Hey, this is interesting! It turns out day and night aren’t equally long during an equinox, like the autumnal one that occurred yesterday. The explanation has to do with atmospheric refraction among other things, and…OK, OK, we admit it. We’re just trying to distract you once more from the mad pile of IT news we didn’t write up this week. Better recap it all for you while there’s still daylight out there.
No, I mean it, we’re really, really serious about this cloud thing. That was the overarching theme at Oracle’s OpenWorld conference in San Francisco this week. Though “theme” doesn’t really do justice to the almost inhuman persistence with which Oracle (when not trash talking competitors) loudly underscored its total, complete, and irrevocable devotion to cloud computing by rolling out a parade of new online offerings, including Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Database-as-a-Service solutions, a cloud analytics platform, enhancements to its Software-as-a-Service products, and a low-code application development environment.
Get the message? Let me make sure, just in case, on Larry Ellison’s behalf. CLOUD! The message is cloud, dammit, and the good folks at Oracle are going to keep throwing more of it at you until people start buying it. Which, apparently, they have.
Still need convincing? Listen to these guys. Because Oracle partners got in on the act too:
- Accenture added Oracle’s new IaaS offering to its Oracle Business Group service roster.
- Arrow Electronics unveiled new training, consulting, and product support services for Oracle’s cloud.
- Hitachi Consulting announced a new Oracle cloud migration service.
Meanwhile, over in Vegas...IBM struggled to get attention for the cloud news it broke at its Edge 2016 event. Had Oracle not hogged the spotlight so successfully, Big Blue would have told you about its new OpenStack-based IBM Power Systems hybrid cloud products and SaaS-based z Systems Operational Insights performance analytics solution. There were also a bunch of new alliance announcements, including most notably one involving Red Hat (which had other things to celebrate this week as well).
Touché, Microsoft. Just two weeks after we suggested you were saving all your big news for next week’s Ignite conference you gave the world 40 billion reasons why we were wrong. We’re referring, of course, to the $40 billion Microsoft plans to spend on a new stock buyback program, an enormous sum in relation to everything except the $73 billion or so of cash still burning a hole in Satya Nadella’s pocket.
Anyway, that giant pile of money had everyone so dazed you could easily have missed the announcement that Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Group has a new CTO. His name is Eduardo Kassner and he’s been with the company since 2005, is something of a cloud maven, and will be speaking at Ignite.
As for product news from Microsoft, the pickings were pretty slim this week, though it’s probably worth mentioning that the iOS version of the company’s Project Time Reporter app, which lets Project Online users file timesheets and update tasks from mobile devices, has arrived in the App Store and that an early release of Microsoft’s intriguing blockchain infrastructure solution is now available.
Elsewhere in the enchanted realm of new products this week. We learned this:
- Canon shipped Therefore Online SMB, a new entry-level version of its Therefore content capture and workflow solution.
- ChannelCloud introduced a new hybrid-cloud-in-a-box appliance for SMBs with built-in onsite and offsite backup and hooks to Microsoft Office 365 and Azure.
- Clarity released a new edition of its hosted Clarity Connect contact center solution that integrates with Office 365 and Skype for Business.
- Google launched Allo, its latest foray into the message space. Equipped with artificial intelligence capabilities, it seems to be getting a “meh” rating from reviewers so far.
- Kerio pulled the wraps off an updated version of its VoIP solution boasting a new softphone application, better call quality, and integration with the company's cloud-based web management tool.
- Nasuni unveiled version 7.5 of its Nasuni File Services product, which features enhanced OS X support and expanded scalability.
- NEC announced new additions to its LED display portfolio with 24-bit color processing and a 100,000-hour lifespan (close to 11 and half years, if our math is right).
- Panasonic introduced a new PDF OCR, compression, and conversion solution for use with its scanners.
- The previously mentioned Red Hat shipped an updated edition of its OpenShift Container Platform.
- Samsung introduced what it claims are the world’s fastest, highest-capacity M.2 SSDs, with up to 2 TBs of storage space.
- SVA officially launched BVQ, its infrastructure performance optimization solution.
- Viptela extended its SD-WAN platform to encompass Microsoft Azure.
- Zetta released a new cloud-based BDR system for SMBs with sub-five-minute failover times.
Coincidence or conspiracy? Call us paranoid, but there’s something just plain suspicious about all the executive appointments announced this week. For example:
- BlackStratus named Charles Johnson director of its new security operations center.
- Continuum made Robert Kocis its first-ever chief revenue officer.
- Imprivata introduced Gus Malezis as its new president and CEO.
- Intel appointed Robert “Bob” H. Swan (pictured, and whose friends presumably do that air quotes thing with their fingers when calling him “Bob”) its new executive vice president and CFO. And good timing, “Bob”!
- Metalogix named Ben Levitan its new CEO and John Duvall its new CFO.
- Nexsan made Tony Craythorne its new senior vice president of sales.
- Zebra Technologies added a CTO chair to the executive boardroom and invited Tom Bianculli to sit in it, shortly after ensuring that he’ll have one less “T” to be “C” of.
And yes, there were non-executive stories from vendors this week too. Like these:
- Avast learned that the U.S. government has officially concluded its pending acquisition of AVG poses no threat to national security.
- Impartner received an $8 million infusion of growth capital.
- Zerto rolled out a revamp of its partner program with a new value-as-well-as-volume incentive structure and enhanced training resources.
This just in from our Uplifting as Well as Newsworthy department.
- Avnet didn’t let the sale of its Technology Solutions group keep it from opening the application process for the $250,000 in grants it will award to aspiring tech entrepreneurs in conjunction with Arizona State University.
- CompTIA is working to get more women into the IT industry.
This week’s stats ticker:
- Android malware variations are on track to jump nearly 400 percent this year, according to Webroot.
- 68 percent of businesses worldwide are using cloud computing in at least some capacity, a 61 increase from last year, according to Cisco and IDC.
- 24 percent of North American healthcare providers use wearable devices, according to SADA Systems.
- U.S. small business have just 27 days worth of cash reserves on average, according to JP Morgan Chase.
Two miles of foamy goodness. Forget about waffles. What they’re really good at in Belgium is beer—and distribution apparently as well. Indeed, De Halve Maan, a Belgian brewer with roots extending back at least as far as 1564, has recently completed what’s been billed as the world’s first beer pipeline, a two-mile underground connection between its main production facility in the cobblestoned city of Bruges and a bottling plant outside of town.
And no, this has nothing to do with the technology industry. We just love having an excuse to say the words “beer pipeline.” I mean, imagine it flowing straight to your home. An endless, on-demand supply of Straffe Hendrik, which we’ve never heard of but is probably delicious. Why, you’d never have to think about what to pour yourself before sitting down to eat one of these things.