Megadeal Between Microsoft and Walmart Speaks More About Fast AI Than Global Scale

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Walmart’s announcement that it would use Microsoft’s cloud platform and desktop apps across its entire business looks to be a direct shot across the bow of Amazon, a direct counterpoint to Amazon’s own ‘All In’ marketing mantra.
  • Instead, this partnership speaks more to the operationalization and unification of synergistic technologies – AI, IoT, big data – as a means of speeding time to market for Walmart’s numerous customer engagement projects.

At first blush, Walmart’s announcement that it would use Microsoft’s cloud platform and desktop apps across its entire business looks to be a direct shot across the bow of Amazon the retailer and Amazon the provider of public cloud services with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Continue reading “Megadeal Between Microsoft and Walmart Speaks More About Fast AI Than Global Scale”

Release of AI-optimized Kunlun Chip a Game Changer for Baidu

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

  • During its AI developer conference, Baidu made several announcements that demonstrate how it is moving the Chinese AI market forward, but the release of its Kunlun chip stands out as a key move that repositions it in the not only the Chinese market, but also globally
  • With Kunlun, Baidu joins the ranks of a select few companies that not only offer an AI platform that helps enterprises deploy AI-infused solutions, but that have also developed their own hardware to maximize AI processing.

Baidu is hot on the heels of the likes of Microsoft and Google. Although already known as an ambitious player in the AI realm, primarily in China, the search engine provider hasn’t managed to establish itself as a major force in the space, until now. Earlier this month, Baidu announced that it is bringing to market an AI-optimized chip, called Kunlun.  With the move, Baidu joins the ranks of a select few companies that not only offer an AI platform that helps enterprises deploy AI-infused solutions, but have also developed their own hardware to maximize AI processing.  Continue reading “Release of AI-optimized Kunlun Chip a Game Changer for Baidu”

Is the Writing on the Wall for Digital Whiteboards?

T. Banting

Summary Bullets:

  • Without significant development, interactive whiteboards (IWBs) are unlikely to gain traction, as the ability to replicate (albeit digitally) a physical whiteboard lacks business value.
  • IWBs will struggle to gain traction, as app sharing, touch-screen devices, and styluses are more likely to be utilized by many.

In previous articles, we observed that the interactive whiteboard (IWB) market appeared to be dividing into three distinct segments:

  1. High-end video endpoints with multi-touch screens (e.g., Cisco Webex Board);
  2. High-end computing devices augmented with AV hardware (e.g., Microsoft Surface Hub, Windows Collaboration Displays, and Google Jamboard);
  3. All-in-one devices leveraging existing physical whiteboards (e.g., Highfive in partnership with Dolby).

Last Thursday, Microsoft announced the general availability of its Whiteboard app for Windows 10 after its prior preview in December 2017. With the ability to draw, type, add and manipulate images, annotate, recognize shapes and tables, and add sticky notes, Whiteboard can run on numerous stylus-based devices such as Surface Hubs and laptops today, with iOS support planned in the future. Continue reading “Is the Writing on the Wall for Digital Whiteboards?”

Cable and Satellite Companies Pushing into IoT: Can They Win Against Mobile Operators?

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • U.S. cable operators and satellite TV providers have been entering the IoT market over the past two years, selling smart home and wearable solutions to consumers, as well as B2B offerings to businesses.
  • Cox Communications, Comcast, and Dish Networks are actively providing B2B IoT services already or have plans in place to do so.

How Do Cablecos Deliver IoT Services?

Cablecos and satellite TV providers differ fundamentally from mobile operators because they don’t actually own spectrum or licensed wireless networks. But, they have other ‘cards up their sleeves’ which give them a route to market. Continue reading “Cable and Satellite Companies Pushing into IoT: Can They Win Against Mobile Operators?”

Bosch IoT: Strong Potential in Manufacturing, a Huge and Rapidly Growing Sector in Asia-Pacific

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Bosch has strong potential in manufacturing, automotive, and transportation sectors, which are the high-growth verticals in Asia-Pacific.
  • The provider needs to expand its cloud partners and strengthen its security solution to address the main IoT challenges of Asian enterprises in those sectors.

Bosch is not the first name you would think of when talking about IoT or even in a wider ICT topic. The brand is more synonymous with industrial equipment and household appliances. However, with 6.2 million IoT connections and more than 250 deployments, Bosch is considered as one of the key players in IoT space. It started its initiatives in IoT as early as 2008, when the company acquired Innovations Software Technology. Fast forward to 2018, Bosch Software Innovations has acquired three companies to expand its IoT capability, launched Bosch IoT Suite (available on third-party clouds) and Bosch IoT Cloud, and opened its IoT Lab and IoT Campus. Continue reading “Bosch IoT: Strong Potential in Manufacturing, a Huge and Rapidly Growing Sector in Asia-Pacific”

Application Platform Providers Heed the Call to Blockchain

Charlotte Dunlap – Principal Analyst, Application Platforms

Summary Bullets:

  • Traditional platform services including integration embedded into blockchain solutions will prevail in the competitive landscape.
  • Application platforms providers are beginning to offer BaaS, looking for ways to support repeatable operations by integrating the technology into core DevOps technologies.

