Tag: IBM

IBM launches blockchain service

redstoneblock1Biggish Blue has launched a service that will allow businesses to build applications on its cloud using the Hyperledger Project’s blockchain code.

Developers designed IBM Blockchain for building enterprise-grade technology using Hyperledger Fabric, the first code released by the open source group.

The Fabric blockchain can process more than 1,000 transactions per second and has the necessary features for large enterprises to build their applications, IBM said.

It added it was working with technology company SecureKey Technologies and a group of Canadian banks to build a digital identity network using its new blockchain services.

The network, set for launch later this year, is aimed at making it easier for consumers to prove their identities when accessing services such as new bank accounts, driver’s licenses or utilities. Banks involved include Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Blockchain is a digital shared record of transactions that is kept by a network of computers on the internet, without the need of a centralised authority.

Big businesses, including many of the world’s largest banks, have been increasing their investment in the technology in hopes it can help them reduce the complexity and costs of some of their most difficult processes, such as the settlement of securities or international payments.

Technology companies and professional services firms have also been ramping up their investment in blockchain, as they race to capture the nascent market.

IBM is big on blockchain and has several large clients developing applications with the technology, including Northern Trust, Wal-Mart, and the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation.

IBM said it had also tested a blockchain-based asset management platform for carbon assets with Chinese company Energy-Blockchain Labs. The companies aim to release the platform, built using the new IBM Blockchain, later this year.

IBM updates channel programme

A not so mobile X86 PCThe ever shrinking Biggish Blue has announced changes to its channel programme with the aim of making its plans with Q2 a bit better.

IBM wants to encourage its partners to move into the high growth areas of cloud and security. This week it is holding its PartnerWorld event in Las Vegas and the announcements have been flowing out from the conference.

One of the planks of its cunning plan is to increase the number of competencies in the PartnerWorld programme, with the number heading up to the 40 mark.

Marc Dupaquier, general manager, IBM Global Business Partners said that as digital and cloud “solutions” continue to transform industries, the time is now for IBM partners to deliver cognitive solutions with deep vertical expertise built on the IBM Cloud platform and made available in an omni-channel environment.

This includes an expanded and redesigned the PartnerWorld programme to guide Business Partners of all types and models in developing capabilities aligned to our cognitive solutions and cloud platform strategy to deliver high client value.

While IBM started off revising its PartnerWorld programme at the beginning of the year the men in suits have being rolling out enhancements with the additional competencies.

Some of the additional competencies coming in Q2 include in security Information, Risk and Protection and in cloud the Cloud Video and High Speed Transfer. The Watson Internet of Things side of the business will offer Continuous Engineering and there will also be a new Competency in IBM Global Financing to help partners offer “Financing” as a core capability.

Another part of the growth strategy includes embedded solutions, a simplified reselling process and enhanced software incentives.

The embedded solutions agreement that IBM is making available should make it easier for partners to use their own branding on solutions that are built on Big Blue technology. The vendor is also providing a Ready for IBM Cloud validation for ISVs to make it easier for developers.

After April there will be more software incentives to increase the rewards available to those partners that sell the vendor’s product range.

Logicalis UK has operating loss

LossLogicalis is reporting that its UK operation took a hit.

For the 12 months ending 29 February 2016, the UK arm of the Cisco, HP and IBM partner saw revenue drop from £169.8 million in the previous year to £153.9 million, while operating profit swung from £6 million to a loss of £2.1 million.

For the year ending 29 February 2016 the Logicalis Group saw revenue drop from $1.51 billion to $1.4 billion while operating profit fell from $68.1 million to $52 million.
Logicalis parent company Datatec reported its half-year figures on the London Stock Exchange in October, showing a revenue decline of 7.6 per cent year on year to $3.13 billion for the six months ending 31 August 2016.

The company is vendor dependant on the likes of IBM, Cisco and HP and if any one of the principal vendors to the company terminates, fails to renew or materially adversely changes its agreement or arrangements with the company, it could materially reduce the company’s revenue and operating profit and thereby seriously harm the company’s financial condition and results of operations, the company said.

The Logicalis UK claimed that the IT industry continues to be a “rapidly changing environment“and management recognises the need for the company to continually adapt and grow.

