Tag Archives: HPE

Supplier Report: 9/8/2017

HPE had a crazy week where they finally cast off their software division, they purchased a cloud migration company, and saw their stock jump in value.  As all of these good things occured, Meg Whiteman announced another simplification of HPE’s strategy called HPE Next.  So I am not the one to say it, many IT journalists highlighted that’s what the last two years were supposed to be.

IBM is making smart moves as they committed to spending $240M with MIT on AI projects over the next decade. Big Blue also secured the US Army for another 33 months on their secure cloud platform.

Locally, Microsoft announced they are closing their Philadelphia Reactor office after 16 months. Philly might have a shot at a massive rebound as Amazon is looking for a city to create a 2nd HQ.

Acquisitions

  • HPE Shopping Spree Continues With Purchase of This Cloud Specialist

    Hewlett-Packard Enterprise said Tuesday that it will acquire Cloud Technology Partners, a Boston-based company that helps business customers plan and build cloud computing capabilities.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Seven-year-old CTP works with businesses to determine which cloud technology—be it from Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Google, or the non-vendor aligned OpenStack—is best for the customer’s needs. It then helps corporate customers plan out how they will run their information technology on that cloud (or clouds, if spread out across multiple vendors).

    http://fortune.com/2017/09/05/hpe-buys-cloud-technology/

  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise to complete software spin-off

    Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co (HPE.N) completed the spin-off of much of its software business early on Friday, closing the door on the disastrous 2011 acquisition of British firm Autonomy and narrowing the company’s focus to data center hardware and software.

    The enterprise software businesses, which include the widely used ArcSight security platform, have been merged with Micro Focus International Plc (MCRO.L), a British software company. HPE was formed when the company once known as Hewlett-Packard split into HPE and HP Inc in November 2015.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-hewlett-packard-spinoff/hewlett-packard-enterprise-to-complete-software-spin-off-idUSKCN1BC40S

  • 10 of the most-funded startups to fail in 2017

    Juicero shut down after launching just 16 months prior. The company managed to raise more than $118 million from prominent VCs like Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins and even Campbell Soup Company.

    Yet the company suffered greatly from a Bloomberg article that revealed the company’s proprietary juice packs did not require the $400 machine and could be squeezed by hand. Raised $118.5 million in 4 Rounds from 17 Investors.

    https://techcrunch.com/gallery/10-of-the-most-funded-startups-to-fail-in-2017/?ncid=rss

  • Amazon is looking for a 2nd headquarter city, a ‘full equal to Seattle’

    At full-capacity, the site would be expected to be of similar, or even bigger, size to the Seattle operation, which today is a major cornerstone of Seattle’s business life, employing 40,000 people, covering 8.1 million square feet with 33 buildings including 24 restaurants. HQ2, as Amazon is calling the new headquarters, is expected to employ 50,000 and will get $5 billion in investment, the company said.

    “We expect HQ2 [the name Amazon is using] to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, in a statement. “Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We’re excited to find a second home.”

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/07/amazon-is-looking-for-a-2nd-headquarter-city-a-full-equal-to-seattle/?ncid=rss

    No, I am not biased at all…

  • Is Symantec getting ready to buy Splunk?

    Clark definitely plans to go whale hunting to regain Symantec’s long-lost security position. Symantec expects to grow 3 percent to 5 percent in 2018. Compare that to Splunk, which projects to grow upwards of 20 percent this year and generate $1.2 billion revenues, up from $950 million last year, and it’s not hard to see why Clark is interested.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/06/is-symantec-getting-ready-to-buy-splunk/?ncid=rss

Artificial Intelligence

  • Oracle adds new AI, data tools for harnessing connected devices

    The Digital Twin capability is rolling out alongside new AI features designed to ease the task of analyzing operational data. Oracle executive Bhagat Nainani told VentureBeat that they provide drag-and-drop controls, which should help accommodate regular business workers. Users can harness the tools to look for operational anomalies and predict potential technical problems in advance.

    These features are joined by several offerings that focus on more specialized tasks. The first is Digital Thread, a framework that Oracle has built to simplify the flow of operational data among a company’s backend systems. The rest are prepackaged solutions that apply existing IoT Cloud services to automating field support, fleet management and factory work.

    https://siliconangle.com/blog/2017/08/31/oracle-adds-new-ai-data-tools-harnessing-connected-devices/

  • IBM and MIT pen 10-year, $240M AI research partnership

    IBM and MIT came together today to sign a 10-year, $240 million partnership agreement that establishes the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab at the prestigious Cambridge, MA academic institution.

    The lab will be co-chaired by Dario Gil, IBM Research VP of AI and Anantha P. Chandrakasan, dean of MIT’s School of Engineering.

    Big Blue intends to invest $240 million into the lab where IBM researchers and MIT students and faculty will work side by side to conduct advanced AI research. As to what happens to the IP that the partnership produces, the sides were a bit murky about that.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/06/ibm-and-mit-pen-10-year-240m-ai-research-partnership/?ncid=rss
    Smart move by IBM… get the future thinkers to get hooked on their platform early.

Cloud

  • Army Re-Ups with IBM for $135 Million in Cloud Services

    The 33-month, $135 million contract represents a successful re-compete of work that LOGSA signed with IBM in September 2012. Under that managed services agreement, the Army pays only for cloud services that it actually consumes. The efficiencies created by this arrangement have enabled the Army to avoid about $15 million per year in operational costs – a significant yield for the Army and taxpayers.

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/army-re-ups-with-ibm-for-135-million-in-cloud-services-300514471.html

Datacenter

  • Oracle cuts hundreds of hardware jobs in Silicon Valley amid cloud push

    Oracle Corp. is cutting 983 jobs, mostly in its hardware division in Santa Clara, the Mercury News reported, citing filings with the state labor department. The cuts come as Oracle is adding thousands of jobs globally in its cloud computing division and follow hardware layoffs earlier this year.

