Tag Archives: Verizon

Supplier Report: 7/14/2017

IBM is coming under fire by Jefferies and competitor OpenText over their AI success (or lack of it).  Jefferies says IBM customers are suffering from complicated implementations and OpenText claims that their AI platform is better and cheaper.

Google is hoping to leverage AI technology to make the world a better place.  And what better way to improve the world than to buy a small AI company in India (…that does have a social  focus).

Meanwhile Verizon made the world a slightly worse place by announcing a security breach that could impact up to 14 million customers.

Acquisitions

Artificial Intelligence

  • Microsoft to use AI to assist the blind, fix bias, and rescue the planet

    In order to make sure that further developments are pursued in the proper fashion—accessible and inclusive to everyone—Microsoft also noted that it is working on an Ethical Design Guide for AI product development, based on CEO Satya Nadella’s 10 principles for AI development.

    “As technology that uses AI gets smarter, we want to ensure that we take a responsible approach to our progress – and one that will ultimately provide the most benefit to our customers and to society as a whole,” Shum said at the event.

    http://www.techrepublic.com/article/microsoft-to-use-ai-to-assist-the-blind-fix-bias-and-rescue-the-planet/

  • Jefferies gives IBM Watson a Wall Street reality check

    Jefferies pulls from an audit of a partnership between IBM Watson and MD Anderson as a case study for IBM’s broader problems scaling Watson. MD Anderson cut its ties with IBM after wasting $60 million on a Watson project that was ultimately deemed, “not ready for human investigational or clinical use.”

    The MD Anderson nightmare doesn’t stand on its own. I regularly hear from startup founders in the AI space that their own financial services and biotech clients have had similar experiences working with IBM.

    The narrative isn’t the product of any single malfunction, but rather the result of overhyped marketing, deficiencies in operating with deep learning and GPUs and intensive data preparation demands.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/07/13/jefferies-gives-ibm-watson-a-wall-street-reality-check/?ncid=rss
    IBM’s Watson, Despite Hype, Outgunned in A.I., Says Jefferies

    Kisner compiles his own estimates for Watson and finds them “somewhat disappointing for investors,” with IBM in the best scenario “barely recouping its cost of capital.”

    “From an EPS perspective, it seems unlikely to us under almost any scenario that Watson will generate meaningful earnings results over the next few years,” he writes. “In our Base case, Watson and associated “pull-through revenue” contributes 3% to Consensus EPS in 2019; in the Bull case, it’s still only 5%.”

    http://www.barrons.com/articles/ibms-watson-despite-hype-outgunned-in-a-i-says-jefferies-1499896835

  • OpenText launches Magellan, an AI platform aimed at IBM’s Watson

    OpenText is using an open source approach with Magellan with integration with Apache Spark and MLlib, a machine learning library. “We are combining the strengths of OpenText and the open source community,” said Adam Howatson, chief marketing officer at OpenText.

    Magellan’s approach will be to enable customers to leverage open source intellectual property and algorithms as well enabling companies to build their own models. Howatson added that OpenText’s Magellan platform will have a lower price point, be available as an appliance and be available on premises or via the cloud.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/opentext-launches-magellan-an-ai-platform-aimed-at-ibms-watson/
    OpenText CEO on AI: Buying IBM may cost you your job (LMAO Mark Barrenechea)

    In a press conference following the announcement, Channelnomics asked Barrenechea how opportunities Magellan enables for resellers differs from those enabled by IBM Watson. The CEO responded by saying that while he’s doubtful of the idea of robots resulting in the loss of IT jobs, buying IBM technology may yield a different result.

    “I do think you lose your job if you buy IBM, and it’s our mission to crush that theme,” Barrenechea said. “That old adage ‘If you buy IBM you won’t lose your job’, I think, is dead. They are locked into their little swim lanes, and opening up insights into all those transactional systems is going to be very hard for them. It’s certainly proving to be massively expensive.”

    The CEO claimed that IBM Watson’s information lake is a “swamp of data”, adding that Magellan is different in its centric applications, focus on automation, AI and APIs and integration between transaction and AI system.

    https://www.channelnomics.com/channelnomics-us/news/3013620/opentext-launches-ai-rival-to-ibm-watson

Cloud

  • Workday finally pops for a PaaS – 10 questions it needs to answer

    In an unusual move, Aneel Bhusri Workday CEO took to the company’s blog to announce an intention for Workday to offer a platform upon which partners can extend the core Workday applications.

    If we take the example of Salesforce, that company has never had intentions of entering certain verticals or, for that matter, certain horizontals but by offering a platform (Force.com) upon which developers can knock themselves out, Salesforce has spawned a multi-billion dollar ecosystem from which it too benefits. The most immediate examples that spring to mind are Apttus in CPQ, FinancialForce in financials and Rootstock in manufacturing, all of which are built upon Salesforce’s PaaS.

    http://diginomica.com/2017/07/11/workday-finally-pops-paas/

Datacenter

  • Dell struggling after EMC purchase

    The $67-billion deal closed last September, so the new partnership is still in its very early stages, but early indications are that the arrangement hasn’t yet fared well, said Will Mitchell, a professor of strategic management at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

    “It doesn’t mean that he can’t turn it around, but it better happen fast,” Mitchell said of Dell Founder, Chairman and CEO Michael Dell.

