Tag Archives: Verizon

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 , , , , ,

SourceCast: Episode 67: The 5th Generation

5G phone networks are becoming a reality and AT&T wants to control as much bandwidth as possible. As the company makes a play for Straight Path, Verizon is looking to make their own moves.

I asked a question at the end of the podcast, I would love to see actual listener’s opinions:

Photo: Matthew Kane

Tagged , , , , ,

SourceCast: Episode 60: Seeking an Oracle

Oracle had a crazy week thanks to the beginning of their third legal dispute with Google over their use of Java.  Additionally, Oracle is being sued by a former employee over commissions and Seeking Alpha is reporting a not-so-bright future for their database products.

Are all three events connected or I am just grasping for straws?

Photo: Allef Vinicius

Tagged , , , ,

Supplier Report: 2/18/2017

Oracle is having a heck of a week… they just started their 3rd round of lawsuits with Google over java API use, former employees filed a class action lawsuit over commission payments, and the finance blog Seeking Alpha laid out a horrific future for their database dominance.

Looks like Verizon is finally moving forward with the Yahoo purchase and managed to score a little discount thanks to Yahoo’s security issues.

IBM released an odd video of a young boy creating an Alexa-esque Watson assistant to help IT professionals monitor security threats. Is this the modern version of your dad making the baking soda volcano for your science project because “you didn’t do it right”?

Acquisitions

Artificial Intelligence

  • IBM’s Watson trained in the language of cyber security

    According to IBM, Watson can now help security analysts parse thousands of natural language research reports that have never before been accessible to modern security tools.For the past year, Watson has been trained on the language of cyber security with over one million security documents, and has been tested with over 40 clients and channel partners including the Ireland based partner Smarttech and Avnet.

    http://www.information-age.com/ibms-watson-cyber-security-123464427/

  • Elon Musk reiterates the need for brain-computer interfaces in the age of AI

    Musk’s comments recalled those made at Recode’s Code Conference last year, in which he discussed a “neural lace” that would interface directly with the brain, letting users communicate thoughts with computers with much more bandwidth and much less latency than is currently possible via input mechanisms like keyboard and mouse. The need for this, he said on Monday in Dubai, could “achieve a symbiosis between human and machine intelligence, and maybe solves the control problem and the usefulness problem,” reports CNBC.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/13/elon-musk-reiterates-the-need-for-brain-computer-interfaces-in-the-age-of-ai/?ncid=rss

  • IBM wants to bring machine learning to the mainframe

    IBM wants to provide data scientists with the same types of machine learning capabilities in a mainframe environment that they are used to finding in the cloud. The goal is to automate the often monotonous work of creating, testing and deploying analytical models. The solution works with popular open source tools including languages like Scala, Java and Python, and machine learning frameworks like Apache SparkML, TensorFlow and H2O. It’s also designed to work with virtually any data type the customer brings to the table.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/15/ibms-bringing-machine-learning-to-the-mainframe/?ncid=rss

Cloud

  • Why AWS has such a big lead in the cloud

    The simple answer is that it was first, but as Andy Jassy, the AWS CEO said in an interview at the University of Washington last week, in some ways it was a classic case of disruption dynamics. The competition simply didn’t believe there was enough of a market to worry about it.

    It’s easy to dismiss an irritant until it’s too late. In fact, Harvard professor, Clayton Christensen outlined the problem in his seminal book, The Innovator’s Dilemma. The dominant players don’t have any reason to worry about someone attacking the bottom of the market, and that’s precisely what AWS was doing in the early days.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/13/why-aws-has-such-a-big-lead-in-the-cloud/?sr_share=facebook

  • Oracle Fleshes Out Cloud Data Strategy

    The cloud services challenger on Monday (Feb. 13) rolled out a data integrator cloud service designed to accelerate support for real-time analytics across enterprises. The service addresses the shift of more data to the cloud and the resulting challenge of delivering the results of data analytics to the appropriate applications and the employees using those apps.

    https://www.enterprisetech.com/2017/02/13/oracle-fleshes-cloud-data-strategy/

  • Cisco to Produce Azure Stack Hybrid Cloud Systems

    Echoing some of the benefits that business leaders seek when they implement cloud-enabled IT strategies, Centoni said the jointly-engineered solution would provide “accelerated growth and innovation for enterprise customers and service providers looking to grow their businesses quickly with an efficient and flexible cloud consumption model. Service providers can deliver Cisco-Azure infrastructure as-a-service (Iaas) and platform-as-a-service (Paas).”

    http://www.eweek.com/cloud/cisco-to-produce-azure-stack-hybrid-cloud-systems.html

Datacenter

  • Fujitsu has its own line of storage boxes, so, uh, why is it reselling XtremIO in Japan?

