Tag Archives: Micro Focus

Supplier Report: 7/14/2017

IBM is coming under fire by Jefferies and competitor OpenText over their AI success (or lack of it).  Jefferies says IBM customers are suffering from complicated implementations and OpenText claims that their AI platform is better and cheaper.

Google is hoping to leverage AI technology to make the world a better place.  And what better way to improve the world than to buy a small AI company in India (…that does have a social  focus).

Meanwhile Verizon made the world a slightly worse place by announcing a security breach that could impact up to 14 million customers.

Acquisitions

Artificial Intelligence

  • Microsoft to use AI to assist the blind, fix bias, and rescue the planet

    In order to make sure that further developments are pursued in the proper fashion—accessible and inclusive to everyone—Microsoft also noted that it is working on an Ethical Design Guide for AI product development, based on CEO Satya Nadella’s 10 principles for AI development.

    “As technology that uses AI gets smarter, we want to ensure that we take a responsible approach to our progress – and one that will ultimately provide the most benefit to our customers and to society as a whole,” Shum said at the event.

    http://www.techrepublic.com/article/microsoft-to-use-ai-to-assist-the-blind-fix-bias-and-rescue-the-planet/

  • Jefferies gives IBM Watson a Wall Street reality check

    Jefferies pulls from an audit of a partnership between IBM Watson and MD Anderson as a case study for IBM’s broader problems scaling Watson. MD Anderson cut its ties with IBM after wasting $60 million on a Watson project that was ultimately deemed, “not ready for human investigational or clinical use.”

    The MD Anderson nightmare doesn’t stand on its own. I regularly hear from startup founders in the AI space that their own financial services and biotech clients have had similar experiences working with IBM.

    The narrative isn’t the product of any single malfunction, but rather the result of overhyped marketing, deficiencies in operating with deep learning and GPUs and intensive data preparation demands.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/07/13/jefferies-gives-ibm-watson-a-wall-street-reality-check/?ncid=rss
    IBM’s Watson, Despite Hype, Outgunned in A.I., Says Jefferies

    Kisner compiles his own estimates for Watson and finds them “somewhat disappointing for investors,” with IBM in the best scenario “barely recouping its cost of capital.”

    “From an EPS perspective, it seems unlikely to us under almost any scenario that Watson will generate meaningful earnings results over the next few years,” he writes. “In our Base case, Watson and associated “pull-through revenue” contributes 3% to Consensus EPS in 2019; in the Bull case, it’s still only 5%.”

    http://www.barrons.com/articles/ibms-watson-despite-hype-outgunned-in-a-i-says-jefferies-1499896835

  • OpenText launches Magellan, an AI platform aimed at IBM’s Watson

    OpenText is using an open source approach with Magellan with integration with Apache Spark and MLlib, a machine learning library. “We are combining the strengths of OpenText and the open source community,” said Adam Howatson, chief marketing officer at OpenText.

    Magellan’s approach will be to enable customers to leverage open source intellectual property and algorithms as well enabling companies to build their own models. Howatson added that OpenText’s Magellan platform will have a lower price point, be available as an appliance and be available on premises or via the cloud.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/opentext-launches-magellan-an-ai-platform-aimed-at-ibms-watson/
    OpenText CEO on AI: Buying IBM may cost you your job (LMAO Mark Barrenechea)

    In a press conference following the announcement, Channelnomics asked Barrenechea how opportunities Magellan enables for resellers differs from those enabled by IBM Watson. The CEO responded by saying that while he’s doubtful of the idea of robots resulting in the loss of IT jobs, buying IBM technology may yield a different result.

    “I do think you lose your job if you buy IBM, and it’s our mission to crush that theme,” Barrenechea said. “That old adage ‘If you buy IBM you won’t lose your job’, I think, is dead. They are locked into their little swim lanes, and opening up insights into all those transactional systems is going to be very hard for them. It’s certainly proving to be massively expensive.”

    The CEO claimed that IBM Watson’s information lake is a “swamp of data”, adding that Magellan is different in its centric applications, focus on automation, AI and APIs and integration between transaction and AI system.

    https://www.channelnomics.com/channelnomics-us/news/3013620/opentext-launches-ai-rival-to-ibm-watson

Cloud

  • Workday finally pops for a PaaS – 10 questions it needs to answer

    In an unusual move, Aneel Bhusri Workday CEO took to the company’s blog to announce an intention for Workday to offer a platform upon which partners can extend the core Workday applications.

