Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ericsson Keeps Focused on Mobile Infrastructure and Telecom Services

Ericsson remains focused on two key segments - mobile infrastructure and telecom services, said Hans Vestberg, Ericsson's President & CEO, speaking at the company's Annual General Meeting of shareholders. Ericsson is the clear leader in market share for both of these areas.  There are five segments of investment for future growth: IP networks, Cloud, OSS & BSS, TV & media, and Industry & Society.

"In this transforming industry we need to stay ahead of the curve and lead the change in order to capture the opportunities that this brings for us as an ICT partner", said Vestberg. "Our customers need to innovate in order to grow their revenues; they need to transform their IT systems in order to capture efficiency gains and enhance the user experience; and they need to evolve their networks in order to meet current and coming requirements and the introduction of new services and applications.

Ericsson now has 118,055 employees.  About 15,000 employees left the company during 2014, but 19,000 employees were added.

Ericsson highlighted its advancements towards 5G, including the new Ericsson Radio System, and new networks software capabilities.  The new Ericsson Radio System features multi-standard, multi-band and multi-layer technology. It delivers three times the capacity density with 50 percent improvement in energy efficiency compared to current systems. It is fully backward-compatible with Ericsson's existing RBS 6000 portfolio and offers the ability for network operators to upgrade their current sites with a simple "one-bolt" installation an zero floor footprint.

An  archived webcast is online.


Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent Confirm Negotiations

Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent confirmed that they are in advanced discussions with respect to a potential full combination, which would take the form of a public exchange offer by Nokia for Alcatel-Lucent.

No further details have been disclosed by the companies.



ARRIS and Charter to Acquire ActiveVideo for CloudTV Platform

ARRIS and Charter Communications have set-up  a joint venture that has agreed to acquire ActiveVideo for approximately $135 million.

ARRIS will own 65% of the joint venture company and will be the sales channel for ActiveVideo's CloudTV platform.

ActiveVideo's CloudTV is a cloud-based software platform that enables service providers, content aggregators, and consumer electronic (CE) manufacturers to rapidly deploy new services by virtualizing consumer premises equipment (CPE) functions. ActiveVideo is based in San Jose, California.

CloudTV enables the delivery of next-gen user interfaces, online content, and interactive advertising for TV to millions of set-tops and connected devices. ActiveVideo's CloudTV platform and proven intellectual property (39 issued patents and 64 pending) will complement ARRIS's cloud portfolio. ARRIS's service provider relationships, global reach and installed base of CPE are expected to accelerate adoption of ActiveVideo's technology.

ActiveVideo's platform powers Charter's new fully featured, cloud-based Spectrum Guide. Charter expects to launch Spectrum Guide on Worldbox, as well as on legacy boxes currently deployed within the Charter footprint. ActiveVideo's global base of customers includes: Cablevision, Liberty Global, Deutsche Telekom, Time Warner Cable, J:COM, Philips, and Roku.

"This joint venture signifies ARRIS's continued investment in advanced software solutions that will create value across the entire video ecosystem," said Bob Stanzione, ARRIS Chairman and CEO. "We look forward to the untold opportunities our extended partnership with Charter will spawn as we march together into the future. ARRIS and Charter are paving the way for an all IP network migration and enabling the software-defined TV experience that will deliver the unified, next-gen content experiences that today's consumers demand."

"ActiveVideo's CloudTV platform is one of the enabling technologies behind Spectrum Guide. We have worked very closely with ActiveVideo on the development of this technology, and now, as a 35% shareholder, are uniquely positioned to support the continued innovation and marketplace adoption of ActiveVideo's solutions," said Tom Rutledge, President and CEO of Charter Communications. "Today's announcement extends Charter's long-standing relationship with ARRIS, who continues to be a key provider of both infrastructure and consumer premises equipment. We are excited to be partnering with them on this acquisition and to be continuing our collaboration on next-generation platforms."