    The spokesperson said: “In the domestic Japanese market, Fujitsu provides end-to-end services for large customers, including the purchase of third-party products like XtremeIO – it is strictly for this market only due to the specific nature of the corporate customer business.”

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/02/14/why_fujitsu_resells_xtremio_in_japan/

Software/SaaS

  • The Death Of The Commercial Database: Oracle’s Dilemma

    The vast majority of SaaS providers today either use an open-source database, or, as is the case with SaaS HCM vendor Workday, develop their own. Every user of an on-premises enterprise application, including one of the five core client-server application categories: ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), HCM (Human Capital Management), SCM (Supply Chain Management), and BI (Business Intelligence) applications, which moves to SaaS therefore eliminates a commercial database seat, and with it, the maintenance/support and future upgrade revenue it would have generated. Even an enterprise seat that moves to Salesforce.com will generate far less revenue for Oracle than that seat did when it was deployed on-premises.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/4044813-death-commercial-database-oracles-dilemma

  • Amazon Wants to Be the Next Skype for Business with Chime

    Chime is currently available for free download on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows and is free to use for up to two people at once. For $2.50 per month per user, you’ll have access to screen sharing and a corporate directory but still for only two people. The plan Amazon hopes many will take advantage of is the $15/month/user tier which allows you to have up to 100 participants in a call at once, share screens, record calls, schedule conferences, set custom join URLs, and more. Of course, for a big company, that cost may shoot all the way up to $1500 per month just so you can communicate with employees, so Amazon is definitely not that concerned with pricing at least for now.

    https://mbeddedmaximum.com/2017/02/14/amazon-wants-to-be-the-next-skype-for-business-with-chime/

  • Oracle refuses to accept pro-Google “fair use” verdict in API battle

    Fair use is a defense to copyright infringement if certain elements are met. It’s decided on a case-by-case basis. “There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission,” according to the US Copyright Office. There are, however, at least four factors to be considered when deciding fair use: the purpose of use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the portion taken, and the effect of the use upon the potential market.

    Before going to the appeals court, Oracle asked US District Judge William Alsup to overturn the jury’s verdict. Alsup, who presided over the second trial, ruled that Google’s use cleared all four factors.

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/02/oracle-refuses-to-accept-pro-google-fair-use-verdict-in-api-battle/

Other

  • Privacy Advocates Celebrate as Judge Rules Microsoft Can Sue the DOJ

    Last April, Microsoft sued the Department of Justice over the FBI’s use of “sneak-and-peak” email searches and its refusal to allow the company to notify its customers that their data was under surveillance. The suit alleges that the FBI violated users’ Fourth Amendment right against unlawful search and seizure, as well as Microsoft’s First Amendment right to free speech. Robart rejected the Fourth Amendment complaint on the grounds that Microsoft couldn’t sue on behalf of its customers, but said the company had made a solid enough argument on the free speech issue to send it through to trial.

    http://thevarguy.com/var-guy/privacy-advocates-celebrate-judge-rules-microsoft-can-sue-doj

  • IBM leader defends role on Trump advisory council

    “Some have suggested that we should not engage with the U.S. administration. I disagree,” Rometty wrote in the letter, obtained by The Hill and first reported on by TechCrunch, which was distributed shortly after a meeting with Trump earlier this month.

    “Our experience has taught us that engagement — reaching out, listening and having authentic dialogue — is the best path to good outcomes.”

    http://thehill.com/policy/technology/319257-ibm-leader-defends-role-on-trump-advisory-council

  • Samsung chairman arrested for bribery

    Lee is being accused of directing Samsung subsidiaries to pay out over $30 million to Park’s confidante and related foundations. Ultimately, Lee wanted to secure the merger of two affiliates, which would have afforded him greater control of Samsung.

    https://www.technobuffalo.com/2017/02/17/samsung-chairman-arrested-for-bribery/

  • New name for CSC-HPE as deal approaches (DXC Technologies)

    The creation of DXC is just the beginning, of course. The plan for now is that the two companies will operate as different business units of DXC with their current management teams in place, which means that Marilyn Crouther, who runs the government business for HPE Enterprise Services, will continue in that role.

    https://washingtontechnology.com/blogs/editors-notebook/2017/02/csc-hp-new-name-dxc.aspx

  • Class-action suit claims Oracle stiffed salespeople out of commissions

    Marcella Johnson of Modesto, who sold software for the Bay Area tech giant for 16 months, alleged in the lawsuit that she worked for months without receiving commissions she’d earned, because Oracle had forced her to give back commission money she had already received.

