Tag Archives: SAP

Supplier Report: 2/9/2018

Companies love to say AI is the future, but some are spending more money on that future than others.

Amazon is going deep on AI within various aspects of their business.  A recent Wired article highlights the projects Amazon is building automation and robotics strategies (managing internal process, mining customer data, and selling automated services in the cloud and via smart speakers). These practices are paying off as Amazon reported their largest profit ever.

Amazon isn’t alone, Foxconn is allocating $340M in automation R&D and IBM keeps advancing Watson’s medical abilities recently developing a method to diagnose certain types of mental illness.

Acquisitions

  • LogMeIn is buying Jive Communications for up to $357M to step up in enterprise unified comms

    Yet more consolidation in the enterprise collaboration software market. Today LogMeIn, the company that offers conferencing services like GoToMeeting and join.me as well as authentication and other online services to businesses and others, announced that it would acquire Jive Communications for $342 million in cash plus up to $15 million based on reaching specific milestones in the next two years.

    Jive Communications is not to be confused with Jive Software, the Slack competitor in enterprise collaboration that itself was acquired last year for $462 million by Aurea. However, it is also in a bigger area of enterprise communications, and underscores how we are continuing to see a lot of M&A and general growth in that market. This is a strong exit for Jive Communications, a Utah-based startup that had raised only around $31 million since it was founded in 2006.

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/08/logmein-is-buying-jive-communications-for-up-to-357m-to-step-up-in-enterprise-unified-comms/?ncid=rss

  • Qualcomm rejects Broadcom’s $121 billion bid

    Qualcomm’s board of directors issued a statement on Thursday saying that they are turning down Broadcom’s $121 billion bid to buy the competing chipmaker.

    According to the release, Qualcomm “unanimously rejected” an “unsolicited proposal” to buy all of its shares at $82 each, of which $60 would be cash and $22 stock. Broadcom made the revised offer on Monday, up from the previously proposed deal price of $70 per share.

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/08/qualcomm-rejects-broadcoms-121-billion-bid/?ncid=rss

Artificial Intelligence

  • IBM’s New AI Can Predict Psychosis in Your Speech

    The group built on the findings of a 2015 IBM study demonstrating the possibility of using AI to model the differences in speech patterns of high-risk patients who later developed psychosis and those who did not. Specifically, they quantified the concepts of “poverty of speech” and “flight of ideas” as syntactic complexity and semantic coherence, respectively, using an AI method called Natural Language Processing (NLP).

    Their AI then evaluated the speech patterns of patients that researchers instructed to talk about themselves for an hour.

    https://futurism.com/ibm-psychosis-predicting-ai-speech/

  • Foxconn to plug at least $340M into AI R&D over five years

    According to Nikkei, Foxconn intends to recruit up to 100 top AI experts globally. It also said it will recruit thousands of less experienced developers to work on building applications that use machine learning and deep learning technologies.

    Embedding sensors into production line equipment to capture data to feed AI-fueled automation development is a key part of the AI R&D plan, with Foxconn saying earlier that it wants to offer advanced manufacturing experiences and services — eyeing competing with the likes of General Electric and Cisco.

    The company has also been working with Andrew Ng’s new AI startup Landing.ai — which is itself focused on plugging AI into industries that haven’t yet tapping into the tech’s transformative benefits, with a first focus on manufacturing — since July.

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/03/foxconn-to-plug-at-least-340m-into-ai-rd-over-five-years/?ncid=rss
    Mentioned this last week, here are some more details.

  • Inside Amazon’s Artificial Intelligence Flywheel

    Amazon loves to use the word flywheel to describe how various parts of its massive business work as a single perpetual motion machine. It now has a powerful AI flywheel, where machine-learning innovations in one part of the company fuel the efforts of other teams, who in turn can build products or offer services to affect other groups, or even the company at large. Offering its machine-learning platforms to outsiders as a paid service makes the effort itself profitable—and in certain cases scoops up yet more data to level up the technology even more.

    It took a lot of six-pagers to transform Amazon from a deep-learning wannabe into a formidable power. The results of this transformation can be seen throughout the company—including in a recommendations system that now runs on a totally new machine-learning infrastructure. Amazon is smarter in suggesting what you should read next, what items you should add to your shopping list, and what movie you might want to watch tonight. And this year Thirumalai started a new job, heading Amazon search, where he intends to use deep learning in every aspect of the service.

    “If you asked me seven or eight years ago how big a force Amazon was in AI, I would have said, ‘They aren’t,’” says Pedro Domingos, a top computer science professor at the University of Washington. “But they have really come on aggressively. Now they are becoming a force.”

    https://www.wired.com/story/amazon-artificial-intelligence-flywheel/

  • Is artificial intelligence killing Japan’s banks? (Thanks JD!)

    Due to Japan’s zero interest rate policy, domestic banks can’t make money on loans, so they’ve become clearinghouses for other financial companies’ products, be it mutual funds or insurance policies. Banks are basically salesmen who collect handling fees for delivering products and services. Once that task is automated or otherwise rendered obsolete by new technology, what’s the point of a bank?

    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/01/27/national/media-national/artificial-intelligence-killing-japans-banks/#.Wm6pmHNOm7M

Cloud

  • Is Google Losing to Amazon?

