Tag Archives: SalesForce

Supplier Report: 11/26/2016

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GE is getting in on the artificial intelligence game with the acquisition of two AI firms. As the company tries to bolster their Predix cloud platform, Amazon and Google are about to officially unleash their own machine learning platforms.

As GE, Amazon, and Google grow their services, is IBM faced with the possibility of having to write off their cloud solution? It seems the company vastly overpaid for SoftLayer ($2B to buy, another $1B in enhancements) and it is bringing in a fraction of that cost.

AWS continues to quietly chalk up wins. They scored a hosting and platform provider deal with Tableau this week.

Acquisitions

  • Oracle Buys Santa Monica Offices for $368 Million

    Software giant Oracle Corp. has purchased a Santa Monica office building for $368 million, according to a source familiar with the deal. At roughly $1,165 a square foot, the transaction is one of the priciest ever per square foot for a large office complex in Los Angeles.

    http://www.labusinessjournal.com/news/2016/nov/18/oracle-buys-santa-monica-offices-368-million/
    This is the 2nd real estate transaction Oracle has been involved in over the last two months..

  • Oracle acquires DNS provider Dyn, subject of a massive DDoS attack in October

    Oracle plans to add Dyn’s DNS solution to its bigger cloud computing platform, which already sells/provides a variety of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) products and competes against companies like Amazon’s AWS.

    Oracle and Dyn didn’t disclose the price of the deal but we are trying to find out. Dan Primack reports that it’s north of $600 million. We’ve also asked for a comment from Oracle about Dyn’s recent breach, and whether the wheels were set in motion for this deal before or after the Mirai botnet attack in October, but our guess is that it was likely before.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/21/oracle-acquires-dns-provider-dyn-subject-of-a-massive-ddos-attack-in-october/

  • Symantec will acquire identity protection firm LifeLock in $2.3B deal

    The deal will create what the two companies described as the world’s largest consumer security business with over $2.3 billion in annual revenue based on last fiscal year revenue for both companies.

    The immediate opportunity for Symantec comes from the large number of consumers worldwide that have been victims of cybercrime, generating as a result greater user concern in digital safety. The companies estimate the market at $10 billion, and growing in the high single digits. In the U.S. alone, the total addressable market is estimated to be about 80 million people.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3143445/security/symantec-will-acquire-identity-protection-firm-lifelock-in-23b-deal.html

  • Google acquires Qwiklabs to teach developers cloud skills

    Qwiklabs, which launched in 2012, has only focused on teaching skills for Amazon’s AWS platform so far. Given AWS’ dominance in the marketplace, that made perfect sense. Amazon even uses Qwiklabs as its go-to service for offering self-paced labs for developers on its platform.

    Google says it will use Qwiklabs’s platform to focus “on offering the most comprehensive, efficient, and fun way to train and onboard people across all our products on Google Cloud, including Google Cloud Platform and G Suite.”

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/21/google-acquires-qwiklabs-to-teach-developers-cloud-skills/

  • What does Trump mean for tech M and A?

    On Monday, Trump announced that Mark Jamison and Jeff Eisenach were joining his “agency landing team.” These FCC appointees have both written about how they weigh antitrust issues.

    They could potentially make it harder for industry leaders like Alphabet to make large strategic purchases. “Potential headwinds include issues relating to increased regulatory review on deals,” said Page.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/21/what-does-trump-mean-for-tech-ma/?ncid=rss

Artificial Intelligence

  • GE wants to be the next AI powerhouse

    Today GE revealed the purchase of two AI companies that Ruh says will get them there. Bit Stew Systems, founded in 2005, was already doing much of what Predix Cloud promises—collecting and analyzing sensor data from power utilities, oil and gas companies, aviation, and factories. (GE Ventures has funded the company.) Customers include BC Hydro, Pacific Gas & Electric, and Scottish & Southern Energy.

    The second purchase, Wise.io is a less obvious purchase. Founded by astrophysics and AI experts using machine learning to study the heavens, the company reapplied the tech to streamlining a company’s customer support systems, picking up clients like Pinterest, Twilio, and TaskRabbit. GE believes the technology will transfer yet again, to managing industrial machines. “I think by the middle of next year we will have a full machine learning stack,” says Ruh.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/3065692/mind-and-machine/ge-wants-to-be-the-next-artificial-intelligence-powerhouse

  • AWS launching cloud-based machine learning service

    Colin Sebastian, an analyst for R.W. Baird, recently said he believes Google’s machine learning and AI efforts give it an edge over Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services in the enterprise. “Google would ultimately be able to differentiate its enterprise offering from competitors by leveraging advanced ML capabilities and monetize ML through a range of business services,” said Sebastian

    http://www.ciodive.com/news/report-aws-launching-cloud-based-machine-learning-service/430808/

Cloud

  • Amazon becomes one of the largest corporate backers of solar (wind, now solar)

    US electronic commerce giant Amazon has become the largest corporate backer of solar east of the Mississippi River with the launch of five new solar PV projects in Virginia totalling 180MW.

    Four of the projects, with a capacity of 20MW each, will be brought online before the end of next year and are located in New Kent, Buckingham, Sussex and Powhatan.

    The largest project in the bundle is the 100MW facility in Southampton County, known as Amazon Solar Farm US East 6. The five new projects join Amazon’s existing 80MW facility in Accomack County which is already operational.

    http://www.pv-tech.org/news/amazon-becomes-one-of-the-largest-corporate-backers-of-solar

  • IBM And SoftLayer: Is A $3 Billion Write-Off Looming?

    We believe a write-off of SoftLayer of similar magnitude (85%-90%) is almost certainly in the forefront of CFO Schroeter’s mind these days. To comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, a sizable write-down is necessary, since SoftLayer is likely worth a tiny fraction of what IBM has invested. As we’ll explain in a bit, SoftLayer is niche cloud player with limited functionality and limited upside. Its infrastructure products are not competitive in mid- and enterprise-level markets.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/4025920-ibm-softlayer-3-billion-write-looming
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Datacenter

  • HPE is creaming Dell in HPC

    If we add SGI revenues to HPE’s we get $480,343,000, which makes HPE more than twice as big as Dell EMC in this sector.