    Dell’s losses have actually only grown since the EMC deal went through. The company lost $1.5 billion In the first quarter of fiscal 2018, which ended in May. In the same quarter the year prior, Dell lost $139 million.

    http://www.wbjournal.com/article/20170712/NEWS01/307129996

  • HPE wants to grow again, announces new products and services to do it

    Whitman said that, according to IDC, more than half of enterprises have, or are considering bringing workloads back on-prem from the public cloud, thanks to what she referred to as the cloud cliff.

    “The cloud is absolutely the right choice for certain applications and use cases,” she said. But at some point, “they hit what we call the cloud cliff, where either for reasons of control, security, performance or cost, the platform they went with is no longer the best option.” That’s when moving to a hybrid environment makes sense.

    Also:

    While HPE has spun off its enterprise services into DXC, it still retains a robust technology services organization. Now branded Pointnext, HPE says it “helps customers harness the power of hybrid IT, real-time data and analytics, and mobile solutions to enhance customer experiences, create and deliver new digital product and services, and improve core operations at unprecedented speed and efficiency.”

    http://business.financialpost.com/technology/cio/hpe-wants-to-grow-again-announces-new-products-and-services-to-do-it/wcm/8d8cd127-3d07-4eee-a516-485b49251099

Software/SaaS

  • IBM: A Future Blockchain Leader?

    Given the low level of blockchain maturity in general, as well as specific IBM blockchain projects (more on these in the succeeding sections) being in their initial stages, it is too early to assess revenue from specific solutions. However, given the traction that IBM’s cloud-as-a-service offering seems to be getting with over 400 client engagements, blockchain has the potential to become one of the fastest-growing sources of revenue starting in 2017, when many of the first IBM enterprise applications are scheduled to roll out.

    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4086778-ibm-future-blockchain-leader

Other

  • Millions of Verizon customers affected by security breach

    Verizon confirmed that a recent security incident exposed the personal identification numbers and other private information pertaining to millions of telecom customers.

    Six million unique Verizon user accounts were affected by a data breach suffered by a third-party vendor detected last month, Verizon said Wednesday.

    UpGuard, a Silicon Valley security firm that first reported the data breach, said as many as 14 million Verizon accounts may have been affected.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jul/13/millions-verizon-customers-impacted-security-breac/

  • Paying Professors: Inside Google’s Academic Influence Campaign

    Google has paid professors whose papers, for instance, declared that the collection of consumer data was a fair exchange for its free services; that the company didn’t use its market dominance to improperly steer users to Google’s commercial sites or its advertisers; and that it hasn’t unfairly quashed competitors. Several papers argued that Google’s search engine should be allowed to link to books and other intellectual property that authors and publishers say should be paid for—a group that includes News Corp, which owns the Journal. News Corp formally complained to European regulators about Google’s handling of news articles in search results.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/paying-professors-inside-googles-academic-influence-campaign-1499785286?mg=prod/accounts-wsj

  • Microsoft CIO Jim DuBois departs amid layoffs; Kurt DelBene named chief digital officer

    DuBois was on sabbatical and decided to leave Microsoft as part of the reorganization of its global sales staff, which also includes thousands of job cuts. DuBois was named CIO in 2013, and he had been with Microsoft since 1993, where he worked in a variety of roles, mostly focused on information technology.

    Kurt DelBene is stepping up to fill the void of DuBois’ departure under his new title of chief digital officer. DelBene currently focuses on corporate strategy, and his new role will also see him working closely with core engineering teams across the company as well as IT. DelBene will also oversee the company’s digital transformation efforts.

    https://www.geekwire.com/2017/microsoft-cio-jim-dubois-departs-amid-layoffs-kurt-delbene-named-chief-digital-officer/

  • Microsoft’s Calibri font is at the center of a political scandal

    Pakistan’s government is in trouble. And its fate may hinge on a Microsoft font. Judicial investigators probing the financial assets of the country’s Prime Minister and his family allege his daughter (and apparent successor) forged documents to hide her ownership of overseas properties. How did they reach that conclusion? The documents from 2006 submitted by Maryam Nawaz (daughter of PM Nawaz Sharif) were in the Calibri font. That font, according to the investigation team’s leaked report, wasn’t publicly available until 2007.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/12/microsoft-calibri-pakistan-fontgate/

  • Accenture handed $26M in Centrelink payments system overhaul

    Accenture Australia has been granted just over $26 million by the Government for the provision of systems integration services as part of the Department of Human Services’ landmark Centrelink payments system overhaul.

    Accenture’s latest purchase order for the project, the contract terms of which run from 26 May to 28 February 2018, was awarded via the Department of Human Service’s ‘Systems integrators for the provision of services related to WPIT [Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation]’ procurement panel, according to tender documents.

    https://www.arnnet.com.au/article/621596/accenture-handed-26m-centrelink-systems-overhaul/

Photo: danist soh

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Supplier Report: 6/16/2017

Flush with cash, SoftBank is starting to execute on their 300 year plan. Softbank took Boston Dynamics off of Google’s hands… if you are going to have a multi-century strategy, it makes sense to buy a robotics company.

Dell’s financials are down $1.5b as they pay off the massive debt incurred to buy EMC. Slack is taking in $500M of funding as AWS and Microsoft contemplate buying the company. Verizon has finally closed their acquisition of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer is officially gone.

Acquisitions

  • SoftBank to Buy Two Pioneers in Advanced Robots From Google Parent

    SoftBank Group Corp. said it would buy Boston Dynamics from Alphabet Inc. The company builds robots that can perform feats such as pirouetting and climbing stairs, highlighting the Japanese company’s long-term investment horizon.

