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Ibm News & Analysis

IBM Stumbles on its Road to the Cloud

The transition to the cloud is not happening fast enough for slow-moving IBM, which today reported disappointing third quarter results: Revenue of $22.4 billion declined 4 percent year over year and fell short of the Wall Street consensus estimate of $23.37 billion, while per-share earnings of $3.68 missed the consensus by 64 cents. 

With the second half of this year now coming in weaker than expected, the company’s outlook has gotten more hazy, so management pulled its 2015 earnings forecast of $20 a share, saying it would provide an updated figure in January.

IBM’s latest numbers have not been well received on Wall Street: the stock today is down 7 percent, earlier hitting a new 52-week low at $166.71. 

For the quarter, IBM’s global services revenue of $13.7 billion (61 percent of total revenue) was off 3 percent, while software revenue declined 2 percent to $5.7 billion and hardware revenue dropped 15 percent to $2.4 billion. “We saw a marked slowdown in September in client buying behavior,” said CEO Ginni Rometty.

6 Trends Dominate the Portal Space, Gartner Claims

In recent weeks we have spent a lot of time talking about data search and discovery. While there are many ways of finding content, access through portals is still one of the major pathways. This week, Gartner has published what it believes are the top horizontal portal vendors in a market that is changing rapidly.

While there are many trends in play, one of the most notable, Gartner noted, is convergence of Web Content Management (WCM) demands through lean portals that are also incorporating social technologies in the enterprise.

On Heels of SAP-IBM, ISO Debuts International Cloud Standards

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Just a day after the SAP-IBM cloud partnership news broke, an international standard setting body issued two standards related to cloud computing.

Perhaps CEOs Ginni Rometty of IBM and Bill McDermott of SAP should take note.

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) today released what officials there call "ground-breaking standards" that "lay down the basic terminology and architectural framework" for cloud computing.

The cloud "poses many issues, chiefly related to compatibility," ISO's Vivienne Rojas blogged today. "With more and more providers offering cloud-based services, the technology has suffered from chaotic development, making it almost impossible for companies to ascertain the quality of services offered."

HP, EMC Drop Merger Talk

Hewlett-Packard Co. has walked away from merger discussions with EMC Corp., Reuters reported today. Reuters reported HP has walked away after "months of fruitless negotiations."

The news comes as no real surprise as there were rumors earlier this month that the two companies were deadlocked over financial terms.

SAP, IBM Steal Salesforce's Thunder

It wasn't if, but when. Who would try to steal the thunder from Salesforce and its Dreamforce glory?

It was SAP. And IBM. Together.

The enterprise software giants joined forces today.  SAP announced its HANA Enterprise Cloud service is now available through IBM’s cloud in a move officials from each company claim expands major markets with the addition of the IBM cloud data centers. 

Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, said in a statement the demand for SAP HANA and SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA in the cloud is "tremendous and this global agreement with IBM heralds a new era of cloud collaboration."

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty called it a "significant milestone in the deployment of enterprise cloud” and added that IBM's "secure, open, hybrid enterprise cloud platform will enable SAP clients to support new ways to work in an era shaped by big data, mobile and social.”

Hackers Want Your CRM Data: Here's What To Do

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The cyberattack on JPMorgan Chase has affected 76 million household accounts, a far larger number than originally expected. The inroads hackers made into the bank has rattled the tech and financial community, to say nothing of Capitol Hill, where legislators are looking anew at cybersecurity legislation.

The reason for their nervousness is clear: JPMorgan Chase is probably one of the most protected institutions in the world. If hackers can successfully breach its security, what chance do other companies stand?

It's a sobering question and there is no pat response other than to treat the event as a wake up call: if a company or industry is perceived to have a rich treasure trove of data within its systems, know that it's fair game to hackers.

And what contains more rich, personalized data than customer relationship management (CRM) systems?

Did JPMorgan's Data Breach Need to Be So Massive?

It’s all over the morning news. Late yesterday, in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission,  JPMorgan Chase revealed that more than half of American households were affected by last summer’s data breach at the bank.

We’re talking about 76 million personal  and 10 million business accounts from which “user contact information – name, address, phone number and email address – and internal JPMorgan Chase information relating to such users have been compromised,”according to the New York Times.

It is reportedly the biggest such intrusion ever.

Is IBM's Watson Analytics All That?

2014-17-September-Computer-Watson.jpgIf we got a dollar every time someone told us that they’re democratizing big data, we’d have a hundred dollar bills, and that’s just so far this week.

So when an IBM representative sent a note saying that it was making Watson Analytics available to everyday business users to let them ask questions in plain language and get big data informed answers back in short order, our hearts didn’t patter too much. Even when they said we could try it for free.

