Tag: Dell

Dell to be public again, Tech companies search for talent in community colleges, DARPA’s EDA Project, Google enters scooter biz

The following are some of the tech topics we are following:

Dell to Return to Public Markets With Tracking Stock Buyout

Five years after it had exited the stock markets, the Tech Titan Dell has decided to go public again. It will be listed on NYSE again by subsuming its tracking stock DVMT in a cash and share-swap deal worth $21.7 billion. Dell Technologies Inc., the world’s largest private technology company said that it was financially stronger and more diverse leader in computer equipment and software. Source: Bloomberg.

Big Tech’s Hot New Talent Incubator: Community College

One of the severe problems plaguing tech sector is the scarcity of cyber talent. Now tech giants are working out ways to partner with community colleges via apprenticeships, certifications, and degrees as a way to attract a skilled and more diverse workforce. While this will attract skilled talent pool to the college, in return, the tech companies will be able to tap into this student force for its cyber recruitment. Read more about it on Wall Street Journal.

Alphabet adds to transport bets with scooter deal

Google's parent thinks that the future is in hybrid transport. After its driverless car tech, Alphabet, the Google parent has decided to collaborate with GV in Lime. Lime is an electric smart scooter startup and Alphabet will be investing around $300 million in the company, adding to an increasingly complex web of deals in transport and “smart city” ventures by the internet company and Larry Page, its co-founder. Source: Financial Times.

DARPA Unveils $100M EDA Project

Now that the chip and processor industry has hit the speed barrier, the US government agency, DARPA had decided to invest $100 million over the next four years to create the equivalent of a silicon compiler aimed at significantly lowering the barriers to design chips. The two programs are just part of the Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) expected to receive $1.5 billion over the next five years to drive the U.S. electronics industry forward. Read about DARPA's new initiative on EE Times.

Security, Resilience, Innovation And Collaboration Key Themes In Canada’s New Cyber Strategy

Canada is rolling out a roadmap for its businesses in face of increasing cyber threats. The Canadian government last week released a new strategy to guide its approach to cybersecurity in the digital age, outlining the themes of security and resilience, cyber innovation, and leadership and collaboration, for the government and its partners to work with. The new program will have security, resilience, innovation and collaboration as key themes. Source: Defense Daily.

Good Cybersecurity is Not Glamorous

One of the more common reasons why most organizations push back on spending for cyber security is the lack of a “return on investment.” All that fancy, shiny cyber-y stuff costs a lot of money without providing a clear benefit that is commensurate with the expenditure. Firewalls are expensive. IDS/IPS are expensive. SIEMs are expensive. Talent to run it all (if you can even find it) is expensive. Yet for all that expense the end result may still be a breach that costs millions of dollars, and the source of that breach is almost assuredly something that makes all that expense seem like a waste, not an investment. Advancing cyber security starts with promulgating the message that like most things in life, success is about the grind.

The Importance of Blocking and Tackling

A good, sound security capability can in fact be very pedestrian. Take some time to look at the SANS Top 25 (formerly 10) lists going back several years. Do the same thing for the OWASP Top 10. If you look closely you’ll notice that while names may change, the basic problems do not. Buffer overflows and cross-site scripting are not “advanced” or “sophisticated” but they work.  All year, every year.

Addressing the most common security problems facing any enterprise does not require floor-to-ceiling displays showing maps of the world and stoplight charts and data flows from country to country. It doesn’t require a lot of software or hardware or subscriptions or licenses or feeds. The biggest problems are the most common ones that don’t necessarily require advanced skills or technology to resolve. You can harden your enterprise against the most likely and most dangerous problems without ever talking to a salesperson or worrying about how much you’re going to have to pay that guy with all the letters after his name.

Are You Ready For Some Football?

It wouldn’t be fall without a football analogy, so here is the first one of the season: If you knew who Odell Beckham Jr. was before Lena Dunham did, you know where I’m going with this. If you didn’t, go to YouTube and enter his name, I’ll wait…..

Amazing plays are not the result of practicing acrobatics in full pads. Wide Receivers don’t take contortionist classes. Training for football season at any level is about fundamentals. Everyone doing the same drills, or variations on a theme, that they’ve done since they first put on a helmet. Why? Because the bulk of success on the field is attributable to fundamentals. Blocking and tackling. Plays that make the highlight reels are the result of individual athleticism, instincts, and drive, but no receiver gets into position to make the highlight reel without mastering the basics first.