    But profitability isn’t why investors favor the retailer over the search engine. Google’s $26.1 billion of operating income last year is about 40% more than Amazon has earned in its entire existence. Nor is it the propensity to make big gambles. The difference is that Amazon has figured out how to make more of its big gambles, such as Prime and its AWS cloud service, drive its accelerating growth. Since 2010, Amazon’s larger revenue base has averaged 28% growth annually while Alphabet’s has averaged 21%.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-google-losing-to-amazon-1517662800

  • Amazon Reports Largest Profit Ever

    Amazon’s sales rose 38 percent to $60.5 billion in the quarter, also beating estimates. Its North America revenue jumped 42 percent to $37 billion, while international sales grew 29 percent to $18 billion. Revenue from subscription fees grew 49 percent to $3.2 billion. Advertising and other revenue rose 62 percent to $1.74 billion.

    Amazon Web Services (AWS) continued to be the fastest-growing and most profitable business of the company. The unit posted a 45 percent rise in sales, jumping to $5.1 billion, and saw its profit margin expand from the third quarter. AWS sales accounted for a whopping 64 percent share of Amazon’s total operating income.

    http://chronicleofnews.com/amazon-reports-largest-profit-ever/

Security

  • Crucial iPhone source code posted in unprecedented leak

    Critical, top secret Apple code for the iPhone’s operating system was posted on Github, opening a new, dangerous avenue for hackers and jailbreakers to access the device, Motherboard reported. The code, known as “iBoot,” has since been pulled, but Apple may have confirmed it was the real deal when it issued a DMCA takedown to Github, as Twitter user @supersat noted.

    iBoot is the iOS code that ensures a secure boot by loading and checking that kernel is properly signed by Apple before running the OS. The version that was posted to Github, supposedly by a Twitter user named @q3hardcore, was for iOS 9, but much of it likely still exists in the latest version, iOS 11.

    https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/08/crucial-iphone-source-code-posted-in-unprecedented-leak/

Software/SaaS

  • Oracle’s cloud bravado masks its database despair

    No, we’re not going to see Oracle’s database revenue fall off a cliff. But that might not be because its customers remain committed to the database leader. Instead, they may simply continue to pay for stuff they don’t actually use. As a recent Rimini Street survey showed, as much as 74 percent of Oracle customers are running unsupported, with half of Oracle’s customers not sure what they’re paying for. These customers are likely paying full-fat maintenance fees for no-fat support (meaning they get no updates, fixes, or security alerts for that money).

    https://www.itworld.com/article/3252244/database/oracles-cloud-bravado-masks-its-database-despair.html

  • Where Barry Padgett Plans to Lead Ariba

    The number one lesson by far is that you need to go in with the right drivers. The wrong driver is, “I have a bunch of data. How do I make money on the data?” There are a lot of examples where platforms have come out of the desire to monetize a resource or an asset that you already have, and that is a terrible model — number one, because you end up building the wrong set of services, and, number two, in general, you find over time that people aren’t really willing to pay for it. So you end up doing a bunch of pivots to figure out what your platform story really should be.

    When you go into platform transformation, you really need to do it from the lens of the customer. You have to think about “How does the customer get value out what they’ve already bought from you?” rather than, “How do I charge the customer more, or how do I take what the customer’s generating and create more opportunity for myself financially?” When you really think about it from a customer value perspective, you build out the right set of services in the right way.

    http://spendmatters.com/2018/02/07/creating-legacy-sap-beyond-barry-padgett-plans-lead-ariba/

  • Microsoft is reportedly shifting its Windows strategy as it tries to outmaneuver Apple and Google

    Thurott reports that Microsoft will no longer offer Windows 10 S as a standalone operating system. You could never buy it yourself, but computer manufacturers (OEMs, or “original equipment manufacturers” in industry parlance) could license it from Microsoft to pre-install on the computers they sold to customers.

    Instead, Microsoft will push a so-called S Mode onto all versions of the Windows 10 operating system, reports Thurott. When enabled, S Mode will make any version of Windows 10 act like Windows 10 S, with all of the benefits and tradeoffs therein.

    Microsoft had previously said that S Mode would be coming to Windows 10 for businesses in future updates; this would just bring it to all of the consumer versions, too.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-windows-10-s-dead-or-alive-2018-2

Datacenter

  • Why Mainframes Aren’t Going Away Any Time Soon

    The focus on Linux isn’t the only motivator behind the upsurge in mainframe use in data centers. Increasingly, enterprises with heavy IT needs are finding many advantages to incorporating modern mainframes into their plans. For example, mainframes can greatly reduce power, cooling, and floor space costs. In markets like New York City, where real estate is at a premium, electricity rates are high, and electricity use is highly taxed to reduce demand, these are significant advantages.

    “There was one customer where we were able to do a consolidation of 25 x86 cores to one core on a mainframe,” Santalucia said. “They have several thousand machines that are ten and twenty cores each. So, as far as the eye could see in this data center, [x86 server workloads] could be picked up and moved onto this box that is about the size of a sub-zero refrigerator in your kitchen.”

    http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/hardware/why-mainframes-arent-going-away-any-time-soon

Other

  • Akamai has laid off 400 workers or 5 percent of global workforce

    Akamai, the Cambridge Massachusetts content delivery network and network services provider, announced they had laid off 400 people in their earnings call with analysts yesterday.

    On the call, Akamai CEO Tom Leighton indicated that the 400 people represented 5 percent of the company’s 8000 worldwide workforce. “As part of our effort to improve operational efficiency, we reduced headcounts in targeted areas of the business, most notably in areas tied to our Media business. Overall, we have removed about 400 positions or 5% of our global workforce,” Leighton told analysts.