    Price and other terms weren’t disclosed.

    The deal comes more than a year after the Google parent dissolved its robotics group and started seeking buyers for Boston Dynamics, the unit at the centerpiece of the program. People close to Alphabet have said the company decided to sell Boston Dynamics when it resisted developing a commercial product within the next several years.

    The deal also includes Schaft, a Japanese robotics maker that achieved fame by winning a challenge held by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in 2013 for robots to perform rescue tasks.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/softbank-to-buy-two-pioneers-in-advanced-robots-1496972870?mg=prod/accounts-wsj

  • PokitDok Acquires Pharmacy and Software Assets of Oration PBC

    PokitDok, an API platform to free, secure, and unify data has acquired the pharmacy and software assets of Oration PBC. The acquisition enables PokitDok to complete support for delivery of essential commercial pharmacy benefit data, via its APIs, so organizations, providers and consumers have tools to make better healthcare and treatment decisions. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

    http://hitconsultant.net/2017/06/13/pokitdok-acquires-pharmacy-software-assets-oration-pbc/

Cloud

  • IBM will put connected car data to better use

    As cars get smarter, we’re going to have to deal with all of the information our daily drives create in a way we’ve never had to bother with before. Thankfully, IBM is offering to be the middleman that represents our vehicles in the confusing new world of automotive cloud telematics. The company has signed a deal with BMW that will see the BMW CarData platform connect to IBM’s Bluemix cloud. The idea is that IBM will host and analyze your information and then pass it to third parties — with your consent — when required.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/14/ibm-bmw-connected-car-data/

  • Gartner’s IaaS Magic Quadrant includes Alibaba, IBM

    “The IBM Cloud experience is currently disjointed,” Gartner writes, noting that the company hasn’t updated its SoftLayer infrastructure since its purchase two years ago.

    https://seekingalpha.com/news/3273838-gartners-iaas-magic-quadrant-includes-alibaba-ibm

Datacenter

  • IBM and HPE’s Server Businesses Aren’t Just Pressured By the Cloud Anymore

    It also wasn’t too surprising that sales of servers designed by cloud giants and supplied by ODMs grew strongly following a Q4 lull, as the likes of Amazon and Facebook continued spending heavily on capex. IDC estimated sales of such servers, which it refers to as ODM Direct, grew 41.8% to $1.2 billion (10.4% of industry revenue). It added one unnamed cloud firm single-handedly accounted for over 10% of the 2.21 million servers shipped during the quarter.

    What was, surprising, though is that both firms reported Dell, the world’s second-biggest server vendor, saw meaningful sales growth in spite of the headwinds faced by peers. IDC estimated Dell’s server sales grew 4.7% to $2.37 billion, leading its market share to rise to 20.1% from 18.3% a year ago. By contrast, the firm had estimated Dell’s server sales were roughly flat in Q4. Gartner gave Dell a 19% Q1 share, up from 17.3%.

    http://realmoney.thestreet.com/articles/06/09/2017/ibm-and-hpes-server-businesses-arent-just-pressured-cloud-anymore

  • Dell slumps to $1.5bn operating loss in first quarter in new structure

    For its first quarter ending 5 May 2017, the Texas-based giant posted an operating loss of $1.5bn on revenues of $17.8bn. Dell is a private company, but still divulges its numbers, partly because it now owns VMware courtesy of its recent merger with EMC.

    Dell’s Client Solutions Group saw revenue rise six per cent year on year to $9.1bn and operating income hit $374m.

    https://www.channelnomics.eu/channelnomics-eu/news/3011688/dell-grows-but-profits-hit-by-component-cost-headwinds

Software/SaaS

Other

  • IBM’s Harriet Green named top 100 creative people for work with Watson

    “I don’t much believe in artificial intelligence,” says Harriet Green, who is one of the executives helping to run IBM’s AI platform. “I believe in augmented intelligence. With Watson, we can augment capabilities that clients already have.”

    “We have reached a tipping point with IoT innovation,” Green said.

    “IBM Watson IoT has more than 6,000 clients and partners around the world, many who are eager to “co-innovate,” she added. IBM is investing $3 billion to prepare Watson for IoT.

    This past February, Green helped IBM open its $200 million global headquarters in Munich, Germany. The center houses the Watson Internet of Things business. It is designed to drive collaboration and innovation with dozens of clients and partners in what IBM executives call “first-ever cognitive collaboratories.”

    http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/ibms-harriet-green-named-top-100-creative-people-work-watson

  • Uber just pissed off dozens of longtime employees; now they’re gunning for management

    Earlier this week, at a staff meeting in San Francisco, Uber executives revealed to the company’s 12,000 employees that 20 of their colleagues had been fired and that 57 are still being probed over harassment, discrimination and inappropriate behavior, following a string of accusations that Uber had created a toxic workplace and allowed complaints to go unaddressed for years.

    Yesterday, Uber fired senior executive Eric Alexander after it was leaked to Recode that Alexander had obtained the medical records of an Uber passenger in India who was raped in 2014 by her driver.