    IDC’s overall world-wide server supplier revenue market share numbers also show HPE comfortably ahead of Dell EMC. In the second 2016 quarter, HPE had a 25.4 per cent market share with $3.4bn in sales. Dell was second with $2.6bn in sales and a 19.3 per cent market share. No other supplier was in the double-figure market share percentage area.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/11/18/hpe_is_creaming_dell_in_hpc/
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Software/SaaS

  • Red Hat CEO explains why tech giants are turning to open source

    The big issue is when you want to run something in production. The example I’ll use is Linux. You’re running your SAP application on Linux and that’s great, but now there’s a bug that needs to get fixed, and the open source community fixes that on the brand new version of Linux. If you’re running on a three-year old version of Linux, nobody’s looking at that version for a bug or a security hole, but you don’t want to re-integrate and re-test your SAP system every time there’s a new version. That’s what Red Hat does.

    http://fortune.com/2016/11/18/red-hat-ceo-james-whitehurst-microsoft-google-software/

  • Tableau Cozies Up to Amazon Cloud

    The news, to be formally announced next week at the annual AWS Re:Invent conference in Las Vegas is that Tableau Online will run on Amazon’s massive public cloud and that customers will be able to buy it through the AWS Marketplace.

    http://fortune.com/2016/11/23/tableau-cozies-up-to-aws/

Other

  • Salesforce, Inc.: This Is Sending CRM Stock Soaring Today

    Salesforce, the business software provider and CRM leader, posted revenue of $2.14 billion for the third quarter, beating consensus Wall Street estimates of $2.12 billion. Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce said, “Salesforce delivered an exceptional quarter with year-over-year revenue growth of 25% in dollars and 27% in constant currency.”

    http://www.profitconfidential.com/stock/salesforce-inc-this-is-sending-crm-stock-soaring-today/

Photo: Urbex Clan

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Supplier Report: 11/19/2016

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IT suppliers are looking to get more open. Microsoft not only joined Elon Musk’s OpenAI, they also join the Linux Foundation. The Linux Foundation… remember when Ballmer called linux a cancer?

But even as Microsoft and Google promote their open technology, they are targeting SaaS as the main driver for future growth. While the infrastructure may be open, their SaaS offerings will be decidedly less so. Smaller companies like Slack are promoting a more connected world, but will Microsoft shut that business model down?

And who will be the big winner in this open world of closed ecosystems?  Probably Amazon. They seem to be winning most of the hosting business (ala the $400M agreement with SalesForce).

Acquisitions

  • Samsung is buying Harman for $8B to further its connected car push

    Terms of the deal will see Samsung pay $112.00 per share. That’s a healthy premium on Harman’s current share price of $87.65, and it gives the deal a total value of approximately $8 billion. The transaction is expected to close by mid-2017, at which time Harman will become a standalone subsidiary of Samsung. Dinesh Paliwal will continue to lead the firm as its Chairman, President and CEO, both Harman and Samsung said.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/13/samsung-harman/?ncid=rss

  • Verizon buys LQD WiFi to expand its IoT strategy into “smart cities”

    Verizon today has made another acquisition to build out its IoT business: the carrier has purchased LQD WiFi, a developer of outdoor interactive displays that provide WiFi connectivity along with news, emergency alerts and community information. They also act as sensors collecting crowd, weather and other data.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/14/verizon-buys-lqd-wifi-to-expand-its-iot-strategy-into-smart-cities/?ncid=rss

  • Ex-Autonomy CFO Indicted For Alleged Fraud In H.P. Acquisition

    A federal grand jury in San Francisco has indicted the former chief financial officer of a British software maker on charges he engaged in fraud to artificially increase the company’s share price and make it attractive to Hewlett-Packard.

    The grand jury indicted former Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussain on Thursday on wire fraud and conspiracy charges.

    Hussain’s attorney, John Keker, said his client defrauded no one and acted at all times with the highest standards of honesty and competence.

    http://fortune.com/2016/11/11/hp-autonomy-fraud/
    I honestly did not expect anything like this to happen.

  • Is Netflix Disney’s next big buy and is Reed Hastings its next CEO?

    And, despite its rosy Q3 numbers, Netflix ultimately needs a buyer.  As I recently wrote, Netflix faces fundamental long-term existential business challenges of its own.  Its singular content-focused subscription-based business model can’t compete with the complex multi-faceted, multi revenue-streamed business models of AT&T, Amazon, YouTube (Google), Verizon, Apple and Amazon.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/13/is-netflix-disneys-next-big-buy-and-is-reed-hastings-its-next-ceo/?ncid=rss

  • HPE Eyeing Purchase of SimpliVity (HPE)

    Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (HPE), is rumored to have its eye on leading hyperconvergence infrastructure (HCI) vendor SimpliVity. The Westborough, Mass.-based niche market leader is estimated to go for $3.8 billion to $3.9 billion, reports the Register. The rumored price stands at quadruple the company’s valuation in its latest series of funding in March 2015.

    http://www.cnmeonline.com/news/dell-emc-unveils-new-additions-to-its-all-flash-portfolio/

  • AOL lays off 500 employees as Verizon-Yahoo acquisition looms

    The cuts, which Armstrong said would consolidate recent AOL acquisitions, presage the type of staffing changes that could affect Yahoo in early 2017 as Verizon closes its $4.8 billion acquisition of the Silicon Valley icon.

    https://news.fastcompany.com/aol-lays-off-500-employees-as-verizon-yahoo-acquisition-looms-4025323

Artificial Intelligence

  • Microsoft teams up with Elon Musk’s OpenAI project (thanks JD!)

