Tag Archives: HPE

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: 3/4/2017

Amazon Web Services had a bad day this week, and when AWS has a bad day, so does the rest of the internet. AWS had a 4-hour outage on Monday caused by human error.  Later in the week, the company reported that they have put processes in place to prevent this type of issue from occurring again.

IBM is making news for gaining a patent for out-of-office email responses.  IBM then made news for being ridiculed for attempting to patent basic technology that has been around for over a decade. Big blue made news a third time for offering the patent up for public use.

Acquisitions

No acquisitions for two weeks in a row… 

Artificial Intelligence

Cloud

  • The day Amazon S3 storage stood still

    By now you’ve probably heard that Amazon’s S3 storage service went down in its Northern Virginia datacenter for the better part of 4 hours yesterday, and took parts of a bunch of prominent websites and services with it.

    It’s worth noting that as of this morning, the Amazon dashboard was showing everything was operating normally.

    Additional Background:

    Amazon S3 is used by around 148,213 websites, and 121,761 unique domains, according to data tracked by SimilarTech, and its popularity as a content host concentrates specifically in the U.S. It’s used by 0.8 percent of the top 1 million websites, which is actually quite a bit smaller than CloudFlare, which is used by 6.2 percent of the top 1 million websites globally – and yet it’s still having this much of an effect.

    Information on S3’s historical uptime:

    To provide some additional perspective, CloudHarmony, a service that tracks cloud outages reports that S3 has typically exceeded its Service Level Agreement (SLA), which promises that the service will be up 99.9 percent of the time and offers refunds for those times when it’s not. CloudHarmony found that in most cases S3 has achieved 100 percent annual availability since the company began monitoring cloud services in 2014. The notable exception was an S3 outage in August, 2015.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/01/the-day-amazon-s3-storage-stood-still/?ncid=rss
    The root cause was human error

    Amazon apologized for the disruption on the AWS services page. It writes that a Simple Storage Service (S3) engineer was debugging an issue causing the S3 billing service to run slowly. They “executed a command which was intended to remove a small number of servers for one of the S3 subsystems that is used by the S3 billing process.”

    “Unfortunately, one of the inputs to the command was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed than intended. The servers that were inadvertently removed supported two other S3 subsystems. One of these subsystems, the index subsystem, manages the metadata and location information of all S3 objects in the region.”

    http://www.techspot.com/news/68381-cause-amazon-web-service-failure-resulted-parts-internet.html

  • AWS Taking On Microsoft, Google with Productivity Suite

    Sources told The Information that AWS is still in the early development stages with its productivity suite and hasn’t ironed out exactly what apps it would include. The company is reportedly working to upgrade its existing WorkMail and WorkDocs to appeal to more corporate customers.

    http://www.geekwire.com/2017/amazon-may-take-microsoft-google-new-aws-productivity-suite/

  • Box’s Levie touts positive cash flow

    The company celebrated its first quarter as a free cash flow (FCF) positive business, with CEO Aaron Levie characterizing this as an “inflection point” in a call with TechCrunch. FCF was $10.2 million for the quarter, which they say is a $30 million gain year-over-year.

    But Wall Street was disappointed that Box cautioned its first-quarter earnings would likely lose 14 to 15 cents per share, worse than the negative 12 cents investors are watching for.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/01/boxs-levie-touts-positive-cash-flow/?ncid=rss

Datacenter

  • Why so sad HPE, IBM, Lenovo? Server sales? Let’s see… ah. Oh dear

    Overall, according to Gartner research VP Jeffrey Hewitt: “x86 servers continue to be the predominant platform used for large-scale data center build-outs across the globe, and the growth of integrated systems (including hyperconverged integrated systems), while still relatively small as an overall percentage of the hardware infrastructure market, also provided a boost to the x86 server space for the year.”

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/03/02/server_market_shrinks/

  • IBM flash storage key to turnaround, says GM Walsh

    Look at how you use data to drive your business through better insights. Say you’re doing a poll to get some analytics. How do you run the poll? How do you tell the system, ‘Tell me … this answer,’ and then put some understanding around the answer. Cognitive is placing reason around the data so you understand it and get help with decision-making. Those applications takes a lot of CPU and memory, so flash media allows you to do those things better.

    http://searchsolidstatestorage.techtarget.com/news/450413920/IBM-flash-storage-key-to-turnaround-says-GM-Walsh