    Recode also reported that Alexander had shared the woman’s file with Kalanick and his senior vice president, Emil Michael, and that the three men suspected the woman of working with Uber’s regional competitor in India, Ola, to hamper its chances of success there.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/08/uber-just-pissed-off-dozens-of-longtime-employees-now-theyre-gunning-for-management/?ncid=rss

  • Verizon Seals $4.5 Billion Yahoo Purchase as Mayer Heads Out

    The companies officially closed the $4.5 billion agreement Tuesday, following Yahoo shareholder approval last week. Yahoo properties including Sports and Finance will become part of a new Verizon unit called Oath, which is home to brands like AOL, TechCrunch and the Huffington Post. Oath will be overseen by former AOL Chief Executive Officer Tim Armstrong, while Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, 42, is stepping down.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-13/verizon-seals-4-5-billion-yahoo-purchase-as-mayer-heads-out
    Verizon Launches New Ad and Content Unit as Yahoo Deal Closes

    Distribution will also be a factor: Soon, some of Oath’s content brands will be automatically available on the “decktop” of Verizon subscribers’ phones through its AppFlash app, for example. Verizon’s go90 mobile video app, will also become more integrated with Oath’s content properties. And entirely new mobile content brands are set to launch before the end of the year, created by Oath’s internal Factory unit.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/verizon-launches-new-ad-and-content-unit-as-yahoo-deal-completes-1497362908

Photo: Alex Knight

Tagged , , , , , ,

Supplier Report: 6/9/2017

This is starting to get repetitive… IBM had another rough week.

There are rumors that Facebook-owned Whatsapp is moving from their current IBM-hosted infrastructure to an in-house Facebook solution.  Lululemon is also considering moving away from IBM cloud due to a recent outage.

As always, it wasn’t all bad news, IBM did score a 10-year outsourcing deal with Lloyds and they introduced a new transistor type for 5nm silicon chips (there was an insane amount of coverage on this).

Google is betting big on AI, and it might backfire due to their “lack of enterprise focus”.  Meanwhile Verizon is finalizing their acquisition of Yahoo and is expected to reduce their workforce by 20%.

Acquisitions

Artificial Intelligence

  • Why Google is betting big on AI

    Google may not be the leader of cloud computing, but novel developments have spurred Sundar Pichai, the company’s CEO, to openly recognise this as an economic opportunity and possibly a challenge. The release of second generation cloud tensor processing units (TPU) is making cloud computing and machine learning faster and more efficient.

    Google’s TPUs deliver an open source machine learning framework allowing massive scaling and dissemination of applications through the cloud. This innovation will expedite the process of intake, normalization, model training and deployment by essentially using machine learning to automate algorithms. In effect, this is automating deep learning by using machine learning. Google is calling this creation AutoML, and it is the breakthrough of the company’s AI research group, Google Brain.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3198635/artificial-intelligence/why-google-is-betting-big-on-ai.html

  • Why Google might lose the enterprise AI wars

    Two major obstacles stand in Google’s way to cloud AI dominance: data gravity and lack of backwards compatibility. To illustrate the issue of data gravity, look no further than Amazon’s Snowball device. This chair-sized flash drive, capable of storing 80 TB of precious enterprise data, is physically shipped to a customer’s on-premise data centers to load petabytes of data and then shipped back to Amazon for upload to AWS servers. Ironically, manual transfer is significantly faster and cheaper for large data sets than any internet method. Enterprises with data-hungry AI applications will have an easier time running algorithms on-prem or on AWS and Azure, where their data already lives.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3200184/it-industry/why-google-might-lose-the-enterprise-ai-wars.html

Cloud

  • Lululemon CEO blames IBM for site outage, says it’s looking at other options

    Some of Lululemon’s sales happen via its website, which is hosted on IBM’s public cloud. The site went down midday on May 22 and came back online about 20 hours later.

    “I talked to Ginni [Rometty, IBM’s CEO]; our team was up 36 hours straight,” Potdevin told CNBC. “We’re not satisfied with what happened. We’re looking at our options.”

    Other public clouds include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Alphabet’s Google Cloud Platform. Lululemon could also opt to set up its own data center infrastructure and reduce its dependency on third-party cloud-computing resources. IBM’s other cloud customers include Citi, the U.S. Interior Department, Macy’s and Whirlpool.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/02/lululemon-ceo-blames-ibm-for-site-outage.html

  • Facebook is planning to move WhatsApp off IBM’s public cloud, source says

    The WhatsApp move, which could begin later this year, would result in IBM losing a high profile customer for its public cloud. A source claims that WhatsApp has been one of IBM’s top five public cloud customers in terms of revenue, and was at one point spending $2 million a month with IBM. (IBM says WhatsApp is not currently one of its top five public cloud customers.)

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/07/facebook-planning-to-move-whatsapp-off-ibms-public-cloud.html

  • Microsoft restructures cloud, data, AI organizations

    As part of a reorganization announced internally within the company on June 7th, Microsoft has chosen to restructure its cloud, data, and AI organizations. The changes reportedly take effect immediately and were reportedly announced by Scott Guthrie, and Harry Shum (via ZDNet.)

    Part of the changes include a new Cloud AI Platform organization, led by Corporate Vice President Joseph Sirosh. This division will be responsible for Azure Search, Azure Machine Learning, the Microsoft Bot Framework, R Server and the Algorithms and Data Science Solution team. Since Joseph Sirosh previously handled the Data Platform group at Microsoft, it now will be led by Corporate Vice President of Azure, Jason Zander, and be part of a new Azure + Data Platform Group.

    https://www.onmsft.com/news/microsoft-restructures-cloud-data-ai-organizations

Datacenter/Hardware

Other

  • Lloyds finally inks mega 10-year cloudy outsourcing deal with IBM

    Those talks concluded today, with Lloyds announcing to staff it has “signed one of the largest cloud transformation deals” within the financial sector. The shift to IBM’s private cloud will take three years.

