy change isn’t going to cause a rush of Oracle cloud sales.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/danwoods/2017/03/23/does-oracles-aws-pricing-increase-make-strategic-sense/#6241d1c7ab73

  • IBM: The Future of Cloud (InterConnect)

Datacenter

  • A simple command allows the CIA to commandeer 318 models of Cisco switches

    Cisco researchers said they discovered the vulnerability as they analyzed a cache of documents that are believed to have been stolen from the CIA and published by WikiLeaks two weeks ago. The flaw, found in at least 318 switches, allows remote attackers to execute code that runs with elevated privileges, Cisco warned in an advisory published Friday. The bug resides in the Cisco Cluster Management Protocol (CMP), which uses the telnet protocol to deliver signals and commands on internal networks. It stems from a failure to restrict telnet options to local communications and the incorrect processing of malformed CMP-only telnet options.

    “An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending malformed CMP-specific telnet options while establishing a telnet session with an affected Cisco device configured to accept telnet connections,” the advisory stated. “An exploit could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code and obtain full control of the device or cause a reload of the affected device.”

    https://arstechnica.com/security/2017/03/a-simple-command-allows-the-cia-to-commandeer-318-models-of-cisco-switches/

Software/SaaS

  • Microsoft just showed off exactly what Salesforce was worried about

    Among other features, the new enterprise version increases the number of LinkedIn messages users can send to 50 per month, makes it easier for large companies to manage the product by adding single sign-on and allows sales teams to draw on LinkedIn connections from anyone within their organization with a new feature called TeamLink Extend.

    Subscriptions will also include access to a tool called PointDrive, created by a company acquired by LinkedIn, for easily sharing content like presentations, images, links and videos with prospective customers. Pricing starts at $1,600 per seat per year, with the price dropping with more subscriptions and longer contracts.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/17/microsoft-new-linkedin-sales-tool-salesforce-killer.html

Other

  • Is the IBM-Salesforce Partnership about Killing Microsoft?
    Let me answer that… no.

    In an interview with Fortune magazine following the announcement of the IBM-Salesforce AI collaboration, Marc Benioff, Salesforce’s CEO, talked about the partnership’s providing Salesforce the opportunity to begin replacing Microsoft products at IBM.

    If that’s what Salesforce is thinking, then it means the company will likely also try to persuade IBM customers who use Microsoft’s products to defect to its platform, potentially dealing Microsoft a blow in the productivity software market.

    http://marketrealist.com/2017/03/is-the-ibm-salesforce-partnership-about-killing-microsoft/

  • Google takes Symantec to the woodshed for mis-issuing 30,000 HTTPS certs

    Effective immediately, Chrome plans to stop recognizing the extended validation status of all certificates issued by Symantec-owned certificate authorities, Ryan Sleevi, a software engineer on the Google Chrome team, said Thursday in an online forum. Extended validation certificates are supposed to provide enhanced assurances of a site’s authenticity by showing the name of the validated domain name holder in the address bar. Under the move announced by Sleevi, Chrome will immediately stop displaying that information for a period of at least a year. In effect, the certificates will be downgraded to less-secure domain-validated certificates.

    https://arstechnica.com/security/2017/03/google-takes-symantec-to-the-woodshed-for-mis-issuing-30000-https-certs/

  • AT IBM, “Co-Location” Means “Get Your Butt Into the Office”
    This news item seems to be picking up steam again, I dedicated an entire podcast to the subject a month ago.

    IBM has had to tighten its belt in recent years with three rounds of layoffs, and some employees suspect the back-to-the-office campaign aims to further cut the payroll by driving some workers to quit. But Kessler also argues that the move back to the office is more likely a way of prioritizing creativity over raw productivity. Working from home may improve efficiency, but studies also show it can hamper teamwork, water-cooler serendipity, and the speed of innovation.

    https://shift.newco.co/at-ibm-co-location-means-get-your-butt-into-the-office-e9b5163238fb#.kotqecdbc

Photo: Andrew Pons

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SourceCast: Episode 63: The Race to the Bottom

The month of cloud discussion continues. While AWS is the big dog in IaaS right now, does their size make them a target? What does IBM, Oracle, and Google have to do to gain customer’s attention and confidence?

