Tag Archives: Tableau

Supplier Report: 4/8/2017

Google is investing in a new subsea cable that connects Singapore to Australia that should greatly improve international bandwidth to those countries and within the countries (especially Australia). But Google shouldn’t celebrate too hard, their Deepmind AI was recently defeated by an open AI solution playing old Atari games.

Analytic companies Tableau and Teradata announced changes to their software models. Tableau is shifting to a subscription model for their BI tools and Teradata was forced to admit their products are falling behind and need a refresh.

IBM is teaming up with Walmart to track food supply chains using blockchain’s general ledger system… once again trying to convince companies that blockchain has commercial applications outside of bitcoin.


  • Oracle and Accenture? A non-starter and here’s why

    To give you a flavor of what this means, in its latest filing, Accenture recorded operating income of 13.7%. For its part, Oracle reported operating income of 32%. As you can readily see, there is no comparison between the two companies, despite the fact Accenture has been acquiring and developing its own software for solutions outside the ‘mainstream’ of solutions that Oracle sells.

    If a deal was on the table then Oracle would have some very difficult explaining to do about how margins would work given that it is under enough pressure over ambitious cloud based growth numbers. In short, it doesn’t make sense to distract Oracle management with profit table juggling when the company is already focused on other things.

    Oracle rejects Accenture buyout speculation

    An ORCL spokesperson initially declined comment on Saturday but sent Fortune a categorical denial via email on Sunday.


  • Amazon and Google’s reported interest in Toshiba’s chip unit could be a sign of things to come

    While Amazon and Google’s flash needs are large and growing, it’s quite unlikely that either company (unlike Apple) could single-handedly consume all of the flash currently sold by Toshiba, or come close to doing so. Toshiba has been estimated to control about a fifth of a NAND market worth about $35 billion, and expected to see strong growth this year.

    Thus in the event that Amazon and Google are eying Toshiba’s flash business, it’s likely to buy a minority stake. One that would let the companies guarantee a stable supply of NAND in the coming years, and the chance to procure it at reasonable prices via long-term contracts.


Artificial Intelligence

  • OpenAI Just Beat Google DeepMind at Atari With an Algorithm From the 80s

    In one hour training on the Atari challenge, the algorithm reached a level of mastery that took a reinforcement-learning system published by DeepMind last year a whole day to learn. On the walking problem the system took 10 minutes, compared to 10 hours for Google’s approach.

    One of the keys to this dramatic performance was the fact that the approach is highly “parallelizable.” To solve the walking simulation, they spread computations over 1,440 CPU cores, while in the Atari challenge they used 720.

    This is possible because it requires limited communication between the various “worker” algorithms testing the candidate policies. Scaling reinforcement algorithms like the one from DeepMind in the same way is challenging because there needs to be much more communication, the researchers say.

    Thanks JD!

  • Honda, IBM create Dave to solve recall riddle

    Dave — for Digital Assisted Virtual Engineer — is a virtual online agent Honda created in conjunction with IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence system. Essentially a highly developed online chat bot run out of Honda’s Chino, Calif., call center, Dave is designed to answer consumer questions about Honda and Acura recalls 24/7.

    “The concept of this was to say if we want to really service our customers in general, what is the gap?” Tony Gomes, assistant vice president of the parts, service and technical division at Honda, told Automotive News. “The gap is when the centers are closed.”



  • IBM’s cloud adds support for Nvidia’s fastest GPUs yet

    There is still a chance that Google could beat IBM to the market, though. Late last year, Google also announced that it would support Nvidia’s newest GPUs early this year, but we haven’t heard when exactly the company plans to launch this feature. We asked Google for an updated timeline but haven’t heard back yet.

    AWS, too, offers GPU support, of course, and its machines can be outfitted with up to 16 GPUs (those are the older K80 cards, though 16 of those obviously offer a lot of raw computing power, too). Microsoft’s Azure offers a similar setup with support for up to 4 of Nvidia’s slightly older GPUs.


  • Why Amazon may eventually touch everything we do online

    Most of the websites that you already go to run through Amazon. Increasingly, their devices are actually coming into your home, you know, they’re delivering groceries. You will, at some point, not conduct business online without Amazon getting a cut of it. And so, they’ve been very good at slow and steady execution so far, and if they make money off everything you do online, there may be no such thing as stretched too thin.