  • HPE’s struggles might have something to do with Microsoft

    While Microsoft has been deploying some white-box servers for years, the company seems to have stepped up its efforts lately. In October, the company unveiled Project Olympus, a design for modular servers featuring internally-designed motherboards and power supplies. Olympus is being contributed to the Open Compute Project (OCP), a Facebook-led initiative to create open-source designs for low-power data center hardware.

    https://www.thestreet.com/story/14015918/1/hp-enterprise-s-struggles-might-have-a-lot-to-do-with-microsoft.html

Software/SaaS

  • Zipnosis, PokitDok intertwine claims processing and telemedicine

    “PokitDok designed claims administration tools to support emerging digital health companies like Zipnosis,” said Lisa Maki, co-founder and CEO of PokitDok. “This engagement really hit our sweet spot: working to strip costs and unproductive time out of clinical visits. We leveraged our HIPAA-compliant data connections to health insurers and payers to facilitate this new workflow. The result is quality care delivery with improved efficiency.”

    http://www.mobihealthnews.com/content/zipnosis-pokitdok-intertwine-claims-processing-and-telemedicine

Other

Photo: AJ Montpetit

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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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Supplier Report: 2/18/2017

Oracle is having a heck of a week… they just started their 3rd round of lawsuits with Google over java API use, former employees filed a class action lawsuit over commission payments, and the finance blog Seeking Alpha laid out a horrific future for their database dominance.

Looks like Verizon is finally moving forward with the Yahoo purchase and managed to score a little discount thanks to Yahoo’s security issues.

IBM released an odd video of a young boy creating an Alexa-esque Watson assistant to help IT professionals monitor security threats. Is this the modern version of your dad making the baking soda volcano for your science project because “you didn’t do it right”?

Acquisitions

Artificial Intelligence

  • IBM’s Watson trained in the language of cyber security

    According to IBM, Watson can now help security analysts parse thousands of natural language research reports that have never before been accessible to modern security tools.For the past year, Watson has been trained on the language of cyber security with over one million security documents, and has been tested with over 40 clients and channel partners including the Ireland based partner Smarttech and Avnet.

    http://www.information-age.com/ibms-watson-cyber-security-123464427/

  • Elon Musk reiterates the need for brain-computer interfaces in the age of AI

    Musk’s comments recalled those made at Recode’s Code Conference last year, in which he discussed a “neural lace” that would interface directly with the brain, letting users communicate thoughts with computers with much more bandwidth and much less latency than is currently possible via input mechanisms like keyboard and mouse. The need for this, he said on Monday in Dubai, could “achieve a symbiosis between human and machine intelligence, and maybe solves the control problem and the usefulness problem,” reports CNBC.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/13/elon-musk-reiterates-the-need-for-brain-computer-interfaces-in-the-age-of-ai/?ncid=rss

  • IBM wants to bring machine learning to the mainframe

    IBM wants to provide data scientists with the same types of machine learning capabilities in a mainframe environment that they are used to finding in the cloud. The goal is to automate the often monotonous work of creating, testing and deploying analytical models. The solution works with popular open source tools including languages like Scala, Java and Python, and machine learning frameworks like Apache SparkML, TensorFlow and H2O. It’s also designed to work with virtually any data type the customer brings to the table.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/15/ibms-bringing-machine-learning-to-the-mainframe/?ncid=rss

Cloud

  • Why AWS has such a big lead in the cloud

    The simple answer is that it was first, but as Andy Jassy, the AWS CEO said in an interview at the University of Washington last week, in some ways it was a classic case of disruption dynamics. The competition simply didn’t believe there was enough of a market to worry about it.

    It’s easy to dismiss an irritant until it’s too late. In fact, Harvard professor, Clayton Christensen outlined the problem in his seminal book, The Innovator’s Dilemma. The dominant players don’t have any reason to worry about someone attacking the bottom of the market, and that’s precisely what AWS was doing in the early days.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/13/why-aws-has-such-a-big-lead-in-the-cloud/?sr_share=facebook

  • Oracle Fleshes Out Cloud Data Strategy

    The cloud services challenger on Monday (Feb. 13) rolled out a data integrator cloud service designed to accelerate support for real-time analytics across enterprises. The service addresses the shift of more data to the cloud and the resulting challenge of delivering the results of data analytics to the appropriate applications and the employees using those apps.

    https://www.enterprisetech.com/2017/02/13/oracle-fleshes-cloud-data-strategy/

  • Cisco to Produce Azure Stack Hybrid Cloud Systems

    Echoing some of the benefits that business leaders seek when they implement cloud-enabled IT strategies, Centoni said the jointly-engineered solution would provide “accelerated growth and innovation for enterprise customers and service providers looking to grow their businesses quickly with an efficient and flexible cloud consumption model. Service providers can deliver Cisco-Azure infrastructure as-a-service (Iaas) and platform-as-a-service (Paas).”

    http://www.eweek.com/cloud/cisco-to-produce-azure-stack-hybrid-cloud-systems.html

Datacenter

  • Fujitsu has its own line of storage boxes, so, uh, why is it reselling XtremIO in Japan?