    “Most colleagues working in Infrastructure Technology Services supporting these systems and delivering change will transition to IBM, with a number retained in Lloyds Banking Group to manage the relationship, service and governance of IBM,” said the memo.

    As a result, around 500 staff will transfer to IBM on 1 September 2017. Some 1,000 contractors who currently support Lloyds Banking Group will also move to support IBM.

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/06/06/lloyds_confirms_ibm_cloudy_outsourcing/

  • Amazon Wins the Race to $1,000

    Soaring gains among tech and internet stocks have concerned some investors, particularly those who remember the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s. But others expect these stocks to continue to advance. Thomas Lee, a U.S. portfolio strategist at Fundstrat Global Advisors, on Friday forecast that Facebook, Amazon, Netflix Inc. and Alphabet—a group collectively known by the acronym FANG—could climb another 20% to 40% by the end of the year. These companies, he said, represent a dense concentration of earnings and sales growth that is hard to find elsewhere in the market.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-wins-the-race-to-1-000-1496440170

  • As the merger is completed, layoffs of up to 1,000 jobs at the combined AOL and Yahoo are expected

    According to sources, layoffs are expected to take place across AOL and Yahoo that could number up to 1,000 jobs. That is less than 20 percent of the combined company, according to sources.

    This action is not unexpected, given that both companies have a lot of redundancies, including in human resources, finance, marketing and general administration.

    https://www.recode.net/2017/6/7/15759274/merger-completed-layoffs-combined-aol-yahoo-could-reach-1000

  • IBM Community College Partnerships Support Next-Gen IT Training

    The technology company will collaborate with the participating institutions on curriculum design for next-generation IT skills; offer community college students opportunities for internships and apprenticeships; and hire students for IBM careers. The partnership will include schools in or near Columbia, MO, Rocket Center, WV, Dubuque, IA, Boulder, CO, Poughkeepsie, NY, Raleigh, NC, Austin, TX, Dallas and Houston — areas which the company notes have traditionally been underserved by high-tech employers.

    https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/06/07/ibm-community-college-partnerships-support-next-gen-it-training.aspx?admgarea=news

Photo: Dawid Zawiła

Tagged , , , , ,

Supplier Report: 5/13/2017

Last week we covered Oracle’s strategic partnership with AT&T, this week Oracle announced support to eliminate the 2015 net neutrality regulations… coincidence? I think not.

AT&T needs all the support they can get after having 5G bandwidth company Straight Path ripped right from their grasp by competitor Verizon.

Oracle isn’t having a great week either as Microsoft announced a new database platform designed “for the future”.

Acquisitions

  • Will the tech acquisition spree continue?

    But there was some disappointment with cross-border acquisitions. “Deal activity from Asian-Pacific investors declined notably in Q1 2017, illustrating uncertainty in American markets due to the new administration,” according to the PwC report. A recent survey by law firm Morrison & Foerster similarly found that “M&A between the two largest economies in the world, the U.S. and China, is expected to be particularly difficult in the coming years.”

    The challenge with Chinese buyers stems from a “a combination of uncertainty introduced by Trump’s policies and restrictions imposed by Chinese authorities on outflow of capital from China,” said Robert Townsend, co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Global M&A Practice Group. But ample technology deal activity in the U.S. is expected to continue.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/07/will-the-tech-acquisition-spree-continue/?ncid=rss

  • Verizon reportedly wins bidding war for Straight Path with $3.1 billion offer

    AT&T announced last month that it had agreed to buy Straight Path for $1.6 billion, but after Verizon placed a bid for nearly double that amount on Monday, AT&T declined to match it, reports the Wall Street Journal.

    The telecoms are interested in Straight Path because the Virginia-based company holds valuable spectrum licenses that will play an important role in laying the groundwork for 5G services. Straight Path began reviewing “strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value” (i.e. searching for a buyer) in January after it was fined $100 million by the Federal Communications Commission for failing to deploy the wireless services required by its spectrum licenses, a practice called “spectrum squatting.”

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/11/verizon-reportedly-wins-bidding-war-for-straight-path-with-3-1-billion-offer/

  • Cisco acquires conversational AI startup MindMeld for $125 million

    This morning Cisco announced that it is buying MindMeld for $125 million. Founded in 2011, MindMeld helps businesses to build conversational interfaces with cloud-based services.

    MindMeld, originally called Expect Labs, was launched on the stage of TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2012. At that time the startup wanted to build an iPad app that could listen in on your conversations and provide relevant contextual information. Since then the company has expanded its offerings to include a suite of APIs for parsing, reasoning about and generating language.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/11/cisco-acquires-conversational-ai-startup-mindmeld-for-125-million/?ncid=rss

Artificial Intelligence

  • A.I. is in a ‘golden age’ and solving problems that were once in the realm of sci-fi, Jeff Bezos says

    At Amazon, Bezos said that “cool” developments like Alexa and its Prime Air delivery drones use “tremendous amounts” of AI. But machine learning is being deployed across the company.