    OpenAI will also make Microsoft Azure its preferred cloud platform, in part because of its existing support for AI workloads with the help of Azure Batch and Azure Machine Learning, as well as Microsoft’s work on its recently rebranded Cognitive Toolkit. Microsoft also offers developers access to a high-powered GPU-centric virtual machine for these kind of machine learning workloads. These N-Series machines are still in beta, but OpenAI has been an early adopter of them and Microsoft  says they will become generally available in December.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/15/microsoft-teams-up-with-elon-musks-openai-project/
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  • MIT students and others teaching IBM Watson about cybersecurity

    Several universities involved with that project began having students train the system within the past several weeks, explained IBM Watson’s Jeb Linton, chief security architect.

    “We’re ramping up from the phase where we have a little over 30 people selecting documents and annotating documents, to the phase where we’re… a much larger group by bringing in these college students,” Linton explained.

    “It’s very much an interactive process. You put the machine-learning process into Watson and see what you get from it. I wouldn’t say anything has really surprised us so far,” Linton said. “We added in a level of complexity a few months ago that was a little less than optimal, and we trimmed some of that complexity back out.”

    http://www.techrepublic.com/article/mit-students-and-others-to-teach-ibm-watson-about-cybersecurity/

  • IBM’s Watson would do a better job at being a bank teller than most current staff

    Watson can take all of a bank’s rules and regulations and data about customer’s requirements and behaviours and provide an intelligent interface for customers to get things done with the confidence that Watson understood what the customer wanted and also understood what the bank could provide to satisfy those requirements.

    Not surprisingly however, banks worldwide are not investing in innovations like cognitive computing. Innovation is often lumped in the general IT budget and often forms a tiny part of that spend. By viewing it in the same category as buying computers or complying with regulatory requirements, the overall value and benefit is much harder to see.

    http://theconversation.com/ibms-watson-would-do-a-better-job-at-being-a-bank-teller-than-most-current-staff-68725

Cloud

  • Microsoft, Amazon turn to wind energy to power cloud data centers

    Microsoft is also pushing for more renewable energy sources. Referring to the new agreement, Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith said “these agreements represent progress toward our goal of improving the energy mix at our data centers.”

    http://www.ciodive.com/news/microsoft-amazon-turn-to-wind-energy-to-power-cloud-data-centers/430405/
    Microsoft now runs one data center entirely on wind power

    Microsoft has a stated goal of using 50 percent renewable energy in its data centers across the U.S. by 2018, and it just took a big step forward in that plan, purchasing additional 237 megawatts of wind energy capacity.

    In the process, this helps allow its Cheyenne, Wyoming, data center run entirely on wind power and brings the company’s total wind capacity to 500 megawatts across the U.S.

    http://www.networkworld.com/article/3142785/data-center/microsoft-now-runs-one-data-center-entirely-on-wind-power.html

  • Google’s cloud GPU undercuts, outperforms AWS, Microsoft

    Google’s plan to stand apart from the competition is to be more granular. Amazon’s machine-learning-oriented GPU instances are rented by the hour and come in a discrete instance type. Google, however, is planning to allow users to “attach up to 8 GPU dies to any non-shared-core machine,” regardless of instance type.

    Even more critical, Google’s GPU pricing will follow its existing model: by the minute, same as Google’s VMs. This isn’t about consistency alone; it also reflects how GPU-powered machine learning is actually used. If a machine learning application employs only GPUs for training, it makes sense to be able to toggle off the GPU when it’s not needed instead of changing instance types.

    http://www.infoworld.com/article/3142028/cloud-computing/googles-cloud-gpu-undercuts-outperforms-aws-microsoft.html

Datacenter

  • Dell EMC unveils new additions to its all-flash portfolio

    The deployment of the new Data Domain Cloud Tier software within Data Domain, according to Dell EMC, increases the total volume of data that can be managed through a single appliance by 200 percent, with a maximum logical capacity of 150PB. Data Domain Cloud Tier establishes Data Domain as the only protection storage to natively tier de-duplicated data to public, private, or hybrid clouds for long-term retention, including Dell EMC Elastic Cloud Storage and Virtustream Storage Cloud.

    http://www.cnmeonline.com/news/dell-emc-unveils-new-additions-to-its-all-flash-portfolio/

  • NetApp tops 2Q profit forecasts

    On a per-share basis, the Sunnyvale, California-based company said it had net income of 38 cents. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were 60 cents per share.

    The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 54 cents per share.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/netapp-tops-2q-profit-forecasts-211649286.html

  • Infinidat’s energy efficient offerings

    Below is an Infographic that takes a bottoms up look at INFINIDAT’s InfiniBox and how its underlying technology drives more efficiency than any other array on the market today. InfiniBox keeps your data center footprint from sprawling out of control and keeps your power costs low by taking only 2kW/TB to operate.

    http://www.infinidat.com/blog/infinibox-energy-efficient-storage/
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Software/SaaS

  • In five years, SaaS will be the cloud that matters

    Over time, more “infrastructure” services will become software services. Because once it’s SaaS, the boundaries between infrastructure, platform, and software don’t matter to the IT customer—it’s merely a service. That’s a mental shift from IT’s on-premises view, where the boundaries matter in how IT delivers the ultimate service. Those boundaries will still exist for the provider, but won’t be IT’s concern.

    http://www.infoworld.com/article/3142407/iaas/in-five-years-saas-will-be-the-cloud-that-matters.html

  • Why the next great SaaS company will look nothing like Salesforce

    Conversely, once a startup’s product is being used every day like Slack, it may start keeping more information within it and over time wean people off whatever they were using before (Outlook, Sharepoint, etc).

    The game-changer could well be artificial intelligence: if AI software could extract signal from the unstructured product feedback in Intercom or the sales forecasting information in Clari, the data in those systems could become more valuable than the limited fields captured in today’s systems of record.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/13/why-the-next-great-saas-company-will-look-nothing-like-salesforce/

  • Is Google crashing the Microsoft open source party?

