Posts Tagged ‘enterprise’

Cisco Warns That 2014 Is Going to Be a Tough Year

November 14, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Shares of Cisco Systems fell by more than 10 percent in after-hours trading after the company gave guidance for the coming quarter that fell considerably short of what analysts had expected. Earlier today, Cisco reported sales for the October quarter that missed expectations, and blamed the weakness on declining sales in its emerging markets. During a conference call, Cisco said it expects to earn between 45 cents and 47 cents in its second quarter versus the 52 cents that had been expected. For the year, it expects to earn between $1.95 and $2.05 a share, a lot lower than the $2.10 analysts had been modeling. The disclosure took analysts listening to a conference call with CEO John Chambers and other Cisco executives by surprise. One went so far as to describe himself as “floored.” I just got off the phone with CEO John Chambers, and I asked him what is it that’s hammering Cisco’s expectations so seriously. “The things that we control and influence are going well,” he said. It’s those pesky economic forces that are causing so much trouble. The big one was business in emerging markets: It has fallen off a cliff, from 13 percent growth two quarters ago to a 12 percent decline in the quarter ended in October. Emerging markets amount to more than 22 percent of sales, so its easy to see how that can hurt the overall sales picture. Another segment, sales to service providers, fell 13 percent in the quarter. A product transition in Cisco’s high-end routing business is also under way, he said. Some customers are holding back on buying the newer gear, and holding on to their older stuff. “All it takes is about 10 percent of those customers hesitating and that impacts you in a major way,” he said. It’s a situation that should correct itself later in 2014 when those customers get a chance to test out the new products. But Chambers conceded that the new couple of quarters are going to be tough. So it’s that time again, when I select a song that describes Cisco’s quarter. It’s a little tradition I started a few years ago when I first started covering Cisco, and it stuck

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Dropbox Goes Business Class With New Enterprise Tools

November 13, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Dropbox today is relaunching its products to make them more enterprise-friendly. Rather than creating two separate offerings for personal and business use, the company rebuilt its core file hosting product to allow enterprise users to control what their employees have access to, and to allow consumers to separate their personal files from their work files. That means company admins will have enterprise-grade tools like shared audit logs, remote wipe and account transfer when an employee leaves a company, centralized billing, two-step verifications and 24/7 customer service. Meanwhile, individual users will have both a personal folder they control, as well as a work folder they share with their company. The product will cost $795 per year for five users, and $125 per additional user per year. It is to launch in beta this month, and more broadly next year. Dropbox is already a significant business product — at least according to Dropbox. The company claims that its 200 million-plus users save more than 1 billion files every day. “That’s more tweets than on Twitter,” points out Dropbox CEO Drew Houston. “And it isn’t 140-character snippets, it’s your most important stuff.” And according to an internal count, four million companies use Dropbox today, including 97 percent of the Fortune 500. Now Dropbox is going to take those businesses more seriously. But that doesn’t mean it’s splitting off separate tools. It means it’s adding corporate-grade tools to the core Dropbox product. “Some people think there’s a consumer version of Dropbox and then there’s this different enterprise version of Dropbox,” Houston said. “We think that’s ridiculous. There should be only one.” Switching between two products would waste users’ time, he argued. Dropbox had to spend a year rebuilding its products to add the new enterprise-class controls the company unveiled today. “We’d been nervous,” Houston said. “If we clear off your computer, we might remote wipe all your baby photos.” Yet, there’s more work to be done. The new version of Dropbox doesn’t include employee collaboration tools

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Baby, You Can Drive (Or Ride in) My Car

November 12, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

If you’re still driving your own car, you might need to get up to speed. Car sharing and ride sharing have cruised into many cities around the world, especially as more people are going car-free to save money or live more environmentally friendly lifestyles. And smartphone apps are making it even easier to find available rental cars and rides. But before you can join in a chorus of car-sharing Kumbaya, you might want some basic information. In this week’s column, I’ll explain how car sharing and ride sharing work, how to find and access cars and how to address safety concerns. This could be helpful if you need wheels for just an hour or the day, want a ride from someone or want to offer a ride to someone. Just be prepared to pay for the convenience of quickly picking up a car and be aware of the possible awkwardness of riding with a stranger. Wheeling in Convenience A spin with some zip: Zipcar lets you pick from a variety of vehicles and choose a membership plan that fits your driving frequency. Renting a car no longer means going to an airport or rental office to get one. You might be able to find a car a few steps from your front door. This is especially common in cities where services like Zipcar, Car2Go and Enterprise (with its Enterprise CarShare program) let users pick up or drop off cars on streets or in parking garages. To start, you’ll need a membership with the company, which usually requires a fee, as well as some information like your driver’s license, age, moving violation history (if any) and payment information. The company will send you a membership card, which you wave over a small panel on the windshield to unlock the car and start tracking the time you began using it. Keys are inside and you’ll leave them there when you’re done. To lock the car, just swipe your card on the windshield reader again. In the case of Zipcar and Enterprise CarShare, cars must be picked up and returned to the same spot and reservations must be made via phone, website or mobile app. Car2Go uses a looser approach: It lets members pick up cars without a reservation (though you can make one) and it’s designed for one-way rides to anywhere within a designated Home Area