    The Redwood City-based company is cutting 615 jobs in its hardware division in Santa Clara and the rest in its Solaris operating system division, the Mercury News reported. Oracle declined to comment on the layoffs to the publication.

    https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2017/09/06/oracle-layoffs-hardware-santa-clara-cloud-hiring.html

  • Dell Technologies Announces Multi-Year Agreement with GE

    Dell Technologies announces that GE, the world’s largest digital industrial company, has signed a multi-year commitment to use Dell Inc. infrastructure and end-user computing solutions to support GE’s ongoing digital transformation efforts. Under the agreement, Dell Inc. becomes the primary IT infrastructure supplier for GE. The deal is one of the largest non-government contracts in Dell Technologies, Dell or EMC history.

    GE will use Dell EMC servers, storage, backup and related professional services, enabling the company to enhance the reliability and efficiency of its IT infrastructure with automated and flash-optimized solutions. In addition, GE will use Dell client solutions and peripherals to drive workforce transformation and an improved end-user experience for GE employees worldwide.

    http://www.fox34.com/story/36309393/dell-technologies-announces-multi-year-agreement-with-ge

Other

  • Follow-up: Yes, Google Uses Its Power to Quash Ideas It Doesn’t Like—I Know Because It Happened to Me

    After the meeting, I approached Google’s public relations team as a reporter, told them I’d been in the meeting, and asked if I understood correctly. The press office confirmed it, though they preferred to say the Plus button “influences the ranking.” They didn’t deny what their sales people told me: If you don’t feature the +1 button, your stories will be harder to find with Google.

    With that, I published a story headlined, “Stick Google Plus Buttons On Your Pages, Or Your Search Traffic Suffers,” that included bits of conversation from the meeting.

    Google never challenged the accuracy of the reporting. Instead, a Google spokesperson told me that I needed to unpublish the story because the meeting had been confidential, and the information discussed there had been subject to a non-disclosure agreement between Google and Forbes. (I had signed no such agreement, hadn’t been told the meeting was confidential, and had identified myself as a journalist.)

    It escalated quickly from there. I was told by my higher-ups at Forbes that Google representatives called them saying that the article was problematic and had to come down. The implication was that it might have consequences for Forbes, a troubling possibility given how much traffic came through Google searches and Google News.

    http://gizmodo.com/yes-google-uses-its-power-to-quash-ideas-it-doesn-t-li-1798646437

  • Wells Fargo Admits To Nearly Twice As Many Possible Fake Accounts — 3.5 Million

    On Thursday, the bank acknowledged it had created more bogus customer accounts than previously estimated. An outside review discovered that 1.4 million more potentially unauthorized accounts were opened between January 2009 and September 2016.

    That brings the total to 3.5 million potentially fake accounts — two-thirds more than the 2.1 million the bank had previously acknowledged.

    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/31/547550804/wells-fargo-admits-to-nearly-twice-as-many-possible-fake-accounts-3-5-million

  • Should Procurement Be Negotiating Harder With Oracle?

    But as a procurement person, of course we were drawn to the size of Ms Wilson’s bonus. So just short of 10% of the value of the deal went straight into the pockets of the Oracle sales person. Now we don’t begrudge Ms Wilson her reward and reading some of the details (fascinating for anyone interested in employment law, software or sales commissions) we tend to agree with her case. We also resisted the temptation to stalk her through LinkedIn and ask for a loan.

    However, just think about those amounts as a procurement person. If Wilson had merely received her basic salary, and Pearson had negotiated well, the firm might have got another million dollars on their bottom line that year and Oracle could still have made the same profit. With a typical company P/E ratio of 15, that gives a shareholder value of some $13 million that Pearson lost by failing to drive Oracle down by that $800K on the price.

    http://spendmatters.com/uk/procurement-negotiating-harder-oracle/

  • Microsoft closes Philly ‘Reactor’ for innovators after just 15 months

    The Microsoft Reactor Philadelphia — one of only three in the nation — hosted about 100 programs with 3,200 participants over its 15-month existence. Its departure is a setback for a city seeking to modernize its economy with a vibrant high-tech sector.

    Microsoft spokesman Curtis Lee said Friday that the Reactor will close because of a corporate restructuring, but the company will remain active with the Science Center and its partners, promoting skills for women and minorities and supporting entrepreneurs and tech companies in Philadelphia.The Reactor programs in New York and San Francisco will continue unchanged, Lee said.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/business/microsoft-swiftly-closes-philly-reactor-after-16-months-20170901.html

Photo: Redd Angelo

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SourceCast: Episode 75: The HP Checkup

It has been a few months since we talked about HP/HPI/HPE.  With the HPE Discover conference taking place last week, I thought it would be a good time to discuss the status of each of the HP companies.

Photo: Gaelle Marcel

 

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Supplier Report: 6/2/2017

Should investors lay IBM’s current problem’s at Ginni Rometty’s feet or is her predecessor Sam Palmisano truly to blame? While investors are busy finger-pointing, IBM’s global services division declined another 2%.

But it wasn’t all bad news for big blue, they acquired a company to help bolster their “Connections” platform and another news source is touting just how good Watson is at suggesting cancer treatments.

Meanwhile in Japan, Toshiba is still struggling to sell off their memory chip business in a last-ditch effort to keep the company afloat and NTT quietly invested in NoSQL database provider MarkLogic.