    So Microsoft’s move is a giant retraction of that sentiment, one which it has been trying to undo for the past couple of years with various announcements regarding a more open approach to Linux and the open source community.

    Unlike Microsoft, Google has already established itself as having a pedigree in open source and so its joining of the .NET Foundation isn’t a huge surprise.

    Google is already an active contributor and joining the Technical Steering Group just expands its participation.

    The Alphabet subsidiary has already begun labeling itself as the ‘Open Cloud’ and Microsoft has revealed that it needs to be a bit more willing to work with the open source community because of its growing popularity.

    http://www.cbronline.com/news/enterprise-it/software/google-crashing-microsoft-open-source-party/
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Other

  • Salesforce’s Benioff thinks Microsoft is up to its old tricks again

    “The message was ‘Why don’t you meet with Scott Guthrie? He runs Azure and would really like to walk you through the details of your business because maybe we could get Salesforce to run on Azure’… and I’m like OK, and it was clear also that he was someone not in our business, he was running Azure.”

    Benioff notes a few weeks later Guthrie was suddenly promoted to also run Microsoft’s CRM business, which is a direct competitor to Salesforce and not long after Salesforce was disinvited from a Microsoft customer event without prior notice.

    https://mspoweruser.com/salesforces-benioff-thinks-microsoft-is-up-to-its-old-tricks-again/

  • Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is done cozying up to Microsoft — now he’s BFFs with Amazon

    Instead, Benioff has turned to Amazon this year, striking a number of major deals. In May, Salesforce announced a $400 million deal to use AWS, while Amazon rolled out Salesforce’s software company-wide. Salesforce said Amazon added even more Salesforce services this quarter, during the call with investors.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/salesforce-ceo-marc-benioff-stops-cozying-up-to-microsoft-befriends-amazon-2016-11

  • You Can Thank Twitter For Trump, According To Salesforce CEO

    I think it’s a great company, I think it’s a great CEO. I think it has a huge vision and has a unique position in the world. As evidenced by this election, I think it’s more important than ever… Without Twitter, I don’t think you would have President-elect Trump. I mean, that’s reality. He said it very well. He said, “I have a beautiful Twitter account.”

    http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2016/11/you-can-thank-twitter-for-trump-according-to-salesforce-ceo/

  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise to outsource global IT team to CSC borg

    “To ensure that all three companies are successful going forward, HPE intends to partner with ES/CSC to receive IT services through an IT Services Agreement that includes IT infrastructure and application development/support. This will result in a majority of our IT family moving to ES/CSC, which will become a leading provider of independent IT services in the world,” Spradley and Nefkens stated in the memo.

    The HPE contract is in addition to outsourced service provision for HP Inc, and Micro Focus, which by next summer will be the new home of HPE’s Software business.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/11/16/hpe_to_outsource_global_it_team_to_csc_borg/
    I believe this is called “eating your own dogfood”

Photo: Álvaro Serrano

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Supplier Report: 11/12/2016

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IBM continues their fight against cancer.  This week they announced they are investigating why certain cancers are resistant to certain treatments and what leads to re-occurrence.  As Watson fights cancer, it is also trying to figure out how to get installed into every electronic device you own.

A mass of people greater than the size of the entire US population ditched Internet Explorer and Edge this year in favor of alternatives like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. While Microsoft ponders how to get those users back, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told the press why he and Bill Gates are no longer friends (hint: its because of mobile).

Acquisitions

  • Oracle Set to Complete $9.3 Billion Deal to Buy NetSuite

    The deal has been complicated by opposition from NetSuite’s largest institutional shareholder, T. Rowe Price Group Inc. The investment firm, which held 14.4 million NetSuite shares or 17.7% of the company’s outstanding stock as of Nov. 1, said in September that it wouldn’t tender its shares in support of the deal. It cited the conflict of interest created by the substantial NetSuite stockholdings by Oracle executive chairman Larry Ellison and his family, saying the $109 a share price was too low.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/oracle-set-to-complete-9-3-billion-deal-to-buy-netsuite-1478324011

  • How LinkedIn Drove a Wedge Between Microsoft and Salesforce

    The two companies stayed close and by the spring of 2015 their conversations evolved into another deal: Microsoft would acquire Salesforce. In May 2015, CNBC reported that the talks had fallen apart because Salesforce was demanding around $70 billion, about $22 billion more than the company’s market value at the time.

    Several people briefed on the talks said that account was accurate, though two of them said another factor was that Mr. Benioff thought Microsoft was not respectful enough of his accomplishments in building Salesforce. It was unclear whether Mr. Benioff would be happy in a subordinate role at Microsoft after building Salesforce from the ground up, and it was equally hard to imagine a successful Salesforce without him.

    Also:

    For the next several months, Microsoft and Salesforce privately made competing offers for LinkedIn, each sweetening their bids as the competition increased. Bill Gates, Microsoft’s co-founder and a board member, wooed Reid Hoffman, the LinkedIn founder and chairman, according to the LinkedIn filing. Salesforce code-named its LinkedIn effort Project Burgundy.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/06/technology/how-linkedin-drove-a-wedge-between-microsoft-and-salesforce.html

  • Why Google really spent $625 million on a company generating $92 million in revenue

    It’s not like Google needed an API platform,” this person said. “But they did need revenue. They did need executive talent, they did need logos.”

    Apigee has an experienced enterprise salesforce who have landed a long list of enterprise customers such as Allstate, AT&T, Burberry, First Data, Kaiser Permanente, Walgreens etc. All told, Apigee has more than 335 customers, it says.

