All posts by Erin M

Apollo Global Buys Rackspace

Rackspace, a cloud service provider, has recently announced that Apollo Global Management LLC will take the company private in a $4.3 billion ($32 per share) deal. Searchlight Capital Partners will also make an equity investment in Rackspace. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter.


This deal may mark a time of growth for Rackspace, who has struggled to compete against big name public cloud service providers, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, in the past. In 2008, Rackspace went public and experienced massive amounts of growth due to the early many companies’ transition from on-premise data centers to utilization of cloud services. However, Amazon Web Services ended this run of success. Large companies such as Amazon and Microsoft can offer better prices without hurting margins because of the larger scale they operate on. So when Amazon stepped on the cloud computing scene in 2013, Rackspace took a big hit, as AWS lowered its prices seven times throughout the year. Rackspace simply did not have the means to compete with companies such as Google, which poured billions a year into maintaining and building new data centers. So, Rackspace became a middle man.


Amid the struggles within the cloud sector, Rackspace now advises companies on how to move their data to bigger companies such as AWS and Microsoft Azure. In addition, Rackspace hired Morgan Stanley in 2014 to explore business alternatives. The deal is aimed to increase Rackspace’s long term growth with expanding its offerings.


Apollo’s advisers for the deal are Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, Barclays Plc and RBC Capital Markets, while Rackspace’s is Goldman Sachs Group Inc.


About Rackspace:


Founded in 1998, San Antonio, Texas based Rackspace currently has over 300,000 customers in over 120 different countries. Rackspace has offered enterprise class hosting solutions for over 15 years. In 2009, Rackspace partnered with NASA to found OpenStack and later launched its public cloud platform on OpenStack in 2012.



Graham Weston, chairman and co-founder of Rackspace: “This transaction will provide Rackspace with more flexibility to manage the business for long-term growth and enhance our product offerings.”

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Rackspace and Microsoft Azure

Despite rumors of an impending acquisition, Rackspace has recently announced expansion of its Rackspace Managed Security services to Microsoft Azure and developments in its OpenStack technology.


Rackspace’s main focus is providing services that offer support for applications not only on its own cloud but third party clouds as well. The service launched in September of 2015 and has been exclusive to Amazon Web Service, Rackspace Dedicated Hosting, and Rackspace Managed VMware.


Rackspace Managed Security for Microsoft Azure will allow those utilizing Azure services to benefit from added security services provided by Rackspace. Rackspace’s technology allows them to not only detect advanced cyber threats, but take action against said threats, setting them apart from their competition.


In addition to expanding to Microsoft, Rackspace also made some announcements pertaining to its Openstack private cloud services, which was created with NASA in 2010. OpenStack Clouds have now reached one billion server hours of operation.  



Brannon Lacey, general manager of Rackspace Managed Security: “In today’s cybersecurity landscape, organizations are no longer asking if they should have a security solution in place, but rather whether they should do it themselves or partner with a trusted managed security service provider. We are proud to extend this security solution to Azure, as it represents the continued growth of our Managed Security capabilities and aligns with the overall Rackspace mission to provide the best expertise and service across the world’s leading clouds.”

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Google Acquires Orbitera

Google has recently announced the purchase of Orbitera, which will improve Google’s enterprise service sector and allows Google to become a stronger competitor against companies such as Amazon and Microsoft. While terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, TechCrunch estimates that it closed for about $100 million.


Orbitera CEO Marcin Kurc will continue to operate the company as a separate entity and will continue to support existing customers. Orbitera’s technology will improve support of software vendors on Google’s Cloud Platform.


This acquisition marks a great addition to Google, as Orbitera has already launched upwards of 60,000 enterprise stacks, including Adobe and Oracle. Orbitera focuses on four parts of constructing cloud marketplaces: billing and cost optimization, marketplace and catalogs, packaging and provisioning, and trials and lead management. This acquisition also improves Google in terms of personnel and perspective, as CEO Marcin Kurc had previously worked at Amazon Web Services.


