Tag: IBM

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.

Box opens a deal with Big Blue

blue boxBox seems to be signing deals like crazy – first with Redmond and now with Big Blue.

The pair have a cunning plan to cross IBM content management, Watson analytics and IBM Verse and Connections social collaboration tools. Box has a deal with Microsoft over Office 365 for the desktop, Office on iOS and Outlook.

The UK government recently approved the use of Box across Whitehall for all non-sensitive information marked as “official”.

What this means is that Box can cut costs which is important as SaaS players are losing cash.

It is also a sign that IBM is getting more proactive in the deal making arena to enhance its cloud capabilities.

In a statement, IBM senior vice president Bob Picciano said that the integration of IBM and Box technologies, combined with IBM’d global cloud capabilities and the “ability to enrich content with analytics, will help unlock actionable insights for use across the enterprise. So if you want your actionable insights unlocked a Blue Box might be the way forward.

The companies plan to integrate their existing products and services and develop new,” products targeted across industries and professions ranging from medical teams working on complex cases to individuals negotiating consumer loans by mobile phone to engineers and researchers identifying patterns in patents, reports and academic journals.”

We hope that they will work on shortening their sentences in press releases because this one was longer that something issued by Judge Jefferies.

 

Raiffeisen wants to sell Comparex

saleDespite the fact it is doing rather well, and even recently opened a branch in the US, the German Raiffesisen Bank wants to off-load Comparex.

The price could amount to EUR 350 million ($391 million) which strikes us as a little on the cheap side.

In 2013/14 the firm generated revenue of EUR 1.5 billion.

Comparex was established in 1986 as a joint venture of BASF and Siemens and specialises in licence management, software procurement and technical product consultation

Comparex is a large Microsoft licensing solutions partner (LSP) and also sells licences from Adobe, CA, Citrix, IBM, Symantec and VMware.

Raiffeisen has been the sole owner of Comparex since 2011 but the bank needs cash after a disastrous number of investments in Russia and Ukraine.

IBM prepares channel for millennials

dellyBiggish Blue is predicting that things are going to change now that the millennial generation has entered the workforce.

IBM projects that by the year 2020 millennials will be the dominant generation in its company and its channel partners.

To deal with this IBM’s Mike Gerentine, global vice-president of channel marketing has set up   the IBM Emerging Leaders Initiative and recruited 40 millennial participants – 20 from IBM’s staff and 20 from channel partners that work together in a buddy system.

Apparently they’re collaborating together the way colleagues normally would, via conference calls, in-person meetings, and perhaps some Snap Chat sessions involving customised Bitmoji.

The generation born 1980 or later has sometimes got a bad rap as being too self-involved and entitled, Gerentine says they aren’t that different from other generations.

They are more social and digitally savvy, but they still want to work in a collaborative environment with people. IBM wants to create a groundswell in business partner firms to start developing leaders for the future.

So far the programme is focusing on non-technical employees, those in functional roles of marketing and sales, and the participants are being asked to take on two projects within IBM.

They must be evangelists of IBM’s internal social app, Gerentine says, and become experts of its new digital marketing platform, helping other employees deploy it and then put it to use.

In a statement Gerentine describes the programme as critical because IBM believes millennials are essential to helping define future needs and interests in the technology marketplace.

“I’m fully committed to ensuring that Emerging Leaders have a voice. Our companywide share new technology solutions with them, listen to their feedback, and learn from their insights.”

The programme is expanding. There’s an open call to recent college graduates that are now working at IBM partners, or the employers that hired them, to get in touch with IBM. A nomination form is required to be filled out for consideration to take part in the programme.

 

IBM deepens Apple partnership

1930s-couple-620x400IBM suits are deepening their partnership with Apple to make use of health information gathered by millions of Apple devices,

Biggish Blue, is creating a unit dedicated to providing data analytics to the healthcare sector and think that the millions of Apple watches which people bought by mistake will provide them with the data.

Of course the only problem is that Apple’s watch’s are not collecting any health data because after two years of delays Jobs’ Mob could not get them to work. Instead it seems that they will run on data collected from iPhones.

This of course means that only people using Apple gear will be providing the sort of data that IBM can use.  This might mean that Android users will just die — only this seems to be a data gathering exercise more than anything.

Nevertheless IBM plans to use its new Watson Health unit plans to aggregate health information from a large number of devices and providers in the cloud and offer insights to health companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic, which can then integrate results into services they sell to healthcare companies.

IBM said it will create headquarters for the unit in Boston with 2,000 employees, including about 75 medical practitioners. IBM also said it bought two health technology firms, Explorys and Phytel, for an undisclosed amount, to add to its skills in health data analytics.

IBM already has an arrangement to work with Apple on numerous enterprise applications, but is extending its co-operation in the area of health.

Watson Health is named for IBM’s artificial intelligence supercomputer which now write’s cookbooks for Amazon. It will bring cloud services and analytics to Apple’s latest forays into the health business, HealthKit and ResearchKit, IBM said.

SAP founder dies

Klaus-TschiraThe bloke who created an empire based on really expensive management software, which no one was quite sure what it did, has died.

Klaus Tschira, one of the co-founders of European software giant SAP, has died unexpectedly at the age of 74, his foundation said.

Tschira,  a trained physicist, left IBM to found SAP in 1972 together with four IBM colleagues: Hasso Plattner, who is still the company’s chairman, Dietmar Hopp, Hans-Werner Hector and Claus Wellenreuther.

SAP began by developing software that could process data in real time rather than overnight in batches, and went public in 1988.

