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
- Reuters: Slow Orders Stall Dell’s $10B Loans for EMC Purchase
According to Reuters, the commitment deadline on $10 billion of pro-rata loans that is part of a $45 billion financing package and will allow Dell to purchase EMC has been extended due to a slow order book.
Reuters, citing an unnamed source, said that the Chinese New Year delayed approval of requests from foreign banks and was the main cause of the extension of the original February 10 deadline.
Reuters also said that it is expected that the pro-rata syndication will not close until at least February 15.
- Only an ‘act of God’ could stop Dell merger, EMC exec says
Speaking Tuesday at a Goldman Sachs technology conference in San Francisco, EMC lead director William Green said the deal will be completed “unless an act of God happens,” according to Fortune magazine.
“I do think there are people who just don’t get it yet, but as more people spend time on it they will see and understand why this is great for investors,” he said.
- 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