Tag Archives: HPI

Supplier Report: 9/24/2016


This week is Oracle World which means Larry Ellison is talking epic piles of trash against his competitors (IBM and Amazon). While Larry drops his truth bombs from his throne of garbage, Microsoft, SalesForce, and IBM take further steps in advancing AI.

In between sound-bytes, Oracle did manage to pick up a security automation company named Palerra. Google and Amazon both purchased companies to help develop and improve chatbots and even Apple grabbed a machine learning company named Tuplejump.

Blockchain was hot news this week as IBM secured paying customers in Japan to deploy their version of blockchain technology. As companies look to leverage blockchain for their own use, many early adopters are calling foul due to Accenture’s attempts to introduce the ability to edit transaction tables.


  • Apple acquires another machine learning company: Tuplejump

    We’re hearing that Apple was particularly interested in “FiloDB”, an opensource project that Tuplejump was building to efficiently apply machine learning concepts and analytics to massive amounts of complex data right as it streamed in. According to its github page, FiloDB was primarily headed up by Evan Chan; Chan’s LinkedIn page says he’s been with Tuplejump since August of 2015.


  • Oracle buys Palerra to boost its security stack

    Palerra’s business currently focuses on providing security automation for enterprise apps, covering not just data in the apps but as that data “moves across services and it offers several layers of protection across infrastructure and software services,” as we wrote about them last year. Given how many apps today integrate and exchange data by way of APIs, that makes for a significant business.


  • Google’s new acquisition makes building chatbots easier

    Google took a shot at Facebook’s chatbot-building services on Monday with its acquisition of API.ai, a company that helps developers build and improve conversational interfaces for their services.

    API.ai has more than 60,000 developers using its platform to create conversational user interfaces for apps like Slack, Facebook Messenger and Kik. Its tools make it easier for programs to parse human language and translate it into action. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


  • Amazon wants a piece of the chatbot action too…

    It looks like Google, which yesterday acquired API.ai, a company that helps developers build conversational interfaces, isn’t the only major tech company hoovering up chat bot talent. TechCrunch understands that Angel.ai (formerly known as GoButler) has, at least partially, been acqui-hired by Amazon.

    The e-commerce giant confirmed that Angel.ai co-founder and CEO Navid Hadzaad has joined the company. “I can confirm that Navid started at Amazon, and that his first day was yesterday. We don’t have anything further to share at this time,” an Amazon spokesperson told TechCrunch.


  • Cisco and IBM Both Evaluate the Security Company Imperva

    An analyst note penned by Mitch Steves of RBC Capital Markets says a purchase by Cisco would align with its stated strategy to boost their security portfolio. He said that Cisco’s portfolio is “maximized in terms of attacks from the outside.” Imperva’s technology would be a “next step” in boosting its portfolio with hybrid cloud security, writes Steves.

    Imperva’s flagship product is its SecureSphere Data Security Suite, which can protect on-premises data as well as data in private, public, and hybrid clouds.


  • Twitter shares spike on rumors of acquisition by Google, Microsoft, Salesforce or Verizon

    Twitter’s board of directors wants to sell, and a formal bid may come “shortly,” said CNBC, citing unnamed “people close to the situation.” But CNBC also said “no sale is imminent,” without accounting for the discrepancy.

    Negotiations are picking up steam and could be concluded by year-end, CNBC quoted one source as saying. The would-be buyers are said to be as interested in Twitter’s data as they are in its status as a media company.


Artificial Intelligence

  • Microsoft Enlists AI, Cloud in Battle Against Cancer

    Microsoft is exploring multiple approaches, including a cloud-based tool called the Bio Model Analyzer, which creates a model of healthy cells and compares it against cells that grow cancerous, evaluating the interactions in the genes and proteins, offering researchers a window into how cancer spreads. The technology could help detect cancer earlier and may help doctors design effective treatments, cope with rare cancers and determine when and if a cancer will become resistant to a given treatment.

    Another cloud-based system called Literome trawls through millions of research papers, enabling oncologists to spend more time easing their patients’ suffering and less time combing through thick volumes of medical research. “To build Literome, [Microsoft researcher Hoifung] Poon and his colleagues used machine learning to develop natural language processing tools that require only a small amount of available knowledge to create a sophisticated model for finding those different descriptions of similar knowledge,” wrote Linn.


  • Salesforce thinks AI will help it beat Microsoft and Oracle

    At next month’s Dreamforce, Salesforce’s mammoth annual customer conference that takes over downtown San Francisco, the company will introduce technology called Einstein, which it’s describing as the “world’s first comprehensive AI for CRM.”

    On the company’s second-quarter conference call in August, Benioff called it “AI for everyone.”

    Salesforce executives on Thursday gave a group of reporters an early look at Einstein in preparation for the unveiling. The general idea, as the name implies, is that sales tools are getting a whole lot smarter.


    Powered by advanced machine learning, deep learning, predictive analytics, natural language processing and smart data discovery, Einstein’s breakthrough innovations allow models to be automatically customized for every single customer. These models learn, self-tune and get smarter with every interaction and additional piece of data. Einstein will automatically discover relevant insights, predict future behavior, proactively recommend best next actions and even automate tasks. Now every Salesforce user will be able to leverage AI capabilities to deliver more personalized and predictive customer experiences.


  • Microsoft surpasses IBM Watson, achieves lowest error rate for speech recognition

    WER, in case you are unaware of it, is a commonly used metric of the performance of voice based systems, including speech recognition or machine translation. Until now, the IBM Watson had the lowest WER of 6.9, although IBM had at a recent interspeech conference claimed achieving 6.6 percent error rate. However, Microsoft’s new systems are even better.


  • IBM Watson is just ‘an advertisement’ for AI while Amazon Aurora is ‘not very good’ – Oracle’s Mark Hurd was on fire today

    Nothing we haven’t heard before, perhaps, but then things got really weird, as someone brought up AI. Hurd said artificial intelligence is “nothing more than pattern matching” and called IBM Watson an “advertisement”.

