Tag Archives: Toshiba

Supplier Report: 6/23/2017

It feels like Amazon is taking over the world – they are buying Whole Foods, they are Gartner’s #1 IaaS provider, they are building a new cloud region in Hong Kong, and they managed to get Wal-mart so mad that the ol’ mart is banning suppliers from doing business with AWS.

I guess it’s good to be the king?

Red Hat is thinking about the future as they grow their services business while Oracle beat market expectations and had quite the stock rally.

Acquisitions

  • Amazon to Buy Whole Foods for $13.7 Billion

    Amazon.com Inc. said on Friday it would buy Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion, including debt, instantly transforming the online giant into a major player in the bricks-and-mortar retail sector it has spent years upending.

    The acquisition, Amazon’s largest by far, gives it a network of more than 460 stores that could serve as beachheads for in-store pickup and its distribution network. It would make Amazon an overnight heavyweight in the all-important grocery business, a major spending segment in which it has struggled to gain a foothold because consumers still largely prefer to shop for food in stores.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-to-buy-whole-foods-for-13-7-billion-1497618446?mg=prod/accounts-wsj

  • Tokyo Takes Lead in Toshiba Chip-Unit Sale Over China Fears

    The Japanese government-led group wasn’t the highest bidder, according to people briefed on the bids. Taiwan-based iPhone assembler Foxconn Technology Group, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. , was ready to offer more, but Japanese government officials said its large China operations raised the risk that technology would leak.

    Toshiba said the Japanese government-led plan is the “best proposal, not only in terms of valuation, but also in respect to certainty of closing, retention of employees, and maintenance of sensitive technology within Japan.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/toshiba-picks-government-led-group-as-preferred-bidder-for-chip-unit-1498015576

Artificial Intelligence

  • SAP Ariba and IBM – Global Strategic Alliance to Deliver Cognitive Procurement Solutions
  • Inside Microsoft’s AI Comeback

    Indeed, Microsoft first rolled out its developer tools for bots in the spring of 2016, as did other large tech companies like Facebook. They were billed as a replacement for apps, and many stakeholders really wanted that to be the case. By last spring, most people used the same small group of apps on their smartphones; the promise of bots was that developers and brands could reach new users again, much like they could in the early days of mobile via the app store. But users didn’t play along. And the deep learning that enabled bots to perform the equivalent of magic was improving faster than a paradigm for how to use them could evolved. “Bots are like apps before the file menu existed,” says Cheng. She explains there isn’t a common set of commands, so users are confused about where to find them and how they work. “Web pages, for example, all have back buttons and they do searches. Conversational apps need those same primitives. You need to be like, ‘Okay, what are the five things that I can always do predictably?’” These understood rules are just starting to be determined.

    https://www.wired.com/story/inside-microsofts-ai-comeback

Cloud

  • Wal-Mart to Vendors: Get Off Amazon’s Cloud

    Wal-Mart is telling some technology companies that if they want its business, they can’t run applications for the retailer on Amazon.com Inc.’s leading cloud-computing service, Amazon Web Services, several tech companies say.

    Amazon’s rise as the dominant player in renting on-demand, web-based computing power and storage has put some competitors, such as Netflix Inc., in the unlikely position of relying on a corporate rival as they move to the cloud.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/wal-mart-to-vendors-get-off-amazons-cloud-1498037402

  • As Amazon, Microsoft and Google Keep Taking Cloud Share, Rivals Are Learning to Specialize

    But whereas Google was alone in the Challengers quadrant last year — everyone besides the big-3 was labeled a Niche Player — Alibaba Group (BABA) , IBM Corp. (IBM) and Oracle Corp. (ORCL) managed to break into the quadrant this year. Some of this may be due to a more lenient attitude towards ranking smaller players on Gartner’s part. But it also might say a thing or two about how each company has learned how to stand out.