    “I would say, a lot of the value that we’re getting from machine learning is actually happening kind of beneath the surface. It is things like improved search results, improved product recommendations for customers, improved forecasting for inventory management, and literally hundreds of other things beneath the surface,” Bezos said.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/08/amazon-jeff-bezos-artificial-intelligence-ai-golden-age.html

  • Buffett says IBM’s Watson will have greatest value when it replaces human labor

    “I would think the biggest value will come in when it actually replaces human labor, and machines don’t come round annually and ask for higher wages, and they don’t need health care, and maybe a little maintenance,” Buffett said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

    “It should replace people in a big way, unless some other products do the same thing,” he said, noting Watson’s potential for reading X-rays faster and better than humans.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/08/buffett-says-ibms-watson-will-have-greatest-value-when-it-replaces-human-labor.html

  • Robots Aren’t Destroying Enough Jobs

    Monthly job creation has averaged 185,000 this year, more than double what the U.S. can sustain given its demographics. This has driven unemployment down to 4.4%, a 10-year low and below most estimates of “full employment.” Growing labor shortages have boosted the typical worker’s annual wage gain to more than 3% now from 2% in 2012, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

    If automation were rapidly displacing workers, the productivity of the remaining workers ought to be growing rapidly. Instead, growth in productivity—worker output per hour—has been dismal in almost every sector, including manufacturing.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/robots-arent-destroying-enough-jobs-1494434982

Cloud

  • Oracle’s next big business is selling your info

    All of that adds up to a database of 5 billion consumer profiles, fed by 15 million data sources. Not every profile corresponds to a unique person — people can have multiple profiles — but Oracle has information on billions of people, according to Eric Roza, the vice president of Data Cloud. Using data science techniques, Oracle works to match activity from one browser to others, so companies can make sure the same ads get shown to people on their smartphones, tablets, and computers.

    Oracle sees Data Cloud as a key part of its future. The service is being used to help advertisers and publishers better target ads, and it’s attractive to businesses because it’s not tied to a major advertising platform like Google’s or Facebook’s.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3195001/cloud-computing/oracles-next-big-business-is-selling-your-info.html

Software/SaaS

  • Micro Focus shares plunge on HP Enterprise software revenue warning

    “Whilst the short term decline in licence is disappointing it is not unusual given the level of change being undertaken.”

    Its shares – up more than 70% over the past year – were up to 12% down in early trading on Tuesday before later recovering some of those losses to close 5.6% lower.

    http://news.sky.com/story/micro-focus-drops-12-on-hp-enterprise-software-revenue-warning-10869878

  • With Cosmos DB, Microsoft wants to build one database to rule them all

    Cosmos DB is, in Shukla’s words, “a major leap forward” from what DocumentDB was able to offer. DocumentDB only offered a subset of the capabilities of what is now Cosmos DB. While DocumentDB was essentially a store for JSON data, Cosmos DB goes much further. It extends the idea of an index-free database system and adds support for various new data types that allows Cosmos DB enough flexibility to work as a graph database or key-value database, for example. And for those who are looking to store more traditional columnar relational data, Cosmos DB will also offer support for those.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/10/with-cosmos-db-microsoft-wants-to-build-one-database-to-rule-them-all/?ncid=rss

Other

  • Oracle Supports FCC In Net Neutrality Rollback

    According to Oracle, Pai’s plan to remove broadband providers from the FCC’s regulatory jurisdiction “will eliminate unnecessary burdens on, and competitive imbalances for, ISPs internet service providers while enhancing the consumer experience and driving investment.”

    Telecom companies, which have long opposed the rules, are urging Pai to roll them back, the report said.

    http://www.siliconindia.com/news/business/Oracle-Supports-FCC-In-Net-Neutrality-Rollback-nid-202804-cid-3.html

    Hmmm… this can’t possibly be related to Oracle’s recent strategic partnership announcement with AT&T could it?

  • ​CEO Whitman: HPE ready to move past ‘executional challenges’, refocus on growth

    She said the company would not be targeting specifically to make up for the revenue, but would instead focus on growing its footprint in edge and IoT, for instance, as well as through strategic acquisitions.

    In addition to the company’s recent buys, which included Nimble Storage, Niara, and Cloud Cruiser, she added that HPE would continue to look for potential acquisitions, including in the Asia-Pacific region, to further drive its strategy around edge and hybrid IT.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/ceo-whitman-hpe-ready-to-move-past-executional-challenges-refocus-on-growth/

  • Jim Cramer Talks IBM’s Future As Buffett Cuts His Stake

    Perhaps most important, Cramer believes that so long IBM had the “blessing” of its biggest shareholder in Buffett then the company had time to spur the necessary changes to move the company forward.

    But after Buffett cut his stake he is no longer IBM’s shareholder and that title goes to the index fund Vanguard. As such, IBM’s CEO Ginni Rometty may not be as “protected as she tries to get the job done.” But on the other hand, Cramer thinks that Rometty could “feel liberated” to go out and acquire a cloud-based company that “would change the company’s complexion overnight.”

    https://www.benzinga.com/media/cnbc/17/05/9421246/jim-cramer-on-ibms-future-after-buffett-cut-stake
    Dear IBM, do not even think about buying twitter. Love, Joey

Photo: Dimitar Belchev

Tagged , , , , , ,

Supplier Report: 4/22/2017

It has been an explosive week in tech news.

IBM reported their 20th consecutive quarter of loss. As their stock plunged, rival Oracle announced the acquisition of 2 companies. Oracle’s recent comments in the press caught the ire of Amazon who finally pushed back on Ellison and Hurd’s comments by calling out some of “big red’s” failings.

Microsoft took a hit this week after news leaked that the NSA created security holes in their products. The company says the vulnerabilities have already been patched, but many are wondering what else the government has done.