    “I look through a bunch of videos and say ‘Those two images are the same, or those two pieces of text are the same, or those two numbers are the same’. The real trick to this isn’t where you see it with advertisements like Watson, but the ability to get it into my day-to-day work,” said Hurd, alluding to yesterday’s keynote, when Ellison used a chatbot to order some business cards and make a crack about no longer being CEO, as the bot spotted his “change of title”.




  • Falling flash prices are a boon to enterprise storage buyers

    That was the big trend in the second quarter of this year, according to IDC. Enterprise storage systems factory revenue was US$8.8 billion, flat compared with last year’s second quarter, but the total capacity that vendors shipped increased 12.9 percent.

    Much of the credit goes to the falling price of a gigabit of flash storage, IDC analyst Liz Conner said. It’s amplified by the growing popularity of flash, which enterprises are adopting for both speed and space-saving. Technology advancements help: Where enterprises last year were ordering SSDs (solid-state drives) with up to 3TB, now they can buy in bulk with units as big as 15TB.


  • EMC: King of storage needs to shore up defenses

    EMC (18.1 per cent) lost -5.5 per cent points of revenue share in the year, HPE (17.6 per cent) gained 8.8 per cent, Dell (11.5 per cent) a relative monster increase of 13.8 per cent, IBM (6.8 per cent) lost -15.6 per cent (recently-appointed storage boss Ed Walsh has a mountain to climb) with NetApp (6.7 per cent) losing -3.2 per cent. The market amounted to $8.83 BN, with ‘Others’ taking 30.3 per cent of that and ODM direct 9 per cent.


  • As Dell and HPE revamp, Lenovo sets sights on enterprise cloud servers

    Lenovo wants a bigger chunk of that market and is working toward offering custom-built converged servers targeted at specific tasks. The company is also looking for a larger opportunity with custom hardware for large-scale customers.

    I called this out on SourceCast Episode 38

  • IBM focuses on a hybrid-cloud future with latest hardware and software

    In support of its emphasis on the hybrid approach, IBM cited its own recent survey of 1,000 respondents, who said 45 percent of workloads will remain on the premises despite cloud growth.

    IBM also announced new or strengthened relationships with partners Canonical, Hortonworks, Mirantis, NGINX and Red Hat. In particular, IBM and Red Hat together said they plan to deliver offerings built on open-source products including Red Hat’s enterprise Linux, its virtualization and its enterprise Linux High Availability.

    Research firm Gartner last month put IBM in the lower-left corner of its most recent Infrastructure-as-a-Service magic quadrant, well behind market-leader Amazon Web Services and behind Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.



  • Microsoft is shutting down Skype’s HQ in London as part of large-scale terminations

    Surprisingly, the Financial Times also reported an insider working in the Skype HQ stating that the move was not a surprise. Many in the office anticipated the same and had been leaving the company since the past few years. The layoffs so far have been attributed to the Microsoft’s struggling smartphones business.


  • Cisco and Salesforce join forces for sales, service and IoT solutions

    The two companies will tie up on both Salesforce and Cisco products to offer enhanced capabilities in Salesforce’s Sales Cloud and Service Cloud, Salesforce IoT Cloud and Cisco’s Unified Contact Center Enterprise.

    Helping organisations collaborate better, Cisco and Salesforce’s first announcement will see Cisco Spark and WebEx integrated into Salesforce’s Sales Cloud and Service Cloud via the Salesforce Lightning Framework. It will help colleagues communicate better via chat, video, and voice without leaving Salesforce.



  • Employees, not outsiders, are responsible for most cyber threats, IBM says

    Sixty percent of all attacks in 2015 were made by insiders – employees, contractors, consultants and third-party vendors – with malicious intent or inadvertent actors. Inadvertent actors are initiated or instigated by trustworthy people within an organization.

    Two-thirds of these attacks were fueled by malicious intent and the rest were the result of inadvertent actions.


  • Silicon Valley layoffs beat any dot.com bust records

    An additional 62,917 jobs were lost in June 2016 from Silicon Valley alone. And then there were veiled threats from Apple, Google, Amazon and more that use Ireland as a tax haven.

    Tech recruitment company Challenger commented, “Companies that do not adapt to changing trends will be left behind. Nobody knows this better than technology firms, where the very nature of the business means constantly evolving and shifting resources. We are seeing this play out with Cisco, just as it has played out with Intel, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and several other tech giants in recent months.”


  • HP printers block third party print cartridges

    HP printers are no longer recognising unofficial and cheaper printer ink cartridges after a firmware update, according to third party Dutch printer ink vendor 123inkt.

    HP admits that as a result of the update, settings had been changed so HP printers would only communicate with cartridges with HP chips.

    Translation: HPI doesn’t make any money on the printers so they are doing everything they can to make you buy their ink.

  • Oracle Receives Favorable Ruling, Awarded $100 Million

    The United States District Court for the District of Nevada not only granted Oracle’s motion for a permanent injunction but also ordered Rimini and its CEO to pay more than $100 million in punitive charges.

    The favorable ruling is quite a breather after Oracle’s recent litigation setbacks against Alphabet Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise


Photo: Peter Lobozzo

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Supplier Report: 9/17/2016


It is a dynamic time in the world of IT. Nothing is assured, nothing stays the same.

Dell Technologies announced a sell off of their enterprise content management unit to help pay off the massive debt incurred purchasing EMC. What does this mean for Documentum and the other products? Some experts think OpenText will invest in the product, more seem to think it is DOA.

As artificial intelligence becomes more wide-spread, IBM and Google, who at the moment are not really in competition with each other, will most likely find themselves as rivals. Not only in AI, but also in cloud hosting and blockchain solutions.

HP Inc had themselves a good week.  They purchased Samsung’s print division for $1.05B and also switched to a Microsoft CRM solution which the press can’t seem to stop talking about. How will Microsoft reward HPI for such an act?



Artificial Intelligence

  • The Growing Rivalry Between Google And IBM

    Today, IBM and Google are very different businesses. While Google offers products directly to consumers, IBM mostly designs powerful systems for enterprises. Google makes the bulk of its money through advertising, while IBM has a large and highly qualified sales force that can service demanding customers.

