Comprehending Machine Intelligence | @ThingsExpo #IoT #ML #M2M

Shivon Zilis is an investor at Bloomberg Beta, a very interesting early stage venture capital fund. I knew I would like Bloomberg Beta when I saw how they do their website. It is smart and reflects very well on their leadership team: They decided to leverage GitHub for their site. Doing so puts them one step closer to the creators that a VC in their space needs to know and is a great way to step out in a trust-based relationship. It is also a great way to be more transparent- they use GitHub to provide their entire operating manual for all to see.

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Getting Started with @IBMBluemix: Web Application Hosting Scenario | @CloudExpo #Cloud

Many types of web applications are running on the Internet today. There are also as many ways to manage and maintain the infrastructure that powers those applications. IBM® Bluemix™ delivers quick and easy cloud capabilities to deploy and maintain your web application, with minimal hassle and overhead. As you follow along with two lab-style scenarios, this IBM Redpaper™ publication demonstrates how to create and deploy a web-based collaboration application on IBM Bluemix

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Finding the Right Little Data | @CloudExpo #BigData #ML #InternetOfThings

Over the years, one of my favorite pastimes has been working on the family genealogy. I first started work on it in the early 1990s. At that time, records were not digitized and research involved going to libraries, newspapers, and various local, state, and federal archives. There one would have to sift through reams of old records, documents and microfiche. If you were lucky, someone had created printed indices of the information contained in those documents. These indices, when they existed, were based on manual transcription of the data, and prone to the data quality. This is inherent in transcribing information from what frequently were old handwritten documents. The challenge was then trying to find those nuggets of information that would relate and connect to individuals you were trying to locate in your research.

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A ‘Cultural Shift’ to Online Backup By @ABridgwater | @CloudExpo #Cloud

Everything will be on the cloud. It almost sounds like overstatement even in 2016 doesn’t it?
Could we really get ourselves to the point where we regard the cloud layer as our first, primary, default and de facto location for data? The answer is: yes, we do already… although perhaps not all of us have even realized it yet.
When we do start to fully appreciate what the cloud computing layer of data storage and application services can really do for us, we will find ourselves almost ‘set free’ from our previous notions of how we use the computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones that we regard as our most trusted devices today.

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Cloud and Shadow IT – An Inevitable Pairing? By @EFeatherston | @CloudExpo #Cloud

You can’t seem to have a conversation about cloud technology and its impact on the business without the topic of Shadow IT coming up. The two concepts at times seem so tightly intertwined, one would think there is a certain inevitability, almost a causal linkage between them. Shadow IT tends to be an emotional topic for many, dividing people into one of two camps. One camp tends to see Shadow IT as a great evil putting companies, their data and systems at risk by implementing solutions without oversight or governance. Another camp sees Shadow IT as the great innovators that are helping the company succeed by allowing the business to bypass a slow and stagnant IT organization. Does going to the cloud inherently mean there will be Shadow IT? If it does, is that necessarily a bad or good thing?

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[slides] Winning Federal Cloud Business Through FedRAMP By @AbelSussman | @CloudExpo #Cloud

The Federal Government’s “Cloud First” policy mandates that agencies take full advantage of cloud computing benefits to maximize capacity utilization, improve IT flexibility and responsiveness, and minimize cost. The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is a mandatory government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. Advantages for business include being able to market to many federal agencies after a single FedRAMP review following the government’s “approve once, and use often” approach.

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Investors stake $56 million on BloomReach’s private cloud personalisation

bloomreach logoA new system of e-commerce personalisation has broken all records for attracting investment in a private cloud start up. Now the inventors intend to use the money to expand beyond e-commerce into all areas.

Private cloud personalisation specialist Bloomreach has announced a recent award of $56 million of venture capital. Investors contributing to the Series D round of funding included Bain Capital, Battery Ventures, Lightspeed, New Enterprise Associates and Salesforce Ventures. As part of the same initiative Guidewire Software CEO Marcus Ryu was appointed to the BloomReach board.

BloomReach offers an alternative to companies who cannot afford to buy their way to the top of Amazon’s search listings. Since Amazon captures half of the first product searches made by consumers this leaves digital businesses with a massive financial barrier to marketability. Meanwhile the marketing technology sector has fragmented into 2,000 companies offering 2,500 products. Bloomreach claims it can demystify and simplify the choices with omnichannel intelligence and a single personalization platform.

It has two main applications, BloomReach Commerce and BloomReach Compass. The former uses BloomReach’s Organic Search and SNAP applications to boost online sales up to 40% by algorithmically optimizing user’s site experience, it claims.

Compass uses role-specific analytics providing machine-intelligence insights, key performance indicator management and action-tracking for marketers and merchandisers. It claims it can create an average $8,000 in revenue a month for clients on every action taken. The development of BloomReach Compass made it possible for BloomReach to expand beyond e-commerce, it claims, but it needs venture funding to bankroll that growth.

BloomReach said it plans to use the money to strengthen its big-data technology and expand globally into all digital business markets.