    If we take the example of Salesforce, that company has never had intentions of entering certain verticals or, for that matter, certain horizontals but by offering a platform (Force.com) upon which developers can knock themselves out, Salesforce has spawned a multi-billion dollar ecosystem from which it too benefits. The most immediate examples that spring to mind are Apttus in CPQ, FinancialForce in financials and Rootstock in manufacturing, all of which are built upon Salesforce’s PaaS.

    http://diginomica.com/2017/07/11/workday-finally-pops-paas/

Datacenter

  • Dell struggling after EMC purchase

    The $67-billion deal closed last September, so the new partnership is still in its very early stages, but early indications are that the arrangement hasn’t yet fared well, said Will Mitchell, a professor of strategic management at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

    “It doesn’t mean that he can’t turn it around, but it better happen fast,” Mitchell said of Dell Founder, Chairman and CEO Michael Dell.

    Dell’s losses have actually only grown since the EMC deal went through. The company lost $1.5 billion In the first quarter of fiscal 2018, which ended in May. In the same quarter the year prior, Dell lost $139 million.

    http://www.wbjournal.com/article/20170712/NEWS01/307129996

  • HPE wants to grow again, announces new products and services to do it

    Whitman said that, according to IDC, more than half of enterprises have, or are considering bringing workloads back on-prem from the public cloud, thanks to what she referred to as the cloud cliff.

    “The cloud is absolutely the right choice for certain applications and use cases,” she said. But at some point, “they hit what we call the cloud cliff, where either for reasons of control, security, performance or cost, the platform they went with is no longer the best option.” That’s when moving to a hybrid environment makes sense.

    Also:

    While HPE has spun off its enterprise services into DXC, it still retains a robust technology services organization. Now branded Pointnext, HPE says it “helps customers harness the power of hybrid IT, real-time data and analytics, and mobile solutions to enhance customer experiences, create and deliver new digital product and services, and improve core operations at unprecedented speed and efficiency.”

    http://business.financialpost.com/technology/cio/hpe-wants-to-grow-again-announces-new-products-and-services-to-do-it/wcm/8d8cd127-3d07-4eee-a516-485b49251099

Software/SaaS

  • IBM: A Future Blockchain Leader?

    Given the low level of blockchain maturity in general, as well as specific IBM blockchain projects (more on these in the succeeding sections) being in their initial stages, it is too early to assess revenue from specific solutions. However, given the traction that IBM’s cloud-as-a-service offering seems to be getting with over 400 client engagements, blockchain has the potential to become one of the fastest-growing sources of revenue starting in 2017, when many of the first IBM enterprise applications are scheduled to roll out.

    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4086778-ibm-future-blockchain-leader

Other

  • Millions of Verizon customers affected by security breach

    Verizon confirmed that a recent security incident exposed the personal identification numbers and other private information pertaining to millions of telecom customers.

    Six million unique Verizon user accounts were affected by a data breach suffered by a third-party vendor detected last month, Verizon said Wednesday.

    UpGuard, a Silicon Valley security firm that first reported the data breach, said as many as 14 million Verizon accounts may have been affected.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jul/13/millions-verizon-customers-impacted-security-breac/

  • Paying Professors: Inside Google’s Academic Influence Campaign

    Google has paid professors whose papers, for instance, declared that the collection of consumer data was a fair exchange for its free services; that the company didn’t use its market dominance to improperly steer users to Google’s commercial sites or its advertisers; and that it hasn’t unfairly quashed competitors. Several papers argued that Google’s search engine should be allowed to link to books and other intellectual property that authors and publishers say should be paid for—a group that includes News Corp, which owns the Journal. News Corp formally complained to European regulators about Google’s handling of news articles in search results.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/paying-professors-inside-googles-academic-influence-campaign-1499785286?mg=prod/accounts-wsj

  • Microsoft CIO Jim DuBois departs amid layoffs; Kurt DelBene named chief digital officer

    DuBois was on sabbatical and decided to leave Microsoft as part of the reorganization of its global sales staff, which also includes thousands of job cuts. DuBois was named CIO in 2013, and he had been with Microsoft since 1993, where he worked in a variety of roles, mostly focused on information technology.

    Kurt DelBene is stepping up to fill the void of DuBois’ departure under his new title of chief digital officer. DelBene currently focuses on corporate strategy, and his new role will also see him working closely with core engineering teams across the company as well as IT. DelBene will also oversee the company’s digital transformation efforts.

    https://www.geekwire.com/2017/microsoft-cio-jim-dubois-departs-amid-layoffs-kurt-delbene-named-chief-digital-officer/

  • Microsoft’s Calibri font is at the center of a political scandal

    Pakistan’s government is in trouble. And its fate may hinge on a Microsoft font. Judicial investigators probing the financial assets of the country’s Prime Minister and his family allege his daughter (and apparent successor) forged documents to hide her ownership of overseas properties. How did they reach that conclusion? The documents from 2006 submitted by Maryam Nawaz (daughter of PM Nawaz Sharif) were in the Calibri font. That font, according to the investigation team’s leaked report, wasn’t publicly available until 2007.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/12/microsoft-calibri-pakistan-fontgate/

  • Accenture handed $26M in Centrelink payments system overhaul

    Accenture Australia has been granted just over $26 million by the Government for the provision of systems integration services as part of the Department of Human Services’ landmark Centrelink payments system overhaul.