About Orbitera:

Based in West Hollywood, California, Orbitera was co-founded in 2011 by Firas Bushnaq and Brian Singer and had accumulated $2 million in venture funding. The company was founded with the thought of breaking the mold in which enterprise software is sold and bought by making this process easier, and thus the Orbitera Cloud Commerce Platform was created. Since establishment, Orbitera has launched upward of 60,000 enterprise stacks.



Nan Boden, Google’s head of global technology partners: “Orbitera has built a strong ecosystem of enterprise software vendors delivering software to multiple clouds. This acquisition is not only meant to improve the support of software vendors on Google Cloud Platform, but it also aims to reinforce Google’s support for the multi-cloud world.”


Boden: “The current model for the deploying, managing and billing of cloud-based software does not easily fit the way today’s modern enterprises operate. Orbitera automates many of the processes associated with billing, packaging and pricing optimization for leading businesses and ISVs (independent software vendors) supporting customers running in the cloud. More than 60,000 enterprise stacks have been launched on Orbitera.”
Orbitera CEO Marcin Kurc: “When we first started Orbitera, our mission was to enable frictionless sales of cloud-based enterprise software and services. Becoming part of the Google Cloud Platform team allows us to continue and accelerate toward this goal…. We will continue to deliver the products and services our customers rely on with the added scale that Google provides.”

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Oracle to Buy NetSuite


Oracle has recently announced that it will acquire NetSuite, enterprise cloud service company, for about $9.3 billion in an all cash deal. Both of these companies offer cloud services aimed at enterprises; these services will “coexist in the marketplace forever.” The transaction is expected to close later this year.


This move signifies Oracles transition to cloud-based products, which comprise only 8% of its total sales in the fiscal fourth quarter. The acquisition of NetSuite signifies Oracle as a dominant figure within the cloud industry, alongside Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.


This marks one of Oracle’s biggest acquisitions, following the purchase of PeopleSoft for $10.3 billion in 2005. Oracle has also purchased Opower for $532 million and Textura for $663 million in May of 216. These acquisitions exemplify a large transition into the cloud computing industry.


2016 has continued to be the year for big internet and software deals. Microsoft has purchased LinkedIn and Tigo this year; Cisco has purchased CloudLock, and Salesforce has purchased DemandWare.


About NetSuite:


Founded in 1998, San Mateo, California based NetSuite provides enterprises with cloud based business management software. NetSuite allows enterprises to manage operations within a single system. Services offered include Enterprise Resource Planning (EPR) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Its customer base includes more than 30,000 companies, organizations, and subsidiaries in over 100 countries. Sales growth has been strong the last several quarters, expanding at a rate of about 30%.


About Oracle:

Founded in 1977, Redwood City, California based Oracle offers a myriad of cloud applications and platform services. With a customer base of more than 420,000 customers across more than 145 countries, oracle is one of the largest software makers by revenue, second only to Microsoft. Recent acquisitions affirm Oracle’s place within the cloud industry.



Mark Hurd, Chief Executive Officer of Oracle, “Oracle and NetSuite cloud applications are complementary, and will coexist in the marketplace forever. We intend to invest heavily in both products, engineering and distribution.”


Zach Nelson, Chief Executive Officer of NetSuite, “NetSuite will benefit from Oracle’s global scale and reach to accelerate the availability of our cloud solutions in more industries and more countries. We are excited to join Oracle and accelerate our pace of innovation.”
Evan Goldberg, Founder, Chief Technology Officer and Chairman of NetSuite.“NetSuite has been working for 18 years to develop a single system for running a business in the cloud. This combination is a winner for NetSuite’s customers, employees and partners.”

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Lance Crosby’s StackPath

Lance Crosby has recently announced his new venture StackPath, a Security-as-a-Service company, at HostingCon Global. Initially, StackPath will include content delivery, DDoS protection, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services. Eventually, the company will grow to include other services such as secure compute and storage. These services will be offered as both individual products and a suite of services, operating on private and public clouds. StackPath’s global threat intelligence engine will be available across 35 points-of-presence.