    The spokesperson said: “In the domestic Japanese market, Fujitsu provides end-to-end services for large customers, including the purchase of third-party products like XtremeIO – it is strictly for this market only due to the specific nature of the corporate customer business.”

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/02/14/why_fujitsu_resells_xtremio_in_japan/

Software/SaaS

  • The Death Of The Commercial Database: Oracle’s Dilemma

    The vast majority of SaaS providers today either use an open-source database, or, as is the case with SaaS HCM vendor Workday, develop their own. Every user of an on-premises enterprise application, including one of the five core client-server application categories: ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), HCM (Human Capital Management), SCM (Supply Chain Management), and BI (Business Intelligence) applications, which moves to SaaS therefore eliminates a commercial database seat, and with it, the maintenance/support and future upgrade revenue it would have generated. Even an enterprise seat that moves to Salesforce.com will generate far less revenue for Oracle than that seat did when it was deployed on-premises.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/4044813-death-commercial-database-oracles-dilemma

  • Amazon Wants to Be the Next Skype for Business with Chime

    Chime is currently available for free download on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows and is free to use for up to two people at once. For $2.50 per month per user, you’ll have access to screen sharing and a corporate directory but still for only two people. The plan Amazon hopes many will take advantage of is the $15/month/user tier which allows you to have up to 100 participants in a call at once, share screens, record calls, schedule conferences, set custom join URLs, and more. Of course, for a big company, that cost may shoot all the way up to $1500 per month just so you can communicate with employees, so Amazon is definitely not that concerned with pricing at least for now.

    https://mbeddedmaximum.com/2017/02/14/amazon-wants-to-be-the-next-skype-for-business-with-chime/

  • Oracle refuses to accept pro-Google “fair use” verdict in API battle

    Fair use is a defense to copyright infringement if certain elements are met. It’s decided on a case-by-case basis. “There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission,” according to the US Copyright Office. There are, however, at least four factors to be considered when deciding fair use: the purpose of use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the portion taken, and the effect of the use upon the potential market.

    Before going to the appeals court, Oracle asked US District Judge William Alsup to overturn the jury’s verdict. Alsup, who presided over the second trial, ruled that Google’s use cleared all four factors.

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/02/oracle-refuses-to-accept-pro-google-fair-use-verdict-in-api-battle/

Other

  • Privacy Advocates Celebrate as Judge Rules Microsoft Can Sue the DOJ

    Last April, Microsoft sued the Department of Justice over the FBI’s use of “sneak-and-peak” email searches and its refusal to allow the company to notify its customers that their data was under surveillance. The suit alleges that the FBI violated users’ Fourth Amendment right against unlawful search and seizure, as well as Microsoft’s First Amendment right to free speech. Robart rejected the Fourth Amendment complaint on the grounds that Microsoft couldn’t sue on behalf of its customers, but said the company had made a solid enough argument on the free speech issue to send it through to trial.

    http://thevarguy.com/var-guy/privacy-advocates-celebrate-judge-rules-microsoft-can-sue-doj

  • IBM leader defends role on Trump advisory council

    “Some have suggested that we should not engage with the U.S. administration. I disagree,” Rometty wrote in the letter, obtained by The Hill and first reported on by TechCrunch, which was distributed shortly after a meeting with Trump earlier this month.

    “Our experience has taught us that engagement — reaching out, listening and having authentic dialogue — is the best path to good outcomes.”

    http://thehill.com/policy/technology/319257-ibm-leader-defends-role-on-trump-advisory-council

  • Samsung chairman arrested for bribery

    Lee is being accused of directing Samsung subsidiaries to pay out over $30 million to Park’s confidante and related foundations. Ultimately, Lee wanted to secure the merger of two affiliates, which would have afforded him greater control of Samsung.

    https://www.technobuffalo.com/2017/02/17/samsung-chairman-arrested-for-bribery/

  • New name for CSC-HPE as deal approaches (DXC Technologies)

    The creation of DXC is just the beginning, of course. The plan for now is that the two companies will operate as different business units of DXC with their current management teams in place, which means that Marilyn Crouther, who runs the government business for HPE Enterprise Services, will continue in that role.

    https://washingtontechnology.com/blogs/editors-notebook/2017/02/csc-hp-new-name-dxc.aspx

  • Class-action suit claims Oracle stiffed salespeople out of commissions

    Marcella Johnson of Modesto, who sold software for the Bay Area tech giant for 16 months, alleged in the lawsuit that she worked for months without receiving commissions she’d earned, because Oracle had forced her to give back commission money she had already received.

