Tag Archives: Oracle

Supplier Report: 6/2/2017

Should investors lay IBM’s current problem’s at Ginni Rometty’s feet or is her predecessor Sam Palmisano truly to blame? While investors are busy finger-pointing, IBM’s global services division declined another 2%.

But it wasn’t all bad news for big blue, they acquired a company to help bolster their “Connections” platform and another news source is touting just how good Watson is at suggesting cancer treatments.

Meanwhile in Japan, Toshiba is still struggling to sell off their memory chip business in a last-ditch effort to keep the company afloat and NTT quietly invested in NoSQL database provider MarkLogic.

Acquisitions

  • IBM Acquires XCC Digital Work Hub to Strengthen IBM Connections

    Armonk, NY-based IBM acquired the XCC technology from its partner, Cologne, Germany-based TIMETOACT GROUP. XCC is a digital workplace hub that IBM officials said will create a “single destination” personalized homepage for employees. The company made the announcement at its DNUG44 collaboration conference in Berlin this morning.

    XCC’s hub will be renamed the IBM Connections Engagement Center and will live under the portfolio of IBM Connections, IBM’s enterprise collaboration suite that competes with the likes of Microsoft, Slack and Atlassian.

    http://www.cmswire.com/digital-workplace/ibm-acquires-xcc-digital-work-hub-to-strengthen-ibm-connections/

  • Micro Focus’ $8.8bn software acquisition approved by investors

    The approval for the $8.8bn deal comes only weeks after Micro Focus issued a damaging warning on its growth prospects because of a slowdown in sales at the former Hewlett-Packard assets.

    The investor meeting, held near St Pauls in London, was attended by only one shareholder. Approval for the multibillion merger and a $500m return of cash to shareholders was passed without objection in less than 10 minutes. The vote was passed with a 99.9 per cent approval.

    https://www.ft.com/content/976c93f8-4221-11e7-82b6-896b95f30f58

  • Dell further ties itself to VMware

    Initial reports set the price at $67 billion, but Dell now says it was just over $58 billion. Either way, a good portion of the funding was borrowed.Selling off VMware – at its current market cap of about $34 billion – would certainly change the math, but so too would losing VMware’s future potential contributions.

    VMware still functions as its own publicly traded company, as it did under EMC, but it is now majority-owned by Dell Technologies. And unlike other parts of Dell’s new empire, VMware is growing at 10 percent a year.

    http://www.wbjournal.com/article/20170529/PRINTEDITION/170529955/1002

  • Intel CEO explains why he spent $15 billion on Mobileye

    Krzanich said that someday “if you get a ransomware or some kind of virus on one portion of the device,” Intel will not only have backups, but they could “refresh your car on the fly.” While he acknowledged that there are some potential privacy concerns, Krzanich believes that connected cars will be “much safer.”

    “In order for those cars to drive, they do have to look,” said Krzanich about self-driving cars. “There’s a lot of social good that can come out of this.”

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/01/intel-ceo-explains-why-he-spent-15-billion-on-mobileye/?ncid=rss

  • NTT Data announces strategic investment in NoSQL database provider MarkLogic

    MarkLogic positions itself as a database system for integrating data from various data silos, something that’s a growing problem for large enterprises as they look into how they can get the most value out of their data. Over the years (and often because of acquisitions), different groups in a company often use different database systems, and now they are looking for ways to bring all of this information together again. Typically, the way to do that is by bringing that data into a schema-less NoSQL database, which is where MarkLogic comes in.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/31/ntt-data-announces-strategic-investment-in-nosql-database-provider-marklogic/?ncid=rss

  • Toshiba Fights to Clear Way for Chip-Unit Sale

    Toshiba said it would transfer the joint venture back to the core Toshiba group, and remove that part of its chip unit from a sale. The company says the joint venture includes manufacturing equipment, but not the key NAND flash manufacturing processes or the plants or engineers in Japan.