    Accenture’s latest purchase order for the project, the contract terms of which run from 26 May to 28 February 2018, was awarded via the Department of Human Service’s ‘Systems integrators for the provision of services related to WPIT [Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation]’ procurement panel, according to tender documents.

    https://www.arnnet.com.au/article/621596/accenture-handed-26m-centrelink-systems-overhaul/

Photo: danist soh

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Supplier Report: 5/13/2017

Last week we covered Oracle’s strategic partnership with AT&T, this week Oracle announced support to eliminate the 2015 net neutrality regulations… coincidence? I think not.

AT&T needs all the support they can get after having 5G bandwidth company Straight Path ripped right from their grasp by competitor Verizon.

Oracle isn’t having a great week either as Microsoft announced a new database platform designed “for the future”.

Acquisitions

  • Will the tech acquisition spree continue?

    But there was some disappointment with cross-border acquisitions. “Deal activity from Asian-Pacific investors declined notably in Q1 2017, illustrating uncertainty in American markets due to the new administration,” according to the PwC report. A recent survey by law firm Morrison & Foerster similarly found that “M&A between the two largest economies in the world, the U.S. and China, is expected to be particularly difficult in the coming years.”

    The challenge with Chinese buyers stems from a “a combination of uncertainty introduced by Trump’s policies and restrictions imposed by Chinese authorities on outflow of capital from China,” said Robert Townsend, co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Global M&A Practice Group. But ample technology deal activity in the U.S. is expected to continue.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/07/will-the-tech-acquisition-spree-continue/?ncid=rss

  • Verizon reportedly wins bidding war for Straight Path with $3.1 billion offer

    AT&T announced last month that it had agreed to buy Straight Path for $1.6 billion, but after Verizon placed a bid for nearly double that amount on Monday, AT&T declined to match it, reports the Wall Street Journal.

    The telecoms are interested in Straight Path because the Virginia-based company holds valuable spectrum licenses that will play an important role in laying the groundwork for 5G services. Straight Path began reviewing “strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value” (i.e. searching for a buyer) in January after it was fined $100 million by the Federal Communications Commission for failing to deploy the wireless services required by its spectrum licenses, a practice called “spectrum squatting.”

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/11/verizon-reportedly-wins-bidding-war-for-straight-path-with-3-1-billion-offer/

  • Cisco acquires conversational AI startup MindMeld for $125 million

    This morning Cisco announced that it is buying MindMeld for $125 million. Founded in 2011, MindMeld helps businesses to build conversational interfaces with cloud-based services.

    MindMeld, originally called Expect Labs, was launched on the stage of TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2012. At that time the startup wanted to build an iPad app that could listen in on your conversations and provide relevant contextual information. Since then the company has expanded its offerings to include a suite of APIs for parsing, reasoning about and generating language.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/11/cisco-acquires-conversational-ai-startup-mindmeld-for-125-million/?ncid=rss

Artificial Intelligence

  • A.I. is in a ‘golden age’ and solving problems that were once in the realm of sci-fi, Jeff Bezos says

    At Amazon, Bezos said that “cool” developments like Alexa and its Prime Air delivery drones use “tremendous amounts” of AI. But machine learning is being deployed across the company.

    “I would say, a lot of the value that we’re getting from machine learning is actually happening kind of beneath the surface. It is things like improved search results, improved product recommendations for customers, improved forecasting for inventory management, and literally hundreds of other things beneath the surface,” Bezos said.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/08/amazon-jeff-bezos-artificial-intelligence-ai-golden-age.html

  • Buffett says IBM’s Watson will have greatest value when it replaces human labor

    “I would think the biggest value will come in when it actually replaces human labor, and machines don’t come round annually and ask for higher wages, and they don’t need health care, and maybe a little maintenance,” Buffett said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

    “It should replace people in a big way, unless some other products do the same thing,” he said, noting Watson’s potential for reading X-rays faster and better than humans.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/08/buffett-says-ibms-watson-will-have-greatest-value-when-it-replaces-human-labor.html

  • Robots Aren’t Destroying Enough Jobs

    Monthly job creation has averaged 185,000 this year, more than double what the U.S. can sustain given its demographics. This has driven unemployment down to 4.4%, a 10-year low and below most estimates of “full employment.” Growing labor shortages have boosted the typical worker’s annual wage gain to more than 3% now from 2% in 2012, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

    If automation were rapidly displacing workers, the productivity of the remaining workers ought to be growing rapidly. Instead, growth in productivity—worker output per hour—has been dismal in almost every sector, including manufacturing.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/robots-arent-destroying-enough-jobs-1494434982

Cloud

  • Oracle’s next big business is selling your info

    All of that adds up to a database of 5 billion consumer profiles, fed by 15 million data sources. Not every profile corresponds to a unique person — people can have multiple profiles — but Oracle has information on billions of people, according to Eric Roza, the vice president of Data Cloud. Using data science techniques, Oracle works to match activity from one browser to others, so companies can make sure the same ads get shown to people on their smartphones, tablets, and computers.

