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Deutsche Telekom announces flurry of cloud partnerships with SAP, Salesforce, Cisco, Huawei

Deutsche Telekom announced a slew of cloud partnerships this week

Deutsche Telekom announced a slew of cloud partnerships this week

Deutsche Telekom announced a number of cloud-focused partnerships with Salesforce, SAP, Huawei and Cisco at CeBIT this week.

T-Systems, the telco’s enterprise-focused subsidiary, worked with Salesforce to develop a Customer Experience platform for the automotive sector, which the companies said would connect dealers, workshops, vehicles and customers more closely via an interactive showroom on customers’ mobile phones.

Additionally, the company said it is working closely with consulting giant Deloitte to advise European clients on how to implement the cloud-based CRM platform.

It is also making SAP SuccessFactors available to corporate customers, and next month the company plans to implement the cloud-based human resources management platform internally to serve the company’s 220,000 employees.

Lastly, the firm announced an update to its September 2014 deal with Cisco to become an Intercloud partner. T-Systems is currently installing Cisco’s OpenStack-based infrastructure in datacentre in Biere, near Magdeburg, and said the first Software-as-a-Service product, a managed hotspot for small and medium-sized business, will be available in the second quarter of 2015.

Cisco is one of a number of DT’s partners when it comes to cloud infrastructure. This week the German telco also signed a global framework agreement with Huawei that will see the latter provide IT infrastructure and private cloud solutions to T-Systems.

The telco is aggressively moving forward with plans to expand its reach in the cloud sector. Ferri Abolhassan, director of the IT division at T-Systems, described the partnerships as “a systematic step on the part of T-Systems to consolidate its technology leadership in all matters cloud in Europe, and to expand globally.”

IBM says over 100 enterprises creating Twitter-integrated cloud services

Twitter and IBM are jointly deliver solutions leveraging IBM's technology and consulting expertise with Twitter's vast data troves

Twitter and IBM are jointly deliver solutions leveraging IBM’s technology and consulting expertise with Twitter’s vast data troves

IBM said it has over 100 pilots in place that see the company working with enterprises in a range of verticals to create cloud-based services integrated with Twitter. The move comes months after the two companies inked a deal that would see Twitter make its data stream available to Big Blue’s clients.

IBM said the move enables social data-enabled application development via Bluemix, and the ability to combine predictive analytics and Watson services with Twitter data in compelling ways.

The company also said it has over 4,000 service professionals well-versed in Twitter data integration who are on hand to help enterprises integrate Twitter in their applications

“So much of business decision making relies on internal data such as sales, promotion and inventory. Now with Twitter data, customer feedback can easily be incorporated into decision making,” said Chris Moody, vice president of data strategy at Twitter. “IBM’s unique capabilities can help businesses leverage this valuable data, and we expect to see rapid demand in retail, telecommunications, finance and more.”

Glenn Finch, global leader of big data & analytics for IBM Global Business Services said: “The unprecedented partnership between IBM and Twitter helps businesses tap into billions of real-time conversations to make smarter decisions. Through unique expertise, curation and insights Twitter data is now able to inform decision-making far inside organizations”

IBM and Twitter originally announced the collaboration, which focuses on three distinct areas, in October last year, making IBM one of just a handful of companies to have full access to Twitter’s entire data stream.

Twitter offered up its data for developers to integrate into their big data applications built on IBM’s Watson Developer Cloud or Bluemix.

IBM and Twitter said they would jointly develop enterprise applications that integrate Twitter data with IBM’s customer engagement solutions (ExperienceOne) that help users map sentiment behaviour in real-time.

And the companies also planned to jointly develop solutions for specific industries such as banking, consumer products, retail, and travel and transportation, with IBM throwing its vast consulting resources behind the effort.

Cloud-based data management provider Reltio scores $10m

Reltio scored $10m, which will be used to expand its sales and marketing efforts

Reltio scored $10m, which will be used to expand its sales and marketing efforts

Reltio, a startup founded by Informatica veterans, has secured $10m in its first round of funding and announced the launch of its cloud-based data management platform.

Much like the integration element Informatica specialises in, Reltio is pitching its services at those that don’t necessarily want to acquire and set up all of the front-end and back-end big data tools in piecemeal, siloed fashion, but instead want an integrated platform that can query, analyses and display multiple data types.

The company said its data management platform is designed for those accustomed to using services like Facebook or Linkedin, but within traditionally data-intense industries like healthcare and life sciences, oil and gas, retail and distribution.

“Data is the new natural resource, but it’s truly valuable only when it’s effectively mined, related and transformed into insight with business actions that can be taken within the context of day-to-day operations,” said Manish Sood, founder and chief executive officer of Reltio.

“With Reltio, data is collated and analysed for actionable intelligence with the speed needed to support innovation and spark new revenue streams. IT gets a modern data management platform while business users get easy to use data-driven applications to address their everyday needs,” Sood said.