It is now Europe’s biggest technology company, with revenues of $18.9 billion and had more than 74,000 employees in 2014.

He also founded the Klaus Tschira Foundation (KTF) in 1995 as a non-profit organisation to support projects in natural and computer sciences and mathematics.

Tschira, a billionaire, stepped down from SAP’s supervisory board in 2007. He is survived by his wife Gerda Tschira and two sons.

IBM cosies up to China

ibm-officeThe CEO of IBM said she has a strategy in which her company will share tech with Chinese firms.

Virginia Rometty was speaking in Beijing at a government sponsored conference, according to Reuters.

She said that a country of over one billion people needed its own IT industry and it was unfair of foreign multinationals just to milk the market or use it as a place to manufacture kit.

Many foreign companies have made successful businesses in China by taking a partner in the country – the government makes this something of a condition in order to trade there.

The report said that IBM would let local companies build servers using the Power chip and also use the software for the mainframes.

The first beneficiary of the deal is a Chinese firm called Suzhou Powercore, which will manufacture the Power chips for home grown servers.

Rometty didn’t appear to speak of human rights in China, which remain an obstacle for other firms.

IBM sounds alarm over mobile app security

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 14.39.31The Ponemon Institute and IBM have jointly released a report which they said displays “the alarming state” of mobile insecurity.

According to the research, 40 percent of large companies – including many in the Fortune 500 – aren’t protecting the mobile apps they build.

And they’re not good against protecting their BYOD (bring your own device) gizmos against cyber attack. That leaves the gates to their corporate treasure chest effectively open.

The survey looked at security practices in over 400 large enterprises and claims that the average company doesn’t test half of the mobile apps they build. And what’s even worse is that 50 percent of these enterprises don’t devote any budget whatever towards mobile security.

IBM and the Ponemon Institute estimate that malicious code infests and infects over 11.6 million mobile devices.

The organisations surveyed spend an average of $34 million a year on mobile app development, with only 5.5 percent spending part of the budget on security.

“End user convenience is trumping end user security and privacy,” IBM said.

 

Back up kit worth over a billion

emcboxThe market for customised backup appliances reached $1 billion worldwide in the fourth quarter of last year.

This market represents standalone disk products that use software, disk arrays, server engines, and more specifically data coming from backup software.

IDC said that the market for this kind of kit rose by four percent in 2014 and generated revenues of $3.26 billion.

Annual capacity in 2014 rose by 42.8 percent compared to 2013 to a staggering 2.68 exabytes.

Liz Conner, a research manager at IDC, said reasons for the rise in revenues included better software, data tiering, file sharing, data analytics and more investment in integrated systems.

In the fourth quarter, top of the storage pile was EMC with 63.8 percent market share, dwarfing the other players Symantec (11.5%), IBM (6.7%), HP (4%) and Quantum (2.3%).

 

OpenPOWER reveals hardware plans

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 09.25.15The OpenPOWER Foundation – a group backed by Google, IBM, Nvidia, Mellanox, Tyan and others, revealed its hardware plans to capture data centre business.

OpenPOWER has over 100 members worldwide and IBM claims, for example, that Power 8 microprocessors offer something close to 60 percent better price performance than the competition. The competition, by the way, is mainly Intel.

IBM claims the Power 8 microprocessor is the first CPU designed specifically for Big Data and analytics workloads.

OpenPOWER members showed a number of hardware elements in their plan to grab data centre business.

IBM and Wistron showed off a prototype of a high performance server using tech from Nvidia and Mellanox. IBM will deliver two systems to Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, with a throughput five to 10 times faster than existing supercomputers.

In the second quarter of this year, Tyan will release its TN71-BP012, using an OpenPOWER customer reference system and aid at large scale cloud projects.

Nviia, Tyan and Cirrascale have developed the Cirrascale RM4950, which is a GPU accelerated developer platform which will be available in volume in the second quarter of this year. That’s aimed at big data analytics and scientific computing applications.

Apple buys into white box servers

novità-apple-2013Cupertino based Apple Inc has decided to ditch HP and Dell to supply its servers and instead is looking to Taiwanese firms to supply its data centre needs.

That’s according to Taiwan wire Digitimes which said some of the local white box server manufacturers have already received orders from Apple for boxes.

One of the major manufacturers of servers is Quanta, which used to specialise almost wholly in making notebooks for big vendors but has diversified its business over the last two years.

It offers servers at a price that undercuts Dell and HP and will customise the machines for customers which already include giants like Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Amazon.

Apple said recently it will open data centres in Ireland and in Denmark and it’s also spending billions on building up data centres in the USA.

The company is also cuddling up to IBM and wants to release tablet machines that will appeal to enterprises rather than the home users it has depended on in the past.

IBM teams up with Twitter

ibm-officeBig Blue is very busy with its cloud data services and data analytics and today has penned an agreement with Twitter aimed at enterprises and developers.

The deal means IBM will deliver cloud data services with Twitter built in – meaning that companies can use analytics to mine meaningful data from the flood of tweets that hit cyber space every day.

IBM described Twitter as unlike any other data source in the world because it happens in real time, and is public and conversational.

IBM claims it can separate the signal from the noise by analysing tweets with millions of data points from other data that is public.

The deal means that developers can search explore and examine data using its Insights for Twitter service on Bluemix.

The company said it can also analyse Twitter data by configuration Biginsights on Cloud and combine the tweets with IBM’s Enterprise Hadoop-as-a-service.

It has already given 4,000 of its own staff access to Twitter data.