Tag Archives: Verizon

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

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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

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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

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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

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Supplier Report: 11/19/2016

sn_open_alvaro-serrano

IT suppliers are looking to get more open. Microsoft not only joined Elon Musk’s OpenAI, they also join the Linux Foundation. The Linux Foundation… remember when Ballmer called linux a cancer?

But even as Microsoft and Google promote their open technology, they are targeting SaaS as the main driver for future growth. While the infrastructure may be open, their SaaS offerings will be decidedly less so. Smaller companies like Slack are promoting a more connected world, but will Microsoft shut that business model down?

And who will be the big winner in this open world of closed ecosystems?  Probably Amazon. They seem to be winning most of the hosting business (ala the $400M agreement with SalesForce).

Acquisitions

  • Samsung is buying Harman for $8B to further its connected car push

    Terms of the deal will see Samsung pay $112.00 per share. That’s a healthy premium on Harman’s current share price of $87.65, and it gives the deal a total value of approximately $8 billion. The transaction is expected to close by mid-2017, at which time Harman will become a standalone subsidiary of Samsung. Dinesh Paliwal will continue to lead the firm as its Chairman, President and CEO, both Harman and Samsung said.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/13/samsung-harman/?ncid=rss

  • Verizon buys LQD WiFi to expand its IoT strategy into “smart cities”

    Verizon today has made another acquisition to build out its IoT business: the carrier has purchased LQD WiFi, a developer of outdoor interactive displays that provide WiFi connectivity along with news, emergency alerts and community information. They also act as sensors collecting crowd, weather and other data.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/14/verizon-buys-lqd-wifi-to-expand-its-iot-strategy-into-smart-cities/?ncid=rss

  • Ex-Autonomy CFO Indicted For Alleged Fraud In H.P. Acquisition

    A federal grand jury in San Francisco has indicted the former chief financial officer of a British software maker on charges he engaged in fraud to artificially increase the company’s share price and make it attractive to Hewlett-Packard.

    The grand jury indicted former Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussain on Thursday on wire fraud and conspiracy charges.

    Hussain’s attorney, John Keker, said his client defrauded no one and acted at all times with the highest standards of honesty and competence.

    http://fortune.com/2016/11/11/hp-autonomy-fraud/
    I honestly did not expect anything like this to happen.

  • Is Netflix Disney’s next big buy and is Reed Hastings its next CEO?

    And, despite its rosy Q3 numbers, Netflix ultimately needs a buyer.  As I recently wrote, Netflix faces fundamental long-term existential business challenges of its own.  Its singular content-focused subscription-based business model can’t compete with the complex multi-faceted, multi revenue-streamed business models of AT&T, Amazon, YouTube (Google), Verizon, Apple and Amazon.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/13/is-netflix-disneys-next-big-buy-and-is-reed-hastings-its-next-ceo/?ncid=rss

  • HPE Eyeing Purchase of SimpliVity (HPE)

    Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (HPE), is rumored to have its eye on leading hyperconvergence infrastructure (HCI) vendor SimpliVity. The Westborough, Mass.-based niche market leader is estimated to go for $3.8 billion to $3.9 billion, reports the Register. The rumored price stands at quadruple the company’s valuation in its latest series of funding in March 2015.

    http://www.cnmeonline.com/news/dell-emc-unveils-new-additions-to-its-all-flash-portfolio/

  • AOL lays off 500 employees as Verizon-Yahoo acquisition looms

    The cuts, which Armstrong said would consolidate recent AOL acquisitions, presage the type of staffing changes that could affect Yahoo in early 2017 as Verizon closes its $4.8 billion acquisition of the Silicon Valley icon.

    https://news.fastcompany.com/aol-lays-off-500-employees-as-verizon-yahoo-acquisition-looms-4025323

Artificial Intelligence

  • Microsoft teams up with Elon Musk’s OpenAI project (thanks JD!)

    OpenAI will also make Microsoft Azure its preferred cloud platform, in part because of its existing support for AI workloads with the help of Azure Batch and Azure Machine Learning, as well as Microsoft’s work on its recently rebranded Cognitive Toolkit. Microsoft also offers developers access to a high-powered GPU-centric virtual machine for these kind of machine learning workloads. These N-Series machines are still in beta, but OpenAI has been an early adopter of them and Microsoft  says they will become generally available in December.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/15/microsoft-teams-up-with-elon-musks-openai-project/
    sn_elon

  • MIT students and others teaching IBM Watson about cybersecurity

    Several universities involved with that project began having students train the system within the past several weeks, explained IBM Watson’s Jeb Linton, chief security architect.

