Tag: Amazon

Amazon’s Prime Day boosted sales by 60 per cent

amazonOnline retailer Amazon claims that its “prime day” resulted in a boost of sales of 60 percent worldwide.

Despite early glitches, the retailer said it recorded the largest daily sales for Amazon devices on Tuesday, helped by heavy discounts. The Fire TV Stick was its best-selling device.

Orders rose by more than 50 percent in the United States, Amazon said. Orders placed on the company’s mobile app doubled.

Amazon did not provide total sales figures for the event, which was open only to members of its $99-per-year Prime subscription service.

However it might not have gone as well as Amazon hoped. Analysts noted that the rate of deals selling out was a lot slower than expected, meaning that Amazon was expecting the demand to be higher. However the number were still pretty good.

If orders jumped 60 percent over last year, that could mean sales in excess of $650 million on this year’s Prime Day

Citi analysts had projected up to $1 billion in sales from Prime Day. However, a snag that resulted in some customers being unable to add discounted items to their shopping carts could have affected sales.

Amazon’s potential sales from the event pales in comparison with the more than $14 billion of total value of goods transacted during Alibaba’s Singles’ Day shopping festival in China in November.

Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster said global unit sales growth of more than 60 percent outperformed the brokerage’s estimate of a 37 percent growth.

The sale is also expected to drive shoppers to the Prime service, which offers original TV programming and access to digital entertainment products such as Prime Music and Prime Video, as well as one-hour delivery of purchases.

Benchmark Co analyst Daniel Kurnos said he expects Prime Day to have added over 6 million new Prime members worldwide and to boost year-over-year revenue growth by 300 basis points.

Amazon.co.uk sees no Britexit fall out yet

amazonsAmazon says that its British site has not seen any sales dip since the vote to leave the European Union, and in fact it is planning to create a further 1,000 jobs across the UK this year.

UK country manager Doug Gurr said that the site’s sales were in line with expectations and it was business as usual.

Gurr, who became Amazon’s UK head in May after a stint in China, said it was too early to say what the impact of the June 23 Brexit vote would be.

“There’s a lot of details to be worked out … We don’t know exactly what the regulatory environment will be, we don’t know exactly what the terms of the new separation will be,” he said.

A survey published last week showed confidence among British consumers fell sharply in the days after the referendum, while on Tuesday department store retailer John Lewis said its sales grew more slowly last week.

On Tuesday the boss of Sainsbury’s, Britain’s second largest supermarket group, said there was a danger of Britain talking itself into another recession.

Gurr said Amazon’s plans for the UK had not changed on the Brexit vote.

“We’re continuing with the plans, we haven’t suddenly invented new plans,” he said.

The additional jobs will take Amazon’s full time permanent employees in the UK to over 15,500 by the end of the year.

The status of EU nationals currently living in Britain has been clouded by the Brexit vote.

“What we’ve said to all of our teams is: ‘As far as we’re concerned nothing changes. We’re still part of the EU as of today, we’ll continue to operate on that basis,” said Gurr.

Microsoft about to knock Amazon off of its cloud

Every silver has a cloudy liningBeancounters at Morgan Stanley think that Microsoft’s Azure will edge out Amazon Web Services by 2019 for both Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

The 2016 CIO Survey worked out that  31 percent of the CIOs will be using Azure for IaaS, versus roughly 30 percent using AWS. Today, about 21 percent are using AWS and 12 percent are using Azure. While nearly 55 percent of the surveyed CIOs said they’re using no public-cloud IaaS today, that number will drop to less than 10 percent by the end of 2019.

Azure is already leading AWS in PaaS and it is used by 18 percent of the respondents, versus AWS’s 16 percent. Azure’s lead will grow slightly by 2019, growing 9.8 percent versus 6.4 percent, Morgan Stanley said.

Software as a Service (SaaS) spending is looking promising with 95 percent of the 100 respondents predicting it will be flat or will increase, up from 90 percent last year.  Its key driver will be marketing applications from the likes of Adobe, HubSpot and Salesforce.