    The move defuses Western Digital’s claim that the sale of the chip unit to a third party would be a breach of its joint venture rights, Toshiba’s lawyers said in a letter dated Wednesday.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/toshiba-makes-legal-concession-on-sale-of-memory-chip-unit-1496239072?mg=prod/accounts-wsj

Artificial Intelligence

  • IBM’s Watson is really good at creating cancer treatment plans

    In a handful of studies being presented at ASCO, researchers show that Watson for Oncology is pretty dang good at recommending treatments for a variety of different cancers. From research done in India, Watson’s treatment recommendations were in agreement with those of physicians 96 percent of the time for lung cancer, 93 percent of the time for rectal cancer, and 81 percent of the time for colon cancer.

    And there were comparable rates of agreement for colorectal, lung, breast and gastric cancer treatments in a Thai-based study. Additionally, Watson was able to screen breast and lung cancer patients for clinical trial eligibility 78 percent faster than a human, reducing screening time from 110 minutes down to just 24.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/01/ibm-watson-cancer-treatment-plans/

  • Google has reportedly launched a new AI-focused venture capital program

    According to Axios, Patterson and company will reportedly be co-investing with GV when it makes sense to do so. Check sizes, it says, will range from $1 million and $10 million to start, though it isn’t yet clear how much Google plans to commit to the program, yearly or otherwise.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/26/google-has-reportedly-launched-a-new-ai-focused-venture-capital-program/?ncid=rss

Cloud

  • VMware to rally nearly 20% on Amazon partnership, analyst says

    “The recent partnership between VMware and AWS [Amazon Web Services] has been received with great positivity and excitement, according to our channel work,” analyst Jayson Noland wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. “Naturally, a co-development between the respective leaders in private and public clouds should offer an unparalleled level of seamlessness in hybrid cloud mobility, which to date remains one of the largest challenges to enterprise cloud deployment.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/31/cloud-play-vmware-to-rally-nearly-20-percent-on-amazon-partnership-analyst-says.html

  • Oracle Bucks the Pricing Trend in the Cloud

    Oracle has been acting as if to buck cloud computing pricing trends. Amazon and Microsoft have been waging cloud pricing wars, with Amazon recently trimming AWS costs by as much as 21% on certain services.

    However, Oracle has been hiking prices. Earlier this year, the company updated its licensing policy in a fashion that dramatically increased the cost of running Oracle software on AWS and Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform. Oracle doubled the cost of running its database on these foreign clouds.

    http://marketrealist.com/2017/05/oracle-bucks-pricing-trend-cloud/

Datacenter

  • MongoDB Taking Share From Oracle In $40 Billion Market

    When you take into account the full cost to a company, MongoDB offered an irresistible bargain. “We believe that the cost of the software should equal that of the hardware. We typically charge $5,000 per server per year for the software to run on a server that costs about $5,000. Our competition charges hundreds of thousands of dollars per server-year plus $50,000 a year in maintenance and their software runs on $10,000 servers,” said Schireson.

    Regrettably, MongoDB declined to provide revenue growth details. But its headcount growth suggested that demand for the product was soaring. Schireson argued, “When I joined as CEO in 2011, the company had 20 employees. That went to 100 by the end of 2011 and 200 by the end of 2012. [As of October 2013] we have 320 people and expect to end the year at between 350 and 400. And we plan to add 200 more in 2014. We now have 600 customers.”

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2017/05/30/mongodb-taking-share-from-oracle-in-40-billion-market/#2e06dd5a3156

  • IBM believes that hybrid cloud is the future of computing

    “When we work with private and public clouds on workload assessment, customers think of what would go Hybrid. We do studies and assessment with our customers every day. So, there is no doubt or question in our mind that hybrid is the way to go,” Vikas Arora, Cloud Business Leader for IBM India and South Asia, told IANS.

    He said IBM believes that it has the best of enterprise cloud and hybrid is a very core capability that it has, adding that there is a need of a global footprint of datacenters.

    http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/ibm-believes-that-hybrid-cloud-is-the-future-of-computing-378615.html

  • Red Hat director talks Reactive and changing middleware layer

    Sharples also shared his opinion on how the middleware layer is changing, such as the shift away from enterprise service buses (ESBs). The ESB, he said, became a burden in the eyes of many software administrators who saw it as a single “choke point” and potential source of universal failure.

