Tag Archives: Red Hat

Supplier Report: 2/3/2018

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

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

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

Acquisitions

  • VMware May Buy Dell in Biggest-Ever Tech Deal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Fujifilm acquires Xerox for $6.1 billion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Artificial Intelligence

  • iPhone assembler Foxconn pledges $340m for AI venture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cloud

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Security

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data Center/Hardware

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other

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

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

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

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

    The healthcare industry isn’t holding its breath:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Amazon’s ad business grew 60 percent this quarter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Patrick Hendry

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Supplier Report: 6/23/2017

It feels like Amazon is taking over the world – they are buying Whole Foods, they are Gartner’s #1 IaaS provider, they are building a new cloud region in Hong Kong, and they managed to get Wal-mart so mad that the ol’ mart is banning suppliers from doing business with AWS.

I guess it’s good to be the king?

Red Hat is thinking about the future as they grow their services business while Oracle beat market expectations and had quite the stock rally.

Acquisitions

  • Amazon to Buy Whole Foods for $13.7 Billion

    Amazon.com Inc. said on Friday it would buy Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion, including debt, instantly transforming the online giant into a major player in the bricks-and-mortar retail sector it has spent years upending.

    The acquisition, Amazon’s largest by far, gives it a network of more than 460 stores that could serve as beachheads for in-store pickup and its distribution network. It would make Amazon an overnight heavyweight in the all-important grocery business, a major spending segment in which it has struggled to gain a foothold because consumers still largely prefer to shop for food in stores.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-to-buy-whole-foods-for-13-7-billion-1497618446?mg=prod/accounts-wsj

  • Tokyo Takes Lead in Toshiba Chip-Unit Sale Over China Fears

    The Japanese government-led group wasn’t the highest bidder, according to people briefed on the bids. Taiwan-based iPhone assembler Foxconn Technology Group, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. , was ready to offer more, but Japanese government officials said its large China operations raised the risk that technology would leak.

    Toshiba said the Japanese government-led plan is the “best proposal, not only in terms of valuation, but also in respect to certainty of closing, retention of employees, and maintenance of sensitive technology within Japan.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/toshiba-picks-government-led-group-as-preferred-bidder-for-chip-unit-1498015576

Artificial Intelligence

  • SAP Ariba and IBM – Global Strategic Alliance to Deliver Cognitive Procurement Solutions
  • Inside Microsoft’s AI Comeback

    Indeed, Microsoft first rolled out its developer tools for bots in the spring of 2016, as did other large tech companies like Facebook. They were billed as a replacement for apps, and many stakeholders really wanted that to be the case. By last spring, most people used the same small group of apps on their smartphones; the promise of bots was that developers and brands could reach new users again, much like they could in the early days of mobile via the app store. But users didn’t play along. And the deep learning that enabled bots to perform the equivalent of magic was improving faster than a paradigm for how to use them could evolved. “Bots are like apps before the file menu existed,” says Cheng. She explains there isn’t a common set of commands, so users are confused about where to find them and how they work. “Web pages, for example, all have back buttons and they do searches. Conversational apps need those same primitives. You need to be like, ‘Okay, what are the five things that I can always do predictably?’” These understood rules are just starting to be determined.

    https://www.wired.com/story/inside-microsofts-ai-comeback

Cloud

  • Wal-Mart to Vendors: Get Off Amazon’s Cloud

    Wal-Mart is telling some technology companies that if they want its business, they can’t run applications for the retailer on Amazon.com Inc.’s leading cloud-computing service, Amazon Web Services, several tech companies say.

    Amazon’s rise as the dominant player in renting on-demand, web-based computing power and storage has put some competitors, such as Netflix Inc., in the unlikely position of relying on a corporate rival as they move to the cloud.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/wal-mart-to-vendors-get-off-amazons-cloud-1498037402

  • As Amazon, Microsoft and Google Keep Taking Cloud Share, Rivals Are Learning to Specialize

    But whereas Google was alone in the Challengers quadrant last year — everyone besides the big-3 was labeled a Niche Player — Alibaba Group (BABA) , IBM Corp. (IBM) and Oracle Corp. (ORCL) managed to break into the quadrant this year. Some of this may be due to a more lenient attitude towards ranking smaller players on Gartner’s part. But it also might say a thing or two about how each company has learned how to stand out.

