Tag Archives: Tableau

Supplier Report: 8/11/2017

IBM is making legal news this week with their attempt to block their former CIO from joining Amazon. They are also gaining headlines for a $78M ruling in favor of the State of Indiana due to IBM’s reported failure to implement a welfare privatization system.

Yet another diversity issue flared up in Silicon Valley this week and Google was at the center of this controversy.  A (now former) employee posted a “manifesto” reinforcing gender stereotypes.  Google was quick to address the problem, but the document has sparked semi-political conversations that will be harder to suppress.

Meanwhile, Amazon sells product under several alternative brands so you think there are more options when purchasing items from the retail giant.

Acquisitions

  • Accenture Buys Digital Marketing Agency For Technical, Creative Skill Set

    Accenture, aiming to enhance its creative marketing prowess and talent, has acquired Wire Stone, a 200-person Boise, Idaho marketing agency whose client list includes several big IT firms, including Microsoft, HPE and HP Inc.

    The Dublin-based professional services giant said Wire Stone’s strategy, design, and technology expertise would help, particularly when it comes providing integrated campaigns, data-fueled insight and immersive digital customer experiences to big companies.

    http://www.crn.com/news/channel-programs/300090281/accenture-buys-digital-marketing-agency-for-technical-creative-skill-set.htm
    Accenture is stepping on IBM’s toes with the creative agency…

  • Tableau acquires ClearGraph, a startup that lets you analyze your data using natural language

    Business intelligence and analytics firm Tableau today announced that it has acquired ClearGraph, a service that lets you query and visualize large amounts of business date through natural language queries (think “this week’s transactions over $500”). Tableau expects to integrate this technology with its own products as it looks to make it easier for its users to use similar queries to visualize their data.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/09/tableau-acquires-cleargraph-a-startup-that-lets-you-analyze-your-data-using-natural-language/?ncid=rss

  • Markets are strong, but big startup M&A deals just aren’t happening

    It’s not just the unicorn space where big deals aren’t happening. So far this year, only 17 well-funded private technology companies (defined here as those that raised $20 million or more in venture investment) have gone on to be acquired for disclosed or reported valuations over $100 million. Meanwhile, in 2016, there were almost that many at valuations of $500 million or more.

    “It could be happenstance, or some sectors may be running into resistance due to high multiples,” says David Blumberg, managing partner at early-stage firm Blumberg Capital. He added that acquirers may also be waiting on the sidelines to see what happens with proposed tax reforms.

    A Trump administration plan to dramatically reduce taxes on repatriated earnings may be a factor in delaying M&A. Currently, big technology companies are holding hundreds of billions of dollars in overseas accounts to shelter their earnings from U.S. taxes. Apple alone is estimated to be holding on to a cash stockpile of more than $250 billion, most in non-U.S. accounts. The Trump proposal would reportedly cut public companies’ income tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent. It would also cut the tax on repatriated offshore earnings to 10 percent.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/05/markets-are-strong-but-big-startup-ma-deals-just-arent-happening/?ncid=rss

  • SoftBank mulls Uber or Lyft investment

    “We are interested in discussing with Uber, we are also interested in discussing with Lyft, we have not decided which way,” SoftBank’s CEO and founder Masayoshi Son said.

    “Whether we decide to partner and invest into Uber or Lyft, I don’t know what will be the end result,” he told reporters at SoftBank’s first-quarter earnings briefing on Monday.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-softbank-group-results-uber-idUSKBN1AN0XW

Artificial Intelligence

  • SAP Ariba adds IBM Watson technology to procurement processes

    This integration is happening in three waves, Rizza said. The first wave is accelerated response, which injects real-time response mechanisms into operational data, automating data capture and analysis for outcomes like personalized alerts for an operation that requires attention. The second wave is integrating intelligence into business processes like source-to-settle; for example, automating many of the routine tasks in the process that take up a buyer’s time. The third wave will encompass the entire enterprise ERP system, as intelligence goes beyond processes like source-to-settle and is built into processes like source-to-invoice or lead-to-cash.

    http://searchsap.techtarget.com/feature/SAP-Ariba-adds-IBM-Watson-technology-to-procurement-processes

Cloud

  • IBM sues to stop former executive from working at cloud computing rival

    Former IBM cloud computing executive Jeff S. Smith begins a new job today at a major rival, Amazon Web Services, much to the displeasure of his former employer.