 

Blockchain is just one form of distributed ledger technology (DLT), but considering the amount of investment being made in blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) offerings by vendors such as IBM and Oracle, it’s likely to become the main technology global companies will use to revolutionize global commerce.

Continue reading “Application Platform Providers Heed the Call to Blockchain”

New WPA3 Makes Wi-Fi Security Stronger for Enterprise, Easier for Consumers Connecting IoT Devices

Summary Bullets:

• WPA3 is the new WLAN security standard, with the network and device industry on board for migration from WPA2 starting now

• Stronger authentication and encryption will thwart attackers, while Easy Connect configuration will make set-up easy for connected home and IoT devices

Fourteen years is a long time in Wi-Fi technology. In fact, it’s almost its entire history. That’s why this week’s announcement by the Wi-Fi Alliance introducing Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WPA3 is garnering much more notice than a new security standard usually gets.

Continue reading “New WPA3 Makes Wi-Fi Security Stronger for Enterprise, Easier for Consumers Connecting IoT Devices”

HPE Sets Out to Master the Edge While Extending Managed, Metered IT Consumption to Hybrid Cloud

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

• HPE’s new EdgeLine portfolio enhancements will enable customers to run storage-intensive applications and additional core data center functions within remote edge locations.

• HPE’s new GreenLake Hybrid Cloud offering will appeal to hybrid cloud customers that struggle with things like cost and management complexity but won’t disrupt the wider market.

At its Discover event in Las Vegas a last week, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) unveiled several new solution updates and strategic initiatives which, it believes, will transform the way businesses consume, deploy and operate data center technologies. First, HPE announced plans to invest US$4 billion over the next four years to develop technologies that support enterprise edge computing. Edge computing promises to transform the way data centers are deployed and managed and the type of workloads they support. It enables the operation and allocation of enterprise IT resources – including compute, storage, networking, data management, and analytics – at locations that are closer to the points of data generation, and to the end users of digital content and applications.

HPE already has a number of products that support enterprise edge computing initiatives. These include its EdgeLine hyperconverged infrastructure systems, which are specifically designed for deployment in remote locations, often far from central data centers. In Vegas, HPE revealed that it was increasing the storage allocation available on its EL1000 and EL4000 models, from 4TB to 48TB, thanks to a new hardware add-on. The additional storage will allow EdgeLine to support more storage-intensive use cases at the edge of enterprise networks, including databases, artificial intelligence, and video applications. In addition, HPE announced that it had validated several enterprise software stacks for use with the EL1000 and EL4000 systems, including VMware, Microsoft SQL Server, SAP HANA and Citrix XenDesktop. By validating entire software stacks, rather than lighter, tailored versions, HPE aims to help customers run virtualization and compute functions at the network edge with the same tools they use in their primary data centers.
Continue reading “HPE Sets Out to Master the Edge While Extending Managed, Metered IT Consumption to Hybrid Cloud”

Consumerization of IT: Channel Partners Need to Adapt or Die

T. Banting

Summary Bullets:

• Public cloud services threaten traditional channels that have hitherto made their revenue through hardware and the service costs to design, install and maintain premises-based solutions.

• Integrators now need AV experience, networking and security expertise, plus the ability to code and customize apps to suit a customer’s workflow.

A persons’ consumer experience with technology continues to impact their expectations regarding the technology they use at work. This consumerization of IT (or CoIT) trend radically affects the collaboration and communications market, as vendors rapidly adapt to the new reality of a mobile-first, user-focused, and as-a-Service world. This highly influential trend predominated the recent InfoComm 2018 event in Las Vegas earlier this month, where over 200 collaboration and communications vendors exhibited and participated in educational sessions and panels. Partners that can’t adapt will be left behind and face irrelevance; consequently, this creates turbulence and opportunity for the industry and its ecosystem of suppliers.
Continue reading “Consumerization of IT: Channel Partners Need to Adapt or Die”

The End of the Best-of-Suite Approach in Collaboration and Communications?

T. Banting

Summary Bullets:

• With best-of-suite vendors offering adequate capabilities for the average collaboration and communications user, a best-of-breed strategy may be superfluous.

• Modern software suites still offer organizations the capability to choose best-of-breed components if the suite does not fit the specific needs of the business.

A favored and common IT strategy has been adopting a “best-of-breed” approach; in other words, purchasing and integrating several products from multiple vendors to achieve the ideal architecture. However, with the likes of Google G Suite, Microsoft Office 365, and other cloud vendors offering software bundles with mature, compelling product features from top to bottom, a “best-of-suite” approach is becoming an attractive substitute. The software industry has witnessed such shifts before. WordPerfect, widely loved and adopted as a standard word-processing application in the 1980s, lost out to the aggressive bundling of Microsoft Office in the 1990s. As good and comprehensive as WordPerfect was, its interoperability with other software products was limited; companies couldn’t make it work with the other products they needed. Could history repeat itself with today’s collaboration and communications solutions? Fortunately, few vendors offer all-encompassing, yet proprietary and closed suites today. Software suites now offer numerous advantages for IT departments, such as per-month, per-user pricing; vastly reduced management, administrative and security overhead; plus the foundation for future development of new capabilities such as artificial intelligence (AI)-powered features. Continue reading “The End of the Best-of-Suite Approach in Collaboration and Communications?”