    To be sure, in many ways, IBM and Google are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to focus, business model and operational structure. Still in conversations with both companies, I can’t help but feel them eyeing each other somewhat warily. After all, while their businesses may be far apart, they are both competing for the same technological high ground.


  • War for Artificial Intelligence: IBM’s Blockchain Push May Anticipate Google’s Ambush

    The vocal advocacy of IBM in the Blockchain space stands in stark contrast to Google’s almost complete silence on the subject. Prussian military theorist Carl Philipp Gottlieb von Clausewitz in his treatise ‘On War’ wrote that “surprise plays a much greater role in strategy than in tactics,” and of course the famous 孙子 (Sun Tzu) is remembered by the words “when the enemy is close at hand and remains quiet, he is relying on the natural strength of his position.” To assume that Google is doing nothing in the Semantic Blockchain space is naïve. Let us look forward with anticipation, and, for some, perhaps dread, to what eventually Google plans to roll out.


  • AI can make your money work for you

    Advances in AI will create a robo-accountant that knows your spending better than you do. By analyzing your purchase history, it will constantly move money between your checking, savings, investments and credit cards. This way, your checking account’s balance is always in the narrow “sweet spot:” high enough to avoid fees, but not so high that you miss out on investment yield.

    Right now, finding that sweet spot is time-consuming and anxiety-inducing. In time, the robo-accountant will know when you’re likely to splurge. It will know when your car will need a repair, when your electric bill will spike. It will know when you’re actually better off carrying a balance on your credit card than paying your bank’s minimum-balance fee.



  • Blockchain: Transformational Technology for Health Care

    Take a standard health plan/provider agreement, or in risk-based relationships, provider/provider  agreements, where each provides the other with a paper contract. Each entity loads the agreement into their separate systems, and it defines their relationship. The payor also has a contract with each person who has purchased a health plan. Using Blockchain, the health plan and provider could translate the wide variety of agreements needed to contracts on the Blockchain so everyone has visibility, and clarity exists for both the provider and the member. So when a transaction is processed, the Blockchain checks the authorization, and everyone can view the status, history and next steps. This transaction payment information could also be connected with the clinical service details to provide a holistic view of the patient’s interaction. Storing the information to create this holistic view in Blockchain would create a foundation that enables interoperability and innovation across the industry.


  • How Microsoft Is Winning the War in the Cloud

    In fact, it’s Microsoft’s forays into the cloud that will continue to generate its profit growth as things like traditional software and computer hardware sales fall by the wayside. The company has made big investments — as much as $10 billion on a data center for the development of its Azure cloud system. And these investments are going to pay off as the cloud continues to redefine how the world does business and stores its data.


  • Comparing Cloud Vendors: A Primer For IT

    But the Forrester authors, without commenting on the nature of the Google cloud (which launches two billion containers a week), said most enterprise developers “are not yet ready to ‘run like Google.’ They need more packaged data and database migration services, and more confidence that their core business apps are ready to run on the Google Cloud Platform.”


  • Does Oracle’s Cloud Growth Come at a Cost?

    On the flip side of the strong growth in cloud, the company has been seeing a slowdown in its software licensing business. So the question in investors’ minds that management will have to answer is whether the company is sacrificing the higher-margin licensing business with the focus on growing its cloud business. If so, will cloud margins down the road be sufficient to offset the declines in licensing? If not, why is licensing slowing as cloud picks up? Tough spot for Oracle management, any way one looks at it.



  • Oracle Killer, New Threat Face Database King

    Oracle was initially slow to jump into the cloud industry because it contradicted what it was doing, which was offering businesses the hardware and software solutions to manage their own IT infrastructures. Cloud is essentially antithetical to that business model – even antagonistic, one might say. But after it realized its mistake it quickly ramped up its cloud business and is now strongly in the SaaS and PaaS segment, although not as much in the infrastructure game where Amazon is the undisputed leader.

    But Amazon was having none of that. Consequently, it launched Amazon Aurora in late 2014, also known as the Oracle Killer. Aurora is a relational database engine that directly competes with Oracle’s database products. If Oracle is the king of databases, then Aurora is the mysterious assassin whose only job is to take the king’s life.

    To make Aurora’s job easier, Amazon structured the service so no upfront license fee needs to be paid. In effect, it made it a pay as-you-go service.


  • Chinese Giant Huawei to Attack Server Market

    To be fair, Huawei is not “new” to servers: it’s been building them for years and is ranked as the fourth largest server provider as measured by units sold by Gartner IT . What’s different now is that, on August 31, the company said it will build servers targeting the public and private clouds, as well as telecom-focused data centers.


  • Dell Technologies ‘to cut up to 3,000 jobs after $67 billion EMC deal’

    PC and cloud vendor Dell will reportedly slash between 2,000 to 3,000 jobs after acquiring data storage company EMC.

    Most of the job cuts will be in the United States and will happen later this year, according to Bloomberg, which cites people familiar with the company’s plans.

    Dell did tell sister site Channel Pro this week that it would merge its sales channel with that of EMC’s. Tim Griffin, VP & GM UK at Dell EMC, said: “Today we have two channel programmes. The intent is to have a single channel for February 2017.”

    Dell is hoping the cuts will help create cost savings of about $1.7 billion in the first 18 months after the transaction, but is largely focused on using the deal to boost sales by several times that amount.

    The new company has 140,000 employees.


  • Cisco exec churn: Enterprise chief Soderbery out

    Soderbery said he has no current plans and Cisco said of his departure: “We thank Rob for his important role helping Cisco identify Enterprise needs and address them with world-class networking products and solutions, and we wish him all the best for the future.”


  • Why Meg Whitman is breaking the one-time symbol of Silicon Valley into pieces

    These spinoffs have provided needed capital as Hewlett-Packard Enterprise realigns itself with a narrower focus. Last year it bolstered its hardware business by acquiring for $3 billion Aruba Networks, the second-largest provider of company Wi-Fi networks behind Cisco. And last month HPE announced a $275 million purchase of Silicon Graphics, which sells fast servers and storage systems.




