Tag Archives: Lenovo

Supplier Report: 2/3/2018

Amazon continues to eat the world.  The news of the company officially creating a private healthcare consortium with JPM and Berkshire has sent investors scrambling.  With few details, the world has to wait to fully understand the impact.

Add Cisco to the list of companies that knew about a major security flaw for months and didn’t tell customers.  The bug impacts the company’s adaptive security appliance (ASA) and scored a 10 out of 10 on the Common Vulnerability Scoring System.

Is VMWare going to buy Dell so the company can go public again and pay down debt? Maybe?

Acquisitions

  • VMware May Buy Dell in Biggest-Ever Tech Deal

    Why would Dell, which already owns 80 percent of VMware, sell itself back to the smaller company? There are a few compelling reasons.

    The reverse merger would allow Dell to once again become a public company without having to undergo a fresh initial public offering (IPO). The company went private in 2013 in a $24.4 billion deal that gave ownership control to founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners. Dell is reportedly carrying around $50 billion in debt, but going public through VMware would allow Dell and Silver Lake to sell back some of their shares publicly, both to offset the debt and to cash in themselves.

    https://www.pcmag.com/news/358828/report-vmware-may-buy-dell-in-biggest-ever-tech-deal

  • SAP to acquire CallidusCloud, beefs out CX and LMS offerings

    The deal, reported to be worth $2.4bn and funded from an unspecified mix of cash and acquisition term loan is expected to complete in Q2 FY2018 following the usual regulatory song and dance. The deal is a 21% premium on CallidusCloud 30-day weighted volume.

    The press release on the acquisition focuses upon CallidusCloud’s sales performance management (SPM) solutions that Gartner rates as the leader in that segment. CallidusCloud also appears in the leaders’ segment for the configure, price, quote (CPQ) market as assessed by Forrester. The acquisition, which will be folded into SAP’s hybris solution, positions SAP ahead of arch-rival Oracle.

    https://diginomica.com/2018/01/30/sap-acquire-calliduscloud-beefs-cx-offerings/

  • Fujifilm acquires Xerox for $6.1 billion

    “The new Fuji Xerox will be better positioned to compete in today’s environment with truly global scale, increased presence in fast-growing markets, and innovation capabilities to effectively meet our customers’ rapidly-evolving demands.”

    Beyond photocopying, Xerox is probably best known in the tech world for failing to capitalize on a number of 1970s-era inventions that eventually became standard on modern personal computers. Ethernet, the mouse, the laser printer, and many other protocols and technologies were created at its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) for the first time.

    As part of the deal, $2.5 billion will be returned to shareholders while 10,000 jobs in Asia will be cut.

    https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/01/fujifilm-acquires-xerox-for-6-1-billion/

  • Red Hat to Acquire CoreOS, Expanding its Kubernetes and Containers Leadership

    Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire CoreOS, Inc., an innovator and leader in Kubernetes and container-native solutions, for a purchase price of $250 million, subject to certain adjustments at closing that are not expected to be material. Red Hat’s acquisition of CoreOS will further its vision of enabling customers to build any application and deploy them in any environment with the flexibility afforded by open source. By combining CoreOS’s complementary capabilities with Red Hat’s already broad Kubernetes and container-based portfolio, including Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat aims to further accelerate adoption and development of the industry’s leading hybrid cloud platform for modern application workloads.

    https://www.redhat.com/en/about/press-releases/red-hat-acquire-coreos-expanding-its-kubernetes-and-containers-leadership

Artificial Intelligence

  • iPhone assembler Foxconn pledges $340m for AI venture

    “We will at least invest some 10 billion New Taiwan dollars ($342 million) over five years to recruit top talent and deploy artificial intelligence applications in all the manufacturing sites,” said Chairman Terry Gou.

    “It’s likely that we could even pour in some $10 billion or more if we find the deployments are very successful or can really generate results,” said Gou.

    Gou added that his company aimed to recruit up to 100 top AI experts globally and would open up thousands of jobs for young talent should they have good ideas on how to develop applications using machine learning and deep learning techniques.

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/AC/iPhone-assembler-Foxconn-pledges-340m-for-AI-venture

  • Google credits AI for stopping more rogue Android apps in 2017

    It credits Google Play Protect for one of the biggest improvements: its ability to spot extremely harmful apps that commit fraud, steal info or allow hijacks. While there weren’t many of them, the mechanism reduced the number of installations by an “order of magnitude” over 2016, Google said. It added that it took down over 250,000 copycat apps (those trying to piggyback off the success of popular apps) and “tens of thousands” of apps violating policies against apps that feature hate speech, illegal acts and porn.

    Google is fully aware that its system isn’t foolproof, and that some apps will still slip through the cracks. The improvements do make a better case for sticking to Google Play for app downloads when you can, though.

    https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/30/google-credits-ai-for-stopping-more-rogue-android-apps-in-2017/

Cloud

  • Oracle CEO Urges Enterprises to Ditch Data Centers and Move to Cloud

    “CEOs and CFOs have to get out of the data center business. The $200 billion system integrator industry is non-sustainable,” said Hurd.