    He went onto to say that the layoffs actually began at the end of last year and have spilled over into this week. The company sees this as part of an effort to get leaner and cut costs, an effort that predates Elliott Management buying a 6.5 percent stake in the company in December.

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/07/akamai-has-laid-off-400-workers-or-5-percent-of-global-workforce/?ncid=rss

  • Best Buy will stop selling CDs as digital music revenue continues to grow

    Despite no longer selling CDs, Best Buy will still sell vinyl for the next two years, which Billboard says is part of a commitment it made to vendors. Sources suggested that Best Buy’s music CD arm was only generating $40 million annually.

    As we’ve previously reported, during the first half of 2017, streaming services accounted for 62 percent of revenue from the US music market. The decline of CD sales has also sparked Warner Music Group to offer voluntary buyouts to its 130 staff working in physical product, according to Billboard.

    It’s not surprising that we’re no longer buying CDs — at least not for new music. The best-selling CD in 2016 was a Mozart boxset, which contained 200 CDs that were individually counted as a separate sale. Users who don’t buy music prefer to stream it via services like Spotify and Apple Music, and gadget makers aren’t really making CD players anymore.

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/6/16973538/bestbuy-target-cd-sales-vinyl-cassette

Photo: Adam Fossier

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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: 5/26/2017

The keystone topics that drive this blog (AI and cloud) were quiet this week, while concepts like security and software claimed more space.

WannaCry was a dominant topic early in the week highlighting the need for IT security focus throughout the entire organization.

IBM has been making headlines not for cloud or AI, but for their remote work policies (again) and product line retirements.

AWS is getting good press for showing the value of experience in a culture that “doesn’t trust anyone over 30”.

Acquisitions

  • Red Hat to acquire Codenvy as part of its growing container strategy

    Codenvy is the company built on top of the open source project, Eclipse Che, which fits with Red Hat’s overall strategy to build commercial tools on top of open source projects. It offers a cloud-based integrated development environment (IDEs) for individual developers, teams or enterprises. IDEs are essentially workspaces for coding, building and testing apps.

    The company did not reveal the purchase price.

    http://wwpi.com/2017/05/25/red-hat-set-to-acquire-agile-and-cloud-native-development-tools-vendor-codenvy/

  • Microsoft to buy security firm Hexadite for $100M as Cloudyn still in progress

    Hexadite has to date raised $10.5 million in funding, according to Crunchbase, with investors including HP Ventures, YL Ventures, TenEleven Ventures and Moshe Lichtman of Israel Venture Partners. Notably, Lichtman is a ten-year veteran of Microsoft, which could point to one connection between the startup and its alleged acquirer. Its last round, of $8 million, was raised last year.

    If accurate, the Hexadite acquisition would be one of a series of security acquisitions that Microsoft has made in Israel. Past deals include Aorato, Adallom and Secure Islands.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/24/microsoft-hexadite-100m-cloudyn/?ncid=rss

  • Softbank’s Nvidia stake is reportedly worth $4BN

    When Softbank announced the first close of its Vision Fund this weekend — securing an initial commitment of $93 billion, from investors including Apple, Qualcomm and Foxconn — it also quietly disclosed it had taken a stake in Nvidia.

    Bloomberg is today reporting the size of that stake is $4 billion, for 4.9 per cent of the company, which it says would make Softbank the fourth largest investor in the chipmaker.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/24/softbanks-nvidia-stake-is-reportedly-worth-4bn/?ncid=rss

Artificial Intelligence

  • Lawmakers aim to ‘get smart’ about A.I. with help from giants like Amazon, Google, and IBM

    On Wednesday, he announced the launch of the bipartisan Congressional Artificial Intelligence Caucus, which will look to inform lawmakers on the current state of AI and then push for policy that could boost economic activity around AI and help citizens whose jobs are being replaced by automation.

    Regarding potential job loss:

    Despite some fears about the effects of automation and AI on the workforce, Delaney is optimistic. “Data clearly demonstrates that innovation creates more jobs than it takes away,” Delaney told CNBC. The trouble is that people don’t understand the nature of the jobs that will be created, he said. The caucus will focus on these issues, as well as education, immigration reform and funding basic research.

    Delaney is familiar with the idea of universal basic income, where the government would pay all citizens a basic stipend to let them buy necessities. Some Silicon Valley leaders have discussed this as a way to help workers whose jobs will increasingly be replaced by automation.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/24/congressional-ai-caucus-working-with-amazon-google-ibm.html

Cloud

  • Marc Benioff Touts Amazon as Salesforce’s New Best Friend

    It is now clear that Salesforce sees AWS as a strategic ally as it battles all of those rivals. Salesforce had formerly been quite chummy with Microsoft, but that relationship soured fast when Microsoft outbid Salesforce in its $26.2 billion bid to buy LinkedIn. While Microsoft had always competed somewhat with Salesforce in sales software known as customer relationship management or CRM, the competition has heated up since that development. Speaking with Jim Cramer on CNBC Thursday, Benioff made sure to say that 21st Century Fox is moving 20,000 employees from Microsoft Office to Quip, business software that Salesforce acquired two years ago.

    http://fortune.com/2017/05/19/salesforce-amazon-benioff/

Security

  • Almost all WannaCry victims were running Windows 7

    According to data released today by Kaspersky Lab, roughly 98 percent of the computers affected by the ransomware were running some version of Windows 7, with less than one in a thousand running Windows XP. 2008 R2 Server clients were also hit hard, making up just over 1 percent of infections.

    https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/19/15665488/wannacry-windows-7-version-xp-patched-victim-statistics
    For WannaCry Victims, a Possible Way Out (not really)

    By Friday, a second French computer-security researcher, Benjamin Delpy, built a tool called Wannakiwi that does the heavy lifting of unscrambling the encrypted files. Europol, the European Union’s police agency, said Friday its cybercrime center had tested the tool and succeeded in recovering data in some circumstances.