  • New Study Shows AWS Losing Ground to Azure in Enterprises

    “In the early days of the cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS) took the lead as the cloud computing vendor of choice,” the survey report said. “But the survey revealed that as the cloud matures, organizations are becoming more comfortable with vendors other than AWS and are using multiple cloud vendors. In fact, while other reports show that AWS still has a lead in cloud market share, the top cloud vendor in this survey — which included only organizations with at least 500 employees — was Microsoft Azure.



  • Tableau switches to subscription pricing for its BI products

    Businesses will need to pay $70 per user per month for a license of Tableau Desktop Professional, and $35 per user per month for Tableau Server. That compares to the company’s boxed software prices of $2000 for Desktop, plus a $400 annual renewal fee for software updates, and $800 for Server, plus a $200 annual fee.

    It’s a move that will provide additional flexibility, scalability and risk mitigation for Tableau customers, according to Francois Ajenstat, the company’s chief product officer.


  • Walmart and IBM Will Use Blockchain to Ensure Food Safety

    Yiannas explains in an article by Fortune that his company was inspired to utilize blockchain technology for supply chain monitoring by a deadly E. coli scare that happened about a decade ago. The tainted food was, in this case, spinach, and Yiannas believes it goes back to poor practices of sourcing and tracing the contaminated food products. “Consumers, in general, stopped eating spinach…if you could track and pinpoint where that came from faster, you could alleviate all that and ensure consumer confidence continues,” he said. Beyond that, in a case like this one, you could also potentially reduce the number of people who were sickened or killed by poisoned food.

    With an effort at retaining consumer confidence in the event of a similar scare, Walmart has worked with IBM and Beijing’s Tsinghua University to use blockchain to digitally track how pork products in China move. Walmart’s experiment makes use of blockchain technology designed specifically for this purpose by the Hyperledger Project. This is an open source project that was based out of the Linux Foundation and which aims to create blockchain applications for non-cryptocurrency purposes.


  • Teradata CEO aims to regain ‘customer focus’ with embrace of cloud and open source

    He added: “We were shying away from new technologies like open source and cloud. We weren’t being as aggressive as we should be in moving forward to drive our offering to the point where the customer wanted.”

    However, he said that the vendor has moved at “lightning speed” over the last year to address some of the concerns.



  • Google invests in new subsea cable that connects Singapore to Australia

    The cable will feature two fiber pairs with a total capacity of about 18 terabits per second — with the option to expand in the future.

    As Google notes, that’s enough to power 8 million simultaneous Google Hangout video calls (or are those Hangout Meet calls now?). Google, however, is obviously sharing the capacity here, so it won’t quite be able to handle all of those calls at any given time. It’s also worth noting that 18 terabits isn’t extremely fast by today’s standard. The subsea cable between Hong Kong and Los Angeles Google and Facebook invested in last year tops out at 120 terabits per second.


  • Expect to see BlackBerry’s name (and tech) on more devices

    On the company’s earnings call, CEO John Chen said (via Seeking Alpha) that “We are now expanding to the next phase of our licensing program. This will focus on a broader set of endpoints. What this might mean, and I make no promise, is that you may soon see a BlackBerry tablet, and it will also extend to cobranded handset with IoT and Enterprise of Things to EoT devices. These endpoints will run our software and security features and be cobranded Secure by BlackBerry.”


  • EFF: Verizon will install spyware on all its Android phones (update)

    But the EFF spent a little time staring at AppFlash’s privacy policy, where it’s revealed that the software will vacuum up any and all of your private data. For instance, it’ll snag your cell number, device type, operating system and the apps or services that you use. More crucially, the app will also harvest the details of everything installed on your device, your location and the contact details of everyone in your phonebook.

    Verizon admits that the information will be shared within “the Verizon family of companies,” including that of (Engadget parent) Aol. From there, the data will be used to “provide more relevant advertising within the AppFlash experiences and in other places.” The other places being a euphemism for banner and display advertising all across the web.


  • Follow-up to SourceCast Episode 65: H-1B Visa Overhaul Could Actually Benefit Big Tech Companies

    “The top 15 job shops are all pretty much all from India. They get 85 percent of the H-1Bs. If they cut that number, then the American firms will get the bigger slice of the pie,” Shusterman said. “A lot of the Apples or Googles are paying over $100,000 a year. They’re going after top talent. This memo is really going after the lowest paid people.”