The company was founded largely by Informatica data management specialists: Sood led product strategy for master data management at Informatica; Anastasia Zamyshlyaeva, chief architect for Reltio, helped design the core components of Informatica’s MDM offering; Curt Pearlman, vice president of solutions, previously held positions in sales consulting with Informatica, as did Bob More, Reltio’s senior vice president of sales.

Reltio is throwing its hat into an increasingly competitive but lucrative ring. Analyst firm IDC estimates spending on big data and analytics will reach $125bn in 2015, with Database-as-a-Service growing in importance as cloud and commercial vendors open up their data sets.

DataCentred adds ARM 64-bit to OpenStack cloud

DataCentred is adding ARM-based OpenStack services to its public cloud portfolio

DataCentred is adding ARM-based OpenStack services to its public cloud portfolio

Manchester-based cloud services provider DataCentred has added ARM AArch64-based servers to its OpenStack-based public cloud platform, a product of its recently announced partnership with Codethink. The company’s head of cloud services told BCN the company is responding to customer demand for putting ARM-based workloads in the cloud.

As part of the move the ARM AArch64 architecture, which allows 32-bit and 64-bit processes to be executed alongside one another, will be added to the company’s OpenStack-based public cloud offering; the company said it will run the platform on HP M400 ARM hardware, and give customers access to Intel and ARM architectures alongside one another within an OpenStack environment.

DataCentrerd said the move will help drive down the cost of data centre operation and of the cost of virtualised instances within a customer’s service framework.

“We are thrilled to be the first OpenStack public cloud operator to feature 64-bit ARM instances. This breakthrough is testament to the considerable skill and expertise of our OpenStack cloud development team.  This is probably the first example of Moonshot AArch64 running in Europe outside of HP’s development labs, and certainly the first example of generally available Moonshot backed AArch64 instances in an OpenStack public cloud anywhere in the world,” said Mike Kelly, chief executive and founder of DataCentred.

“We know that ARM themselves are pleased to hear of this development, as a real world deployment. OpenStack is one of the big success stories for Open Source software, and is likely to be the environment through which enterprise migrates, in a vendor neutral way, to take advantage of elastic cloud compute,” Kelly added.

Matt Jarvis, head of cloud computing at DataCentred told BCN there’s currently a scarcity of ARM in the cloud.

“This deployment is driven by customer demand – we have both new customers who want to access ARM64 on-demand, and existing customers who we’ve been talking to about proof of concept ARM workloads for some time,” Jarvis said.

“There is significant interest from the worldwide community of technology companies currently working with ARM hardware to have access to develop platforms on-demand, along with specific vertical market interest in ARM as part of a longer term technical strategy targeting reduction in operating cost due to power savings,” he added.

ARM for compute seems to be fairly scarce in the cloud world, though it’s clear that OpenStack incumbents are looking to bring the software platform to all kinds of architecture beyond x86. Oracle is looking to marry SPARC and OpenStack while IBM and Rackspace are both working towards getting the open source software platform working on OpenPower.

DataCentred said it plans to move the Moonshot-powered cloud service into production sometime later this year.

Microsoft reveals Office 2016, Skype for Business, Azure IoT services

Microsoft chief exec Satya Nadella previewed a number of new services at Convergence this week

Microsoft chief exec Satya Nadella previewed a number of new services at Convergence this week

Microsoft revealed a slew of new cloud offerings and updates to its productivity offerings at the company’s annual Convergence conference this week, including a developer and enterprise preview of Office 2016, a re-branded Microsoft Lync (Skype for Business), and an Azure-based suite of Internet of Things services.

The company was keen to show off Office 2016, which will be available later this year and ship with a few new services – notably Office Delve, which uses machine learning algorithms to surface corporate Office 265 documents and files that are relevant to specific users in a cloud-based collaboration environment.

“You know how Facebook has a newsfeed? Think of this as your work newsfeed,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “It’s about enabling anyone in the organisation to find useful information without having corporate hierarchies get in the way.”

Microsoft also announced the general availability of PowerBI, it’s analytics and dashboarding platform, which will come with new connectors for Google Analytics, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, Zuora, Acumatica and Twilio – with connections for other analytics platforms coming in the near future.

Microsoft Lync, the company’s enterprise collaboration and communications platform, has been re-branded to Skype for Business and been given a noticeable facelift.

The company also unified its Azure-based analytics and machine learning offerings into what Microsoft is calling the Microsoft Azure IoT Suite. The suite combines Azure Stream Analytics and Azure ML (machine learning) and is being aimed at developers creating real-time data services.

“Devices will come and go. But the most interesting thing is the data being collected,” Nadella said, adding that the rapid increase in the volume and velocity of data requires better and more unified tools for developers.

