It's said that breaking up is hard to do, but have you ever had an ex take you to court to prevent you from seeing someone else? That's not uncommon in the business world, and as former IBM senior executive Joanne Olsen is finding out, breaking up is indeed hard to do.
After serving 31 years with IBM, Oracle managed to dangle a big enough carrot in front of Olsen to lure her away from IBM just as the rivalry between the two companies hit an all time high following Oracle's $5.6 billion buyout of Sun Microsystems. The move has IBM crying foul, which contends that Olsen has violated the terms of the non-competition agreement she signed with IBM. Under terms of the agreement, Olsen must wait a year after leaving IBM before rendering services for a competitor.
"Joanne Olsen possesses valuable confidential information about IBM and our operations. As a result, she cannot undertake a senior position at Oracle without violating her obligations to IBM," said IBM spokesman Doug Shelton.
Olsen, Oracle, and each one's legal team has yet to respond to the accusations.
Wall Street IT professionals are gearing up to increase spending on transformational initiatives in 2010 and 2011, with most of the additional budget in IT investments for analytics going towards risk, compliance, and trading, IBM said.
"Coming out of the largest financial crisis in modern day history, there has never been a more important time for firms to capitalize on technology investments to make sense of the data and gain a more sophisticated understanding of risks," said Shanker Ramamurthy, general manager, IBM Financial Services Sector. "The road to recovery is built on infusing intelligence across operations, streamlining costs and getting back to basics so that firms once again focus on innovation and growth.
The survey pinged nearly 250 business and IT Wall Street dudes, and almost half of them said they expect 20-30 percent of their technology budgets to go towards the above mentioned areas. And of all the regulatory activities, 55 percent identified systemic risk as the largest driver of IT investments.
We don't know if robots will one day rise up and defeat man for dominion over Earth, but one thing's for sure, we're giving up too much ground already. That's because IBM has gone and created a supercomputer capable of beating humans at Jeopardy, a game show that has been dominated by humans ever since it was created nearly 50 years ago.
As The New York Times reports it, IBM's supercomputer, called Watson, appeared in a mock version of the popular game show back in December, followed by live matches after that. During those live matches, Watson won four of six games, answering a variety of questions from cultural media to science and even wordplay.
IBM so far has stuffed the contents of tens of millions of documents into Watson, and come fall, the supercomputer will have its shot at beating humans in the real life Jeopardy game show on national TV, NYT reports. Which side will you be rooting for?
IBM has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Coremetrics, a privately held company based in San Mateo, CA that specializes in Web analytics software, IBM announced on Tuesday.
"With this acquisition, we are extending our capabilities to give clients greater insight about customer behavior and sentiment about products and services, and give true foresight into their future buying patterns," said Craig Hayman, general manager, IBM WebSphere. "Marketing departments can benefit from these capabilities very quickly because we are delivering this in a Software-as-a-Service model. The combination of IBM and Coremetrics will maximize marketing expenditures and also make the buying experience more convenient, personal and interactive for consumers."
The acquisition comes on the heels of IBM's recently 2010 CEO study, in which Big Blue reported 88 percent of CEOs plan to focus on getting closer to their customers in the next five years, while 82 percent said they want to better understand their customer needs. Some 85 percent of CEOs said they need more visibility into their business, and these are all areas IBM hopes this acquisition will them address.
If you see any IBM execs wearing a sling around their arm, it's probably from patting themselves on the back. And we supposed they earned the right to do so, having been named as a Disaster Recovery Service Providers leader in "The Forrester Wave," the company announced.
"We believe this comprehensive analysis reflects both IBM's strategy and technology strengths complemented by the breadth of our offerings and our geographic coverage," said Joanne Olsen, General Manager of IBM Business Continuity and Resiliency Services. "We are honored to be recognized for our success and continue to focus on smarter opportunities to help enterprises make their business and IT operations more resilient, secure, and efficient."
IBM has over 154 facilities around the globe and, according to the report, extensive IT, work-area, mobile, and quick-ship recovery services. The report also notes that IBM employs more than 1,600 employees in its business continuity and recovery services sector.
Though Apple's iPad is really the only viable tablet currently on the market, there has been plenty of concern about the security of business apps on the device, and that includes email. That doesn't have to be the case, says IBM, which is offering a free download that lets Lotus Notes customers have secure access to email, calendar, and other other tools on the iPad.