    IBM’s ranking appears to have gotten a boost from its efforts to create a next-gen cloud infrastructure for enterprises that relies on proprietary IBM hardware and management software. Gartner also took note of IBM’s ability to use its global footprint to set up cloud data centers in 16 countries, and the potential to use its developer ecosystem to drive adoption of infrastructure services built on top of its Bluemix platform, which initially focused just on cloud app platform (PaaS) services for developers.

    http://realmoney.thestreet.com/articles/06/19/2017/amazon-microsoft-and-google-keep-taking-cloud-share-rivals-are-learning-specialize

  • Amazon announces new AWS Region in Hong Kong

    Amazon announces plans to open an Amazon Web Services Region in Hong Kong next year to make the eighth AWS Region in Asia Pacific.

    https://www.investing.com/news/stock-market-news/amazon-announces-new-aws-region-in-hong-kong-497816

  • Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd says you need these three things to transition to the cloud

    “We historically used to write big contracts,” Hurd gave as an example. “Now we’re going to do a contract with a company that’s a startup. We’re going to go contract with Lyft for financials, but Lyft doesn’t have a procurement department. They don’t have even an IT department, per se. We can’t show up with a bunch of lawyers and a big, thick document. So we changed our process to go to ‘click to accept.’”

    “That single decision, around here, is like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding,’” he added. “It’s just the way we’ve been trained, it’s what’s in our DNA.”

    https://www.recode.net/2017/6/19/15826776/oracle-co-ceo-mark-hurd-says-you-need-these-three-things-transition-cloud-recode-decode

Datacenter/Hardware

Other

  • Microsoft says “fireball” threat overblown

    Today, Microsoft countered Check Point’s initial analysis that 250 million computers and 20 percent of corporate networks were infected with Fireball.

    “While the threat is real, the reported magnitude of its reach might have been overblown,” said Hamish O’Dea of the Windows Defender research team. Check Point said today that it has been working with Microsoft since being notified of the new analysis.

    “We tried to reassess the number of infections, and from recent data we know for sure that numbers are at least 40 million, but could be much more,” said Maya Horowitz, Group Manager, Check Point Threat Intelligence.

    https://threatpost.com/microsoft-says-fireball-threat-overblown/126472/

  • Oracle leaps to record as cloud transition hits turning point

    Oracle Corp. was late to the cloud revolution, allowing upstarts like Salesforce.com Inc. to find significant market share with software delivered over the internet, and has suffered while making an acquisition-fueled push into the space.

    The Band-Aid appears to have come off Oracle’s wound, however, and the company seems assured that its healed finances will be better than ever. Investors showed belief after Oracle’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report Wednesday evening, sending shares that had never cracked $47 in regular trading, adjusted for splits, to more than $51 in after-hours action. If that move holds, Oracle would be worth more than $200 billion.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oracle-leaps-to-record-as-cloud-transition-hits-turning-point-2017-06-21

  • Former EMC Chief Joe Tucci Is Joining This VC Firm

    Joe Tucci, who left his long-time gig as chairman and CEO of EMC after selling the company to Dell, is now special adviser to 83North, an investment firm focusing on European and Israeli startups.

    83North, formerly known as Greylock IL, has offices in London, New York, and Tel Aviv. It has backed startups including Hybris, the German e-commerce company bought by SAP in 2013, and Israeli storage startup ScaleIO, which EMC acquired the same year.

    http://fortune.com/2017/06/19/emc-joe-tucci-vc-83-north/

  • Meg Whitman Cedes One of Her HPE Titles To This Exec

    Hewlett-Packard Enterprise has promoted a 22-year veteran of the company to president. The move comes as HPE continues to sort out its businesses after a series of acquisitions, divestitures, and layoffs.

    The new president, Antonio Neri, was most recently executive vice president and general manager of HPE’s Enterprise group, which sells data center servers, storage, networking to corporate customers.

    http://fortune.com/2017/06/21/meg-whitman-names-new-hpe-president/

  • Red Hat’s comeback rolls on, thanks to a surging application development business

    The Raleigh, North Carolina-based company actually quickened growth in sales of subscriptions for application development tools from the pace it set in its fiscal first quarter. Application development-related and other emerging technology subscription revenues were $139 million, up 41 percent year-over-year and slightly above the previous quarter’s 40 percent growth pace. Subscription revenue for Red Hat’s core infrastructure business rose 14 percent, to $458 million, an impressive gain on top of an already large base.