    With the Oracle Cloud and other cloud systems, customers don’t update their systems, the updates come to them automatically. The same is true for the latest security updates and patches keeping systems more current at a cost that Hurd said will always be much cheaper than maintaining your own data center.

    “The likelihood you’re more secure than if you used an enterprise cloud provider is zero,” said Hurd. “Oracle Cloud will be more secure than any individual customer could hope to be.”

    http://www.eweek.com/cloud/oracle-ceo-urges-enterprises-to-ditch-data-centers-and-move-to-cloud
    I am sure people will move… but will they move to Oracle Cloud?

  • Google’s G Suite is no Microsoft killer, but still winning converts

    G Suite may never be an Office killer. Just 15 companies listed in the S&P 500 currently have Google’s business tools, according to a review of public email server data by Reuters. Its $1.3 billion in G Suite sales ranked a distant No. 2 behind Office’s $13.8 billion, according to 2016 data from Gartner.

    But Mann and other analysts say that second place is not a bad spot. Smartphones and artificial intelligence have opened up new opportunities for Google to get on the radar of corporate IT departments even if it never tops Microsoft, they said. A robust G Suite is a cornerstone of Google’s efforts to diversify revenue, which overwhelmingly comes from online ad sales.

    At a minimum, Google is loosening loyalty to Microsoft at a time when the Redmond, Washington-based giant also faces competition from startups such as chat service Slack that offer specialized online business tools. Google’s low-cost, subscription-based G Suite has also pushed Microsoft to adopt a similar strategy with Office 365, an online version of its popular software.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-alphabet-gsuite/googles-g-suite-is-no-microsoft-killer-but-still-winning-converts-idUSKBN1FL3ZX

Security

  • If your businesses uses a Cisco VPN, patch it now to avoid critical flaw

    Cisco is urging users of its Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance to patch their systems to protect against a critical VPN vulnerability. Addressed in a security advisory, Cisco noted that the flaw received a Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) score of 10 out of 10—the highest possible rating.

    The vulnerability specifically affects devices running the vulnerable version of the appliance software that also have the webvpn feature enabled, the advisory said. In this instance webvpn must be configured globally, but must also “be one enabled interface via the enable in the configuration,” the advisory said. To determine if that is the case in your organization, an admin must “use the show running-config webvpn command at the CLI and verify that the command returns at least one enable line,” the advisory said.

    https://www.techrepublic.com/article/if-your-businesses-uses-a-cisco-vpn-patch-it-now-to-avoid-critical-flaw/
    Cisco ‘waited 80 days’ before revealing it had been patching its critical VPN flaw

    Cisco’s advisory also included a table showing which versions of ASA were affected and the first release that had a fix. It was not immediately clear from Cisco’s table when it released the first fixed version.

    However, Colin Edwards, a system administrator, filled in the blanks in his own table with the release date for fixed versions of ASA, which shows Cisco actually rolled-out its first fixed version way back on November 10.

    As Edwards points out, Cisco decided to fix a super-critical bug in some products but then waited 80 days before it told sysadmins they needed to update now.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/cisco-waited-80-days-before-revealing-it-had-been-patching-its-critical-vpn-flaw/

Data Center/Hardware

  • Samsung topples Intel to become the world’s largest chipmaker

    The Korean tech giant’s chipset division — which has long been its biggest hitter — grossed total revenue of $69 billion in 2017, eclipsing the $62.8 billion Intel reported for last year. That was a record year for Intel — and an annual increase of six percent — but it wasn’t enough to stop Samsung from knocking it from the top spot, which Bloomberg reports it had occupied since 1992.

    The writing was on the wall last year when Samsung beat Intel on a quarterly basis, but now it has held out for an annual win.

    The change of position highlights Samsung’s focus on mobile, and in particular memory chips which are an essential part of smartphones. Intel’s chips may be in 90 percent of the world’s computers, but it missed the mobile boom and is playing catch-up.

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/30/samsung-intel-worlds-largest-chipmaker/?ncid=rss

  • Lenovo to miss mobile turnaround target, posts third quarter net loss

    The segment, accounting for over 70 percent of Lenovo’s top line, saw an 8 percent rise in revenue over the period, despite a 0.2 percentage point year-on-year drop in market share, thanks to premium products such as datachables.

    Lenovo’s overall revenue for the October-December period came in at a three-year high of $12.94 billion, up slightly from $12.17 billion a year ago.

    Its bottom line for the period, however, swung to a loss of $289 million, versus a $98 million profit a year ago, dented by the one-off charge of $400 million linked to a reassessment of U.S. deferred tax assets.

    Lenovo reiterated that the short-term business outlook was challenging, but said in the longer term U.S. corporate tax cuts would “positively impact” earnings of its operations.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lenovo-results/lenovo-to-miss-mobile-turnaround-target-posts-third-quarter-net-loss-idUSKBN1FL3HX

Other

  • How Amazon, JPM and Berkshire could disrupt healthcare (or not)

    “At 1.1 million employees and growing, they are already a decent sized ‘health plan’ in themselves and could essentially operate as its own payer entity or possibly an ‘Accountable Care Organization’ for their employees,” Bhagat said in an email.