Photo: Thomas Shellberg

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Supplier Report: 11/26/2016


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.


  • 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.

    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.


  • 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.


  • 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.”


  • 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.


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.


  • 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



  • 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.


  • 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.



  • 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.



  • 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.


  • 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.



  • 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.”


Photo: Urbex Clan

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Supplier Report: 8/6/2016


Yet another week where M&A dominates the news.

Verizon bought another company (Fleetmatics), SalesForce purchased Quip, and there are rumors that HPE might be up for sale (all of it or some of it). IBM is showing interest in purchasing point of sale company Revel.

IBM is also actually responsible for some technology news this week.  Their health AI systems are starting to target cancer symptoms as a means of early detection. They also maybe created an artificial neuron for super computers.


  • IBM IC detects cancer before symptoms appear

    “The societal impact of this research is that it could enable physicians to detect cancer early…when there are more possibilities of being cured,” Stolovitzky said. “We wanted this research to be in the area of cancer and also the area of detecting DNA and viruses like Zika. Everything reduces down to the same thing: being able to have a small and affordable diagnostic tool that can detect minute quantities of biomarker particles that tell physicians something about a person’s health.”scale of biology


  • IBM is reportedly in talks to buy point-of-sale software firm Revel Systems

    Bloomberg reports IBM (IBM) is in early talks to acquire Revel Systems, provider of an iPad-based point-of-sale (POS) hardware and software system for merchants.

    Revel competes with Square, PayPal (PYPL) , NCR (NCR) and others in the iPad POS market; its customers include Cinnabon, Chobani, and Popeyes. It has 750 employees, and was valued at more than $500 million in a $13.5 million 2015 funding round.

    Is IBM Setting Up To Buy Revel Systems?

    With a Revel acquisition, IBM could theoretically refill a hole in its product line that has existed since the firm sold its point-of-sale business to Toshiba for $800 million in 2012. Revel, on the other hand, could possibly find itself with a soft exit from a market where funding rounds are getting fewer and further between.


  • IBM creates first-ever artificial neurons that behave like the real thing

    IBM researchers in Switzerland have created an artificial neuron that behaves just like the real thing. For the first time in history, artificial phase-change neurons have been grouped together (in a population of 500 synthesized in a lab) to process a neurological signal in more or less the same way that biological neurons transmit messages. They can be made exceptionally small and are similar in power and energy usage to biological neurons, and can even produce results with random variations, also just like biological neurons.


  • IBM’s Wager on Open Source Is Still Paying Off

    “It became apparent that open source could be the de facto standards we needed to be the engine to go out and drive things,” Moore said in his keynote at ApacheCon. “[The contributions] were bets; we didn’t know how this was going to come out, and we didn’t know if open source would grow, we knew there would be roadblocks and things we’d have to overcome along the way, but it had promise. We thought this would be the way of the future.”


Hewlett Packard Enterprise | HP Inc

  • Is Hewlett Packard Enterprise up for sale?

    As explained by author Kevin McLaughlin, “a buyout would allow HPE, currently the world’s largest seller of servers and storage systems, to streamline outside the glare of public scrutiny.”

    Following McLaughlin’s claims, shares in the company spiked seven percent on the stock exchange, yet closed around 3.5 percent as more details of the potential deal emerged.

    According to Reuters, the firms are focused on acquiring certain software assets from the vendor, worth somewhere between $US6 billion and $US8 billion, rather than the entire company.

    HPE Reportedly Considers Going Private

    Reuters reported last week that sources familiar with the HPE private equity discussion said that buyout firms are focused on acquiring some software assets that HPE has been considering divesting, and that those are worth between $6 billion and $8 billion.

    The Reuters report added that the deal was for just the software assets and not the entire company. HPE’s software assets include technology gained in acquisitions such as Vertica Systems, Autonomy, and Mercury. The technologies include data analytics, cloud orchestration, and systems management. That group hasn’t been paying off as strongly as the company’s hardware business has.

    $40 billion buyout rumour persists as HPE cloud chief and storage boss leave company

    A number of key executives are to leave Hewlett Packard Enterprise, with the top-level departures coming at a time when rumours abound that the company is subject to a $40 billion takeover attempt.