Acquisitions

  • IBM Acquires XCC Digital Work Hub to Strengthen IBM Connections

    Armonk, NY-based IBM acquired the XCC technology from its partner, Cologne, Germany-based TIMETOACT GROUP. XCC is a digital workplace hub that IBM officials said will create a “single destination” personalized homepage for employees. The company made the announcement at its DNUG44 collaboration conference in Berlin this morning.

    XCC’s hub will be renamed the IBM Connections Engagement Center and will live under the portfolio of IBM Connections, IBM’s enterprise collaboration suite that competes with the likes of Microsoft, Slack and Atlassian.

    http://www.cmswire.com/digital-workplace/ibm-acquires-xcc-digital-work-hub-to-strengthen-ibm-connections/

  • Micro Focus’ $8.8bn software acquisition approved by investors

    The approval for the $8.8bn deal comes only weeks after Micro Focus issued a damaging warning on its growth prospects because of a slowdown in sales at the former Hewlett-Packard assets.

    The investor meeting, held near St Pauls in London, was attended by only one shareholder. Approval for the multibillion merger and a $500m return of cash to shareholders was passed without objection in less than 10 minutes. The vote was passed with a 99.9 per cent approval.

    https://www.ft.com/content/976c93f8-4221-11e7-82b6-896b95f30f58

  • Dell further ties itself to VMware

    Initial reports set the price at $67 billion, but Dell now says it was just over $58 billion. Either way, a good portion of the funding was borrowed.Selling off VMware – at its current market cap of about $34 billion – would certainly change the math, but so too would losing VMware’s future potential contributions.

    VMware still functions as its own publicly traded company, as it did under EMC, but it is now majority-owned by Dell Technologies. And unlike other parts of Dell’s new empire, VMware is growing at 10 percent a year.

    http://www.wbjournal.com/article/20170529/PRINTEDITION/170529955/1002

  • Intel CEO explains why he spent $15 billion on Mobileye

    Krzanich said that someday “if you get a ransomware or some kind of virus on one portion of the device,” Intel will not only have backups, but they could “refresh your car on the fly.” While he acknowledged that there are some potential privacy concerns, Krzanich believes that connected cars will be “much safer.”

    “In order for those cars to drive, they do have to look,” said Krzanich about self-driving cars. “There’s a lot of social good that can come out of this.”

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/01/intel-ceo-explains-why-he-spent-15-billion-on-mobileye/?ncid=rss

  • NTT Data announces strategic investment in NoSQL database provider MarkLogic

    MarkLogic positions itself as a database system for integrating data from various data silos, something that’s a growing problem for large enterprises as they look into how they can get the most value out of their data. Over the years (and often because of acquisitions), different groups in a company often use different database systems, and now they are looking for ways to bring all of this information together again. Typically, the way to do that is by bringing that data into a schema-less NoSQL database, which is where MarkLogic comes in.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/31/ntt-data-announces-strategic-investment-in-nosql-database-provider-marklogic/?ncid=rss

  • Toshiba Fights to Clear Way for Chip-Unit Sale

    Toshiba said it would transfer the joint venture back to the core Toshiba group, and remove that part of its chip unit from a sale. The company says the joint venture includes manufacturing equipment, but not the key NAND flash manufacturing processes or the plants or engineers in Japan.

    The move defuses Western Digital’s claim that the sale of the chip unit to a third party would be a breach of its joint venture rights, Toshiba’s lawyers said in a letter dated Wednesday.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/toshiba-makes-legal-concession-on-sale-of-memory-chip-unit-1496239072?mg=prod/accounts-wsj

Artificial Intelligence

  • IBM’s Watson is really good at creating cancer treatment plans

    In a handful of studies being presented at ASCO, researchers show that Watson for Oncology is pretty dang good at recommending treatments for a variety of different cancers. From research done in India, Watson’s treatment recommendations were in agreement with those of physicians 96 percent of the time for lung cancer, 93 percent of the time for rectal cancer, and 81 percent of the time for colon cancer.

    And there were comparable rates of agreement for colorectal, lung, breast and gastric cancer treatments in a Thai-based study. Additionally, Watson was able to screen breast and lung cancer patients for clinical trial eligibility 78 percent faster than a human, reducing screening time from 110 minutes down to just 24.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/01/ibm-watson-cancer-treatment-plans/

  • Google has reportedly launched a new AI-focused venture capital program

    According to Axios, Patterson and company will reportedly be co-investing with GV when it makes sense to do so. Check sizes, it says, will range from $1 million and $10 million to start, though it isn’t yet clear how much Google plans to commit to the program, yearly or otherwise.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/26/google-has-reportedly-launched-a-new-ai-focused-venture-capital-program/?ncid=rss

Cloud

  • VMware to rally nearly 20% on Amazon partnership, analyst says

    “The recent partnership between VMware and AWS [Amazon Web Services] has been received with great positivity and excitement, according to our channel work,” analyst Jayson Noland wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. “Naturally, a co-development between the respective leaders in private and public clouds should offer an unparalleled level of seamlessness in hybrid cloud mobility, which to date remains one of the largest challenges to enterprise cloud deployment.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/31/cloud-play-vmware-to-rally-nearly-20-percent-on-amazon-partnership-analyst-says.html

  • Oracle Bucks the Pricing Trend in the Cloud

    Oracle has been acting as if to buck cloud computing pricing trends. Amazon and Microsoft have been waging cloud pricing wars, with Amazon recently trimming AWS costs by as much as 21% on certain services.

