Author: Staff Writer

Clarizen goes for cloud busting projects

cloudbustAn Israeli start up that kicked off specialising in project management software claims that its cloud software now has widespread applications for all enterprises that need to manage the shape of their business.

Clarizen, which started eight years ago specialising in project management and is now based in the USA. A number of blue chip and public sector bodies are using its software as a collaborative tool to manage initiatives in the cloud.

With 10 employees in the UK and 200 people worldwide, Clarizen customers include several NHS units, Barclaycard, Unipart, Wells Fargo, Hayes Recruitment, Machete, and a number of financial enterprises.

Russell Hanley, who was the first UK employee 18 months ago, said his company aimed to connect what he dubbed “islands of activity” in an organisation, uniting discussions, process and content.

He said that the product was 100 percent based in the cloud and device and browser independent – and an example of software as a service (SaaS).

The software, he said, should be treated just like a mobile phone app. It’s sold using a subscription model and the cost depends on the number of users, the type of access and whether organisations opt in for support, maintenance and training.

Hanley said Clarizen is set to create data centres in the UK and in Holland. He said that his customers want cloud compliance, but there are few enterprises with no presence in the cloud.

Clarizen is a privately listed company that received its third round of VC funding last year of $35 million.

Standards start for the internet of things

Internet of ThingsWhile there’s no doubt that in the next few years things ain’t what they used to be, and everything will be connected, there’s a distinct lack of standards right now.

But, according to a report from heavyweight analyst Frost & Sullivan (F&S), the move to standardise the IoT is taking shape.

It said a number of standardisation bodies in Europe and the US are working towards standard privacy policies and how devices will work together.

F&S said a committee has been formed by the European Telecommunications Standard Institute to work on machine to machine privacy standardisation.

And the Open Automative Alliance is a group of car companies and tech partners working worldwide to create a standard Android platform so that cars and mobiles will work together.

Analyst Svapnadeep Nayak said IoT needs an open architecture and worries enterprises worry because they want to maintain the integrity of their data.

Kayak thinks that by using a common cloud infrastructure with one application programming interface (API) for all sectors, IoT will bring down the costs of deployment and improve the efficiency of data streaming from gadgets and devices everywhere.

Apple launches Mickey Mouse watch

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 18.15.41A vast audience is watching Apple right now tell us how wonderful the iWatch is but it has to be linked to an iPhone.

An Apple watch will tell Uber that you’re around when you arrive at SFO, and you can send messages to your friends to tell them what’s going on, provided you have an iPhone.

An executive showed us live how the other world lives – when he arrives in New York he’s staying at the W hotel and he can unlock his door and his watch is his room key. We’ve stayed at the W New York – you need an LED torch to find your room, the place is so dark.

When he goes into his room, the executive can use his watch to find out what the music is playing in his darkened room.

The demo is delivering messages like there’s no tomorrow and we’re beginning to wonder how long the battery on the iWatch is going to last given all of this activity.

Apple is trusting the Internet of Things (IoT) will be an Apple thing

To rapturous applause, Apple showed off apps and told us that the iWatch can save us all time.

Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, looking very ultra cool said that when the developer community was unleashed, we will all be surprised. There are plenty of apps for the Apple iWatch.

He claimed the iWatch will work for 18 hours and “at the end of the day”.

Apple is announcing three collections – one with colourful bands – the aluminium used in one of its collections is not “run of the mill” aluminium. The Apple iWatch sport is actually an alloy as light as aluminium but 60 percent stronger, Apple claimed. It’s a magnesium zinc aluminium alloy. It starts at $350 and has loads of bands.

Apple is not using ordinary stainless steel, it is using extraordinary stainless steel, no doubt carefully extruded through the marketing department. Apple is offering lots of different SKUs and the pricing is almost impossible to figure out. It’s even doing a solid gold watch starting at $10,000. April 10th will be the day when it all starts to roll out…

We’ll have more on this tomorrow.

IBM teams up with Carnegie Mellon

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 16.47.23Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is working with IBM to create “smarter buildings”.

CMU wants to save 10 percent on utilities using a cloud based analytics system to reduce energy and operating costs.

It thinks the savings will be worth up to $2 million a year when the IBM system is used over 36 buildings on its campus in Pittsburgh.