    “Were he permitted to join the senior management of AWS on Aug. 7,” declared Arvind Krishna, director of research, he “would inevitably be involved in decision-making about how best to compete against IBM and would inevitably disclose or use IBM trade secrets.”

    Judge Cathy Seibel issued a temporary restraining order on Aug. 1, barring Smith, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, from starting work today at Amazon Web Services. He may not solicit customers, recruit former colleagues or disclose confidential information until a full hearing is held.

    https://westfaironline.com/92334/ibm-sues-stop-former-executive-working-cloud-computing-rival/

Datacenter/Hardware

Software/SaaS

  • Judge: IBM Owes Indiana $78M After Failed Welfare Privatization

    Now, Judge Heather Welch says IBM should pay the state $128 million in damages, and that the state still owes IBM nearly $50 million in various fees.

    The Daniels administration originally hired IBM to take over digital welfare services for the state Family and Social Services Administration. The contract was terminated in 2009 after numerous problems and has been tied up in court ever since.

    IBM will appeal the decision.

    http://www.wfyi.org/news/articles/judge-ibm-owes-indiana-78m-after-failed-welfare-privatization

Other

  • Wisconsin Governor Defends Foxconn Deal Amid Growing Concerns

    “Traditionally, these incentive packages, when we look back at them, tend to be expensive, inefficient and have a lot of unintended consequences,” said State Rep. Gordon Hintz, a Democrat whose district includes Oshkosh. “We all want to be seen as doing something proactive but there’s a large body of public policy research that lets you know you can’t buy sustainable economic development.”

    The state assembly has already begun discussions over the bill and its committee on jobs and the economy plans to vote Monday, said House Speaker Robin Vos. The senate is beginning internal discussions and a joint committee on finance is expected to start discussions in the next two weeks. But Mr. Walker, a Republican, said he is confident the bill will be passed before Labor Day, which falls on Sept. 4.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/wisconsin-governor-defends-foxconn-deal-amid-growing-concerns-1502381401

  • Amazon owns a whole collection of secret brands

    Perhaps what Amazon is trying to do as it rapidly expands into new businesses—especially business areas where it might not have forged partnerships with well-known brands—is to give the impression to customers that there are tons of options to choose from, when in fact, they’re really just choosing between different Amazon brands. “Consumers pay a premium for a brand, that’s why they’re not store-generic,” DiMassimo suggested.

    But as Amazon extends into new product lines, it risks overreaching and eroding trust. It has sold beef that’s “raised on a ranch in California” (with no more information available on its sourcing) and “96% USDA Certified” biologic detergent. In both cases it’s not entirely clear to customers that they’re buying products from Amazon, rather than companies that have made it their business to render meat or make chemical products longer than a year or two.

    https://qz.com/1039381/amazon-owns-a-whole-collection-of-secret-brands/
    Brands Strike Back: Seven Strategies to Loosen Amazon’s Grip

    Some manufacturers are enforcing minimum advertised prices to make it harder for online sellers to undercut local merchants, while others give local stores first dibs on new products or funnel customers from their own websites to local outlets.

    “The pendulum has swung,” said Rich Tauer, president of Quality Bicycle Products, a Bloomington, Minn., bicycle wholesaler that won’t sell to Amazon. The company’s sales representatives push brands that support local retailers by restricting advertised prices and enforcing restrictions on where products are being sold.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/brands-strike-back-seven-strategies-to-loosen-amazons-grip-1502103602

  • Google Employee’s Anti-Diversity Manifesto Goes ‘Internally Viral’

    The 10-page Google Doc document was met with derision from a large majority of employees who saw and denounced its contents, according to the employee. But Jaana Dogan, a software engineer at Google, tweeted that some people at the company at least partially agreed with the author; one of our sources said the same (Dogan’s tweets have since been deleted). While the document itself contains the thoughts of just one Google employee, the context in which they were shared—Google is currently being investigated by the Department of Labor for its gender pay gap and Silicon Valley has been repeatedly exposed as a place that discriminates against women and people of color—as well as the private and public response from its workforce are important.

