Tag: IBM

IBM revenues, profits fall

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 10.57.32Major services company IBM turned in its financial fourth quarter figures last night, and the news wasn’t all that good.
IBM made net profit in its fourth quarter of $5.5 billion, compared to $6.2 billion in the same quarter of 2013.  That’s a fall of 11 percent.
Revenues in the fourth quarter amounted to $24.1 billion, down 12 percent compared to the year before.
However, if this figure includes divestments including customer care outsourcing and System x businesses, as well as currency fluctuations, IBM calculus the decrease is two percent.
Gini Rometty, IBM chairman and CEO, claimed her company had made significant progress in changing its business to higher value services.
Global services fell by eight percent, while technology services also fell by eight percent.  Business services revenues also fell by eight percent.  Revenues from its software fell seven percent.

 

Insurers to spend, spend, spend on IT

shut-up-and-take-my-moneyInsurers with a worldwide presence are set to spend over $100 billion this year on IT. That will gladden the hearts of vendors.
This is the view of IDC Financial Investments, which says that the number is an increase of 4.4 percent compared to 2014.
The global insurers want to spend this money to boost “efficiencies”, meaning that they will invest in data warehousing, claims and policy administration systems.
Li-May Chew, lead director for IDC’s Financial Insights division, said that the insurers need to act.
She said: “Replacements or refreshes are required as legacy IT systems become increasingly complex, inflexible and archaic, to the point of negatively affecting technology integration and interoperability.”
In other words, they’re out of date.
The insurers want to modernise their systems and use the cloud to cut costs – and customers want the insurers to do that too.
They want to make sure their customers use PCs, mobile devices and social networks.
They need to protect themselves against fraud.
Li-May didn’t say which vendors would benefit from the increased spend – but the emphasis is on mobile computing, cloud services, social networking and big data analytics.
So the usual suspects – that is to say IBM, HP, Dell, Oracle and others will be sitting patiently waiting for the phone to ring so they can pick up the orders.

 

IBM predicts future of the car

IBM logoInternational Business Machines (IBM) has commissioned a survey which predicts what cars will be like in 2025.
And unlike other IT companies, such as Google, IBM doesn’t think we’ll have fully automated or autonomous driving.
However, after surveying 175 executives from car manufacturers and other sectors, we will see some pretty big changes when we’re driving up the A34 out of Oxford.
For example, by 2025, a car will configure itself to a driver and passengers.  In addition, it “will learn, heal, drive and socialise” not only with other cars but with the environment too.
Fifty seven percent of those surveyed believe vehicles will be part of a social network sharing weather and traffic conditions, as well as communicating with other vehicles of the same kind if problems develop.
Despite optimistic claims for driverless cars, only eight percent of those surveyed think it will be commonplace by 2025.
But partially automated driving will be pretty common.

 

IBM intros big mainframe

IBM Z13Big Blue said it has built a mainframe which is the most powerful and secure system ever.
The Z13 can churn 2.5 billion transactions a day,  and includes embedded analytics.
IBM said the system took five years to develop costing $1 billion, includes 500 new patents and is a collaborative venture with over 60 of its customers.
The machine allows real time encryption of mobile transactions that uses some of these patents.
The Z13 embedded analytics allows it to give real time insights on transactions including fraud protection.
IBM said that the Z13 also includes the fastest microprocessor in the world, is twice as fas as Intel microprocessors and 300 percent more memory.
The Z13 also includes native support for Hadoop and includes improvements to the IBM DB2 analytics accelerator.

GloFo takes aim at China

renesas-chips (1)Abu Dhabi foundry company Global Foundries (GloFo) is seeking to make more partnerships in mainland China.
GloFo, which was spun off by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) some years ago, recently bought IBM’s foundry business, along with a large number of patents for $1.5 billion.
A report in the South China Morning Post quoted senior GloFo VP Chuck Fox as saying the firm would use IBM’s previous presence in mainland China to continue to grow its business in the country.
He said that his company is already in talks with a number of partners in China and is expected to announce deals when they happen.
Competition to win contracts from so called fabless chip companies comes from the like of Taiwanese major TSMC, mainland company SMIC, and even Intel.
Golf already has a partnership with Samsung in a bid to beat TSMC for orders to manufacture chips.

 

Crooks stole 61 million customer records

IBM logoResearch from IBM said that in 2014 cyber attackers stole 61 million records from retailers.
But that’s just in the USA.
IBM’s survey said that there had been a 50 percent decline in attacks on retail web sites in 2014.
The report said that even though the number of cyber attacks had fallen, the attacks have become much more sophisticated.
IBM’s security services analyse over 20 billion security incidents every day – presumably worldwide.
The attackers are developing sophisticated techniques to grab “massive amounts” of data with each attack.
“The threat from organised cyber crime rings remains the largest security challenge for retailers,” said Kris Lovejoy, general manager of IBM Security Services.
IBM suggested that not all cyber breaches are disclosed.
Big Blue said the primary way cyber gangs gained access was through a method called Secure Shell Brute Force, which now outweighs malicious code.
There has been a rise in attacks however in point of sale systems using malware, but most were through command injection or SQL injection.
IBM said lack of data validation in SQL databases by system administrators made retail databases a favourite spot to attack.

