Displaying items by tag: cloud computing
Huawei focuses on cloud computing as business scope narrows
Huawei is ramping up efforts in its cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) business, which still has access to US chips despite sanctions against the company, in a move to secure its survival, according to the Financial Times.
Huawei has seen rapid growth in its cloud computing business, which sells computing power and storage to companies, including giving them access to AI.
The cloud business is key to stabilizing Huawei in its home market, as Beijing will increasingly support the company through public cloud contracts.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic struck, Huawei observed the acceleration of cloud computing – putting its unit on an equal footing with its smartphones and telecoms equipment businesses.
In January, the company announced changes to its organizational structure and management team, creating a fourth business group for its cloud computing and AI divisions in a sign that the telecom giant is aiming its attention at this growing sector.
A focus on cloud computing puts Huawei in direct competition with the biggest Chinese players including Alibaba and Tencent, as well as global heavyweights such as Amazon and Google.
The changes echo Huawei’s “Cloud Only” strategy in which the company pledged to invest more resources and funds to build a “full-stack cloud platform.”
This shift in focus is necessary because the outlook for Huawei’s smartphone and other consumer products unit is impaired in the face of US restrictions. The consumer unit was responsible for half of Huawei’s $122 billion revenue last year.
The Trump administration has restricted technology exports to Chinese companies in particular, notably Huawei, citing national security risks.
Meanwhile, vendors of semiconductors needed for cloud computing are still allowed to ship to Huawei if they have a license exempting them from the restrictions.
Microsoft revenue rises as remote work boosts cloud
Microsoft reported higher results for its fiscal third quarter to end March, powered by sharp demand for its Teams chat and online meeting app and cloud computing services as the world shifted to working and playing from home because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Microsoft Teams now has 75 million daily active users. This comes as the coronavirus pandemic has forced businesses to operate remotely, and has boosted the demand for Microsoft's products that enable communication and collaboration.
The company said net impact was minimal and that cloud usage increased. There was a slowdown in transactional licensing, particularly among SMEs, and a reduction in advertising spends on LinkedIn.
In the More Personal Computing segment, Windows OEM and Surface benefited from increased demand for remote work and learning, but supply chain constraints in China offset that rise, though these improved late in the quarter.
Gaming benefited from people in lockdown, but Search was negatively impacted by less ad spend. Microsoft noted that the full effects of the pandemic may not be fully felt until later in the future.
Revenue for the quarter climbed 15 percent from the year before to USD 35.0 billion, the operating profit increased 25 percent to USD 13.0 billion and the net profit rose 22 percent to USD 10.8 billion or USD 1.40 per share. Commercial Cloud helped lift results, generating USD 13.3 billion worth of revenues, up 39 percent.
Total Intelligent Cloud revenues went up 27 percent to USD 12.3 billion, with server products and cloud services going 30 percent higher and Azure leaping 59 percent. Enterprise Services revenue increased 6 percent.
Productivity and Business Processes was the next largest division, with revenues rising 15 percent to USD 11.7 billion. These included Office Commercial products and cloud services revenue up 13 percent, driven by Office 365 commercial revenue growth of 25 percent. Office Consumer products and cloud services revenue strengthened 15 percent, also helped Office 365, with consumer subscriber numbers growing to 39.6 million. LinkedIn revenue went up 21 percent while Dynamic products and cloud services had revenues rising 17 percent, driven by Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 47 percent.
Microsoft said it returned USD 9.9 billion to shareholders in the quarter, in the form of share buybacks and dividends, an increase of 33 percent from the year earlier.
Alphabet shares fourth quarter earnings, YouTube revenue revealed
Google’s parent company, Alphabet, reported its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results. The company’s revenue grew from $39.3 billion in 2018 to $46.1 billion in 2019. The firm’s net income also expanded from $8.9 billion to $10.7 billion over the same time frame.
However, the figures, when compared to expectation, were mixed. Alphabet missed revenue expectations in the fourth quarter despite stellar growth at YouTube and in the cloud, earnings figures showed.
Detailing its cloud computing and YouTube revenues for the first time, Alphabet reported that profits rose 19 percent from a year ago in the quarter to nearly $10.7 billion as revenues increased 17 percent to $46 billion.
The company said its cloud computing services took in $2.6 billion in revenue during the last three-month period, up more than 50 percent and nearly $9 billion for the year.
Alphabet and Google chief executive Sundar Pichai touted YouTube as a revenue star at the company, with ad revenue reaching $15 billion last year in an increase of about 36 percent from 2018. YouTube music and television premium services now have more than 20 million paid subscribers, according to Pichai.