    Oracle sees Data Cloud as a key part of its future. The service is being used to help advertisers and publishers better target ads, and it’s attractive to businesses because it’s not tied to a major advertising platform like Google’s or Facebook’s.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3195001/cloud-computing/oracles-next-big-business-is-selling-your-info.html

Software/SaaS

  • Micro Focus shares plunge on HP Enterprise software revenue warning

    “Whilst the short term decline in licence is disappointing it is not unusual given the level of change being undertaken.”

    Its shares – up more than 70% over the past year – were up to 12% down in early trading on Tuesday before later recovering some of those losses to close 5.6% lower.

    http://news.sky.com/story/micro-focus-drops-12-on-hp-enterprise-software-revenue-warning-10869878

  • With Cosmos DB, Microsoft wants to build one database to rule them all

    Cosmos DB is, in Shukla’s words, “a major leap forward” from what DocumentDB was able to offer. DocumentDB only offered a subset of the capabilities of what is now Cosmos DB. While DocumentDB was essentially a store for JSON data, Cosmos DB goes much further. It extends the idea of an index-free database system and adds support for various new data types that allows Cosmos DB enough flexibility to work as a graph database or key-value database, for example. And for those who are looking to store more traditional columnar relational data, Cosmos DB will also offer support for those.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/10/with-cosmos-db-microsoft-wants-to-build-one-database-to-rule-them-all/?ncid=rss

Other

  • Oracle Supports FCC In Net Neutrality Rollback

    According to Oracle, Pai’s plan to remove broadband providers from the FCC’s regulatory jurisdiction “will eliminate unnecessary burdens on, and competitive imbalances for, ISPs internet service providers while enhancing the consumer experience and driving investment.”

    Telecom companies, which have long opposed the rules, are urging Pai to roll them back, the report said.

    http://www.siliconindia.com/news/business/Oracle-Supports-FCC-In-Net-Neutrality-Rollback-nid-202804-cid-3.html

    Hmmm… this can’t possibly be related to Oracle’s recent strategic partnership announcement with AT&T could it?

  • ​CEO Whitman: HPE ready to move past ‘executional challenges’, refocus on growth

    She said the company would not be targeting specifically to make up for the revenue, but would instead focus on growing its footprint in edge and IoT, for instance, as well as through strategic acquisitions.

    In addition to the company’s recent buys, which included Nimble Storage, Niara, and Cloud Cruiser, she added that HPE would continue to look for potential acquisitions, including in the Asia-Pacific region, to further drive its strategy around edge and hybrid IT.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/ceo-whitman-hpe-ready-to-move-past-executional-challenges-refocus-on-growth/

  • Jim Cramer Talks IBM’s Future As Buffett Cuts His Stake

    Perhaps most important, Cramer believes that so long IBM had the “blessing” of its biggest shareholder in Buffett then the company had time to spur the necessary changes to move the company forward.

    But after Buffett cut his stake he is no longer IBM’s shareholder and that title goes to the index fund Vanguard. As such, IBM’s CEO Ginni Rometty may not be as “protected as she tries to get the job done.” But on the other hand, Cramer thinks that Rometty could “feel liberated” to go out and acquire a cloud-based company that “would change the company’s complexion overnight.”

    https://www.benzinga.com/media/cnbc/17/05/9421246/jim-cramer-on-ibms-future-after-buffett-cut-stake
    Dear IBM, do not even think about buying twitter. Love, Joey

Photo: Dimitar Belchev

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Supplier Report: 4/29/2017

Cloud is the major theme of the week.  IaaS leader Amazon had excellent stock performance this quarter thanks to their AWS offering. While AWS maintains the top position, they have a target on their back…

Google cloud lead Dianne Green believes Google will overtake AWS in 5 years – Oracle also thinks they will overtake AWS. Speaking of “big red”, they are quietly introducing AI elements into their services, which is a surprise considering Ellison’s previous comments on the topic.

Spotify is purchasing a blockchain startup that is demonstrating a very interesting use case for the technology outside of bitcoin.