  • Despite all the trash-talking, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff says he still loves Larry Ellison

    “Business is a lot like tennis. You get on the court with your friends, you play as hard as you can, you get really upset, you say crazy things, you go off the court, you go and have lunch and have a glass of wine and remember how much you love them.

    I love Larry Ellison, he’s a great mentor to me, he’s been a great friend, and probably there is no one in the industry who has done more for me than Larry Ellison, and I’m very grateful to him.”


  • It is official: HP buying Samsung Electronics’ printer business for $1.05B

    HP Inc. said Monday that it is the largest print acquisition in the company’s history and will help it go from traditional copiers to multifunction printers. HP also said the deal will strengthen its position in laser printing, which it established with Canon.

    Samsung had a printer unit? And does HPI really need to buy their 4% market share?
    Oh wait… CRN has an answer for me:

    An HP acquisition of the Samsung printer business would take out a competitor and give HP strength in different geographies, said Martin Wolf, president of martinwolf M&A Advisors of Walnut Creek, Calif., one of the top channel investment advisory deal makers.

    And then there is this news…
    HP Inc. Goes Old School With Plans to Sell Copy Machines

    Still, Enrique Lores, HP’s president of imaging and printing, voiced optimism for the initiative. Copy machines still account for $55 billion in annual sales, which could be lucrative if the company gained a sizable share.


  • Wells Fargo fires 5,300 employees for opening 2M fake accounts in customers’ names

    Wells Fargo says that it has been rooting out employees who ran this con for the past two years, having caught 5,300 of them so far (the bank employs 265,000 people). The fake accounts — savings, checking, credit/debit cards — were opened in the names of existing Wells Fargo customers, who had their accounts raided to create balances in the new accounts, and were then hit with fees that cleaned them out.


Photo: Ryan Johnston

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Supplier Report: 9/3/2016

sn_planes_Blake Richard Verdoorn

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is said to be close to selling off their software assets… all of them. Thoma Bravo is rumored to be a front runner to purchase a portfolio valued between $8-10 billion dollars.

While HPE transitions back to a hardware-only company with their own designs on storage, datacenters, and AI; they face increasing and varied competition from IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google.

Meanwhile a Chinese company known for mobile phones is about to get very serious about IT hardware and EMC is officially going to become Dell Technology next week.


  • IBM swings axe through staff, humming contently about cloud and AI

    Lee Conrad, an ex-IBMer who today runs the Watching IBM Facebook page, has been sharing messages from long-serving staffers laid off this week, some of whom claim their jobs are effectively being shifted overseas to India, China and Costa Rica.

    Some axed workers say their last day will be at the end of November, allowing IBM to avoid paying into their 401K retirement savings pot for the year. Big Blue will only cough up the cash if you are an employee on December 15. This comes after the biz slashed its severance payouts to a maximum of one month of pay.


  • IBM expands cloud footprint in Korea

    Located outside Seoul in Pangyo, the new data center is designed to support growing cloud adoption and customer demand across the country.

    According to IDC, an information technology research firm, the public cloud services market in Korea is expected to grow from USD445 million in 2015 to approximately $1B in 2019.

    The new facility in Pangyo is IBM´s ninth cloud data center in the Asia-Pacific region, and part of the company´s growing global network of 47 cloud data centers.


  • Can IBM Win The Storage War Against Dell-EMC?

    IBM said last year that it will invest $1 billion over the next five years to win the software-defined storage space. Although breaking EMC’s dominance isn’t an easy task from a technological point of view, I believe the potential disruption resulting from product portfolio integration of Dell and EMC could help IBM get closer to EMC due to certain advantages IBM enjoys in the enterprise software market.


  • IBM and VMware extend public cloud tech deal

    Further moves to strengthen the partnership see a VMware Cloud Foundation compatibility with IBM aiming to make it faster to deploy VMware’s products in an on-premise environment to IBM’s cloud.

    The aim is to make it much easier for customers to be able to use VMware’s products in an IBM Cloud and for an IBM Cloud user to use VMware’s products.

    Partnerships like this are becoming increasingly common as vendors look for a collaborative approach to the cloud market in order to differentiate themselves from the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform that lead the market.

    Comment: This is interesting, IBM is clearing going after EMC storage, yet making partnership deals with VMWare.

  • Hybrid Clouds Dominate — Enable Companies to Innovate, Exceed Expectations

    The IBM study, “Tailoring hybrid cloud: Designing the right mix for innovation, efficiency and growth,” is based on in-person interviews and surveys of more than 1,000 C-suite executives from 18 industries. Conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), the study finds that the top reasons executives cite for adopting hybrid cloud solutions are: lowering total cost of ownership (54 percent), facilitating innovation (42 percent), enhancing operational efficiencies (42 percent) and enabling them to more readily meet customer expectations (40 percent).


Hewlett Packard Enterprise | HP INC

  • HP: Gloomy Outlook Despite Increased PC Sales

    Cathie Lesjak, the chief financial officer of HP, pointed out that one of the major reasons that the tech company is projecting downbeat earnings for the fourth quarter regardless of the stabilizing PC sales was that it has been pumping in a lot of money to boost its higher-end printers’ sales. The objective is to sell more of these in locations where individuals print more, which could result in more sales for printer supplies and other related services.

    The HP CFO said, “We think that is the right investment to make.“ Even though the boost in investments will put some pressure on the present quarter, Lesjak promised that it will “pay dividends in supply revenue in the future.”


  • HPE is betting big on AI to fuel your apps and analytics

    Companies can use HPE Vertica 8 on data residing on premises, in private and public clouds, and in Hadoop data lakes. With its in-database machine learning capabilities, they can natively create and deploy R-based machine learning models directly within the software.

    Improvements to data movement and orchestration let users load data as much as 700 percent faster than before, HPE said. Those gains are possible for hundreds of thousands of columns. Vertica 8 also makes it easier to load data from Amazon S3 and includes comprehensive visual monitoring of Apache Kafka data streams.


