Tag Archives: HP

Supplier Report: 12/17/2016

Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo is in major trouble with the announcement that Yahoo was hacked yet again (impacting 1 billion accounts). Will Microsoft capitalize on Verizon’s misfortunes?

Perhaps Yahoo should speak with IBM as they are focusing their Watson AI technology on Cyber-security.

Cisco’s ambitions towards the cloud have been crushed by the AWS juggernaut. The company announced the discontinuation of their Intercloud platform this week… and there are rumors they might move customers over to Amazon.


  • Yahoo shares tumble as investors fear Verizon acquisition trouble

    After the first big Yahoo hack was unveiled a few months ago, there were reports that Verizon would demand a $1 billion discount. In an October earnings call, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said they were “still evaluating what it means for the transaction.” But we have not been given any reason to believe that the deal was no longer happening.

    Should the latest hack change things? Well, it’s certainly not a good look for Yahoo.

    If Verizon Walks Away, Then Microsoft Should Finally Buy Yahoo

    All of that sounds rather complicated, but the bottom line is that Microsoft and Yahoo have been in bed with each other for years, and now Microsoft might have a renewed chance to make their relationship official. The golden goose of the deal would likely be the mobile search traffic that Microsoft currently has no stake in.


  • How Autonomy Fooled Hewlett-Packard

    One fact really stands out: in each of the 10 quarters preceding the acquisition, Autonomy’s revenues were within 4% of analyst expectations. That’s a level of precision that should arouse suspicion. In hindsight, achieving revenue targets like clockwork looks awfully strange.


Artificial Intelligence

  • IBM Starts to Apply Watson to Cyber-security

    Kelley notes that there are over 1.5 million open IT security positions that IT organizations have little to no hope of ever filling. Advances in cognitive computing will equip IT organizations better to counter cybersecurity attacks that make use of bots and other automation tools to launch attacks at unprecedented levels of scale.


  • Google Artificial Intelligence Whiz Describes Our Sci-Fi Future

    Reinforcement learning is the idea of being able to assign credit or blame to all the actions you took along the way while you were getting that reward signal. It’s really effective in some domains today.

    I think where reinforcement learning has some challenges is when the action-state you may take is incredibly broad and large. A human operating in the real world might take an incredibly broad set of actions at any given moment. Whereas in a board game there’s a limited set of moves you can take, and the rules of the game constrain things a bit and the reward signal is also much clearer. You either won or lost.



  • Cisco Officially Throws In The Towel On Intercloud

    “Cisco has internally communicated that we are discontinuing one of our internal cloud platforms and will be transitioning affected workloads onto other platforms,” said the statement. “The cloud market has shifted considerably in the last two years, and many of our customers are asking Cisco to help them develop cloud strategies that will help drive their digital transformations … We do not expect any material customer issues as a result of this transition.”


    While Cisco isn’t saying the name of that cloud provider, there’s a good chance that it’s Amazon because enterprises are tripping over themselves to use Amazon these days. Amazon has got more features and more partners than any other cloud provider out there.


  • Red Hat’s Container Platform Lands on Google Cloud

    Red Hat and Google are container compatriots, in the sense that both have gone all-in with Kubernetes as a container scheduler. Google started the Kubernetes project, so its commitment there isn’t exactly shocking. Red Hat had developed its own scheduling mechanism for OpenShift but switched to Kubernetes due to the community support the project was getting, says Brian Gracely, Red Hat’s director of product strategy.


  • Amazon Launches A Data Center Built On A Semi Truck

    Snowmobile is a secure data truck that stores up to 100 PB of data and can help you to move exabytes to AWS in a matter of weeks (you can even get more than one if necessary!). Physically, Snowmobile is a 45 feet long, 9.6 feet high, and 8 feet wide tamper-resistant shipping container. It is water-resistant, climate-controlled and can be parked in a covered or uncovered area adjacent to your existing data center. Each Snowmobile consumes about 350 kW of AC power, and if you don’t have sufficient capacity on site, they can arrange a generator to ensure power stability.


  • Buyers Guide to cloud computing (who is HIPAA compliant)

    Despite this rush to the cloud, healthcare decision makers must keep in mind they can’t just tap into anybody’s offering. A cloud-based solution that is purpose-built for the regulatory and privacy demands of healthcare and life sciences requires more than compute, storage and networking services.