    Because the Wannakiwi tool works by grabbing data from the computer’s memory, it only will work for a small number of fortunate users.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/for-wannacry-victims-a-possible-way-out-1495226045

  • All IT Jobs Are Cybersecurity Jobs Now

    Despite all the money we’ve spent—Gartner estimates $81.6 billion on cybersecurity in 2016—things are, on the whole, getting worse, says Chris Bronk, associate director of the Center for Information Security Research and Education at the University of Houston. “Some individual companies are doing better,” adds Dr. Bronk. “But as an entire society, we’re not doing better yet.”

    The article provides several suggestions on how to deal with security issues, especially for smaller companies:

    Retrain IT staff on security—or replace them. In today’s world of ever-multiplying threats and dependence on connected assets, all IT staff must now be cybersecurity staff first. “The good news is that you don’t need that dedicated person to run your email server anymore—they can run security,” says Dr. Bronk.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/all-it-jobs-are-cybersecurity-jobs-now-1495364418

  • Microsoft’s Old Software Is Dangerous. Is There a Duty to Fix It?

    All of this raises the question of whether Microsoft, which declined to comment for this story, should have done more to fix the faulty software in the first place. The company’s after-the-fact approach to safety differs from other industries, such as car companies, where manufacturers have faced massive liability for failing to warn people about faulty ignition switches and other defective products.

    There’s also the fact Windows is a closed software platform. This means any defects in its source code are hard to detect because the internal workings that make it run—the source code—are all but invisible to those outside the company. This is why some people like Eban Moglen, a noted computer law professor at Columbia University, considers platforms like Windows to be intrinsically dangerous.

    http://fortune.com/2017/05/20/microsoft-ransomware-legal/

Software/SaaS

  • IBM’s ShinyHappy™ SAP Ariba deal papers over SaaS fail

    IBM’s product is called “Emptoris”, from a company of the same name, and was reported to have come with a US$600m price tag when Big Blue acquired it in 2011. Big Blue bought Emptoris to advance the “Smarter Commerce” play it ran a few years ago, in pursuit of what it described as “a $20 billion market opportunity in software alone.”

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/23/ibm_discontinues_emptoris/
    Never knew the investment IBM made on Emptoris…

  • Hadoop: It Offers Rich Technology With Slimmer-Than-Expected Margins

    As technology, Hadoop is broadly used across the computing infrastructure of web service providers. Big Data is proliferating as well in commercial uses. As it is increasingly adopted in Enterprise computing, its attractiveness as a business will become increasingly clear. Hadoop is far less costly than present comparable Enterprise technologies such as Data Warehousing. Surely it offers strong growth. Yet for some specific reasons, Hadoop is relatively less profitable than other types of software, mainly because so much of the technology is Open Source and freely available.  There is no fee in its licensing, as we noted above. No fee revenue, less profit

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnsonpierr/2017/05/19/the-elephant-in-the-room-with-hadoop-it-offers-rich-technology-with-slimmer-than-expected-margins/#f137831518a1

  • Java creator James Gosling leaves Liquid Robotics (Boeing) to join AWS

    James Gosling plans to join Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a “distinguished engineer,” according to a Facebook post penned by Gosling on Monday. Gosling did not say what he’ll do at AWS. But in addition to programming, Gosling is also familiar with the process of deploying IoT systems, according to Venture Beat.

    Companies like AWS and Google are increasingly dependent on programmers to help them make technologies more useful to the general public by creating applications. Both companies have been known to give away cloud credits and other gifts to developers willing to help them. Bringing Gosling on board helps show programmers that AWS is programmer-friendly and could help the company attract more of them.

    http://www.ciodive.com/news/java-creator-james-gosling-to-join-aws/443407/

Other

  • China’s Lenovo to Reboot After Losing PC Crown to HP

    For the first time in four years, Lenovo—a company that gained acclaim a decade ago for turning around storied U.S. personal-computer maker IBM — slipped from the top spot this year to No. 2 in the personal-computer market, behind rival Hewlett-Packard. Lenovo has also fallen to No. 8 in the number of smartphones shipped globally, from No. 3 when it acquired another U.S. brand, Motorola, in late 2014.

    Lenovo’s Hong Kong-listed stock has fallen nearly 60% since the Motorola acquisition.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-lenovo-to-reboot-after-losing-pc-crown-to-hp-1495702920

  • SAP has designs on new government business

    “Imagine you’re a government employee and you take a trip. In the U.S., as soon as it’s approved and before you’ve even taken it, the government needs to set aside the money and record the liability for that approved spend, and then they need that approval to flow into all the impacted cost centers,” he said. “How you encumber, how you take that spend and how you put it as a liability, it starts to look like a core ERP use case.”