  • HPE CIO tackles tough ‘spin merge’ with CSC

    While Spradley is laser focused on the services separation, HPE has seemed anything but focused in recent years. There have been ill-conceived acquisitions (Compaq, EDS and Autonomy), scandals (pretexting and Mark Hurd) and architecture missteps (such as Itanium). And that’s independent of the secular trends, including the shifts to public cloud software offered by Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google, a tech evolution to which the company has struggled to adjust.

    HPE’s micro and macro challenges might seem like drudgery to CIOs whose primary occupations include building digital products and services to drive business innovation. Such CIOs would rather experiment with blockchain, stitch together APIs and host hackathons than divest and spin off assets and staff.


  • HP Enterprise (HPE) Stock Gains on Potential Software Division Sale

    Shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise  (HPE) were up in mid-afternoon trading on Thursday as the Palo Alto, CA-based technology infrastructure company is in discussions to sell its software division to buyout firm Thoma Bravo in a deal that it hopes could bring in between $8 billion and $10 billion, sources told Reuters. 

    Looks like we have a buyer…


  • Oracle’s Database 12c R2: Boom, bust, or meh upgrade cycle ahead?

    In other words, this upgrade cycle for Oracle will be different from previous database rollouts. For starters, more of Oracle’s revenue will be subscription based. In addition, there are more competitors than ever for Oracle. It’s quite possible that SAP, which is using its HANA platform to prod customers to move off of Oracle databases, and Oracle are fighting yesterday’s war.




  • Huawei Plots to Seize Another Tech Industry

    Huawei is training its sights on selling computing gear for the world’s biggest data centers, which are the invisible locomotives of the digital world. These giant buildings packed with racks of computing equipment and miles of data-carrying cables enable every moment in the digital world, from the Facebook photo you shared this morning to the databases managing Walmart’s supply chain.

    I totally predicted this situation in Episode 37 of SourceCast

  • Party Over At Salesforce.com With Terrible Q2 Earnings

    Let’s look at what really matters: deferred revenues and billings. Deferred revenue missed at $3.82 billion versus $3.88 billion consensus, and billingsmissed at $1.86 billion versus $1.89 billion consensus. “This is a slight miss” you say, but billings have been beating estimates at an accelerating pace in recent quarters, which sent the stock soaring – one must view everything in context. Last quarter, the company beat billings by 12.9%, by 6.1% two quarters ago, and by 1.8% three quarters ago – so clearly, there is an acceleration that got the market really excited. To the best of my knowledge, billings never missed before (at least in recent years). When you go from that kind of bullish dynamic to a miss, trouble ensues – don’t blame me, that’s just how the market works.


  • Salesforce To Launch AI Product, Einstein

    The company is hoping Einstein, the Artificial Intelligence product it is working on introducing to the world, will propel her to fresher growth.

    Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference hold in San Francisco and the event typically draws around 170,000 attendees. The company believes this will be the perfect time and place to formally make the big announcement.

    It could be recalled that Salesforce acquired a handful of artificial intelligence companies in the last two years and Forbes believes this coming announcement explains those decisions. Other companies to have towed the same path in the past include Google and Microsoft.


  • Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff indicates his rivalry with Microsoft is back on
    Their purchase of Quip is a direct threat against Microsoft…

    “We have to have productivity built in. All of our applications need to have core productivity applications, whether it is email, like with Salesforce Inbox or spreadsheets or word processors like Quip, live documents. All of that has to be an integrated part of what we are doing. We believe that strongly. We have obviously done a lot of great work with Microsoft as well, with their products. We have now our own product in this category. And this is going to be really important for us going forward and it’s the reason that we bought Quip.”


  • Why the container community is wrong to whine about Docker

    Predictably, everyone wants in on this Docker action, though few are as honest about that interest as Red Hat’s Riek. Though he stresses he doesn’t speak for Red Hat, it’s not hard to believe that his concerns would be widespread within the open source giant, not to mention other vendors. Declaring “containers as the future of the Linux OS and application-centric IT,” Riek questions “the aggressive way that Docker Inc is trying to control the Docker open source project.”


Photo: Blake Richard Verdoorn

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Supplier Report: 8/27/2016


Storage was a hot topic this week. IBM introduced new, more affordable offerings which resulted in a copious amount of articles.

Oracle’s legal battles are keeping them in the news. Their battles with Oregon and Google are still going and growing in complexity.  HP is also getting sued for age discrimination.

Apple purchased personal health data company Gliimpse and Microsoft purchased AI scheduling tool Genee.


  • Is Watson Smart Enough To Breathe Life Into IBM?

    White believes that given IBM’s relative absence in the Enterprise SaaS solutions market, the deal is not likely to run into anti-trust roadblocks. He feels Workday’s growth in the SaaS space will complement IBM’s aim to provide a flexible cloud structure and help establish a noteworthy footprint in the space. Drexel Hamilton has a Buy rating and a 12-month target price of $186 on IBM. The stock closed at just above $159 in trading yesterday.


  • IBM launches flash arrays for smaller enterprises, aims to court EMC, Dell customers

    The company is also aiming a migration program designed to poach customers from the likes of Dell and EMC. IBM’s “Flash In” migration program is carried out by its various partners. Via Flash In, IBM is looking to integrate its systems with storage rivals or replace them.

    IBM launched the Storwize V7000F and Storwize 5030F as mid-range and entry level flash systems. The systems come with Spectrum Virtualize, which is software designed for data compression, provisioning, and snapshots across various systems.


  • IBM looks to take advantage of Dell EMC ‘disruption’

    Channel players not already involved with IBM are also being invited to the party. “Business partners looking to add IBM as a strategic vendor will find a set of comprehensive benefits that compare very favourably to what they may experience today,” said IBM.

    Up to 80 percent of IBM all-flash storage is sold by IBM Business Partners. “The IBM Flash In initiative will amplify the company’s all-flash offensive to help Business Partners reach new clients not currently served by IBM, and clients who may face potential disruption if there are product portfolio integrations with Dell and EMC,” the vendor said.