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Enterprise Storage Startup Coho Data Lands $25 Million Series B

November 5, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

To the list of things that are becoming “software-defined” in the data center, you can now add storage. The idea is that you can use basic commodity hardware that has been carefully programmed to create a more flexible and scalable way to handle your storage needs. While a lot of people think flash memory is going to be the answer to all the storage problems in the data center, there are still plenty of people who think it only gets you part of the way to where you need to be. Ramana Jonnala is one of them. He’s the CEO of Coho Data, a Canada-based startup that came out of stealth last month and today announced a $25 million Series B round of funding led by Ignition Partners. Frank Artale, managing director at Ignition and a former group VP at Citrix System, will be joining Coho’s board. Andreesseen Horowitz, which led Coho’s A round, also invested; Coho has now raised a total of $35 million. Peter Levine led that deal back when Coho was still called Convergent.io . The idea behind Coho is to combine flash memory with traditional disks into an appliance that’s as manageable as a cloud storage system — say, what you’d find on Amazon Web Services. The company says that using its appliances makes it easier to grow into more storage as you need it. Capacity gets used more efficiently and, as a result, you end up paying less. “Our idea was to create a scale-out solution,” Jonnala told me in a recent conversation. “Because we use commodity components, it lets us do this at a lower dollar cost per gigabyte.” In one example it gives, Coho says that one of its storage arrays holding 190 petabytes can be deployed for about $500,000, versus $1.5 million for a typical standard storage setup. And that’s with higher rates of performance and in a smaller physical space. Something to think about.

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Oracle, Google and Red Hat Engineers Ride to the Rescue of Health Care Site

October 31, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Engineers from at least three major tech companies are said to be helping the federal government with its troubled health insurance website, HealthCare.gov. According to a Bloomberg report , at least three employees on leave from Google, Oracle and Red Hat are stepping in to help get the site up and running nearly a month after its disastrous launch. One of those named is Michael Dickerson, a site reliability engineer at Google. According to his LinkedIn profile , he’s a seven-year veteran of Google who also spent five months working on the Obama campaign during the 2012 election. He’s on leave from Google, according to a person familiar with the situation. A second engineer is Greg Gershman, whose LinkedIn profile lists him as the director of innovation at Mobomo , a Baltimore-based company that has built mobile apps for the U.S. Navy and NASA. He’s a former presidential innovation fellow who spent six months working on Project MyUSA , a site intended to “re-imagine the relationship between citizens and government through technology.” The story didn’t name anyone from Oracle or Red Hat working on the effort, dubbed the “tech surge,” to try to get the site running properly. Stephanie Wonderlick, a spokeswoman for Red Hat, didn’t have any comment. Google had no comment

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CSC Acquires Cloud Service Manager ServiceMesh

October 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Information technology company CSC said today it would acquire ServiceMesh, a cloud services management startup that raised about $15 million from Ignition Partners in 2011. ServiceMesh specializes in technology that helps customers manage the many applications they run on various cloud computing platforms. Financial terms were not disclosed, but CSC described the deal as part of an effort to transform itself into what it called a “next generation IT company.”

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With Samsung Win, Intel Has a Modem Chip for LTE Phones and Tablets

October 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Chipmaker Intel today took the unusual step of letting the world know that it has a chip inside a new consumer product. It’s the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 (That series of devices was reviewed by AllThingsD’s Bonnie Cha here ), and with its release in Asia and Europe, Intel says it marks the beginning of a new era in its frustrating history with chips for wireless phones and tablets. In the LTE wireless version of the tablet, there is an Intel XMM 7160 platform, and it is Intel’s first multi-mode wireless modem, capable of communicating with 2G, 3G and 4G wireless data networks. It sends a strong signal about Intel’s intentions on the wireless phone front in two ways. For one thing, it’s Intel’s first multi-mode chip. For another, it’s only the second such chip put out by anyone. Qualcomm was the first. Building a chip of this type is a difficult engineering challenge because there’s the issue of building a chip that can talk to whatever flavor of wireless network it happens to encounter, but then also the added challenge of giving it the ability to switch between those flavors on the fly without any interruption in service. You wouldn’t like a phone that drops a call just because you drove out of the range of a 4G network, and into the countryside, where only older networks may be present.