    Head of Cloud Bill Hilf, along with Manish Goel, HPE’s storage boss, are set to leave the company for pastures new. However, the reshuffle did not stop there, with Robert Vriji, managing director of sales for the Americas also set to leave, as well as the high-profile retirement of Martin Fink, CTO and head of HP Labs. Fink will retire at the end of the year.


  • PE Firms Looking to Acquire Hewlett Packard Enterprise Software Assets Worth $6B-$8B

    Private equity firms, including KKR NYSEKK, Apollo and Carlyle Group are seeking to acquire certain software assets from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, according to sources reported by Reuters on Friday. Earlier in the day, The Information reported those firms might make a bid for all of HPE.

    Hewlett Packard Enterprise declined comment on the report, while KKR, Apollo and Carlyle did not comment.



  • INFINIDAT Reports 60% Quarter Over Quarter Growth in Q2

    INFINIDAT continued to achieve significant sales traction in key vertical markets in Q2, reporting that 32 percent of sales was to leading firms in the finance sector, 28 percent was in technology, telecommunications and cloud services, and 24 percent was in healthcare and life sciences. INFINIDAT added several new customers in Q2, including BT (world-leading communications services provider), HMSA/Hawaii Medical Service Association (health insurer), Triple C (cloud services provider), and Credit Andorra (financial services).


  • How Dell Raised $67 Billion for the Biggest Tech Deal Ever

    Some of Dell’s own potential banks balked early on, arguing that they simply could not sell enough junk bonds to finance the deal, and other lenders refused to participate if they could not easily resell some of the loans to other investors.

    Then Dell, Silver Lake and the bankers came up with an idea, pushed hard by Mr. Durban: Sell more high-rated loans and bonds, a questionable idea for a junk-rated company like Dell.



  • Oracle’s Latest Purchase Opens the Door for More Pricey Tech Deals

    Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies like Salesforce, which deliver software over the Internet, are of particular interest because that sales delivery model is becoming more successful with corporate customers. Neeraj Agrawal, a general partner with Battery Ventures, estimates that SaaS—as hot as it’s been—still represents just 15% of current software market, but he suggests that won’t be the case for long.


  • Verizon buys Fleetmatics for $2.4B in cash to step up in telematics

    More generally, the acquisition of Fleetmatics points to ways that Verizon is continuing to use its balance sheet to finance investments into newer areas to offset continuing declines in its core, legacy business of basic phone services. As that market has become increasingly commoditized and people turn to other, digitised forms of communication away from traditional voice services, Verizon is hoping to invest into newer areas to move beyond “dumb pipe” status to keep its margins up, and revenues growing.

    While its acquisition of AOL (and now Yahoo) will help Verizon scale up its media, advertising and content operations, Fleetmatics is pointing straight to Verizon’s ambitions in enterprise services, and specifically enterprise mobility.


  • Salesforce buys word processing app Quip for $750M

    It’s not clear why Quip — which was growing and in the enviable position of being very selective about taking funding from VCs — decided to sell up to Salesforce. But it’s an interesting turn in the ongoing consolidation that we’ve seen in the enterprise market, and how that is transforming the bigger companies that are doing the buying.


  • AWS prints money for Amazon, but can Microsoft, Google and IBM catch up?

    As revealed last week, the AWS division of Amazon reported 58 percent year-to-year growth to almost $US2.9 billion, supported by continued operating efficiency that enabled the business to reach $US718 million in operating profit.

    Worldwide Cloud infrastructure services expenditure grew 52.3 percent year on year in Q2 2016, with Canalys findings pitching AWS as the leading Cloud infrastructure services provider, accounting for 30.4 percent of total spend.


  • Is the End Near for Tableau Software Inc?

    Data visualization company, Tableau is scheduled to report second quarter earnings tonight, after the market closes. The stock is perpetually one of the most beaten down during earnings season. After Q4 earnings, shares dropped nearly 50%, only to drop an additional 10% following Q1 earnings. Early indications appear as if they are heading in the same direction ahead of tonight’s report. Just this week Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock to “hold” from “buy” on concerns of slow margin growth. For Tableau to stop the slow bleed, it will have to convince investors that this and future quarters can generate sustainable growth.


  • Teradata: Could This Be The Start Of Something Big?