    However, Oracle has been hiking prices. Earlier this year, the company updated its licensing policy in a fashion that dramatically increased the cost of running Oracle software on AWS and Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform. Oracle doubled the cost of running its database on these foreign clouds.

    http://marketrealist.com/2017/05/oracle-bucks-pricing-trend-cloud/

Datacenter

  • MongoDB Taking Share From Oracle In $40 Billion Market

    When you take into account the full cost to a company, MongoDB offered an irresistible bargain. “We believe that the cost of the software should equal that of the hardware. We typically charge $5,000 per server per year for the software to run on a server that costs about $5,000. Our competition charges hundreds of thousands of dollars per server-year plus $50,000 a year in maintenance and their software runs on $10,000 servers,” said Schireson.

    Regrettably, MongoDB declined to provide revenue growth details. But its headcount growth suggested that demand for the product was soaring. Schireson argued, “When I joined as CEO in 2011, the company had 20 employees. That went to 100 by the end of 2011 and 200 by the end of 2012. [As of October 2013] we have 320 people and expect to end the year at between 350 and 400. And we plan to add 200 more in 2014. We now have 600 customers.”

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2017/05/30/mongodb-taking-share-from-oracle-in-40-billion-market/#2e06dd5a3156

  • IBM believes that hybrid cloud is the future of computing

    “When we work with private and public clouds on workload assessment, customers think of what would go Hybrid. We do studies and assessment with our customers every day. So, there is no doubt or question in our mind that hybrid is the way to go,” Vikas Arora, Cloud Business Leader for IBM India and South Asia, told IANS.

    He said IBM believes that it has the best of enterprise cloud and hybrid is a very core capability that it has, adding that there is a need of a global footprint of datacenters.

    http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/ibm-believes-that-hybrid-cloud-is-the-future-of-computing-378615.html

  • Red Hat director talks Reactive and changing middleware layer

    Sharples also shared his opinion on how the middleware layer is changing, such as the shift away from enterprise service buses (ESBs). The ESB, he said, became a burden in the eyes of many software administrators who saw it as a single “choke point” and potential source of universal failure.

    “It became that part of your application code was now embedded within this infrastructure,” Sharples said. “So, it didn’t provide a good separation of concerns.”

    http://searchmicroservices.techtarget.com/video/Red-Hat-director-talks-Reactive-and-changing-middleware-layer

  • HPE meets lowered expectations as execs insist worst is over, but investors not so sure

    HPE’s results were expected to be dismal, and the company surprised no one with earnings that met Wall Street expectations on a 13 percent plunge in revenue compared to the same quarter last year. About the only positive news was that net revenues of $9.9 billion slightly exceeded consensus estimates of $9.64 billion, and that the company reaffirmed its earnings guidance for the rest of the year.

    Exact comparisons to last year’s figures aren’t practical because HPE completed the sale of its services business to Computer Sciences Corp. just last month, shedding 100,000 employees in the process. In after-hours trading, the stock declined a little more than 2 percent.

    https://siliconangle.com/blog/2017/05/31/hpe-meets-lowered-expectations-execs-insist-worst/

Software/SaaS

  • Blockchains are the new Linux, not the new Internet

    Decentralized blockchain solutions are vastly more democratic, and more technically compelling, than the hermetically-sealed, walled-garden, Stack-ruled Internet of today. Similarly, open-source Linux was vastly more democratic, and more technically compelling, than the Microsoft and Apple OSes which ruled computing at the time. But nobody used it except a tiny coterie of hackers. It was too clunky; too complicated; too counterintuitive; required jumping through too many hoops — and Linux’s dirty secret was that the mainstream solutions were, in fact, actually fine, for most people.

    Sound familiar? Today there’s a lot of work going into decentralized distributed storage keyed on blockchain indexes; Storj, Sia, Blockstack, et al. This is amazing, groundbreaking work… but why would an ordinary person, one already comfortable with Box or Dropbox, switch over to Storj or Blockstack? The centralized solution works just fine for them, and, because it’s centralized, they know who to call if something goes wrong. Blockstack in particular is more than “just” storage … but what compelling pain point is it solving for the average user?

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/28/double-double-cryptocoin-bubble/?ncid=rss

  • Concord wants to become the Google Docs of contracts

    Concord wants to centralize everything related to contract management into one service, and this service is supposed to work for all sorts of teams. Companies like Just Eat have been using it across the board, from the sales team to the HR team.

    And it starts with writing new contracts. Concord lets you create and edit contracts directly in your browser. If you want to send it to a coworker, you just share the Concord document. The platform then tracks changes and versions so that everybody across your organization stays on the same page. And those contracts are legally binding.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/31/concord-wants-to-become-the-google-docs-of-contracts/?ncid=rss

Other

  • What’s Stopping IBM’s Global Business Services from Growing?

    The GBS segment’s revenue fell 2% to $4.0 billion in the quarter. The segment encompasses consulting, global process services, and application management services. It provides customers with these services by integrating them with the company’s offerings, including Watson, cloud, blockchain, and technology services.

    The migration of customers from big on-premises projects and models to the cloud system has led to a fall in IBM’s traditional back office implementation business.

    http://marketrealist.com/2017/06/whats-stopping-ibms-global-business-services-from-growing/

  • Is Management Really to Blame for IBM’s Woes?

    Shares of IBM have declined 8% this year, while the S&P 500 has gained 8%. The reasons are easy to see — the company’s revenue has fallen annually for 20 straight quarters, Warren Buffett sold about 30% of Berkshire’s stake in February, and Moody’s downgraded its credit rating in early May.

    Amid all those negative headlines, it’s easy to blame IBM’s management for its current woes. However, it makes more sense to blame former CEO Sam Palmisano for most of those problems. Rometty initially waited too long to abandon Palmisano’s quixotic plan, but her moves over the past three years indicate that she knows how to turn around the aging company. Therefore, investors should keep those facts in mind before assuming that IBM would fare better under new management.