A team of journeymen who are well versed in the basics alone may not make the playoffs, much less the Super Bowl, but that’s not the point; you want to avoid being beaten by the second string of the local community college. If you want to know how well buying expensive “solutions” to your problems works, I invite you to check out the drama that has been Washington Redskins since 1999.

Its About Perspective

You can’t read an article on cybersecurity and not see the words “advanced” or “sophisticated” either in the text or the half-dozen ads around the story. Security companies cannot move product or get customers to renew subscriptions without promoting some level of fear, uncertainty and doubt. No product salesperson will bring up the fact that procuring the next-generation whatever they are selling is almost assuredly buying a castle that will be installed on a foundation of sand (to be fair: it’s not their job to revamp your security program).

This is not to say you ignore any class of threats, but you need to put it all into perspective. You don’t buy an alarm system for your house and then leave your doors and windows open. You do not spend more money on the car with the highest safety ratings and then roll out without wearing your seat belt. You don’t buy your kids bicycle helmets and then set them loose on the freeway. You do all the things that keep you and yours safe because to ignore the basics undermines the advanced. The same holds true in cyber security, and the sooner we put on our Carhartts and spend more sweat equity than we do cash, the sooner we are likely to see real improvements.

Tech as a Career Gains Ground, Microsoft’s Sinks Data, SAP Does Blockchain

Inventor says Google is patenting work he put in the public domain

Apple and Samsung have been accusing each other of copying or stealing patented tech but Google has seldom been involved in such accusations. But Jarek Duda, inventor of ANS video compression concept thinks that Google is copying his tech. Duda says that the search giant is patenting his invention which is in public domain. On the other hand, Google denies any stealing and says it is patenting specific application of the theory.  If the patent is granted, Gooogle would get exclusive rights for ANS for video compression. Source: Ars Technica.

After the crisis, Silicon Valley overtook Wall Street as the place to be

It seems like tech is slowly overtaking finance as the chosen career by students. And this news will be heartening to tech companies who are forever curing lack of talent. A new survey by ZipRecruiter found that 17% of business school graduates in the US are working in tech, compared to 12% in finance; in 2008. This figure reverses a decade old trend which found 20% worked in finance while 12% worked in tech. Many feel that this new career shift has gained momentum as younger, more innovative leaders have taken control of Silicon Valley companies. Read more on CNN Money. Will be interesting to watch how this trend plays out while other shifts are underway, like the shift of more tech workers and company creators out of California.

Clouds under the sea: Microsoft deploys its Project Natick data center off the coast of Scotland

Microsoft is betting big on cloud services and has started the next phase of Project Natick by submerging a data center off Scotland's coast, where it is designed to work without maintenance for five years. Project Natick was first tested back in 2016, when Microsoft deployed its prototype underwater data center designs off the coast of California, hoping to prove the feasibility of a relatively portable data center design that could be placed near population centers as needed. Now Microsoft is ready to deploy the project in the real world and could mean real competition for many big cloud services companies like AWS etc. Read more about Project Natick on Geekwire. This is all really fascinating. One day soon there will be data centers in space, which could be engineered to take advantage of both the super cold temperatures  on one side of space craft and fantastic solar power on the other side of the craft. We just need the cost of lift to keep dropping.

SAP launches blockchain-as-a-service effort, aims to integrate it into portfolio, processes

Blockchain has been hailed the next-gen tech to make transactions secure. Global ERP giant, SAP has now made forays into blockchain tech with its SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain. The new tool is built o top of SAP HANA, supports Hyperledger Fabric and MultiChain. According to SAP, its customers will be able to extend current applications to utilize blockchain, build applications, and create and build networks. Source: ZDNet.  They are certainly not the first tech giant to move into this space, the airwaves are full of IBM advertisements on blockchain and Amazon has an offering that helps stand up blockchain based apps. will be interesting to see if this is the first of a wave or the last of the followers.

Workday acquires financial modelling startup Adaptive Insights for $1.55B

Cloud HR software firm Workday is on an expansion spree. It has acquired Adaptive Insights, a provider of cloud-based business planning and financial modeling tools, for $1.55 billion. Workday, the cloud-based platform that offers HR and other back-office apps for businesses, says that the buying Adaptive Insights will help it provide better services to its customers. The timing of the acquisition is significant as Adaptive Insights had filed for an IPO as recently as May 17. Read more on Workday's acquisition of Adaptive Insights on Tech Crunch.