“The directors remain optimistic about the company’s future prospects, and are executing a transformation programme which will ensure that it is best suited to deliver its customers in the long term.”

 

Bad time to be flogging servers

titanic-life-preserverBeancounters at IDC have said that it is a jolly bad time to be trying to flog servers and the numbers are sinking so fast that it is unlikely that the spotty kid with the posh girlfriend will escape before Celine Dion starts to sing.

The latest server sales figures for Europe, Middle East and Africa show that branded servers are losing ground to Far Eastern ODMs.

IDC numbers showed revenues down 3.7 per cent to $3 billion despite. All this happened while there was a  modest 0.8 per cent increase in the number of boxes shifted, which means that prices have fallen too.

Eckhardt Fischer, research analyst at IDC, said contract manufacturers, some of whom have launched their own branded gear, are doing well and the  HPEs, Dells and Lenovos of the world are suffering.

“This is strongly driven by the continued expansion of original design manufacturers (ODMs) in EMEA, a trend that IDC predicts will continue as mega datacenters and larger enterprises begin to source their hardware directly.”

HPE is still top server seller with 35.4 per cent market share in the second quarter of 2016, up 0.4 per cent. However its year-on-year revenues fell 2.7 per cent.

Dell grew market share to 17.9 per cent and saw revenues creep up by 1.6 per cent.

However Biggish Blue suffered the worst with a 36.9 per cent slump in revenues and a market share which fell to 9.3 per cent. IDC said the fall could largely be blamed on refresh cycles for IBM legacy mainframes last year – this was big enough to hit overall numbers for all vendors.

Oddly the place to try and peddle servers is Russia and the Ukraine where the improved political situation led to increasing IT investment. But the Middle East and Africa saw a decline of 8.5 per cent in revenues because lower oil prices led to cuts in tech investment.

 

Dell becomes the king of the servers

Michael DellNew numbers from the Gartner Group show that Dell has beaten HPE to the top spot for server shipments.

To be fair, though, the market shrank and worldwide server revenue is down 0.8 percent.  Shipments are up by two percent which means that there is some pretty nasty price cutting going on.

Everywhere except for Asia/Pacific and North America is in decline, though shipments in those areas grew by 5.6 percent and three percent respectively.

Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner said: “Dell garnered 19.3 per cent of the market and moved into the No. 1 position in worldwide server shipments due primarily to growth resulting from programmes it has in place in the Asia/Pacific region, most notably in China. However, HPE continued to lead the x86 market in revenue with 26 per cent of the market.”

He added: “x86 servers grew 2.1 percent in shipments and 5.8 percent in revenue in the second quarter of 2016.”

Dell’s strong performance did not see its revenues match the growth. HPE continues to hold more of the market share in revenue though that contracted by 6.4 percent year-on-year, while Dell saw almost 10 percent growth.

IBM’s server revenues dropped by 34.4 percent but then it did flog its business to Lenovo.

HPE’s shipments also contracted year-on-year, shrinking by more than 18 percent, while Dell, Lenovo, Huawei, Inspur and others pulled up their socks.

Security vendor revenues rising as market contracts

securityBeancounters working for analyst outfit Gartner have added up some numbers and divided by their shoe size and worked out that security software revenues have risen  3.7 percent and were worth  $22.1bn in 2015.

The report said that security information and event management  remained the fastest-growing sub segment of the cybersecurity market and saw a 15.8 per cent growth. Consumer security software recorded a 5.9 percent year-on-year decline.

The top five vendors were Symantec, Intel, IBM, Trend Micro and EMC and they accounted for 37.6 percent of the security software revenue market share, down.

These vendors saw a collective decline of 4.2 percent in 2015, while the rest of the market grew strongly at 9.2 percent year on year. In fact, of the top five only Biggish Blue grew and increased its revenue by 2.5 percent to reach $1.45billion.

Both Symantec and Intel Security both suffered from the long-standing decline of the consumer market for anti-virus products and services. But Symantec still remained on top despite suffering a third consecutive year of revenue decline and its highest decline in revenue over a three-year period.

Still at least it did better than Intel which saw revenues fall from $1.83bn to $1.75bn between 2014 and 2015.