 

2014 a breakthrough year for the cloud

29295727Big Blue is telling the world+dog that 2014 was its breakthrough year for its cloud computing business.

IBM said it will expand the number of data centres it offers clients around the world by 25 percent to meet fast-rising demand for internet-based services.

The outfit has quadrupled the number of cloud data facilities it offers around the world to 49 in the past 18 months, responding in part to laws requiring the local retention of data following revelations over US government Web surveillance as well as increased corporate compliance rules.

The company said on Wednesday it has now struck a partnership with data centre provider Equinix for nine more cloud centres in Australia, France, Japan, Singapore, The Netherlands and the United States. It is also opening up three new cloud computer facilities of its own in Germany, Mexico and Japan.

Angel Luiz Diaz, vice president in charge of IBM’s cloud computing business, told Reuters that the company had a good year which was a “breakthrough year in cloud.”

IBM’s cloud revenue amounted to $4.4 billion in 2013 and was up by 50 percent in the first nine months of this year, it reported in October, making it one of IBM’s fastest-growing businesses, although it still accounts for only a fraction of the $94 billion in total revenues which IBM is expected by analysts to generate this year.

It looks like IBM’s multi-year deals of more than $4 billion that are fuelling the company’s expansion in data centres.

IBM also said it had reached a cloud services deal with National Express Group to enable the UK-based bus and trains operator to offer commuters up-to-the-minute train schedules and what it said would be Britain’s first postcode-to-postcode journey planner.

Apple gets into enterprise bed with IBM

ibm_appleApple and IBM have signed a deal over the Pad and the iPhone, reflecting greater use of the devices in the corporate marketplace.

Under the deal, IBM will release what it described as the first wave of IBM MobileFirst for the iOS operating system.

The applications also support web services and big data and analytic abilities to the iPad and iPhone.  IBM said  MobileFirst for iOS is aimed at enterprise sized companies in banking, retail, insurance, financial services, telecomms, governments and airlines.

Customers who have already signed up include Citi, Air Canada and Spring.

Philip Schiller, a senior VP of Apple marketing, said: “The business world has gone mobile and Apple and IBM are bringing together the.. technology with the smartest data and analytics to help businesses define how work gets done.”

The apps are intended for secure environments, linked to core enterprise processes and analytics.

Apps include Plan Flight and Passenger for airlines, Advise and Grow for the banking sector; Retention for insurance companies; Incident Aware for law enforcement; Sales Assist for Retail and Expert Tech for the telecomms market.

IBM assesses top cyber threats

ibm-officeBig Blue has assessed that 80 percent of executives in charge of security think that challenges by external threats to their enterprises are on the rise.

And IBM said 60 percent of enterprises believe they are being outgunned in the cyber war.

Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) think that sophisticated external threats is their biggest challenge – with 40 percent believing that they top other challenges they face.

Data leakage prevention, cloud security and mobile security are the top three areas that CISOs believe are the areas that need addressing urgently.

Of the respondents surveyed by IBM, 90 percent have either adopted or will adopt cloud initiatives and they expect their cloud security budgets to increase over the next five years.

Only 45 percent of the CISOs think that mobile and device security is being adequately addressed.

Storage revenues continue to grow

storageThe generation of vast amounts of data continues to fuel the disk storage systems revenue in the third quarter.

With revenues of $8.8 billion, up 5.1 percent from the same period last year, 25 exabytes shipped in the quarter, said IDC.  Capacity shipments soared by 42 percent during the quarter, compared to Q3 2013.

IDC said sub $100K external array revenues grew by over six percent during the quarter, but shipments ODMs (original design manufacturers) directly to hyperscale datacentres showed positive growth.

EMC remains at the top spot for the quarter, followed by HP, Dell, IBM and Netapp.

ODM direct sales accounted for 24 percent of the market however, outstripping the traditional vendors.  And this trend is continuing, as we’ve reported previously, with ODMs also shipping more and more servers directly and bypassing the brand names,

Servers show mixed results

server-racksYesterday we reported that server revenues in Europe the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) only showed minor growth.

Those were figures from Gartner. But data from its deadly rival IDC indicate that things were less gloomy for server vendors in the third quarter of this year.

IDC said vendor revenues worldwide rose by 4.8 percent, year on year, to represent revenues of $12.7 billion.

This, said IDC, is the second quarter in a row that the server market has shown a year on year increase in revenue terms.

And shipments in the quarter improved 5.7 percent year on year, representing 2.38 million units.  This is largely down to increased spending on hyperscale datacentres.  IDC believes it is seeing signs of companies refreshing their servers, which is good news for 2015 too.

