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Apple News & Analysis

Big Data Gets Big Money for Big Reasons

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Companies have been throwing money hand over fist into the predictive analytics, data management and business intelligence world over the last few weeks. And while it would be easy to toss all of these under the "Big Data" umbrella, it's more interesting to look at these deals in light of the challenges that each will solve.

Let's take a quick look at five transactions: $225 million total to Birst, Health Catalyst, Localytics and Ayasdi as well as Apple's recent acquisition of FoundationDB.

Looking at these deals helps show existing analytic and data challenges and where new competitors are coming into the market to partner with and challenge traditional players like Oracle, Teradata, IBM, SAP and Microsoft.

Thanks Apple: You Made It Easier to Market Luxury Wearable Tech

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You don't even have to like Apple products to acknowledge the company is a master when it comes to marketing and branding. This is the company, after all, that is widely perceived as the one that produces products that consumers want — before they know they want them.

So now Apple has entered the smartwatch market.

And it should really knock everyone over with a feather to realize that the company has gone to great lengths to develop what it predicts will be a market trendsetter, packed full of features and design refinements unseen in earlier smartwatches.

Apple Buys FoundationDB, Shuts Down Access to Code

We think it’s a done deal.

All signals suggest that Apple has bought flexible, fast database maker FoundationDB. TechCrunch first reported the news.

The company’s community site states:

“Thank you for your support of FoundationDB over the last five years. We’re grateful to have shared our vision of building the best database software and we strongly value your participation in this community. We have made the decision to evolve our company mission and, as of today, we will no longer offer downloads. If you have any technical questions, please email info@foundationdb.com.”

But pulling the code is exactly what very proprietary Apple would insist on. Regardless of how the FoundationDB community might react.

Apple Watch: The Future of Wearables Begins Now

Are you ready to pay $18,000 for the 18k gold Apple Watch?

Maybe not, but you probably watched as Tim Cook -- in his first new product launch as CEO -- unveiled Apple's first major push into the wearables market. With the launch of the Apple Watch, the wearables race begins.

It is yet to be seen if consumers really want these high tech devices as fashion statements. But Business Insider predicts that by 2018, the wearables market will grow to $12.6 billion. And according to The Wearable Future report, adoption rates of wearables parallels that of tablets. After two years, adoption of tablets was 20 percent and today, 21 percent of American adults already own a wearable device.

So it's safe to assume that wearables will begin to take off.

Salesforce Thinks You Can Serve Customers Better with an Apple Watch

On the day Apple tried to persuade its followers to invest in a $10,000 18k Apple Watch, Salesforce turned the conversation back to reality.

The cloud-based customer relationship management provider launched an initiative to reach its customers through their Apple Watches — even the entry level $399 model. Salesforce is capitalizing on a version of its Analytics Cloud service that it claims to have scaled down only in display size.

“Professionals are going to use this in the service of customer engagement,” Adam Seligman, Salesforce’s vice president for developer relations, told CMSWire. “They’re going to use that small screen right on their wrists to get amazing insights about their customers — live analytics against all of their customer information. It’s mind-boggling, right on your wrist."

Why You Can Probably Live Without a Shiny New Apple Watch

2015-9-March-dick_tracy_watch.jpgIt seems like we've been awaiting the Apple Watch for an eternity. But in reality it was just last September when Apple first announced the product.

Today the highlight of the Apple Live special event was the skinny on features and functions of the much-anticipated Apple Watch.

Most were nothing new. We were aware of the customizable face options and the ability to check notifications with a glance.

Even the digital health tie-ins were just moderately interesting. They were a large focus of original announcement. And although Apple provided much more detail today, the news was nothing unexpected.

Microsoft Gives Apple Users OneDrive For Business Access

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Last year, Microsoft promised OneDrive for Business for Mac would be ready by the end of the year. It wasn't. However this week Microsoft finally released the first public preview.

The comes only two weeks after Microsoft announced that it was pulling the OneDrive consumer storage service and the OneDrive for Business storage together so that users will be able to sync shared folders across the entire system or selectively chose files to sync, just like products like Dropbox.

Apple Profits Pop With iPhone 6 Sales at Home and Abroad

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Apple isn't breaking a sweat over slipping iPad sales: iPhone sales are making up the difference.

In fact, it sold 74.5 million iPhones in the past quarter, some 12 million more than predicted. And that helped generate the largest profit in Apple corporate history: $18 billion on revenues of $74.6 billion.