    Chief Executive Jim Whitehurst  said Red Hat is shifting its business from being a low-cost provider of open-source alternative software to a strategic platform for cloud migration. “We’ve moved from having a seat the table with the purchasing department to having a seat at the table with the CIO,” he said. Sales of core infrastructure platforms like Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenStack, he added, “provides a tailwind for our other offerings.”

    https://siliconangle.com/blog/2017/06/20/red-hat-continues-comeback-strong-quarterly-results-driven-surging-application-development-business/

Photo: Benjamin Davies

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Supplier Report: 6/2/2017

Should investors lay IBM’s current problem’s at Ginni Rometty’s feet or is her predecessor Sam Palmisano truly to blame? While investors are busy finger-pointing, IBM’s global services division declined another 2%.

But it wasn’t all bad news for big blue, they acquired a company to help bolster their “Connections” platform and another news source is touting just how good Watson is at suggesting cancer treatments.

Meanwhile in Japan, Toshiba is still struggling to sell off their memory chip business in a last-ditch effort to keep the company afloat and NTT quietly invested in NoSQL database provider MarkLogic.

Acquisitions

  • IBM Acquires XCC Digital Work Hub to Strengthen IBM Connections

    Armonk, NY-based IBM acquired the XCC technology from its partner, Cologne, Germany-based TIMETOACT GROUP. XCC is a digital workplace hub that IBM officials said will create a “single destination” personalized homepage for employees. The company made the announcement at its DNUG44 collaboration conference in Berlin this morning.

    XCC’s hub will be renamed the IBM Connections Engagement Center and will live under the portfolio of IBM Connections, IBM’s enterprise collaboration suite that competes with the likes of Microsoft, Slack and Atlassian.

    http://www.cmswire.com/digital-workplace/ibm-acquires-xcc-digital-work-hub-to-strengthen-ibm-connections/

  • Micro Focus’ $8.8bn software acquisition approved by investors

    The approval for the $8.8bn deal comes only weeks after Micro Focus issued a damaging warning on its growth prospects because of a slowdown in sales at the former Hewlett-Packard assets.

    The investor meeting, held near St Pauls in London, was attended by only one shareholder. Approval for the multibillion merger and a $500m return of cash to shareholders was passed without objection in less than 10 minutes. The vote was passed with a 99.9 per cent approval.

    https://www.ft.com/content/976c93f8-4221-11e7-82b6-896b95f30f58

  • Dell further ties itself to VMware

    Initial reports set the price at $67 billion, but Dell now says it was just over $58 billion. Either way, a good portion of the funding was borrowed.Selling off VMware – at its current market cap of about $34 billion – would certainly change the math, but so too would losing VMware’s future potential contributions.

    VMware still functions as its own publicly traded company, as it did under EMC, but it is now majority-owned by Dell Technologies. And unlike other parts of Dell’s new empire, VMware is growing at 10 percent a year.

    http://www.wbjournal.com/article/20170529/PRINTEDITION/170529955/1002

  • Intel CEO explains why he spent $15 billion on Mobileye

    Krzanich said that someday “if you get a ransomware or some kind of virus on one portion of the device,” Intel will not only have backups, but they could “refresh your car on the fly.” While he acknowledged that there are some potential privacy concerns, Krzanich believes that connected cars will be “much safer.”

    “In order for those cars to drive, they do have to look,” said Krzanich about self-driving cars. “There’s a lot of social good that can come out of this.”

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/01/intel-ceo-explains-why-he-spent-15-billion-on-mobileye/?ncid=rss

  • NTT Data announces strategic investment in NoSQL database provider MarkLogic

    MarkLogic positions itself as a database system for integrating data from various data silos, something that’s a growing problem for large enterprises as they look into how they can get the most value out of their data. Over the years (and often because of acquisitions), different groups in a company often use different database systems, and now they are looking for ways to bring all of this information together again. Typically, the way to do that is by bringing that data into a schema-less NoSQL database, which is where MarkLogic comes in.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/31/ntt-data-announces-strategic-investment-in-nosql-database-provider-marklogic/?ncid=rss

  • Toshiba Fights to Clear Way for Chip-Unit Sale

    Toshiba said it would transfer the joint venture back to the core Toshiba group, and remove that part of its chip unit from a sale. The company says the joint venture includes manufacturing equipment, but not the key NAND flash manufacturing processes or the plants or engineers in Japan.