    “The broader context of this is that this person is perhaps bolder than most of the people at Google who share his viewpoint—of thinking women are less qualified than men—to the point he was willing to publicly argue for it. But there are sadly more people like him,” the employee who described the document’s contents to me said.

    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/kzbm4a/employees-anti-diversity-manifesto-goes-internally-viral-at-google
    Google’s New Diversity Chief Criticizes Employee’s Memo

    Danielle Brown, Google’s vice president for diversity and inclusion, sent a letter to employees Saturday saying the employee’s memo “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender” and is “not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages,” according to a copy of the statement published by Motherboard, which earlier reported on the employee’s memo.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/googles-new-diversity-chief-criticizes-employees-memo-1502037022
    Google Fires Author of Divisive Memo on Gender Differences

    Alphabet Inc.’s Google has fired an employee who wrote an internal memo blasting the web company’s diversity policies, creating a firestorm across Silicon Valley.

    James Damore, the Google engineer who wrote the note, confirmed his dismissal in an email, saying that he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.” He said he’s “currently exploring all possible legal remedies.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-08/google-fires-employee-behind-controversial-diversity-memo

  • Microsoft only paid $30 million income tax last year, lowest since 2003

    The Seattle Times story notes that the $30 million figure is somewhat alarming, as Microsoft paid $136 million in state and local income tax payments in 2016. According to the Tax Policy Center think tank, 44 states (and Washington, D.C.) require corporate income taxes. For companies that are headquartered out-of-state, state governments usually only tax companies for activities that occur in their particular state.

    Washington state taxes corporations through its business and occupation (B&O) tax, which imposes a tax on the value of products sold in state. According to Microsoft, the $30 million figure does not include Washington’s B&O tax. The lowered payment might be due to Microsoft moving much of its operations overseas, as Microsoft reported $142 billion in overseas income as of June 30, 2017, a 15% increase over 2016.

    https://www.onmsft.com/news/microsoft-only-paid-30-million-income-tax-last-year-lowest-since-2003

  • Mobility Officially Bumped From Microsoft’s Strategy

    Microsoft is making clear, however, that while it may be moving away from creating mobility, it wants to be inside that technology, pushing artificial intelligence as its next major effort.

    It’s not as if Microsoft won’t have a mobile presence whatsoever, of course. The AI assistant Cortana is enabled for use on iOS and Android; the majority of enterprise business professionals use LinkedIn’s mobile app; and Skype is available just about everywhere. This certainly isn’t a death knell for the company, but as CEO Satya Nadella said in the fall of 2016, Microsoft needs to remember its roots as a platform-first company.

    https://www.enterprisemobilityexchange.com/news/mobility-officially-bumped-from-microsoft%E2%80%99s

Photo: Raw Pixel

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Supplier Report: 5/6/2017

Big blue is having a week. They started with some positive news announcing the acquisition of Verizon’s remaining cloud business, bolstering their customer base. IBM is ending the week on bad news with the announcement that Warren Buffett is selling off 1/3 of his investments in the company.

In an oddly parallel announcement,  Oracle announced a strategic partnership with Verizon’s competitor AT&T. The agreement mandates that AT&T say nice things about Oracle in the press… and they have “global access” to Oracle’s cloud offerings.

There were also some industry articles questioning how to best position a company for A.I. use and implementation.

Acquisitions

  • Cisco scoops up San Jose software-defined networking startup for $610M (Viptela)

    The 170-person company provides a cloud-based to manage wide-area networks that are spread over large geographies or multiple sites.