    Koch sees a billion-dollar opportunity for SAP and its integration partners in the 90,000 U.S. government entities that are potential users of ByDesign.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3197826/software-as-a-service/sap-has-designs-on-new-government-business.html

  • The FCC’s case against net neutrality rests on a deliberate misrepresentation of how the internet works

    This analysis is like saying that because someone built a bridge, they also created the entire city on far side of it. It’s absurd, and in fact the argument was already tried and found wanting in a federal court just three weeks ago. Anyone with a modicum of technical knowledge will find this explanation of how the internet and web work truly wrongheaded and entirely incorrect. It’s hard to think of this as anything other than a willful misrepresentation of the facts.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/23/the-fccs-case-against-net-neutrality-rests-on-a-fundamental-deliberate-misunderstanding-of-how-the-internet-works/?ncid=
    rss

  • How SoftBank and Saudi Arabia Settled Their Differences to Birth the World’s Biggest Tech Fund

    Although some level of wrangling is common in such deals, the back-and-forth from the Saudi negotiators, mostly PIF lawyers, made SoftBank executives begin to wonder if the Saudis were stalling. On at least one occasion, SoftBank executives sought assurance from PIF that the fund wouldn’t be scuttled. PIF negotiators assured their Japanese counterparts that MbS was 100% committed to its success.

    SoftBank, which has 80 people in Silicon Valley and London looking for and processing deals, already has lined up a dozen deals of a billion dollars or more for the fund to invest in, with plans to work on “blockbuster” transactions of tens of billions of dollars in the future, said a person who helped set up the fund.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/behind-the-long-painful-birth-of-the-worlds-biggest-tech-fund-1495214782

Photo: Flash Bros

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Supplier Report: 5/20/2017

IT security professionals had a rough week due to the proliferation of the WannaCry ransomware virus. The virus locked the IT systems of several corporations and hospitals over the weekend.

IBMers also had another rough week. Even more employees are being asked to abandon work from home and come back into the office. IBM also announced that they are sun-setting their procurement platform Emptoris and moving customers over to rival Ariba.

Ariba owner SAP recently announced compatibility with the big three cloud providers AWS, Google, and Azure… which should give those migrating customers more options.

Acquisitions

  • Apple acquires AI company Lattice Data, a specialist in unstructured ‘dark data’, for $200M

    Specifically, Apple has picked up Lattice Data, a company that applies an AI enabled inference engine to take unstructured, “dark” data and turn it into structured (and more usable) information. We’ve heard from a single source that Apple has paid a price of around $200 million.

    The deal was closed a couple of weeks ago, the source said, and about 20 engineers have joined the larger company.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/13/apple-acquires-ai-company-lattice-data-a-specialist-in-unstructured-dark-data/?ncid=rss

Cloud

  • SAP Cloud now compatible with AWS, Google and Azure

    With this announcement, SAP has positioned itself as the first end-to-end digital enterprise platform to allow customers to choose between the major infrastructure-as-a-service providers. SAP will provide full multi-cloud support for the cloud platform, and all cloud actions can be controlled by the client through a simple, unified command center.

    Customers may select infrastructure powered by SAP, or by Amazon Web Services. Microsoft Azure is currently available as a public preview and Google Cloud Platform as a demo showcase, and all may be managed using the new SAP Cloud Platform cockpit.

    https://thestack.com/cloud/2017/05/17/sap-cloud-now-compatible-with-aws-google-and-azure/

  • EMEA 2017: Google Cloud Keynote

    This is 90 minutes, but they go into real details about the platform

Datacenter

  • IBM builds its most powerful universal quantum computing processors

    Launched in March 2017, IBM Q is an industry-first initiative to build commercially available universal quantum computing systems for business and science applications. IBM Q systems and services will be delivered via the IBM Cloud platform. IBM first opened public access to its quantum processors one year ago, to serve as an enablement tool for scientific research, a resource for university classrooms, and a catalyst of enthusiasm for the field. To date users have run more than 300,000 quantum experiments on the IBM Cloud.

    With the introduction of two new processors today for IBM Q, the company is building the foundation for solving practical problems in business and science that are intractable even with today’s most powerful classical computing systems.

    https://phys.org/news/2017-05-ibm-powerful-universal-quantum-processors.html

  • Cosmos DB launches Microsoft Azure databases at Oracle

    For those lost on the type of cloud computing tasks that Azure handles: Microsoft Azure is not your typical cloud computing service that allows you to directly upload your selfies and work on documents. Cosmos DB is designed for “planet-scale” applications, giving developers fine control over the replication policies and reliability.

    Cloud-computing providers like Microsoft and Amazon often use examples like Black Friday to pitch their services.

    http://normangeestar.net/2017/05/14/cosmos-db-launches-microsoft-azure-databases-at-oracle/

Software/SaaS

  • SAP Ariba and IBM Join Forces to Transform Procurement with SAP Leonardo and Watson

    “We’ve built a cognitive procurement platform trained specifically to understand procurement transactions and unstructured data such as weather, non-standard part numbers in contracts and complex pricing structures,” said Jesus Mantas, General Manager, Cognitive Process Transformation, IBM Global Business Services. “By combining the power of IBM Watson on the IBM Cloud with SAP Ariba, we are leaping existing procurement benchmarks and delivering unprecedented value to our joint clients.”

    http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170517005157/en/SAP-Ariba-IBM-Join-Forces-Transform-Procurement
    Emptoris: A Eulogy for a Great Company

    Rather than tossing barbs at IBM in this final chapter as we slowly bury Emptoris over the coming years — or complain about what did and did not work in earlier Emptoris releases — we should remember everything the firm did to lead the technology charge for procurement. It’s easy to forget that Emptoris got its start back when FreeMarkets was still running auctions over a dedicated IP network and Ariba was still proving out the market opportunity for its operational resource management solution (ORMS).

    http://spendmatters.com/2017/05/17/emptoris-a-eulogy-for-a-great-company/

  • Oracle crushed in defeat as Java world votes ‘No’ to modular overhaul

    The database goliath has lost a Java Community public-review ballot by 13 to 10 that was to have approved its Java Platform Module System (JPMS) specification as a final draft. Executive Committee members ignored dire warnings from Oracle spec lead Mark Reinhold in an open letter where he claimed that a “no” vote would not only delay Java 9 but also be a “vote against the Java Community Process itself”.