    At this point, TDC has more than $7.20/share in cash although 98% of the cash is offshore. It also has long-term debt of $552 million. The current enterprise value is $3.44 billion which produces an EV/S for the current year of 1.49X. Based on the company’s current projection, the free cash flow yield for TDC will be 8% or so. The company indicated that there is potential upside to the free cash flow estimate based on the year-ending profile of assets and liabilities, particularly A/R. The company has a P/E of 12X current year non-GAAP earnings. Stock-based comp is quite low at around 10% of reported non-GAAP earnings. The other adjusting items have to do with one-time charges related to the disposition of the company’s marketing assets business as well as reorganization costs. With those kind of valuation metrics, there is plenty of upside if the company’s efforts to re-invent itself are even marginally successful. With that level of valuation, the company presents a very attractive acquisition target to both strategic and private equity investors. In the wake of the company’s guidance for the next two quarters, I think downside exposure is very limited as well.

    Big Data acquisitions: All about the enterprise

    Why would Teradata execute a services play not just once, but twice? Ultimately, it would seem to come down to Enterprise sales. Implementing big data — and doing it successfully — is still hard, and experienced consulting shops/Systems Integrators (SIs) can make enterprise customers feel a lot more confident moving forward with it. That puts them in the perfect position to recommend tools and technologies. So, having a manageably small, but geographically distributed, services organization can be very helpful to Teradata indeed.


Photo: Phoebe Dill

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Supplier Report: 2/13/2016

sn_dice_Pierre Rougier

Mark your calendars, a week has gone by and IBM has not purchased a marketing company!

But they have started blocking citizens living in sanctioned countries from accessing their cloud services.  Speaking of blocking, Microsoft is preventing new Lumia phones from seeing the light of day.  Microsoft is expected to kill the brand in the coming months.

Dell is struggling with securing finances for the EMC acquisition.  However, EMC’s William Green stated that only an “act of God” would prevent the deal from taking place.


  • IBM Aims To Make Enterprises Agile With Cloud Data Services

    The introduction marks an expansion of the company’s Cloud Data Services with more than 25 services and 150 publicly available datasets available to help developers build, deploy, and manage Web and mobile applications, and enable data scientists to discover hidden trends using data and analytics in the cloud, IBM said in a Feb. 4 statement announcing the marketplace.

    This new marketplace comprises several existing IBM services, including IBM Compose Enterprise, IBM Graph, IBM Predictive Analytics, and IBM Analytics Exchange.


  • IBM Has Blocked SoftLayer Cloud Users In Iran
    Via a letter to customers posted on Reddit:

    “Currently, at customer sign-up, SoftLayer blocks IP addresses that originate from countries that are subject to U.S. trade and economic sanctions,” read the email, according to Reddit user Borayeris.

    “At this time, these countries are Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. Starting February 1, 2016, SoftLayer will implement network-wide blocking of these IP addresses.”


  • IBM Rolls Out a Slew of New Cloud Data Services for IBM Cloud

    “Data is the common thread within the enterprise, regardless of where its source might be,” said Derek Schoettle, general manager of analytics platform and cloud data services at IBM, in a statement. “In the past, data handlers have relied on disparate systems for data needs, but our goal is to move data into the future by providing a one-stop shop to access, build, develop and explore data.”



  • Is Microsoft Corporation About to Kill One of Its Major Brands?

    The end of Lumia may not mean the end of Windows Phone, however. Microsoft could consolidate its smartphone efforts under its Surface brand instead. Rumors of a “Surface Phone” have been around for months. They gained new steam late last month, when a poster on Reddit discovered that surfacephone.com redirected to Microsoft’s general Surface page.

    The Surface remains a modest contributor to Microsoft’s financials, but has enjoyed growth in recent quarters. Last quarter, Surface devices generated $1.35 billion, up more than 20% on an annual basis. With the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book, Microsoft is slowly establishing a brand of high-end, innovative Windows devices.


  • Cloud now makes up one third of Microsoft revenues as Azure soars

    Cloud services are going so well for Microsoft that Business Insider suggests it is growing faster than Amazon’s reported 127% in revenue gain.

    On the other side, revenue for Windows Surface devices increased 29 percent driven by the launch of Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book while online gaming “Xbox Live” monthly active users grew 30 percent year-over-year to a record 48 million.