    More importantly, Apigee is a big AWS customer. Apigee’s cloud service is built on Amazon’s Web Service and a number of its customers also host their API apps on AWS as well. Once Google moves Apigee to Google’s cloud, it has a compelling inside sales track to convince 335 more enterprise customers to do the same.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/why-google-spent-625-million-on-apigee-2016-11

Artificial Intelligence

  • How AI (Artificial Intelligence) Creates A Better Customer Service Experience

    Some may think that Watson would eventually be able to replace a call center rep. No doubt that Watson can deliver a better self-service solution. But, what if rather than replacing the employee, it supported the employee. This would allow for the company to keep the human touch with its customers, but also provide quick and accurate support. This, according to Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM, is when AI, or artificial intelligence, takes on a new meaning. This is when AI becomes augmented intelligence.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/shephyken/2016/11/05/how-ai-artificial-intelligence-creates-a-better-customer-service-experience/#4ba9bd47ef2c

  • IBM’s Watson to use genomic data to defeat drug-resistant cancers

    While a growing number of treatments can hold cancers in check for months or years, most cancers eventually recur, according to the Broad Institute researchers. This is in part because tumors acquire mutations that make them drug resistant.

    That cancer drug resistance is a major cause of nearly 600,000 annual deaths in the U.S. alone, according to Eric Lander, the founding director of the Broad Institute. While scientists have discovered the cause of drug resistance in a small number of cancer cases, which has led to the development of new, successful treatments, most cases are not fully understood.

    The new five-year, $50 million genome project will study thousands of drug resistant tumors and draw on Watson’s computational and machine learning methods to help researchers understand how cancers become resistant to therapies.

    http://www.computerworld.com/article/3140188/healthcare-it/ibms-watson-to-use-genomic-data-to-defeat-drug-resistant-cancers.html
    Additional information on their partners:
    IBM Watson Health partners with MIT, Harvard on 5-year cancer initiative

    IBM Watson Health and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have launched a five-year $50 million research project to delve into cancer drug resistance.

    Researchers will study thousands of drug-resistant tumors and draw on Watson’s computational and machine learning methods to understand how cancers become resistant to therapies.

    http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/ibm-watson-health-partners-mit-harvard-5-year-cancer-initiative

  • IBM’s Watson AI could soon be in devices from PCs to robots, thanks to Project Intu

    “Intu is an architecture that enables Watson services in devices that perceive by vision, audition, olfaction, sonar, infrared energy, temperature, and vibration. Intu-enabled devices express themselves and interact with their environments, other devices, and people through speakers, actuators, gestures, scent emitters, lights, navigation, and more,” IBM explains on its GitHub page.

    The project is in search of all manner of developers, whether they’re hacking together Raspberry Pi with various sensors to create robots, or businesses exploring bots for customer service.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/ibms-watson-ai-could-soon-be-in-devices-from-pcs-to-robots-thanks-to-project-intu/

Cloud

  • Greening the cloud: How Amazon, Microsoft and Google are pursuing the goal of renewable power

    AWS, along with its rivals, is trying to cut the pollution its data centers emit by building wind and solar farms. Most recently, the cloud leader announced plans to built a 189-megawatt (MW) wind farm in Hardin County, Ohio, that will generate 530,000 megawatt hours of power per year starting in December 2017. That’s enough to power about 50,000 homes U.S. homes for a year.

    http://www.geekwire.com/2016/greening-cloud-amazon-microsoft-google-pursuing-goal-renewable-power/

  • Hewlett Packard Emphasizes Importance, Potential of Blockchain, Decentralization

    However, Dare notes that irrefutability and decentralization are two of the most important features of the Blockchain network as they enable participants in the network to send payments to each other without mediators. They could also allow banks and major financial institutions to conduct labor-saving operations.

    Currently, a massive number of banks and financial establishments are gearing towards the development and implementation of the Blockchain technology. But, even multi-billion dollar institutions like Accenture have proposed the concept of editable Blockchain.

    https://cointelegraph.com/news/hewlett-packard-emphasizes-importance-potential-of-blockchain-decentralization

  • Why IBM Is Betting Big on Blockchain

    Another example is a project involving Visa and DocuSign that would allow car buyers to configure a lease and drive away with a new car immediately, without the time-consuming process of filling out mountains of paperwork. La’Zooz, a start-up in Israel, is using blockchain in a ride-sharing app that allows drivers and customers to connect directly, without the need for a middleman ride-sharing company.

    Making supply chains more efficient is another area where blockchain could potentially shine. IBM estimates that blockchain could generate more than $100 billion of efficiencies annually if applied to global supply chains — a staggering number. Both Toyota and the U.S. Postal Service are currently looking into using blockchain for exactly that purpose.

    http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/11/10/why-ibm-is-betting-big-on-blockchain.aspx

Datacenter/Desktop

  • Ex-Microsoft CEO Ballmer says his push on smartphones strained relationship with Bill Gates

    “There was a fundamental disagreement about how important it was to be in the hardware business,” Ballmer said. “I had pushed Surface. The board had been a little — little reluctant in supporting it. And then things came to a climax around what to do about the phone business.”

    Microsoft entered the market in 2012 with the Surface RT, a tablet that sold poorly and required Microsoft to take a $900 million charge to write down the value of inventory. Now, the rejiggered Surface business is profitable and generated more than $4 billion in sales for the most recent year.

    http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-news-technology/ex-microsoft-ceo-ballmer-says-his-push-on-smartphones-strained-relationship-with-bill-gates/
    sn_ballmer

Software/SaaS

  • 331 million people ditched Internet Explorer and Edge this year

    Microsoft is trying to keep its users, no doubt, by trying to convince everyone that Edge is much better at battery management. It introduced features like Cortana support, pinned tabs and more, but none of those functions seem to be worth sticking around for. Chrome, a notorious system hog, wasn’t the main beneficiary this time, though. Instead, Computerworld said that Mozilla’s Firefox saw a user increase of about 2 percentage points, gathering a large chunk of the 2.7 percent of the user’s bailing from Microsoft’s ship. The pace doesn’t seem to be slowing, either, with a decline predicted to continue into the next several months according to Computerworld.

    http://www.technobuffalo.com/2016/11/04/331-million-people-ditched-internet-explorer-and-edge-this-year/

  • Is IBM Cool Again?