Photo: Skitter Photo

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SourceCast: Episode 62: Google is growing up

Google has been quietly changing their business strategy from a consumer-only focus to a broader enterprise and consumer goods model. Leveraging their beloved Gmail and Google Apps, the company is expanding into AI, analytics, and chat. Will this be enough to lure corporate clients away from AWS and Microsoft?

Photo: Danielle MacInnes

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Supplier Report: 3/11/2017

OK Google… you have caught my attention.  The “more-than-just-search” company that mere months ago was reported to be desperate for corporate customers, is finding their groove. Apple, Verizon, and SAP have all recently joined their cloud platform. Was Amazon’s little hiccup Google’s gain? Also what is the company doing with their chat platform?

IBM made news for deepening their relationship with Box and for developing a strategic AI partnership with SalesForce.  But it wasn’t all good news this week for big blue, the state of Pennsylvania is suing IBM for a seemingly botched 2006 systems implementation.

Acquisitions

  • Google confirms its acquisition of data science community Kaggle

    The company made the announcement at its Google Cloud Next conference this morning in San Francisco, while not disclosing the terms of the acquisition. But it’s not all that surprising that Google would want to snap it up. With hundreds of thousands of data scientists on the platform, it would give Google the immediate ability to broaden its reach within the AI community. As it increasingly goes head-to-head with Amazon on the cloud computing front, it’s going to need as much of an edge as it can get.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/08/google-confirms-its-acquisition-of-data-science-community-kaggle/?ncid=rss

  • Amazon acquires Thinkbox to bolster AWS offerings

    Amazon has acquired Thinkbox Software, a firm that provides tools for media and design content creation. The company announced in a brief blog post that it will be a part of Amazon Web Services. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

    The acquisition comes just a few weeks after AWS launched Chime, a videoconference call service. Both moves suggest AWS, which is already a powerhouse when it comes to infrastructure services, is aiming to provide customers with a more robust cloud services stack.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/amazon-acquires-thinkbox-to-bolster-aws-offerings/

  • Amazon’s AWS acquired meeting productivity startup Do to expand Chime

    Amazon has quietly made one more acquisition to build out the productivity services on its cloud platform AWS. The company has acquired Do.com, a startup that had built a platform to make meetings more productive by doing things like managing notes in preparation for them, and creating reports for those who were not there, as well as organising the meetings themselves. Amazon is rolling it into Chime, a new communications suite for businesses that it launched last month and offers via AWS.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/08/amazon-can-do-chime/?ncid=rss

  • HPE to pay $1 billion for Nimble Storage after cutting EMC ties

    Nimble Storage offers converged flash arrays with predictive software for provisioning to speed up storage performance. The offerings will work alongside technology that HPE acquired from 3Par, which also is centered around provisioning.

    The predictive analytics technology provided by Nimble Storage is mainly targeted at small and medium-size business, but also fits into HPE’s larger focus on data-center deployments for applications like databases and high-performance computing. Many of those applications are being executing in-memory or on flash drives, and Nimble’s technology helps orchestrate faster execution of applications in all-flash arrays.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/3177379/storage/hpe-to-pay-1-billion-for-nimble-storage-after-cutting-emc-ties.html
    Also:

    HPE doesn’t traditionally care much about the SMB, had never had great midmarket offerings, but loves the large enterprise. HPE does best when dealing with people who measure their datacenter footprint in acres. Pure’s customers are more in line with HPE’s approach to life, and isn’t afraid of spending a couple billion extra if it gets them what they want. So why did HPE buy Nimble?

