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Uncle Sam's money

Want $50bn from Uncle Sam? Put in a bid on these IT contracts

The US government's General Services Administration (GSA) has opened bidding on what it says will be a $50bn IT services contract package. The federal agency is now accepting applications for the Alliant 2 and Alliant 2 Small Business contracts to create what it describes as a "large, diverse pool of industry partners." The …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jun 2016

ICO slapped data blabbers with £2m in fines last year

The Information Commissioner's Office doubled the amount of fines it dished out to organisations in breach of data protection rules last year, issuing £2m in penalties, according to its annual report. The hike in fines was mainly due to changes in the rules on nuisance marketing. For the previous year 2014/15, the commission …
Kat Hall, 28 Jun 2016
whitehall_648

UK digi strategy on ice post Brexit results - sources

BREXIT The UK government's long-awaited digital strategy has been put on ice following the landmark EU referendum decision last week, The Register has learnt. The strategy was intended to be a mixed bag of policy from the department for Culture, Media & Sport, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and the Cabinet Office's …
Kat Hall, 27 Jun 2016

From Watson Jr to Watson AI: IBM's changed, and Papa Watson wouldn't approve

Completed in 1983, IBM's prestigious South Bank office in London, on the banks of the River Thames, owes a lot to the Brutalist style of architecture, popular in the 1960s and 1970s. It makes heavy use of concrete: a solid building for a solid company. The IBM logo has been outside that building for more than 30 years, an …
Billy MacInnes, 23 Jun 2016
Jump for joy. Pic: Kate Palana

Intrinsic: We have no CEO. Otherwise everything is tickety-boo

Cisco Gold partner Intrinsic Technology has confirmed it is CEO-less - which Reg readers already knew - but that all is OK, everything is working out as planned. Honestly. As revealed by us this week, the Merseyside-based reseller has burned through four leaders in five years with the latest departure – Mark Bates – having …
Paul Kunert, 23 Jun 2016
Tabby cat cuddles roll of one-hundred dollar bills. Photo by Shutterstock

Maplin Electronics demands cash with menaces

The private equity profiteers behind Maplin Electronics have turned the screws on suppliers to hand over bigger rebates to help pay for physical and digital store improvements or risk having their kit sidelined. The geek fiddlers emporium was sold to Rutland Partners for £85m almost two years ago when the investor promised “ …
Paul Kunert, 23 Jun 2016

Microsoft and LinkedIn: What the CEOs are planning

"Remember that dystopian view of the future in which technology displaces millions of people from their jobs? It's happening." So begins the less-than-cheery explanation of the huge $26.2bn acquisition of LinkedIn to staff by its CEO Jeff Weiner. Weiner appears to recognize that for many of his employees, being acquired by …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jun 2016

Microsoft buys LinkedIn for the price of 36 Instagrams

Microsoft is swooping in to buy CV and soapbox site LinkedIn, in an all-cash deal worth a whopping $26.2bn. The software giant is paying $196 per share for LinkedIn, a $61 premium on the enterprise social platform's closing price on last Friday. Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Microsoft’s CEO Satya …
Katyanna Quach, 13 Jun 2016

Dragons' Den-run cloud biz Outsourcery close to sale – sources

Cash-strapped AIM-listed infrastructure services biz Outsourcery – co-run by former Dragons' Den badass Piers Linney – is close to wrapping up a pre-pack administration, multiple sources have told The Register. Trading in the firm's shares was suspended on Friday after top brass postponed publication of last year's results and …
Paul Kunert, 07 Jun 2016

Three Four top Cisco execs leave after being made 'advisors'

Updated Last week, a Cisco reorganisation switched three of its big names to advisory roles: this week, they've left the company. The individuals involved are Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain, Luca Cafiero, and Soni Jiandani were referred to as “MPLS” within the company (Cisco was an early contributor to the protocol of the same acronym). …
Larry Ellison and Nikita Khan

That didn't take long: Shareholders sue Oracle in 'fake cloud sales' row

Just days after Oracle was sued by an ex-employee, who accused the IT giant of making up its cloud sales figures, its shareholders are now hauling the company into court. A complaint [PDF] filed on behalf of Oracle stockholders by investor Grover Klarfeld alleges that the database goliath put their investments in the company …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Jun 2016