  • Old storage guard face incoming tech squeeze

    The prime tech transition in the SAN area is from disk and hybrid flash/disk to all-flash arrays. Such systems take up less physical space and need less power and cooling to operate. Despite a solid wave of startup acquisition and tech adoption, Pure Storage has emerged as a post-IPO independent and Kaminario survives and is growing.

    The three hybrid array startups – Nimble, Tegile and Tintri – have morphed into all-flash array vendors, with Nimble running an IPO. These three are also surviving and growing, meaning three more suppliers sharing the SAN market.


    Image: The Register


  • IBM Helps Organizations Respond to and Manage Ransomware

    According to a new IBM (IBM) study, seven out of 10 U.S. businesses surveyed infected with ransomware have paid to resolve a ransomware attack, with more than half paying more than $10,000. To help organizations respond rapidly and strategically to this type of threat and many other types of threats, Resilient’s new Dynamic Playbooks are an industry first in the incident response management market. Resilient’s Dynamic Playbooks provide an unmatched orchestration of incident response by adapting in real-time to the details of a cyberattack or other business threat, and enabling effective, rapid response to more sophisticated threat types.



  • IBM vows to hire and train US workers

    “We expect to end 2016 with our US workforce about the same size as it was at the beginning of the year. By 2020, we expect it to be larger than it is today,” Pratt said.

    Let’s review:

    1. Trump calls out IBM for outsourcing jobs
    2. Rometty is the only technology CEO to be added to Trump’s business council
    3. IBM promises more US based jobs in the future


  • Microsoft’s surprise hardware hit: The Surface Hub

    The average Surface Hub customer is buying about 50 devices for each deployment, and the company has achieved more than 2,000 customers. One (unnamed) car manufacturer bought 1,500 of the things. Though Microsoft didn’t reveal the exact mix between sizes, Surface Hub looks like it’s another billion-dollar-a-year business for the software giant—to boot, it’s a piece of hardware that it got right even in version one. In a Forrester report commissioned by Microsoft, it’s claimed that meetings start more promptly—less faffing about to get remote attendees dialed in or computers hooked up to the projector—saving 15 to 23 minutes per meeting. Less measurable, Microsoft claims that Surface Hub is also driving greater meeting engagement, with people standing up and engaging with each other and the screen rather than hiding behind their laptop screens around a conference table or quietly playing games on their phones.


  • Oracle CEO Safra Catz joins Trump transition team

    Unlike some of the other attendees of Trump’s tech summit, Catz was not particularly outspoken about politics during the election season. Federal Election Commission data shows no contributions to presidential candidates in Catz’s name, although the CEO has donated to Republican and Democratic Congressional campaigns. Larry Ellison, Oracle’s chairman, is a Republican mega-donor who contributed millions to a super PAC that backed Marco Rubio’s failed presidential bid.

    Trump’s Tech Summit Was Missing These Key Players

    Salesforce.com co-founder and chairman Marc Benioff was absent. As was Hewlett-Packard Enterprise chief executive Meg Whitman. Fortune reached out to the Trump team as well as HPE for comment, and will update this story as needed.


Photo: Stefan Kunze

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SourceCast: Episode 03: In the Clouds


We like to talk about IT companies and the cloud, but what happens when an IT firm actually buys a weather company… actually THE Weather Company?  We discuss IBM’s most recent purchase as well as Oracle chief Larry Ellison’s comments during OpenWorld.

Song Credit: Jonathan Coulton

Photo: Death to Stock Photos

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Supplier Report: 11/7/2015


IBM purchased another company named Gravitant this week.  It helps customers select cloud services from a variety of providers (and is a cloud service itself).  I know I keep saying this, but IBM is consistent with their purchases: Cloud, Analytics (Big Data), and IoT.  Now I want to see all the pieces put together.

And when you have it all together, then you break it apart.  HPE announced the departure of their CIO on the first official business day as Hewlett Packard Enterprises.  The market seems to be down on HPE at the moment, while their sister company HP Inc gained on their opening day despite concerns about the health of the PC and printer markets.