    And:

    This leads me back to InfoSight. Tintri, Tegile, Pure and Nimble all have analytics packages. Among them, InfoSight is the best. Personally, I rather like Tintri’s analytics, and have never had a need to look beyond them, but having spent the past 24 hours playing with all offerings as well as interrogating customers, it’s clear that Nimble is the leader here.

    https://virtualizationreview.com/articles/2017/03/09/hpe-buys-nimble.aspx

Artificial Intelligence

  • IBM-Salesforce deal will bring Watson data into applications

    Connecting IBM’s Watson to Salesforce will allow companies to combine public information with insights on data they control, then bring those into Salesforce to better personalize product recommendations. According to a press release, one use could be collating information about local shopping patterns from Watson with precise customer preferences from Salesforce to send targeted marketing emails.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/3177394/cloud-computing/ibm-salesforce-deal-will-bring-watson-data-into-applications.html

  • ‘Artificial Intelligence’ Has Become Meaningless

    I asked my Georgia Tech colleague, the artificial intelligence researcher Charles Isbell, to weigh in on what “artificial intelligence” should mean. His first answer: “Making computers act like they do in the movies.” That might sound glib, but it underscores AI’s intrinsic relationship to theories of cognition and sentience. Commander Data poses questions about what qualities and capacities make a being conscious and moral—as do self-driving cars. A content filter that hides social media posts from accounts without profile pictures? Not so much. That’s just software.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/03/what-is-artificial-intelligence/518547/?utm_source=feed

  • DeepMind says no quick fix for verifying health data access

    Since 2015, the company has inked multiple agreements with U.K. NHS Trusts to gain access to patient data for various purposes, some but not all for AI research. The most wide-ranging of DeepMind’s NHS data-sharing arrangements to date, with the Royal Free NHS Trust — to build an app wrapper for an NHS algorithm to identify acute kidney injury — caused major controversy when an FOI request revealed the scope of identifiable patient data the company was receiving. DeepMind and the Trust in question had not publicly detailed how much data was being shared.

    Patient consent in that instance is assumed (meaning patients are not asked to consent), based on an interpretation of NHS healthcare data-sharing guidelines for so-called “direct patient care” that has been questioned by data protection experts and criticized by health data privacy advocacy group MedConfidential.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/09/deepmind-says-no-quick-fix-for-verifying-health-data-access/?ncid=rss

Cloud

  • Google announces significant partnership with SAP at Google Cloud Next Conference

    But Google isn’t the only party who benefits from this arrangement. As Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research pointed out, SAP needs to get the HANA database distributed on as many platforms as it can. That means AWS, Microsoft, IBM, Google and Oracle.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/08/google-announces-significant-partnership-with-sap-at-google-cloud-next-conference/?ncid=rss
    Also:
    Google lures Verizon away from Microsoft for cloud services, enhances competitive business services profile

    Verizon has migrated over 150,000 of its employees to Google’s G Suite product.

    Citing a person familiar with the agreement, a Bloomberg report revealed that before it worked with Google Verizon had been using Microsoft’s Office app suite.

    http://www.fiercetelecom.com/telecom/google-lures-verizon-away-from-microsoft-for-cloud-services-enhances-competitive-business

    So… Verizon is about to buy Yahoo, but they are using Gmail? Bwahaha.

  • Is Apple Ramping Up for a Cloud Fight with Amazon?

    A hint that Apple could be up to something in the cloud space came last year when Business Insider reported that the company had moved a portion of its cloud business from AWS to Google Cloud. Perhaps the company made the move to see if one of the services was better than the other. If Apple is working on its cloud as reported, it appears the company feels that none of its current cloud providers is offering the best service.