Acquisitions

Artificial Intelligence

  • Amazon Strategy Teardown: Building New Business Pillars In AI, Next-Gen Logistics, And Enterprise Cloud Apps

    Amazon’s lack of recent interest in high-flying, aka expensive, startups might be due to a culture of conservative investment. For example, Nat Burgess, a mergers-and-acquisitions specialist at TechStrat remarked that Amazon had a good business case for acquiring Twilio to strengthen AWS’ offerings, but likely balked when Twilio went public at a valuation that was 16x revenue. On Amazon’s general approach to M&A, Burgess also suggested that the company’s strategy hinges on fulfilling specific needs instead of wholesale buying their way into markets:

    “Amazon is a conservative buyer. They think long term and they don’t get seduced by high-flying valuations….Amazon is unlikely to overpay for a high-flying, fully baked platform as the basis for the next dreamy business. They are more likely to fill gaps through smaller deals, which makes M&A less central to their strategy than it is to a company that expands to entirely new markets through acquisitions.”

    https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/amazon-strategy-teardown/

  • Oracle delivers artificial intelligence across its customer experience cloud

    To give you a sense how broad Oracle’s customer experience offering is, the suite includes Oracle Marketing Cloud, Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle CPQ Cloud, Oracle Commerce Cloud, Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Social Cloud. That’s a lot of clouds.

    The company hopes to use its flavor of AI technology to bring a level of automation and machine learning to a set of tasks, fueled by the data its many customer experience clouds are collecting. And Oracle claims to have boatloads of data — a collection of more than 5 billion global consumer and business IDs along with more than 7.5 trillion data points collected on a monthly basis, according to the company.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/26/oracle-delivers-artificial-intelligence-across-its-marketing-cloud/?ncid=rss

Cloud

  • Google cloud leader predicts company will overtake AWS in 5 years

    On the technical side, the company is touting its artificial intelligence and machine learning competencies. On the support side, Google announced it is making its engineers available to its cloud customers as part of a new model for cloud services. It seems as each new month goes by, the company thinks of new ways to make moving to the cloud easier for the enterprise. And now, it can tout big-name customers such as Disney Interactive, Verizon, SAP and Colgate.

    http://www.ciodive.com/news/google-cloud-leader-predicts-company-will-overtake-aws-in-5-years/441266/

  • IBM SoftLayer plays hardball in object storage price cuts

    Jean Atelsek, a 451 Digital Economics unit analyst, had a canned quote: “The big cloud providers appear to be playing an aggressive game of tit for tat, cutting object storage prices to avoid standing out as expensive. This is the first time there has been a big price war outside compute, and it reflects object storage’s move into the mainstream. While price cuts are good news for cloud buyers, they are now faced with a new level of complexity when comparing providers.”

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/04/21/ibm_softlayer_object_storage_price_cuts/

  • Amazon’s Cloud Business Continues to Overshadow E-Commerce

    AWS generated $3.6 billion in sales during the quarter, bringing in $890 million in operating income. That’s more than Amazon’s consolidated operating income, underscoring how important the cloud infrastructure business remains to the company’s bottom line.

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/04/28/amazons-cloud-business-continues-to-overshadow-e-c.aspx

Datacenter/Hardware

  • IBM Opens Four New BlueMix Cloud Data Centers in U.S.

    The new data centers in the U.S. will provide clients with infrastructure designed for running cognitive workloads and will offer access to IoT, blockchain, quantum and Watson services through IBM Bluemix.

    The moves are part of IBM’s cloud data center expansion for 2017. IBM has invested heavily in building its global footprint during the past 12 months by tripling data center capacity in the UK, constructing the industry’s first data center in the Nordics and opening data centers in Seoul, South Korea and Chennai, India.

    Overall, IBM has 55 data centers in 19 countries on six continents, including 22 in the U.S.

    http://www.eweek.com/enterprise-apps/ibm-opens-four-new-bluemix-cloud-data-centers-in-u.s

  • Google Loses Top Hardware Executive It Poached From Amazon

    A Google spokeswoman confirmed Foster’s departure, but declined to comment further. At Amazon, he led development of Kindle tablets, the Echo voice-activated speaker and other devices. He was a marquee hire for Alphabet Inc.’s Google, made just as the internet search giant unfurled the first wave of its own branded devices. Foster didn’t immediately respond to a LinkedIn message seeking comment.At Google, Foster stepped into a new role, vice president of hardware product development, working on the company’s Pixel smartphone and Home speaker, an Echo competitor. His sudden exit marks a setback for Google’s gadget ambitions — the company is planning to release at least two new Pixel smartphone models this fall, according to a person familiar with the company’s plans, who asked not to be identified discussing private matters.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-26/google-loses-top-hardware-executive-it-poached-from-amazon

Software/SaaS

  • Micro Focus Shuffles Board In Preparation For HPE Merger

    Under the merger agreement, Hewlett Packard has the right to nominate one new non-executive director to Micro Focus’s board, as well as half of the independent non-executive directors.