    “We’re ramping up from the phase where we have a little over 30 people selecting documents and annotating documents, to the phase where we’re… a much larger group by bringing in these college students,” Linton explained.

    “It’s very much an interactive process. You put the machine-learning process into Watson and see what you get from it. I wouldn’t say anything has really surprised us so far,” Linton said. “We added in a level of complexity a few months ago that was a little less than optimal, and we trimmed some of that complexity back out.”

    http://www.techrepublic.com/article/mit-students-and-others-to-teach-ibm-watson-about-cybersecurity/

  • IBM’s Watson would do a better job at being a bank teller than most current staff

    Watson can take all of a bank’s rules and regulations and data about customer’s requirements and behaviours and provide an intelligent interface for customers to get things done with the confidence that Watson understood what the customer wanted and also understood what the bank could provide to satisfy those requirements.

    Not surprisingly however, banks worldwide are not investing in innovations like cognitive computing. Innovation is often lumped in the general IT budget and often forms a tiny part of that spend. By viewing it in the same category as buying computers or complying with regulatory requirements, the overall value and benefit is much harder to see.

    http://theconversation.com/ibms-watson-would-do-a-better-job-at-being-a-bank-teller-than-most-current-staff-68725

Cloud

  • Microsoft, Amazon turn to wind energy to power cloud data centers

    Microsoft is also pushing for more renewable energy sources. Referring to the new agreement, Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith said “these agreements represent progress toward our goal of improving the energy mix at our data centers.”

    http://www.ciodive.com/news/microsoft-amazon-turn-to-wind-energy-to-power-cloud-data-centers/430405/
    Microsoft now runs one data center entirely on wind power

    Microsoft has a stated goal of using 50 percent renewable energy in its data centers across the U.S. by 2018, and it just took a big step forward in that plan, purchasing additional 237 megawatts of wind energy capacity.

    In the process, this helps allow its Cheyenne, Wyoming, data center run entirely on wind power and brings the company’s total wind capacity to 500 megawatts across the U.S.

    http://www.networkworld.com/article/3142785/data-center/microsoft-now-runs-one-data-center-entirely-on-wind-power.html

  • Google’s cloud GPU undercuts, outperforms AWS, Microsoft

    Google’s plan to stand apart from the competition is to be more granular. Amazon’s machine-learning-oriented GPU instances are rented by the hour and come in a discrete instance type. Google, however, is planning to allow users to “attach up to 8 GPU dies to any non-shared-core machine,” regardless of instance type.

    Even more critical, Google’s GPU pricing will follow its existing model: by the minute, same as Google’s VMs. This isn’t about consistency alone; it also reflects how GPU-powered machine learning is actually used. If a machine learning application employs only GPUs for training, it makes sense to be able to toggle off the GPU when it’s not needed instead of changing instance types.

    http://www.infoworld.com/article/3142028/cloud-computing/googles-cloud-gpu-undercuts-outperforms-aws-microsoft.html

Datacenter

  • Dell EMC unveils new additions to its all-flash portfolio

    The deployment of the new Data Domain Cloud Tier software within Data Domain, according to Dell EMC, increases the total volume of data that can be managed through a single appliance by 200 percent, with a maximum logical capacity of 150PB. Data Domain Cloud Tier establishes Data Domain as the only protection storage to natively tier de-duplicated data to public, private, or hybrid clouds for long-term retention, including Dell EMC Elastic Cloud Storage and Virtustream Storage Cloud.

    http://www.cnmeonline.com/news/dell-emc-unveils-new-additions-to-its-all-flash-portfolio/

  • NetApp tops 2Q profit forecasts

    On a per-share basis, the Sunnyvale, California-based company said it had net income of 38 cents. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were 60 cents per share.