Acquisitions

  • VMware Buys Monitoring Company Wavefront

    The acquisition lets VMware “leapfrog into application management of next-generation modern applications,” according to VMware Senior Vice President Ajay Singh. By “modern applications,” he’s referring to applications in containers.

    Terms were not disclosed. Wavefront was certainly worth tens of millions of dollars, and VMware may have spent as much as $100 million or thereabouts, an estimate based on the amount of venture capital poured into Wavefront coupled with the startup’s recent claim of “hyper growth.” Wavefront attracted $11.5 million in venture capital in its series A in February of last year, followed quickly by a second round in October of $52 million.

    https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/vmware-buys-monitoring-company-wavefront/2017/04/

  • Oracle buys Wercker, a Dutch startup that automates code testing and deployment

    Database technology giant Oracle has announced plans to acquire Wercker, a Dutch startup that offers tools for automating the process of testing and deploying code. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Founded out of Amsterdam in 2012, Wercker offers developers a container-centric platform that helps automate the development of applications and microservices. It operates in a space that includes competitors such as Shippable, Codeship, CircleCI, Drone.io, and Semaphore, though Wercker cites its ability to integrate with Docker containers as one differentiator. It’s all about helping companies that are building software specifically for deployment in the cloud.

    https://venturebeat.com/2017/04/17/oracle-buys-wercker-a-dutch-startup-that-automates-code-testing-and-deployment/

  • Oracle acquires ad measurement company Moat

    Founded in 2010, Moat helps advertisers and publishers measure whether people see and interact with online ads. The need to create what CEO Jonah Goodhart has called “the currency for digital advertising” seems increasingly important given advertiser concerns around viewability, fraud and trust, and Moat has been working with some big names, including Nestle, Procter & Gamble and Unilever on the advertiser side, as well as ESPN, Facebook and Snapchat on the publisher side.

    And while Moat raised $50 million just over a year ago, the funding landscape for adtech companies hasn’t been great, leading to predictions of more acquisitions and consolidation. (Moat raised more than $67 million total from investors including SV Angel, Mayfield Fund and Insight Venture Partners).

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/18/oracle-acquires-moat/?ncid=rss
    Update: They are paying $850M

  • Microsoft acquires Intentional Software to bolster its productivity apps

    Interestingly, Intentional Software was originally founded by a former Microsoft employee, Charles Simonyi. At Microsoft, Simonyi oversaw the creation of Word and Excel, among others. After founding Intentional Software in 2002, Simonyi focused his efforts on making programming less complicated, eventually leading the Intentional Software team to “develop productivity scenarios for the future workforce.”

    Under the terms of the deal, Simonyi will be heading back to Microsoft along with members of the Intentional Software team.

    http://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-acquires-intentional-software-bolster-its-productivity-apps

Artificial Intelligence

  • The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI

    There’s already an argument that being able to interrogate an AI system about how it reached its conclusions is a fundamental legal right. Starting in the summer of 2018, the European Union may require that companies be able to give users an explanation for decisions that automated systems reach. This might be impossible, even for systems that seem relatively simple on the surface, such as the apps and websites that use deep learning to serve ads or recommend songs. The computers that run those services have programmed themselves, and they have done it in ways we cannot understand. Even the engineers who build these apps cannot fully explain their behavior.

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/604087/the-dark-secret-at-the-heart-of-ai/

Cloud

  • Amazon cloud chief jabs Oracle: ‘Customers are sick of it’

    Jassy was addressing a cultural shift in the way technology is bought and sold. No longer does the process involve the purchase of heavy proprietary software with multi-year contracts that include annual maintenance fees. Now, Jassy says, it’s about choice and ease of use, including letting clients turn things off if they’re not working.

    He specifically went after Oracle’s core database business, saying that “over the last few decades, it has been a lonely place for customers” because of the high prices and vendor lock-in.

    “Customers are sick of it,” he said.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/19/amazon-aws-chief-andy-jassy-on-oracle-customers-are-sick-of-it.html

  • IBM’s cloud provides little silver lining

    It has survived mass extinctions before, but there’s mounting scepticism it can thrive in the current climate. Over the past five years, the company’s shares have fallen 16% compared to a 68% increase for the S&P 500 Index.The future for IBM resides in what it calls “Strategic Imperatives.” These initiatives, which include the AI initiative Watson and cloud operations, grew 12% over the past year and now account for more than 40% of total revenue.

    Ongoing opacity makes it hard to say exactly what it means, though. IBM doesn’t break out Watson’s figures, for example, because it says it’s a “golden thread” weaving throughout the company. The Cognitive Solutions arm in which Watson is housed only grew 2% over the past year. All other divisions shrank.

    http://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/ibm%E2%80%99s-cloud-provides-little-silver-lining

Datacenter

  • Oracle data center comment raises eyebrows at AWS

    In reaction to Hurd’s comments, AWS VP and distinguished engineer James Hamilton said in a blog post: “Of course, I don’t believe that Oracle has, or will ever get, servers 2x faster than the big three cloud providers.

    “I also would argue that ‘speeding up the database’ isn’t something Oracle is uniquely positioned to offer. All major cloud providers have deep database investments but, ignoring that, extraordinary database performance won’t change most of the factors that force successful cloud providers to offer a large multi-national data center footprint to serve the world.”