    “At a minimum it gives the companies more power to hold existing payer vendors more accountable for health and cost outcomes for their employees. It gives them a chance to deliver better healthcare and reduced costs and change the market dynamics in the commercial healthcare space.”

    All three firms also have tens of millions of customers, who could conceivably become among those eventually privy to their new dynamics.

    The healthcare industry isn’t holding its breath:

    “Walmart pioneered this with their $4 generic drugs,” Spencer Millerberg, CEO at marketplace analytics firm One Click Retail, said in an email. “But they stopped short by not completely addressing issues the government and private businesses couldn’t solve. Where Walmart left off, Amazon is picking up.”

    To be fair, Walmart’s effort has been stymied by realities, something that Amazon has yet to confront. In practice, its healthcare delivery was cumbersome and unprofitable, according to John Sarich, vice president of strategy at VUE Software, a firm that specializes in innovating and automating business processes for the insurance industry. Those are two things that are against the retail giant’s core nature. “Walmart took a run at being a Medicare Advantage vendor as well as selling Part D (pharmacy),” Sarich said. “What started out as a way to make money ended up with tying people up in explaining plans and benefits with very little revenue coming into Walmart. It was never a moneymaker for Walmart.”

    https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/how-amazon-jpm-and-berkshire-could-disrupt-healthcare-or-not/516003/
    CVS, other health stocks down upon Amazon, JPMorgan, Berkshire healthcare co news

    However, CVS, UnitedHealth and others were down after the news came out, indicating investors’ displeasure at the announcement. CVS dropped by just over 4 percent by midday, UnitedHealth plunged a whopping 11.5 percent, Express Scripts was off by 3.6 percent, Cigna was down by just under 7 percent and Walgreens fell by 2.6 percent.

    The plunge isn’t a surprise considering the deal may affect these companies in various ways. Amazon has made indications it would be moving into drug delivery, affecting CVS, Walgreens and Express Scripts’ models.

    The announcement also possibly affects health insurance providers like UnitedHealth and Cigna, as well. The three companies collectively employ 880,000 people and the plan is to cover all U.S. employees, though it’s not clear how many of the 880,000 are working internationally versus in the States.

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/30/cvs-other-health-stocks-down-upon-amazon-jpmorgan-berkshire-healthcare-co-news/?ncid=rss

  • Amazon’s ad business grew 60 percent this quarter

    In its fourth-quarter earnings today, Amazon reported that “other” revenue, which mostly means advertising, plus its co-branded credit card agreements, increased to $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter. That’s 60 percent growth year over year.

    In the third quarter, “other” revenue grew 58 percent year over year to $1.12 billion.

    “Advertising was a key contributor [to strong growth],” director of investor relations Dave Fildes said on the earnings call. “We continue to make the offering more valuable. We’re focused on finding ways to work with those companies – vendors or sellers — coming to us and offer them a great experience on the website and ability to reach customers.”

    The company hinted more was to come in terms of building out the platform. CFO Brian Olsavsky said that Amazon has found itself as a “key lean-in from brands and agencies into the e-commerce marketing space,” which has helped bolster that growth.

    https://digiday.com/marketing/amazons-ad-business-grew-60-percent-quarter/

  • There’s no way the government is building its own 5G network

    there’s just no way that the U.S. government, even at its best and most efficient, and if it started bipartisan work on this tomorrow, could be in any way competitive in the timing and scale of such a deployment. It takes billions of dollars and years of work to lay the foundation for something like this, and others have a huge head start. And let us not forget that we are experiencing one of an endless series of budget crises, which would not be alleviated by the proposal of this kind of massive undertaking.

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/29/theres-no-way-the-government-is-building-its-own-5g-network/?ncid=rss

Photo: Patrick Hendry

Tagged , , , , , ,

Supplier Report: 5/26/2017

The keystone topics that drive this blog (AI and cloud) were quiet this week, while concepts like security and software claimed more space.

WannaCry was a dominant topic early in the week highlighting the need for IT security focus throughout the entire organization.

IBM has been making headlines not for cloud or AI, but for their remote work policies (again) and product line retirements.

AWS is getting good press for showing the value of experience in a culture that “doesn’t trust anyone over 30”.

Acquisitions

  • Red Hat to acquire Codenvy as part of its growing container strategy

    Codenvy is the company built on top of the open source project, Eclipse Che, which fits with Red Hat’s overall strategy to build commercial tools on top of open source projects. It offers a cloud-based integrated development environment (IDEs) for individual developers, teams or enterprises. IDEs are essentially workspaces for coding, building and testing apps.