Crosby was inspired to found StackPath in 2013 after he left IBM. He witnessed a plethora of flaws within the cloud security industry and became cognizant of the need for better security, with more than 400 million identified malware attacks in the past year alone.


Though relatively young, the company shows much promise. StackPath has raised $150 million in Series A funding alone from private equity firm ARBY Partners, one of the largest single financing rounds for a private security firm. In addition, StackPath has also acquired many companies: Cloak, a VPN firm that provides secure WiFI connections for iOS devices; MaxCDN, a content delivery network company; and Fireblade, a firewall company.


About Lance Crosby:


A 20 year industry veteran, Crosby founded SoftLayer Technologies, which was acquired by IBM for $2 billion in 2013. He also spent a short while at IBM. He later left to found StackPath with his own money.



Lance Crosby, Stackpath CEO and chairman: “That’s where the concept came from. I saw companies like Netflix, big banks, and firms that were spinning up literally tens of thousands of virtual machines a day and there were no real security products that would follow that level of automation and scale.

“The Internet is where the world does business. It may be the single most important utility supporting businesses today, yet we continue to overtax the aging infrastructure and struggle to make it secure.”


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Microsoft’s Cloud Drives Fourth Quarter Revenue

Microsoft’s fourth quarter has been a tale of growth and decline, with earnings much higher than expert predictions. Net income reached $5.5 billion while revenue came to $22.6 billion, which is significantly larger than the anticipated $22.1 billion. The driving force behind this massive growth: the cloud.

Microsoft’s intelligent cloud division reported a 7% increase in revenue, boosting it up to $6.7 billion. Microsoft Azure alone grew 102% with cloud services also seeing an increase of 5%. This significant increase in the cloud computing sector is largely due to CEO Satya Nadella, as he poured billions of dollars into growing the cloud and building new data centers around the world as well as partnering and acquiring many companies, including Tigo and GE. In addition, Office 365 saw a 54% increase while Office consumer products and cloud services grew 19%.

office 365

However, not all of Microsoft’s sectors experienced growth. The More Personal Computing sector experienced a 4% decline largely due to a 71% decrease in phone sales.

Windows 10 also grew 16%, while Microsoft announced that its plan to have Windows 10 on one billion devices by the year 2018 is unlikely to come to fruition in that short time span,

Microsoft closed its fiscal year with $92 billion in revenue and $22.3 billion in net income.

Previously an industry dominated by Amazon, Microsoft, as well as IBM and Google, are making significant advances with the cloud. This is likely to lead to increased competition within the industry, which will drive steep cloud service prices down.


Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: “The past year was pivotal in both our own transformation and in partnering with our customers who are navigating their own digital transformations. The Microsoft Cloud is seeing significant customer momentum and we’re well positioned to reach new opportunities in the year ahead.”

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Tigo, Microsoft Partner to Bring Cloud Services to Latin America

Millicom has recently announced that its Tigo Business Brand and Microsoft will collaborate to bring cloud computing services to businesses in Latin America through Microsoft Cloud OS Network. This partnership will allow companies in Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Paraguay to access data services and increased security provided by the two companies.  


Tigo Business and Microsoft’s Azure Cloud will provide a plethora of services and solutions while enabling customers to regulate their infrastructure needs efficiently. The combination of the two companies infrastructure will allow large businesses access to many services such as Disaster Recovery and added security. Virtual Desktop and Data Base are among many services listed under the as-a-service model that will also be provided.


The two companies has also established a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program that will allow Tigo Business to sell MIcrosoft CSP license aimed at targeting small and medium businesses. Tigo will also provide support for cloud-based Microsoft products including Office 365.


About Tigo:

Operating under international telecommunications company Millicom, Tigo provides a multitude of services to Latin America. Launched in 2004, Tigo now provides services to over 60 million customers and is one of the largest mobile operators in Latin America.