    Because they depend on third-party clouds, Apple services such as iTunes, iCloud, the App Store, and Maps have suffered from sluggish connections, outages, and other disruptions. Apple seems to believe that taking charge of its cloud would put an end to these challenges.

    http://marketrealist.com/2017/03/is-apple-ramping-up-for-a-cloud-fight-with-amazon/

  • How Cisco wants to become the Switzerland of the cloud

    “Most customers will use multiple clouds,” explains Gori. He notes that up to 85% of customers recently surveyed by Cisco were using some sort of public or private cloud, yet only 3% say they have an “optimized” cloud strategy. A majority of those respondents plan on using multiple cloud endpoints too. “In this world of many clouds, we think there’s a desire to use analytics, management and security capabilities across the board, across multiple clouds,” he says. An infrastructure and management control plane that works across several end points will “glue these environments together,” Gori says.

    http://www.networkworld.com/article/3174944/cisco-subnet/how-cisco-wants-to-become-the-switzerland-of-the-cloud.html

  • No, IBM and Microsoft Can’t Easily Oust AWS from its Pole Position in Cloud Computing

    As of 2017, nearly half of the market is with Amazon, and that says a lot about their strength. The fact that they’re holding on firmly to their market share in an industry that is growing in double digits should tell you what you need to know.

    http://1reddrop.com/2017/03/04/ibm-microsoft-cannot-easily-oust-aws-top-spot-cloud-computing/

    It doesn’t look like AWS is growing, but the entire cloud market increased by 20% and AWS kept their share.

  • AWS To Move Into Call-Center Industry With New Cloud-Based Tools

    The programs will incorporate Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa, to answer some questions via phone and text message. It also will use Lex, a chatbot-building service that uses the same technology as Alexa, and text-to-speech program Polly, according to the report.

    The suite of tools will allow customers to build their own customer-service programs using bots and voice control, with the ability to learn and adapt to specific industries. The new products could be announced as soon as mid-March, according to the report.

    http://www.channelpartnersonline.com/news/2017/03/aws-to-move-into-call-center-industry-with-new-cl.aspx

  • Hotmail, Outlook and Skype down as Microsoft suffers ‘authentication outage’

    MICROSOFT IS SUFFERING an ‘authentication outage’ that has left users of Hotmail, Outlook and Skype locked out of their accounts.

    Users trying to access their accounts are being told that their password is incorrect or that their account doesn’t exist at all, mimicking recent issues suffered by Yahoo Mail users.

    http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/3005991/hotmail-outlook-and-skype-down-as-microsoft-suffers-authentication-outage

Datacenter

  • IBM Aims to Build the First Commercial Quantum Computer in ‘the Next Few Years’

    The computing industry giant hopes that these updates will encourage researchers and other interested parties to use their experimental quantum computing system to build more sophisticated applications. “While technologies like AI can find patterns buried in vast amounts of existing data, quantum computers will deliver solutions to important problems where patterns cannot be seen and the number of possibilities that you need to explore to get to the answer are too enormous ever to be processed by classical computers,” IBM explained.

    IBM’s goal is to build quantum systems with roughly 50 qubits in the next few years. Once we have those, we’ll be able to truly begin to harness the power of quantum computing, and the applications are endless. Everything from medicine and finance to cloud security and even the modern technological era’s golden child of AI will be faster and more advanced.

    https://futurism.com/ibm-aims-build-the-first-commercial-quantum-computer-in-the-next-few-years/

  • IBM Puts 1 Bit Of Data On A Single Atom

    Instead of mangling how it works, I’ll just quote IBM: “The world’s smallest magnet, similar to a magnet on a refrigerator, also has a north and south magnetic pole, but it consists of just a single atom of the element holmium. The single holmium atom is attached to a carefully chosen surface, magnesium oxide, which makes its north and south poles hold in a stable direction even when disturbed, for example, by other magnets nearby. The two stable magnetic orientations define the “1” and “0” of the bit. A sharp metal needle of a custom microscope introduces a current that flips the magnetic north and south poles of the atom and thus changes it between “1” and “0”. This corresponds to the “write” process in a hard-disk drive. Scientists can then measure the magnetic current passing though the atom to determine whether its value is “1” or “0”. This is the “read” process. More about the atom’s magnetic properties was learned using a new sensing technique introduced in a companion paper published earlier this week in the peer-reviewed journal, Nature Nanotechnology. The quantum mechanical technique called “spin resonance” allowed the researchers to use a single iron atom as a sensor to measure the magnetic field of each holmium atom.