    The company did not reveal the purchase price.

    http://wwpi.com/2017/05/25/red-hat-set-to-acquire-agile-and-cloud-native-development-tools-vendor-codenvy/

  • Microsoft to buy security firm Hexadite for $100M as Cloudyn still in progress

    Hexadite has to date raised $10.5 million in funding, according to Crunchbase, with investors including HP Ventures, YL Ventures, TenEleven Ventures and Moshe Lichtman of Israel Venture Partners. Notably, Lichtman is a ten-year veteran of Microsoft, which could point to one connection between the startup and its alleged acquirer. Its last round, of $8 million, was raised last year.

    If accurate, the Hexadite acquisition would be one of a series of security acquisitions that Microsoft has made in Israel. Past deals include Aorato, Adallom and Secure Islands.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/24/microsoft-hexadite-100m-cloudyn/?ncid=rss

  • Softbank’s Nvidia stake is reportedly worth $4BN

    When Softbank announced the first close of its Vision Fund this weekend — securing an initial commitment of $93 billion, from investors including Apple, Qualcomm and Foxconn — it also quietly disclosed it had taken a stake in Nvidia.

    Bloomberg is today reporting the size of that stake is $4 billion, for 4.9 per cent of the company, which it says would make Softbank the fourth largest investor in the chipmaker.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/24/softbanks-nvidia-stake-is-reportedly-worth-4bn/?ncid=rss

Artificial Intelligence

  • Lawmakers aim to ‘get smart’ about A.I. with help from giants like Amazon, Google, and IBM

    On Wednesday, he announced the launch of the bipartisan Congressional Artificial Intelligence Caucus, which will look to inform lawmakers on the current state of AI and then push for policy that could boost economic activity around AI and help citizens whose jobs are being replaced by automation.

    Regarding potential job loss:

    Despite some fears about the effects of automation and AI on the workforce, Delaney is optimistic. “Data clearly demonstrates that innovation creates more jobs than it takes away,” Delaney told CNBC. The trouble is that people don’t understand the nature of the jobs that will be created, he said. The caucus will focus on these issues, as well as education, immigration reform and funding basic research.

    Delaney is familiar with the idea of universal basic income, where the government would pay all citizens a basic stipend to let them buy necessities. Some Silicon Valley leaders have discussed this as a way to help workers whose jobs will increasingly be replaced by automation.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/24/congressional-ai-caucus-working-with-amazon-google-ibm.html

Cloud

  • Marc Benioff Touts Amazon as Salesforce’s New Best Friend

    It is now clear that Salesforce sees AWS as a strategic ally as it battles all of those rivals. Salesforce had formerly been quite chummy with Microsoft, but that relationship soured fast when Microsoft outbid Salesforce in its $26.2 billion bid to buy LinkedIn. While Microsoft had always competed somewhat with Salesforce in sales software known as customer relationship management or CRM, the competition has heated up since that development. Speaking with Jim Cramer on CNBC Thursday, Benioff made sure to say that 21st Century Fox is moving 20,000 employees from Microsoft Office to Quip, business software that Salesforce acquired two years ago.

    http://fortune.com/2017/05/19/salesforce-amazon-benioff/

Security

  • Almost all WannaCry victims were running Windows 7

    According to data released today by Kaspersky Lab, roughly 98 percent of the computers affected by the ransomware were running some version of Windows 7, with less than one in a thousand running Windows XP. 2008 R2 Server clients were also hit hard, making up just over 1 percent of infections.

    https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/19/15665488/wannacry-windows-7-version-xp-patched-victim-statistics
    For WannaCry Victims, a Possible Way Out (not really)

    By Friday, a second French computer-security researcher, Benjamin Delpy, built a tool called Wannakiwi that does the heavy lifting of unscrambling the encrypted files. Europol, the European Union’s police agency, said Friday its cybercrime center had tested the tool and succeeded in recovering data in some circumstances.

    Because the Wannakiwi tool works by grabbing data from the computer’s memory, it only will work for a small number of fortunate users.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/for-wannacry-victims-a-possible-way-out-1495226045

  • All IT Jobs Are Cybersecurity Jobs Now

    Despite all the money we’ve spent—Gartner estimates $81.6 billion on cybersecurity in 2016—things are, on the whole, getting worse, says Chris Bronk, associate director of the Center for Information Security Research and Education at the University of Houston. “Some individual companies are doing better,” adds Dr. Bronk. “But as an entire society, we’re not doing better yet.”

    The article provides several suggestions on how to deal with security issues, especially for smaller companies:

    Retrain IT staff on security—or replace them. In today’s world of ever-multiplying threats and dependence on connected assets, all IT staff must now be cybersecurity staff first. “The good news is that you don’t need that dedicated person to run your email server anymore—they can run security,” says Dr. Bronk.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/all-it-jobs-are-cybersecurity-jobs-now-1495364418

  • Microsoft’s Old Software Is Dangerous. Is There a Duty to Fix It?

    All of this raises the question of whether Microsoft, which declined to comment for this story, should have done more to fix the faulty software in the first place. The company’s after-the-fact approach to safety differs from other industries, such as car companies, where manufacturers have faced massive liability for failing to warn people about faulty ignition switches and other defective products.