    A lawyer representing Johnson said an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 salespeople at the company were also affected by what Oracle calls “re-planning.” Johnson is seeking class-action certification and more than $150 million in damages for herself and other current and former employees.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/02/14/oracle-stiffed-sales-staff-by-clawing-back-pay-150-million-lawsuit-claims/

Photo: Nick Jio

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Supplier Report: 2/4/2017

IT firms are struggling to keep up with President Trump’s international policy changes. As the new President creates laws that impacts immigration, companies are concerned about staffing issues.

As company chiefs become more vocal against President Trump, will he become more at odds with Silicon Valley?

IBM has been put into an uncomfortable situation as they are trying to remain on good terms with the President while meeting their own staffing demands. The company released a message of diversity, inclusion and tolerance without mentioning the President directly, which came under fire from critics.

Acquisitions

Artificial Intelligence

  • IBM’s five-year plan to remake healthcare

    Perhaps its greatest use, however, could be allowing people to know about health conditions before any symptoms begin to show. Take Alzheimer’s disease, for example: the neurobiological changes that cause signs of the disease will have done their work before any of those signs are evident in the patient. By checking a person’s blood for biomarkers of the disease at regular intervals, they can be informed if they show early indications of the condition, and start treatment or planning accordingly.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/ai-that-knows-youre-sick-before-you-do-ibms-five-year-plan-to-remake-healthcare/

  • Florida medical center adds IBM Watson to oncology team

    Developed by IBM and trained by experts at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) in New York, the program draws upon over 300 medical journals, 200-plus textbooks, and almost 15 million pages of text to provide a rapid and evidence-based approach to the management of patients with cancer.

    Last December, at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in Texas, a study was presented comparing the results of Watson for Oncology with the determinations of oncologists at Manipal Hospitals in Bengaluru, India. The researchers reviewed a total of 638 breast cancer patients and found that the oncologists agreed with Watson recommendations 90 percent of the time.

    https://www.dotmed.com/news/story/35223

  • H&R Block adds IBM’s Watson to its tax team

    The company said Wednesday that its employees will work with Watson to identify credits and deductions and find other solutions for customers. It’s the first time Watson, which has been used in health care, retail and other settings, will be applied to tax preparation.

    H&R Block and IBM trained Watson in the language of tax. The system will apply that knowledge to the thousands of questions and topics discussed during the return-filing process.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/business/hr-block-adds-ibms-watson-to-its-tax-team/

Cloud

  • Microsoft Azure Makes Monster Growth, Poses Threat to AWS In The Battle For Cloud Supremacy

    But despite being the underdog and the smaller player in the more intense Microsoft Azure-AWS cloud computing battle, analysts still believe that Microsoft will have the upper hand in this kind of battle.

    Analysts also said that Microsoft might become a bigger cloud player than Amazon in the long term because, in addition to the massive Azure infrastructure services, the software giant also has an actively growing SaaS (software-as-a-services) portfolio as well as a strong enterprise grip that AWS will never be able to match.

    http://www.universityherald.com/articles/63161/20170131/microsoft-azure-makes-monster-growth-poses-threat-aws-battle-cloud.htm

  • Google Pins High Hopes on This ‘Other’ Business

    For the fourth quarter ending December 31, 2016, the non-advertising business—which includes Google Cloud Platform along with Google’s popular G Suite software as well as hardware like the Pixel phone—hit $3.4 billion in sales, up 62% from the year-ago period. That business represents a bigger piece of total Google revenue—13% compared to 10% from last year’s quarter.

    http://fortune.com/2017/01/27/google-cloud-hopes/

Datacenter

  • IBM calls healthcare industry a ‘leaky vessel in a stormy sea’

    Healthcare providers are in a tight spot. Whether it is the US healthcare system or the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), organizations are under pressure not only to lower the consumer cost of treatment but also to modernize and provide digital solutions for professionals and patients.