Congressional Artificial Intelligence Caucus: Helping inform policymakers on impact of AI

The Congressional Artificial Intelligence Caucus was launched in May 2017 by Congressman John Delaney of Maryland. It is co-chaired by Congressman Pete Olson of Texas. The goal of the caucus is to inform policymakers of the technological, economic and social impacts of advances in AI and to ensure that rapid innovation in AI and related fields benefits Americans as fully as possible. Upon formation the AI Caucus declared an intent to bring together experts from academia, government and the private sector to discuss the latest technologies and the implications and opportunities created by these new changes.

“Artificial Intelligence promises to be one of the paradigm-shifting developments of the next century, with the potential to reshape our economy and daily life just as fully as the internal combustion engine or the semiconductor. As lawmakers, our choice is to either get caught flat-footed or to proactively anticipate how things will change and work on smart policies to make sure that the country benefits as much as possible overall. We have to start becoming future-focused when it comes to policy,” said Congressman Delaney. “In my view, there is tremendous potential for AI to be a positive transformational force, but also understandable concern about the impact that disruption could have on existing jobs. Step one is hearing from those working at the cutting edge, as well as from experts who are modelling the changes to come so that we can start an entirely new discussion. That is what is needed and that’s why this caucus is so important. I look forward to working with Congressman Olson on this important issue and leading a bipartisan and forward-looking discussion.”

“Artificial Intelligence is no longer science fiction. For many, it is part of daily life – from social media feeds to the digital assistant on our phones,” said Congressman Olson. “AI will only continue to grow and policymakers have a responsibility to be forward thinking with respect to the revolutionary applications of it in our society. I agree with Congressman Delaney that it will a positive transformational force. This AI Caucus will give us a platform to engage in smart policies to improve outcomes as this technology continues to be part of our daily lives.”

So, how have they been doing?

All indications are that the caucus is helping inform others in Congress on many of the important issues that need to be addressed here. It is good seeing both Congressman Delaney and Congressman Olson publish well thought out pieces on the topic (see: It's time for Washington to start working on Artificial Intelligence, and Education Before Regulation, for example).

In December 2017, the Caucus championed a Bill to further understand and promote the development of Artificial Intelligence with the goal of driving economic opportunity. Having read every word of the Bill and understanding its directive to empower the Department of Commerce to further explore AI and to establish a new advisory committee for the government on the topic I most strongly endorse this action and would like to see this Bill become law. More importantly, I would like to see the caucus continue their good work at educating members of Congress and shining a spotlight on government use of AI to keep making progress there.

One of the big benefits of the caucus is to help share information between and among the many other activities in Congress. For example, the activities of the House Oversight and Government Reform IT Subcommittee Chairman Will Hurd in the AI domain. This subcommittee is in the midst of a three part examination of AI as introduced in Congressman Hurd's video below:

We will continue to track the AI related activities of Congress and report on them in our Weekly Big Data, Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Newsletter and on our Artificial Intelligence site as well.




How Does Ireland Measure Up as a Location for Starting Your European Engineering Team?

Editor's note: This guest post by Alan McGlinchey makes a good case for why Ireland should be considered as the location for your European engineering team. Would love to see similar articles submitted for other locations, but so far it seems Alan is building a very compelling case!.-bg


Europe is a vast, lucrative market and having a local tech operation in place to support it makes sense. But there are also solid economic reasons for a company to expand its engineering program to Europe. Europe offers a marketplace of 550 million people and is seen by many US tech companies as the gateway to EMEA region.

Once the decision has been made to launch a European engineering office, there are many locations to choose from. The UK and Germany are developing successful hubs for tech teams but Ireland has emerged in recent years as a location that’s proving hard to beat. In fact, one company every three weeks has expanded into Ireland, with firms such as Zendesk, Pivotal and Workday building engineering teams there to support their growth back home.

Key location factors

Ireland seems to be a common choice for an overseas technical staff. In the software industry alone, Ireland employs 105,000 people, includes nine of the world's top 10 tech firms and generates $17.8 billion in annual exports. Apple now employs 6,000 people in Ireland, Google's Irish operation has the same number and Microsoft employs close to 2,000 workers in the emerald isle which include technical and non technical staff.

For American companies considering where to put their European engineering office, what are some of the other key factors that drive the location decision and how does Ireland measure up? Helping U.S. companies identify the optimal location for their engineering R&D team was the goal of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine, which conducted a survey of more than 200 multinational companies to identify the most important  factors influencing their decision. Here’s the questions they asked. We have answered them thinking about Ireland.

Does the country have high growth potential?

According to Ireland's Central Statistics Office, at the end of 2016 there were 124,000 people working directly in the multinational technology sector in Ireland. This helped Ireland remain as the country with the fastest-growing economy in the EU according to the World Economic Forum.