    “Together, Cisco and Viptela will be able to deliver next-generation SD-WAN solutions to best serve all size and scale of customer needs, while accelerating Cisco’s transition to a recurring, software-based business model,” Rob Salvagno, Cisco’s lead executive for M&A, said in a blog post.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2017/05/01/cisco-viptela-acquisition.html?page=all

  • What Apple Can’t Buy

    That still leaves a lot to play around with. Net of debt, Apple now sits on $158.3 billion. That would be enough to buy Netflix or Tesla with suitable takeout premiums, to address some of the more recent fantasy matchups. Disney , alas, is currently valued at $181 billion. It is worth reminding that Apple has never done a deal for more than $3 billion, and that was for a nascent music service that also sold overpriced headphones.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-apple-cant-buy-1493818279

  • IBM to snap up remnants of Verizon’s cloud business

    Verizon Enterprise Solutions on Tuesday said it had reached a deal for IBM to buy its cloud and managed hosting services. It has not revealed the value of the sale, but says it and IBM will be working on “strategic initiatives involving networking and cloud services”.

    The sale to IBM marks the end of Verizon’s venture into the cloud infrastructure business, and allows it to focus on reselling datacenter services in conjunction with its own managed network, security, and communications services.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/ibm-to-snap-up-remnants-of-verizons-cloud-managed-hosting-business/

  • Oracle and AT&T Enter into Strategic Agreement

    The agreement gives AT&T global access to Oracle’s cloud portfolio offerings both in the public cloud and on AT&T’s Integrated Cloud. This includes Oracle’s IaaS, PaaS, Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) which will help increase productivity, reduce IT costs and enable AT&T to gain new flexibility in how it implements SaaS applications across its global enterprise. AT&T has also agreed to implement Oracle’s Field Service Cloud (OFSC) to further optimize its scheduling and dispatching for its more than 70,000 field technicians. With OFSC, for example, AT&T will combine its existing machine learning and big data capabilities with Oracle’s technology to increase the productivity, on-time arrivals and job duration accuracy of AT&T’s field technicians.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/oracle-t-enter-strategic-agreement-130000355.html

Artificial Intelligence

  • CEOs rate productivity ‘very low’ from emerging tech

    Of those four GPTs, only 2% of the 388 CEOs and senior executives in the survey listed IoT as their top enabling technology for improving productivity, while just 1% of respondents each picked blockchain, 3D printing and A.I. Older and existing technology fared better, with ERP at 10%, following by cloud (7%), analytics (7%), CRM (4%), mobile (3%) and marketing tools (3%). “We notice very low mentions for the four potential breakthrough GPTs,” Raskino noted.

    http://www.computerworld.com/article/3192085/internet-of-things/ceos-rate-productivity-very-low-from-emerging-tech.html

  • Can Ansible be the automation platform for the enterprise? Red Hat thinks so

    Ansible was founded to provide a new way to think about managing systems and applications that better fit this new world. Historically, management vendors and home-grown scripting solutions were created to manage stacks of software on servers. In contrast, Ansible was created to orchestrate multi-tier applications across clouds. From configuration to deployment to zero-downtime rolling upgrades, Ansible is a single framework that can fully automate today’s modern enteprise apps.

    http://www.networkworld.com/article/3194006/data-center/can-ansible-be-the-automation-platform-for-the-enterprise-red-hat-thinks-so.html

  • How Echo Look could feed Amazon’s big data fueled fashion ambitions

    Buying clothes is a recurring need; both a practical necessity and a way to keep up with changes in style and taste. Like buying groceries, it’s a type of shopping without end. Which is why Amazon is fixated on both spaces. “In order to be a $200bn company we’ve got to learn how to sell clothes and food,” Jeff Bezos said as long ago as a decade — displaying the long term thinking that has enabled the ecommerce giant to slow-grow its business over more than 20 years from an upstart online bookseller into today’s sprawling digital marketplace whose upwardly thrusting arrow declaims its mission to deliver everything.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/29/how-echo-look-could-feed-amazons-big-data-fueled-fashion-ambitions/?ncid=rss

  • Should your next big hire be a chief A.I. officer?

