Tag Archives: Microsoft

Supplier Report: 5/6/2017

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

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

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

Acquisitions

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

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

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

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

  • What Apple Can’t Buy

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Oracle and AT&T Enter into Strategic Agreement

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

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

Artificial Intelligence

  • CEOs rate productivity ‘very low’ from emerging tech

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cloud

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Datacenter/Hardware

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Dell EMC to launch hybrid Azure cloud stack

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

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

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

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

Software/SaaS

  • Tableau subscription pricing – a proxy for software acquisition

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

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

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

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

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

  • Does Gartner Group Matter?

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

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

  • IBM Report Highlights Blockchain’s Value in Healthcare

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

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

Other

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Joshua Ness

 

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Supplier Report: 4/29/2017

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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Supplier Report: 4/15/2017

Oracle is telling customers they can do more with less.  While competitors Google, AWS, and Microsoft are expanding their cloud centers, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd believes Oracle’s databases are better optimized, thus consuming less infrastructure. Perhaps those smaller cloud centers will require less tax in Korea, as Oracle has been found to be underpaying in the country for several years.

With the success of Alexa, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is telling staff that AI is the future of the company (and to expect more AI innovation). The people at Planet Money also believe in the power of AI… they taught a bot to trade stock based on President Trump’s tweets (seriously… listen to the episode below).

Acquisitions

  • Foxconn Offers Up to $27 Billion for Toshiba’s Chip Business (next highest bid was $18B)

    The latest bid by Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., could put the government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a tough spot. Some in the government are hoping to see a Japanese company or a joint U.S.-Japan team take the prized Toshiba asset because they see the chip business as strategic, say people familiar with the matter. But it would be hard for financially strapped Toshiba to turn down extra cash if Foxconn has the highest bid.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/foxconn-could-bid-up-to-27-billion-for-toshibas-chip-business-1491833399

  • Microsoft to buy Kubernetes container-orchestration vendor Deis

    In his own blog post, Gabe Monroy, chief technology officer of Deis, said the Deis team will continue with its contributions to Workflow, Helm, and Steward, as well as “maintaining our deep engagement with the Kubernetes community.”

    Microsoft originally announced plans to work with Google on Kubernetes in 2014. Kubernetes is an open-source container cluster manager that provides automated deployment, scaling and operations of application containers.In February this year, Microsoft made Kubernetes generally available on its own Azure Container Service.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-to-buy-kubernetes-orchestration-vendor-deis/

  • AT&T to Buy Straight Path for $1.25 Billion as It Gobbles Up Spectrum

    Straight Path shareholders will receive $95.63 in AT&T stock, a sharp premium to Straight Path’s closing price last week of $36.48. The acquisition, expected to close within a year, gives AT&T access to Straight Path’s portfolio of millimeter wave spectrum, including 39 GHz and 28 GHz licenses.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/at-t-to-buy-straight-path-for-1-25-billion-as-it-gobbles-up-spectrum-1491833024

Artificial Intelligence

  • AI Is The Key To Amazon’s Future Success, Says Jeff Bezos

    “Machine learning” is a type of Artificial Intelligence and enables computers to “learn” without being programmed. It is used in all sorts of technology, from the mundane such as search engines and voice recognition through to high-profile projects, such as self-driving cars. AI technology has also made Amazon Go possible. Currently only open to Amazon employees as it’s in beta mode, the Amazon Go store in Washington is an entirely new concept in grocery shopping. The idea is that customers will be able to download an app, then walk into the store, do their grocery shopping and have it charged straight to their Amazon account without the need to pay at a checkout. This is made possible by cameras and sensors in the store. The project has taken over four years of work and was initially expected to open early this year, although that hasn’t happened yet and the company has not given any recent updates. The CEO ended his annual letter by promising “much more to come” in the area of AI.

    https://www.androidheadlines.com/2017/04/ai-key-amazons-future-success-says-jeff-bezos.html

  • Planet Money: Botus (Episode 763)
    Here is a great example of simple artificial intelligence use in a practical application (building a bot to trade stock based on President Trump’s tweets).
    http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/04/07/522897876/meet-botus-planet-money-s-stock-trading-twitter-bot

Cloud

  • Microsoft, Oracle, NetSuite: Why Some Cloud Deals Are Fake News

    So why does this happen? The issue seems to be companies feel pressured to come up with news at their various events. And, in this cloud era in particular, they are threatened by AWS’ dominance in so many areas that they want to team up to combat the threat. But it’s hard for multi-party alliances to really take off: Too many cooks in the kitchen united only by a common threat.

    To compound the issue, reporters do not often follow up to see what happened with a given pact. Credit VMware here: At least it publicly announced that VMforce would never happen. Many companies just bury the dead alliance and hope no one notices.

    http://fortune.com/2017/04/14/netsuite-oracle-microsoft-cloud/

  • Tech’s High-Stakes Arms Race: Costly Data Centers

    Combined, Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet doled out $31.54 billion in 2016 in capital expenditures and capital leases, according to company filings. That is up 22% from 2015.