    Bots are one feature of Slack’s platform, and the first step of the partnership will see Watson used to power an improved version of Slackbot, Slack’s customer-service bot. Eventually, developers will be able to use various Watson services when building bots and other tools for the platform. Since Watson is a machine learning system, it has the capability to become more accurate and useful over time.

    In terms of revenue, this partnership with Slack is likely to be a drop in the bucket for IBM. But it’s notable because it’s an example of a tech start-up choosing IBM for — well, anything. My guess is that IBM rarely comes up in the conversation at small tech companies like Slack. That was certainly true a few years ago, and it’s probably still true today. That Slack turned to IBM is a fairly significant development, and it could spur more deals and further expand Watson’s presence.

    http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/11/06/is-ibm-cool-again.aspx
    sn_pw_cool

  • Salesforce users: if you buy it, you integrate it

    That’s the finding of a recent survey of 300 Salesforce users by Jitterbit, an integration vendor. While the vendor obviously has a horse in this race, the results underscore the urgency of application and data integration between Salesforce and on-premises systems. Yet, respondents are divided as to whom should take responsibility for the effort. Forty-four percent said that integration projects were the responsibility of the non-IT users adopting the solution. Another 43 percent said the IT department is expected to own the responsibility for integrating these solutions.

    The result: integration chaos from the cloud. Integrating information from other business applications with Salesforce is crucial to gaining a 360-degree view of the customer, yet users often don’t have a clear integration strategy in place.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/salesforce-achilles-heel-integration/

Other

  • CEO lured from Amazon AWS with millions in cash, stock options

    Selipsky, who joined Tableau in September, got a $1 million signing bonus, $500,000 in base salary and up to $500,000 in annual performance bonuses. He was also granted $14 million in restricted class A stock with an option to purchase 75,000 shares.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2016/11/07/tableau-ceo-amazon-adam-selipsky-cloud-computing.html

  • IBM moved jobs to India: Trump

    “IBM laid off 500 workers in Minneapolis and moved their jobs to India and other countries. A Trump administration will stop the jobs from leaving America, and we will stop the jobs from leaving Minnesota,” Trump said in his speech yesterday in Minneapolis, as part of efforts to woo voters in Minnesota state which has been a Democrat stronghold.

    http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/ibm-moved-jobs-to-india-trump/1/804146.html

  • Turbonomic Grabs Former HP COO Bill Veghte As New Top Exec

    Former Hewlett-Packard executive Bill Veghte has joined Turbonomic, an application performance management developer and Hewlett Packard Enterprise strategic technology partner, as its full-time executive chairman.

    Turbonomic, which until August was known as VMTurbo, Thursday unveiled the appointment along with the news that the privately held company has closed its 25th consecutive quarter of revenue growth.

    http://www.crn.com/news/data-center/300082785/turbonomic-grabs-former-hp-coo-bill-veghte-as-new-top-exec.htm

Photo: Alphacolor 13

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Supplier Report: 10/22/2016

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Big IT firms are clearly focused on the cloud, but as these companies grow out their infrastructure, we will focus on the differences between the cloud providers and try to find sweet spots.

SalesForce had some very sensitive M&A information leaked.  Will Pega Systems and Tableau get bought or was this some kind of trick to drive up stock prices?

And are the days of the Chinese factory workers numbered?

Acquisitions

  • Wipro To Buy Salesforce Superstar Appirio for $500 Million

    Business process services goliath Wipro says it will spend half a billion dollars to purchase cloud services powerhouse Appirio so it can improve its market share and position around Salesforce and Workday.

    The $500 million all-cash acquisition is expected to close by the end of the year, according to a statement. Wipro did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

    http://www.crn.com/news/channel-programs/300082500/wipro-to-buy-salesforce-superstar-appirio-for-500-million.htm

  • Salesforce.Com, Inc To Buy Tableau Software Inc (NYSE:DATA) Shortly After Declining Twitter Inc Buyout

    Tableau Software Inc. explored a potential sale in recent months, according to people familiar with the matter, as technology companies scramble for partners amid a wave of mergers in the industry.

    The Seattle company was working on a potential sale as recently as this summer before the effort stalled, the people said.

    The Wall Street Journal reported on the document in a front-page article Wednesday that pushed up shares of Tableau as much as 7%, giving it a market value of nearly $4 billion.

    http://www.nasdaq.com/article/software-maker-tableau-explored-a-sale–wsj-20161020-00076

  • HP Enterprise services merger with CSC could ‘mean more churn’ for company’s federal contractors

    “The combination of these two companies will create a new company with billions in global revenue, including a sizable U.S. federal government business,” it added. “However, the government sector of the new, yet unnamed company may be impacted by the cost take-outs planned by the merger and the distraction of yet another major company reorganization.”

    http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2016/10/20/report-hp-enterprise-services-merger-with-csc.html

  • Salesforce’s M&A Target List Had 14 Names, But Not Twitter Inc

    Citing an internal presentation allegedly obtained from former Secretary of State and Salesforce Director Colin Powell the WSJ lists 14 companies, including Marketo, Adobe Systems, Hubspot, PegaSystems, Demandware, Tableau, and LinkedIn, as possible candidates.

    According to the presentation, Box and Zendesk were mentioned as well, but their chief executives had less interest. The presentation, which was marked “draft and confidential” and titled “M&A Target Review,” is a 60-slide document which identified 14 possible acquisition targets.

    http://www.valuewalk.com/2016/10/salesforces-list-14-names-not-twitter/

Artificial Intelligence

  • DeepMind’s differentiable neural computer helps you navigate the subway with its memory

    DeepMind’s technique merges notions of memory with more traditional neural networks using a “controller.” The controller saves information by either storing it in a new location or overwriting a previously occupied location. Throughout this process, an association between the information is formed via the timeline of when new data was written in.