    http://www.storagereview.com/ibm_puts_1_bit_of_data_on_a_single_atom

Software/SaaS

  • Face-off: SAP vs. IBM for talent management

    According to user reviews compiled by IT Central Station, SAP SuccessFactors and IBM Kenexa each have their fans, who say the cloud-based software helps them keep track of recruiting efforts, job applicants, employee onboarding and training. But users also say the products have room for improvement in areas such as workforce analytics, social media integration and vendor tech support.

    http://www.computerworld.com/article/3176198/enterprise-applications/face-off-sap-vs-ibm-for-talent-management.html

  • Google challenges Slack, Microsoft and Amazon with new Hangouts Meet and Chat

    Chat could appeal to existing Google G Suite users thanks to integration with Google services including Drive and Docs, plus advanced search features. It also includes a bot called @meet that lets users use natural language to automatically schedule meetings. With Hangouts Meet, the company is promising to simplify the process of joining online meetings, supporting video conferences with as many as 30 people.

    http://www.geekwire.com/2017/google-challenges-slack-microsoft-amazon-new-hangouts-meet-chat/

Other

  • HPE Realigns Its Technical Services Unit as Pointnext

    Hewlett Packard Enterprise has redesigned its tech services division to focus specifically on that ubiquitous trend: digital transformation of enterprise IT shops.

    As of March 2, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based IT giant is calling this team Pointnext. It will utilize the expertise of more than 25,000 specialists in 80 countries covering 30 languages and spanning a range of disciplines–from cloud consulting experts to operational services experts.

    Because selling off a massive amount of assets and spin-merging entire divisions isn’t confusing enough, they are going to re-brand an internal team.  
    http://www.eweek.com/enterprise-apps/hpe-realigns-its-technical-services-unit-as-pointnext.html

  • Pennsylvania sues IBM over $170M jobless claims contract

    The lawsuit said the technology and consulting giant was paid $170 million, but had delivered a failed project by the time the state let the contract expire in 2013. At that point, the project was nearly four years behind schedule and $60 million over budget, the lawsuit said.

    IBM had an obligation to ensure that all elements of the project were coordinated well and completed competently and on time, the lawsuit said.

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/f77e09f592a3461887ee8e778197f68f/pennsylvania-sues-ibm-over-170m-jobless-claims-contract

  • Charleston health care startup PokitDok lands $5 million investment from life insurance company

    PokitDok said Thursday it had pulled down capital from New York-based Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America, a deal intended to boost the company’s new system for managing patient records.

    In a securities disclosure filed late last month, the company said it had raised $5 million with plans to raise $2.5 million more. PokitDok says it expects some of its existing investors to join the round.

    http://www.postandcourier.com/business/charleston-health-care-startup-pokitdok-lands-million-investment-from-life/article_b0a9850a-04f6-11e7-af01-37c53f0bf224.html

Photo: Francis Daniel

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Supplier Report: 2/25/2017

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference happened this week and featured IBM CEO Ginny Rometty as a keynote speaker. As IBM extolled the virtues of artificial intelligence, industry insiders are asking if it is too early for the healthcare industry to embrace it.

While IBM tried to highlight AI’s benefits, AWS announced even more healthcare-friendly cloud environments and offerings.

Acquisitions

There were no major acquisitions this week!