  • IBM Named a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for its Flash Storage Solutions

    IBM’s position as a leader comes after it announced the expansion of its FlashSystem portfolio, including DeepFlash andStorwize products, to help clients more quickly extract value from data for competitive advantage. Among the 380 patents that differentiate IBM’s flash products and services are its FlashCore and MicroLatency technologies. Clients rely on these technologies to quickly access the mounting volumes.


  • It’s time for all-flash says IBM, but IT chiefs won’t necessarily agree

    “As long as your working set size is within your available SSD [in a hybrid flash setup] then everything happening, on for example SQL Server, will be fine. The only time you need all-flash is if you have a large number of SQL datasets that you need access to; in effect requiring random access.”

    He added: “Far too many people see it as a panacea but it’s a pointless way of storing lots of data.”



  • Is Oracle Funding an Anti-Google Group?

    The company has stated that it is has funded the Google Transparency Project, which according to its website, “is a research initiative of the Campaign for Accountability, a 501(c)3 project that uses research, litigation and aggressive communications to expose how decisions made behind the doors of corporate boardrooms and government offices impact Americans’ lives.”


  • Why Google Needs to Win the Android Case Against Oracle

    So it’s important that these APIs remain neutral so companies can’t fleece the world at large every time they are used. Media reports indicate that courts have thus far ruled in favor of maintaining this neutrality of APIs. And that’s exactly why the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has repeatedly filed amicus curiae (friend/impartial advisor to the court) briefs so the courts hold that APIs aren’t copyrightable and to prevent Oracle from monetizing the Java API through its acquisition of Sun.

    And in fact, the case revealed that it was Sun’s practice to allow companies to freely use Java APIs. Sun’s strategy in those days was to use this approach to extend Java’s reach as far as possible so more developers would build on it. The idea was that once the ecosystem gathered momentum, it would help Sun sell other products.


  • Oracle v. Oregon: Round 1 of Lawsuit Goes to State

    Brown and her team denied any agreement had been reached, and the legal battle continues. One of the first decisions in the case was handed down this week in Oregon’s favor. Oracle had asserted that emails were withheld in a way that violated public record laws, but the judge left little doubt as to his decision, saying “Oracle is wrong, both on the law and the facts.”



  • Microsoft announces free Windows Server licenses when migrating from VMware

    To make more VMware customers switch to Hyper-V, Microsoft is announcing a new VMware migration offer where customers can get Windows Server Datacenter licenses for free when they buy Windows Server 2016 Datacenter and Software Assurance migrating from VMWare. From September 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, customers who switch from VMware to Hyper-V can avail this offer. Basically, customers has to pay only for Software Assurance which provides benefits including new product version rights, deployment planning, technical and end-user training, support, and a unique set of technologies and services.


  • Microsoft buys AI scheduling tool Genee to make Office 365 smarter

    The app works by being CCed in emails, and using natural language processing to parse the contents of the email to understand the key requirements for the meeting — and then automatically sending out a meeting invite on your behalf. So it’s arguably an early example of the AI-powered chatbots now springing up all over the place. There are a set of standard commands Genee understands by default but users can also create their own custom commands.

    Microsoft notes the tool is “especially useful for large groups for when you don’t have access to someone’s calendar”. Genee’s co-founders, Ben Cheung and Charles Lee, “plan” to join the company, it adds.


  • The marriage of Microsoft and Linux

    What’s changed for Microsoft and open source in recent years is Microsoft has refocused on solving both its own and customers’ business problems. That means, first, Linux is treated as an equal to Windows. “Microsoft actually uses a lot of Linux in-house. It’s no longer everything has to be run on Windows internally.” Microsoft is doing this because “We’re solving business problems and we’re very pragmatic.”



  • 5 Ways the Dell Purchase of EMC Will Benefit VMware

    Simplification of the hardware and software stacks. Although the cloud will be a huge part of the future of IT, some companies will still want or need to run applications locally. That fact, combined with the general direction of IT toward simplification, means it’s easy to foresee a tighter integration between Dell, EMC and VMware to simplify application delivery.


  • Dell: EMC Buy Will End Legacy Perceptions Of Dell As A PC Company

    While Dell does a lot more than PCs, the company from CEO Michael Dell on down still embraces its pedigree as a major PC vendor, Khan said. “Michael’s goal is to make Dell an end-to-end enterprise solutions company,” he said.


  • EMC still hiring in Massachusetts even as Dell merger looms

    Officials at EMC have been mum about the company’s headcount, especially in the wake of the merger announcement in October 2015. A spokeswoman for EMC declined to comment on the fact that the firm is still hiring in Massachusetts, saying only that “we’ve made it a practice of not disclosing the number of job openings at any given time.”

    The job openings could also signal continued economic development in MetroWest communities, where EMC owns millions of square feet of property, employs thousands of workers and serves as a substantial pillar for the local economy.



  • Apple Acquires Personal Health Data Startup Gliimpse

    Silicon Valley-based Gliimpse has built a personal health data platform that enables any American to collect, personalize, and share a picture of their health data. The company was started in 2013 by Anil Sethi and Karthik Hariharan. Sethi is a serial entrepreneur who has spent the past decade working with health startups, after taking his company Sequoia Software public in 2000. He got his start as a systems engineer at Apple in the late 1980s.

    The acquisition happened earlier this year, but Apple has been characteristically quiet about it. The company has now confirmed the purchase, saying: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”


  • Is Focus on Shareholder Value Killing Manufacturing?

    During the time that shareholder value and stock prices became more important than employees, the U.S. has suffered from:

    1. Growing Manufacturing Unemployment – From 2000 to 2010 manufacturing lost around 6 million jobs. Since the recovery from the Great Recession only 828,000 employees have been hired in manufacturing.
    2. Slowing GDP Growth – Since 2000, GDP growth has averaged a very weak 1.8%
      Increasing Pay Gap – The wealthiest 1% have captured almost all of the growth in income since the 2008 crash.
    3. Increasing Pay Gap – The wealthiest 1% have captured almost all of the growth in income since the 2008 crash.
    4. Increasing Offshoring – Outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to low-cost countries has been the most popular strategy, and EPI asserts that between 2000 and 2007 3.6 million manufacturing jobs were lost. After the Great Recession, between 2007 and 2014, another 1.4 million manufacturing jobs were lost.
    5. Growing Trade Deficit – Our total trade deficit has grown to $10 trillion in the last 30 years.