    A lawyer representing Johnson said an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 salespeople at the company were also affected by what Oracle calls “re-planning.” Johnson is seeking class-action certification and more than $150 million in damages for herself and other current and former employees.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/02/14/oracle-stiffed-sales-staff-by-clawing-back-pay-150-million-lawsuit-claims/

Photo: Nick Jio

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Supplier Report: 1/28/2017

Heavy is the head that wears the crown. As Amazon’s AWS services continue to dominate the cloud sector, many analysts are reporting their lack of SaaS offerings as the chink in their armor.

Amazon is not alone in their weakness, poor sales is rumored to be forcing Oracle to eliminate jobs in the traditional software areas as they start to build up for their fight against AWS.

IBM’s good news regarding cloud growth is coming at a cost as the company announced a major reorganization in the cloud and power divisions.

Acquisitions

  • AppDynamics Acquired for $3.7 Billion

    What AppDynamics gives Cisco is a tool for monitoring the performance of applications, regardless the application delivery platform. The idea is to find issues and deal with them before they become a big problem for end users. The worst case is a full outage, but there are countless other issues that can cause slow-downs and other headaches, as every user is keenly aware. As it monitors these applications, AppDynamics is gathering tons of data about the applications, the connections to other systems, the devices being used to connect to the application and so forth. All of this data is a natural byproduct of the monitoring process — and could have great value when combined with other network information.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/25/cisco-appdynamics-3-7-billion-deal-all-about-the-data/?ncid=rss

  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise makes second acquisition in a week

    Cloud Cruiser makes software that helps large companies visualize how and where their IT budget is being spent across different business units and different technology platforms. Its software can analyze changes in spending and ways specific business units might be able to save money.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2017/01/24/hewlett-packard-enterprise-makes-second.html
    HPE Acquires Cloud Cruiser In Stepped Up Flexible Capacity Hybrid Cloud Pay-As-You-Go Offensive

    The Flexible Capacity services offering allows customers to buy HPE private cloud infrastructure as a service based on the same monthly, fixed-fee, pay-as-you-go model that has fueled public cloud adoption. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    http://www.crn.com/news/cloud/300083513/hpe-acquires-cloud-cruiser-in-stepped-up-flexible-capacity-hybrid-cloud-pay-as-you-go-offensive.htm

  • IBM Acquires Agile 3, Makers Of A Security Dashboard For Business Leaders

    Agile 3, founded in 2009, offers a suite of products that help business leaders make decisions about security threats facing their companies through intuitive visualizations and analytics. The software design is heavily influenced by service-oriented architecture principles.

    Agile 3’s founder, Raghu Varadan, had been IBM’s chief architect for its SOA Center of Excellence, and was responsible for implementing service-oriented architecture solutions for the IBM Global Business Services division’s largest customers.

    http://www.crn.com/news/security/300083507/ibm-acquires-agile-3-makers-of-a-security-dashboard-for-business-leaders.htm

  • Yahoo surprises no one by pushing back its Verizon acquisition close date

    Yahoo has continued to work with Verizon on integration planning for the sale of its core business. In terms of timing, Yahoo had previously stated that it expected to close the transaction in Q1. However, given work required to meet closing conditions, the transaction is now expected to close in Q2 of 2017. The company is working expeditiously to close the transaction as soon as practicable in Q2.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/23/yahoo-unsurprisingly-pushes-back-its-verizon-acquisition-closing-date/?ncid=rss

Artificial Intelligence

  • IBM adds support for Google’s Tensorflow to its PowerAI machine learning framework

    While TensorFlow has only been available for a little over a year, it has quickly become the most popular open source machine learning project on GitHub. IBM’s PowerAI already supported other frameworks and libraries like CAFFETheano, Torch, cuDNN, and NVIDIA DIGITS, but Tensorflow support was sorely missing from this lineup.