    Successful data breaches cost the industry a fortune, but industry players may not have the budget required to keep data safe and controlled, and to make matters worse, attackers are likely to continue striking these core services as stolen information is valuable — and ransomware infections can be very lucrative.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/ibm-calls-healthcare-industry-a-leaky-vessel-in-a-stormy-sea/

Software/SaaS

  • Oracle cloud licensing requirements doubled for AWS, Azure users

    Oracle made subtle licensing changes on Jan. 23 that effectively doubled processor license requirements — and, in turn, list prices — for customers that use Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure. The modified Oracle cloud licensing policy shouldn’t affect users with existing contracts, consultants said. But it would apply to new customers and possibly to added deployments not covered by a current contract. Some Oracle users commenting online also raised the specter of the changes taking effect if a company is audited for license compliance by the software vendor.

    http://searchoracle.techtarget.com/news/450412198/Oracle-cloud-licensing-count-doubled-for-AWS-Azure-users
    Oracle is pricing itself out of Amazon’s cloud

    I’m not sure why Oracle has doubled its AWS virtual CPU pricing, other than to steer customers to use its own IaaS platform rather than migrate to AWS. Although Oracle’s cloud is far behind AWS’s, doubling the price of using AWS may stall enterprises’ migration enough to give Oracle time to get its own cloud act together.

    http://www.infoworld.com/article/3164517/cloud-computing/oracle-is-pricing-itself-out-of-amazons-cloud.html

  • IBM and United Airlines collaborate on enterprise iOS apps

    The deal, part of IBM and Apple’s global partnership, will include both market ready and custom iOS apps for United employees. The airline has so far deployed more than 50,000 Apple devices to its workforce. The apps will be integrated with United’s core enterprise processes.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/ibm-and-united-airlines-collaborate-on-enterprise-ios-apps/
    Having flown United this week, they can use the help.

Other

  • Amazon beats profit expectations—revenue, not so much

    On Thursday, the online retailer reported net sales of $43.7 billion for the fourth quarter of 2016, up 22% over the same quarter a year ago. Those numbers fell short of analyst expectations, sending Amazon’s stock down more than 4% in after-hours trading. When asked on the company’s earnings call about the revenue miss, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said revenue would have been up 24% if not for an $800 million hit due to foreign exchange rates.

    https://qz.com/901782/amazon-misses-revenue-expectations/

  • The tech sector’s reaction to Trump’s immigration changes:
    Top Microsoft execs weigh in on Trump’s immigration ban

    Now two of the company’s top executives have weighed in on the matter. CEO Satya Nadella took to LinkedIn to share a memo sent by President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith to the entire Microsoft staff.

    “As an immigrant and as a CEO,” Nadella explained in his post, “I’ve both experienced and seen the positive impact that immigration has on our company, for the country, and for the world. We will continue to advocate on this important topic.”

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/28/microsoft-immigration-ban/?ncid=rss

    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says Trump’s immigration order “is one we do not support”

    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has come out strongly against the executive order issued by Donald Trump regarding immigration and blocking certain refugees from entering the U.S. Amazon had previously expressed support for employees affected by the order in an email from HR VP Beth Galetti, but the new message from Bezos expresses opposition to the executive order in general, and also details steps Amazon has taken to fight the Trump administration measure.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/30/amazon-ceo-jeff-bezos-says-trumps-immigration-order-is-one-we-do-not-support/?ncid=rss

    IBM Strongly Criticized For Weak Response To Trump´s Muslim Ban

    Just two days after the major tech firms spoke out against the Muslim ban, IBM said that the company long believed in diversity, inclusion and tolerance, and that the path for prosperity, innovation and civil society is the path of engagement and openness to the world. In fact, IBM´s statement over the Muslim ban didn’t make any direct mention of the issue or president Donald Trump.

    Of course this is a quite different stance as the one taken by Apple, which clearly show its position through its CEO Tim Cook´s words, in which he explicitly said that this company would remain open to every person in the world, no matter where they come from, since the Cupertino giant would exist without immigration.

    http://www.itechpost.com/articles/79587/20170201/ibm-strongly-criticized-weak-response-trump%C2%B4s-muslim-ban.htm

  • Microsoft moving Michigan offices to Detroit

    The One Campus Martius building is home to Quicken Loans. Microsoft will occupy 40,000-square-feet inside the building, executives said.

    “Microsoft, like many tech companies in Detroit and around the country, recognizes that being located downtown is great for business,” Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert said. “Today’s tech talent wants to work and live in urban cores.

    http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2017/02/microsoft_moving_downtown.html
    Related: My own analysis of Detroit’s fall from grace.

Photo: Christopher Burns

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