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Benchmark’s Fenton and New Relic’s Cirne Talk About Democratization of Data (Video)

October 27, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

App management in the enterprise is perhaps not the most lively of topics, but I did what turned out to be a very entertaining interview with New Relic’s CEO and co-founder Lew Cirne at its FutureStack13 conference last week. As Arik Hesseldahl noted in a recent chat with Cirne about New Relic, it is: “the white-hot cloud-based software company that monitors the software performance to help its customers make sure it’s running right. And it does it in a big and granular way — a few billion events a day, from Web servers and smartphone apps and all kinds of other places where you find software running, are reported into its database. Customers can then comb through that data with relative ease to find any problems with their software.” Cirne takes coding vacations where he comes up with the next big thing for his company. In the latest one to Mexico, it turned out to be a new product called Rubicon that aggregates and answers questions about data. He talks about it here, along with Benchmark Capital’s Peter Fenton, one of the investors that has forked over $175 million to New Relic to help realize its data-wrangling dreams. And, while you might not find enterprise riveting, it really can be (and somehow I got to tweak Fenton about Snapchat ):

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As NetSuite Beats Expectations on Earnings, Fireworks Erupt With SAP

October 24, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Shutterstock / Botond Horvath Capping what has been a busy week for cloud software supplier NetSuite, the company reported earnings that beat the expectations of analysts, and then engaged in a little jousting with rival SAP. NetSuite shares rose after hours by more than one percent on news that the company reported a non-GAAP profit of nine cents a share, beating the expectation of analysts by one cent. Revenue was $107 million, beating the consensus view of $105.7 million. But the big news was the shots fired by NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson at SAP, the German business software giant and its chief rival. I missed the conference call, but Nelson’s short statement in the press release sets the tone pretty well. He has clearly been studying up on the playbook of Larry Ellison, the Oracle CEO who happens to be Nelson’s former boss and a significant, if indirect, NetSuite shareholder, and who routinely disses the competition during earnings calls: “This week has been a tale of two companies as NetSuite’s Q3 revenue set a new record, while SAP effectively exited the business of providing software for mid-sized companies as they scale back their Business ByDesign product, which they once hyped as a NetSuite killer. … These two divergent results show that as mission-critical software moves to the Cloud, it is far safer for customers to turn to committed leaders like NetSuite rather than bet on the PowerPoint presentations of last-generation providers like SAP, Microsoft and Sage.” Nelson was, of course, referring to reports, initially from a German magazine and later echoed elsewhere, suggesting that SAP was effectively ending development on its Business ByDesign cloud software service for small businesses. SAP pushed back against that characterization, saying that it is instead moving that service to its HANA line of cloud-based products, and it reiterated that sentiment today. “This is a sad attempt by NetSuite to capitalize on some inaccuracies in the media earlier this week,” SAP spokesman Jim Dever told me by phone today. “We definitely will continue Business ByDesign. We are refactoring it on HANA and will continue to support its customers.” NetSuite was quick to pounce on the report about Business ByDesign — right, wrong or in between — and said it will offer a migration program to those it said had been “left high and dry” by the SAP change, whatever it may be. NetSuite, you’ll recall, specializes in Enterprise Resource Management software — essentially software used to run all the key operational aspects of a business — but does it in the cloud and aims specifically at small and medium-sized customers and divisions of larger ones. Business ByDesign had been created specifically to take on NetSuite and launched in 2010. On Saturday the German magazine WirtschaftsWoche (which translates to Business Week) called it the “biggest flop” in SAP’s history , saying that after three billion euros and seven years, it had attracted only 785 customers and about $31 million in revenue. Dever pointed out that Business ByDesign isn’t SAP’s only product aimed at smaller businesses. Another, called SAP Business One, dates back to 2002 and has about 40,000 customers. Initially sold on-premise, it has started to move to cloud installations too, he said. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock / Botond Horvath )

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NetSuite Acquires HR Software Player TribeHR

October 22, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Interesting development in the enterprise cloud software business today. NetSuite, the company that sells a cloud-based enterprise-resource management suite — applications that are used to run a company’s operations — is extending into the human resources area. NetSuite (that’s CEO Zach Nelson in the picture) said today it would acquire TribeHR, which is a player in the Human Capital Management space, and which, like NetSuite, goes after mid-market companies. So think of it as a Workday or a SuccessFactors for smaller companies. TribeHR is a four-year-old company based in Waterloo, Canada, and it has 450 customers in 50 countries. Financial terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed, but NetSuite said it will talk about it in more detail when it reports quarterly earnings later this week. It’s NetSuite’s second acquisition this year. In January it got into the retail point-of-sale business by acquiring Retail Anywhere . Looks like NetSuite is going to remain acquisitive for the time being. NetSuite shares rose by less than one percent after the deal was announced to close at $109.19 today. The rise probably had more to do with the fact that JMP Securities hiked its price target on NetSuite to $115 from $98 in a research report today. And the reason for that was word from SAP over the weekend that it intends to cut back on development of Business ByDesign , a product that was created to compete with NetSuite.

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