    “A.I. is still immature and evolving quickly, so it is unreasonable to expect everyone in the C-suite to understand it completely,” wrote Andrew Ng, a renowned A.I. scientist, in an article posted in November in the Harvard Business Review. “But if your industry generates a large amount of data, there is a good chance that A.I. can be used to transform that data into value. To the majority of companies that have data but lack deep A.I. knowledge, I recommend hiring a chief A.I. officer or a VP of A.I.”

    http://www.computerworld.com/article/3192399/artificial-intelligence/should-your-next-big-hire-be-a-chief-ai-officer.html

Cloud

  • Google says it doesn’t need to get into a cloud price war with Amazon, Microsoft to win

    “We don’t need to compete on price to be honest. We definitely compete on value more than price … but if you look at the products, (they) are hard to compare side by side,” Shaukat told CNBC.

    “We believe that our pricing models are much more friendly. So just simply by adopting the more flexible pricing models we have, things like billing by the minute rather than the hour, we think we can save a typical company 20 to 30 percent without having a unit price different to the competition.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/05/google-cloud-price-battle-amazon-microsoft.html

  • Why the Red Hat-Amazon partnership is a big deal in the cloud

    Here are the key details: Red Hat announced native access to Amazon Web Services products in its Red Hat OpenShift product. OpenShift is the company’s platform as a service (PaaS) application development software, and it’s also the company’s main tool for helping enterprises deploy application containers, including those from Docker.

    Deeper integration between OpenShift and AWS means that OpenShift users can access services such as Amazon Aurora, the company’s cloud-based database, the Amazon RedShift data warehouse product and other cloud-based AWS services directly through OpenShift.

    http://www.networkworld.com/article/3194416/cloud-computing/why-the-red-hat-amazon-partnership-is-a-big-deal-in-the-cloud.html

Datacenter/Hardware

  • Surface sales sag and Windows Phones fade, as Microsoft’s hardware business takes a hit

    Microsoft’s hardware woes contrast sharply with the welfare of the company as a whole, as Microsoft’s cloud services bolstered the bottom line. Microsoft reported profits of $4.8 billion on $22.1 billion in revenue, up 28 percent and 8 percent, respectively, from a year ago. “I’m proud of the progress we’ve made,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive of Microsoft. While the company has repeatedly insisted Windows Phone isn’t dead, however, the slow fade of its own phones doesn’t help the platform’s prospects.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/3193084/hardware/surface-sales-sag-and-windows-phones-fade-as-microsofts-hardware-business-takes-a-hit.html

  • Windows 10 S laptops won’t let you switch from Edge or Bing

    When Microsoft revealed the details of Windows 10 S on Tuesday, it sounded awfully similar to the beleaguered Windows RT. But it looks like there’s a little Windows 8.1 with Bing in there too: Microsoft will not allow Windows 10 S device owners to change the default web browser or the default search engine, as first spotted by The Verge.

    That means Microsoft Edge and Bing are the inescapable defaults for Windows 10 S, a stripped-down version of Windows 10 that only allows programs to be downloaded and installed from the Windows Store.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/3193799/windows/windows-10-s-laptops-wont-let-you-switch-from-edge-or-bing.html

  • Dell EMC to launch hybrid Azure cloud stack

    The product, which consists of Dell EMC PowerEdge servers and Dell EMC Networking, “delivers a consistent experience across Azure public cloud and private with Azure Stack”, according to the vendor.

    It added that the platform also offers a “consistent programming surface between Azure and Azure Stack” so that organisations can create and share traditional and cloud-native applications securely in private and public clouds.

    “Cloud is an operating model, not a place, and adopting a hybrid model has become the clear choice,” said Peter Cutts, senior VP, of hybrid cloud platforms at Dell EMC.

    http://www.cloudpro.co.uk/cloud-essentials/hybrid-cloud/6785/dell-emc-to-launch-hybrid-azure-cloud-stack

Software/SaaS

  • Tableau subscription pricing – a proxy for software acquisition

    The problem for buyers comes in determining how many licenses to buy. Tableau, like many other vendors, operates a ‘land and expand’ strategy where it gets into a department with a handful of licenses and then seeks to grow that out into the enterprise. It’s a legitimate model but one that Tableau struggled to scale in large enterprise, where the influence of IT is much more important and where Tableau has sometimes come unstuck.

    http://diginomica.com/2017/05/04/tableu-things-consider-buying-subscription-pricing/

  • Shots fired: IBM and Red Hat vote “no” on Project Jigsaw, may cause delays for Java 9

    IBM and Red Hat are just two members of the 25-member Java Community Process Executive Committee. This committee approves all the new Java standards, including major Java versions. These proposals require a 2/3 majority to be passed. Right now, IBM and Red Hat are alone in their public disagreement, but they’re probably not the only ones. Jigsaw’s proposed changes to the Java ecosystem are controversial, to say the least.

    https://jaxenter.com/jigsaw-dispute-means-possible-delays-java-9-133723.html

  • Does Gartner Group Matter?

