Google’s enterprise push, Microsoft’s open ARM embrace, and a flying variation on the selfie stick sure to make you the object of everyone’s irritation are all among the stories we didn’t manage to cover this week.By Rich Freeman
Sure, that extra hour of sleep we all got back in November when daylight savings time ended was pretty sweet, but we’ve been struggling to adapt to the time change ever since and it’s eating into our productivity. Almost there now, though! All we need is another day or two and we’ll be fully into the standard time swing. Good thing we won’t be re-setting our clocks again anytime soon.
And now, as we shake off the last of our surprisingly enduring grogginess, here’s a look at the news it caused us to miss this week.
“We’re rolling out dozens of announcements this week, including new customers, partners, products and services like application development and machine learning.”
Dozens? We braced for the worst, but thankfully the onslaught turned out to be manageable. And just a little surprising. Google made enterprise adoption of its cloud solutions the key theme of this year’s Next, and then did the kinds of things a vendor getting serious about the enterprise needs to do, like:
- Simplify its partner programs, add specializations, and invest in growth, sales, and profitability incentives.
- Add a bunch of business-friendly capabilities to the G Suite productivity suite, including shared Google Drives for workgroups and new data migration tools.
- Turn Hangouts (pictured) from a tool for connecting consumers to a tool for conducting meetings.
- Introduce security features of the kind consumers can live without but enterprises demand (and inspire security vendors like Check Point and Dataguise to get in on the act too).
- Sign an alliance agreement with SAP. Really, nothing screams “enterprise” like an alliance agreement with SAP.
Gaga for Google? Then you may not have noticed the latest moves in Salesforce’s embrace of artificial intelligence this week. The CRM leader’s Sales, Service, Marketing, Commerce, Analytics, and Community Clouds all now draw on its Einstein AI platform, and developers can tap into new Einstein-based image recognition capabilities too. Last but not least, Salesforce and IBM announced a new pact to connect Einstein with Big Blue’s Watson AI platform (which can’t help but have fans of bad science fiction movies from nearly half a century ago thinking of what happened when Colossus met Guardian).
Speaking of alliances...There was also a big new partnering deal this week between IBM and Cisco to create converged infrastructure solutions together and a head-turning commitment by Microsoft to employ ARM processors from Qualcomm and Cavium in its cloud data centers, not to mention word of collaboration between Microsoft and Schneider Electric on a new rack power distribution unit.
Speaking of Microsoft...The tech world giant also:
- Drop-kicked Visual Studio 2017 into general availability.
- Announced that its would-be Slack slayer, Microsoft Teams, ships next Tuesday.
- Equipped Azure Government with new tools for visualizing and analyzing Big Data.
Meanwhile, other industry worthies did some product launchin’ of their own this week. For example:
- 8x8 announced a combo unified communications, collaboration, contact center, and analytics solution that draws on cross-platform interoperability technology from Sameroom, the company 8x8 acquired this week.
- CompuCom launched a help desk service for midsize businesses.
- Logitech introduced a ten-key-less mechanical keyboard for professional gamers (and, presumably, amateurs who just want to look like professionals).
- ManageEngine added eight new password security policy rules to its ADSelfService Plus password management solution.
- NVIDIA introduced a new credit card sized computing platform (pictured) that sounds a whole lot like Intel’s still shiny new Compute Card.
- Paragon shipped a new virtual machine migration tool for use with its Protect & Restore BDR solution.
- Ricoh unveiled security-enhanced printers designed specifically for use by healthcare providers.
And there was more, yes MORE, news from magical realm of vendors. Such as:
- Bitglass launching a new authorized reseller program.
- Canon expanding its imaging integration partnership with file sync and share vendor Box and forging a new partnership with email management and collaboration vendor MxHero.
- Continuum naming Geoffrey Willison (pictured) its new CFO and Fielder Hiss its new vice president of product.
- Extreme Networks buying Avaya’s networking business for a cool $100 million.
- Hostway adding email security software from SpamExperts to its managed hosting infrastructure.
- Supermicro opening a brand spanking new and thoroughly sustainable LEED Gold certified manufacturing facility in California.
This week’s stats ticker:
- Smartphones will have better reading and writing skills than 32 million Americans by 2027, according to the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Project Literacy.
- Android comes in just a hair behind Windows as the world’s most popular operating system on any kind of device, according to StatCounter.
- 74 percent of businesses worldwide have at least some Apple Macs in use among their employees and 76 percent have at least some iOS devices, according to Jamf.
- 24 percent of small businesses have not used social media for business purposes, according to Clutch.
Get architecting, people! Because if Glassdoor is to be believed, 6 of the 25 highest paying jobs in America right now include the word “architect” in the title. And none of those involves making buildings.
Stuff no one needs. Sure we could have focused this “what not to buy” segment on $500 beer coolers or Kaspersky’s new perfume (which at least has some educational value, and strictly speaking isn’t for sale). We’ve chosen to focus, however, on a Kickstarter-ed product sure to turn its every owner into the most annoying person everywhere they go. Yes, in an offering that turns two public nuisances into one, Selfly has created a consumer drone designed to be a sort of flying selfie stick. Because if you’re serious about your narcissism you want a wider range of viewing angles and distances to choose from when documenting your every waking moment.
Not that there isn’t a market for this thing, of course. “A year ago, I was on vacation with my kids,” Selfly inventor (and orthodontist) Hagay Klein told CNBC. “They take about 50 selfies a day.” And now each and every one is a lawsuit waiting to happen.