Microsoft's biggest UK reseller flashes fuller figures for '15

Microsoft licensing mountain Trustmarque won’t have done its chances of snaring a new private equity backer any harm by pushing out a decent set of trading figures for calendar year 2015. The York-based reseller, which merged with sister biz TES at the start of last year, reported turnover of £191.9m, up eight per cent on a …
Paul Kunert, 06 Jun 2016

Outsourcery: We've had offers for our assets (and, er, shareholders might get nothing)

Investors in beleaguered cloud biz Outsourcery may well take a bath after the company confirmed it is in talks with suitors who made offers for its assets that will leave them little or no return. The Manchester-based biz, set up by former Dragon Den's luvvie Piers Linney, revealed in April it was again running out of cash and …
Paul Kunert, 03 Jun 2016

Oracle pulled made-up cloud figures out of its SaaS – whistleblower

An ex-Oracle staffer claims she was fired for refusing to keep quiet about the database giant's exaggerated cloud sales. On Wednesday, Svetlana Blackburn filed a whistleblower lawsuit with the US district court in San Francisco, alleging that she was dismissed on October 15 last year – two months after being given a positive …
Iain Thomson, 02 Jun 2016

Surface Book nightmare: Microsoft won't fix 'Sleep of Death' bug

Hands-on In its most recent quarterly earnings report, Microsoft highlighted its increasingly popular Surface line as the growth leader in its More Personal Computing line of business. Surface led the category with 61 per cent growth in constant currency, a rise driven by the top products in the line, the Surface Pro 4 tablet and the …
Addison Snell, 27 May 2016
Nimble Storage array

Flash. Arrrgh. Nimble sales down

Hybrid array and recent all-flash array supplier Nimble Storage shows the effects of its late AF-Series flash array market entry and hyper-competitive market with its first quarter-on-quarter revenue decline. Revenues of $86.4m in its first fiscal 2017 quarter were 21 per cent higher than a year ago but down 4 per cent …
Chris Mellor, 27 May 2016
Train wreck

The screeching of Violin Memory's parting strings is horrible

Another great quarter. Not. Violin Memory made a paltry $9.7m in revenue and posted a $22m loss for its first fiscal 2017 quarter. Revenues were down 20 per cent on the year-ago quarter and 11 per cent on the previous quarter, the fourth fiscal 2016 quarter, when revenues of $10.9m and losses of $25.5m were followed by lay- …
Chris Mellor, 27 May 2016

Foxconn to slurp loss-making Smart Technologies for $200m

Loss-making interactive display vendor Smart Technologies has agreed to sell up to Foxconn for $200m. Under the terms of the deal, the Chinese contract manufacturer will fork out $4.50 per Smart Tech share, equating to a 21 per cent premium on the average trading price in the last 90 days. The buy gives Smart access to a “ …
Paul Kunert, 27 May 2016
retro cartoon featuring two men fighting against cloud backdrop

Three UK cloudy firms promise CMA they'll be 'fairer' to customers

The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) has found cloud storage providers were using contract terms and practices which could have breached consumer protection law – and has secured a “commitment” from three companies to not be naughty. Following the CMA's 218-page consumer law review of the sector (PDF), and “engagement …

Q. What do you call a sales-growing letdown? A. Pure Storage

All-flash shipper Pure Storage delivered higher-than-expected revenue for its first fiscal 2017 quarter, but also had the first quarter-on-quarter revenue decline in its history since the IPO. Analysts thought it could have done better. Is this seasonality emerging for the first time or was there some other reason its turbo- …
Chris Mellor, 26 May 2016
George_Kurian

NetApp posts $8m loss as its pivot continues. Feeling comfy, George?