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/05/27/is-management-really-to-blame-for-ibms-woes.aspx

Photo: Hermes Rivera

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Supplier Report: 5/6/2017

Big blue is having a week. They started with some positive news announcing the acquisition of Verizon’s remaining cloud business, bolstering their customer base. IBM is ending the week on bad news with the announcement that Warren Buffett is selling off 1/3 of his investments in the company.

In an oddly parallel announcement,  Oracle announced a strategic partnership with Verizon’s competitor AT&T. The agreement mandates that AT&T say nice things about Oracle in the press… and they have “global access” to Oracle’s cloud offerings.

There were also some industry articles questioning how to best position a company for A.I. use and implementation.

Acquisitions

  • Cisco scoops up San Jose software-defined networking startup for $610M (Viptela)

    The 170-person company provides a cloud-based to manage wide-area networks that are spread over large geographies or multiple sites.

    “Together, Cisco and Viptela will be able to deliver next-generation SD-WAN solutions to best serve all size and scale of customer needs, while accelerating Cisco’s transition to a recurring, software-based business model,” Rob Salvagno, Cisco’s lead executive for M&A, said in a blog post.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2017/05/01/cisco-viptela-acquisition.html?page=all

  • What Apple Can’t Buy

    That still leaves a lot to play around with. Net of debt, Apple now sits on $158.3 billion. That would be enough to buy Netflix or Tesla with suitable takeout premiums, to address some of the more recent fantasy matchups. Disney , alas, is currently valued at $181 billion. It is worth reminding that Apple has never done a deal for more than $3 billion, and that was for a nascent music service that also sold overpriced headphones.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-apple-cant-buy-1493818279

  • IBM to snap up remnants of Verizon’s cloud business

    Verizon Enterprise Solutions on Tuesday said it had reached a deal for IBM to buy its cloud and managed hosting services. It has not revealed the value of the sale, but says it and IBM will be working on “strategic initiatives involving networking and cloud services”.

    The sale to IBM marks the end of Verizon’s venture into the cloud infrastructure business, and allows it to focus on reselling datacenter services in conjunction with its own managed network, security, and communications services.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/ibm-to-snap-up-remnants-of-verizons-cloud-managed-hosting-business/

  • Oracle and AT&T Enter into Strategic Agreement

    The agreement gives AT&T global access to Oracle’s cloud portfolio offerings both in the public cloud and on AT&T’s Integrated Cloud. This includes Oracle’s IaaS, PaaS, Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) which will help increase productivity, reduce IT costs and enable AT&T to gain new flexibility in how it implements SaaS applications across its global enterprise. AT&T has also agreed to implement Oracle’s Field Service Cloud (OFSC) to further optimize its scheduling and dispatching for its more than 70,000 field technicians. With OFSC, for example, AT&T will combine its existing machine learning and big data capabilities with Oracle’s technology to increase the productivity, on-time arrivals and job duration accuracy of AT&T’s field technicians.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/oracle-t-enter-strategic-agreement-130000355.html

Artificial Intelligence

  • CEOs rate productivity ‘very low’ from emerging tech

    Of those four GPTs, only 2% of the 388 CEOs and senior executives in the survey listed IoT as their top enabling technology for improving productivity, while just 1% of respondents each picked blockchain, 3D printing and A.I. Older and existing technology fared better, with ERP at 10%, following by cloud (7%), analytics (7%), CRM (4%), mobile (3%) and marketing tools (3%). “We notice very low mentions for the four potential breakthrough GPTs,” Raskino noted.

    http://www.computerworld.com/article/3192085/internet-of-things/ceos-rate-productivity-very-low-from-emerging-tech.html

  • Can Ansible be the automation platform for the enterprise? Red Hat thinks so

    Ansible was founded to provide a new way to think about managing systems and applications that better fit this new world. Historically, management vendors and home-grown scripting solutions were created to manage stacks of software on servers. In contrast, Ansible was created to orchestrate multi-tier applications across clouds. From configuration to deployment to zero-downtime rolling upgrades, Ansible is a single framework that can fully automate today’s modern enteprise apps.

    http://www.networkworld.com/article/3194006/data-center/can-ansible-be-the-automation-platform-for-the-enterprise-red-hat-thinks-so.html

  • How Echo Look could feed Amazon’s big data fueled fashion ambitions

    Buying clothes is a recurring need; both a practical necessity and a way to keep up with changes in style and taste. Like buying groceries, it’s a type of shopping without end. Which is why Amazon is fixated on both spaces. “In order to be a $200bn company we’ve got to learn how to sell clothes and food,” Jeff Bezos said as long ago as a decade — displaying the long term thinking that has enabled the ecommerce giant to slow-grow its business over more than 20 years from an upstart online bookseller into today’s sprawling digital marketplace whose upwardly thrusting arrow declaims its mission to deliver everything.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/29/how-echo-look-could-feed-amazons-big-data-fueled-fashion-ambitions/?ncid=rss

  • Should your next big hire be a chief A.I. officer?

    “A.I. is still immature and evolving quickly, so it is unreasonable to expect everyone in the C-suite to understand it completely,” wrote Andrew Ng, a renowned A.I. scientist, in an article posted in November in the Harvard Business Review. “But if your industry generates a large amount of data, there is a good chance that A.I. can be used to transform that data into value. To the majority of companies that have data but lack deep A.I. knowledge, I recommend hiring a chief A.I. officer or a VP of A.I.”

    http://www.computerworld.com/article/3192399/artificial-intelligence/should-your-next-big-hire-be-a-chief-ai-officer.html

Cloud

  • Google says it doesn’t need to get into a cloud price war with Amazon, Microsoft to win

    “We don’t need to compete on price to be honest. We definitely compete on value more than price … but if you look at the products, (they) are hard to compare side by side,” Shaukat told CNBC.