E-commerce is a $3.5 trillion market driven by marketing technology with personalization at the core, according to investor Neeraj Agrawal, general partner at Battery Ventures. “We are just in the fourth inning of the marketing-tech revolution,” said Agrawal. Instead of relying on outdated methods of personalisation with demographic or geographic data, BloomReach will provide workflow and transactional-oriented technologies to create one-to-one personalization at scale, it claims.

“There’s a ten billion dollar opportunity in marketing tech, and BloomReach has the expertise to understand, learn and apply big data to make every experience personal for all digital businesses,” said BloomReach CEO Raj De Datta.

AWS posts most profitable quarter ever

amazon awsAs investors reportedly grow nervous with its parent company, Amazon Web Services has reported its most profitable quarter ever.

Though sales of Amazon Web Services (AWS) grew 69% and profits tripled, the stock of parent company fell by 10% in pre-market trading after its latest earning report, but it had jumped by 8% during Thursday trading.

The fall in market valuation of, described on Wall Street as a readjustment of ‘outsize expectations’ following Amazon’s previous declarations about cost management and investment in infrastructure, is unlikely to affect the cloud services business however.

Meanwhile, the AWS unit saw its quarterly operating profit triple to $687 million, after sales revenue for its latest quarter rose 69% to $2.4 billion. This represents a decline in growth rate, which was 78% in the previous three months. AWS brought in $687 million in operating income for the quarter, in comparison to the $240 million revenue that was made in the corresponding quarter last year. The operating expenditures for AWS for the quarter came in at $1.78 billion, up from $1.18 billion a year earlier.

Though the rate of expansion may be slowing, AWS is still the fastest growing division within Amazon and in an unassailable lead in the cloud infrastructure market, according to Richard Brown, Senior VP for EMEA at Interactive Intelligence.

“Amazon’s latest financial results show that demand for cloud computing is booming and provides insight into the changing behaviours of organisations as they move to the cloud. To keep their foothold in this growing market, cloud vendors like Amazon, Google and Microsoft are prioritising work on their cloud platforms.”

Direct comparisons with AWS rivals such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and IBM SoftLayer are difficult as their parent companies’ financials are structured differently.

On January 18th BCN reported how increasing price competition among the top three cloud service providers may affect profitability in the cloud market in coming months.

This year, BCN reports, AWS plans to add 5 AWS regions and 11 Availability Zones to its current estate of 32 Availability Zones across 12 geographic regions worldwide, with new sites in London, China and India.

Cloud now makes up one third of Microsoft revenues as Azure soars

AzureMicrosoft made $9.4 billion from cloud computing in its last quarter with the 140% rise of Azure revenue surpassing expectations and over shadowing other areas of business.

Yesterday Microsoft released the figures for its quarter ending on December 31, 2015 (Q2 in its 2016 financial year). With total revenues of $25.7 billion, income from cloud computing now represents over a third of its fortune. Microsoft’s stock rose in value by 7% following its earnings announcement.

The latest cloud revenue figures show a $1.2 billion rise on the previous quarter, which saw $8.2 billion revenue on cloud deals. This represents a growth rate of 14.6% every quarter, which suggest that it cloud revenue could surpass its own expectations. Microsoft has previously predicted that its cloud revenue will rise to $20 billion in 2018.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella argued that the numbers of businesses that are piloting Windows 10 leads it to expect that it will be installed on over 200 million active devices in the coming year. “Businesses everywhere are using the Microsoft Cloud as their digital platform to drive their ambitious transformation agendas,” said Nadella.

The cloud outshone all other areas of the business. While revenue from server based products rose by 10%, Azure revenue grew 140%. Office 365 now has 20.6 million subscribers, which was a major contributor to the success of the sales of Productivity and Business Processes (PBP), which rose to $6.7 billion in value, from $6.3 billion in the last quarter. The service revenue from the Intelligent Cloud (IC), grew from $5.9 billion to $6.4 billion over the same period.

Sales in the More Personal Computing category, taking in Windows, Devices, Gaming and Search, went from $9.4 billion to $12.7 billion, a rise of 25.9%, even in the teeth of a 49% fall in phone revenues. Meanwhile, Microsoft reported that its success in monetizing its search advertising had grown by 29%, which it attributed to the integration of search into Windows 10.

Microsoft returned $6.5 billion to shareholders in dividends.

Tech News Recap for the Week of 1/25/2016

Were you busy last week? Here’s a tech news recap of articles you may have missed for the week of 1/25/2016!

Walmart says its newly released OneOps tool will trump cloud lock-in. Microsoft plans to make Cortana smarter with the ability to scan emails and set alerts for commitments you may forget. EMC’s Joe Tucci says the $67B Dell deal will get done. Apple’s Safari browser was unavailable for some users around the world on Wednesday. Get a recap of the top announcements that came out of the Citrix 2016 Partner Summit that was held earlier this month in Las Vegas. These include updates around XenApp, XenDesktop 7.7, XenMobile 10.3, and PVS 7.7. Facebook will be setting up a second data center in Europe, Disney IT workers are filing lawsuits, and more top tech news from this week! 

Tech News Recap


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By Ben Stephenson, Emerging Media Specialist