Tag Archives: Takes

Spotify takes a cue from Tidal with hi-fi streaming option


Facebook copies Snapchat, and Spotify copies Tidal. 

The top music streaming service is planning to introduce lossless audio — or CD-quality music — to subscribers for a higher monthly price, according to a report in The Verge

That report was based on a Spotify user source who got the option to sign up in what looked like a test of potential pricing, and some Reddit users who did, too. A Spotify spokesperson told the publication that “We are always testing new products and offers but have no news to share at this time.” Spotify gave the same statement to Mashable

The pricing test offered users an upgrade to high-quality audio for between $ 5 and $ 10 more per month than the usual $ 10-a-month Spotify Premium. That would be $ 15 to $ 20 a month total for lossless audio Spotify subscribers.  Read more…

More about Tech, Music Streaming, Tidal, Spotify, and Business


Google takes on the iPhone ahead of hardware event



Google is gearing up for the upcoming Oct. 4 hardware event with grand ads, building projections and even a statue showing its willingness to take on the iPhone 7 after this month’s Apple event

Earlier this week, the company announced that it would launch some “made by Google” hardware, hinting at the arrival of new smartphones. In a video posted on YouTube, Google showed its familiar horizontal search bar morphing into the outline of a phone. 

The same outline was used for installations in Australia (Sydney and Melbourne): Read more…

More about Pixel, Madebygoogle, Iphone, Google, and Tech


It takes a village: Change management with Office 365

One of the key benefits of leveraging Office 365 for your SharePoint solutions is that you will be able to take advantage of all of the latest and greatest advances in the platform as they are launched. This means that you don’t have to worry about managing upgrades and fixes – and this should save time and resources associated with platform management. But, it also means that you have less control over when changes happen in your environment – and that means you need to stay on top of what Microsoft is planning. Successful change management is a lot about managing expectations. When people are fully informed and aware of changes to the software they use every day, the changes can be easier to accept – especially if you have evaluated the impact of these changes in advance. To ensure that your continuously evolving Office 365 environment is not disruptive to your users, you need to monitor what is happening with the platform with a multi-faceted “lens” – looking at upcoming changes from multiple perspectives. For that, it takes a village.

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Cloud Computing



NetApp takes Q4 hit but predicts turnaround in 2018


NetApp CEO George Kurian

NetApp has reported yearly decline during the Q4 earnings call, though CEO George Kurian remains positive the company will return to moderated revenue growth in 2018.

Revenue for Q4 was $ 1.38 billion, down from the $ 1.425 billion mid-year estimations, as the company reported an $ 8 million loss. Q3 saw the company report a profit of $ 135 million, whereas Q4 2015 saw the team account for $ 153 million profit. Year-on-year annual figures were also down 9% to $ 5.6 billion, with profits also decreasing to $ 229 million from $ 560 million in 2015, a decrease of 59%. Although investors have not reacted positively to the news, the $ 842 million acquisition of Solidfire hit the books during the period, taking some of the light off the company’s performance.

“As we discussed last quarter, we’re making fundamental changes to return the Company to revenue growth with improved profitability, cash flow, and shareholder returns,” said Kurian. “To deliver on this commitment, we’re executing a comprehensive and sustained transformation.”

The company has been undertaking a wide-ranging transformation project in recent months, moving the focus away from the traditional portfolio, which declined roughly 40% year-on-year, and towards the strategic growth initiatives, which grew 21% year-on-year. The strategic initiatives now account for 53% of net product revenue.

Priorities for the business will continue to focus around the delivery of the strategic initiatives including cluster data ONTAP, branded E-Series and All-Flash-Arrays, as well as the introduction of the next generation of ONTAP in the coming weeks. The team claim the new offering will simplify customers IT transformations to modern data centres and hybrid cloud environments, while also giving the customer greater flexibility when it comes to engineered systems, software defined storage, or cloud.

Kurian stated during the call he expects another tough year for fiscal 2017, though the company should be in a position to turn the corner in fiscal 2018, prioritizing the hybrid cloud market, as well as streamlining costs within the organization.

“When I took over as CEO, NetApp was dealing with several internal challenges,” said Kurian. “We were late to the All-Flash-Array market. We were not prepared to assist our installed base of customers in migrating to clustered ONTAP, and we had limited traction in the hybrid cloud.

“Heading into fiscal year ’17, our momentum with customers is accelerating. Data is at the heart of our customers IT transformation efforts and this is where NetApp has a profoundly important role to play. Our strategic relevance to customer’s digital transformation roadmaps is evidenced by the growth of our strategic solutions. We’re making meaningful progress, but still have work ahead of us and remain focused on execution. I remain highly confident in NetApp’s potential.”

Under Kurian’s leadership, NetApp has seemingly been forced into a wide-ranging transformation project to remain relevant in current and future market conditions. By self-admission, NetApp was not ready for the cloud-orientated world, and too focused on legacy products; however the team have outlined the organization’s roadmap to drive the company back into the positive.

Firstly, the team are positioning the clustered ONTAP offerings, as well as SolidFire to reinforce the company’s position as a supplier of technology to the cloud, both service providers and enterprise organizations who are managing private cloud environments. Kurian claims the company leads the way for enterprise storage and data management technology in the open stack cloud deployments.

Within the hyper scale segment, the company reported healthy growth for product offerings which combine hyper scale and cloud computing environments. Kurian noted while it is early days, the company are making progress in carving out market share in the segment.

Finally, Kurian highlighted there are have been a number of examples throughout the year of companies transitioning data back to on premise platforms from public cloud environments. The team believe the current offering positions them well in the market to capture those workloads as they transition.

Although Kurian has put a positive spin on year-on-year declines, outlining in depth the company’s strategy to return to prominence within the newly defined market, the market has reacted slightly differently. Shares fell almost 7% in afterhours trading.


IDG Contributor Network: Zuora ups the ante and takes it (again) to the old-school vendors

Zuora is an interesting vendor — founded by one of Salesforce‘s earliest executives, Tien Tzuo, the company was set up to deliver upon the promise of the so-called subscription economy. Tzuo is a long-time subscription economy prophet and, listening to him over the years, it would be easy to assume that in the future every possible transaction will be based on a subscription paradigm.

Of course, it isn’t quite that simple and many organizations are more than happy to continue using their traditional billing approaches, but what is true is that increasingly it is a general requirement from organizations that they will have increasing flexibility about how they package and price their products and services.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

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Silicon Valley’s Hottest Startup Incubator Takes On This Indian Venture

Just one year ago, Indian e-coupon aggregator LafaLafa.com was barely a blip in the mind of, well, anyone. It’s been quite the year though – testament to the booming tech environment in India, they’re one of the privileged few to be on their way to be accelerated by one of Silicon Valley’s hottest startup incubators.

Cloud Computing