Donald Coffelt, a VP for CMU’s facilities management service said using the IBM system will give a “very attractive return on investment”.

He said: “This technology offers us important gains in initiatives related to advanced infrastructure systems research, the Pittsburgh 2030 initiative and a more proactive building and infrastructure management model.”

Estimates are that buildings will be the biggest consumer of global energy in 10 years time but while systems report data across building networks, most organisations don’t use the the data as well as they could.

The CMU technology will kick off with a pilot in nine buildings and then be extended to other buildings, with full implementation ready in three years, said IBM.

You’re trapped by mobile ads

330ogleA frenzy of competition from major vendors for advertising revenue including the mobile market means growth between now and 2020 compared to the conventional advertising market.

That’s the conclusion of ABI Research today, which said in a report the competition is between Yahoo, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and others to push adverts at you through your mobile device.

Growth in the mobile advertising market is set to grow 16 percent CAGR between 2015 and 2020, compared to the total advertising market at 11 percent.

ABI thinks that mobile advertising will represent over 50 percent of total advertising revenue in the next few years.

Right now, Twitter and Facebook have the largest chunk of the market and so the strongest mobile advertising revenues.

The research company believes that there will be plenty of acquisitions as the different players jockey for position to grow their revenues.

Google is the clear leader in the search advertising sector but it faces increasing competition in the years to come, too.

Cloud of unknowing dogs UK businesses

Clouds in Oxford: pic Mike MageeMost IT directors want to buy cloud services from one provider but most have ended up buying stuff from three or more vendors.

That’s according to Martin Bishop, from Telstra, who released a survey showing two thirds of decision makers would like to plump for one vendor rather than many.

Bishop said that it’s a buyers’ market for cloud services but using multiple vendors could well mean a complex bank of clouds that make it difficult to manage and to control.

The research shows that four in ten of UK enterprises have adopted IaaS and another forty percent more have plans to adopt it.

Deployment of IaaS varies with manufacturing (61%), professional services *54%) and finance and insurance (46%) likely to use the cloud tech.

The company reached its findings by using Vanson Bourne to canvass 675 IT decision makers across five different geographies – the organisations are enterprises in the private sector with 250 or more employees.


Apple wants iWatch owners to stay cool

fobwatchOne of the biggest obstacles to using an Apple watch when they’re released is that the battery life won’t be very long.

And that’s prompted Apple to tell its developers designing apps for the watch to design them to be viewed for only 10 seconds or so.

It’s also told watch developers to keep distractions to a minimum – such as notifications pushed to users, according to Bloomberg.

The range of Apple watches, expected to be formally announced next week, at an event in San Francisco.

Analysts have estimated that sales of the watches, which certainly aren’t cheap, could be between 14 and 15 million during 2015. To use an Apple watch, it has to be linked to an Apple iPhone.

However, the jury is still out on how well smart watches will do. Short battery life will certainly limit their appeal, while many people will not see the advantage of having a smart watch as well as a smart phone, which also tells the time as well as doing lots of other things.


Hyper scale data centres give storage boost

emcboxIDC said that the storage market ended well. In the last quarter, worldwide enterprise storage systems revenue grew 7.2 percent year on year to amount to close to $10.6 billion.

And capacity shipments rose by 43.7 percent compared to the same quarter the previous year to represent 99.2 exabytes.

Eric Sheppard, a research director at IDC, said spending on enterprise storage grew in most markets worldwide with factors including demand for midrange systems using flash memory and systems designed for hyper scale data centres.

EMC was the top dog in fourth quarter, with a 22.2 percent market share. That company was followed by HP (13.8%), Dell (9%), IBM (9%) and Netapp (7.2%).

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SAP slashes jobs

sapbeerSoftware giant SAP said it will cut around three percent of its employees worldwide but added that it would create different jobs as it struggles to get up to speed on cloud computing.

The job cuts include SAP offering some employees early retirement, and won’t make forced redundancies in its European offices.

SAP has around 75,000 workers worldwide.

The company is struggling to compete with up to date cloud based companies including Workday and Salesforce and is working to beat the competition.