  • Microsoft Lays Off ‘Dozens’ as It Cuts Costs in Mobile Division: Report

    The report comes courtesy Finnish publication Helsigin Sanomat, which says that dozens of employees have been let go from the company. The report claims that the company is handing out pink slips to employees in an attempt to curtail the expenses in its mobile division. The division saw a significant drop in the revenue last quarter.

    “The job reductions were spread across more than one business area and country and reflect adaptations to business needs. We go through this process in the most thoughtful manner possible, with the deepest respect for affected individuals,” a Microsoft spokesperson told ZDNet in a statement. We’ve reached out to the company to check whether employees at Microsoft India are also being let go.


EMC | Dell


  • Will 2016 Be Oracle Corporation’s Best or Worst Year Yet?

    To generate fresh cloud growth, Oracle might need to make more acquisitions. In January, Oracle agreed to acquire AddThis, a provider of social sharing, content recommendation, personalized marketing tools, and analytics services for web publishers. Industry sources told TechCrunch that Oracle paid $100 million to $200 million for the company.

    Oracle suggests that AddThis’ tools, which power 15 million sites, will be integrated into its Data Cloud platform. The acquisition of AddThis complements Oracle’s previous acquisitions of online-to-offline provider Datalogix, cloud marketing services provider BlueKai, online ad campaign firm Maxymiser, and cloud marketing automation firms Eloqua and Responsys. In addition to boosting its SaaS revenues, those acquisitions can widen Oracle’s moat against other major players in the marketing cloud space, like Adobe, Salesforce, and IBM.

    Oracle finished last quarter with $17.4 billion in cash and equivalents and $34.9 billion in marketable securities, so it still has the firepower to keep growing its cloud business inorganically.


Hewlett Packard Enterprise | HP Inc

  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman’s Total Pay Drops 13%

    Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. Chief Executive Meg Whitman’s total compensation was valued at $17.1 million last year, down 13% from 2014.

    Ms. Whitman’s base salary remained at $1.5 million, but she received a smaller bonus. Her nonequity incentive compensation declined to $2.5 million from $4.3 million a year earlier.


  • A PR’s perspective on the Hewlett Packard Enterprise/Financial Times spat: The medium is not your messageSo HPE got into a fight with a Financial Times writer:

    Kellaway received an email from Gomez objecting to an article she had written the previous week which criticised Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s chief executive, Meg Whitman. In the article Kellaway repeated the advice Whitman gave to an audience at Davos — “You can always go faster than you think you can” — and made light of the assertion by saying that “sometimes, when you go faster you fall flat on your face.”

    The writer goes on to call the HPE Rep a bully:

    His full letter, released this morning by the HP comms team, shows how easy it is to wade too deep. “Obviously”, he writes, “you and the FT are free to write about the topics you select. I’ve read your bio and respect your right to ‘poke fun’ at management. But you still have an obligation to get it right. And FT management should consider the impact of unacceptable biases on its relationships with advertisers.”

    Unfortunately, even prefaced by a declaration of respect for editorial independence, the last line has a hard time distancing itself from a veiled threat. A little too Tucker-ish, perhaps.



  • Tableau Struggling To Keep Up With Market Expectations

    Recently there has been increasing competition in the Big Data analytics space that is hurting Tableau. Qlik Technologies (NASDAQ:QLIK) launched its version of a data analytics software Qlik Sense. The product is getting positive reviews from enterprise and mid-market consumers, especially since the Sense Desktop is available for free. Additionally, bigger vendors are offering a similar product. Of note is Microsoft’s Power BI data-analytics software that is offered for free and compares with Tableau’s premium priced offering. Additionally, Microsoft’s Power BI is more likely to attract its existing Excel users – a market that Tableau targets. Other bigger competitors include Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) which are coming up with similar offerings of their own. Market research suggests that among the available data visualization solutions, Tableau has the most expensive product.


  • Tumultuous Times for BI and Analytic Tool Vendors

    Last year’s report featured nine vendors in the Leader’s Quadrant, but only three made the cut this year. Sent packing from the prestigious perch were MicroStrategy, Oracle, IBM, SAP, and SAS, each of which you can now find in the Visionaries’ quadrant, thanks to lower abilities to execute compared to last year. And Info Builders lost even more cred, falling into the Niche Players category after scoring lower in ability to execute (Y axis) and completeness of vision (X axis).