    The controller uses that same chronology along with the actual content of what has been saved to retrieve information. The framework created is navigable and proves itself effective for drawing insights from graph data structures.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/13/__trashed-2/

  • Fighting Diabetes with Watson: Medtronic and IBM Health
  • No More Humans: Foxconn Deploys 40,000 Robots In China

    Dai said currently Foxconn can produce 10,000 robots annually. In the future, those robots are all potential replacements for human labor. For the Kunshan factory alone, Foxconn has cut 60,000 employees.

    Prior to this, labor costs in mainland China were lower than robots; therefore, Foxconn maintained nearly one million workers. However, with the increase of labor costs and the younger generation’s lack of interest in production line work, many companies have launched huge investments in automation.

    https://www.chinatechnews.com/2016/10/13/24329-no-more-humans-foxconn-deploys-40000-robots-in-china
    What I predicted in this post is starting to come true

  • IBM Watson Will Run On IBM and IBM Alone

    You’ve got to give UBS analyst Steven Milunovich major props. During IBM’s earnings call on Monday, he asked whether IBM Watson, the company’s golden child, will run on rival Amazon Web Services—and he was promptly shot down. “No. Watson runs on our cloud, and our technology will run on IBM’s cloud,” IBM chief financial officer Martin Schroeter responded tersely.

    http://fortune.com/2016/10/17/ibm-watson-belongs-to-ibm/

Cloud

Datacenter

  • IBM and other giants to reform servers and make them faster

    Servers current circuitry is not fast enough, and International Business Machines Corp. has promised to speed the data transfer in servers up to ten times. The group hopes more companies will be part of the team to improve servers speed. Standard microprocessors are getting faster, but their performance is usually delayed because they need to fetch data from nearby memory chips, graphic chips or other elements used to handle certain tasks.

    http://www.pulseheadlines.com/ibm-giants-reform-servers-faster/52692/

  • Lenovo’s attack plan against Dell EMC? A partnership with Nimble Storage

    The Chinese company, which has what it calls its “dual” headquarters in Morrisville and its server division in Research Triangle Park, just signed a deal with Nimble that allows it to sell Nimble’s all-flash array technology, as well as to use the firm’s predictive analytics capabilities.

    Also:

    And it’s a segment of the business that has seen major change, particularly as its relationship with longtime partner EMC severed completely when rival technology firm Dell acquired it. Since Dell announced the buy last year, Lenovo has been working to fill the gap. McRae says it’s been a systematic effort.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2016/10/17/lenovo-nimble-storage-partnership.html

Other

  • IBM Shares Fall Despite Higher-Than-Expected Sales

    Revenue from those areas, which the company calls “strategic imperatives,” rose 16% to $8 billion in the third quarter. Cloud revenue jumped 44% compared with a 30% rise in the second quarter, it said. However, shares of IBM, which reported its 18th straight quarter of declining revenue, were down 3.1% at $150.60 in after-market trading.

    http://fortune.com/2016/10/18/ibm-shares-fall-beat-estimates/
    sn_ibm_realist_2016_10

  • HP: We’ll Put Laid-Off Workers on Contract

    In light of massive job cuts, HP Inc. has indicated to Business Insider that it may offer affected workers the opportunity to continue their roles as employees at contract agencies. The company stated, “HP has a strong record of success in placing employees in outsourced roles to mitigate the headcount number.” HP has a track record of shifting employees to positions as contract workers from before its 2015 split with Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.

    http://www.investopedia.com/news/hp-well-put-laidoff-workers-contract-hpq/

  • HP Enterprise announces more layoffs as cloud business struggles

    The layoffs in the Stackato may indicate HPE is further retreating from the ultra-competitive cloud market amidst tough competition from AWS and Microsoft. Last year, HPE pulled the plug on its Helion hybrid cloud offering. In August, Bill Hilf, HPE’s current cloud leader,announced he was leaving the company to “pursue other opportunities.”

    http://www.ciodive.com/news/hp-enterprise-announces-more-layoffs-as-cloud-business-struggles/428563/

  • Microsoft employees love Satya Nadella a lot more than they did Steve Ballmer

    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella looks especially good, by the report’s reckoning. At the close of 2013, the final days of former chief executive Steve Ballmer’s reign, Microsoft only gave a 51% rating for CEO approval. Nadella took the reigns in February 2014, and the CEO approval rating hit 88% by the end of 2015.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-employees-love-satya-nadella-2016-10

  • Broadcom, Harris Vet Bill Miller Joins NetApp as CIO

    Bill Miller, former senior vice president and chief information officer at Broadcom, has joined NetApp in the same role of CIO and will be responsible for both the company’s information technology organization and ongoing transformation initiatives.

    http://www.govconexecutive.com/2016/10/broadcom-harris-vet-bill-miller-joins-netapp-as-cio/

Photo: Rob Roy

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Supplier Report: 10/15/2016

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Large IT companies are running into some M&A trouble. Verizon wants a discount on their Yahoo acquisition, Saleforce is trying to block the Microsoft’s purchase of Linkedin, and Oracle is struggling to make their purchase of Netsuite a reality.

Cloud was a big topic this week – Google has officially rebranded their cloud offerings as “Google Cloud” due to customer confusion (good move), IBM CEO Ginni Rometty explains her company’s position on blockchain (and discusses if AI can replace her), and VMWare is available on AWS.

HP Inc is cutting 4,000 jobs but former EMC CEO Joe Tucci found one!