IBM announces blockchain services for cloud

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudBig Blue has  announced new services to help companies design and develop blockchain technology in a secure environment in the cloud.

Blockchain is the tech behind bitcoin and does a shedloads of functions such as recording and verifying transactions. The big idea is that the it can create cost-efficient business networks without requiring central control.

Jerry Cuomo, vice president, Blockchain at IBM, said in a statement that the only problem with blockchain is concerns about security.

“While there is a sense of urgency to pioneer blockchain for business, most organisations need help to define the ideal cloud environment that enables blockchain networks to run securely in the cloud,” he said.

IBM said it is addressing security problems in several ways, including cloud services with the highest Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS 140-2) and Evaluation Assurance Levels (EAL) in the industry to support the use of blockchain in government, financial services and healthcare.

The technology company also announced the opening of an IBM “Garage” in New York and London. These “garages” are similar to research labs on the blockchain created by several major financial institutions over the past year. IBM’s garages are dedicated to helping clients design and develop their blockchain networks, said Cuomo.

Garages in Tokyo, London and Singapore will also open in the coming weeks to let customers talk to IBM experts on the design and implementation of blockchain for business.

Eastern ODMs take bite out of server market

hp_serversUnless you are HPE, everyone appears to be doing well out of the global server market,  but it seems that the Asian ODMs such as Quanta and Wistron are continuing to bite out a larger share of the global server market.

According to beancounters at Gartner’s the global server market grew 8.2 percent in shipments and 9.2 percent in revenues in the fourth quarter on an annual comparison.

Those outside the top five saw revenues beef up 18.9 percent to $4.75 billion and shipments increase 16 percent to 1.26 million in Q4.

Between them they have between 31.4 and 42.5 percent of the market in revenue and shipment terms, respectively.

Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner said that this demonstrates that the growth of hyperscale datacentres, like those of Facebook, Google and Microsoft, continues to be the leading contributor to physical server increases globally.

Meanwhile Market leader HPE’s shipments were hit by global weakness in Windows-based x86 servers, while its revenues were affected by a drop in RISC/Itanium Unix server sales.

HPE’s share of server revenues dropped from 27.9 to 25.2 percent however it is still  10 points ahead of closest rival Dell, which grew revenues 4.5 percent. IBM grew revenues 10.3 percent, Lenovo 2.9 percent and Cisco 20.2 percent.

 

 

Accenture arrests the Metropolitan Police

658db2d1a04d1d2a3bf5feb0b88e91f7The Metropolitan Police have signed an £86m deal with Accenture to manage its applications for the next three years.

The London coppers want to save £200m from its IT budget by carving up its Capgemini contract. The deal will last for five years, with the option of a three year extension. It will mean that 113 staff will be transferred to Accenture’s Newcastle base.

Accenture beat HCL, IBM, Lockheed Martin and Unisys to win the deal.

The Met has been busy lately. Last month it awarded £250m in contracts to CSC and Atos. CSC one a contract for user computing and hosting towers and Atos scored contracts to integrate the various IT components as part of its Total Technology Programme Infrastructure strategy.

A separate £216m contract to outsource the Met’s back office IT to Steria’s shared services centre, will see hundreds of back office IT roles made redundant the Met said last year.

As are result the Met will slash the number of its in-house staff from 800 to 100.

What is rather odd is that the move to outsource to lots of different large suppliers is no longer government policy. The Ministry of Justice having reportedly hit major problems doing that sort of thing.

IBM to spruce up channel

ibm-officeBiggish Blue has released details of its revamped channel programme which will start in January 2017.

Apparently the men in suits want to better define the relationship a partner has with IBM and have a common terms used across its channel programmes.

Like most things IBMish this will involve lots of business speak. For example IBM is standardising on the term “competencies” and will have 44 “competencies” in place by the beginning of 2017.

IBM will have new cloud incentives that last the entire life of the renewal process and there will be a programme that specifically rewards builders of IBM embedded systems.

Some new IBM services will only be resold by channel partner. These will be aimed at midmarket customers that the IBM direct sales force does not normally bother with.

IBM wants to put more cash into its channel and give resources to partners that develop its intellectual property.

To fund those investments, IBM is also limiting the amount of money it invests in partners that focus mainly on order fulfilment.