    The move defuses Western Digital’s claim that the sale of the chip unit to a third party would be a breach of its joint venture rights, Toshiba’s lawyers said in a letter dated Wednesday.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/toshiba-makes-legal-concession-on-sale-of-memory-chip-unit-1496239072?mg=prod/accounts-wsj

Artificial Intelligence

  • IBM’s Watson is really good at creating cancer treatment plans

    In a handful of studies being presented at ASCO, researchers show that Watson for Oncology is pretty dang good at recommending treatments for a variety of different cancers. From research done in India, Watson’s treatment recommendations were in agreement with those of physicians 96 percent of the time for lung cancer, 93 percent of the time for rectal cancer, and 81 percent of the time for colon cancer.

    And there were comparable rates of agreement for colorectal, lung, breast and gastric cancer treatments in a Thai-based study. Additionally, Watson was able to screen breast and lung cancer patients for clinical trial eligibility 78 percent faster than a human, reducing screening time from 110 minutes down to just 24.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/01/ibm-watson-cancer-treatment-plans/

  • Google has reportedly launched a new AI-focused venture capital program

    According to Axios, Patterson and company will reportedly be co-investing with GV when it makes sense to do so. Check sizes, it says, will range from $1 million and $10 million to start, though it isn’t yet clear how much Google plans to commit to the program, yearly or otherwise.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/26/google-has-reportedly-launched-a-new-ai-focused-venture-capital-program/?ncid=rss

Cloud

  • VMware to rally nearly 20% on Amazon partnership, analyst says

    “The recent partnership between VMware and AWS [Amazon Web Services] has been received with great positivity and excitement, according to our channel work,” analyst Jayson Noland wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. “Naturally, a co-development between the respective leaders in private and public clouds should offer an unparalleled level of seamlessness in hybrid cloud mobility, which to date remains one of the largest challenges to enterprise cloud deployment.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/31/cloud-play-vmware-to-rally-nearly-20-percent-on-amazon-partnership-analyst-says.html

  • Oracle Bucks the Pricing Trend in the Cloud

    Oracle has been acting as if to buck cloud computing pricing trends. Amazon and Microsoft have been waging cloud pricing wars, with Amazon recently trimming AWS costs by as much as 21% on certain services.

    However, Oracle has been hiking prices. Earlier this year, the company updated its licensing policy in a fashion that dramatically increased the cost of running Oracle software on AWS and Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform. Oracle doubled the cost of running its database on these foreign clouds.

    http://marketrealist.com/2017/05/oracle-bucks-pricing-trend-cloud/

Datacenter

  • MongoDB Taking Share From Oracle In $40 Billion Market

    When you take into account the full cost to a company, MongoDB offered an irresistible bargain. “We believe that the cost of the software should equal that of the hardware. We typically charge $5,000 per server per year for the software to run on a server that costs about $5,000. Our competition charges hundreds of thousands of dollars per server-year plus $50,000 a year in maintenance and their software runs on $10,000 servers,” said Schireson.

    Regrettably, MongoDB declined to provide revenue growth details. But its headcount growth suggested that demand for the product was soaring. Schireson argued, “When I joined as CEO in 2011, the company had 20 employees. That went to 100 by the end of 2011 and 200 by the end of 2012. [As of October 2013] we have 320 people and expect to end the year at between 350 and 400. And we plan to add 200 more in 2014. We now have 600 customers.”

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2017/05/30/mongodb-taking-share-from-oracle-in-40-billion-market/#2e06dd5a3156

  • IBM believes that hybrid cloud is the future of computing

    “When we work with private and public clouds on workload assessment, customers think of what would go Hybrid. We do studies and assessment with our customers every day. So, there is no doubt or question in our mind that hybrid is the way to go,” Vikas Arora, Cloud Business Leader for IBM India and South Asia, told IANS.

    He said IBM believes that it has the best of enterprise cloud and hybrid is a very core capability that it has, adding that there is a need of a global footprint of datacenters.

    http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/ibm-believes-that-hybrid-cloud-is-the-future-of-computing-378615.html

  • Red Hat director talks Reactive and changing middleware layer

    Sharples also shared his opinion on how the middleware layer is changing, such as the shift away from enterprise service buses (ESBs). The ESB, he said, became a burden in the eyes of many software administrators who saw it as a single “choke point” and potential source of universal failure.