    The JSR, number 376, needed a two-thirds majority to pass.

    In that bluntly worded letter, Oracle’s Java platform chief also chastised IBM and Red Hat for suggesting that they might vote against JPMS.

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/12/oracle_loses_jpms_vote/

  • Microsoft Guns for Oracle Customers with Database Migration Service

    In a blog post, Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie, executive vice president in the cloud and enterprise group, said the new service “seamlessly migrates third-party and SQL Server databases into Azure SQL Database with near-zero application downtime.”

    The Azure database migration service sounds like a similar play by Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2015, which saw companies move 1,000 databases over to AWS in week one, according to Business Insider. Not all of these were Oracle customers.

    But as the database leader in customer-run data centers, Oracle is most at risk from the new Microsoft offerings, Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with the research firm Moor Insights & Strategy, told Fox Business.

    https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/microsoft-guns-oracle-customers-database-migration-service/2017/05/

Other

  • IT Giant IBM to layoff 5000 Employees (India)

    The ongoing layoffs by the leading IT companies in India is continuing, in fact on an increasing note with IBM joining the league newly. In a major development, sources close to IBM disclosed that the company may release at least 5,000 employees over the next few quarters.

    “The process has already started. Managers have been asked to identify under performers,” says a person close to the development.

    http://www.gulte.com/trending/58125/IT-Giant-IBM-to-layoff-5000-Employees
    IBM rubbishes reports of firing 5000 employees; says “re-skilling”, “re-balancing” workforce

    “This is factually incorrect. We are not going to comment further on rumours and speculation. Re-skilling and rebalancing is an ongoing process as we accelerate the benefits of cognitive and cloud technologies for clients around the world,” a spokesperson for IBM told ET.

    ET quotes a source saying IBM had handed over pink slips to 200 employees in a business unit last year.

    http://www.businessinsider.in/IBM-rubbishes-reports-of-firing-5000-employees-says-re-skilling-re-balancing-workforce/articleshow/58711741.cms

  • Hospitals Across England Infected With Ransomware, Leaving Patients Without Care

    In a statement, NHS Digital said it believed the malware variant is Wanna Decryptor, a Trojan virus that employs AES-128 encryption to render files inaccessible.

    The BBC reports the attack struck hospitals in London, Blackburn, Cumbria, Hertfordshire, and Nottingham. Phone systems in certain areas also appear to be down.

    Without computer access, many healthcare providers are resorting to pen and pads to keep track of their patients. A physician in Liverpool told the Guardian that his unit manually severed its connection to the broader NHS system in an attempt to stave off the infection. “[N]o computers means no records, no prescriptions, no results,” he said.

    http://gizmodo.com/hospitals-across-england-infected-with-ransomware-leav-1795165579
    Today’s Massive Ransomware Attack Was Mostly Preventable—Here’s How To Avoid It

    If you think you might be vulnerable to WannaCry, or you don’t remember installing any updates over the past month, your first step is to address that issue immediately. As Sean Dillon, the RiskSense security analyst who reverse engineered DoublePulsar, told ThreatPost: “This is the most critical Windows patch since [Conficker],” which is one the largest similar infections to date.

    Despite having been patch nearly a decade ago, the Conficker worm is still in circulation. “I find it everywhere,” says Dillon, adding that WannaCry, too, “is going to be on networks for years.”

    http://gizmodo.com/today-s-massive-ransomware-attack-was-mostly-preventabl-1795179984
    Microsoft president blasts NSA for its role in ‘WannaCry’ computer ransom attack

    “This attack provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem,” Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer at Microsoft, wrote in the wake of the “WannaCry” computer virus attack, which crippled computers worldwide.

    He compared it to the U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen. “And this most recent attack represents a completely unintended but disconcerting link between the two most serious forms of cybersecurity threats in the world today — nation-state action and organized criminal action,” he added.

    http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-europe-computer-virus-20170514-story.html

  • Amazon made landline phones trendy again

    You can shout “Alexa, call grandma” and your grandmother will appear on the screen of the device. You know that if your grandmother is not at home she won’t even get notified, so it won’t feel like you’re interrupting something.

    More importantly, everyone will be able to use the device, young kids and elderly people included. It’s much easier to buy an Echo Show and give it to the grandparents than explaining to them how to use a smartphone if they aren’t using one already. The Echo Show will be at the center of the living room or kitchen. It’s going to bring the family together and people are going to love this thing.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/13/amazon-made-landline-phones-trendy-again/?ncid=rss

  • IBM, a Pioneer of Remote Work, Calls Workers Back to the Office

    The company won’t say how many of its 380,000 employees are affected by the policy change, which so far has been rolled out to its Watson division, software development, digital marketing, and design—divisions that employ tens of thousands of workers.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/ibm-a-pioneer-of-remote-work-calls-workers-back-to-the-office-1495108802
    Why IBM’s Move To Rein In Remote Workers Isn’t The Answer

    It’s not about where people work. Where people work isn’t as important as how or why they work. Remember from Daniel Pink’s research on Motivation 2.0 that autonomy is one of three main drivers for people, along with purpose and mastery. If employees don’t feel their autonomous needs are being met, then off to another job they go.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffboss/2017/05/19/why-ibms-move-to-rein-in-remote-workers-isnt-the-answer/#304583fa3de0

    Shameless plug: I covered this topic on SourceCast Episode 59 

Photo: Tyson Dudley

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Supplier Report: 5/7/2016

sn_therooster_Ashes Sitoula

Oracle picks up another company while their lawsuits with HPE and Google pick up steam. Meanwhile, IBM opens up their new quantum platform to the masses (I am still waiting for my login).