Despite assurances by executives that Alphabet sees plenty of money-making potential ahead and is investing to capitalize on long-term trends, Alphabet shares slipped more than four percent in after-market trades that followed release of the earnings figures.
The California tech giant, which dominates online search and makes the Android mobile operating system, has been working to reduce its dependence on the digital advertising which delivers most of its cash.
"Our investments in deep computer science, including artificial intelligence, ambient computing and cloud computing, provide a strong base for continued growth and new opportunities across Alphabet," said Pichai.
Chief financial officer Ruth Porat said Alphabet will ramp-up hiring this year. Much of that will be engineering talent for its cloud division which competes with cloud market-leaders Amazon and Microsoft.
"We are leaning into investing for long-term growth," Porat said. "That has been a key principle here and continues to be," she added.
Google advertising took in the majority of revenue at $38 billion in the quarter, and more than 80 percent of its annual revenues of $162 billion. Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Baird, said the earnings report showed "a deceleration" in growth for Google, which may have been due to the impact of fewer holiday shopping days.
Analyst Nicole Perrin at eMarketer said the results highlight the significance of YouTube, the popular video service for which Alphabet had not up to now disclosed financial data.
"This is something investors have been looking for, but the information should also give advertisers valuable information about the importance of YouTube as a digital ad vehicle," Perrin said.
"YouTube is growing strongly according to this report, and revenues are above where eMarketer had thought they were."
MySTC App receives global IT award
MySTC App has received the ‘App of the Year’ Golden Award at the Network PG's 2019 IT World Awards, which is organized annually in San Francisco and attended by major award winning companies and projects.
Oracle’s new cloud centre will accelerate digital transformation in the Middle East
Oracle, in collaboration with Redington, a leading distributor and an Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) partner operating across Middle East and Africa launched a dedicated Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE) in Dubai to enable knowledge share and ready availability of Oracle Cloud to help Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN)members develop and implement transformative cloud projects across the Middle East.
SAP to cut 3,000 jobs as part of €1bn restructuring plan
German software behemoth SAP has stunned staff by announcing that it will cut 3,000 jobs as part of a €1bn restructuring plan after profits stagnated in 2018.
However, the upbeat company insists it is still on track to grow revenues and earnings for this year, but that a restructuring of its overall operations and practices are necessary.
SAP’s CFO, Luka Mucic said the company expects a higher number of employees to leave that during its last job cull which occurred in 2015. He said, “We are talking about a completely voluntary program, we expect a number slightly higher than in 2015 of employees to leave.”
In 2015, SAP cut around 2,200 positions in a move that was described at that time as the company’s transition away from traditional software towards cloud computing. SAP plan to spend between 800m and 1bn on restructuring the company in an effort to simplify its structures and processes.
CEO Bill McDermott acknowledged that the job cuts are painful but reiterated that they were necessary in order to pave the way for SAP to make new investments in emerging growth areas within the software ecosystem.
The SAP CEO said, “We are going to move our people and our focus to the areas SAP needs the most, AI (artificial intelligence), blockchain, internet of things, quantum computing. We currently have 95,000 people in the company, if we talk in a few years it will be more.”
Despite the messaging from SAP that the job cuts are necessary in order to create capital to invest in new areas, it’s clear the stagnation of profits and stunting of growth have heightened the pressure on the German software leader.
SAP announced that its net profits had grown by just 1% last year reaching 4.1bn euros. In 2018, SAP continued its transformation away from the perception that it’s a traditional one-off sales’ of business software licenses to cloud computing, under which it charges customers a subscription fee to process data on the firm's computers.
Revenue from cloud subscriptions and support grew 32 percent over the year, to almost 3.8 billion euros. Meanwhile software licenses and support revenue shrank one percent, although it remains a far bigger source of income for now at almost 15.8 billion euros.
China Unicom taps Huawei for cloud computing solution
Huawei has partnered with telecom provider China Unicom to deploy the latter’s first private cloud resource pool based on Huawei’s CloudFabric solution. The move marks a significant step for China Unicom in enabling its business transformation in the cloud era.
The development of cloud computing technologies and services has enabled China Unicom to expand its businesses. Traditional data centers are no longer aligned with larger numbers of servers and the requirements for quick provisioning of new services. In response to increasingly complex business demands, China Unicom has joined forces with Huawei to build an intelligent and simplified private cloud resource pool using the CloudFabric solution.