    “It became that part of your application code was now embedded within this infrastructure,” Sharples said. “So, it didn’t provide a good separation of concerns.”

    http://searchmicroservices.techtarget.com/video/Red-Hat-director-talks-Reactive-and-changing-middleware-layer

  • HPE meets lowered expectations as execs insist worst is over, but investors not so sure

    HPE’s results were expected to be dismal, and the company surprised no one with earnings that met Wall Street expectations on a 13 percent plunge in revenue compared to the same quarter last year. About the only positive news was that net revenues of $9.9 billion slightly exceeded consensus estimates of $9.64 billion, and that the company reaffirmed its earnings guidance for the rest of the year.

    Exact comparisons to last year’s figures aren’t practical because HPE completed the sale of its services business to Computer Sciences Corp. just last month, shedding 100,000 employees in the process. In after-hours trading, the stock declined a little more than 2 percent.

    https://siliconangle.com/blog/2017/05/31/hpe-meets-lowered-expectations-execs-insist-worst/

Software/SaaS

  • Blockchains are the new Linux, not the new Internet

    Decentralized blockchain solutions are vastly more democratic, and more technically compelling, than the hermetically-sealed, walled-garden, Stack-ruled Internet of today. Similarly, open-source Linux was vastly more democratic, and more technically compelling, than the Microsoft and Apple OSes which ruled computing at the time. But nobody used it except a tiny coterie of hackers. It was too clunky; too complicated; too counterintuitive; required jumping through too many hoops — and Linux’s dirty secret was that the mainstream solutions were, in fact, actually fine, for most people.

    Sound familiar? Today there’s a lot of work going into decentralized distributed storage keyed on blockchain indexes; Storj, Sia, Blockstack, et al. This is amazing, groundbreaking work… but why would an ordinary person, one already comfortable with Box or Dropbox, switch over to Storj or Blockstack? The centralized solution works just fine for them, and, because it’s centralized, they know who to call if something goes wrong. Blockstack in particular is more than “just” storage … but what compelling pain point is it solving for the average user?

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/28/double-double-cryptocoin-bubble/?ncid=rss

  • Concord wants to become the Google Docs of contracts

    Concord wants to centralize everything related to contract management into one service, and this service is supposed to work for all sorts of teams. Companies like Just Eat have been using it across the board, from the sales team to the HR team.

    And it starts with writing new contracts. Concord lets you create and edit contracts directly in your browser. If you want to send it to a coworker, you just share the Concord document. The platform then tracks changes and versions so that everybody across your organization stays on the same page. And those contracts are legally binding.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/31/concord-wants-to-become-the-google-docs-of-contracts/?ncid=rss

Other

  • What’s Stopping IBM’s Global Business Services from Growing?

    The GBS segment’s revenue fell 2% to $4.0 billion in the quarter. The segment encompasses consulting, global process services, and application management services. It provides customers with these services by integrating them with the company’s offerings, including Watson, cloud, blockchain, and technology services.

    The migration of customers from big on-premises projects and models to the cloud system has led to a fall in IBM’s traditional back office implementation business.

    http://marketrealist.com/2017/06/whats-stopping-ibms-global-business-services-from-growing/

  • Is Management Really to Blame for IBM’s Woes?

    Shares of IBM have declined 8% this year, while the S&P 500 has gained 8%. The reasons are easy to see — the company’s revenue has fallen annually for 20 straight quarters, Warren Buffett sold about 30% of Berkshire’s stake in February, and Moody’s downgraded its credit rating in early May.

    Amid all those negative headlines, it’s easy to blame IBM’s management for its current woes. However, it makes more sense to blame former CEO Sam Palmisano for most of those problems. Rometty initially waited too long to abandon Palmisano’s quixotic plan, but her moves over the past three years indicate that she knows how to turn around the aging company. Therefore, investors should keep those facts in mind before assuming that IBM would fare better under new management.

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/05/27/is-management-really-to-blame-for-ibms-woes.aspx

Photo: Hermes Rivera

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SourceCast: Episode 71: Really Oracle?

Last week, Oracle published a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai supporting his plans to repeal net neutrality protections. On this episode, we discuss Oracle’s potential motivations.

Photo: Quino Al

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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: 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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