    Not making it on to the Gartner Magic Quadrant is a very big deal for a software company. That is why software companies pay ridiculous amounts of money to get on (and stay on) the Quadrant. And the fact that Gartner Group accepts money from the companies that are being evaluated, makes their independence very much open to question. And yet, even people like me, who have serious doubts about Gartner’s legitimacy are influenced by the Magic Quadrant more than we would like to admit.

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/does-gartner-group-matter-kevin-hunt?

  • IBM Report Highlights Blockchain’s Value in Healthcare

    According to the researchers, blockchain technology offers the industry ” long data” versus “big data ,” that is, data that reaches as far back in time as possible. The potential could capture a patient’s full health history, including every vital sign ever recorded and medicine ever taken.

    http://www.nasdaq.com/article/ibm-report-highlights-blockchains-value-in-healthcare-cm782220

Other

  • Massive Oracle sales re-org to accelerate cloud cash drive

    The re-org has been described as Oracle’s biggest for a decade. From the start of June there will be one account manager for each of Oracle’s Pillar products – database, middleware, BI and hardware. Pillar sales engineers are, as a result, being chopped and will be replaced by a breed of Oracle employee currently in short supply – enterprise cloud architects.

    The exact size of the cuts is uncertain, but one report has Oracle preparing to cut up to two-thirds of its current sales force as soon as this summer. Oracle has a total head count of 136,000.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/03/oracle_sales_reorganisation/

  • Best be Nimble, best be quick. You’re out of a job at HPE

    HPE bought Nimble for $1.2bn in March, and a fairly obvious way of making synergies in the acquisition playbook is to absorb Nimble’s engineering organization into its own, but use its existing back office, sales and marketing functions to handle the Nimble products. Then you can lay off unwanted staff and save cost. And lo, it is so.

    We’re hearing laid-off execs may get up to a year’s salary plus immediate vesting of some portion their stock options. Folks in the trenches may just get standard redundancy terms. Before it was swallowed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Nimble employed roughly 1,100 people.

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/03/hpe_lays_off_nimble_staff/

  • Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Cuts IBM Stake by About a Third

    Mr. Buffett told CNBC that IBM Chief Executive Ginni Rometty met with him ”a few weeks ago” and asked him about reports that he was selling IBM stock. Mr. Buffett said he confirmed the selling but didn’t provide the rationale or the details.

    Berkshire first bought IBM in 2011. Mr. Buffett had avoided technology stocks for years, saying he didn’t understand them. After Berkshire’s IBM stake was first revealed, Mr. Buffett told The Wall Street Journal that IBM “fits all my principles…it’s something we expect to own indefinitely.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/warren-buffetts-berkshire-hathaway-trims-position-in-ibm-1493956123

Photo: Joshua Ness

 

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Supplier Report: 4/8/2017

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.

Acquisitions

  • 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.

    http://diginomica.com/2017/04/03/oracle-accenture-non-starter/
    Oracle rejects Accenture buyout speculation

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

    https://seekingalpha.com/news/3255046-oracle-rejects-accenture-buyout-speculation

  • 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.

    https://www.thestreet.com/story/14073764/1/amazon-and-google-s-reported-interest-in-toshiba-s-chip-unit-could-be-a-sign-of-things-to-come.html

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.

    https://singularityhub.com/2017/04/06/openai-just-beat-the-hell-out-of-deepmind-with-an-algorithm-from-the-80s/
    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.”

    http://www.autonews.com/article/20170401/MOBILITY/304039963/honda-ibm-create-dave-to-solve-recall-riddle

Cloud

  • 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.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/05/ibms-cloud-adds-support-for-nvidias-fastest-gpus-yet/?ncid=rss