Akamai Builds Reputation Profiles of IP Addresses Based on Traffic Analytics

Akamai Technologies is using a data processing engine that analyzing more than two petabytes of data related to web security threats as the foundation underpinning its Cloud Security Solutions.

Akamai said it uses the resulting intelligence to continuously update and improve its "Kona Site Defender" application security rule set.  It is also using the intelligence as the framework for new services:

Kona Client Reputation: Akamai's view of web traffic gives the company access to more web client data than any other security provider. That data, combined with a proprietary query language and advanced heuristics and algorithms creates a reputation "score" for every IP address that crosses the platform. As important, this score can adapt over time, based on ongoing data analysis of IP address activity. Potentially hazardous traffic is classified as DDoS attackers, vulnerability scanners, web attackers or web scrapers and further rated according to the likelihood of danger associated with the client. The rating system is specifically designed to give security professionals greater insight and flexibility in defining which clients to block and which to let through. Further, by injecting scores into request headers, Kona Client Reputation data can feed into back-end security systems. Internal testing of Kona Client Reputation shows the solution is able to stop an average of up to eight times as many malicious requests than using Kona Site Defender alone. Kona Client Reputation is deployed as an add‑on option to Akamai Kona Site Defender.

Improved Kona Rule Set: Responding to a consistently evolving threat landscape requires the agility to quickly block malicious activity without hampering legitimate traffic. Already proven to deliver industry leading false positive and false negative rates, the improved Kona Rule Set has been developed based on ongoing analysis of more than two Petabytes of security-related data delivered by Akamai Cloud Security Intelligence and conducted by Akamai's threat research team. The resulting Kona Rule Set, which is available to all Kona Site Defender customers at no additional cost, has shown an approximately 30 percent decrease in reporting false positives and false negatives, helping security professionals ensure that more malicious traffic is being blocked while at the same time allowing more legitimate traffic to pass.

"Companies around the world have come to rely on Akamai's Cloud Security Solutions to keep their web sites and applications not only up and running, but also highly performant, in the face of attack," explained John Summers, vice president, Cloud Security, Akamai. "The Akamai Cloud Security Intelligence data analysis engine provides a solid foundation from which we're able to make our existing Akamai Cloud Security Solutions even smarter and provide a framework upon which new cloud security solutions can be built. The ultimate goal is to continue delivering technology designed to keep our customers' online businesses protected in the face of an ever changing threat landscape."


2550100 Alliance Addresses Ethernet Migration

A new 2550100 Alliance has been formed by a group of server, storage, networking and software companies to focus on solutions based on new 25Gb, 50Gb and 100Gb Ethernet technology.

The 2550100 Alliance aims to complement the work of the 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium and Ethernet Alliance to promote standards.  The new group plans to assist hardware and software vendors with early access to 2550100 networking products, and to work together efficiently to develop solutions.

Charter members of the 2550100 Alliance include Amphenol, Cavium, DataCore, Finisar, Hitachi Data Systems, Huawei, Ixia, Lenovo, SUSE, Telesoft Technologies, X-IO, and Zadara.

"25Gb, 50Gb and 100Gb represents multiple breakthroughs for the Ethernet industry," said Ahmet Houssein, senior vice president and general manager, Ethernet Products, QLogic. "25Gb brings economy to high performance networking, 100Gb puts Ethernet at parity with InfiniBand, while the underlying chips and protocol stack are designed to meet the needs of both hyperscale and enterprise customers."


CTIA Files Lawsuit Challenging FCC's Open Internet Order

CTIA-The Wireless Association, which represents the U.S. wireless communications industry, filed a lawsuit with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today challenging the FCC's Open Internet decision to impose new net neutrality rules and reclassify mobile broadband as a common carrier utility.