    The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 54 cents per share.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/netapp-tops-2q-profit-forecasts-211649286.html

  • Infinidat’s energy efficient offerings

    Below is an Infographic that takes a bottoms up look at INFINIDAT’s InfiniBox and how its underlying technology drives more efficiency than any other array on the market today. InfiniBox keeps your data center footprint from sprawling out of control and keeps your power costs low by taking only 2kW/TB to operate.

    http://www.infinidat.com/blog/infinibox-energy-efficient-storage/
    sn_infinidat_greenstorage

Software/SaaS

  • In five years, SaaS will be the cloud that matters

    Over time, more “infrastructure” services will become software services. Because once it’s SaaS, the boundaries between infrastructure, platform, and software don’t matter to the IT customer—it’s merely a service. That’s a mental shift from IT’s on-premises view, where the boundaries matter in how IT delivers the ultimate service. Those boundaries will still exist for the provider, but won’t be IT’s concern.

    http://www.infoworld.com/article/3142407/iaas/in-five-years-saas-will-be-the-cloud-that-matters.html

  • Why the next great SaaS company will look nothing like Salesforce

    Conversely, once a startup’s product is being used every day like Slack, it may start keeping more information within it and over time wean people off whatever they were using before (Outlook, Sharepoint, etc).

    The game-changer could well be artificial intelligence: if AI software could extract signal from the unstructured product feedback in Intercom or the sales forecasting information in Clari, the data in those systems could become more valuable than the limited fields captured in today’s systems of record.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/13/why-the-next-great-saas-company-will-look-nothing-like-salesforce/

  • Is Google crashing the Microsoft open source party?

    So Microsoft’s move is a giant retraction of that sentiment, one which it has been trying to undo for the past couple of years with various announcements regarding a more open approach to Linux and the open source community.

    Unlike Microsoft, Google has already established itself as having a pedigree in open source and so its joining of the .NET Foundation isn’t a huge surprise.

    Google is already an active contributor and joining the Technical Steering Group just expands its participation.

    The Alphabet subsidiary has already begun labeling itself as the ‘Open Cloud’ and Microsoft has revealed that it needs to be a bit more willing to work with the open source community because of its growing popularity.

    http://www.cbronline.com/news/enterprise-it/software/google-crashing-microsoft-open-source-party/
    sn_silval_dunno

Other

  • Salesforce’s Benioff thinks Microsoft is up to its old tricks again

    “The message was ‘Why don’t you meet with Scott Guthrie? He runs Azure and would really like to walk you through the details of your business because maybe we could get Salesforce to run on Azure’… and I’m like OK, and it was clear also that he was someone not in our business, he was running Azure.”

    Benioff notes a few weeks later Guthrie was suddenly promoted to also run Microsoft’s CRM business, which is a direct competitor to Salesforce and not long after Salesforce was disinvited from a Microsoft customer event without prior notice.

    https://mspoweruser.com/salesforces-benioff-thinks-microsoft-is-up-to-its-old-tricks-again/

  • Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is done cozying up to Microsoft — now he’s BFFs with Amazon

    Instead, Benioff has turned to Amazon this year, striking a number of major deals. In May, Salesforce announced a $400 million deal to use AWS, while Amazon rolled out Salesforce’s software company-wide. Salesforce said Amazon added even more Salesforce services this quarter, during the call with investors.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/salesforce-ceo-marc-benioff-stops-cozying-up-to-microsoft-befriends-amazon-2016-11

  • You Can Thank Twitter For Trump, According To Salesforce CEO

    I think it’s a great company, I think it’s a great CEO. I think it has a huge vision and has a unique position in the world. As evidenced by this election, I think it’s more important than ever… Without Twitter, I don’t think you would have President-elect Trump. I mean, that’s reality. He said it very well. He said, “I have a beautiful Twitter account.”

    http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2016/11/you-can-thank-twitter-for-trump-according-to-salesforce-ceo/

  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise to outsource global IT team to CSC borg

    “To ensure that all three companies are successful going forward, HPE intends to partner with ES/CSC to receive IT services through an IT Services Agreement that includes IT infrastructure and application development/support. This will result in a majority of our IT family moving to ES/CSC, which will become a leading provider of independent IT services in the world,” Spradley and Nefkens stated in the memo.

    The HPE contract is in addition to outsourced service provision for HP Inc, and Micro Focus, which by next summer will be the new home of HPE’s Software business.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/11/16/hpe_to_outsource_global_it_team_to_csc_borg/
    I believe this is called “eating your own dogfood”

Photo: Álvaro Serrano

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