Apple's cash pile is now $178 billion, which means that if it was in the right frame of mind, it could buy IBM ... although IBM actually isn’t all that appetizing.

Leave Your iPad at Home, Forget BYOD, Says HP

Face it, HP notes: iPads, Android and Windows tablets may be great but they weren’t built specifically for business. And the house that Meg Whitman rules may have a valid argument when you consider that the devices are being used by gazillions of kids strapped into shopping carts drawing animals for Night Zookeeper, by teens playing Candy Crush Saga and by moms who have adopted them as digital recipe displays when they cook. Never mind everyone watching Netflix.

Think about it. Do you want to make sales presentations on the device that your kid rests his lollipop on? Or that you and your honey used last night to watch a racy movie? Maybe yes, maybe no, but that’s not the main reason HP thinks that you might want to use different devices at work and at home.

“They (consumer-grade devices) also pose significant challenges to IT departments who have to support their now mobile workforces while keeping corporate data managed and secure,” said Ron Coughlin, senior vice president and general manager, Personal Systems, HP.

More Cash for Tech Workers in Silicon Valley Antitrust Lawsuit

Apparently, $324.5 million wasn't enough.

Former tech workers at major Silicon Valley companies could cash in on an antitrust lawsuit settlement for even more money than an earlier deal that was already was the largest of its kind.

The 64,000 or so former employers of Adobe Systems, Intel Corporation, Apple and Google, Inc. have reached another settlement with the tech giants, according to a Jan. 13 letter from a Google attorney to the San Francisco-based US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Workers claim in the lawsuit the tech companies illegally agreed not to call each other's employees.

Apple Watch, the IoT and Major Changes in Communication

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Who could have predicted how widely and wildly the Internet would evolve when it was conceived more than 45 years ago?

In a relatively brief time, it's grown from a few connected computers at select universities that only a handful of individuals knew how to operate to a globally connected network that has become engrained in the daily life of the vast majority of the planet's population.

Though the Internet has improved upon a great many things, none is more dramatic than communication. Today the Internet or its underlying technologies facilitate many of the methods that people use to communicate, at least in some part. But evolution is dynamic, and while the advances in communication facilitated by the Internet have been tremendous, there is always room for growth and improvement.

In fact, there is a significant possibility that the augmentation of the Internet through the Internet of Things will advance global communication even further.

6 Predictions for Information Management in 2015

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Last year wasn't dull in the world of information management and if even half of these predictions come true, we're in for some interesting days ahead. From the world of enterprise file sync and share, to big data's IPO dreams, to the future of some of the heavy hitters in the industry, there's a little something for everyone.

Apple, IBM Mega Deal Reveals First Offering

2014-10-December-The-Reveal.jpgIBM's 2014 has been all about partnering with consumer giants.

On the heels of its summer mega deal with Apple, enterprise software and hardware giant IBM struck a partnership with Twitter.

Today, IBM unveiled the first offering from that Apple deal -- IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions. IBM's apps and cloud services mesh IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone and iPad users in the enterprise. 

In reality, these IBM deals are enterprise-targeted, but the foundation is business giant meets consumer giant.

International Consumer Machines? ICM? Not quite, but in a year where IBM could use a boost, they're definitely turning to their consumer friends to boost their enterprise big data and analytics offerings. 

Bye-Bye Microsoft Lync, Here Comes Skype For Business

2014-11-12 skype for business.jpgWhen Microsoft paid $8.5 billion in cash for Skype in 2011, it left some scratching their heads where the product would fit in the Microsoft ecosystem. And while Microsoft has since integrated the software into a number of its products, we now have a better sense of its future. As of next year, the Lync name will disappear and be replaced by Skype for Business.

This is not just a rebranding exercise. It involves joining together the Lync infrastructure with Skype, which includes the ability to use on-premises servers, optional integration with external communications networks and the use of the Skype interface on top of Lync.

Apple Pay: Using Its Midas Touch to Reinvent Mobile Payments

2014-09-October-Apple-Buying.jpgWith Apple Pay, Apple is once again doing what it does best: reinventing existing markets, products and business models by delivering a simpler, more stylish and more streamlined user experience. Let's face it: Apple has a knack for making things frictionless and more exciting.

And its ability to market new services and create demand by seducing consumer’s appetite for making things in life easier is a lesson for all marketers. That’s true innovation.

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