    “It became that part of your application code was now embedded within this infrastructure,” Sharples said. “So, it didn’t provide a good separation of concerns.”

    http://searchmicroservices.techtarget.com/video/Red-Hat-director-talks-Reactive-and-changing-middleware-layer

  • HPE meets lowered expectations as execs insist worst is over, but investors not so sure

    HPE’s results were expected to be dismal, and the company surprised no one with earnings that met Wall Street expectations on a 13 percent plunge in revenue compared to the same quarter last year. About the only positive news was that net revenues of $9.9 billion slightly exceeded consensus estimates of $9.64 billion, and that the company reaffirmed its earnings guidance for the rest of the year.

    Exact comparisons to last year’s figures aren’t practical because HPE completed the sale of its services business to Computer Sciences Corp. just last month, shedding 100,000 employees in the process. In after-hours trading, the stock declined a little more than 2 percent.

    https://siliconangle.com/blog/2017/05/31/hpe-meets-lowered-expectations-execs-insist-worst/

Software/SaaS

  • Blockchains are the new Linux, not the new Internet

    Decentralized blockchain solutions are vastly more democratic, and more technically compelling, than the hermetically-sealed, walled-garden, Stack-ruled Internet of today. Similarly, open-source Linux was vastly more democratic, and more technically compelling, than the Microsoft and Apple OSes which ruled computing at the time. But nobody used it except a tiny coterie of hackers. It was too clunky; too complicated; too counterintuitive; required jumping through too many hoops — and Linux’s dirty secret was that the mainstream solutions were, in fact, actually fine, for most people.

    Sound familiar? Today there’s a lot of work going into decentralized distributed storage keyed on blockchain indexes; Storj, Sia, Blockstack, et al. This is amazing, groundbreaking work… but why would an ordinary person, one already comfortable with Box or Dropbox, switch over to Storj or Blockstack? The centralized solution works just fine for them, and, because it’s centralized, they know who to call if something goes wrong. Blockstack in particular is more than “just” storage … but what compelling pain point is it solving for the average user?

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/28/double-double-cryptocoin-bubble/?ncid=rss

  • Concord wants to become the Google Docs of contracts

    Concord wants to centralize everything related to contract management into one service, and this service is supposed to work for all sorts of teams. Companies like Just Eat have been using it across the board, from the sales team to the HR team.

    And it starts with writing new contracts. Concord lets you create and edit contracts directly in your browser. If you want to send it to a coworker, you just share the Concord document. The platform then tracks changes and versions so that everybody across your organization stays on the same page. And those contracts are legally binding.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/31/concord-wants-to-become-the-google-docs-of-contracts/?ncid=rss

Other

  • What’s Stopping IBM’s Global Business Services from Growing?

    The GBS segment’s revenue fell 2% to $4.0 billion in the quarter. The segment encompasses consulting, global process services, and application management services. It provides customers with these services by integrating them with the company’s offerings, including Watson, cloud, blockchain, and technology services.

    The migration of customers from big on-premises projects and models to the cloud system has led to a fall in IBM’s traditional back office implementation business.

    http://marketrealist.com/2017/06/whats-stopping-ibms-global-business-services-from-growing/

  • Is Management Really to Blame for IBM’s Woes?

    Shares of IBM have declined 8% this year, while the S&P 500 has gained 8%. The reasons are easy to see — the company’s revenue has fallen annually for 20 straight quarters, Warren Buffett sold about 30% of Berkshire’s stake in February, and Moody’s downgraded its credit rating in early May.

    Amid all those negative headlines, it’s easy to blame IBM’s management for its current woes. However, it makes more sense to blame former CEO Sam Palmisano for most of those problems. Rometty initially waited too long to abandon Palmisano’s quixotic plan, but her moves over the past three years indicate that she knows how to turn around the aging company. Therefore, investors should keep those facts in mind before assuming that IBM would fare better under new management.

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/05/27/is-management-really-to-blame-for-ibms-woes.aspx

Photo: Hermes Rivera

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Supplier Report: 4/15/2017

Oracle is telling customers they can do more with less.  While competitors Google, AWS, and Microsoft are expanding their cloud centers, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd believes Oracle’s databases are better optimized, thus consuming less infrastructure. Perhaps those smaller cloud centers will require less tax in Korea, as Oracle has been found to be underpaying in the country for several years.

With the success of Alexa, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is telling staff that AI is the future of the company (and to expect more AI innovation). The people at Planet Money also believe in the power of AI… they taught a bot to trade stock based on President Trump’s tweets (seriously… listen to the episode below).