    IBM’s ranking appears to have gotten a boost from its efforts to create a next-gen cloud infrastructure for enterprises that relies on proprietary IBM hardware and management software. Gartner also took note of IBM’s ability to use its global footprint to set up cloud data centers in 16 countries, and the potential to use its developer ecosystem to drive adoption of infrastructure services built on top of its Bluemix platform, which initially focused just on cloud app platform (PaaS) services for developers.

    http://realmoney.thestreet.com/articles/06/19/2017/amazon-microsoft-and-google-keep-taking-cloud-share-rivals-are-learning-specialize

  • Amazon announces new AWS Region in Hong Kong

    Amazon announces plans to open an Amazon Web Services Region in Hong Kong next year to make the eighth AWS Region in Asia Pacific.

    https://www.investing.com/news/stock-market-news/amazon-announces-new-aws-region-in-hong-kong-497816

  • Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd says you need these three things to transition to the cloud

    “We historically used to write big contracts,” Hurd gave as an example. “Now we’re going to do a contract with a company that’s a startup. We’re going to go contract with Lyft for financials, but Lyft doesn’t have a procurement department. They don’t have even an IT department, per se. We can’t show up with a bunch of lawyers and a big, thick document. So we changed our process to go to ‘click to accept.’”

    “That single decision, around here, is like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding,’” he added. “It’s just the way we’ve been trained, it’s what’s in our DNA.”

    https://www.recode.net/2017/6/19/15826776/oracle-co-ceo-mark-hurd-says-you-need-these-three-things-transition-cloud-recode-decode

Datacenter/Hardware

Other

  • Microsoft says “fireball” threat overblown

    Today, Microsoft countered Check Point’s initial analysis that 250 million computers and 20 percent of corporate networks were infected with Fireball.

    “While the threat is real, the reported magnitude of its reach might have been overblown,” said Hamish O’Dea of the Windows Defender research team. Check Point said today that it has been working with Microsoft since being notified of the new analysis.

    “We tried to reassess the number of infections, and from recent data we know for sure that numbers are at least 40 million, but could be much more,” said Maya Horowitz, Group Manager, Check Point Threat Intelligence.

    https://threatpost.com/microsoft-says-fireball-threat-overblown/126472/

  • Oracle leaps to record as cloud transition hits turning point

    Oracle Corp. was late to the cloud revolution, allowing upstarts like Salesforce.com Inc. to find significant market share with software delivered over the internet, and has suffered while making an acquisition-fueled push into the space.

    The Band-Aid appears to have come off Oracle’s wound, however, and the company seems assured that its healed finances will be better than ever. Investors showed belief after Oracle’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report Wednesday evening, sending shares that had never cracked $47 in regular trading, adjusted for splits, to more than $51 in after-hours action. If that move holds, Oracle would be worth more than $200 billion.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oracle-leaps-to-record-as-cloud-transition-hits-turning-point-2017-06-21

  • Former EMC Chief Joe Tucci Is Joining This VC Firm

    Joe Tucci, who left his long-time gig as chairman and CEO of EMC after selling the company to Dell, is now special adviser to 83North, an investment firm focusing on European and Israeli startups.

    83North, formerly known as Greylock IL, has offices in London, New York, and Tel Aviv. It has backed startups including Hybris, the German e-commerce company bought by SAP in 2013, and Israeli storage startup ScaleIO, which EMC acquired the same year.

    http://fortune.com/2017/06/19/emc-joe-tucci-vc-83-north/

  • Meg Whitman Cedes One of Her HPE Titles To This Exec

    Hewlett-Packard Enterprise has promoted a 22-year veteran of the company to president. The move comes as HPE continues to sort out its businesses after a series of acquisitions, divestitures, and layoffs.

    The new president, Antonio Neri, was most recently executive vice president and general manager of HPE’s Enterprise group, which sells data center servers, storage, networking to corporate customers.

    http://fortune.com/2017/06/21/meg-whitman-names-new-hpe-president/

  • Red Hat’s comeback rolls on, thanks to a surging application development business

    The Raleigh, North Carolina-based company actually quickened growth in sales of subscriptions for application development tools from the pace it set in its fiscal first quarter. Application development-related and other emerging technology subscription revenues were $139 million, up 41 percent year-over-year and slightly above the previous quarter’s 40 percent growth pace. Subscription revenue for Red Hat’s core infrastructure business rose 14 percent, to $458 million, an impressive gain on top of an already large base.

    Chief Executive Jim Whitehurst  said Red Hat is shifting its business from being a low-cost provider of open-source alternative software to a strategic platform for cloud migration. “We’ve moved from having a seat the table with the purchasing department to having a seat at the table with the CIO,” he said. Sales of core infrastructure platforms like Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenStack, he added, “provides a tailwind for our other offerings.”

    https://siliconangle.com/blog/2017/06/20/red-hat-continues-comeback-strong-quarterly-results-driven-surging-application-development-business/

Photo: Benjamin Davies

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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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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: 4/1/2017

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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