The Dell/EMC acquisition continues to befuddle me.  Rumor has it that Dell is looking to sell off $10B in assets (wise move) to pay down their massive debt.  They are also looking to rush a startup that EMC and VMWare (and GE) created called Pivotal to IPO to help generate additional funds.  So… Dell goes private and loves it, they are buying EMC and taking them private (presumably), but they are KEEPING VMWare public, and starting another company with the EMC asset and doing an IPO… that made my fingers hurt.


  • IBM’s Shopping Spree Continues As It Buys Cloud Brokerage Firm Gravitant

    With Gravitant, it gets cloud brokerage, which helps companies manage cloud purchases across multiple suppliers. IBM plans to fold the new bauble into its IBM Global Technology Services unit. In addition, IBM Cloud plans to add the capabilities to its growing SaaS catalogue.

    That’s like a two for one sale because Gravitant gets sold as an old fashioned service offering, and also as a SaaS product, which plays well into IBM’s overall strategy.


  • The Mainframe Is a Vampire

    If you looked at the recent IBM numbers, which were pretty painful but in line with what generally happens when a company is adapting to a major industry change, you saw one bright light: their mainframe business was growing faster than the server segment in general is growing.

    In fact, with the massive growth of web services, it has been hard for the server segment to get out of the low single digits. But once you adjusted for currency fluctuations, mainframes (IBM’s System Z) were up a whopping 20 percent. That’d be impressive server growth in a good year, for what has been a really soft year for servers, 20 percent growth is outstanding.


  • Why the IBM – Weather Company purchase is a big deal (shameless plug: I cover this topic on the SourceCast podcast episode #3, which will go live tomorrow… so visit again!)

  • IBM Watson is going to change how you think about the weather (Here is a non-video article that says similar (internet of) things)

    The focus at IBM is not so much in getting Watson involved in making better weather forecasts, but in putting the world’s most famous supercomputer to work in mining epic amounts of data in order to help businesses come up with actionable insights about the weather on both a real-time and long-term basis.



  • Pivotal IPO Could Make Dell-EMC Deal Even More Complicated

    As a reminder, EMC owns 80 percent of VMware, which is operated and traded as an independent company. When Dell agreed to buy EMC for $67 billion last month the deal included VMware, which Dell has said it wants to continue operating in the same fashion.

    Pivotal is itself a joint venture of EMC and VMware along with GE (which owns around 10 percent). The plan could call for EMC to sell about 20 percent of its ownership stake as an IPO, which is similar to what it did when it took VMware public in 2007, according to the re/code article.

    If this is true, it’s just another case of this deal getting ever more muddled with multiple layers of ownership, all pointing back to Dell, which if this closes is the ultimate decider here. Let’s not forget, however that EMC has a clause in its agreement that if it gets a better offer than the $67 billion that Dell offered it, it could take that deal.


  • Dell planning to sell off $10 billion in assets (rumor)
    It is too early to say I called it, but keep watching for news like this…

    Reuters reports the PC vendor is planning this to reduce the heavy debt load it will be taking on to buy data storage company EMC for around £44 billion. In 2007, EMC sold 19 percent of VMware shares in an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. A successful Pivotal IPO could potentially raise billions in new capital


    Here is more information on the sell off providing possible asset targets:

    Unnamed sources told Reuters that Dell will take on about $49.5 billion after it completes the $67 billion acquisition of EMC and its federated companies sometime next year. Selling such assets as its Quest software business (for systems management), SonicWall (network security) and AppAssure (data backup) will help the company reduce the debt load, according to the sources.


Hewlett Packard (HPE & HPI)
Note: I suspect my coverage of HP Inc will dwindle with time, but for now, I will cover both companies.  

  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise Loses CIO As It Charts New Course

    Ralph Loura, who had served as chief information officer of the enterprise business of HP for the past 15 months, has left the company. “I had an impact while there [and] I helped design the new op model for IT, and designed myself out of it because it was what the new company needed (move from a federated model with group CIOs, to a unified/centralized model with a single CIO),” he wrote to CRN.


  • Why JPMorgan Is Cautious On HP Inc (HPQ)

    The skeptical view taken by the firm comes on the back of PC data, which is hardly reassuring. Seagate and Western Digital both guided for a decline in HDD TAM for the fourth quarter. Intel reported a 19% YoY decline in its PC shipments for 3QFY15 worse than the 10% decline witnessed in 2QFY15. Desktops and Notebooks posted even worse numbers and there is scarcely anything notable that stirs confidence. While HDD companies see signs of stabilization, analysts at JPMorgan are far from convinced and expect more macro instability.


