And Now For Something Completely Different… And This Time We Mean It

Just days after unloading the majority of its software business HPE reported better-than-expected financial results, including $8.2 billion in revenues. “Execution continued to improve and our profitability increased over last quarter as we reduced costs across the organization and we successfully closed the spin merge of our software business late last week,” said CEO Meg Whitman during the earnings call. “With that milestone behind us, we are off and running.” Whitman attributed the “strong Q3 performance” primarily to better execution and a “compelling portfolio”, i.e. core server revenue was up 13% year-over-year, 200% growth in HPE SimpliVity hyperconverged offering (albeit off a small base), 30% year-over-year all-flash storage growth (driven by Nimble), and continued success with Aruba, including 30% growth in wireless LAN solutions. She also announced the intent to acquire Cloud Technology Partners, which helps Fortune 500 customers move to a cloud, build new cloud-based solutions and manage their cloud environment. Of course it wouldn’t be HPE without some controversy, and this time it was the stories circulating about Whitman jumping ship to Uber. Her explanation during the earnings call left something to be desired: she said she was called in late to be interviewed for the CEO position but “in the end that wasn’t the right thing.” She stated that there is lots more work to do at HPE to make it successful and “I actually am not going anywhere.” At least until the next time. The company was generating close to $120 billion annually just five years ago, and under Whitman’s guidance the company split into two — HP (PCs and printers) and HPE (enterprise) — and spun-merged software and services to shrink HPE down to a still significant, but significantly smaller $30-billion powerhouse. HPE is a Jekyll and Hyde, difficult to figure out, according to Mark Peters, ESG Practice Director and Senior Analyst (Storage), Enterprise Strategy Group. In June he noted that the company’s direction is becoming clearer. Whitman said things were getting easier, with “nowhere left to hide.” That’s no longer the case, said Whitman in a post-earnings call. “Now we can see Hewlett Packard Enterprise on a go-forward basis with perfect clarity.” The proof is in the performance of high-performance computing, Synergy, Simplivity, and Nimble all-flash arrays, she added. “What we have done, if you pull the lens all the way back,” said Whitman, “is to focus on higher-growth, higher-margin products, while stabilizing the core.” Software continues to be critical, but HPE’s focus is on system software, not the application software spun-merged with Micro Focus. “We are focused, though, on moving hard to software-defined infrastructure, with a stack that is quite modern, including...

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Micro Focus HyPEs New Security Business
Sep14

Micro Focus HyPEs New Security Business

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)   Last week Equifax, a supplier of credit information, reported that a recent data breach could affect up to 143 million consumers in the U.S. It’s even worse for businesses: according to Cisco’s 2017 Midyear Cybersecurity Report, only 66% of organizations are investigating security alerts, and businesses are mitigating less than 50% of attacks they know are legitimate. More than 150 years ago author Charles Dickens started off his novel ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ with “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”, and that line is still timely when it comes to cybersecurity and the new and improved Micro Focus. The new company officially debuted on September 1 with the ‘spin-merge’ acquisition of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s software business valued at $8.8 billion, making it the world’s ‘seventh largest pure-play software company’, with annual revenue of $4.4 billion. Chris Hsu, formerly COO of HPE and EVP and GM of HPE Software, is now CEO of Micro Focus. Under the terms of the deal, HPE shareholders own 50.1% of the new company, which works out to approximately $6.3 billion, which is in addition to the $2.5 billion cash payment that HPE received. The deal involved the ArcSight security and Mercury Interactive application management assets, as well as the late and unlamented Autonomy Corp. plc, which HP acquired in 2011 for $11.1 billion (more than $16 billion for all three acquisitions), but ended up writing off almost $9 billion of the purchase price. According to Securities and Exchange Commission filings, HPE’s software business revenue in the 12 months through Oct. 31, 2016 were $3.17 billion. ITOM (IT Operations Management) comprised 61% of the revenue; Enterprise Security Products (18%); Information Management and Governance (16%); and Big Data Analytics (5%). Revenue for all products broke down to: 28% license, 9% software-as-a-service (SaaS), 50% maintenance, and 13% professional services. On Tuesday the company refreshed its expanded security portfolio, with new and enhanced offerings, including: -ArcSight Data Platform (ADP) 2.2 (GA October) brings native, realtime log parsing, security data enrichment and normalization into the innovative Event Broker for security operations that scales to any data volumes, building the power of ArcSight’s connectors directly into the Event Broker; -a new partnership provides IT and security teams with data that has been enriched for better visibility and customization within powerful search dashboards of Elastic; –ArcSight Investigate 2.0 (GA October) with built-in security analytics displayed in pre-defined dashboards that are powered by Vertica to provide actionable intelligence for front-line analysts; -Change Guardian 5.0...