    As a result, Silke Scheiber and Darren Roos will join the Micro Focus board from May 15 as two of the three independent non-executive directors nominated by Hewlett Packard. HP Executive Vice President John Schultz also will join as a non-executive director, but not as an independent.

    http://www.lse.co.uk/AllNews.asp?code=4baz7wja&headline=EXTRA_Micro_Focus_Shuffles_Board_In_Preparation_For_HPE_Merger

  • Microsoft Just Made Salesforce’s Worst Nightmare Come True With LinkedIn CRM Move

    Using its Dynamics 365 to offer information to salespeople, Microsoft will be providing access to data from its LinkedIn Sales Navigator, PC World reports. The two platforms will basically be syncing data, which means that anyone using Dynamics 365 will be able to get details like leads, accounts, opportunity pages, and more via the dashboard.

    This is a huge deal because not only does it integrate the features of a workforce management system like Dynamics 365 with the lead generation feature of the LinkedIn Sales Navigator, it also makes the transition seamless all around. This makes Microsoft’s push
    into the CRM sector much smoother, which should provide Salesforce plenty to worry about.

    http://www.econotimes.com/Microsoft-Just-Made-Salesforces-Worst-Nightmare-Come-True-With-LinkedIn-CRM-Move-659171

  • HPE kills off its entire OpenSDN line, pulls plug on customer demos

    HPE workers have also been instructed to pretty much keep the move a secret, with no public announcements, and to simply tell customers and partners the tech giant has “discontinued development of HPE OpenSDN” if they ask what’s happening.

    This is according to an internal memo seen today by The Register, which declares HPE will no longer support the networking platform it has for years pitched as a solution for ISPs and IT service providers.

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/04/26/hpe_kills_off_opensdn_line/

  • Oracle woos developers with Docker and Wercker

    All this effort, however, does raise some questions for both the company and its customers, not least being that company’s joyful rush towards becoming a leading cloud platform provider does open up debate about potentially sensitive issues such as licencing and revenues.

    Speaking to diginomica at the recent Oracle:Code developer event in London, where he was keynote speaker, Patil acknowledged that Oracle is going through a generational transformation of its own right now, and part of that process is what impact his work on the development and growth of the Oracle cloud platform and services may have on the company’s long-standing , and heavily on-premise oriented, business models.

    http://diginomica.com/2017/04/27/oracle-woos-developers-docker-wercker/

Other

  • IBM says CEO pay is $33 million; others say it is far higher (thanks SK)

    It’s a hefty sum for any CEO, let alone one who’s overseen five years of falling revenue and left shareholders with a total return of less than 0.1 percent.

    And the figure might understate her actual compensation — perhaps by 50 percent or more, because of the way IBM values her stock options.

    According to proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services, Rometty’s 2016 package may actually exceed $50 million, based on its own estimate for the value of her options at the time they were granted.

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2017/04/24/ibm-says-ceo-pay-million-others-say-far-higher/F1yAIf9DiBZriajuahsGbM/story.html

Photo: Luke Pamer

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Supplier Report: 4/22/2017

It has been an explosive week in tech news.

IBM reported their 20th consecutive quarter of loss. As their stock plunged, rival Oracle announced the acquisition of 2 companies. Oracle’s recent comments in the press caught the ire of Amazon who finally pushed back on Ellison and Hurd’s comments by calling out some of “big red’s” failings.

Microsoft took a hit this week after news leaked that the NSA created security holes in their products. The company says the vulnerabilities have already been patched, but many are wondering what else the government has done.

Acquisitions

  • VMware Buys Monitoring Company Wavefront

    The acquisition lets VMware “leapfrog into application management of next-generation modern applications,” according to VMware Senior Vice President Ajay Singh. By “modern applications,” he’s referring to applications in containers.

    Terms were not disclosed. Wavefront was certainly worth tens of millions of dollars, and VMware may have spent as much as $100 million or thereabouts, an estimate based on the amount of venture capital poured into Wavefront coupled with the startup’s recent claim of “hyper growth.” Wavefront attracted $11.5 million in venture capital in its series A in February of last year, followed quickly by a second round in October of $52 million.

    https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/vmware-buys-monitoring-company-wavefront/2017/04/

  • Oracle buys Wercker, a Dutch startup that automates code testing and deployment

    Database technology giant Oracle has announced plans to acquire Wercker, a Dutch startup that offers tools for automating the process of testing and deploying code. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Founded out of Amsterdam in 2012, Wercker offers developers a container-centric platform that helps automate the development of applications and microservices. It operates in a space that includes competitors such as Shippable, Codeship, CircleCI, Drone.io, and Semaphore, though Wercker cites its ability to integrate with Docker containers as one differentiator. It’s all about helping companies that are building software specifically for deployment in the cloud.

    https://venturebeat.com/2017/04/17/oracle-buys-wercker-a-dutch-startup-that-automates-code-testing-and-deployment/

  • Oracle acquires ad measurement company Moat

    Founded in 2010, Moat helps advertisers and publishers measure whether people see and interact with online ads. The need to create what CEO Jonah Goodhart has called “the currency for digital advertising” seems increasingly important given advertiser concerns around viewability, fraud and trust, and Moat has been working with some big names, including Nestle, Procter & Gamble and Unilever on the advertiser side, as well as ESPN, Facebook and Snapchat on the publisher side.