"The iPad is a lot like the iPhone," says Kevin Cavanaugh, vice president of messaging and collaboration at IBM. "I think this is a recognition that at least some folks are looking at using the iPad as a convenient business device. Personally, I'm traveling with an iPad and have been using the [Lotus Notes] software as I travel around. It's been working incredibly well."
Called IBM Lotus Notes Traveler, the apps is available now and enables the viewing of encrypted email both the iPad and iPhone. For those interested, you can download the app from here.
NetApp was another top gainer with a massive 47.4% year-over-year increase in revenues. It is now within touching distance of second-ranked IBM. In fact, the first quarter proved fruitful for the entire industry. The total disk storage market witnessed year-over-year growth of 18.8% in factory revenues, which rose to $6.7 billion .
"The worldwide disk storage systems market is off to a strong start in Q1 2010, based on year-over-year growth, although annual comparisons are less indicative of market performance given the 2009 economic crisis," said Natalya Yezhkova, research manager, Storage Systems at IDC. "As such, sequential comparisons can provide more information on a market recovery. Although the market declined in Q1 2010 compared to Q4 2009, the decline was lower than usual. This is a positive sign, suggesting increased storage budgets and continued demand for storage solutions."
Many viewed the advent of netbooks as a golden opportunity for Linux to capture the popular imagination. But netbook vendors and users never really warmed up to Linux. It might have failed to grab one massive opportunity, but it has a chance at redemption in the booming market for mobile internet-enabled devices.
British chip designer ARM and five system-on-chip (SoC) vendors – IBM, Freescale Semiconductor, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments - have formed a not-for-profit company called Linaro to provide “new resources and industry alignment for open source software developers using Linux on the world’s most sophisticated semiconductor System-on-Chips (SoCs).”
Linaro will be rolling out new releases of optimized tools, kernel and middleware software every six months, making Linux-based distributions such as Android, LiMo, MeeGo, Ubuntu and webOS compatible with semiconductor offerings from different vendors. This should, in turn, help reduce time-to-market for ARM- and Linux-based devices, including smart phones, tablets, digital televisions, automotive entertainment and enterprise equipment.
"ARM and our partners have a long history of working with, and supporting, open source software development for complex SoCs based on the ARM architecture," said Warren East, ARM CEO. "As a founding member of Linaro, we are working together with the broader open source community to accelerate innovation for the next generation of computing, focusing on delivering a rich connected experience across the diversity of devices in our daily lives."
IBM will spend about $1.4 billion in cash acquiring AT&T subsidiary Sterling Commerce, which specializes in business-to-business (B2B) commerce solutions and data integration software, the two companies announced today.
"Businesses today are operating in a highly competitive global environment in which lines between actions taking place within and outside an organization's four walls are blurring," said Craig Hayman, general manager, WebSphere, IBM. "This acquisition will give IBM new tools to help clients build dynamic business networks that connect partners, suppliers and clients and deliver a consistent customer experience across channels. In addition, the fact that much of this can be done in the cloud will make it compelling to large numbers of our customers."
IBM said it plans to integrate about 2,500 Sterling Commerce employees into the WebSphere organization within IBM's Software Group. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2010, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Taking aim at organizations interested in running scientific and commercial applications on graphics processors, IBM this week updated its iDataPlex servers to now includes GPUs from Nvidia. According to David Turek, vice president of deep computing at IBM's Systems and Technology Group, Nvidia's M2050 GPUs will be faster at executing certain tasks than traditional CPUs.
Some possible clients could include scientific labs run by governments or oil and gas exploration companies where it's common for software to be developed from the ground up, Turek explained. In doing so, these types of organizations can optimize their programs to run faster on GPUs.
Back in 2008, IBM's iDataPlex servers were marketed as a foundation for cloud computing, says Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. By adding GPUs to the mix, IBM's iDataPlex line sets itself even further apart from the competition.
"This is evidence that IBM is seeing that architecture as being more flexible than a foundation for cloud computing," King said.
So why go with Nvidia over ATI? The expanded use of CUDA, says Turek, who also pointed out the increasing popularity of OpenCL, which is backed by industry heavyweights AMD, Apple, Intel, and Nvidia.