    Not every dollar of that is spent on data centers that deliver infrastructure as a service, but each company describes the cloud as a major investment area. Amazon, the leader in providing such web-based, on-demand resources, didn’t disclose the cost of the new cluster of data centers in Stockholm, known in industry-speak as a “region.” Analysts peg the price tag of a region at several hundred million dollars.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/techs-high-stakes-arms-race-costly-data-centers-1491557408

  • Oracle CEO: We Can Beat Amazon and Microsoft Without as Many Data Centers

    “We try not to get into this capital expenditure discussion. It’s an interesting thesis that whoever has the most capex wins,” Hurd said in response to a question from Fortune at a Boston event on Tuesday. “If I have two-times faster computers, I don’t need as many data centers. If I can speed up the database, maybe I need one fourth as may data centers. I can go on and on about how tech drives this.”

    Also:

    Oracle execs, including executive chairman Larry Ellison, have argued that Oracle’s big machines can actually work cheaper and more efficiently than the other public cloud configurations. Many industry analysts have their doubts on that, maintaining Oracle must spend much more to catchup with Amazon. Toward that end, in January, Oracle announced plans to add three new data center farms within six months and more to come.

    http://fortune.com/2017/04/12/mark-hurd-oracle-data-centers/

Datacenter

  • The serverless cloud could swallow up hardware

    Serverless computing is actually something of a misnomer, as it most definitely does not do away with servers. Rather, it takes away the need for the consumer of cloud computing to have to deal directly with servers, either in provisioning them or managing them, and instead focus on developing and deploying the business logic to power their own application or service.

    This sounds a lot like PaaS, or platform-as-a-service, a long established and well understood cloud service model, but the serverless approach sees applications and services broken down into smaller, more discrete functions. Some serverless proponents have even coined the term functions-as-a-service (FaaS) to describe it.

    http://www.datacenterdynamics.com/content-tracks/colo-cloud/the-serverless-cloud-could-swallow-up-hardware/98120.article

Software/SaaS

  • IBM Ramps Up China Blockchain Work With Supply Chain Trial

    The platform is designed to bring greater transparency into supply chain networks by tracking the flow of drugs, encrypting trading records and offering an easier means of authenticating transactions. The end goal is to reduce the time small retailers must wait to be paid after delivering medicine to hospitals – which currently can be as high as 60 to 90 days.

    Overall, Ramesh Gopinath, vice president of Blockchain Solutions at IBM, said that the use case offers an ideal example of how the company’s enterprise blockchain platform can smooth multi-party transaction processes.

    http://www.coindesk.com/ibm-amps-china-blockchain-new-supply-chain/

  • IBM Targets Pharmaceuticals With Blockchain Supply Chain Tech

    “Overall,” IBM and Heija said, “the platform is designed to help reduce the turnover time of funds on both sides of the supply chain and allow banks to be more informed and grant access to funding for small and medium pharmaceutical retailers.”

    The solution is already working with one pharmaceutical retailer, a hospital and a bank to facilitate transactions between these parties. The companies said they plan to add more retailers, hospitals and banks later this year.

    http://www.pymnts.com/news/b2b-payments/2017/ibm-blockchain-supply-chain-finance-management-pharmaceutical-industry-china/

Other

  • Oracle Korea slapped with $293M USD in back taxes

    The NTS slapped the punitive tax in January last year, after discovering that the company transferred some 2 trillion won of gains it earned in Korea between 2008 and 2014 to a tax haven abroad.

    Oracle Korea protested the decision and filed a complaint with the Tax Tribunal in April last year. But the tribunal dismissed the request in November.

    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2017/04/133_227285.html

  • BlackBerry’s stock had a great day after the company won a big dispute with Qualcomm

    BlackBerry’s stock hit its highest point more than a year, and all it took was a lousy $814.9 million arbitration win. It’s a healthy bounce back for the embattled company, which has spent the last year working to make a major shift from all-in phone maker to software and services company.

    But while shareholders are likely pleased, BlackBerry no doubt would have rather its stock hit its highest level in 15 months due to, say, a new product or service, but, well, you take what you can get.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/12/blackberry-stock-qualcomm/?ncid=rss

  • Ubuntu Linux uncertainty continues as Canonical CEO walks away

    The timing of this could not be worse, as there is already a lot of uncertainty in the Ubuntu community — some stability would have been appreciated after all of the other recent chaos. Canonical would have been wise to wait a bit longer before making this announcement. After all, Silber isn’t leaving today, but in a few months — is the company trying to give Ubuntu users and developers ulcers? There are reports that there’s been a bit of an exodus by Canonical employees as a result.

    https://betanews.com/2017/04/12/ubuntu-linux-canonical-ceo-jane-silber/

Photo: Clay Banks

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Supplier Report: 4/1/2017

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

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

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

Acquisitions

  • Analysts turn skeptical eye to Oracle/Accenture buyout speculation

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

    Also…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Citrix may be selling, but is Microsoft buying?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Artificial Intelligence

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

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

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

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

  • Why AI should augment, not replace, humans

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

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

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

  • AI advances can slow a Salesforce cloud migration

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

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

Cloud

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Datacenter

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

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

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

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

Software/SaaS

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

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

    Also…

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

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

  • Blockchain achieving new heights of value in logistics arena

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Chuttersnap

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