    However, On Monday, the stock market reacted like this (per USA Today):

    HPQ, which sells PCs and printers, soared 13%, to $13.83; HPE, responsible for commercial computer systems, software and services,  fell 1.6% $14.49. Both stocks are trading on the S&P 500.


  • Why Billionaire Trader Stan Druckenmiller Believes In Amazon And Not IBM

    “We are in a bubble in what I would call short term behavior,” Druckenmiller said. To reinforce the point Druckenmiller gave a negative assessment of IBM, which he said has missed earnings only three times over the past nine years and is in the process of buying back billions in stock, and a bullish view on Amazon.com… the difference? While IBM is cutting R&D spending against a shrinking base of sales, Amazon has doubled that spending as a percentage of sales even as they’ve grown at double digit rates. “I love Amazon. They are investing on the future,” Druckenmiller said, before quipping, “Bezos is a serial monopolist.”


  • Will NoSQL be the undoing of Oracle’s database reign?

    What’s most interesting in all this is how database popularity, broadly measured, compares with Gartner’s newly released Operational Database Magic Quadrant. TechRepublic contributor Janakiram MSV has captured five big takeaways from Gartner’s report, but here’s a sixth:The database vendors that embrace NoSQL are destined to be the long-term winners.

    Photo: DB-Engines

    Photo: DB-Engines


  • Why Did Microsoft Corporation Paint Its Cloud Red?

    As part of the deal, Microsoft will feature Red Hat’s Linux as a “preferred” option for enterprise computing jobs on Azure. The deal comes in as a surprise for many as the companies have historically had differing stances on software patents and usage. Red Hat has always encouraged open-source softwares that can be distributed widely and can be modified. Microsoft, on the other hand, has been against it. Interesting to note is the fact that a separate technical team will be built from employees of both companies to solve the customer issues more efficiently.


  • Teradata Plans to Sell Its $200 Million Marketing Application Business. Any Takers?

    According to financial statements within the Teradata announcement, Marketing Applications revenue was down about 9% this year, which is surprising in a generally strong martech market but in line with the rest of Teradata’s business. Teradata told me separately that their marketing cloud business grew 22% year-on-year this quarter, suggesting that the decline came in the older, on-premise products and/or related services. As you may know, Teradata’s marketing applications business was a mashup of the original Teradata marketing products, developed over the past 20 years and largely on-premise, and the Aprimo cloud-based systems acquired for $525 million in 2010. The Aprimo group was dominant in the years immediately following the acquisition but control shifted back to the older Teradata team more recently. One bit of evidence: the Aprimo brand was dropped in 2013.


Photo: Josh Byers

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Supplier Report: 10/31/2015


Oracle World happened and as expected, Hurd and Ellison made plenty of amusing remarks about their competitors.  As Ellison remarked that IBM is not a competitor, big blue went out and bought the Weather Company… for $2B.

Hewlett Packard is officially and finally splitting this weekend.  The two companies are facing unique market conditions in light of the Dell-EMC deal.


  • IBM Will Acquire The Weather Company’s Digital Business

    IBM announced this morning it’s acquiring The Weather Company, the parent company to the The Weather Channel, as well as the company’s B2B, mobile and web properties. The deal is being valued at more than $2 billion, according to a report from The Wall St. Journal. The companies are not disclosing the financial terms, however. The deal will see The Weather Company licensing weather forecast data and analytics from IBM under a long-term contract. The Weather Channel is not included in the acquisition.


  • Why does this keep happening to IBM?

    For the second time in a little over two years, Big Blue faces an investigation into how it records revenue. The company disclosed on Tuesday that the SEC is looking into the “accounting treatment of certain transactions in the U.S., U.K. and Ireland.”

    The stock dropped 4 percent to $137.86 after the revelation and was down 14 percent for the year at Tuesday’s close before bouncing back a bit Wednesday morning.


  • IBM: The Line In The Sand

    One of the items that is hindering IBM from making a large acquisition is the fact that the company has $32 billion in long-term debt. This is the exact time IBM needs all of its resources to try to generate revenue growth, however they will be hindered by debt maturities in 2016. The following chart fromMorningstar shows that IBM has a large number of debt maturities coming in the next five years. Specifically next year, IBM has $5 billion in debt due and while they can easily pay off the debt, it is a drain on potential cash and cash flows that could be used to invest in the business or make an acquisition.