The private cloud resource pool, built exclusively by Huawei, encompasses an extensive data center network resource pool with Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) technology to increase the number of servers from 1,000 to over 5,000 and raise network resource utilization by 90 percent. In addition, Huawei used SDN controllers to facilitate automatic network configuration, significantly shortening the new service provisioning cycle from months to days. Operating efficiency also improved by more than 50 percent.
“Huawei is dedicated to innovation and research aimed at enabling Carriers' Cloud Transformation,” said Wang Lei, General Manager of Huawei’s Data Center Network Domain. “The CloudFabric system deployed by Huawei and China Unicom simplifies service deployment and O&M and enhances flexibility. As a leader in the ICT industry, Huawei's cooperation with China Unicom signifies a new phase of our joint innovation in the digital transformation era."
Huawei's CloudFabric solution has now been deployed at more than 1,200 data centers in over 120 countries. By building agile, open and secure cloud data centers for customers, Huawei is committed to helping operators and enterprises gain a competitive edge in the cloud service market.
China Unicom announces cooperation with Tencent and Alibaba following mixed-ownership reform
China Unicom’s mixed-ownership reform has leapt forward in business cooperation with Chinese internet company Tencent and e-commerce platform Alibaba Group. This represents the first major business cooperation with strategic investors after China Unicom’s mixed-ownership reform plan was approved.
China Unicom & Tencent
China Unicom and Tencent recently jointly announced to leverage their respective rich resources and capabilities in communications, cloud computing and network security, and mutually open up these resources in order to accelerate and deepen integrated innovation in this powerful alliance to build a brand-new “cloud, pipe, terminal” Internet industry ecosystem platform.
China Unicom and Tencent will deepen cooperation in cloud computing and other business areas, mainly focusing on three aspects. Firstly, to fully carry out in-depth business cooperation in “public cloud”, China Unicom and Tencent will co-build cloud data centers to offer value-chain-wide cloud computing-based products, services and solutions to the market. Tencent will leverage its expertise to provide public cloud technology support to “WO Cloud” of China Unicom.
Secondly, the companies will fully carry out in-depth business cooperation in “dedicated cloud” and “hybrid cloud”. With emphasis in Tencent’s high quality online services, together with China Unicom’s highly intelligent and flexible DCI high-speed core network (SDN/NFV), it is aimed to achieve “customized on demand with flexible delivery” service capability in traditional telecommunication service (dedicated line + cabinet), along with the operator’s comprehensive offline service network, and riding on benefits such as mutual synergies, mutual diversion, mutual commitment in this resources-sharing cooperation.
An open and worldwide coverage full-chain cloud computing industry ecosystem is aimed to be formed and well positioned to provide a one-stop comprehensive solution to enterprise customers.
Thirdly, the companies will fully carry out in-depth business cooperation in network security services. China Unicom and Tencent signed a cooperative agreement on network security operation and enhancement and will co-build a network security platform, committing to building a more secure and reliable Internet ecosystem and to providing strong network security technical assurance for the healthy and orderly development of the Internet industry.
China Unicom & Alibaba
On October 20, China Unicom and Alibaba Group announced to mutually open up cloud computing resources and deepen cooperation in cloud business. Alibaba Cloud will comprehensively open the public cloud service capability to China Unicom, while both companies will continue to expand collaboration in e-government cloud and dedicated cloud (Apsara stack) areas including vertical markets, as well as further deepen cooperation in the hybrid cloud business.
China Unicom and Alibaba Cloud will deepen cooperation in three areas including public cloud, dedicated cloud and hybrid cloud. For public cloud, Alibaba Cloud will comprehensively open public cloud services capabilities to China Unicom, including computing, storage, security, big data and artificial intelligence.
Together with China Unicom’s expertise in customer services and network operation, both companies will leverage the branding of WO Cloud computing to provide customers with powerful, general and inclusive public cloud computing services. Meanwhile, both companies will continue to build synergy between cloud and network, and further strengthen the cooperation in cloud computing service enhancement and talent development.
For dedicated cloud, both companies will combine the strengths in cloud computing and big data platform in order to offer strong support for product innovation and business growth acceleration to enterprise customers.
China Unicom, together with Alibaba Cloud, will collaboratively build a joint development team and supporting system targeting the e-government cloud, vertical markets, etc., pushing forward digital transformation and promoting IT capability enhancement for enterprise customers.