There is a difference depending on the type of server. Volume systems showed 8.8 percent revenue growth, midrange systems showed an 18.4 percent growth year on year. But high end enterprise systems plummeted by –23.2 percent, year on year.

IDC figures show HP is n number one place, followed by IBM, Dell, Cisco and Oracle.  The “ODM Direct” category is interesting because these are largely Taiwanese companies producing unbranded boxes for multinationals – with prices to match. This chart shows the changes.

idc_servers

Like Gartner, IDC saw a recline in non X86 servers – the thirteenth consecutive quarter of revenue decline.  IBM is in pole position here, with a share of 60.8 percent share.  Blade servers accounted for 18 percent of total server revenues in the quarter.

Server revenues grow as shipments fall

server-racksShipments of servers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) fell by four percent in the third quarter of 2014 but revenues rose by 1.2 percent year on year to amount to $2.9 million.

Gartner said that growth seen in the second quarter of this year was “a short lived phenomenon and marginal revenue growth…highlights the fragility of demand”.

But despite this, revenues grew for the third consecutive quarter following 10 previous quarters where revenues declined.

HP managed to grow its revenue lead in the regions with 6.4 percent growth, although shipments declined by 8.2 percent.  The growth was largely accounted for by demand for rack optimised and blade system.

Dell managed to displace IBM as second in place in terms of both revenues and shipments.  It managed to grow nine percent in revenues and 3.4 percent in shipments.  IBM, of course, is ridding itself of its X86 business to Lenovo, while its RISC shipments were hit by a fall in demand for Unix systems.  Its lucrative mainframe business is in stasis as Big Blue readies new launches.

Gartner thinks one of the problems is that IT departments in enterprises are struggling because there are datacentre modernisation initiatives which means they are taking their eyes off the ball in the traditional server marketplace.

If RISC, the Intel Itanium and Unix revenues are counted as one, they fell in the quarter by 13.2 percent.

IBM analyses Cyber Monday sales

Cyberman - Wikimedia CommonsWhile the concepts of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” are largely unknown in these isles, shops have jumped on the American bandwagon causing riots and mayhem in shops across the UK.

And now James Lovell, European retail guru, has got his analytics engines to work and notices that although sales fell compared to last year, the percentage of sales made on mobiles rose by around a third.

He said mobile phone usage as a percentage of overall sales rose by 42.88 percent, and tablets used to buy stuff rose by 12 percent.

The average order value on “Black Friday” was £88.86 percent, and mobile traffic represented 59.8 percent of all online traffic in the UK.

Contrasting different mobile operating systems, Lovell said Android OS sessions as a percentage of overall “Cyber Monday” sales grew by 55 percent, but only represented 11 percent of the overall sales spend.

But the desktop is not dead – over half of all online sales were made by people tip tapping into whatever flavour of Windows they’re being forced to use.

IBM goes Dutch on big cloud contract

blue_klompenBeleaguered Big Blue has signed a 10-year, multi-billion dollar deal to provide computer infrastructure services to Dutch bank Amro.

Amro thinks that the men in suits are exactly the sorts of types it wants running its cloud operations. However it is a case of “better the devil you know”. IBM has been running Amro’s computer services for a while now.

Under the first €1.5bn deal in 2005, 1,500 people in IT lost their jobs when the bank outsourced most of its IT to the global outsourcing arm of IBM.

At the time, IBM took over the management of the datacentres for the bank’s commercial and consumer clients, private clients, asset management, and new growth markets.

IBM has had some difficulty attracting much interest in its internet-delivered services, as it seems a bit outclassed by the likes of Oracle, Microsoft and Amazon.

IBM will provide fully managed services for mainframe computers, servers, storage and end-user computing as well as a help desk and other technical support. IBM did not disclose financial details of the deal.

Actually it has been a good few weeks for IBM. It recently won a 7-year outsourcing contract from Germany’s Lufthansa worth $1.25 billion that will see the U.S. company take over the airline’s information technology infrastructure services division and staff.

 

Indian software market grows again

flaggThe accession to power by the “business friendly” BJP party in India has resulted in the software market starting to grow again.

That’s according to a report by market intelligence firm IDC, which said during the first half of this year, the market grew by 10.7 percent, compared to the first half of 2013.

IDC thinks the market will continue to grow in the next five years with a compound annual growth rate  (CAGR) of 10.5 percent.

Areas of growth include mobile application development and device management, security software, systems software and engineering applications.

Shweta Baidya, a senior market analyst at IDC, said that large and small to medium enterprises want to curb capital expenditure and move into the cloud.

Virtualisation and cloud players like Vmware, Salesforce and Red Hat generated good business, and database and analytics companies including Teradata, Oracle, Qlik and others saw double digit growth.

IDC provided a pie chart which shows market share in the region.

indiapie