Artificial Intelligence

  • IBM’s Rossi on AI ethics: ‘Start small and widen the scope

    An example, she said, is the work IBM and other companies, together with domain experts, are doing on decision-making support systems in healthcare. The approach is to go from medical specialty to medical specialty, scenario by scenario. “We understand what we expect from that doctor, and we expect the AI system to behave at least as ethically as a doctor, if not better,” Rossi said.

    http://searchcio.techtarget.com/blog/TotalCIO/IBMs-Rossi-on-AI-ethics-Start-small-and-widen-the-scope

  • The robot that takes your job should pay taxes, says Bill Gates

    Gates said that a robot tax could finance jobs taking care of elderly people or working with kids in schools, for which needs are unmet and to which humans are particularly well suited. He argues that governments must oversee such programs rather than relying on businesses, in order to redirect the jobs to help people with lower incomes. The idea is not totally theoretical: EU lawmakers considered a proposal to tax robot owners to pay for training for workers who lose their jobs, though on Feb. 16 the legislators ultimately rejected it.

    https://qz.com/911968/bill-gates-the-robot-that-takes-your-job-should-pay-taxes/

  • Gartner Magic Quadrant Shows Microsoft Leading BI and Analytics Industry

    Kamal Hathi, GM for Microsoft BI, wrote in a blog post that Microsoft was able to achieve the recognition due to their customer-centric approach, regular development and ship cycles for Power BI. Microsoft also says that the development of Power BI was helped by high-value community feedback from more than 200,000 active participants submitting over 6000 ideas since Power BI’s July 2015 public launch.

    http://1reddrop.com/2017/02/18/gartner-magic-quadrant-microsoft-leading-business-intelligence-analytics-industry/

Cloud

  • Google’s new cloud service is a unique take on a database

    The service will be useful for companies that need millisecond-level consistency in their databases worldwide, according to Nick Heudecker, a research director at Gartner. In an interview, he called out financial services and advertising as two industries that might benefit from Cloud Spanner.

    Heudecker did point out that the service will require companies to port existing applications, which may prove challenging. Google is working with partners to help customers move over, according to Deepti Srivastava, the product manager for Cloud Spanner.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3169522/cloud-computing/google-s-new-cloud-service-is-a-unique-take-on-a-database.html

  • PokitDok, Merck, Orion Make AWS Announcements at HIMSS17

    Organizations looking to deploy third party software in their health IT infrastructure can now be sure that the solution will be compliant with the required healthcare standards. The category is made up of solutions that have been fully adapted to or built specifically for the healthcare and life sciences industries.

    AWS made this adjustment to its marketplace because of the unique requirements and environments of healthcare organizations. The amount of data collected by healthcare organizations makes them unique, and legacy systems simply can’t handle all the data coming in.

    http://hitinfrastructure.com/news/pokitdok-merck-orion-make-aws-announcements-at-himss17

  • NTT DATA and Oracle Corporation expanding relationship to include end-to-end cloud capabilities

    NTT DATA, Inc. announced the company’s existing relationship with Oracle Corporation is expanding to include end-to-end cloud capabilities for Oracle’s Healthcare Foundation, a unified healthcare analytics platform. The platform provides data integration and warehousing of clinical, financial, administrative and -omics modules in a cloud solution to customers worldwide. The healthcare cloud offering will provide organizations the ability to easily unify, grow or replace their existing healthcare data warehouse and data aggregation solutions. “This collaboration with Oracle will help healthcare organizations implement a cloud-based solution that will improve outcomes and deliver tangible business results,” said Dan Allison, president, global healthcare and life sciences, NTT DATA.

    http://www.benchmarkmonitor.com/2017/02/21/ntt-data-and-oracle-corporation-nyseorcl-expanding-relationship-to-include-end-to-end-cloud-capabilities/

Datacenter

Software/SaaS

  • SAP license fees are due even for indirect users, court says

    “Any business using SAP is now exposed to substantial SAP penalties and ongoing maintenance charges unless they obtain licenses not just for their internal users but also their customers and suppliers. The danger arises where there is any flow of data from the systems via customer portals to individual customers — even indirectly,” he said.