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Digital Transformation: Innovation With A Body Count
Apr27

Digital Transformation: Innovation With A Body Count

For the majority of the IT industry’s history the focus has been on efficiency, how to do more with less. More recently, and now lumped under the catchphrase of ‘Digital Transformation (DT/DX)’, the focus has shifted to effectiveness: it’s no longer a case of just doing things right; the emphasis is changing to doing the right things. Increasingly, DT is an extinction-level event — it’s ‘go digital or die’ — and a new survey from Dell EMC reinforces this dire forecast (or incredible opportunity). The business phenomenon Digital Transformation (AKA digitization or Industry 4.0) and its related technologies — cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), big data and analytics (BDA), mobility, social media and security — changes everything… and nothing. New tools and new applications drive new ways of doing things, but ultimately, it’s still about selling more goods and services with acceptable margins. According to the ESG 2017 IT Transformation Maturity Curve study conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group and commissioned by Dell EMC, only 5% of large companies are prepared to meet the IT requirements of the Digital Business era. As do so many similar studies, Dell EMC found that 95% of survey respondents are falling behind their best-of-breed competitors who are accelerating their digital business goals through IT transformation, while 71% agree that they will not be competitive without IT transformation. Given that 96% of the more mature organizations exceeded revenue targets last year and are more than 2X as likely to meet revenue goals, I have to wonder why only 71% seem worried. As Dell EMC President David Goulden noted in the press release, “… the research shows that most respondents are falling behind a small and elite set of competitors who have cracked the IT Transformation code, and they’re competing more vigorously because of it.” Trey Layton, VP and CTO with Dell EMC’s CPSD, told IT Trends & Analysis the study reinforces the company’s belief that this “is more than a business agenda, it is a digital transformation at the foundation.” A major concern is that enterprises’ foundations typically consist of separate silos, and many employees and executives feel trapped. “If you look at the IT organizations we deal with around the world, they’re in various stages of their journey to transformation… but the power centers are siloed… in compute, storage and network silos…” The biggest concern they’re finding when they talk to customers “is that the future space doesn’t have a place for them from a skill-set perspective,” he said. “CIOs are trying to break down those barriers.” Global Knowledge’s 10th annual IT Skills and Salary Survey, released earlier this month, reported that more...

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Donald Trump Gives BlackBerry A Huge Boost, Again

John Chen, BlackBerry’s CEO, may have just become a much bigger fan of Donald Trump. You see when President Trump signed the executive order rolling back President Obama’s restrictions on ISP’s sharing of personal information he basically handed Blackberry, a Canadian firm, a huge advantage. You see BlackBerry differentiates in the market by securing, not sharing, customer data. In fact, they go to great lengths to ensure that this information is secure even from BlackBerry employees. Even when information access would be beneficial to the firm, like using it to improve products, they use an opt-in and not the more Industry standard opt-out format. It isn’t a surprise that most governments, including the US Government, prefers a Blackberry solution because of this but it is unusual for a sitting President to hand such a huge benefit to a firm not headquarter in the US. Let’s talk about that this week. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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The Mainframe Is Dead, Dying… or DT/DevOps-ing?
Jan19

The Mainframe Is Dead, Dying… or DT/DevOps-ing?

For decades pundits and competitors have been writing off the mainframe, AKA Big Iron, and while its market share has been eroded by newer platforms — as befits an industry where ‘what have you done for me lately’ is right up there with ‘Moore’s Law’ as Revealed Truth — it’s still alive and kicking: 55% of enterprise apps need the mainframe; 70% of enterprise transactions touch a mainframe; and, 70-80% of the world’s corporate data resides on a mainframe. However at least some are arguing that despite its age — now in its ‘50s — the venerable platform that IBM powered to success is finding new life with a couple of the current industry darlings, Digital Transformation and DevOps. First, some industry factoids: the latest quarterly server data (3Q16) showed a drop in shipments (-2.6%) and revenues (-5.8%) year over year, with IBM plummeting -33% (to $889 million). However the datacenter systems market is expected to grow 2.6% this year, to $176 billion, which should benefit mainframe sales. According to many, the future does look brighter for the mainframe. When not pointing out HPE’s perceived faults, analyst Rob Enderle (and former IBMer) has covered Big Blue extensively and recently (October) noted that developments like cloud, analytics, Linux and Blockchain are offering new optimism for the embattled platform. ‘Suddenly, mainframes are not only not obsolete, they are cutting edge, go figure. Yep the mainframe is back, with a vengeance.’ Reporting on IBM’s annual year-end recap for the Systems group, analyst Joe Clabby, Clabby Analytics, noted that the mainframe’s future is positive. Big Blue was emphasizing Blockchain and HSBN (the company’s “high security business network”). ‘Blockchain serves as the basis for creating a new way to perform transaction processing, one that features a secure “open ledger” that is shared amongst all concerned parties during the transaction. This new approach streamlines transaction and business processes and enables significantly greater security that traditional approaches.’ IBM claims that it is making solid headway with this offering in the securities, trade, finance, syndicated loans, supply chain, retail banking, public records and digital property management industries. ‘For over 20 years, ever since industry pundits in the mid-1990s forecast the demise of the IBM mainframe, Clabby Analytics has taken the position that there is no other architecture better suited for processing secure transactions (and now in-transaction analytics workloads) than IBM’s z System. ‘Given this position, we see IBM’s new LinuxONE mainframe servers as ideally positioned to support a projected major market move toward Hyperledger and Blockchain transaction processing over the coming years. This movement should greatly escalate the sale of mainframe servers. Long live the mainframe!’ Released...

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