    There’s also the fact Windows is a closed software platform. This means any defects in its source code are hard to detect because the internal workings that make it run—the source code—are all but invisible to those outside the company. This is why some people like Eban Moglen, a noted computer law professor at Columbia University, considers platforms like Windows to be intrinsically dangerous.

    http://fortune.com/2017/05/20/microsoft-ransomware-legal/

Software/SaaS

  • IBM’s ShinyHappy™ SAP Ariba deal papers over SaaS fail

    IBM’s product is called “Emptoris”, from a company of the same name, and was reported to have come with a US$600m price tag when Big Blue acquired it in 2011. Big Blue bought Emptoris to advance the “Smarter Commerce” play it ran a few years ago, in pursuit of what it described as “a $20 billion market opportunity in software alone.”

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/23/ibm_discontinues_emptoris/
    Never knew the investment IBM made on Emptoris…

  • Hadoop: It Offers Rich Technology With Slimmer-Than-Expected Margins

    As technology, Hadoop is broadly used across the computing infrastructure of web service providers. Big Data is proliferating as well in commercial uses. As it is increasingly adopted in Enterprise computing, its attractiveness as a business will become increasingly clear. Hadoop is far less costly than present comparable Enterprise technologies such as Data Warehousing. Surely it offers strong growth. Yet for some specific reasons, Hadoop is relatively less profitable than other types of software, mainly because so much of the technology is Open Source and freely available.  There is no fee in its licensing, as we noted above. No fee revenue, less profit

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnsonpierr/2017/05/19/the-elephant-in-the-room-with-hadoop-it-offers-rich-technology-with-slimmer-than-expected-margins/#f137831518a1

  • Java creator James Gosling leaves Liquid Robotics (Boeing) to join AWS

    James Gosling plans to join Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a “distinguished engineer,” according to a Facebook post penned by Gosling on Monday. Gosling did not say what he’ll do at AWS. But in addition to programming, Gosling is also familiar with the process of deploying IoT systems, according to Venture Beat.

    Companies like AWS and Google are increasingly dependent on programmers to help them make technologies more useful to the general public by creating applications. Both companies have been known to give away cloud credits and other gifts to developers willing to help them. Bringing Gosling on board helps show programmers that AWS is programmer-friendly and could help the company attract more of them.

    http://www.ciodive.com/news/java-creator-james-gosling-to-join-aws/443407/

Other

  • China’s Lenovo to Reboot After Losing PC Crown to HP

    For the first time in four years, Lenovo—a company that gained acclaim a decade ago for turning around storied U.S. personal-computer maker IBM — slipped from the top spot this year to No. 2 in the personal-computer market, behind rival Hewlett-Packard. Lenovo has also fallen to No. 8 in the number of smartphones shipped globally, from No. 3 when it acquired another U.S. brand, Motorola, in late 2014.

    Lenovo’s Hong Kong-listed stock has fallen nearly 60% since the Motorola acquisition.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-lenovo-to-reboot-after-losing-pc-crown-to-hp-1495702920

  • SAP has designs on new government business

    “Imagine you’re a government employee and you take a trip. In the U.S., as soon as it’s approved and before you’ve even taken it, the government needs to set aside the money and record the liability for that approved spend, and then they need that approval to flow into all the impacted cost centers,” he said. “How you encumber, how you take that spend and how you put it as a liability, it starts to look like a core ERP use case.”

    Koch sees a billion-dollar opportunity for SAP and its integration partners in the 90,000 U.S. government entities that are potential users of ByDesign.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3197826/software-as-a-service/sap-has-designs-on-new-government-business.html

  • The FCC’s case against net neutrality rests on a deliberate misrepresentation of how the internet works

    This analysis is like saying that because someone built a bridge, they also created the entire city on far side of it. It’s absurd, and in fact the argument was already tried and found wanting in a federal court just three weeks ago. Anyone with a modicum of technical knowledge will find this explanation of how the internet and web work truly wrongheaded and entirely incorrect. It’s hard to think of this as anything other than a willful misrepresentation of the facts.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/23/the-fccs-case-against-net-neutrality-rests-on-a-fundamental-deliberate-misunderstanding-of-how-the-internet-works/?ncid=
    rss

  • How SoftBank and Saudi Arabia Settled Their Differences to Birth the World’s Biggest Tech Fund

    Although some level of wrangling is common in such deals, the back-and-forth from the Saudi negotiators, mostly PIF lawyers, made SoftBank executives begin to wonder if the Saudis were stalling. On at least one occasion, SoftBank executives sought assurance from PIF that the fund wouldn’t be scuttled. PIF negotiators assured their Japanese counterparts that MbS was 100% committed to its success.

    SoftBank, which has 80 people in Silicon Valley and London looking for and processing deals, already has lined up a dozen deals of a billion dollars or more for the fund to invest in, with plans to work on “blockbuster” transactions of tens of billions of dollars in the future, said a person who helped set up the fund.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/behind-the-long-painful-birth-of-the-worlds-biggest-tech-fund-1495214782

Photo: Flash Bros

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Supplier Report: 10/1/2016

sn_drone_jason-blackeye

As IBM’s plans to build the most versatile AI continues thanks to the purchase of Promontory Financial Group, their competitors are starting to get serious about AI too.

IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google are so serious about their AI plans, they are agreeing to work together to create standards and transparency.  But as they buddy up, Microsoft is forming a huge team to center the company around machine learning.

Acquisitions

  • Now Disney might be interested in twitter…

    All of which adds up to a persuasive case that Disney and Twitter have … some things in common. Less clear is how that justifies Disney spending more than $20 billion on a company that produces infinite PR headaches and—at the moment—zero profit. It takes a lot of hand-waving to get from “They both live-stream sports!” to “Disney should own Twitter.” A Yahoo! Finance columnist took a stab at explaining the potential synergy last week.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2016/09/26/why_no_one_should_buy_twitter_not_disney_and_not_salesforce.html

  • Oracle buys San Mateo Marriott

    The hotel was purchased through Hospitality Investment LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oracle. The previous owner was Atrium Plaza, a limited liability company owned by Tarsadia Investments of Newport Beach (Orange County).

    This is Oracle’s first hotel purchase. Larry Ellison, the company’s executive chairman, personally owns several hotels, including the Four Seasons Resort on the Hawaiian island of Lanai and the Epiphany Hotel in Palo Alto.

    http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/networth/article/Oracle-buys-San-Mateo-Marriott-9455940.php

  • IBM Announces Planned Acquisition of Promontory to Transform Regulatory Compliance with Watson

    ARMONK, N.Y. – 29 Sep 2016: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced plans to acquire Promontory Financial Group, a global market-leading risk management and regulatory compliance consulting firm.  Upon close, the capabilities of Promontory combined with IBM’s deep industry expertise and Watson’s cognitive capabilities will directly address the massive operational effort and manual cost of escalating regulation and risk management requirements.

    http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/50599.wss
    Watson Financial Services is born out of IBM’s purchase of Promontory Financial Group

    To make sense of this deal, you have to avoid relegating Promontory into the small box of financial services. Instead, it’s most practical to think of it as a big data company that also has a services business. While it’s true that it works with some of the largest banks in the world, it has slowly amassed a collection of regulatory and compliance data. Promontory also has a workforce that includes over 600 experts in the space.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/29/watson-financial-services-is-born-out-of-ibms-purchase-of-promontory-financial-group/?ncid=rss

  • Salesforce tries to block Microsoft’s LinkedIn acquisition

    Salesforce Chief Legal Officer Burke Norton will argue to the EU’s competition authority that Microsoft’s control of LinkedIn’s dataset following an acquisition would be anticompetitive. EU competition chief Margarethe Vestager said in January that her agency would be looking directly at whether a company’s use of data is bad for competition, and these complaints seem aimed squarely at those comments.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/3126095/legal/salesforce-tries-to-block-microsofts-linkedin-acquisition.html

Artificial Intelligence

  • Microsoft’s Satya Nadella: ‘We’re not pursuing AI to beat humans at games’

    As Nadella explained, Microsoft isn’t “pursuing AI to beat humans at games,” a clear dig at Google’s AlphaGo computer which beat Korean grandmaster Lee Sedol.

    Instead, he said, the company is trying to democratize information and access to intelligence to “empower every person and every institution that people build with the tools of AI, so that they can go on to solve the most pressing problems of our society and economy.”

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/microsofts-satya-nadella-were-not-pursuing-ai-to-beat-humans-at-games-221122184.html

  • IBM releases DataWorks to give enterprise data a home and a brain

    IBM’s new Project DataWorks is built with both Spark and IBM Watson at its core to prioritize speed and usability without sacrificing robust analytics. The best way to think about DataWorks is as a sort of Google Docs for data analytics. In practice, companies have huge data libraries that often end up in a variety of decentralized locations. IBM’s new product eats all this company data and puts it in one intuitively accessible place.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/27/ibm-releases-dataworks-to-give-enterprise-data-a-home-and-a-brain/?ncid=rss

  • Facebook, Google, Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft created a partnership to make AI seem less terrifying

    The organization’s goals are objectively noble: to create standards for transparency, algorithmic accountability, fairness, and ethics, while teaching everyone from users to the US government how the technology works. Member companies say they’ll conduct and publish open research on these topics, and contribute financial support to further study. The frequency and content of these studies have not been solidified, and the organization isn’t launching with any initial studies or findings.

    http://qz.com/795034/facebook-google-amazon-ibm-and-microsoft-created-a-partnership-to-make-ai-seem-less-terrifying/

  • Microsoft creates artificial intelligence, research group

    Microsoft has created a 5,000-person engineering and research team focused on artificial intelligence, an effort to reposition the company to capitalize on the rapid growth of software aided by machine-learning algorithms.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/business/microsoft/microsoft-creates-artificial-intelligence-research-group/

Cloud

Datacenter

  • NetApp’s CEO Sees More Growth in the Year Ahead

    And Kurian sees more growth in the year ahead, even though one of his biggest competitors, EMC, just completed a $65 billion merger with Dell. “The history of large mergers in the technology industry are ripe with lessons learned—they’re not easy to pull off,” he tells Fortune’s Susie Gharib. “We see this as a real opportunity to take share at least over the next couple of years.”