Acquisitions

Artificial Intelligence

  • Could Watson Replace Ginni Rometty? What She’s Not Saying About AI, Jobs & Disruption

    IBM has bet it’s future on AI, cloud computing and data/information/knowledge management. All three areas are about reducing costs and improving productivity by decreasing human labor.Cloud computing, for example, could easily be described as the technology delivery model that kills software developers, applications support professionals and data center managers. There’s a straight line from the number of jobs IBM eliminates and its stock price. If Watsonbecomes a friendly assistant that charges for its pedantic services, IBM will fail. But if Watson enables large-scale labor replacement, IBM’s stock will rise.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveandriole/2016/10/10/could-watson-replace-ginni-rometty-what-shes-not-saying-about-ai-jobs-disruption/2/#60361b211579

  • Artificial intelligence positioned to be a game-changer (follow link for the video)

    One of the technologies just hatched is called Gabriel. It uses Google Glass to gather data about your surroundings and advises you how to react. It’s like an angel on your shoulder whispering advice or instructions. In this case trying to direct us how to win a game of ping pong but the possibilities go beyond bragging rights.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-artificial-intelligence-charlie-rose-robot-sofia/

Cloud

  • IBM wins $62 million contract to run private cloud pilot at Army’s Redstone Arsenal

    IBM won the work as a task order under the Army’s Private Cloud II indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract. The $62 million award includes one base year and four option years, during which the company will build, then own and operate a data center on Army property at Redstone Arsenal, near Huntsville, Alabama.

    http://federalnewsradio.com/army/2016/10/ibm-wins-62-million-contract-run-private-cloud-pilot-armys-redstone-arsenal/

  • VMware and AWS Announce New Hybrid Cloud Service, “VMware Cloud on AWS”

    Amazon and VMWare today announced a strategic alliance to build and deliver a seamlessly integrated hybrid offering that will give customers the full software-defined data center (SDDC) experience from the leader in the private cloud, running on the world’s most popular, trusted, and robust public cloud. VMware Cloud™ on AWS will enable customers to run applications across VMware vSphere®-based private, public, and hybrid cloud environments. Delivered, sold, and supported by VMware as an on-demand, elastically scalable service, VMware Cloud on AWS will allow VMware customers to use their existing VMware software and tools to leverage AWS’s global footprint and breadth of services, including storage, databases, analytics, and more

    http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161013006574/en/VMware-AWS-Announce-Hybrid-Cloud-Service-%E2%80%9CVMware

  • IBM CEO Rometty’s position on blockchain

    Good to hear IBM’s direct stance on the platform and what their vision is
  • IBM’s Cleversafe storage platform is becoming a cloud service

    Cleversafe’s innovation in object storage was to combine encryption with erasure coding and geographic dispersal of data. SecureSlice encrypts unstructured data, stores the key with the data, and then breaks up that data and puts it on several different storage nodes. In IBM Cloud Object Storage, those nodes can be in data centers spread across an entire continent.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/3130792/ibms-cleversafe-storage-platform-is-becoming-a-cloud-service.html

  • Google’s Diane Greene providing a status on Google’s cloud platform:
  • IBM says its new Cloud Object Storage allows easily moving and splitting data

    The service is built on technology dubbed SecureSlice, which combines encryption, erasure coding and geographic dispersal of data. Erasure coding is a form of data protection. IBM acquired the SecureSlice technology when it bought Cleversafe last year for $1.3 billion. The technology automatically encrypts each segment of data before it’s erasure-coded and dispersed, and the data can only be reassembled where it was originally received.

    http://www.geekwire.com/2016/ibm-says-new-cloud-object-storage-allows-easily-moving-splitting-data/

  • Amazon cloud boss Andy Jassy fires back at Oracle’s Larry Ellison, says stats were ‘made up’

    Instead, Jassy pointed to what analysts are saying about AWS. For example, Gartner said in its Magic Quadrant report last year that AWS is 10-times bigger than its next 14 competitors combined, while putting it at the top of the list against this year.

    Deutsche Bank also wrote in a recent note, “Oracle talked up its ‘next-gen’ infrastructure as a cheaper rival to AWS, but we don’t believe it will be competitive anytime soon.

    http://www.ctpost.com/technology/businessinsider/article/Amazon-cloud-boss-Andy-Jassy-fires-back-at-9970490.php

Datacenter

  • IBM, Google, others to unveil new open interface to take on Intel

    The new standard, called Open Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface (OpenCAPI), is an open forum to provide a high bandwidth, low latency open interface design specification.

    The open interface will help corporate and cloud data centers to speed up big data, machine learning, analytics and other emerging workloads.

    The consortium plans to make the OpenCAPI specification available to the public before the end of the year and expects servers and related products based on the new standard in the second half of 2017, it said in a statement.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-technology-consortium-idUSKCN12E0C5

  • Dell shows off new logo…

    This looks like something Silicon Valley would do to make fun of an IT company.

Other

  • Joe Tucci Named Chairman of Bridge Growth Partners

    Bridge Growth Partners, LLC, a sector-focused, growth-oriented private equity firm, today announced that Joseph M. Tucci, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EMC Corporation and former Chairman of VMWare, has been named Chairman of the firm. Tucci has served on the firm’s Investment Committee and Advisory Board since Bridge Growth Partners was established in late 2013.

    http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161011005926/en/Joe-Tucci-Named-Chairman-Bridge-Growth-Partners

  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise will have approximately $9 billion in net cash at the end of FY17

    Hewlett Packard Enterprise is expected to host analyst meeting event on October 18, and according to Mr. Hosseini, the management will surely divulge information regarding the high level of cash in the company’s balance sheet. Furthermore, the analyst expects insight regarding growth initiatives and the strategy used by the company in order to promote secular growth trends in key areas of business.

    http://www.thecountrycaller.com/22995-hewlett-packard-enterprise-co-hpe-liquidity-situation-continues-to-improve/

  • HP Inc will cut up to 4,000 jobs by 2019

    The world’s second-largest PC supplier has struggled in a dwindling market, and hopes the cutbacks will save the company between $200 to $300 million annually by 2020.

    However, HP will also incur an estimated $350 million to $500 million in restructuring costs.

    The announcement comes during a global decline in PC sales, dropping 5.7% in the third quarter compared to last year according to a report by Gartner. This represents the longest period of decline in the history of the PC industry.

    http://www.itpro.co.uk/strategy/27410/hp-will-cut-up-to-4000-jobs-by-2019

Photo: Tao Wen

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