Nearly one-third of all applications will be migrated to the public cloud by the end 2017, up from 14 percent today, the survey said. On-premises apps will decline to 58 percent, from 71 percent today.

Hardware vendors, including conventional and flash storage makers, will continue to suffer as their market is eaten by the cloud. Hardware spending growth is down this year to 3.2 percent, from 3.4 percent last year.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise and NetApp face the largest threats, the study said. Biggish Blue might be saved by its cloud investments and cognitive-computing offering.

Oracle, EMC, Dell, VMWare and Cisco, in that order, all face declines in their share of the next three years’ IT budgets, ranging from -17 percent to -9 percent.

Amazon is the Queen of Retail

amazonBeancounters at Nielson have identified Amazon as the e-commerce supremo.

According to Nielsen, E-commerce is approaching two percent of total global retail sales and Amazon continues to dominate.

Amazon followed by Flipkart and Snapdeal were the most preferred e-commerce websites among sellers, with highest top of the mind recall, a recent study has revealed.

The findings came as a result of a study by Nielsen for the January-March quarter, which surveyed 1,184 online sellers. It revealed that 39 percent of online sellers “explore two or more e-commerce websites as an option to sell products on and grow their business.”

A high level of familiarity along with in-depth knowledge of an e-commerce website is the most important factor that drives brand equity, the report said. While Amazon had the highest top of the mind recall (25 percent), Flipkart stood second (21 percent) and Snapdeal (20 percent), it added.

“With the e-commerce industry growing in double digits, there is surge in demand by customers, and an evolving online seller category that is fuelling supply on portals To ensure the equilibrium of demand and supply, it is essential for e-commerce portals to focus on developing an inviting platform for online sellers in the country. Sellers are also increasingly discerning when it comes to reaching their customer and meeting business needs,” the Nielsen report added.

Amazon sticks Jassy on Cloud

andy_jassy_amazonAmazon has promoted Andy Jassy to the job of CEO of the industry’s top public cloud infrastructure business.

He has already been doing the job, more or less, since he founded AWS in 2003 with a team of 57 people and has presided over the most dominant cloud business in the world, with more than a million customers in 190 countries.

Jassy’s promotion, which Amazon announced in a blog post comes after CEO Jeff Bezos revealed in his annual letter to shareholders earlier this week that AWS is on track to reach $10 billion in sales this fiscal year.

Bezos said in the letter that AWS is larger and growing faster than Amazon itself was after its first decade in business. He also pointed to AWS’ addition of 722 “significant” new features and services in 2015 — 40 percent more than it added in 2014 — as evidence that AWS is innovating faster than any other cloud vendor.

AWS, along with Amazon Prime and Marketplace, are examples of big bets the company has made that have paid off. Jeff Wilke, senior vice president of Amazon’s consumer business and the executive in charge of those units, has also been promoted to the title of CEO Worldwide Consumer, Bezos said.

 

EU gives its cloud to BT, IBM, Accenture and Atos

Eu-flag-vector-material2The European Commission has announced BT, IBM, Accenture and Atos will get most of the contracts to supply its new cloud services.

Contracts were broken out into three “lots,” covering a private cloud setup, public cloud setup, and platform-as-a-service, for which it will pay $38.5 million.
The whole lot will be platformed by Telecom Italia which is a bit unfortunate. That outfit is under resourced and its mobile arm TIM just adopted the iChing hexagram for “standing still” as its logo.waiting

It is unusual that Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Amazon and none of the other big cloud outfits managed to get their paws on the EU’s clouds.

The Commission said that all the systems will be physically located within the European Union, the Commission noted, “to be compliant with EU data handling requirements” basically it means that the US will not be able to steal it.

According to the announcement, the contract will “enable the Commission to follow the ceaseless pace of today’s technological race.”

The EU hopes that use of cloud services will help it come up with future improvements to how it works, such as using “Big Data.”

The private cloud service will provide computing and storage facilities through a private network link connected to the EC’s data centres, and will be hosted by a single provider. The public cloud infrastructure will be run over the public internet. And the public platform-as-a-service will include both operating systems and database services run over the cloud.

The first cloud services should appear this year.