    http://fortune.com/video/2016/09/26/netapps-ceo-sees-more-growth/

Software/SaaS

Other

  • The EFF calls on HP to remove DRM from its printers

    In an open letter to HP Inc. President and CEO, Dion Weisler, activist Cory Doctorow calls on the company to take five steps immediately including apologizing to its customers and resorting the original functionality to its printers. HP seemingly knowingly activated the printer ink DRM under the guise of a security update, simultaneously removing features from its printers and violating the trust of its customers.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/27/the-eff-calls-on-hp-to-remove-drm-from-its-printers/?ncid=rss

  • Oracle cuts pay of top executives [somewhat bogus headline]

    Co-founder and Chairman Larry Ellison received $41.5 million, a 35 percent decrease from last year. Co-Chief Executive Officers Safra Catz and Mark Hurd each received about $41 million, a 23 percent decline. The drop for the co-CEOs is accentuated by one-time stock awards valued at $9 million that they received when they were promoted at the end of 2014.

    The three executives were among the 20 highest-paid in the U.S. last year, according to the Bloomberg Pay Index, which values equity awards at the end of the fiscal year, continuing a trend of generous pay for Oracle’s bosses. More than half the company’s investors have voted against its pay practices in each of the last four years, making the company an outlier. About 1 percent of Standard & Poor’s 500 companies have lost in their most recent nonbinding votes, and the average support level is 93 percent.

    http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Oracle-cuts-pay-of-top-executives-9280119.php

  • Why Salesforce might be interested in Twitter

    “Salesforce’s competitors are snapping up [data sources] and will integrate them into their platforms to add additional perspective and intelligence,” Brent Leary, co-founder at CRM Essentials told TechCrunch. “If this deal with Twitter happens, it’s to add a constant flow of information into their AI platform, to marry it with their transactional and customer information,” he added. That combination could provide additional data fuel for Einstein.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/24/why-salesforce-might-be-interested-in-twitter/
    Why Google Needs Twitter More Than Salesforce — and What Facebook Has to Do With It

    But in other circumstances there is a different way to target customers and that’s using ads based on demographics, in Google’s case that’s called display ads. With demographics essentially you can reach users who you know have an interest in what you have to offer. When it comes to this type of advertising, Facebook (FB) is king. Facebook knows your age, sex, behaviors, what you like, it knows what you like to talk about and even what you’ve said. On top of all that, Facebook buys information about its users from third parties to know even more about them.

    https://www.thestreet.com/story/13750679/1/why-google-needs-twitter-more-than-salesforce-and-what-facebook-has-to-do-with-it.html

  • Meg Whitman and HP Five Years Later: Mission Accomplished?

    “We haven’t done anything stupid in the last four years,” she noted on a September 2015 analyst call, “and we don’t intend to do anything stupid in the future.” (These remarks came four years and one month after HP announced the Autonomy deal.) HP insiders still refer to August 18, 2011, the date that the Autonomy deal was announced, as a dark day in the company’s history.

    http://fortune.com/2016/09/27/whitman-hp-five-year/

  • Kustomer, founded by Salesforce alums, nabs $12.5M to repair customer care

    A new startup called Kustomer is getting ready to come out of stealth with an aim to fix all that by rebuilding the CRM from the point of view of the customer rep. Ambitiously, it is also trying to change the general business mindset in the process. By building a platform that is easy enough for everyone to use and holistic in the data it contains, Kustomer believes that anyone in a company, not just those relegated to the CRM silo, could act as a customer service rep.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/27/kustomer-customer-care/?ncid=rss

  • Lenovo undergoes another big layoff round, mostly impacting Motorola

    The company is at it again, and while the number is less than list time, it’s still fairly significant, primarily impacting its Motorola Mobility smartphone business. In a statement issued early today, the company is looking to downplay things a bit in contrast to its overall numbers, noting that the moves “[impact] less than two percent of its approximately 55,000 employees globally.”

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/26/lenovo-layoffs/?ncid=rss

Photo: Jason Blackeye

Tagged , , , , , ,

Supplier Report: 5/23/2015

sn_sparklers

Several companies are moving into the OpenStack cloud platform. In last week’s report, I covered Oracle’s openstack plans, this week both IBM and EMC released offerings as well.

HP’s recent performance earnings indicate that the company is in a slump.   Down 21% from this time last year, the company seems to be in a daze before its historical split.

The rumors of Salesforce being purchased reached a peak with reports that Microsoft making a $55B offer for the company, which was rejected due to SalesForce wanting something closer to $70B.