    “We believe that our pricing models are much more friendly. So just simply by adopting the more flexible pricing models we have, things like billing by the minute rather than the hour, we think we can save a typical company 20 to 30 percent without having a unit price different to the competition.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/05/google-cloud-price-battle-amazon-microsoft.html

  • Why the Red Hat-Amazon partnership is a big deal in the cloud

    Here are the key details: Red Hat announced native access to Amazon Web Services products in its Red Hat OpenShift product. OpenShift is the company’s platform as a service (PaaS) application development software, and it’s also the company’s main tool for helping enterprises deploy application containers, including those from Docker.

    Deeper integration between OpenShift and AWS means that OpenShift users can access services such as Amazon Aurora, the company’s cloud-based database, the Amazon RedShift data warehouse product and other cloud-based AWS services directly through OpenShift.

    http://www.networkworld.com/article/3194416/cloud-computing/why-the-red-hat-amazon-partnership-is-a-big-deal-in-the-cloud.html

Datacenter/Hardware

  • Surface sales sag and Windows Phones fade, as Microsoft’s hardware business takes a hit

    Microsoft’s hardware woes contrast sharply with the welfare of the company as a whole, as Microsoft’s cloud services bolstered the bottom line. Microsoft reported profits of $4.8 billion on $22.1 billion in revenue, up 28 percent and 8 percent, respectively, from a year ago. “I’m proud of the progress we’ve made,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive of Microsoft. While the company has repeatedly insisted Windows Phone isn’t dead, however, the slow fade of its own phones doesn’t help the platform’s prospects.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/3193084/hardware/surface-sales-sag-and-windows-phones-fade-as-microsofts-hardware-business-takes-a-hit.html

  • Windows 10 S laptops won’t let you switch from Edge or Bing

    When Microsoft revealed the details of Windows 10 S on Tuesday, it sounded awfully similar to the beleaguered Windows RT. But it looks like there’s a little Windows 8.1 with Bing in there too: Microsoft will not allow Windows 10 S device owners to change the default web browser or the default search engine, as first spotted by The Verge.

    That means Microsoft Edge and Bing are the inescapable defaults for Windows 10 S, a stripped-down version of Windows 10 that only allows programs to be downloaded and installed from the Windows Store.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/3193799/windows/windows-10-s-laptops-wont-let-you-switch-from-edge-or-bing.html

  • Dell EMC to launch hybrid Azure cloud stack

    The product, which consists of Dell EMC PowerEdge servers and Dell EMC Networking, “delivers a consistent experience across Azure public cloud and private with Azure Stack”, according to the vendor.

    It added that the platform also offers a “consistent programming surface between Azure and Azure Stack” so that organisations can create and share traditional and cloud-native applications securely in private and public clouds.

    “Cloud is an operating model, not a place, and adopting a hybrid model has become the clear choice,” said Peter Cutts, senior VP, of hybrid cloud platforms at Dell EMC.

    http://www.cloudpro.co.uk/cloud-essentials/hybrid-cloud/6785/dell-emc-to-launch-hybrid-azure-cloud-stack

Software/SaaS

  • Tableau subscription pricing – a proxy for software acquisition

    The problem for buyers comes in determining how many licenses to buy. Tableau, like many other vendors, operates a ‘land and expand’ strategy where it gets into a department with a handful of licenses and then seeks to grow that out into the enterprise. It’s a legitimate model but one that Tableau struggled to scale in large enterprise, where the influence of IT is much more important and where Tableau has sometimes come unstuck.

    http://diginomica.com/2017/05/04/tableu-things-consider-buying-subscription-pricing/

  • Shots fired: IBM and Red Hat vote “no” on Project Jigsaw, may cause delays for Java 9

    IBM and Red Hat are just two members of the 25-member Java Community Process Executive Committee. This committee approves all the new Java standards, including major Java versions. These proposals require a 2/3 majority to be passed. Right now, IBM and Red Hat are alone in their public disagreement, but they’re probably not the only ones. Jigsaw’s proposed changes to the Java ecosystem are controversial, to say the least.

    https://jaxenter.com/jigsaw-dispute-means-possible-delays-java-9-133723.html

  • Does Gartner Group Matter?

    Not making it on to the Gartner Magic Quadrant is a very big deal for a software company. That is why software companies pay ridiculous amounts of money to get on (and stay on) the Quadrant. And the fact that Gartner Group accepts money from the companies that are being evaluated, makes their independence very much open to question. And yet, even people like me, who have serious doubts about Gartner’s legitimacy are influenced by the Magic Quadrant more than we would like to admit.

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/does-gartner-group-matter-kevin-hunt?

  • IBM Report Highlights Blockchain’s Value in Healthcare

    According to the researchers, blockchain technology offers the industry ” long data” versus “big data ,” that is, data that reaches as far back in time as possible. The potential could capture a patient’s full health history, including every vital sign ever recorded and medicine ever taken.

    http://www.nasdaq.com/article/ibm-report-highlights-blockchains-value-in-healthcare-cm782220

Other

  • Massive Oracle sales re-org to accelerate cloud cash drive

    The re-org has been described as Oracle’s biggest for a decade. From the start of June there will be one account manager for each of Oracle’s Pillar products – database, middleware, BI and hardware. Pillar sales engineers are, as a result, being chopped and will be replaced by a breed of Oracle employee currently in short supply – enterprise cloud architects.

    The exact size of the cuts is uncertain, but one report has Oracle preparing to cut up to two-thirds of its current sales force as soon as this summer. Oracle has a total head count of 136,000.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/03/oracle_sales_reorganisation/

  • Best be Nimble, best be quick. You’re out of a job at HPE

    HPE bought Nimble for $1.2bn in March, and a fairly obvious way of making synergies in the acquisition playbook is to absorb Nimble’s engineering organization into its own, but use its existing back office, sales and marketing functions to handle the Nimble products. Then you can lay off unwanted staff and save cost. And lo, it is so.

