Privacy and Data Integrity in the Disinformation Era

Amy Larsen DeCarlo – Principal Analyst, Security and Data Center Services

Summary Bullets:

  • Facebook executives have been on a summer apology tour after the Cambridge Analytica fiasco came to light but new information surfaced that shows the company is still not adequately protecting consumer personal data.
  • Lawmakers aren’t waiting for tech to self-regulate with California’s legislature passing a sweeping consumer privacy bill and federal regulators looking to follow suit.

 

Digital advertising, an $88 billion industry in 2017, is driving notable revenue expansion for some of the top social media platforms.  However, this growth has brought with it some questionable practices in how user information is mined and shared.  Facebook became a focus of intense scrutiny when it came to light that during the 2016 U.S. presidential election U.K.-based political consulting house Cambridge Analytical tapped data from tens of millions of Facebook users to build out voter profiles without express permission.  Facebook executives conducted something of an apology tour, testifying in front of a U.S. Congressional Committee and promising more transparency about how user data is handled and applied. Continue reading “Privacy and Data Integrity in the Disinformation Era”

Amazon Enlists Marquee Partners Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan Chase to Take On Healthcare

A. DeCarlo
A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • Amazon teamed up with Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan Chase to create a separate operating company to find a more cost-effective and efficient way to deliver healthcare to the company’s respective employees.
  • While all three companies bring unique characteristics that set this union apart from other alliances, it is Amazon’s history of transformative innovation that elevates the alliance.

When three giants of their respective industries strike an alliance around U.S. healthcare, the world is bound to react (as are markets). And when one of those companies is Amazon, the word ‘disruption’ almost automatically enters the conversation. So, when news hit the wires that Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and J.P. Morgan Chase are entering a healthcare-related partnership to benefit their employees and lower their cost structure, speculation went into high gear and the conjecture started. Continue reading “Amazon Enlists Marquee Partners Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan Chase to Take On Healthcare”

OpenWorld: Oracle’s Ellison Makes an Aggressive Play to Dominate the Cloud He Once Dismissed

A. DeCarlo
A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

• Unveiling its second generation IaaS platform at its OpenWorld user conference, Oracle’s Ellison asserted that it is Oracle not AWS that will lead the market

• But the company has a lot of ground to cover to come anywhere close to dislodging a provider that continues to impress with an ever-expanding portfolio

Eight years after Larry Ellison ridiculed the cloud as a manufactured buzzword that encompassed everything the computing industry was already doing, the CEO has reversed course and is looking to play a spoiler in a market that forecasters predict could top $120 billion in just four years. Ellison turned his keynote into a scathing critique of AWS and a forum to present Oracle in the disruptor role. Continue reading “OpenWorld: Oracle’s Ellison Makes an Aggressive Play to Dominate the Cloud He Once Dismissed”

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Spin-outs Pave the Way for More Big Shifts in the Cloud Market

A. DeCarlo
A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

• Consolidation is the name of the game in cloud as more providers look to mergers and other moves to redouble their efforts against the better-resourced industry giants AWS, Microsoft and even Google

• Rackspace is following suit, finding a buyer in equity firm Apollo Global Management that will invest more in growing the company which will operate as a private entity outside the scrutiny of Wall Street

With just a handful of cloud providers dominating the market, second tier and tertiary rivals are looking for new ways to compete. For many, consolidation is the route they take in their quest to level the playing field as they face-off against behemoths like AWS and Microsoft. Continue reading “Mergers, Acquisitions, and Spin-outs Pave the Way for More Big Shifts in the Cloud Market”

Verizon Pulls the Plug on Two Public Cloud Services

A. DeCarlo
A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

• Verizon told customers it is discontinuing its Public Cloud Reserved Performance and Marketplace public cloud services in April and that clients of the former will need to migrate their virtual machines to another environment, preferably its own Virtual Private Cloud.

• While the company is sunsetting its credit card cloud service, Verizon will continue to support other IaaS solutions including Cloud Storage

More changes are afoot in the public cloud as yet another provider pulls the plug on its credit card payment-accepting IaaS offer. Verizon is ending support for its Public Cloud Reserved Performance on-demand compute service this spring. The provider is also shutting down its cloud marketplace in April, ending the company’s first shot at building an online catalog that would compete against similar cloud storefronts from the likes of Amazon and Microsoft. Continue reading “Verizon Pulls the Plug on Two Public Cloud Services”

HP Enterprise’s Newest Cloud Tactic? Work with Microsoft to Sell Customers on Azure