IBM

  • Unusual IBM Breach Could Make Coverage Ruling An Outlier

    In a closely watched case, the Connecticut high court unanimously found Monday that Federal Insurance Co. and Scottsdale Insurance Co. don’t have to cover losses stemming from a data breach that occurred when a cart holding computer tapes with IBM employees’ sensitive information fell out of the back of a transportation contractor’s van near a highway exit ramp. About 130 of the tapes, which contained the Social Security numbers, birth dates and contact information of 500,000 past and present IBM workers, were taken from the roadside by an unknown person.

    http://www.law360.com/articles/657168/unusual-ibm-breach-could-make-coverage-case-an-outlier

  • IBM is bringing OpenStack to SoftLayer (Oracle last week and IBM this week)

    Rather than using a single cloud provider, enterprises want to hedge their bets and spread workloads across multiple providers, or between a cloud provider and an in-house deployment. This year, 82 percent of organizations will adopt a multi-cloud strategy, up from 74 percent in 2014, according to a survey from cloud management services provider RightScale.

    http://www.cio.com.au/article/575370/ibm-brings-openstack-its-softlayer-cloud/

  • Around 90 Inverclyde jobs axed as IBM moves roles to Bulgaria

    Most of the affected workers are employed by agency Manpower on behalf of IBM, which refused to comment on the employees facing the cuts.

    http://news.stv.tv/west-central/1321243-around-90-inverclyde-jobs-axed-as-ibm-moves-roles-to-bulgaria/

  • Dubuque officials say national IBM article was a ‘hatchet job’

    Both articles cited the decline in workers from a peak of 1,300 to 625, as well as the state and local incentives offered prior to the company’s arrival. The articles also referenced a recent letter from U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, that questioned company leaders’ request to hire workers on temporary foreign visas while laying off other employees.

    http://www.thonline.com/news/dubuque/article_433b7c36-0015-11e5-8fae-0b042e6f27ae.html

  • And so it begins: The first IBM/Apple iWatch app:

    Hospital RN is an app that allows nurses to do their jobs more efficiently by providing them with on-the-go data and alerts.

    http://www.techradar.com/us/news/wearables/apple-and-ibm-mobilefirst-apps-hit-the-apple-watch-1294759

EMC

  • EMC also offers two OpenStack solutions

    EMC’s rapid acceleration into the OpenStack community and open source communities in general is in part due to its OpenStack Cloud reference architectures, its new software defined storage controller CoprHD, EMC {Code}, its newly launched EMC CloudFoundry Dojo, and EMC’s recent OPNFV Sponsorship. EMC also recently releases two new driers for the Kilo release, Cinder and Manila.

    http://www.storagereview.com/emc_announces_two_new_openstack_solutions

HP

Other

Tagged , , , , ,

Supplier Report: 5/2/2015

sn_steak

The big news this week is SalesForce potentially being up for sale.  There were hundreds of articles discussing potential buyers with IBM, Oracle, HP, and Microsoft being the only viable contenders.

Speaking of Oracle and HP, outside of the Saleforce news, there wasn’t much new information posted (same recycled stories).  Sometimes you are looking for the sizzle and the steak, so focus was shifted to other suppliers this week like EMC and Red Hat.

IBM

  • Apple and IBM are looking to get iPads in the hands of the elderly:

    The collaboration calls for Apple to provide iPads and IBM to deliver apps and analytics software to connect millions of Japanese seniors with services, healthcare, community and their families under the national Post Office Watch service. IBM will write software that alerts Post Office Watch customers to take their medicine, provide them with exercise and diet information and assist with tasks such as grocery shopping.

    http://thevarguy.com/business-technology-solution-sales/050115/apple-ibm-japan-post-supply-tablets-elderly-japanese

  • IBM introduces new quantum computing chip:

    IBM’s new chip is the first to integrate the basic devices needed to build a quantum computer, known as qubits, into a 2-D grid. Researchers think one of the best routes to making a practical quantum computer would involve creating grids of hundreds or thousands of qubits working together. The circuits of IBM’s chip are made from metals that become superconducting when cooled to extremely low temperatures. The chip operates at only a fraction of a degree above absolute zero.

    http://www.technologyreview.com/news/537041/ibm-shows-off-a-quantum-computing-chip/

  • IBM boosts divident by 18%

    The increase will cost the company an extra $197.7 million a quarter and brings the dividend yield to about 3%.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/ibm-boosts-quarterly-dividend-18-1430232709

  • Cloud is not a high margin business:

    AWS, which many thought was running at break-even or possibly at a loss, turns out to be for Amazon a $5 billion business generating a third of the company’s total profits. That’s good, right? Not if it establishes a benchmark for typical-to-good cloud service provider performance. In fact it suggests that some companies — IBM especially — are going to have a very difficult time finding success in the cloud.

    http://betanews.com/2015/04/28/aws-shows-cloud-is-not-a-high-margin-business/

  • Interesting “what if” post of IBM buying TCS…

    It’s simple – make a move on the largest, most aggressive and dynamic of the Indian-heritage providers:  TCS.   Together, they would crush the market across all aspects of delivery, all verticals, all technologies because their individual forays in the As-a-Service world could play off each other and get scale even quicker.  They would have skill at massive scale and could undercut the competition on key deals – almost at will – if they needed to.

    http://www.horsesforsources.com/ibm-tcs_042515

EMC

Other

Tagged , , , , ,