    We’re hearing laid-off execs may get up to a year’s salary plus immediate vesting of some portion their stock options. Folks in the trenches may just get standard redundancy terms. Before it was swallowed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Nimble employed roughly 1,100 people.

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/03/hpe_lays_off_nimble_staff/

  • Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Cuts IBM Stake by About a Third

    Mr. Buffett told CNBC that IBM Chief Executive Ginni Rometty met with him ”a few weeks ago” and asked him about reports that he was selling IBM stock. Mr. Buffett said he confirmed the selling but didn’t provide the rationale or the details.

    Berkshire first bought IBM in 2011. Mr. Buffett had avoided technology stocks for years, saying he didn’t understand them. After Berkshire’s IBM stake was first revealed, Mr. Buffett told The Wall Street Journal that IBM “fits all my principles…it’s something we expect to own indefinitely.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/warren-buffetts-berkshire-hathaway-trims-position-in-ibm-1493956123

Photo: Joshua Ness

 

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Supplier Report: 4/1/2017

There are so many rumors this week, yet so little facts. If you haven’t heard, there is talk that Oracle might try to buy Accenture consulting. For every article reporting the possibility, there are two shooting down the idea as… extremely impracticable.

Reports are still squawking that Microsoft could buy Citrix and that HPE is interested in purchasing back-up company Veeam.

While these companies decide what to buy next, Elon Musk is working on methods to directly connect your brain to computer systems and AI. How far away are we from the free version of McAfee security for your head?

Acquisitions

  • Analysts turn skeptical eye to Oracle/Accenture buyout speculation

    The Register reported that Oracle hired advisers to explore buying Accenture — an $80B company — outright, though with usual cautions that any such deal’s at an early stage.

    Also…

    Citigroup’s Walter Pritchard is of a similar skeptical mindset: “Accenture has relationships with nearly all software companies we cover, many of which compete with Oracle (SAP, Salesforce, Workday), making it difficult for an Oracle-owned Accenture to be viewed as independent.”

    https://seekingalpha.com/news/3254224-analysts-turn-skeptical-eye-oracle-accenture-buyout-speculation

  • GE invests $2 million in Alchemist Accelerator to back industrial IoT startups

    Alchemist Accelerator Managing Partner Ravi Belani said, “Industrial applications and next gen internet in industry are exciting right now. Robots and drones get a lot of attention. But AI and machine learning advances are also making forecasting and automation possible in ways we never even imagined.”

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/29/ge-invests-2-million-in-alchemist-accelerator-to-back-industrial-iot-startups/?ncid=rss

  • Is that a Veeam in HPE’s eye? IT giant may gobble backup biz

    However, HPE has recently bought SimpliVity for $650m and is buying Nimble Storage for $1.2bn – meaning it’s spending $1.85bn buying two suppliers. Does it have the appetite for a third?

    Veeam was founded in 2006 by CTO Andrei Baranov and President Ratmir Timashev. It had an undisclosed funding round in 2013. It is based in Baar, Switzerland. Its revenue and customer growth has been fantastic as it mined the golden backup seam of virtual machine protection better than anybody else.

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/03/30/is_that_a_veeam_in_hpes_eye/​

  • Citrix may be selling, but is Microsoft buying?

    When making such claims in October 2015, Madden added that Microsoft will buy Citrix when they have to, “and not a day sooner”. Fast forward 18 months however and many now believe such a day has arrived.

    http://www.arnnet.com.au/article/616611/citrix-may-selling-microsoft-buying/

  • Apple has acquired Workflow, a powerful automation tool for iPad and iPhone

    Apple has finalized a deal to acquire Workflow today — a tool that lets you hook together apps and functions within apps in strings of commands to automate tasks. We’ve been tracking this one for a while but were able to confirm just now that the ink on the deal is drying as we speak.

    I haven’t been able to get financial details for the deal, but if I come up with them I’ll update. As far as I know it was a solid payday for the team and small upside for investors. Workflow had raised an unannounced seed round of what we’re hearing was in the range of a couple million from Lowercase, Eniac and General Catalyst.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/22/apple-has-acquired-workflow-a-powerful-automation-tool-for-ipad-and-iphone/

Artificial Intelligence

  • Elon Musk’s Neuralink wants to boost the brain to keep up with AI

    Neuralink isn’t going to be focused on upgrading ordinary human brainpower at first however, according to the WSJ report. Instead, it’ll explore how brain interfaces might alleviate the symptoms of dangerous and chronic medical conditions.

    These could include epilepsy and severe depressive disorder, according to the report. These efforts could build on existing therapies that use electrodes in the brain to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s, giving Neuralink a starting point with established science and an easier path to approval for human use. Clearing that lower hurdle would then set the company up for its longer-term goal of human augmentation.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/27/elon-musks-neuralink-wants-to-boost-the-brain-to-keep-up-with-ai/?ncid=rss

  • Why AI should augment, not replace, humans

    There is clearly an effort to have humans help train the AIs, but I’m not yet seeing much effort in returning the favor to the humans. We have massive growing problems with the care and effective development of people as well. AI’s have massive knowledge on how to help recognize these problems and advise the employee how to deal with them.