  • Salesforce is suddenly hiring fewer people after spending nearly $4 billion buying companies this year

    There are 30% fewer open jobs listed on Salesforce’s website over the past three months, with most of the job reductions occurring since early July, according to a note published on Friday by the market research firm Cowen and Company.

    The firm notes that there have also been some “travel restrictions” within the company, citing unnamed sources.


  • HP Is Running Out of Ink

    After the spinoff from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) , 60% of HP’s revenue comes from personal computers and 40% from printing. Of the $1 billion in non-GAAP operating profit last quarter, 77% of the company’s came from printing. Printing had an operating margin of 17.3% and is the biggest contributor to HP’s profits. Printing supplies (ink) makes up 67% of printing revenue.

    Meanwhile, Personal Systems, or the personal computer division, represents 23% of profits and carries a slender 3.5% operating margin. Systems generated a profit of $242 million in the second quarter. The division outperformed the market to achieve an overall market share of 19.4%, up 0.4 points.

    The company has become number one in commercial PCs, with a market share of 24.6%. Total unit shipments fell 9% last quarter, however. Desktop revenue declined 13% and units shipped ddropped 10%.


  • Is big data in big trouble?

    If you are a technology buyer, you are probably looking beyond these earnings. You are paying attention to the other developments that occurred in this space this summer: Workday acquired Platfora in July, Qlik Tech got absorbed by private equity firm Thoma Bravo in June. You might also have heard that Amazon is planning to release its business intelligence visualization solution next month, and you know that both Microsoft and Google already have products in this market.

    Betting on one vendor for visualization and business intelligence is becoming increasingly difficult. Rather than worry about the earnings of the industry players, it’s better to focus on their approach and architectural vision instead.


  • Tableau has hired longtime AWS executive Adam Selipsky as its CEO

    Selipsky has spent more than a decade at AWS. Before that, he was an executive at RealNetworks, leading the video subscription and media player division.

    The change is intriguing, particularly given Tableau’s recent financial troubles, said Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT.

    “Despite continuing customer growth, the company has been struggling, and its shares have lost a substantial percentage of their value in the past year,” King said.


  • Cisco wants to be a software company? Why customers should look beyond the hype

    So what does it all mean? For Cisco, it all sounds like business as usual. It’s selling as much software as it ever did but that is simply bundled up in a way that shifts the business model away from selling monolithic hardware. This has been happening to lots of tech firms for at least the last decade as any PC hardware firm will attest. Equally, without the hardware and software integration, some of the need for platform-based firms such as Cisco would go away.

    Cybersecurity is the perfect example of this trend, a sector in which buying security layers bundled up in boxes has given away to the concept of security as a layer in a software-defined network. The sheer complexity of managing hardware using distinct systems ensured the success of this model.

    But what has really changed here is the way software has followed hardware in becoming a commodity. That is what the cloud is: a way of offering complex systems through a consistent set of standards and technologies that let anyone buy the same service for the same price. But the integration between the two remains complex when building network infrastructure, however unsexy that sounds to analysts. Cisco will continue to employ a lot of people who understand how to make the two gel.


  • HP Sued for Alleged Age Bias in Mass Layoffs

    HP slashed roughly 30,000 jobs in 2012 under CEO Meg Whitman, and has conducted smaller cuts since then. According to the complaint, workers over 40 were “significantly more likely” to have their jobs eliminated under the company’s reduction plan.

    A spokesperson for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise denied that age was a consideration in the company’s layoffs. “The decision to implement a workforce reduction is always difficult,” the spokesperson said Monday in an emailed statement, “but we are confident that our decisions were based on legitimate factors unrelated to age.”


Photo: Maximilian Weisbecker

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Supplier Report: 7/2/2016

sn_throwrock_Felix Russell-Saw

This week the various arms of HP have caught my attention.  They successfully defeated Oracle over their Itanium dispute and have been awarded $3B.

In the wake of that news, HPE CEO Meg Whitman announced a massive restructuring (again) as their long time CTO Martin Fink is on his way out along with their COO. Meanwhile, HP Inc announced the purchase of a 3D scanning company.

With the sell off of the Autonomy products, the divestiture of their consulting services to CSC, and now with this $3B win, both HP companies have some cash, and I want to know what their grand strategy is.

In other news, IBM is doubling down on block-chain technology with their Bluemix Garage initiative, Microsoft has 350 million windows 10 devices active, and Oracle is trying their hardest to kill Java.


  • IBM and Cisco to combine collaboration tools

    IBM’s Verse email platform and Connections collaboration suite are a good match for Cisco products like the Spark messaging app and WebEx conferencing service, so the two vendors have found ways to integrate them, company officials say. All this will happen in the cloud. They’ll demonstrate the first examples next month at the Cisco Live conference.

    IBM and Cisco team up on enterprise collaboration to stave off rivals like Slack and Microsoft

    The bigger picture in this latest IBM and Cisco deal is that both companies are feeling the heat of competition from a wide range of rivals, some big and some actually quite small.

    They include standalone services from popular startups like Slack, Quip, Trello and Asana; as well as those offered by large companies like Microsoft and Citrix, which not only build their own solutions but have been aggressive acquirers of those startups that have built popular enterprise productivity tools.

    It’s a mark of how far we’ve come in the tech world that some of these products from much smaller outfits can give huge IT businesses a run for their money.


  • IBM storage has a new boss: The same one it had six years ago

    At IBM Walsh has a disparate set of products to look after, including FlashSystem, SVC, Storwize, XIV and the DS8000 line. FlashSystem is popular, while the others could be characterised unkindly as fading stars – or, more sympathetically, as long-lived survivors facing the challenges of public cloud storage, software-defined storage, server SANs and hyper-converged systems.