  • 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.

    http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/why-amazon-may-eventually-touch-everything-we-do-online#stream/0

  • 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.

    https://virtualizationreview.com/articles/2017/04/04/aws-losing-ground-to-azure-in-enterprises.aspx

Software/SaaS

  • 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.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3187842/business-intelligence/tableau-switches-to-subscription-pricing-for-its-bi-products.html

  • 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.

    http://www.investopedia.com/news/walmart-and-ibm-will-use-blockchain-ensure-food-safety-wmt-ibm/

  • 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.

    http://www.computerworlduk.com/applications/teradata-ceo-aims-regain-customer-focus-by-embracing-cloud-open-source-3656964/

Other

  • 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.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/05/google-invests-in-new-subsea-cable-that-connects-singapore-and-australia/?ncid=rss

  • 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.”

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/04/01/expect-to-see-blackberrys-name-and-tech-on-more-devices/

  • 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.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/31/eff-verizon-will-install-spyware-on-all-its-android-phones/

  • 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.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-04/u-s-visa-revamp-poised-to-benefit-big-u-s-tech-punish-outsourcers

Photo: Thomas Shellberg

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Supplier Report: 11/26/2016

sn_statue_urbex-clan

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

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

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

Acquisitions

  • Oracle Buys Santa Monica Offices for $368 Million

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Google acquires Qwiklabs to teach developers cloud skills

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

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

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

  • What does Trump mean for tech M and A?

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

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

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

Artificial Intelligence

  • GE wants to be the next AI powerhouse

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

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

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

  • AWS launching cloud-based machine learning service

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

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

Cloud

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Datacenter

  • HPE is creaming Dell in HPC

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

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

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

Software/SaaS

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

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

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

  • Tableau Cozies Up to Amazon Cloud

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

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

Other

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

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

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

Photo: Urbex Clan

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Supplier Report: 8/6/2016

Drowning

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

  • 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

    http://www.electronicsweekly.com/market-sectors/medical-electronics/ibm-ic-detects-cancer-before-symptoms-appear-2016-08/

  • 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.

    https://www.thestreet.com/story/13660304/1/verizon-makes-a-telematics-acquisition-ibm-reportedly-mulls-a-retail-acquisition.html
    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.

    http://www.pymnts.com/news/point-of-sale/2016/ibm-acquire-revel-rumors/

  • 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.

    http://inhabitat.com/ibm-creates-first-ever-artificial-neurons-that-behave-like-the-real-thing/

  • 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.”

    https://www.linux.com/news/ibms-wager-open-source-still-paying

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.

    http://www.arnnet.com.au/article/604318/hewlett-packard-enterprise-up-sale/
    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.

    http://www.informationweek.com/software/hpe-reportedly-considers-going-private/d/d-id/1326467
    $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.

    http://www.cbronline.com/news/verticals/the-boardroom/40-billion-buyout-rumour-persists-as-hpe-cloud-chief-and-storage-boss-leave-company-4966767

  • 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.

    http://www.benzinga.com/news/16/07/8282979/bemzingas-weekend-m-a-chatter

Storage

  • 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).

    http://www.cso.com.au/mediareleases/27834/infinidat-reports-60-quarter-over-quarter-growth/

  • 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.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/06/business/dealbook/how-dell-pieced-together-67-billion-to-buy-emc.html

Other

  • 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.

    http://fortune.com/2016/07/29/oracle-netsuite-tech-mergers/

  • 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.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/01/verizon-buys-fleetmatics-for-2-4b-in-cash-to-step-up-in-telematics
    sn_ryback_fmm

  • 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.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/01/salesforce-buys-word-processing-app-quip-for-750m/

  • 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.

    http://www.arnnet.com.au/article/604414/aws-prints-money-amazon-can-microsoft-google-ibm-catch-up/

  • 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.

    http://www.valuewalk.com/2016/08/tableau-software-inc-data-shortsell-earnings/

  • 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.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/3994915-teradata-start-something-big
    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.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/big-data-acquisitions-all-about-the-enterprise/

Photo: Phoebe Dill

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