    IBM clearly sees the combination of PowerAI with Nvidia’s NVLink interface and Pascal P100 GPU accelerators as a way to differentiate itself from the competition — and in this case, the competition it is gunning for is clearly Intel (though it’s worth noting that Intel and Google also recently teamed up to improve TensorFlow performance on its CPUs).

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/26/ibm-adds-support-for-googles-tensorflow-to-its-powerai-deep-learning-framework/?ncid=rss

  • Apple joins Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft in AI initiative

    The Partnership on AI was officially unveiled back in September 2016. At the time, Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft were the only founding members. Apple, Twitter, Intel and Baidu didn’t participate in the initiative.

    But Apple was already enthusiastic about the project, so today’s news is more about formalizing the company’s involvement. Siri co-founder and CTO Tom Gruber is going to represent Apple. You can find the full board of trustees on the partnership’s website.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/27/apple-joins-amazon-facebook-google-ibm-and-microsoft-in-ai-initiative/?ncid=rss

  • Will A.I. Allow Humans to Realize Our Full Potential?

Cloud

  • IBM’s SoftLayer is having a meltdown – and customers aren’t happy

    “Since IBM came along there have been loads of outages, planned and otherwise,” our reader in the field told us.

    “In the three years of service prior to this we had only one outage, in the six months after they took over we have had one outage that knocked out their AMS [Amsterdam] data center for four hours, [and] their entire global virtual server platform has had to be rebooted three times on separate occasions.”

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/01/26/ibm_softlayer_having_meltdown/

  • IBM Shakes Up Cloud Division in Executive Reorg

    Vice president and director of IBM research Arvind Krishna has been named senior vice president of Hybrid Cloud, which is a merger between the analytics business formerly run by Picciano, and the cloud division formerly run by LeBlanc. Krishna will report to John Kelly, senior vice president of Cognitive Solutions and IBM Research.

    http://www.thewhir.com/web-hosting-news/ibm-shakes-up-cloud-division-in-executive-reorg

  • How Long Can Amazon’s AWS Retain the IaaS Crown?

    During the most recent quarter Amazon reported $3.231 billion in quarterly revenues while Microsoft’s annualized cloud revenues exceeded $13 billion. At first glance, it would appear that both these companies are running neck and neck when it comes to earnings from cloud, but Microsoft has a huge bonus package in the form of its SaaS product, Office 365, which is experiencing strong growth.

    Though Azure is certainly growing at a healthy rate, it has a long way to go before it can compete at the same level as the IaaS offering from Amazon. Amazon has no such SaaS product lineup but still leads the race in terms of revenue thanks to its strength in IaaS. The company’s single-segment focus has helped Amazon add service after service and keep cutting prices, but still expand revenues – and margins along with it.

    http://www.gurufocus.com/news/475709/how-long-can-amazons-aws-retain-the-iaas-crown

  • Oracle outlines plans to take on Amazon in cloud

    “Oracle should be congratulated for its enthusiasm and the proactive way it is pursuing the cloud market,” says Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT, adding that the company was late to the market. Oracle has taken a similar approach to Microsoft and IBM in offering services across all three layers of cloud: IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. “They still have a massive install base of customers that want cloud services. The question is whether they will choose Oracle as their cloud vendor as opposed to vendors they may be currently working with, or choosing to go with a more established, more innovative vendor.” King adds Oracle’s cloud will appeal most to existing customers, but he questions how the company will be able to attract net new brands.

    http://www.networkworld.com/article/3158725/cloud-computing/oracle-outlines-plans-to-take-on-amazon-in-cloud.html

Datacenter

  • HP Inc announces moderate price hike across products

    “HP is increasing the list price of its products in India. As a standard business practice, the company regularly reviews pricing and makes adjustments accordingly, based on a variety of factors including currency movement and commodities prices. Actual price increases will vary by product,” Rajiv Srivastava, Managing Director, HP Inc. India, told IANS.

    http://www.financialexpress.com/industry/hp-inc-announces-moderate-price-hike-across-products/516580/

  • Infinidat slims down in UK: Storage upstart has just handful of Brit staff

    Infinidat has slimmed its UK office from 17 heads to just four since January 2016, and has not won a new customer in that time, we’re told.