  • IBM Launches NYC Bluemix Garage With Former Azure Exec

    The design element is what made a difference for Murray. For example, one of the Bluemix Garage engagements Murray sat in on was a small startup out of San Francisco that had a complete idea and knew exactly what it wanted to build. IBM had the company come to the garage for a design thinking workshop to help it visualize what it was trying to solve and what experience it wanted its end users to have. And the design workshop, the startup abandoned the idea it initially had because it realized that what it was trying to build wasn’t really what it was trying to solve.

    Can IBM Really Make a Business Out of Blockchain?

    According to Jerry Cuomo, vice president of blockchain and cloud at IBM, the plan will succeed because the company offers a full-suite of tools that allow developers to get up and running quickly while also benefiting from a mentoring environment at the Bluemix Garage. The garage moniker is supposed to exude a Silicon Valley-esque vibe, where people throw around ideas with markers on whiteboards and Post-It Notes.


  • Why IBM Will Soar While Apple Stumbles

    Unfortunately, these great strengths may have become toxic. Its culture has become highly secretive. Suppliers may only refer to Apple by a specially assigned code name. They win new contracts without knowing why and what Apple plans to do with their technology and then lose them again without knowing what they did wrong.




  • Oracle (ORCL) Loses Itanium Lawsuit Worth $3 Billion to HPE

    Oracle and HPE have been embroiled in a legal tangle involving software for Itanium chip-based servers over the last five years. HP Enterprise had asked for $3 billion in compensation from Oracle for allegedly causing a decline in the demand for its Itanium based products.

    Of course, Oracle vows to contest the ruling…

  • How Oracle’s business as usual is threatening to kill Java

    Oracle employees that worked on Java EE have told others in the community that they have been ordered to work on other things. There has also been open talk of some Java EE developers “forking” the Java platform, breaking off with their own implementation and abandoning compatibility with the 20-year-old software platform acquired by Oracle with the takeover of Sun Microsystems six years ago. Yet Oracle remains silent about its plans for Java EE even as members of the governing body overseeing the Java standard have demanded a statement from the company.


Storage ( EMC | Dell )

  • Why states like Massachusetts are trying to curb noncompete pacts

    Noncompete pacts were only one ingredient in the recipe that worked against Massachusetts and to the advantage of Silicon Valley, where employees can depart and start their own companies mostly without fear of a lawsuit. But they mattered. In California, companies are generally prohibited from enforcing noncompete agreements because of a worker-friendly statute from the 19th century.


  • Dell Promises ‘Seamless’ Deal Registration For Partners On First Day After EMC Merger

    In a letter to partners Tuesday, Marius Haas, Dell chief commercial officer and president of enterprise solutions, said the company is “driving to maintain the partner and customer experience you have come to expect today, and at the onset of day one, provide seamless deal registration and intact sales coverage plans.”

    “I do not think it will be seamless,” said a top executive at one large Dell and EMC solution provider, who did not want to be named. “Nothing in life ever is.”


  • Data Protection: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

    The key findings of the survey of IT decision makers at 2,200 organizations included:

    • incidents of traditional data loss and disruption are down since 2014, but new challenges mean 13% more businesses experienced loss overall;
    • over half of businesses fail to protect data in the cloud despite more than 80% indicating they will rely on SaaS-based business applications;
    • 36% have lost data in the last year as the result of a security breach;
    • 73% are not very confident they can protect flash storage environments;
    • the average cost of data loss is more than $914,000.


Hewlett Packard Enterprise | HP Inc

  • Whitman lifts lid on big HPE reorganization
    The CTO and COO are leaving as part of this reorg…

    Whitman also said that HPE would merge its Hewlett Packard Labs research arm into its enterprise group, which is focused on selling data center gear. The idea is to better align research projects with products and services that can eventually be sold, she explained. Antonio Neri, executive vice president and general manager of the HPE enterprise group, will lead Hewlett Packard Labs.

    As for the restructurings, Whitman wrote that it would consolidate its sales teams into one big global sales unit under its enterprise group. HPE will do a similar reshuffling with its marketing departments and will consolidate staff from e-commerce, product marketing, and customer relations group into one big marketing unit.


  • HP launches PC as a service, buys 3D scanning specialists

    HP Inc said it has launched PCs as a service, simplifying PC lifecycle management. HP Device as a Service (DaaS) is designed to help take the stress out of acquiring, deploying and managing technology, with one single contract across devices and services, and no upfront investment. The programme is globally scalable, meaning customers can easily evolve their hardware infrastructure to adapt to changing workforces.

    Separately, HP is buying German companies David Vision Systems and David 3D Solutions, which make 3-D scanning technology, the Wall Street Journal reported. No financial terms were disclosed.


  • HP, Apple top list of tech companies fighting forced labor risk

    Forced laborers may be charged high recruitment fees to get jobs, be trapped in debt servitude, deprived of their passports or other documents, or made to work excessive hours for low pay, the report said.

    HP, Apple, Intel Corp, Cisco Systems Inc and Microsoft scored highest on the list of 20 publicly traded ICT companies. At the bottom were Keyence, BOE Technology and Canon.



  • What sets Red Hat apart from the Valley

    The Red Hat Summit marked 10 years since Red Hat’s acquisition of JBoss, and today it remains a cornerstone of the company’s offerings. Last year, Red Hat purchased Ansible, the provisioning system that competes with Chef and Puppet. In both the case of Ansible and of 3scale, Red Hat seized a smaller firm that was doing quite well, yet hadn’t taken over the market mindshare the way their public and near-public competitors had.

    Why is it that Red Hat seems to be more successful with technology acquisitions than, say, an HPE, which took on companies like Mercury, Autonomy and even Compaq? Red Hat CFO Frank Calderoni said that these successes come from disciplined acquisitions goals.


  • Salesforce is way behind Oracle, Microsoft, and SAP in one important area of its business

    Market-research firm Cowen Group pointed out in a note published on Thursday that Salesforce generates a substantially lower percentage of revenue from international regions compared to other software makers.

    As seen in the chart below, Salesforce gets only 32% of its revenue from outside the US, lagging behind SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft, which all generate over half of their sales from overseas.


Photo: Felix Russell-Saw

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