In its fourth fiscal 2016 quarter NetApp revenues were $1.38bn instead of the $1.425bn predicted at the mid-point of its last forecast, and the company made an $8m loss – the second in George Kurian’s tenure as CEO. The revenues were down 10.4 per cent on a year ago and 0.4 per cent from the previous quarter. A year ago NetApp …
Chris Mellor, 26 May 2016

It's been a breach-tastic year. And Sophos sales were good, apparently

Operating losses at security software firm Sophos have grown in its first year as a listed company – despite increased sales and an encouraging outlook overall. For the year-ending 31 March 2016, Sophos recorded an operating loss of $32.7 million on revenues of $478.2m. This compares to a loss of $0.5m on revenues of $446.7m …
John Leyden, 26 May 2016
US Dollars by https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictures-of-money/  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Hardware sizzles for HPE – and brings home the bacon

Software and IT services might make the world go round – at least in the heads of Wall Street moneymen – but it was hardware that once again brought home the bacon for Hewlett Packard Enterprise. For the three months ended 30 April (second quarter fiscal year 2016 – summary, tables [PDFs]), HPE's turnover edged up one per cent …
Paul Kunert, 25 May 2016
Mark Lawrie of CSC and Meg Whitman of HPE in the video announcing the merger of their services operations

HPE spins out enterprise services business into CSC

HP Enterprise (HPE) has spun out its enterprise services business into CSC, creating an entity with US26bn of revenue. HPE has made lots of noise about turning around its services division, largely by aggressively reducing its headcount. In this move, HPE will be senior partner in the new entity by revenue and headcount but …
Simon Sharwood, 25 May 2016
Piggy bank, image via Shutterstock

Salesforce claims 'record' quarter record at Oracle and SAP's expense

Salesforce has claimed its “best ever” year opening - at the expense of Oracle and SAP - while committing a growing portion of its cloud to AWS. The SaaS provider bounced back into the black for the first three months of 2016, its fiscal 2017, reporting net income of $38m. Revenue was up 26.8 per cent to $1.91bn, leaving …
Gavin Clarke, 19 May 2016
Woman watches TV with cat, uses remote to change channel. Photo by Shutterstock

Dell Storage Centre: Following more than one of our series? Here's the remote

Dell says its Storage Center OS v7.0 adds deduplication and compression to make more efficient use of flash memory. It also adds common management and cross-replication for SC and PS series kit. SC, or Storage Center, is the operating system software for Dell's SC series arrays, originally branded Compellent, and generally …
Chris Mellor, 19 May 2016

Remember when gov.uk said it would give big biz contracts to SMEs?

The Cabinet Office has lost its enthusiasm for prising open Whitehall's wallet and handing more cash to SMEs, according to a report by the Committee of Public Accounts today. Back in 2010, the government pledged to carve off 25 per cent of its £45bn spend in goods and services to small businesses. But today the committee said …
Kat Hall, 18 May 2016
Tabby cat cuddles roll of one-hundred dollar bills. Photo by Shutterstock

Got $130,000 down the back of the sofa? Great. Grab an HP 3D printer

The first of HP Inc’s much-delayed (and cynics might say over-hyped 3D printer) is to hit the market “late” this year – launching into a crowded space with a challenger device the firm hopes will brighten its future. The Jet Fusion 3D 3200 will sell for $130,000 – add another $25,000 for services including post-processing …
Paul Kunert, 17 May 2016

Symantec antivirus bug allows utter exploitation of memory

British white hat hacker and Google Project Zero chap Tavis Ormandy is making life miserable for Symantec again: the bug-hunter has turned up an exploitable overflow in “the core Symantec Antivirus Engine used in most Symantec and Norton branded Antivirus products”. Described here, the problem is in how the antivirus products …
Google bikes outside Google HQ. Photo by Randy Miramontez/Shutterstock - for editorial use only.

EU mulls €3bn fine for Google

The European Commission may impose its largest ever fine on a company for misbehaving - and for Alphabet's Google, it could just be the start. The Sunday Telegraph reports that the Commission is considering a fine “in the region of €3bn” for Google’s anti-competitive search practices - or around half of Google’s European …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 May 2016
4 arrows signs in arrow on wooden wall

Acer made less than £1m profits in Q1 as forex rates bit hard

Ailing Acer – one of the PC makers considered at risk of vendor consolidation – has made an inauspicious start to calendar year 2016 as sales and profits tumbled. The Taiwanese business today reported revenues of NT$56.32bn (£1.19bn) for the three months ended 31 March, down 17.1 per cent on the prior year’s stats. It didn’t …
Paul Kunert, 12 May 2016
management management4