Marcelo Benitez, VP Tigo Business: “The Tigo Business and Microsoft partnership offers a significant opportunity to bring cost, service and security benefits to businesses across the Latam region. Tigo Business is known for its fast delivery, and for supporting its business partners in executing cloud strategies efficiently and reliably. Now we can also offer truly innovative packages to our clients. Small and medium sized businesses are the engines of the economy in the region, and this partnership will help businesses to continue their digital transformations and capture the growth ahead.”

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GE and Microsoft Collaborate

GE and Microsoft have recently announced a partnership in which GE’s Predix platform-as-a-service (PaaS) will be offered through Microsoft’s Azure cloud. This collaboration brings GE’s Internet of Things (IoT) to the software giant’s cloud. The announcement was made during Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, Canada.


Existing Predix customers who are already with GE will gain access to Azure’s Data as well as Cortsns snd global infrastructure centers. There are plans to strengthen this partnership between the two companies by further integrating Predix into Microsoft’s products such as Azure’s IoT Suite, Cortana Analytics Suite, and Office 365.



This partnership joins Microsoft’s other cloud software space collaborations with companies including SAP and Red Hat.


About Predix: Introduced in 2015, Predix is a cloud based Platform-as-a-Service. GE utilizes the software platform to collect data from industrial machines. Predix was designed to develop, deploy, operate, and monetize Industrial Internet applications.


About Azure: Released in 2010, Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform intended  to manage applications and services through Microsoft data centers. Azure provides Platform as a Service (PaaS) as well as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).



Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: “Working with companies like GE, we can reach a new set of customers to help them accelerate their transformation across every line of business – from the factory floor to smart buildings.”

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Oracle and Fujitsu Team Up

Oracle and Fujitsu have recently entered a partnership to push cloud computing solutions to Japanese businesses as well as their global subsidiaries. Oracle Cloud Application and Platform services, such as Database Cloud, will now be hosted on Fujitsu’s Japanese data centers. Fujitsu has also agreed to push Oracle’s cloud solutions to clients in Japan.


The first Oracle cloud solution that will be supported by Fujitsu’s data centers is Oracle HCM (Human Capital Management) cloud.


Shingo Kagawa, head of digital services business and CTO: “We at Fujitsu support the digital transformation of our customers, and aim to contribute to optimized customer systems and business growth with the roll out of our Digital Business Platform MetaArc. In particular, we offer the core cloud service on MetaArc, K5, which addresses systems of engagement (SoE) and systems of record (SoR) [..] Now, as we look to strengthen MetaArc and K5, taking part in this strategic alliance with Oracle will work to meet the cloud needs of our customers.”

Hiroshige Sugihara, president and CEO of Oracle’s Japanese sector, “We strongly believe this cloud alliance will support Japanese companies to drive digital transformation. This will be a gateway for customers to achieve standardization, modernization, and globalization.”

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Novosco Acquires NetDef

Cloud service provider Novosco has recently acquired NetDef, a security solution enterprise. This deal is expected to close for a few million dollars and will increase the workforce at Novosco to about 140 employees.This acquisition is intended to aid Novosco’s expansion into the English market.

NetDef will continue trade under its own name.


About Novosco:

Founded in 1994,  UK based Novosco provides cloud solutions, managed services, and consulting to cutomers by leveraging public, private, and hybrid clouds. With offices in Belfast, Cork, Dublin, and Manchester, Novosco provides services to a number of organizations including universities, health trusts, and housing organizations within the UK as well as many large organizations within the Republic of Ireland.

About NetDef:

Founded in 1996, Cheshire based NetDef currently employs 20 people. NetDef aims to provide technology awareness to the public as well as testing, developing, and supporting Open Source Software (OSS). It also provides open and testing of hardware and software.


Dave Beesley, NetDef  Managing Director: ”The complementary expertise that we have will allow us to further enhance and deepen the services that we offer to existing and new clients.”

Patrick McAliskey, Novosco Managing Director: “NetDef is a well-established provider of network and security solutions to some of the UK’s most high-profile organisations, and its expertise and competence have seen it entrusted with data and projects of the utmost public sensitivity. Working with Dave Beesley and his expert team will provide Novosco with added scale, and an important new dimension to our service offering as we seek to further grow our business across the UK.”

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