Partners will be assigned a platinum, gold or silver designation based on the amount of revenue being generated over a specific time period, customer satisfaction with that partner and the number of competencies attained. The actual size of the partner will be less relevant in attaining those designations.

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.

HP pouring cash into Scality

INDUSTRY HP 1A few days after Scality and HPE storage announced a reselling deal, it has been revealed that the former maker of expensive printer ink wrote a cheque for $10 million into the object storage startup.

Scality’s mail product is its RING software storage which uses x86 servers and Linux with no kernel modifications. It can handle for hundreds of petabytes of data and continuous availability at scale, with the ability to serve the majority of storage workloads via file, object, and OpenStack-based interfaces.

The investment move adds to the story of the HPE Server-Scality reselling deal. It would appear that Scality has found its much needed sugar daddy.

Earlier this year, Scality announced a $45 million D-round of funding, taking total funding to $80 million so this HPE $10 million is part of it.

HPE’s move mirrors a similar push by Biggish Blue which bought Scality competitor Cleversafe.
All this money means that HPE likes Scality’s software and wants to help it in its bid to take on IBM in the business market.

IBM makes Clearleap into cloud expansion

cloudBiggish Blue’s push into the cloud has continued with its purchase of the cloud-based video service provider Clearleap.

Clearleap owns a video platform which can be scaled in a big way and is used by leading media and entertainment companies.  It will be integrated into the IBM Cloud platform. The combined technologies will provide enterprises with a fast, easy way to manage, monetize and grow user video experiences, and deliver them securely over mobile devices and the Web, according to IBM.

Steven Canepa, general manager of IBM’s Global Media & Entertainment Industry division said in a a release that mixing Clearleap with IBM’s analytics and hybrid cloud capabilities will deliver new video solutions that will fundamentally change communications across every industry.

This is the sixth planned cloud-based company acquisition by Big Blue in as many months. In November, IBM revealed plans to purchase cloud-based software developer Gravitant  whose platform CloudMatrix allows companies to adopt a multi-sourced cloud operating model by making it simpler to create, manage and order a multi-cloud IT environment from a single console. Also in November, the company bought Cleversafe, a developer of object-based storage software and applications.

In October, IBM bought The Weather Co.’s B2B, mobile and cloud-based Web properties. The purchase would bring together IBM’s cognitive and analytics platform and The Weather Co.’s cloud data platform, which handles 26 billion inquiries to its cloud-based services each day, according to a release.

IBM wants  to buy Compose which provides database as a service offerings targeting the Web and mobile app developers.

Lenovo to merge server brands

lenovo2Lenovo is planning to merge its two server brands into one and use the unified brand to release products in 2017.

The outfit has just written a cheque for IBM’s server division and is already developing new products for 2017

Lenovo’s Taipei server R&D Centeoduct marketing director, Andrew Huang told Digitimes  that  y, Lenovo has two product brands under its server business, ThinkServer and System X, and Lenovo is no longer using the IBM name to sell System X servers.

The outfit’s share in worldwide server market rose to seven percent in the second quarter of 2015 to become the fourth largest vendor. It has recently landed orders from Alibaba for 50,000 servers.

The move has been expected, but it is surprising that Lenovo kept its own product name rather than the Biggish Blue equivalent.

Mixing IBM and Lenovo is proving tricky

mixing-doughLenovo’s chief operating officer said that folding IBM’s System x practice into his company has been tricky.

Gerry Smith, COO and executive vice president of Lenovo’s PC and Enterprise Business Group, said it was taking a lot to retrain the IBM suits in a culture which was a little faster and less stodgy.

Smith told 300 attendees of the 2015 Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC) Summit in San Francisco there had been supply chain challenges and integration issues Lenovo since its purchase of IBM’s $2.1 billion x86 server business.

Lenovo has been focused on making the IBM server acquisitions mainstream brands where channel partners of all shapes and sizes feel like they can come in, win deals and make money.

“It’s about speed to market, and it’s about the volume of our go-to-market,” Smith said. “It’s not just about having cool-looking, high-performance servers.”

Smith said that integrating IBM’s x86 workforce, and employees from Motorola’s $5 billion smartphone practice, was the single biggest challenge the Beijing-based vendor is facing today.