Tag: IBM

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.

 

A billion people get their data leaked

IBM logoA report from IBM’s security division estimates that in 2014 “at lease” a billion records of people across the world were leaked.

That’s about one in seven of this planet’s humanoid population.

IBM released its X-Force quarterly report and relays information about over 9,000 security “vulnerabilities” affecting over 2,600 vendors in 2014. That’s an increase of 9.8 percent compared to 2013 and Big Blue said it’s the highest single year total in the 18 years it’s been tracking such things.

The USA has suffered the most because at 74.5 percent that’s far higher than other territories. IBM said that 40.2 percent of the most common attacks didn’t get described by those surveyed but malware and DDoS accounted for as much as 17.2 percent each.

IBM said that there was a big rise in so-called designer vulnerabilities.

All operating systems seemed to be under attack – including Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

One key vulnerability happened in October with a researcher showing there are thousands of security problems in Android apps.

 

Big Blue suits fight over redundancy

Backstreet_Boys_-_Black_&_Blue_album_coverSuits in Biggish Blue’s Systems Middleware division are fighting over the right to flee the company and collect a nice redundancy.

Some 110 people want to be paid to leave the company which is way more than the ten per cent of the division’s 736-strong workforce that IBM wanted.

IBM has said that if too many people applied for redundancy then it would choose from the list of volunteers.

The voluntary redundancy process is “coming to an end” and some will be offered redundancy. But the sheer size of the numbers of people who want out will be bad for IBM. It shows staff no longer have much confidence in the company and would rather take the money and run.

IBM has also bought in spending and travel restrictions to manage costs and it is investigating property portfolio projects which are aimed at reducing overall occupancy costs across IBM UK.
IBM staffers asking for redundancy will leave on 5 April, and compulsory lay-offs are not expected – at least, by employees.

Big Blue has restructured internal divisions, placed a big bet on cloud systems. It is also cutting costs by reducing its worldwide headcount. This follows eleven straight quarters of revenue decline.
IBM said it would take a $600m restructuring charge to expunge several thousand people this year, although the number of leavers depends on their seniority and pay scale.

 

IBM pushes low power WANs

ibm-officeBig Blue said it is cooperating with Semtech to create a new technology using low power wide area networks (LPWANs) that it says has advantages over wi-fi and cellular nets for machine to machine communication.

The long rage wide area networks (LoRaWAN) uses a spec and protocol for low power nets that uses a wireless spectrum that can contact sensor over long distance in anticipation of the emergence of the internet of things (IoT).

These networks have better mobility, security, bi-directionality and localisation as well as being cheaper than existing networks, IBM said.

Semtech, IBM and other firms have formed an organisation called the LoRa Alliance to develop and provide standardisation for the technology.

The technology promises communications of over 60 miles in favourable environments, nine miles in semi rural environments and 1.2 miles in urban environments with data rates of 300 bit/s up to 100 kbit/s.

Sensors can run on one AA battery for 10 years and AES128 keys make for good security, IBM claimed.

Applications include machines telling distributors when they’ve run out of supplies or need fixing; cities could offer smart metering; distributors can track cargo containers; and home heating firms would get alerts when oil tanks are running low.

IBM has made the LoRaWAN protocol open source to encourage standardisation.

 

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.