Photo: Pierre Rougier

Tagged , , , , , ,

Supplier Report: 2/6/2016

sn_news_Matt Popovich

For a company that was not expected to making many acquisitions in 2016, IBM sure has been busy.  They purchased three marketing firms this week… 3! These purchases bring to light that IBM currently has marketing department with over 10,000 employees (and growing).

While IBM conceives of new and better ways to sell you things, EMC is getting sued.  There are at least 3 (because it is the magic number) stockholder lawsuits in flight all stating that EMC and Dell are misleading stockholders with their financial math.

I am officially giving Microsoft their own section on the report and I picked a good week.  Microsoft purchased keyboard app maker SwiftKey not only for the popular app, but because of the predictive system it developed to aid with their AI goals. Microsoft also announced attempts to create underwater data centers for improved global performance and for environmental (cooling) reasons.


  • IBM Signs Agreement to Acquire Aperto to Meet Growing Client Need for Digital Transformation

    ARMONK, N.Y., Feb. 2,2016 /PRNewswire/ IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Aperto a digital agency with headquarters in Berlin. Upon completion of this transaction, Aperto will to join the IBM Interactive Experience (IBM iX) team, supporting IBM’s growth in the largest economy in Europe.

    Aperto’s 300-plus employees will continue to serve its roster of clients, which currently includes companies such as Airbus Group, Volkswagen and Siemens.

    After reading that press release, I still had no idea what this company did, so I went to their website:

    Our ability to connect today’s three core disciplines – technology, strategy and creativity – at the highest level is what makes us the “Right-Service Agency For The Digital Age”. We guide the digital transformation of companies and organizations by pioneering ground-breaking marketing solutions, products and business models.

    We know that today no agency can do everything. Tasks and projects are becoming more complex as new technologies and specializations emerge. Those who still promise ‘Full-Service’ end up delivering only half the possible results. That’s why we concentrate on what our clients really need to be successful. This constant focus on the right priorities is what we call ‘Right-Service’.


  • IBM To Acquire ecx.io To Better Customer Experience
    So they bought ANOTHER customer experience firm in Europe. This is the THIRD in a week.

    Upon close of this transaction, ecx.io will bring 200 employees specialized in designing and implementing commerce and digital marketing services and platforms to IBM iX. Clients will benefit from this range of capabilities, combined with the strategy, analytics, cloud and cognitive depth of IBM.

    So we are clear…
    IBM now has 10,000 people working on advertising

    IBM doesn’t talk as much about its digital agency business as it does about its machine-learning cloud service “Watson.” But the company is clearly ramping its efforts up in this market for 2016. The talent wars for top designers are brutal, so IBM is shopping.


  • ​IBM unveils 25 new services with quadruple Cloud play

    The hybrid cloud services can be deployed across multiple cloud providers and are based on open source technologies and open ecosystems that include company and third-party data.

    In addition to the expansion, the tech giant also introduced four new cloud data services; IBM Compose Enterprise, IBM Graph, IBM Predictive Analytics and IBM Analytics Exchange.

    “Data is the common thread within the enterprise, regardless of where its source might be,” says Derek Schoettle, General Manager, Analytics Platform and Cloud Data Services, IBM.


  • IBM Is Blowing Up Its Annual Performance Review

    That maxim, it seems, also applies to IBM’s annual performance review—a 10-year-old system called Personal Business Commitments. The program will be replaced with a brand new approach this week, one that gives more opportunity to shift employee goals throughout the year and includes more frequent feedback.


    There is no single measure of an employee’s performance like before. “In the old system, there was one score. People [got] sort of obsessed by that,” Gherson said. “In the new system, there are five scores. It leads to a much richer, more balanced discussion.”


  • Why IBM Is Buying a Digital Marketing Agency
    To follow up last week’s post on IBM purchasing digital marketing company Resource/Ammirati…

    Since March 2014, IBM iX has quietly doubled its workforce to 10,000 specialists in everything from e-commerce advice to mobile development—including 1,000 creative design professionals branding experts. IBM iX’s hiring spree has been fueled by the company’s strategic partnerships with Apple (with which it is building industry specific mobile apps), Box (content management and workflow), Facebook (marketing intelligence), and Twitter (data analytics).