I'm in, says insolvency expert, grabs chair on board of Dragons’ Den star's firm

An insolvency and restructuring veteran has taken a seat at the board of moribund cloud services firm Outsourcery as one of the requisite Ts&Cs to secure a funding lifeline from Vodafone. The AIM-listed firm run by former Dragons’ Den badass Piers Linney and joint-CEO Simon Newton revealed David Duggins, senior advisor at …
Paul Kunert, 12 May 2016
Stanley Kubrick's The Shining

Imation's losses deepen 500%. CEO says things are 'successful'

+Comment About turn! You never lack for excitement with Imation, which has turned the previous quarter’s $94m in revenues and near $10m in losses into this quarter’s $10.7m revenues and $91.1m losses. Oy vey, where did the money go? Let’s try and sort this amazing black hole of red ink – excuse the tortured metaphors – into some kind …
Chris Mellor, 11 May 2016
NYSE

Violin faces second NYSE delisting threat

Violin Memory is facing a second NYSE delisting threat. The company makes all-flash arrays and its revenues have been so low for so long as to result in a falling share price. The NYSE, which lists Violin’s shares, told it by letter on April 27 that it was facing delisting because its average capitalisation over a 30-day …
Chris Mellor, 09 May 2016
Woman pays for something online with her credit card. Photo by Shutterstock

Experian Audience Engine knows almost as much about you as Google

We have grown so used to credit reference giants like Experian knowing almost as much about us as Google, but unlike Google, they put this information up for sale. This is perhaps why we have forgotten that Experian could form the basis of one of the most powerful personal intelligence systems in the world. And that it is a …
Faultline, 09 May 2016

How 'flexible' can the UK actually be on EU data protection law?

If EU member states can, by law, exercise legislative “flexibility” when implementing 50+ Articles of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), how can the regulation ever become harmonised across European Union? Pose this important question another way: given that the UK government intends to use legislative flexibility …

Argos defection to Tech Data whips Ingram Micro's bottom... line

The loss of a retail supply contract with Argos helped push Ingram Micro’s European sales growth into the barrier’s during car crash Q1 financials. The US-headquartered tech distributor reported sales of $2.66bn on this side of the pond for the period ended 31 March. This was down 13.35 per cent year-on-year. Ingram is being …
Paul Kunert, 03 May 2016
Trillian chats to a depressed Marvin the Robot in the 2005 film version of Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy. C Walt Disney Pictures

Food for Deep Thought: 42 is IBM's answer to Life, the Universe and Everything...

Analysis Deep Thought calculated the number 42 to be the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. Over at IBM it was the frequency the word "transform" was used to explain another dire quarter. The supercomputer in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy took 7.5 million years to determine the importance of …
Paul Kunert, 29 Apr 2016
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon's AWS cash machine embiggens, breezes past $2bn-a-quarter mark

Amazon has reported bumper first quarter results, with profits of $513m and sales increasing 28 per cent. In its previous quarterly results Amazon's stock took a beating after the company reported a lower than expected sales. After Thursday's results, the company was back in favor and saw its stock price rise over 10 per cent …
Iain Thomson, 28 Apr 2016

Chomp! Barracuda gets its bite back after turning a profit again

The sum of $83.7m exceeded Barracuda’s revenue estimates for its fourth fiscal 2016 quarter, ended Feb 29, 2016. It was a 16 per cent rise year-on-year and a 4.5 per cent rise quarter-on-quarter. There was a $3.2m net profit, pleasing after five straight loss-making quarters. The full year revenue number was $320.2m, 15.4 per …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2016
Douanier_rousseau_hungry_lion_art

You're only young but you're going to die: Farewell, all-flash startups

Comment Following news of its restructuring there will inevitably be layoffs at X-IO’s Colorado Springs facility. We hear that the company is working to get staff employment with other companies. The situation is fast-developing and X-IO’s concern is its employees and not the media, so we'll hear more later. Our interest here is not …
Chris Mellor, 27 Apr 2016
Big cloud, image via Shutterstock

Outsourcery inks Vodafone finance deal as selloff rumours grow

Sickly slinger of cloud services Outsourcery has signed a finance deal with Vodafone to keep the wolves from the door as it prepares to restructure – or do what some are interpreting as readying itself for a sale. The AIM-listed bringer of infrastructure, apps and UC services revealed at the start of this week it is again …
Paul Kunert, 27 Apr 2016
Shouting match