    And while Moat raised $50 million just over a year ago, the funding landscape for adtech companies hasn’t been great, leading to predictions of more acquisitions and consolidation. (Moat raised more than $67 million total from investors including SV Angel, Mayfield Fund and Insight Venture Partners).

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/18/oracle-acquires-moat/?ncid=rss
    Update: They are paying $850M

  • Microsoft acquires Intentional Software to bolster its productivity apps

    Interestingly, Intentional Software was originally founded by a former Microsoft employee, Charles Simonyi. At Microsoft, Simonyi oversaw the creation of Word and Excel, among others. After founding Intentional Software in 2002, Simonyi focused his efforts on making programming less complicated, eventually leading the Intentional Software team to “develop productivity scenarios for the future workforce.”

    Under the terms of the deal, Simonyi will be heading back to Microsoft along with members of the Intentional Software team.

    http://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-acquires-intentional-software-bolster-its-productivity-apps

Artificial Intelligence

  • The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI

    There’s already an argument that being able to interrogate an AI system about how it reached its conclusions is a fundamental legal right. Starting in the summer of 2018, the European Union may require that companies be able to give users an explanation for decisions that automated systems reach. This might be impossible, even for systems that seem relatively simple on the surface, such as the apps and websites that use deep learning to serve ads or recommend songs. The computers that run those services have programmed themselves, and they have done it in ways we cannot understand. Even the engineers who build these apps cannot fully explain their behavior.

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/604087/the-dark-secret-at-the-heart-of-ai/

Cloud

  • Amazon cloud chief jabs Oracle: ‘Customers are sick of it’

    Jassy was addressing a cultural shift in the way technology is bought and sold. No longer does the process involve the purchase of heavy proprietary software with multi-year contracts that include annual maintenance fees. Now, Jassy says, it’s about choice and ease of use, including letting clients turn things off if they’re not working.

    He specifically went after Oracle’s core database business, saying that “over the last few decades, it has been a lonely place for customers” because of the high prices and vendor lock-in.

    “Customers are sick of it,” he said.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/19/amazon-aws-chief-andy-jassy-on-oracle-customers-are-sick-of-it.html

  • IBM’s cloud provides little silver lining

    It has survived mass extinctions before, but there’s mounting scepticism it can thrive in the current climate. Over the past five years, the company’s shares have fallen 16% compared to a 68% increase for the S&P 500 Index.The future for IBM resides in what it calls “Strategic Imperatives.” These initiatives, which include the AI initiative Watson and cloud operations, grew 12% over the past year and now account for more than 40% of total revenue.

    Ongoing opacity makes it hard to say exactly what it means, though. IBM doesn’t break out Watson’s figures, for example, because it says it’s a “golden thread” weaving throughout the company. The Cognitive Solutions arm in which Watson is housed only grew 2% over the past year. All other divisions shrank.

    http://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/ibm%E2%80%99s-cloud-provides-little-silver-lining

Datacenter

  • Oracle data center comment raises eyebrows at AWS

    In reaction to Hurd’s comments, AWS VP and distinguished engineer James Hamilton said in a blog post: “Of course, I don’t believe that Oracle has, or will ever get, servers 2x faster than the big three cloud providers.

    “I also would argue that ‘speeding up the database’ isn’t something Oracle is uniquely positioned to offer. All major cloud providers have deep database investments but, ignoring that, extraordinary database performance won’t change most of the factors that force successful cloud providers to offer a large multi-national data center footprint to serve the world.”

    Hamilton went on to explain the need to have multiple data centers in a region for redundancy reasons – “One facility will have some very serious and difficult-to-avoid full-facility fault modes like flood and, to a lesser extent, fire. It’s absolutely necessary to have two independent facilities per region and it’s actually much more efficient and easy to manage with three.”

    http://www.datacenterdynamics.com/content-tracks/colo-cloud/oracle-data-center-comment-raises-eyebrows-at-aws/98186.article

Software/SaaS

  • Micro Focus signals job cuts after £7bn HP deal

    In the presentation to lenders on April 4, its executive chairman, Kevin Loosemore, and chief financial officer Mike Phillips said Micro Focus planned to bring profit margins at HPE Software up from 21pc to a group-wide 46pc within four years.