Reuters said that SAP will create new job opportunities in the cloud business, the database Hana and the expenses software Concur – it paid over $7 billion for Concur in 2014.

Microsoft Freaks out over security

Microsoft campusSoftware giant Microsoft said that people using all versions of Windows could be affected by the recent Freak phenomenon.

Freak is a vulnerability caused by software engineers making encryption weaker in operating systems as a result of an order by the USA in the 1990s.

Previously, it was known that the Freak vulnerability affected devices such as Apple and Android operating systems.

Microsoft described Freak “as an industry wide issue that is not specific to Windows operating systems”.

Microsoft doesn’t believe that peoples’ computers have yet been publicly exploited.

Microsoft said it is working with its partners to give information to customers to help them secure their machines. The security advisory can be found here.

Police arrest 57 varieties of cyber crooks

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 14.16.57The National Crime Agency (NCA) said it has made 57 arrests in the UK this week for people suspected of illegal acts related to computers.

The alleged offences include network intrusion and data theft from enterprises and governments; distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks; cyber related fraud and malicious software and virus development.

The NCA worked with local police forces across the UK to make the arrests.

25 people in the London and Essex area were arrested by the Metropolitan Police on suspicion of cyber fraud including theft and money laundering.

Five men were arrested in Kidlington, Oxford for an alleged conspiracy to commit computer misuse offences.

One man was arrested in the West Midlands on suspicion of network intrusion on the US Department of Defense.

Peter Goodman, deputy chief constable, said that cyber crime wasn’t victimless and SMEs can be bankrupted by cyber attacks. Publication of personal data could seriously affect people.

The NCA says people should go to and to stay up to date on how to keep your computer more secure.

Clinton asks government to disclose emails

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 15.01.53Following a report earlier this week that Hillary Clinton used a private email system to conduct government business, she said late last night that she wants the State Department to release all the emails.

Clinton is widely expected to run for president of the US in 2016.

She had been using an email server in her house when she was Secretary of State, and the State Department asked her to supply all those records.

And there are a lot of records – she provided the government department with 55,000 pages of emails.

The State Department said it is reviewing the emails she provided but because of the volume, that may take some time.

Clinton tweeted last night that she wanted the public to see her emails. In a tweet she said she has asked the State Department to release them and they will review them for release.


House of Lords pushes for drone registration

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 14.50.27A European Union committee of the House of Lords is recommending that the EU make an online register of people who own drones.

It wants the EU to have a database aimed first at businesses and then individuals who own drones.

The committee wants drones to include software to prevent drones from certain areas using GPS coordinates to prevent them from flying near airports and the like.

But at the same time the committee doesn’t want drones to be over regulated, particularly as the industry will be responsible for over 150,000 jobs by the middle of the century.

There are already rules about flying drones in the UK. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) rules that drones can’t be flown above 400 feet, and should be flown at least 164 feet away from vehicles, buildings and people. It’s also a rule that they can’t be used within 492 feet of a places where there are lots of people, such as a concert.

The committee also recommends that drone flights should be traceable.


Connect to your mainframe with your smartphone

ibm-officeMacro 4 said it is now a piece of cake to connect via the web to your IBM mainframe -if you have one of those in your back room using a smartphone and a tablet.

The company has released a new version of Tubes for z/OS.

The software gives access to mainframe applications using a web browser on a smartphone or tablet.

The company claimed that the software avoids enterprises having to update web interfaces at some cost.

R&D manager Keith Banham said there is no development overhead at all, and you don’t need to run a computer running a terminal emulator.

The software avoids the need to buy 3270 emulation software to access mainframe applications, he said.

Apple puts big iPad on hold

new-ipadApple was originally going to release a 12.9 inch iPad this spring but now it appears the project will be put back to later this year, or even early in 2016.

The Wall Street Journal said that manufacturers of the iPad in the Far East have now been told that they can’t start production until the second half of this year.

Apparently it’s not just problems with the display panel – Apple is thinking about new features and wants enterprises to take tablets seriously. Late last year IBM and Apple signed a deal to cooperate on business apps.

The WSJ also reports that it may add USB ports to the new iPad, when it finally emerges.

Apple’s plans to release a 12-inch Macbook Air in the spring appear to be unaffected by the iPad news.