    Hamilton went on to explain the need to have multiple data centers in a region for redundancy reasons – “One facility will have some very serious and difficult-to-avoid full-facility fault modes like flood and, to a lesser extent, fire. It’s absolutely necessary to have two independent facilities per region and it’s actually much more efficient and easy to manage with three.”

    http://www.datacenterdynamics.com/content-tracks/colo-cloud/oracle-data-center-comment-raises-eyebrows-at-aws/98186.article

Software/SaaS

  • Micro Focus signals job cuts after £7bn HP deal

    In the presentation to lenders on April 4, its executive chairman, Kevin Loosemore, and chief financial officer Mike Phillips said Micro Focus planned to bring profit margins at HPE Software up from 21pc to a group-wide 46pc within four years.

    It said that Micro Focus revenues currently equate to $273,000 a head compared with $185,000 at HPE Software, and highlighted previous acquisitions in which the company had cut staff numbers to boost profit margins.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/04/15/micro-focus-signals-job-cuts-7bn-hp-deal/

  • Slack, an Upstart in Messaging, Now Faces Giant Tech Rivals

    There is no illusion within Slack that success is certain. But Stewart Butterfield, the chief executive, said small tech companies with new ideas had long defeated larger rivals that tried to copy them. Think of Apple’s beating IBM in personal computing, Google’s beating Microsoft in search and Facebook’s crushing Google in social networks.

    One advantage Slack does have is focus, Mr. Butterfield maintains. Microsoft, for example, has numerous Slack-like products including Yammer, SharePoint, Skype for Business and now Teams. The executives who run those businesses within Microsoft must “compete for budget and mind share and attention,” he said, providing an opening for Slack to gain users while Microsoft managers wage internal wars.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/16/technology/slack-employee-messaging-workplace.html

Other

  • Cybersecurity Startup Tanium Exposed California Hospital’s Network in Demos Without Permission

    Tanium sells software that rapidly maps computer networks and diagnoses companies’ vulnerabilities. To drive sales, co-founder and Chief Executive Orion Hindawi designed a presentation that he said showed his company’s software running inside a client. The system in the demo belonged to El Camino Hospital, a nonprofit community hospital based in Santa Clara County, Calif. He and his staff gave the presentation hundreds of times, from at least as early as 2012 through mid-2015, according to people familiar with the matter and three demonstration videos posted online by Tanium and its resellers.

    “The hospital did not authorize desktop management data or other information to be used in any product demonstration and was not previously aware of these demonstrations or videos,” El Camino Hospital said in a response to inquiries by The Wall Street Journal. “We are dismayed to learn that desktop and server management information was shared. We are thoroughly investigating this matter and take our responsibility to maintain the integrity of our systems very seriously.” The hospital said Tanium didn’t have access to any patient information, and said, “based on our review to date, patient information remains secure.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/cybersecurity-startup-tanium-exposed-california-hospitals-network-in-demos-without-permission-1492624287

  • Edward Snowden: Latest NSA leak is ‘not a drill’

    Snowden said the NSA knew as recently as last year that their hacking methods were stolen, but accused the agency of refusing to tell software makers “how to lock the thieves out.”

    “It’s not safe to run an Internet-facing Windows box right now,” a hacker who used to work in the Defense Department told Motherboard. The unnamed hacker also said, “this is the worst thing since Snowden.”

    Microsoft says it is reviewing the leak and “will take the necessary actions to protect our customers.”

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/edward-snowden-latest-nsa-leak-is-not-a-drill/article/2620332
    Microsoft has already patched the NSA’s leaked Windows hacks

    Microsoft says it has already patched the Windows exploits released by the Shadow Brokers group. The hacking tools, likely originating from the NSA, were released online yesterday, and Microsoft was able to test and confirm patches are already available for all currently supported versions of Windows. That does mean that older Windows XP or Windows Vista systems could still be vulnerable to three of the exploits released, but it’s unlikely that Microsoft will supply patches for these older versions of Windows as they’re already unsupported.

    http://www.theverge.com/2017/4/15/15311846/microsoft-windows-shadow-brokers-nsa-hacks-patched

  • IBM shares dropped like a rock today

    As a result shares plummeted in after hours trading and refused to gain ground over the course of the day dropping nearly 5%, or over $8.

    As the Motley Fool noted, the miss and resulting tumble erased nearly $9 billion from IBM’s market capitalization and brought the Dow Jones Industrial Average down by 64 points.

    The problem for IBM is the dwindling value of the consulting business on which it built much of its fortunes in the 90s and early 2000s.

    First, the big numbers. Earnings per share were $2.38 vs. expectations of $2.35, according to Thomson Reuters. Meanwhile, revenue fell to $18.16 billion compared with the $18.39 billion that “the street” expected.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/19/ibm-shares-dropped-like-a-rock-today/?ncid=rss

  • Verizon, for First Time, Loses Core Wireless Customers

    The carrier posted its first-ever quarterly net loss of wireless subscribers during the first three months of 2017, showing the extent of the damage resurgent rivals T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp have inflicted on the nation’s largest carrier by subscribers.

    Verizon unexpectedly brought back unlimited data plans in February, which it had stopped selling in 2011, seeking to blunt the appeal of similar offers from T-Mobile and Sprint. That offer hit financials: Verizon had a 5.1% decline in revenue in its wireless business, to $20.9 billion. Total revenue has now declined four quarters in a row.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/verizon-for-first-time-loses-core-wireless-customers-1492691308

Photo: Yosh Ginsu

Tagged , , , , ,