Teradata ditches their CEO after announcing a $46M loss in the marketing space as EMC CEO Joe Tucci says goodbye at EMC World.

IBM

  • IBM Launches Quantum Computing As Free Cloud Service

    In IBM’s vision, online access will pave the way for future developments and spark interest for the new technology. Depending on how well versed people are in quantum technology and their overall technology background, IBM will determine how much access people receive to the processor, according to the manager of IBM’s experimental quantum computing group, Jerry Chow. He explained for The New York Times that the online quantum computing simulator is meant to be educational, but it could also “be the beginnings of a larger framework.”

    http://www.itechpost.com/articles/17852/20160505/ibm-launches-quantum-computing-free-cloud-service.htm

    Note: This is a true 360 degree video, click in the video to change the camera view

  • IBM’s iPhone app will help 20 million Americans keep their sight

    Why might the app make a difference? “The process for managing patient information today is still very much a manual process for many cataract surgeons,” explained Chang. “With this app, surgeons will now have the ability to access each patient’s surgical information in one place, receive intuitive feedback for IOL selection, and help improve future procedures while driving greater efficiencies in managing patient flow; an incredible benefit for practices.”

    http://www.computerworld.com/article/3067292/apple-ios/ibms-iphone-app-will-help-20-million-americans-keep-their-sight.html

  • IBM To Downsize Rochester Campus

    The tech company from Armonk, New York will be selling off upwards of one million square-feet of its Rochester campus. However, no personnel changes are expected to occur, according to a statement by Tory Johnson, the senior location executive for IBM’s Rochester site.

    http://tcbmag.com/News/Recent-News/2016/May/IBM-To-Downsize-Rochester-Campus

Oracle

  • Oracle Buys Utility-Focused Cloud Firm Opower for $532 Million

    That rapid growth made Opower an attractive acquisition target for Oracle, which itself has a large business division targeting the utilities sector. By adding Opower to its existing energy industry portfolio, Oracle said it will become “the largest provider of mission-critical cloud services” to a sector valued at $2.3 trillion.

    http://www.cio-today.com/article/index.php?story_id=010000BLD85W
    More:
    Can Oracle buy its way into the cloud?

    It stands to reason that traditional enterprise vendors — Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and SAP — would have at least a shot at that new business. But it’s no slam dunk, largely because of customers’ past experiences with those vendors, Rymer said.

    “It’s no secret that a lot of people don’t like dealing with Oracle, and there are similar relationship horror stories about all the big enterprise vendors,” he said. “A lot of folks say, ‘We don’t want the same kind of relationship we have with them now.'”

    AWS, Azure and Google all promise something more flexible, and for some customers the trade-off is worthwhile even if it means more work.

    “The big enterprise vendors understand enterprises,” Rymer said. “I think they have a chance, but we’ll see how that tension plays out.”

    http://www.cio.com/article/3064658/can-oracle-buy-its-way-into-the-cloud.html

  • Alphabet Inc To Face Off Against Oracle Corporation Next Week In $8.8 Billion Lawsuit

    The case between these two tech giants previously went on trial in 2012, but the jury made no progress. If the new jury, in the trial that is scheduled to begin on Monday, rules in favor of Oracle concerning the fair-use copyright, then it will consider the damages.

    After the initial trial, William Alsup, a United States District Judge, gave the verdict that the material in the issue in case at hand is not supposed to be subject to copyright. However, a federal appeals court reversed this ruling, arguing that the structure of any programming language can be protected.

    http://www.vanguardtribune.com/2016/05/06/alphabet-inc-nasdaqgoogl-face-off-oracle-corporation-nyseorcl-next-week-8-8-billion-lawsuit/122886/

  • HP Fires Back at Oracle Copyright Suit

    HPE’s lawyers at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher pointed to Oracle’s litigation targeting Terix in a court filing Friday asking U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar of the Northern District of California to dismiss the case against HPE. “Oracle seeks to hold [HPE] responsible for Terix’s conduct based on vague allegations of conspiracy and control,” wrote Gibson Dunn partner Blaine Evanson. “While Oracle recounts what Terix did to infringe Oracle’s copyrights, it fails to plausibly allege facts demonstrating how HPE knew that Terix was infringing, what steps HPE took to encourage Terix to infringe, or that HPE had the ability to control Terix.”

    http://www.therecorder.com/id=1202756534913/HP-Fires-Back-at-Oracle-Copyright-Suit?slreturn=20160406110805

  • Oracle Needs More Time

    If you ask me to name one company that’s going to be hit the worst during the massive shift towards cloud computing, I would say “Oracle” (NYSE:ORCL) in a heartbeat. Their entire business line was once dependent on companies managing their own infrastructure; as part of that model, Oracle made billions selling them hardware and software designed specifically for their needs.