  • IBM Cloud Opens To Apache Spark

    IBM will provide Apache Spark as a service onBluemix, IBM’s cloud platform. IBM will also be pushing Spark into BigInsights on Bluemix, as well as IBM’s Data Science Workbench and its SPSS Analytics Server and Modeler.


  • Intel, Oracle Working Together To Take On IBM

    A few months ago, the head of engineering and products at Oracle, Thomas Kurian, and Doug Fisher from Intel’s Software and Services Group decided to set up a joint team of engineers codenamed Project Apollo near Intel’s facilities in Oregon, the report said.

    The team has been assigned the task of figuring out how massive cloud computing data centers could be set up that make use of Oracle’s hardware and Intel’s chips to take on IBM in the cloud computing hardware market. Project Apollo has successfully completed its mission, and the team members are now sharing “how to” documents to convince enterprise customers to use their technology in building data centers, the report said.



Hewlett Packard (the split happens this weekend)

  • Meg Whitman bets that a smaller HP will be able to beat Dell

    But in the server space, Dell is waiting. With EMC, it gets the No. 1 provider of storage gear, making it a one-stop shop for corporate customers. If Dell’s strategy works, Hewlett Packard Enterprise will just continue the former HP’s fate, where sales have declined for 15 of the past 16 quarters. PC shipments, where HP is No. 2, fell 7.7 percent in the third quarter, according to Gartner. For servers, where Hewlett-Packard is the market leader, second-quarter shipments slowed to 8 percent from 13 percent in the prior period.


  • Why Hewlett-Packard Company’s Troubles May Not End With Breakup

    Post breakup, there is a fair chance that the resulting HP companies will acquire to compensate for their various shortcomings. While acquisitions might add some important assets (technology and talents), any kind of acquisition comes with a certain level of risk. Integration is one of the challenges that companies meet after they acquire a new asset. History shows that many of Hewlett-Packard’s past acquisitions never happened smoothly, a problem that may carry into the resulting entities.

    The other risk is that acquisitions predicated on desperation to catch up with the competition could fail to live up to expectations, be costly or unnecessarily disruptive. The two resulting HP businesses may not stay clear of these acquisition risks.



  • Dell acquisition of EMC could jostle Microsoft’s plans

    Dell, clearly, cannot risk this in the long term. It needs an operating system of its own. VMware’s Photon Stack is a great start, but it is only a start. It would not shock me at all to see Dell buy Red Hat in the next two years. It would be the final piece of the puzzle for a fully vertically integrated play.

    Microsoft doesn’t want to see that happen. And after seeing the tab for the Dell acquisition of EMC, I am sure Dell doesn’t want to spend the money either. Ample time and effort is going to be spent trying to find amicable solutions that allow both companies to coexist.



  • Workday Inc Becoming A Cause Of Concern To Oracle Corporation’s Cloud Business

    However, Workday Inc (NYSE:WDAY) built its business on the cloud from the ground upward, giving it an edge in competition with Oracle in HR and Finance applications delivered through the cloud. Because of its nature and the steps it has already made, Workday could cause more grief for Oracle and other legacy software vendors as enterprises shift from on-premise installations to the cloud.


  • Red Hat is boring — and more open source companies should emulate it

    But whether such companies like it or not, the minute they base their success on an open source project, their revenue potential is hampered compared to a proprietary competitor. Sure, companies like Cloudera, MongoDB, and DataStax sell proprietary value around an open source project, but most are still somewhat constrained by their need to compete with the free project they sponsor. None of which is to suggest these companies will hurt for revenue. Rather, it’s a reminder that the best way for an open source company to grow is like Red Hat: steady, consistent, boring.


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SourceCast: Episode 01: What the Dell!?!


I am so happy to present to you the very first original podcast on The Source… SourceCast!  I am starting the show off solo, covering the news information presented on the blog.  I hope to move away from straight news and focus on interviews and my own concepts, but I have to establish a cadence and it starts here.

It is very much a work in progress, but I hope you enjoy listening.

Photo: Patrick Breitenbach, Flickr

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