Acquisitions

  • Foxconn Offers Up to $27 Billion for Toshiba’s Chip Business (next highest bid was $18B)

    The latest bid by Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., could put the government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a tough spot. Some in the government are hoping to see a Japanese company or a joint U.S.-Japan team take the prized Toshiba asset because they see the chip business as strategic, say people familiar with the matter. But it would be hard for financially strapped Toshiba to turn down extra cash if Foxconn has the highest bid.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/foxconn-could-bid-up-to-27-billion-for-toshibas-chip-business-1491833399

  • Microsoft to buy Kubernetes container-orchestration vendor Deis

    In his own blog post, Gabe Monroy, chief technology officer of Deis, said the Deis team will continue with its contributions to Workflow, Helm, and Steward, as well as “maintaining our deep engagement with the Kubernetes community.”

    Microsoft originally announced plans to work with Google on Kubernetes in 2014. Kubernetes is an open-source container cluster manager that provides automated deployment, scaling and operations of application containers.In February this year, Microsoft made Kubernetes generally available on its own Azure Container Service.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-to-buy-kubernetes-orchestration-vendor-deis/

  • AT&T to Buy Straight Path for $1.25 Billion as It Gobbles Up Spectrum

    Straight Path shareholders will receive $95.63 in AT&T stock, a sharp premium to Straight Path’s closing price last week of $36.48. The acquisition, expected to close within a year, gives AT&T access to Straight Path’s portfolio of millimeter wave spectrum, including 39 GHz and 28 GHz licenses.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/at-t-to-buy-straight-path-for-1-25-billion-as-it-gobbles-up-spectrum-1491833024

Artificial Intelligence

  • AI Is The Key To Amazon’s Future Success, Says Jeff Bezos

    “Machine learning” is a type of Artificial Intelligence and enables computers to “learn” without being programmed. It is used in all sorts of technology, from the mundane such as search engines and voice recognition through to high-profile projects, such as self-driving cars. AI technology has also made Amazon Go possible. Currently only open to Amazon employees as it’s in beta mode, the Amazon Go store in Washington is an entirely new concept in grocery shopping. The idea is that customers will be able to download an app, then walk into the store, do their grocery shopping and have it charged straight to their Amazon account without the need to pay at a checkout. This is made possible by cameras and sensors in the store. The project has taken over four years of work and was initially expected to open early this year, although that hasn’t happened yet and the company has not given any recent updates. The CEO ended his annual letter by promising “much more to come” in the area of AI.

    https://www.androidheadlines.com/2017/04/ai-key-amazons-future-success-says-jeff-bezos.html

  • Planet Money: Botus (Episode 763)
    Here is a great example of simple artificial intelligence use in a practical application (building a bot to trade stock based on President Trump’s tweets).
    http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/04/07/522897876/meet-botus-planet-money-s-stock-trading-twitter-bot

Cloud

  • Microsoft, Oracle, NetSuite: Why Some Cloud Deals Are Fake News

    So why does this happen? The issue seems to be companies feel pressured to come up with news at their various events. And, in this cloud era in particular, they are threatened by AWS’ dominance in so many areas that they want to team up to combat the threat. But it’s hard for multi-party alliances to really take off: Too many cooks in the kitchen united only by a common threat.

    To compound the issue, reporters do not often follow up to see what happened with a given pact. Credit VMware here: At least it publicly announced that VMforce would never happen. Many companies just bury the dead alliance and hope no one notices.

    http://fortune.com/2017/04/14/netsuite-oracle-microsoft-cloud/

  • Tech’s High-Stakes Arms Race: Costly Data Centers

    Combined, Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet doled out $31.54 billion in 2016 in capital expenditures and capital leases, according to company filings. That is up 22% from 2015.

    Not every dollar of that is spent on data centers that deliver infrastructure as a service, but each company describes the cloud as a major investment area. Amazon, the leader in providing such web-based, on-demand resources, didn’t disclose the cost of the new cluster of data centers in Stockholm, known in industry-speak as a “region.” Analysts peg the price tag of a region at several hundred million dollars.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/techs-high-stakes-arms-race-costly-data-centers-1491557408

  • Oracle CEO: We Can Beat Amazon and Microsoft Without as Many Data Centers

    “We try not to get into this capital expenditure discussion. It’s an interesting thesis that whoever has the most capex wins,” Hurd said in response to a question from Fortune at a Boston event on Tuesday. “If I have two-times faster computers, I don’t need as many data centers. If I can speed up the database, maybe I need one fourth as may data centers. I can go on and on about how tech drives this.”