Social networking marketing might be illegal


thumb-mark-zuckerberg-facebook-pro-4566Using social media
to market products might end up being illegal, according to a German court.

The German courts have looked dimly on a  feature that encourages Amazon customers to share links to products of the online shop with their contacts. The Amazon “share” feature invites customers to share a product via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter or Pintrest and really it could be part of any consumer marketing operation.

The court said that sharing by e-mail without approval of the recipient was illegal. It is “unsolicited advertising and unreasonable harassment,” the regional court in Hamm said, confirming the ruling of a lower court in Arnsberg.

The case was brought against one of Amazon’s resellers by a competitor.

The ruling comes after Germany’s highest court ruled earlier this month that a similar feature that encourages Facebook users to market the social media network to their contacts as unlawful.

At the time, the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV), which brought the Facebook case to court, had said the ruling would have implications for other services in Germany which use similar forms of advertising.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday pointless in the UK

2390E7EB00000578-2852585-Scrum_down_Customers_push_each_other_out_of_the_way_as_the_crowd-72_1417213372623Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a US sales tool which proves perfectly pointless for the UK channel and might die out.

Black Friday is a US retail sales event popularised by global giant Walmart but appeared to catch on in the UK. Commerce consultancy Salmon predicts that it will raise a £1 billion online shopping day in the UK.

But it is starting to look like it will come unstuck. Walmart-owned Asda recently announced it would not take part in the event this year after listening to customers’ views. Basically, no one wanted to see British people fighting in shops.

But vendors are started to suggest that the Black Friday numbers don’t stack up. They are losing 30 or 40 percent of their margin and are wondering if it is worth it.

Vendors like VIP are telling the press that in tech, where the margins are so slim, you’re going to end up with people saying ‘I don’t want to participate in it’ next year and the year after”.

The theory is that Amazon and Dixons will continue the tradition, but other major brands will give the sale a miss as they gingerly fondle their bruised bottom lines. After all they are taking money away from the busy period – Christmas, which is when many resellers make most of their cash.

Analyst Context’s founder Jeremy Davies agreed that the phenomenon could be on its way out. He said that the whole Black Friday thing will weaken next year because the experience has been negative.

HP Enterprise to name Microsoft’s Azure cloud partner

Cloud computing - photo Mike MageeThe former maker of expensive printer ink, HP Enterprise, has selected Microsoft’s Azure as its preferred public cloud partner.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman said HPE will officially unveil the partnership with Microsoft at the HPE Discover Conference in London next week.

She said that Vole shared HP’s view of a hybrid IT approach for enterprises, and sees an opportunity to simplify hybrid infrastructure.

“Microsoft Azure will become a preferred public cloud partner. HPE will serve as a preferred provider of Microsoft’s infrastructure and services for its hybrid cloud offerings,” she said.

HP said it will shut down its HP Helion Public Cloud offering effective January 21, 2016 and generally “doubling down” on its managed and virtual private cloud offerings in the wake of the public cloud exit. Whitman claimed this move played to HP’s strengths in private and managed cloud.

“We will continue to extend our cloud infrastructure leadership and integrate the public cloud element for our customers through a strategic, partner-based model,” she said.

Whitman did not say what this deal might have on HPE’s relationship with Amazon Web Services.

Word on the street is that HPE will provide support for AWS’ popular public cloud simply because it has to.

HP gets off of its public cloud

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudThe maker of expensive printer ink, HP is calling it quits on its public cloud offering.

The Helion Public Cloud will be abandoned next year as the vendor is more interested in private cloud products and rather scared of its chums Microsoft and Amazon.

HP has been denying that it will close Helion for six months, but the signs were there. In April, HP executive Bill Hilf said that HP no longer saw public cloud as a priority and that it made “no sense” for HP to go head to head with the likes of Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

He backtracked on this statement and said that HP would continue running Helion which operates  one of the largest OpenStack-based public clouds. Writing in his bog, Hilf confirmed what he denied six months ago and that Helion Public Cloud is doomed.

Hilf said HP has made the decision to “double down on our private and managed cloud capabilities” and confirmed that HP will “sunset” Helion Public Cloud on 31 January 2016.