    This is where I think we need to make a breakthrough so that the human isn’t just making the AI a better part of the partnership by advancing its knowledge, but where the AI makes the human a more productive member of the team by dealing with his or her shortcomings as well. Then we get the kind of synergy an augmentation model anticipates and have the potential to reach the full potential of this new class of team.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3184572/artificial-intelligence/why-ai-should-augment-not-replace-humans.html

  • AI advances can slow a Salesforce cloud migration

    “There’s a general fear or distrust of new technology, because [government organizations] have used certain tools for so long,” Bhartiya said. “That’s exacerbated by newer technology, like mobile or AI. AI also introduces an interesting rub, because on the face of it, it looks like you’re replacing jobs with technology, and that’s not something you do in government.”

    http://searchsalesforce.techtarget.com/news/450415433/AI-advances-can-slow-a-Salesforce-cloud-migration

Cloud

  • IBM and Red Hat Partner on Hybrid Cloud and OpenStack Adoption

    IBM and Red Hat just announced a “strategic collaboration designed to help enterprises benefit from the OpenStack platform’s speed and economics while more easily extending their existing Red Hat virtualized and cloud workloads to the IBM Private Cloud.” As part of the agreement, IBM has become a Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider.

    Red Hat Cloud Access will be available for IBM Cloud by the end of Q2 2017.

    https://virtualizationreview.com/articles/2017/03/23/ibm-red-hat-partner-on-hybrid-cloud-openstack.aspx

  • Amazon Web Services jumps into call-center market with new ‘Amazon Connect’ service

    Amazon Web Services just unveiled a new service for running call centers, dubbed Amazon Connect, leveraging the same technology used by Amazon.com’s own customer service system to route and manage calls using automatic speech recognition and artificial intelligence.

    The announcement is the latest move by the cloud giant beyond its core infrastructure technologies and into higher-level cloud services. Amazon says the service incorporates its Lex technology, an artificial intelligence service for speech recognition and natural language processing, which also powers the company’s Alexa virtual assistant.

    http://www.geekwire.com/2017/amazon-web-services-jumps-call-center-market-new-amazon-connect-service/

Datacenter

  • Why IaaS Could Be a Key Theme of Oracle’s Cloud Strategy

    Amazon and Microsoft are the top two leading players in the cloud space and as a result, customers seem to prefer them over Oracle for moving their workloads to former IaaS vendors. If Oracle doesn’t offer an improved IaaS, its PaaS and SaaS offerings could also suffer because companies often prefer to obtain all cloud services from one vendor. SaaS is believed to be the most highly deployed global service.

    By focusing on IaaS, Oracle can attract its customers to its bundle of cloud offerings. Apart from offering stronger capabilities than its competitors, as the chart above shows, Oracle lowered the cost of its IaaS offerings to compete with its peers, especially Amazon. However, it is a debatable point as to how long these players can engage in price wars.

    http://marketrealist.com/2017/03/iaas-key-theme-oracles-cloud-strategy/

Software/SaaS

  • Is your organization at risk after HPE ALM sale to Micro Focus?

    However, Micro Focus has not been completely transparent about future plans with its products. This makes it challenging for businesses to determine which products will continue to support their needs. None of Micro Focus’ product pages, documentation, or release notes discusses product vision regarding current industry technologies or practices.

    Also…

    Integration is a key necessity for any business building software and can often be the deciding factor to eliminate entire vendors when a company is looking to upgrade or to roll out new installations. Micro Focus’ lack of clarity on its existing product pages, particularly in regard to integration with other systems, adds to the risk and confusion around its acquisition of HPE’s tools. This is an area that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

    http://www.itproportal.com/features/is-your-organisation-at-risk-after-hpe-alm-sale-to-micro-focus/

  • Blockchain achieving new heights of value in logistics arena

    The various ways in which the blockchain’s ability to transform logistics is considerable. From the new Procurement app by SAP Ariba, which seeks to simplify and perfect the running of a supply chain, to “Chained Finance,” at FoxConn, an alternative banking system available to vendors seeking short-term funding within the supply chain, blockchain is a dynamic approach to be a perfect fit for the industry.

    http://www.supplychaindive.com/news/blockchain-value-kestrel-solas-2017/438830/

  • IBM vs Microsoft: Two Tech Giants, Two Blockchain Visions

    While Microsoft’s BaaS is designed to work with a range of protocols, it has shown a preference for the ethereum blockchain, and soft-launched the service at an ethereum event in 2015.

    Most of its recent partnership announcements are with startups that use ethereum as their base, and Microsoft is a founding member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, recently set up to explore business adaptations of the public blockchain.

    IBM, on the other hand, has so far largely stayed away from public blockchains. Its BaaS service is based on Hyperledger’s Fabric codebase, of which IBM wrote a large part.

    http://www.coindesk.com/ibm-vs-microsoft-two-tech-giants-two-blockchain-visions/

Other

  • Oracle’s increased cloud profits are cool for Catz
    The information in the article has been covered several times here at The Source, but the headline was so exquisitely bad, I had to call it out.
    http://normangeestar.net/2017/03/26/oracle-s-increased-cloud-profits-are-cool-for-catz/
  • No, Microsoft isn’t spying on everything you type in Windows 10

    Yes, there is a built-in keylogger inside Windows 10 that’s supposed to help Microsoft improve typing experiences for Windows users. “Send Microsoft info about how I write to help us improve typing and writing in the future,” the settings says. In a FAQ, Microsoft explains that it’s collecting keystrokes to improve handwriting and pronunciation recognition, not to monitor everything you do.

    It appears that said setting caused some commotion over on Reddit recently. According to Myce, some users found that turning the setting off doesn’t work, as Windows 10 turns it back on. Myce has not replicated the issue, however.

    That said, if you want to turn off the feature yourself, go to Start, Settings, Privacy, General, and disable the feature right there.

    http://bgr.com/2017/03/24/how-to-disable-windows-10-keylogger/

Photo: Chuttersnap

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