    And though it already ranks as the world’s largest digital agency, ahead of boutique firms like SapientNitro and Razorfish, the group wants even more of that work. This week, IBM iX signaled that intention with its plan to add another 300 creative experts through the acquisition of 35-year-old interactive media specialist Resource/Ammirati.


EMC | Dell

  • Lawyer flings class action sueball at EMC over Dell merger

    It also says that prospectus opinion from Morgan Stanley on the deal “fails to disclose an “adjusted July Case” which was used as the basis for many of its analyses,” and similar analysis by Evercore “ails to disclose EMC’s “2.x Plan”, the calculation of fully diluted shares, and the equity value at the unaffected price for both EMC and VMware.”

    Actually, it is 3 lawsuits…
    Dell-EMC Deal Facing 3 More Shareholder Suits

    All of them allege EMC is shortchanging investors. Arguing that the merger agreement was adopted in violation of the fiduciary duties of EMC’s board of directors, they are turning to the courts for injunctive relief to enjoin the merger, as well as other remedies.


Hewlett Packard Enterprise | HP Inc

  • HPE chases risky business with Autonomy and Stonebraker tech

    “We’re not just analysing risk events,” said Garber, “but giving organisations the tools to take action on them as well.”

    According to a 2015 Morgan Stanley report, cited by Garber, financial services firms have lost $260bn to regulators for breaches of compliance from 2009 to 2015.

    Asked how much of that HPE reckoned it would have saved (and, indeed, earned) Garber declined to offer a figure, but stated that actually the company was looking at a much wider area than just financial services.


  • HPE Acquires Data Protection Software Developer Trilead

    Trilead, an Altendorf, Switzerland-based developer of low-cost data protection software for VMware vSphere and ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualized environments, put a statement on its website home page that it was acquired by HPE. Neither the timing of the acquisition nor the purchase price was addressed in the statement.



  • Microsoft tests underwater data center

    Microsoft said its reasons for experimenting with underwater data centres were twofold.

    Firstly, half the world’s population is located within 125 miles (200km) of the coast so data centres in the sea would reduce latency – the time its takes data to travel from its source to customers.

    But there were also environmental reasons for the trial. Putting the data centre in the ocean eliminated the need for cooling and, in future, if such centres could be colocated with offshore renewable energy sources, they could also produce zero emissions, according to Microsoft.


  • Microsoft Corporation To Become Second Largest Cloud Player

    Analysts are betting big time on this strategy for Cloud revenues to grow at the Redmond Company. Thus Microsoft Exchange and Outlook are actually driving the revenues for Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) digital cloud services.


  • Microsoft Acquires SwiftKey to Advance AI Goals

    SwiftKey’s predictive technology aligns with Microsoft’s interest in developing intelligent systems that can work more on users’ behalf and under their control, he added. That likely means artificial intelligence systems.

    Microsoft is shelling out $250 million, according to the Financial Times. It will fold SwiftKey’s employees into its stable, and they apparently will report to Shum.



  • Analytics software maker SAS puts 2015 revenue at near $3.2B

    Cary-based SAS Institute Inc. said Tuesday its revenues were almost $3.2 billion in 2015. That was 2 percent more than 2014.


  • Tableau Software Inc (DATA) Plunges 35% On Disappointing Earnings

    Tableau Software delivered a weaker-than-expected quarter with very little upside to revenue as they beat the high-end of guidance by $2.8M vs their four-quarter average of $14.9M. The company reported 42% revenue growth with billings growth of 36%, compared to the 64% and 54% in Q3/15, respectively. Much of the focus will center around the revenue/billings deceleration and the guidance, which will be given on the call. The prior 2016 revenue outlook was $845M-$865M. The stock is down 30%+ in the after-market.


  • Teradataaaaargghh! How to go from years in the black right into the red

    Teradata is suffering from competition, the cloud and new style Big Data analytics, which collectively makes its kit seem expensive and dated. Although it’s moved into Big Data analytics, that market is not taking off fast enough and the Internet of Things data analytics boom is still nascent. Companies like HDS are entering the analytics market and increasing the competitive pressure.

    What happened was that its Marketing Applications unit didn’t deliver the goods. In fact, it experienced an approximate $45m operating loss in 2015.

Photo: Matt Popovich

Tagged , , , , , ,