Public cloud remains relevant to HP as part of its hybrid cloud strategy, but the vendor will now work with multiple partners such as Amazon to satisfy its customers’ public cloud needs.

“In order to deliver on this demand with best-of-breed public cloud offerings, we will move to a strategic, multiple partner-based model for public cloud capabilities, as a component of how we deliver these hybrid cloud solutions to enterprise customers,” Hilf said.

“Therefore, we will sunset our HP Helion Public Cloud offering on 31 January 2016.”

HP has been getting closer to Amazon of late as part of its hybrid delivery with HP Helion Eucalyptus. It has also worked with Microsoft to support Office 365 and Azure, he added.

“We also support our PaaS customers wherever they want to run our Cloud Foundry platform – in their own private clouds, in our managed cloud, or in a large-scale public cloud such as AWS or Azure,” Hilf said.

HP invested more than $1bn in its cloud business over two years when it unveiled its Helion range of OpenStack-based cloud products and services last May so it looks half that money was lost.

Walmart takes on Amazon with open source cloud

ASDA1US retail giant Walmart is looking to an open source cloud to turn the tables on Amazon.

Walmart, which owns Asda, saw its shares fall 10 percent this week following news that the company will grow just three to four percent over the next three years, with profit dropping 12 percent in 2017.

Chief Financial Officer Charles Holley blamed rising wages, and the increased cost of training staff. It’s not until 2019 that revenue will grow again.

Walmart is still bigger than Amazon in terms of revenue, but after 18 years, Amazon.com’s market value stands at $254.8 billion. Walmart this week managed to wipe more than $21 billion off its value, down to $213.9 billion.

This is where the cloud comes in. Walmart is creating WalmartOne, which runs on the open source OneOps cloud computing code.

OneOps is Walmart’s own cloud platform, with the company claiming it changed the way its engineers developed and helped shaped how Walmart launched new products to customers.

This week WalmartLabs said OneOps will be released to the world as open source, with the source code being uploaded to code repository GitHub by Christmas.

This means that Walmart is taking the fight to Amazon Web Services by giving developers a chance to avoid vendor lock-in, a situation in which companies are stuck to contracts and technologies supplied by one cloud provider.

King added that by making the platform open source, OneOps will drive competitors to “compete based on price, customer service and innovation.

Google and Amazon will win cloud wars

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudBeancounters from Forrester believe that the future of cloud computing belongs to Amazon and Google.

Analyst John Rymer says “public cloud services,” which is where the future lies and even Dell’s EMC purchase can’t change that.

Amazon and Google now offer their own infrastructure to the rest of the world as cloud computing services. This will be bad news for Microsoft which is bigger than Google at the moment.

Forrester’s report, which draws on interviews with vendors and customers across the market, looks exclusively at “public cloud services” rather than private clouds.

Rymer and Forrester now call the public cloud a “hyper-growth” market. Its new report predicts that this market will grow to $191 billion by 2020. That’s 20 percent more than they predicted in their previous report, back in 2011.

“The adoption among cloud among enterprises, which is really where the money is, has really picked up steam. It’s a big shift. The cloud has arrived. It’s inevitable.”

The report encompasses a wide range of services, like Amazon’s EC2, which serves up virtual machines where you can run practically any software you want and Microsoft Office 365, a suite of pre-built and configured software applications you can tap into via the ‘net.

It said that companies like Amazon and Microsoft and Google continue to expand across all these areas. Amazon just introduced a sweeping array of new services last week.

According to the report, “cloud platform services” like Amazon EC2, where you can build and run your own software, will be a $44 billion market by 2020. Meanwhile, back-end business services will reach $14 billion, and cloud software applications will hit $131 billion.

“A lot of businesses are now saying: ‘I want to move my operational application, back office applications, into public clouds. That’s a big deal. In the past, so many people said: ‘I’m never going there.’ Now they’re actually working at it.”

The public cloud won’t take over the whole IT market, Rymer says, but this is where the big growth lies. According to Rhymer, software-as-a-service offerings such as Office 365 are growing the quickest at the moment.