Blighty's SMB tech ranks bitterly divided on Brexit

Britain’s membership of the EU has small tech firms divided. A survey of owner-managed businesses by accountant Moore Stephens found 60 per cent of SME owners would vote to stay in the EU with less than one-in-five (17 per cent) supporting Brexit. Mark Lamb, a partner at the firm, said: “Owner-managed businesses are concerned …
Marcus Gibson, 27 Apr 2016
Pennies in a jar. Photo via Shutterstock

Cloud gear biz Outsourcery is running out of cash. Again

Misfiring AIM-listed cloud provider Outsourcery appears to be running out of runway. Sales still haven’t matched the predicted highs, cash flow is drying up again and a crash seems possible. The purveyor of infrastructure, software and unified comms clouds has pre-announced its calendar year 2015 results, with revenue up nine …
Paul Kunert, 25 Apr 2016
Storm

Microsoft's Azure and Office 365 growth slows

Analysis Microsoft has reiterated its belief in a mythical annual income of $20bn from cloud despite growth in Azure and its apps-as-a-service business slowing. Chief executive Satya Nadella Thursday reiterated the existing belief Microsoft will hit £20bn “run rate” in cloud business for fiscal 2018. That’s the fiscal year after …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Apr 2016
K2

Dell looking at higher debt mountain to buy EMC

Dell is facing its EMC acquisition debt mountain growing yet higher because the Wall St bond market will need higher interest payments to fund the deal. That could highlight product overlap costs to ex-money man David Goulden who will run the new Enterprise Systems Group, covering its servers, storage, networking, converged …
Chris Mellor, 22 Apr 2016
AMD CEO Lisa Su speaking at the firm's 2015 financial analyst day

Hands up, who prayed for AMD? Well, it worked

About a year ago, we asked you to pray for AMD. It's working. AMD has announced a joint venture with a Chinese manufacturer that will churn out server processors using mini-Chipzilla's technologies in the Middle Kingdom. It also said it will bank about $1.5bn from three new games console chips over the next three or four years …
Chris Williams, 22 Apr 2016
Strom Clouds

Stalled cloud growth, software flatlining, hated Lumias unsold... It's all fine, says Microsoft CEO

Microsoft is putting a brave face on disappointing third-quarter earnings that saw profits fall 25 per cent year-on-year and cloud revenues failing to rise fast enough to offset losses in other areas. Earnings per share were $0.62 non-GAAP, down 23 per cent from 2015, compared to analysts' estimates of $0.64. "We had a solid …
Iain Thomson, 21 Apr 2016
Man loads in blanket into the washing machine. Photo by Shutterstock

EMC results: It'll all come out in the post-Dell deal wash

+Comment EMC saw many pockets of growth in its first fiscal 2016 quarter’s results but overall revenues declined because core legacy product revenues fell, as did RSA and the enterprise content business. These declines more than offset the impressive growth rates of newer products. In the EMC earnings call, CEO and chairman Joe Tucci …
Chris Mellor, 21 Apr 2016

Check Point chugs on: Profits and revenues up despite volatile market

Check Point’s share price has dipped a touch after the firm reported lacklustre Q1 financial results. During the first quarter ending 31 March 2016, Check Point’s total revenues came in at $404m, compared to $373m in the first quarter of 2015, a nine per cent increase year-on-year. Its GAAP net income rose, albeit modestly. …
John Leyden, 21 Apr 2016

Opinion

Memristor_wafer

Chris Mellor

Execution warrant close to being signed for Fink's folly
Woman cuddles 'sly-looking' Fennec fox. Photo by Shutterstock
Cartoon of employee asking wky boss makes hium wear suspenders (while pincer through open trapdoor remains poised above his head) illustration by Cartoon resource for Shutterstock

Frank Jennings

It's not like my boss painstakingly nurtured the contacts, right?

Features

Girl and computer, photo via Shutterstock
Middle-class terror of engineering also part of problem
Nerd fail photo via Shutterstock
Shouting match
Single market vs. rest of the world