Singtel to Exhibit at @CloudEXPO Silicon Valley | @Singtel @SingtelBusiness #Cloud #AI #IoT #IIoT #Blockchain #Smartcities

The platform combines the strengths of Singtel’s extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft’s cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications,” said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. “Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises’ digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected path for IoT innovators to scale globally, and the smartest path to cross-device synergy in an instrumented, connected world.

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VMware posts strong 2019 financial results citing AWS partnership and ‘tech breaking out of tech’

VMware has closed off its 2019 fiscal year with record annual revenues, solid upticks across the board and considerable strength on its partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Revenue was $2.59 billion (£1.96bn) across the quarter, at a 16% uptick on this time last year, while for the fiscal year it was $8.97bn, a yearly increase of 14%. License revenues were at $1.2bn, or 47.5% of overall quarterly revenues, compared with 52.5% for service revenues. For the fiscal year, ‘services’ comprised 57% of total revenues, a slight dip from the previous year’s 59%.

“We were very pleased with this terrific quarter and fiscal 2019,” said VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger in an earnings call following publication of the results. “At VMware, we believe that software has the power to transform business and humanity. We understand that our products, operations and people collectively have an impact in the world, and we strive to generate positive global impact through all that we do.

“Customers look to VMware for solutions across hybrid cloud, multi-cloud, modern apps, networking and security and digital workspace to help enable their digital transformations,” Gelsinger added. “We demonstrated good Q4 results across our hybrid cloud and SaaS portfolio as we strategically focused on expanding that offering.

“We’ve remained committed to growing this business as customers continue to turn to us for the best solutions that span private and public clouds.”

With that statement in mind, one of the key highlights of the quarter focused around VMware’s continued partnership with AWS. The companies keep cropping up in each other’s events; AWS CEO Andy Jassy took to the stage at VMworld in Las Vegas back in August, while Gelsinger returned the favour at re:Invent in November to all but bring the house down with the announcement of AWS Outposts.

Outposts, AWS said at the time, aims to deliver a ‘truly consistent hybrid experience’ by bringing AWS services, infrastructure and operating models to ‘virtually any’ on-premises facility. VMware’s partnership is a key part of making this happen. According to RightScale’s 2019 State of the Cloud report, issued earlier this week, 12% of organisations polled said they were using Outposts right out of the gate, with a further 29% interested in deploying.

Gelsinger said the most recent quarter saw a $20 million deal brokered with VMware Cloud on AWS, with new customers including Freddie Mac, Nant Media Holdings and the United States Air Force Field Enterprise Data Center.

The other major news VMware issued over the past three months was the planned acquisition of Kubernetes provider Heptio. At the time, Heptio co-founder Craig McLuckie said the two companies’ visions were ‘uncanny’, with VMware seeing the deal as an opportunity to build a cloud-independent Kubernetes control plane for customers. “We will accelerate efforts to make Kubernetes the standard for customers building and running their applications across clouds, and continue to drive the open source community’s development of this critical platform,” added Gelsinger.

Gelsinger described the state of the industry currently as ‘tech breaking out of tech’ in response to an analyst question around divergence between various infrastructure providers. This is a theme which this publication has covered frequently, both in the rise of multi-cloud projects organisations are taking on as well as exploring the next wave of cloud services, whether they be serverless and containers, or quantum and machine learning.

“There’s going to be winners and losers,” Gelsinger explained. “We’ll continue to see lots of questions on cloud, private and public cloud, and how hybrid cloud transitions. We clearly are going to see these normal cycles of over[supply] and undersupply as people are building up rapidly in different geos. We’re no longer dependent on any geo or any individual product, but the real breadth of our portfolio is nicely rewarding us across the broad landscape of, we believe, a good tech market [that] is going to continue well into the future.

“There will be winners and losers inside of that because there is so much change going on in the marketplace with these powerful trends,” Gelsinger added. “I’ve talked about the superpowers: cloud, mobility, AI and edge and IoT, and all of those will have different effects of who’s going to be the winners and losers inside of it.”

You can read the full VMware fourth quarter and fiscal year 2019 results here. in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their experiences and use-cases? Attend the Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam to learn more.

Microsoft launches cloud-native security management tool Azure Sentinel

Adam Shepherd

1 Mar, 2019

Microsoft has announced a new inbuilt security information and event management (SIEM) tool for its Azure cloud customers, which promises to use AI to slash the number of alerts that security teams need to respond to.

The new tool, dubbed ‘Azure Sentinel’, will help infosec professionals monitor and defend their cloud environments by collating all of their security logs and threat data in one place. As well as information from Office 365 and Azure, customers will be able to process data from partners such as F5 Networks, Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Symantec, Fortinet and more, including partners outside the security sector.

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft is touting the speed and scale that the cloud can offer as one of the biggest benefits of this service, promising it allows customers to “invest your time in security and not servers”. In a blog post announcing the new product, the corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Cybersecurity Solutions Group Ann Johnson boasted that early adopters of the product have seen up to 90% reductions in ‘alert fatigue’ – although she neglected to mention how this was measured.

“Azure Sentinel is the product of Microsoft’s close partnership with customers on their journey to digital transformation,” Johnson wrote “We worked hand in hand with dozens of customers and partners to rearchitect a modern security tool built from the ground up to help defenders do what they do best – solve complex security problems. Early adopters are finding that Azure Sentinel reduces threat hunting from hours to seconds.”

While other companies like Splunk and Sumo Logic have previously unveiled cloud-based SIEM tools, Microsoft says that it’s the first major cloud provider to offer one as an integrated part of its portfolio.

Azure Sentinel is currently available in preview via the Azure portal; the product is currently free to use, with future pricing to be announced at a later date. Microsoft has also said that there may be additional charges for automation workflows, machine learning model customisation and data ingestion, importing Office 365 data will be free.

The company also announced a tool that allows customers to call in the cavalry in the event of a security crisis. Microsoft Threat Experts, a new capability which will be introduced to Windows Defender ATP, allows customers to call on the expertise of Microsoft’s own security specialists, who will scour your (anonymised) security data to identify the most pressing threats to your organisation.

Customers can apply to join the service through their Windows Defender ATP settings and once approved, can access it via a button in the console labelled ‘Ask a Threat Expert’.

Workplace by Facebook hits two million paid users

Clare Hopping

1 Mar, 2019

Facebook has revealed its paid Workplace enterprise communications platform is now being used by two million people worldwide, a little over two years after its launch.

The social network said more than 150 large companies (with more than 10,000 employees) have signed up to its corporate collaboration tool, offering workers a centralised place to communicate with each other.

Its biggest customers are Nestle, Vodafone, GSK, Telefonica, AstraZeneca, Delta Airlines and NAB (National Australia Bank).

“We believe this rapid uptake is because Workplace creates lasting business value, increasing the impact teams can have on their organization and customers,” the company said.

“Team members can work smarter, make better decisions, and take decisive action – all empowered by more social communication and information sharing.”

All of this is provided on a platform that’s familiar to employees using regular Facebook tools. With Facebook Workplace, teams can connect in exactly the same way as people can connect with friends online, using enhanced business-centric tools such as groups, chat and video calls.

The service costs from $3 per user, per month, although it also offers a 90-day free trial and for life for registered non-profits and staff of educational institutions, as part of Facebook’s mission to make collaboration a necessity.

Facebook hasn’t revealed how many additional customers it has using its free service or its educational or NGO customers on its Workplace for Good programme, which offers free subscriptions.

Facebook only started charging Workplace users in October 2017, which would appear to have been a move to get companies to get familiar with the service before it decided to make money off them.