• Snowflake’s annual summit sees a slew of platform, data management, and partnership announcements.
• These enhancements bolster its competitive position, but the market remains crowded
At its annual summit in early June, Snowflake announced several enhancements to its data cloud platform, services, and partnership program. These announcements enhance its competitive position, making it more appealing to a wider range of user roles (such as developers) and industries.
Some announcements relate to better support for developers, with the inclusion of Java and Scala support in the Snowpark framework, which allows developers to build queries in their preferred programming languages and execute them on Snowflake’s cloud. Announcements also included support for user defined functions (UDF) in Java, greater ability to handle unstructured data, and support for SQL APIs.
Rakuten Mobile is taking the cloud-native, open RAN-based mobile network it built in Japan and commercializing it as an open, end-to-end solution for other operators.
While Rakuten’s mobile network solution is competing with similar recently launched products from leading technology companies like Microsoft and VMware, they all might have trouble convincing their target operator customers.
Rakuten Mobile, Japan’s fourth mobile operator, made headlines in the mobile industry in 2020 for launching its 4G mobile services using a cloud-native, fully virtualized mobile network, one that works on the principles of open RAN. (Open RAN is a set of specifications for open and interoperable radio access networks allowing for disaggregation of portions of the radio access network, namely the radio unit [RU] as well as the distributed baseband and core baseband units, and for those subsections to be supplied by different vendors). However, the company has taken lessons learned from the buildout of its own 4G and 5G cloud-native network and is now trying to productize this into a solution called Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP). In addition to providing a solution for mobile operators, Rakuten is reportedly developing enterprise use cases for 5G edge computing for industry and IoT that can be also supported by the platform. Continue reading “Rakuten Has Ambitious Plans to Become a Mobile Cloud Network Provider”→
Oracle’s new Arm-based compute service offers several advantages over x86 alternatives, which will help Oracle extend its reach to new markets.
Longer term, however, Oracle should expect to face increased competition from key rivals as they add Arm-based cloud services to their portfolios.
The launch of Arm-based instances on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) will help Oracle extend its reach to new market segments, including the Arm app developer community. Longer term, however, Arm-based servers are likely to play a much greater role as a destination for cloud workloads, coexisting in cloud data centers with x86 alternatives. Oracle should expect to face increased competition from key rivals, including Microsoft Azure, Alibaba, and Google Cloud, as they add Arm-based cloud services to their existing portfolios. Continue reading “Oracle Drives Competition in the Growing Market for Arm-Based Cloud Compute”→
Partners are warming up to IBM as it invests heavily in growing the partner ecosystem and leveling the playing field for managed services, and Kyndryl will soon become a separate business.
Service providers are building more strategic alliances with IBM, and one of the potential areas for collaboration is automation including AIOps.
At the recent IBM Think 2021 event, the company highlighted progress it has made in helping partners succeed. After announcing the spinoff of its managed infrastructure business in 2020, IBM has stepped up its efforts to drive partner success, including an investment of USD 1 billion in its partner ecosystem (please see “IBM Pivots Toward Partner Ecosystem for Its Go-to-Market Strategy,” February 26, 2021). In April 2021, IBM announced its independent managed infrastructure services business would be named ‘Kyndryl.’ ‘Kyn’ has its origin in the word ‘kinship,’ referencing the belief that relationships with people – employees, customers, and partners – are at the center of the strategy. ‘Dryl’ is meant to suggest the word ‘tendril,’ which IBM says brings “to mind new growth.” With the separation of Kyndryl from IBM expected by the end of 2021, it will level the playing field for IBM’s partners to compete for managed services. Continue reading “IBM Think 2021 Highlights Its Traction with Partners to Develop Hybrid Cloud and Automation Capabilities”→
• Socio’s platform enables execution of hybrid events spanning in-person and virtual attendees.
• Event organizers benefit disproportionately from the platform as compared to meeting attendees.
In May 2021, Cisco announced its intention to acquire Socio Labs, an event management platform provider. The acquisition is expected to finalize in Cisco’s Q4 fiscal year 2021 (May-July) subject to customary closing conditions and required regulatory approvals. Cisco declined to reveal the value of the transaction.
Socio’s platform enables execution of hybrid events mixing in-person and virtual attendees. As the end of the COVID-19 pandemic draws nearer, “hybrid” has emerged in the lexicon to represent a new normal in the workplace – a blending of in-office and virtual employees. Cisco’s new events capability is a corollary to that reality.
• At IBM Think 2021, IBM released several capabilities that help customers craft what it calls an ‘intelligent data fabric’.
• IBM AutoSQL (Structured Query Language) for Cloud Pack for Data is designed to help streamline access to data stored in multiple locations.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer the shiny new toy on the market that it was a few years ago. Many organizations have by now dabbled with the technology, and a large number have rolled up their sleeves and deployed multiple AI projects. As enterprises mature in their adoption of the technology, they are eager to deploy AI at scale, moving beyond one or two limited implementations to applying machine learning (ML) to more tasks and making it available to a larger number of business units.
• During IBM Think IBM unveiled a set of new products and features underscoring its more comprehensive automation and hybrid cloud portfolio
• Also holding conferences and outlining automation strategies and offerings last week were ServiceNow, Automation Anywhere, and Appian
Following 12 months of aggressive investment in the workflow automation space, IBM used its mega annual conference, IBM Think, to demonstrate how its latest DevOps focus is paying off and strengthening the company’s overarching hybrid cloud agenda.
Workflow automation represents an emerging market sector which most closely defines the current DevOps concept and includes a prominent list of ecosystem rivals. While IBM leveraged the conference to provide hybrid cloud technology updates, its larger agenda was meant to reiterate its strengths going forward in the increasingly competitive workflow automation space. IBM finds itself facing notable competitors within a changing ecosystem including ServiceNow, Salesforce, Pegasystems, Automation Anywhere, Appian, and Microsoft among others. These vendors represent both partnerships and competitors in an evolving market which touches upon several advanced technologies including low-code development platforms, robotic process automation (RPA), AI, workflow automation tools, and intelligent process automation (IPA).