    “Although the ruling only has U.K. applicability, SAP’s license agreements are effectively harmonized globally; any corporate needs to take notice and see that SAP’s licensing reach goes far beyond use just within the internal business,” Fry said.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3170997/cloud-computing/sap-license-fees-are-due-even-for-indirect-users-court-says.html

  • There’s finally a commercial use for blockchain tech in finance

    According to Justin Chapman, Northern Trust’s head of innovation research, private-equity fund admin is currently a mess of paperwork that a blockchain platform will automate away. “It’s an extremely manual process at the moment,” he says. “It can take three to four months to agree on legal documentation for distribution. Now it can be done as soon as the lawyer gets to the paperwork.”

    Everything from share issuance to capital drawdowns and income distributions will be captured on the admin platform, Chapman says. But this can already be done with a conventional database or even a shared Excel spreadsheet, so why use fancy new tech? It’s because of blockchain tech’s secret sauce: trust. “Blockchain makes this immutable,” Chapman says. This means all the parties in a private equity deal can look at one version of transaction and other data, instead of trying to reconcile multiple copies of deal documents, which can be a laborious and error-prone process.

    https://qz.com/916601/northern-trust-and-ibm-announce-a-blockchain-for-private-equity-fund-administration/

  • NPR: Planet Money: Blockchain Gang

    Since we are talking about Blockchain – I listened to this podcast a few weeks ago and I think it does a great job of explaining what it is and the uses outside of bitcoin.

Other

  • Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society 2017: Ginni Rometty Keynote

    AI to define the future of healthcare, says IBM CEO

    Rometty revealed IBM will be focusing on cognitive computing over the next few years to transform precision medicine and personalised care; at the beginning of the year, IBM experts also said AI will transform the future of mental health care by analysing patterns of speech and writing to determine the best course of treatment:

    “What were once invisible signs will become clear signals of patients’ likelihood of entering a certain mental state or how well their treatment plan is working, complementing regular clinical visits with daily assessments from the comfort of their homes.”

    http://www.hitcentral.eu/british-journal-healthcare-computing/ai-define-future-healthcare-says-ibm-ceo
    HIMSS17: Artificial intelligence focus asks the industry – too soon?

    The healthcare industry has never been renowned for its speed of adoption, despite the big tech conferences showing off all their latest futuristic capabilities other industries adopted years ago. On one hand, it still seems like the industry hasn’t fully achieved the theme of last year’s conference: Interoperability. Many businesses have become profitable by providing add-ons to legacy EHR systems which can’t function the way many providers want them to. Some physicians have still yet to adopt using email to communicate with their patients. The use of AI and the like seems like a far leap in the face of the industry’s present technological infrastructure.

    http://www.healthcaredive.com/news/himss17-artificial-intelligence-focus-asks-the-industry-too-soon/436807/

  • Everything You Need to Know About Cloudbleed, the Latest Internet Security Disaster

    You might not be familiar with Cloudflare itself, but the company’s technology is running on a lot of your favorite websites. Cloudflare describes itself as a “web performance and security company.” Originally an app for tracking down the source of spam, the company now offers a whole menu of products to websites, including performance-based services like content delivery services; reliability-focused offerings like domain name server (DNS) services; and security services like protection against direct denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

    http://gizmodo.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloudbleed-the-lates-1792710616

  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise slumps on poor sales, weak forecast

    HPE Chief Executive Meg Whitman said the company is dealing with “several factors” that are affecting its performance. Those include foreign currency exchange rates, increases in the prices of commodity technology products such as DRAM memory, and what appears to be a tough market for its main server and storage products among its core service provider and enterprise business customers.

    http://www.siliconbeat.com/2017/02/24/hewlett-packard-enterprise-slumps-poor-sales-weak-forecast/?doing_wp_cron=1487958276.0218529701232910156250

Photo: Alex Wong

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