The biggest winner here will likely be Amazon because it has a massive customer base and they’re been at it longer.

Amazon has revealed that its cloud operation is now a $4.6 billion business, and the company expects it to grow to $6.23 billion by the end of the year. The next-biggest player is Microsoft. In April, Redmond said it’s on track to reach $6.3 billion in revenue this year, including sales of its Office 365 and its Dynamics customer relationship management service. Google, in many respects, has a technical lead on Amazon and Microsoft, but it was slower to market. IBM, with its acquisition of a company called SoftLayer is also a presence.

Services from Google and IBM may not grow as quickly as Amazon’s. But they will grow. It’s where the world is moving, the report said.

Amazon shoes Reno out of the market

shoeBricks and mortar shops are continuing to die as consumers realise they do not have to leave their homes to go shopping.

The latest casualty to report being in trouble is family owners of German shoe chain Reno.

Chief Executive and co-owner Matthias Haendle needs to find a buyer by the end of the year.

Reno owner HR Group is Germany’s largest shoe retailer after Deichmann, and $672.24 million in annual sales and staff of 4,500.

Haendle said in an interview the group needs fresh capital for investment and acquisitions as it is being squeezed by online groups such as Amazon and Zalando

The business comprises wholesale unit Hamm, which is doing well, and struggling retail unit Reno, which has 750 outlets, a source familiar with the matter said earlier this year, without providing an estimate on HR Group’s prospective enterprise value.

Ironically Reno should have done a bit better.  It was founded in 1977 as a mail order group which later merged with Hamm – a leather trading company in 1888.  It should have been the sort of outfit which did well from the online boom.

The difficulty is that Amazon and Zalando did it much better and have carved up a nearly impregnable niche.

Similar patterns are being seen in the UK where established bricks and mortar companies with a large high street presence have been killed off because they did not adapt quick enough to compete with Amazon.

Amazon plans $50 tablet

amazonAmazon will release a $50 tablet in time for the Christmas sales.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the 6-inch screen tablet comes with a mono speaker and is priced much lower than Amazon’s Fire tablet. The Fire sells for $99.

Amazon also plans to release 8-inch and 10-inch screen tablets, the report said.

While other Amazon Fire tablets show advertisements as screen savers, it was not clear if the new 6-inch tablet’s cost included ads.

The move is part of a cunning plan to attract buyers looking for a simple device for straightforward tasks like streaming video at home and shopping on Amazon.com.

The inexpensive tablet will have compromises like inferior screen quality, durability or battery life in comparison to more expensive tablets like Amazon’s larger Fire.

Chief Executive Jeff Bezos has said, the company prefers to make money by selling services that work with the devices, like e-books and video rentals.

He set a $50 price tag for versions of both the Fire tablet and Kindle e-reader, viewing the rock-bottom prices as a crucial lure for a more cost-conscious group of buyers.

E-reader screen technology from its vendors ultimately proved too expensive to drop the retail price, the people said. Amazon’s cheapest Kindle sells for $79.

Analysts are less enthusiastic about the idea claiming that halving the price for a tablet which is less useful defeats the purpose.

Ubuntu is the cloud king

cloud 2Ubuntu is more than twice as popular on the Amazon cloud as all other operating systems combined, according to a new analysis.

According to the Cloud Market which looked at operating systems on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Ubuntu has approximately 135,000 instances. In second place is Amazon’s own Amazon Linux Amazon Machine Image (AMI), with 54,000. Windows is third with 17,600 instances.

By dominating AWS, Ubuntu is the most popular cloud Linux.

Ubuntu has been available on HP Cloud, and Microsoft Azure since 2013. It’s also now available on Google Cloud Platform, Fujitsu, and Joyent.

Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company, is also putting considerable efforts behind OpenStack for the private and hybrid cloud. Indeed, Canonical has also worked with Microsoft to bring Windows Server to OpenStack and with Oracle to bring Oracle Linux to the Ubuntu take on OpenStack.

Apparently, 53 percent of all production OpenStack clouds are running Ubuntu. CentOS is far in the back with 29 percent.