    Today, as significant portions of the enterprise segment look towards TCO (total cost of operation) reduction and global accessibility in the form of what cloud computing offers, Oracle stands in an ever-widening gap. Even their core databases business – of which they are still king – are increasingly under attack from the likes of Microsoft and Amazon. This is something I’ve already spoken about in Oracle’s Rite Of Passage Has Come.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/3971084-oracle-needs-time
    sn_oracle_2016_q3_earnings

Storage (EMC | Dell | Infinidat | NetApp )

  • EMC World 2016: Joe Tucci bows out as EMC looks to the future

    “If you look at the magnitude of data processed and the need for this to be interpreted in real-time, the outcome is a new style of computing,” he added. “We have to change not only very rapidly but very dramatically and on a personal note, it’s been an incredible journey.

    “I thank our partners and customers as this will be the last time I stand here at EMC World as EMC Corporation CEO and Chairman.”

    http://www.arnnet.com.au/article/599096/emc-world-2016-joe-tucci-bows-emc-looks-future/

  • EMC & Dell execs outline integration plan to create Dell Technologies

    The final hurdles the team face are the Chinese regulators, the one remaining body to have not signed off on the merger to date. While Chinese regulators have proven to be a difficulty for other organizations in the past, Read and Elias claim it should be a relatively simple process for the team. Read highlighted the fact that all other regulatory bodies had signed off on the deal 100% with no condition attached, it was a good sign when considering the Chinese regulatory process.

    http://www.businesscloudnews.com/2016/05/06/emc-dell-execs-outline-integration-plan-to-create-dell-technologies-2/

  • Michael Dell roasts HP at EMC World

    “Our competitors like HP are shrinking their way to success,” he said. “Wait, you can’t shrink your way to success. That is not even a real thing! But they’re doing it. They are getting smaller. They are separating their edge from their core with far less revenue, less innovation in R&D, less software, a smaller supply chain, losing share in each of their businesses to Dell, even right now during this period.

    http://www.channelweb.co.uk/crn-uk/news/2456674/michael-dell-roasts-hp-at-emc-world

  • Tucci and Dell on Partner Strategy

Other

  • Google handed patients’ files without permission: Up to 1.6million records – including names and medical history – passed on in NHS deal with web giant

    Trust managers approached Google to develop the app and then handed over the patient files after signing an ‘information-sharing agreement’ last year. Neither the trust nor Google needed to ask patients’ permission beforehand because the NHS is obliged to pass on some anonymous medical information if it is intended for research purposes to improve care.

    Also:

    Under the arrangement, Google’s DeepMind has access to the details of all patients who have stayed overnight at Barnet, Chase Farm or Royal Free Hospitals or attended A&E over the past five years. It is not clear exactly how many patients this covers. The company will also be given information on a monthly basis relating to all inpatients and those attending casualty until 2017.

    Although patients can theoretically opt out of their information being passed on in such a way, they would firstly need to be aware such arrangements exist. They would then need to contact the hospital’s data protection officer in writing to make a specific request.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3571433/Google-s-artificial-intelligence-access-private-medical-records-1-6million-NHS-patients-five-years-agreed-data-sharing-deal.html?ito=social-facebook

  • Canonical founder: “OpenStack no lifeline for legacy tech suppliers”

    “What do customers want? They don’t want to get locked in to someone’s database as a service they happen to have dumped on OpenStack,” he said.“They want database as a service and they want it on every public cloud and on private cloud. They’re not going to get it just on OpenStack.”

    http://www.computerweekly.com/news/450295156/Canonical-founder-OpenStack-no-lifeline-for-legacy-tech-suppliers

  • Here’s why Apple’s partnership with SAP is amazingly strategic and smart

    SAP is going to develop a bunch of custom business applications for iOS devices, iPads and iPhones, as well as release tools so that SAP’s 2.5-million member global developers can write their own custom iOS apps using Apple’s new programming language, Swift.

    In return, Apple gets access to SAP’s enormous worldwide salesforce to help it sell devices to SAP’s roughly 310,000 worldwide customers, most of whom are large enterprise businesses with thousands of employees.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/why-apple-sap-partnership-is-smart-2016-5

  • Teradata names new CEO

    On a day when Teradata reported a net loss of $46 million in the first quarter of 2016 — a loss of 36 cents per diluted share — the data warehousing and analytics company also announced that its board of directors has elected one of its own, Victor Lund, as the company’s president and chief executive.

    The first quarter’s net loss contrasts with its net income of $22 million, or 15 cents per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2015. Lund succeeds Mike Koehler who has stepped down as Teradata’s president, CEO and board director, effective immediately, the Miami Twp. company said.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/teradata-names-new-ceo/nrHZL/

  • Review: HPE’s machine learning cloud overpromises, underdelivers
    Feels like something I mentioned on Episode 22.

    Overall, Haven OnDemand services are comparable to the Watson services in Bluemix — that is, mostly applications of machine learning, which you can call from your own applications and apply to your own data. There’s clearly some experience behind the text and search services from HPE IDOL and KeyView, but many of the other services show rough edges.

    For example, I was disappointed by the prediction service’s limitation to binary classification problems. In its defense, however, it is still in a preview stage, and it attempts to automate the entire binary classification process, including parts that other services leave up to the analyst. Similarly, I was disappointed to discover that the image recognition service has only been trained against a database of corporate logos — and doesn’t even have the excuse of being in preview.

    http://www.infoworld.com/article/3063099/artificial-intelligence/review-hpes-machine-learning-cloud-overpromises-underdelivers.html

Photo: Ashes Sitoula

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