    We’ve heard that Infinidat has four UK customers: BrightSolid, Pulsant, BT and Barclays. BT, its biggest client worldwide followed by Barclays, is the most active, and is looked after by a director for enterprise sales. There are three technical and professional services people alongside him in the London office. Thirteen others have been let go.

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/01/26/infinidat_slims_down_in_uk/

Software/SaaS

  • Why Salesforce is the new BlackBerry

    Earlier last year, Salesforce announced that it beat Q1 earnings following a 20 percent pricing increase. Its thousands of embedded (read: captive) users have had no choice but to pay up. Soon, however, a new generation of automated CRMs will emerge as a viable alternative, bringing intelligence and ease-of-use to a category of “dumb” CRM databases. They’ll offer products that are easily configured, always up-to-date, and entirely automated – delivering a delightful user experience in a tech landscape known for the opposite.

    Like BlackBerry, the disruption will happen much faster than Salesforce expects.

    http://thenextweb.com/opinion/2017/01/20/salesforce-new-blackberry/

  • OpenText completes $1.62-billion Dell acquisition

    The deal includes the Documentum enterprise content management platform and Dell’s enterprise content management division.

    With the acquisition, 5,000 customers, 2,000 employees and more than 300 partners join OpenText, the company said.

    http://www.cambridgetimes.ca/news-story/7080349-opentext-completes-1-62-billion-dell-acquisition/

  • Oracle Is ‘Toast,’ Layoffs In Sparc Business

    According to a report by Mercury News as part of statutory obligation, Oracle has intimated the Employment Development Department that it would lay off 450 employees in its Santa Clara systems division. According to the report, those affected include hardware and software developers along with managers, technicians and administrative assistants.

    Also:

    With the layoff reports, the analyst feels the reason for optimism on Oracle has proven to be completely wrong. The analyst also pointed to the industry’s belief that more layoffs in California, Colorado and Massachusetts are on the cards, with the guesstimate at 1,500

    https://www.benzinga.com/analyst-ratings/analyst-color/17/01/8932929/chowdhry-oracle-is-toast-layoffs-in-sparc-business

Other

  • Follow-up: US alleges systemic employment discrimination at Oracle

    The U.S. government says Oracle routinely and systemically pays white men more than women and minorities and that it favors Asian candidates over others in product development and technical roles.

    The investigation was triggered by a regular compliance review by the government. As a federal contractor, Oracle is prohibited from engaging in discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3158841/legal/us-alleges-systemic-employment-discrimination-at-oracle.html

  • Avaya says bankruptcy is a step toward software and services

    Networking and collaboration vendor Avaya declared bankruptcy last Thursday, calling the move part of its transition from a hardware to a software and services company.

    It plans to keep operating during the bankruptcy thanks to its cash from operations and US$725 million in financing that still needs approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Avaya said its foreign affiliates aren’t included in the filing and won’t be affected.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3159579/networking/avaya-says-bankruptcy-is-a-step-toward-software-and-services.html

  • Microsoft reportedly plans to lay off about 700 workers next week

    “The upcoming cuts won’t be specific to any single group, but will be spread across the company’s worldwide offices and business units, including sales, marketing, human resources, engineering, finance and more,” Business Insider said it was told by its source. “The goals of these rotating smaller layoffs is not to reduce costs but to update skills in various units.”

    http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2017/01/20/microsoft-layoffs-january-2017.html

  • Cisco debuts its own smart whiteboard priced to compete with the Google Jamboard

    The Spark Board works with fingers or a stylus and saves automatically. The system is priced to compete with Google’s Jamboard (which puts it significantly below Microsoft’s $8,999 Surface Hub) at $4,990 for the 55-inch version due out at the end of the month. A 70-inch version is due out before year’s end, priced at $9,990.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/24/cisco-spark-board/?ncid=rss

  • Verizon fourth quarter earnings fall short of analyst expectations

    Verizon this morning reported adjusted fourth quarter earnings of 86 cents per share, on revenue of $32.3 billion.

    On the earnings side, that falls short of what Wall Street analysts had expected — EPS of 89 cents per share and $32.1 billion in revenue. That also marks a 5.6 percent revenue decline from the fourth quarter of 2015.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/24/verizon-q4-earnings/?ncid=rss

Photo: Annette Beetge

Tagged , , , , , ,