Ireland also benefits from having the youngest population in Europe, with one third under age 25, which guarantees a steady supply of workers to fuel the economy. In addition, Ireland will be the only English-speaking country in the EU after the impact of Brexit, which is an attractive factor to American technology companies.

Are highly qualified technical personnel available?

Ireland has been investing in its educational system for years, with more than 30% of students enrolled in science, technology, engineering and math-related subjects. Happily for U.S. tech firms, potential employees are involved in many areas of cutting-edge tech areas. HPE or Hewlett Packard Enterprise has about 250 engineers in Galway with many devoted to cloud technology. Data science and machine learning are going on at the Irish operations of companies like Xilinx, Veritas, IBM and others, while intensive mobile and infrastructure work is taking place at Zendesk's Irish center, which is approaching 60, going to 100 engineers at present. Fellow U.S. firm Workday 450 engineers is like Zendesk in that it launched its Irish operation with an engineering focus but has been expanding in supporting areas like sales, finance and more.

There are 10,800 graduates in the computer science and broad engineering categories from all colleges in the Republic of Ireland. Ireland continues to invest in education - a new masters in artificial intelligence (AI) program was recently developed by industry, academia and government. and Another key the flexible labor laws in Ireland mean no cap on the equivalent of H-1B visas with Ireland being the eight progressive for Immigration laws by the IMD World Competitiveness Index 2016. The bottom line is that there is a strong supply of talent.

Is it easy to work with universities?

Ireland is known for the level of collaboration between industry, academia, state agencies and regulatory authorities, supported by highly pro-business government policies. A world-class research environment designed to work with and for the benefit of industry is being further developed via an unprecedented investment of €8.2 billion under the Irish government’s strategy for science technology and innovation. Research centers actively get involved with industry with over 700 companies working with them and academic institutions.

What about the expertise of homegrown research staffs and how might this benefit companies?

One effort that has helped attract foreign investment in Ireland is the development of clusters of compatible industries in technology areas that involve intense collaboration with local universities and institutions. Just as thriving tech communities have sprung up in the United States around renowned universities such as Stanford and MIT, the equivalent in Ireland has provided companies with ready access to leading-edge university-based R&D and provides a solid base for future growth and development.

Does the country offer tax breaks or other government assistance benefitting international companies?

Ireland is notable for its open, transparent approach to taxation, offering a 12.5% corporate tax, an extensive tax-treaty network and, of course, the 25% R&D tax credit. The tax rate applies to all Irish corporate trading profits. This rate is the lowest in Western Europe and is 10 percentage points below the EU average according to KPMG. When factoring in the favorable tax rates and tax credits along with lower labor, housing and other costs, a common belief among U.S. tech firms operating in Ireland is that two engineers can be hired there for the price of one in the Silicon Valley, with higher multiples for some engineering specialties.

Do the cultural and business environments positively impact turnover?

Ireland's thriving technology environment attracts both domestic and foreign tech workers, who tend to stay put in their jobs compared to other countries. The low turnover is partly driven by an attractive lifestyle in the Irish cities that have emerged as technology hubs. For example, a neighborhood in Dublin has been nicknamed Silicon Docks after Facebook, Google, Twitter and other U.S. tech companies set up glossy offices close to the River Liffey.

Dozens of other American tech stars are now located in Silicon Docks, from e-commerce giants like Amazon and Etsy to big enterprise firms such as Intel, Siemens, Dell and Microsoft, as well as the kings in areas like gaming and cloud services. Meanwhile, other hubs such as Sligo, Galway, Waterford, Cork and Limerick are seeing similar trends. These hubs have their own excel in some sectors and have talent on in areas from embedded & application, infrastructure & cloud , cyber security , machine learning & data science through to front-front end, mobile test & quality assurance

More reasons to consider Ireland

There are other advantages Ireland has taken pains to offer its foreign tech community that have helped it flourish. These include few regulatory and research restrictions and a tech environment that supports production for export as well as supporting sales to foreign customers. As has been pointed out by many experts including professor Tsedal Neely at the Harvard Business School, succeeding in today's global economy relies on a geographically dispersed workforce because these teams "offer the best functional expertise from around the world, combined with deep, local knowledge of the most promising markets. They draw on the benefits of international diversity, bringing together people from many cultures with varied work experiences and different perspectives on strategic and organizational challenges."

The many U.S. companies that have built engineering teams in Ireland are doing so as a key element in their strategy to compete and win on a global basis.