After all, we’ve sat side by side, live and in person, with vendors who make big, big data analytics promises. And when we’ve said “Show me, turn me into a data scientist, big data analyst, heck, even novice user,” they haven’t been able to do it.

And maybe it’s us, but more than likely, here’s the deal -- in most cases, these vendors don’t include people like us (non-data workers) as citizens of their democratic, big data republics. And that’s fine, as long as we define that from the start.

Gartner Names Wise Choices for Workplace Social Software

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In the market for social software? Gartner included 17 vendors in this year’s Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace. 

Like all of the other Garter Magic Quadrants, it's quite difficult to make the list. And squeezing into the Leaders quadrant is especially challenging. In this case, only Microsoft, IBM, Jive, Salesforce and Tibco managed to earn a spot. 

However, Gartner points out that Challengers offer solutions that have a strong market presence, and adds that these vendors have the market position and resources to become Leaders down the line. VMWare, Atlassian and Sitrion earned spots in this quadrant.

Artificial Intelligence is Resurrecting Enterprise Search

2014-08-Sept-Oleson-Image1.jpgThe future of enterprise search is bright. Recent announcements show enterprise search is taking a number of different forms. Microsoft has been stirring things up in the cloud with Delve -- the next generation Office Graph, based on search-driven discovery of activities and feeds. And some unlikely partnerships have been announced to combine consumer mobile technology with an enterprise injection. I'm ready for an enterprise search that understands me and gives me results based on my interests, location and social distance (i.e., people I work with the most). We've also seen the use of voice for search gain popularity as the lines between work and life blur.

Was Gartner's Social Software Smackdown a Lovefest?

Gartner hosted a “Social Software Smackdown” panel at its Catalyst Conference last month. After talking with its host, analyst Larry Cannell, it’s clear that the participants from Microsoft/Yammer, Salesforce/Chatter and Box don’t feel that they’re in a turf war, at least just yet.

That's true in spite of the fact that Gartner’s most recent Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace noted there’s little difference in the products these companies provide.

 “We are in the early stages of this market with a tremendous upside for enterprises and workers,” Cannell wrote in his takeaway notes.

IBM Pumps Up the SoftLayer Data Volumes

IBM is pumping up the SoftLayer volume again, this time with the announcement that it is opening a new SoftLayer data center in Australia, with another due to be opened later in the year. It also announced the availability of new bare metal servers that can be deployed in less than 30 minutes and billed by the hour.

The latest SoftLayer data center continues IBM’ push into the Asia Pacific region with hybrid, private and public cloud environments, while the introduction of bare metal servers will make this kind of cloud deployments cheaper and easier to install.

Buy or Build a Marketing Cloud?

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Nearly 400 attended the first Marketing Technology Conference at the Seaport Hotel in Boston this week to make sense of the more than 1,000 digital marketing technologies in more than 40 categories available today.

Bottom line: marketers want digital technology that works for their organizations. Easily, the most bantered about topic these past two days in Boston boiled down to one question:

Buy or build your marketing cloud?

Much like a little tea party here in this city 241 years ago, you had your division at #MarTech this week. 

Today, in the first of a two-part series, we catch up with the guy who got the debate going and two providers who sell marketing technology. To conclude the series, we'll talk to digital marketers who've had to make the buy versus build decision.

IBM Focuses on Security Again With Lighthouse Buy

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Hot on the heels of the CrossIdeas acquisition two weeks ago, IBM plans to buy the business operations of Lighthouse Security Group (LSG), again for an undisclosed sum.

LSG and CrossIdeas will be integrated with IBM’s existing identity and access management offering to provide a full suite of software that will protect and manage users’ identity.

IBM Focuses on 'Talent and Change'

Tools or no tools, we've been talking about people and talent being a hot commodity. IBM believes it has tools that can lead to the right people -- and keep those people happy

The Armonk, N.Y.-based software giant just released cloud-based software and a new "talent and change" consulting practice. IBM's goal is to help organizations use analytics and behavioral science to identify top talent.  

Part of the IBM Kenexa software offering, it is delivered through the IBM Smarter Workforce initiative.

"The offering bundles bring together new and existing software and services from across IBM's Smarter Workforce portfolio including our social collaboration, analytics, workforce science, digital experience, consulting and of course Kenexa's talent assessment and recruitment capabilities," said Zahir Ladhani, ‎IBM's vice president of its Smarter Workforce. "Delivered through the cloud and supported by the new Talent and Change consulting practice, they're designed to make it faster and easier for clients to implement and scale workforce solutions across the organization."

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