    Also:

    Oracle execs, including executive chairman Larry Ellison, have argued that Oracle’s big machines can actually work cheaper and more efficiently than the other public cloud configurations. Many industry analysts have their doubts on that, maintaining Oracle must spend much more to catchup with Amazon. Toward that end, in January, Oracle announced plans to add three new data center farms within six months and more to come.

    http://fortune.com/2017/04/12/mark-hurd-oracle-data-centers/

Datacenter

  • The serverless cloud could swallow up hardware

    Serverless computing is actually something of a misnomer, as it most definitely does not do away with servers. Rather, it takes away the need for the consumer of cloud computing to have to deal directly with servers, either in provisioning them or managing them, and instead focus on developing and deploying the business logic to power their own application or service.

    This sounds a lot like PaaS, or platform-as-a-service, a long established and well understood cloud service model, but the serverless approach sees applications and services broken down into smaller, more discrete functions. Some serverless proponents have even coined the term functions-as-a-service (FaaS) to describe it.

    http://www.datacenterdynamics.com/content-tracks/colo-cloud/the-serverless-cloud-could-swallow-up-hardware/98120.article

Software/SaaS

  • IBM Ramps Up China Blockchain Work With Supply Chain Trial

    The platform is designed to bring greater transparency into supply chain networks by tracking the flow of drugs, encrypting trading records and offering an easier means of authenticating transactions. The end goal is to reduce the time small retailers must wait to be paid after delivering medicine to hospitals – which currently can be as high as 60 to 90 days.

    Overall, Ramesh Gopinath, vice president of Blockchain Solutions at IBM, said that the use case offers an ideal example of how the company’s enterprise blockchain platform can smooth multi-party transaction processes.

    http://www.coindesk.com/ibm-amps-china-blockchain-new-supply-chain/

  • IBM Targets Pharmaceuticals With Blockchain Supply Chain Tech

    “Overall,” IBM and Heija said, “the platform is designed to help reduce the turnover time of funds on both sides of the supply chain and allow banks to be more informed and grant access to funding for small and medium pharmaceutical retailers.”

    The solution is already working with one pharmaceutical retailer, a hospital and a bank to facilitate transactions between these parties. The companies said they plan to add more retailers, hospitals and banks later this year.

    http://www.pymnts.com/news/b2b-payments/2017/ibm-blockchain-supply-chain-finance-management-pharmaceutical-industry-china/

Other

  • Oracle Korea slapped with $293M USD in back taxes

    The NTS slapped the punitive tax in January last year, after discovering that the company transferred some 2 trillion won of gains it earned in Korea between 2008 and 2014 to a tax haven abroad.

    Oracle Korea protested the decision and filed a complaint with the Tax Tribunal in April last year. But the tribunal dismissed the request in November.

    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2017/04/133_227285.html

  • BlackBerry’s stock had a great day after the company won a big dispute with Qualcomm

    BlackBerry’s stock hit its highest point more than a year, and all it took was a lousy $814.9 million arbitration win. It’s a healthy bounce back for the embattled company, which has spent the last year working to make a major shift from all-in phone maker to software and services company.

    But while shareholders are likely pleased, BlackBerry no doubt would have rather its stock hit its highest level in 15 months due to, say, a new product or service, but, well, you take what you can get.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/12/blackberry-stock-qualcomm/?ncid=rss

  • Ubuntu Linux uncertainty continues as Canonical CEO walks away

    The timing of this could not be worse, as there is already a lot of uncertainty in the Ubuntu community — some stability would have been appreciated after all of the other recent chaos. Canonical would have been wise to wait a bit longer before making this announcement. After all, Silber isn’t leaving today, but in a few months — is the company trying to give Ubuntu users and developers ulcers? There are reports that there’s been a bit of an exodus by Canonical employees as a result.

    https://betanews.com/2017/04/12/ubuntu-linux-canonical-ceo-jane-silber/

Photo: Clay Banks

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SourceCast: Episode 66: Toshiba’s Turmoil

Toshiba is not having a good week.  As the company struggles to survive, political pressures from the Japanese government are complicating an already messy situation.

Photo: Amos Bar-Zeev

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