For hybrid cloud, China Unicom will open up key data centers nationwide and form hybrid cloud computing one-stop solution combined with current Alibaba Cloud’s public cloud sites. This will meet users’ seamless on and off cloud connectivity demand, thus helping enterprise consumers to further realize business values and enhance business flexibility.
On the basis of seamless interconnection at the data center, both companies will jointly and deeply collaborate in research and development on the cloud computing-based SDN network structure, further enhancing China Unicom’s network utilization efficiency, which allows users to open up nationwide interoperable hybrid cloud in real-time.
Meanwhile, China Unicom and Alibaba will have deep cooperation in network security operation and capability enhancement, in which both companies will co-build a network security platform, committing to building a more secure and reliable Internet ecosystem and to providing strong technology support in network security assurance for the healthy and orderly development of the Internet industry.
Oracle unveils world’s first autonomous database cloud
Oracle Chairman of the Board and CTO, Larry Ellison, has unveiled his vision for the world’s first autonomous database cloud. The next generation of the database, Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud, uses machine learning to enable automation that eliminates human labor, human error and manual tuning, to enable high availability, performance and security at a much lower cost.
“This is the most important thing we’ve done in a long, long time,” said Ellison. “The automation does everything. We can guarantee availability of 99.995 percent, less than 30 minutes of planned or unplanned downtime.”
The Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud eliminates the human labor associated with tuning, patching, updating and maintaining the database. It includes capabilities such as ‘self-driving’ by providing continuous adaptive performance tuning based on machine learning. It automatically upgrades and patches itself while running and automatically applies security updates to protect against cyber-attacks.
The autonomous database is also capable of ‘self-scaling’ by instantly resizing compute and storage without downtime. Cost savings are multiplied because it consumes less compute and storage than Amazon, with lower manual administration costs. The solution is also capable of ‘self-repairing’ by providing automated protection from downtime.
SLA (service level agreement) guarantees 99.995 percent reliability and availability, which reduces costly planned and unplanned downtime to less than 30-minutes per year.
The Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud handles many different workload styles, including transactions, mixed workloads, data warehouses, graph analytics, departmental applications, document stores and IoT. The first Autonomous Database Cloud offering, for data warehouse workloads, is planned to be available in 2017.
Alibaba and Macau join forces to implement smart city vision
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group will contribute its cloud computing capabilities to transform Macau, an autonomous region on the south coast of China, into one of Asia Pacific’s leading smart cities, South China Morning Post reported. Alibaba and Macau signed an agreement on Friday August 4.
The two parties will collaborate in upgrading Macau’s IT infrastructure, by leveraging the technologies of Alibaba Cloud, the group’s cloud computing arm. Improving the city’s IT infrastructure is expected to bring in more digital developments in tourism, transportation, healthcare, governance and talent development.
The partnership will bring various benefits to both residents and tourists in Macau, which will see Alibaba Cloud leverage its experience in deploying smart city projects across mainland China. The tech giant’s expertise in the field include using artificial intelligence to improve road management, air and water transportation, and also customizing guided tours based on data-driven analysis.
The Chinese autonomous region of Macau has built a reputation for gambling similar to Las Vegas in the United States. In fact, Macau is currently the world’s wealthiest gambling hub, with casino revenues topping 23 billion patacas (US$2.86 billion) in July 2017, official data indicates.
“Alibaba Cloud’s big data and deep learning technologies have been helping to build ‘city brains’ in China to help local governments effectively make management decisions,” said Simon Hu, senior vice president of Alibaba Group and president of Alibaba Cloud.
In an interview with South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba, he said, “We are confident about making Macau’s transformation into a smart city a demonstration project across Asia-Pacific region.”
Alibaba’s partnership with Macau will span four years, with the first phase (2017 to 2019) focusing on cloud computing, smart transportation, smart tourism, smart healthcare, smart city governance, and talent acquisition. Training programs will be undertaken by Alibaba to increase Macau’s cloud computing and e-commerce professionals.
The partnership will mark Alibaba’s first smart city project outside mainland China. Macau chose to collaborate with Alibaba to foster the development of cloud computing and big data technologies, said a statement by O Lam, head of the region’s office of the chief executive, after observing how other cities have developed their own smart city visions.
“By leveraging the power of these technologies and connecting resources of different government departments, the project is expected to enhance the model of socio-economic operation in Macau, expediting the city’s transformation into a smart city,” O Lam said.
Alibaba has proven its smart city capabilities, particularly with Hangzhou City Brain, and artificial intelligence-enabled transportation management system, which has enabled traffic speed to increase 11 percent in the city’s Xiahshan district, where the project is being piloted.