“We’re going to have something like 26 billion internet-connected devices and 44 zettabytes of data in the cloud by 2019,” Nadella said. “How do we make sure that the ability to have access to that data, the ability to act on the insight – those small patterns that, we as humans, recognise in data? The real power comes from our ability to act on those insights.”

Google cloud used for Azealia Banks “Wallace” interactive music video

Banks' latest music video includes the viewers themselves in the frame

Banks’ latest music video includes the viewers themselves in the frame

New York digital production and brand consultancy firm Collins used Google’s cloud platform to develop musician Azealia Banks’ new video “Wallace,” which the company said is the first interactive music video of its kind.

The music video allows any viewer with a webcam to include themselves in the video, with footage rendered and inserted into the music video in near real-time.

“The video would bring Azealia’s fans on stage with her by empowering the video version of Azealia to mirror their movements in real-time. We knew that if we could pull this off, fans could watch the video from anywhere and feel like Azealia stood directly in front of them, singing not just to them, but with them,” explained Brett Renfer, director of experience design at Collins.

“We watched dozens of music videos as we dove into development, and could not find another music video that manipulates actual video files and pixels, in the way that we aimed to. We built a unique app that combined WebGL, HTML5 video, and web camera interaction.”

The company used App Engine in conjunction with Google Cloud Storage and WebGL, where the content from viewers’ web cams were mashed up with the music video footage; the company took about two months to build the application.

“We learned that we could handle really high-resolution video and high quality sound in WebGL in Chrome, but needed some seriously powerful content hosting that provided a high level of configurability,” he explained.

For a closer look at how the firm developed the application check out the below video:


Software AG migrates cloud portfolio to AWS

Software AG plans to deploy its software portfolio on the AWS platform and offer cloud migration services to enterprises

Software AG plans to deploy its software portfolio on the AWS platform and offer cloud migration services to enterprises

Software AG is moving forward with plans to offer cloud migration services to enterprise clients in a move that will see the company deploy its cloud software portfolio onto Amazon Web Services infrastructure.

The company said it has made a “strategic decision” to deploy its entire cloud portfolio on the AWS cloud over the course of 2015, with its Alfabet Cloud and ARIS Cloud suites already running on Amazon’s cloud platform.

t also plans to offer services that help enterprises determine whether and how to move to the cloud while considering ease of access, cost, regulatory, security and business processes transformation issues involved with such a move.

“Software AG is committed to increasing customer choice and ease of use wherever possible and transformation to the cloud is a significant step in this direction, delivering increased enterprise flexibility and adaptability”, said Wolfram Jost, chief technology officer at Software AG. “Not only does this help enterprises and government departments to design and implement individual cloud strategies and architectures, it does so from the cloud, delivering cost efficiencies from the start.”

The company said its focus for 2015 will be on “delivering strategic cloud adoption consulting services,” an area where a good number of boutique consultancies have emerged over the past few years.

Terry Wise, vice president of AWS also commented on the partnership: “Today, more than ever before, leading ISVs are looking for IT solutions that allow them to move quickly, reduce costs, and better serve their customers. Software AG is a leading example of an innovative software vendor going all in on AWS to leverage our secure, robust infrastructure platform, and expanding global footprint to build highly differentiated, value-added solutions for their customers.”

Citic Telecom taps VMwarre for desktop as a service

Citic Telecom is using VMware Horizon to stand up its desktop as a service offering

Citic Telecom is using VMware Horizon to stand up its desktop as a service offering

Hong Kong-based telco Citic Telecom CPC has launched a desktop as a service offering based on VMware Horizon, which the company claims is the first of its kind in the region.

The company said the virtual desktop solution will be aimed at enterprises in the Asia Pacific region that operate in multiple locations but don’t necessarily have the resources to stand up their infrastructure.

“Many enterprises in Hong Kong and the Asia Pacific region are employing a bigger mobile workforce, and more and more are running on a multi-office model. However, the technical infrastructure of these enterprises is not able to support the dynamic requirements in everyday operations,” said Mr. Daniel Kwong, Senior vice president of information technology and security services at Citic Telecom.

The move is part of a broader effort to strengthen the telco’s reach in the regional IT services, particularly in Singapore, Taiwan and mainland China. To strengthen its cloud offerings the company launched its first cloud datacentre in Shanghai last year, and it also plans to open two more cloud datacentres in Beijing and Guangzhou in late 2015.

It will also give the virtualisation incumbent a boost in the region. Last year VMware expanded its cloud services in Asia in partnership with China Telecom in China and SoftBank in Japan.

Danny Tam, general manager of VMware Hong Kong, said: “The mobile cloud is transforming how enterprises should operate, and this is the core of what we do. Our collaboration with Citic Telecom CPC will open the door to more enterprises in Hong Kong and the Asia Pacific region, given Citic Telecom CPC’s extensive network and the credibility that both VMware and Citic Telecom CPC have in the market.”