    It said that Micro Focus revenues currently equate to $273,000 a head compared with $185,000 at HPE Software, and highlighted previous acquisitions in which the company had cut staff numbers to boost profit margins.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/04/15/micro-focus-signals-job-cuts-7bn-hp-deal/

  • Slack, an Upstart in Messaging, Now Faces Giant Tech Rivals

    There is no illusion within Slack that success is certain. But Stewart Butterfield, the chief executive, said small tech companies with new ideas had long defeated larger rivals that tried to copy them. Think of Apple’s beating IBM in personal computing, Google’s beating Microsoft in search and Facebook’s crushing Google in social networks.

    One advantage Slack does have is focus, Mr. Butterfield maintains. Microsoft, for example, has numerous Slack-like products including Yammer, SharePoint, Skype for Business and now Teams. The executives who run those businesses within Microsoft must “compete for budget and mind share and attention,” he said, providing an opening for Slack to gain users while Microsoft managers wage internal wars.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/16/technology/slack-employee-messaging-workplace.html

Other

  • Cybersecurity Startup Tanium Exposed California Hospital’s Network in Demos Without Permission

    Tanium sells software that rapidly maps computer networks and diagnoses companies’ vulnerabilities. To drive sales, co-founder and Chief Executive Orion Hindawi designed a presentation that he said showed his company’s software running inside a client. The system in the demo belonged to El Camino Hospital, a nonprofit community hospital based in Santa Clara County, Calif. He and his staff gave the presentation hundreds of times, from at least as early as 2012 through mid-2015, according to people familiar with the matter and three demonstration videos posted online by Tanium and its resellers.

    “The hospital did not authorize desktop management data or other information to be used in any product demonstration and was not previously aware of these demonstrations or videos,” El Camino Hospital said in a response to inquiries by The Wall Street Journal. “We are dismayed to learn that desktop and server management information was shared. We are thoroughly investigating this matter and take our responsibility to maintain the integrity of our systems very seriously.” The hospital said Tanium didn’t have access to any patient information, and said, “based on our review to date, patient information remains secure.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/cybersecurity-startup-tanium-exposed-california-hospitals-network-in-demos-without-permission-1492624287

  • Edward Snowden: Latest NSA leak is ‘not a drill’

    Snowden said the NSA knew as recently as last year that their hacking methods were stolen, but accused the agency of refusing to tell software makers “how to lock the thieves out.”

    “It’s not safe to run an Internet-facing Windows box right now,” a hacker who used to work in the Defense Department told Motherboard. The unnamed hacker also said, “this is the worst thing since Snowden.”

    Microsoft says it is reviewing the leak and “will take the necessary actions to protect our customers.”

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/edward-snowden-latest-nsa-leak-is-not-a-drill/article/2620332
    Microsoft has already patched the NSA’s leaked Windows hacks

    Microsoft says it has already patched the Windows exploits released by the Shadow Brokers group. The hacking tools, likely originating from the NSA, were released online yesterday, and Microsoft was able to test and confirm patches are already available for all currently supported versions of Windows. That does mean that older Windows XP or Windows Vista systems could still be vulnerable to three of the exploits released, but it’s unlikely that Microsoft will supply patches for these older versions of Windows as they’re already unsupported.

    http://www.theverge.com/2017/4/15/15311846/microsoft-windows-shadow-brokers-nsa-hacks-patched

  • IBM shares dropped like a rock today

    As a result shares plummeted in after hours trading and refused to gain ground over the course of the day dropping nearly 5%, or over $8.

    As the Motley Fool noted, the miss and resulting tumble erased nearly $9 billion from IBM’s market capitalization and brought the Dow Jones Industrial Average down by 64 points.

    The problem for IBM is the dwindling value of the consulting business on which it built much of its fortunes in the 90s and early 2000s.

    First, the big numbers. Earnings per share were $2.38 vs. expectations of $2.35, according to Thomson Reuters. Meanwhile, revenue fell to $18.16 billion compared with the $18.39 billion that “the street” expected.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/19/ibm-shares-dropped-like-a-rock-today/?ncid=rss

  • Verizon, for First Time, Loses Core Wireless Customers

    The carrier posted its first-ever quarterly net loss of wireless subscribers during the first three months of 2017, showing the extent of the damage resurgent rivals T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp have inflicted on the nation’s largest carrier by subscribers.

    Verizon unexpectedly brought back unlimited data plans in February, which it had stopped selling in 2011, seeking to blunt the appeal of similar offers from T-Mobile and Sprint. That offer hit financials: Verizon had a 5.1% decline in revenue in its wireless business, to $20.9 billion. Total revenue has now declined four quarters in a row.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/verizon-for-first-time-loses-core-wireless-customers-1492691308

Photo: Yosh Ginsu

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