A. DeCarlo
A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • Close on the heels of its decision to shutter its Helion public cloud, HP Enterprise is going the partner route to the hybrid cloud with a new alliance with Microsoft Azure
  • HP Enterprise will now sell customers on Microsoft Azure services while Microsoft will send customers seeking out consulting and private cloud services to HP Enterprise

HP Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman slipped a surprise into the Q4 2015 earnings call, the last quarter in which HP reported as a single company. The company is teaming with long-time ally Microsoft in the cloud. HP Enterprise, which announced last month that it is scrapping its own Helion public cloud services, will now be a preferred Microsoft Azure partner. The company will now sell Microsoft Azure public cloud services while the latter will point clients in need of public cloud and consulting services to HP. Continue reading “HP Enterprise’s Newest Cloud Tactic? Work with Microsoft to Sell Customers on Azure”

HP Dims the Lights on Its Helion Public Cloud

Amy Larsen DeCarlo
Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • HP’s fits and starts in the cloud continued this week with its disclosure in a blog that the company will sunset its Helion public cloud offer in January.
  • Unable to compete against the hyperscale tier cloud providers, HP is choosing to redouble its efforts in private cloud – and in selling hardware and software to IaaS providers across the public/private spectrum.

HP is making a fast exit from the public cloud sphere. Outmaneuvered by cloud behemoths like AWS and Microsoft which can outcompete HP consistently on price and agility in the IaaS realm, HP has decided to take its Helion public cloud solution off the market in January 2016. In a blog post this week, Bill Hiff, Senior Vice President and General Manager for HP Cloud, said that while HP is committed to helping customers manage their infrastructures across the traditional IT and private and public cloud spectrums, it was time to make a change. Continue reading “HP Dims the Lights on Its Helion Public Cloud”

Amazon Undercuts Rivals on Storage Prices

Amy Larsen DeCarlo
Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • Once again, Amazon is playing the role of market disruptor with its new cut-rate pricing plan for unlimited storage.
  • Cloud Drive’s deep price cuts are certain to have a big impact; competitors including Google, Box, and Dropbox will have to respond.

Amazon making a price cut is hardly news, given its cloud services arm’s penchant for dropping its fees. However, when the retailer reduces the annual fee for unlimited storage to $59.99, the market takes notice. Cloud Drive has no restrictions on the number of users and no ceiling on the size of an individual file. This low-cost, unlimited storage plan will have broad appeal to both businesses and consumers. Continue reading “Amazon Undercuts Rivals on Storage Prices”

Amazon Web Services Fires Up Its New Directory Service, Taking Aim at the Enterprise – and Microsoft

Amy Larsen DeCarlo
Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • AWS’ new Directory Service promises central IT a single system to authenticate users to both cloud-based and on-premises applications.
  • By integrating its Directory Service with Microsoft Active Directory, AWS makes its authentication solution a practical unified option for some heavy users of its cloud, but it is unlikely to supplant Microsoft anytime soon and its pricing model is flawed.

In a bit of a role reversal, Amazon Web Services is taking a direct shot at rival Microsoft in its pursuit of corporate clients. AWS is hoping that its new Directory Service will sweeten the appeal of its cloud to IT executives who have been put off by the complexity of post-cloud migration application management challenges. Specifically, AWS is playing up the fact that by working with Microsoft Active Directory, the company can offer business and government customers a unified mechanism via its AD Connector to authenticate users, add or move computer systems, and facilitate connections to printers and other enterprise resources both in the cloud and on-premises. The solution looks like an elegant one, but a complex pricing model could throw a wrench in the works. Continue reading “Amazon Web Services Fires Up Its New Directory Service, Taking Aim at the Enterprise – and Microsoft”

CSC Explores the Leveraged Buyout Option

Amy Larsen DeCarlo
Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • CSC contacted a number of private equity firms in the first step toward evaluating whether a leveraged buyout that would allow the company to make further adjustments outside of the scrutiny of Wall Street would be a good option.
  • Though there are potential benefits associated with going private, even the exploration period can be risky as we all learned from Dell’s protracted 2013 leveraged buyout which put the company’s every flaw in the spotlight for months on end.

CSC has come a long way since the UK National Health Service (NHS) contract went off the rails and the shamed ITSP had to pay its client more than $1 billion for its botched job. Under the direction of current CSC President and CEO Mike Lawrie, the company implemented an extensive restructuring plan that includes some cost-cutting and some realignment of products. So when word hit the street that CSC was talking to private equity firms about a possible buyout, people took notice. After all, we are just a couple of years out from the point in time when industry watchers were speculating on whether CSC would sell itself to the highest bidder. Continue reading “CSC Explores the Leveraged Buyout Option”