CTIA President and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker stated: "CTIA and the wireless industry have always supported an open Internet, which is why these rules will only chill investment and innovation and increase costs for consumers. The FCC ignored that the competitive, constantly innovating mobile broadband industry provides Americans with faster networks and a wide variety of devices and service plans. Instead of promoting greater industry investment in the connected world of tomorrow, the FCC opted to resuscitate a command-and-control regulatory regime, including a process where innovators must first seek permission from the FCC before rolling out new services. In so doing, the FCC usurped the role of Congress and departed from a bipartisan mobile-specific framework to create a new intrusive regulatory framework. CTIA had no choice but to seek judicial review to preserve the regulatory approach that has been instrumental in helping the U.S. become the global leader in 4G services. We are confident that the courts will reject the FCC's overreach for the third time, particularly with respect to mobile broadband services."


Aruba Networks: #GenMobile Workers Pose Security Risks

There are significant differences in the security risk for corporate data posed by employees, according to a new mobile security risk report from Aruba Networks.

The report,  which is based on a survey of over 11,500 workers across 23 countries, reveals that businesses are ill prepared for the high-risk, high-growth mindset of the #GenMobile workforce, creating alarming disparity around security practices in the corporate world. The mobile security risk varies by age, gender, income level, industry and geographic location.

Aruba said it believes three key trends highlight how #GenMobile is paving the way for risk-prone behavior in the workforce – which can be both good and bad for business.

  •  Sharing becomes the norm: Six in ten share their work and personal devices with others regularly. Nearly a fifth of employees don’t have passwords on devices, with 22% of those stating they don’t have security measures in place so that they can share more easily.
  • Indifferent attitudes towards security arise: Security ranks fifth behind brand and operating system when #GenMobile is making buying decisions for new devices. Nearly nine in ten (87%) assume their IT departments will keep them protected; however, nearly a third (31%) have lost data due to the misuse of a mobile device.
  • Self-empowerment succeeds: Over half (56%) of workers today said they are willing to disobey their boss to get something done, another (51%) say that mobile technologies enable them to be more productive and engaged, and over three quarters (77%) are willing to perform self-service IT.
“#GenMobile workers are flexible, transparent and collaborative, willing to take action to drive productivity and business growth. That said, these employees are also far more willing to share company data, and are notably oblivious towards security,” said Ben Gibson, CMO of Aruba Networks.

Aruba is offering an online Security Risk Index tool to allow organizations to benchmark their Mobile Security risk levels relative to organizations in their country and industry.


Docker Lands $95 Million Series D for App Containers

Docker has raised $95 million of Series D funding to boost its container platform for distributing applications. The company said the financing, which builds on a $40 million funding round in September 2014, will enable deeper integration with go-to-market partners such as AWS, IBM and Microsoft, who have made strategic product investments in support of Docker’s open source technology.

“Our responsibility is to give people the tools they need to create applications that weren’t possible before,” said Solomon Hykes, founder and CTO of Docker. “We will continue to honor that commitment to developers and enterprises. We think they are still looking for a platform that helps them build and ship applications in a truly standardized way, without lock-in or unwanted bundled features. That is what we set out to build, and we are not yet content with what we have achieved so far. We are getting a clear message from the market that they like what we are building, and we plan to keep building it. The financing enables us to deliver on that promise.”

The round was led by Insight Venture Partners, with new contributions from Coatue, Goldman Sachs and Northern Trust. Existing investors Benchmark, Greylock Partners, Sequoia Capital, Trinity Ventures and Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures also participated in the round.


Intel's Data Center Group Hit Q1 Revenue of $3.7 billion, up 19%

In its quarterly financial report, Intel disclosed that its Data Center Group achieved revenue of $3.7 billion, up 19 percent year-over-year.  Intel's Internet of Things Group posted revenue of $533 million, up 11 percent year-over-year.  However, Intel's Client Computing Group recorded Q1 revenue of $7.4 billion, down 16 percent sequentially and down 8 percent year-over-year.

Year-over-year revenues were flat, with double-digit revenue growth in the data center, IoT and memory businesses offsetting lower than expected demand for business desktop PCs," said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. "These results reinforce the importance of continuing to execute our growth strategy."


Radisys Sees Strong Start to 2015

Radisys announced preliminary results for the first quarter of 2015, saying it now expects revenues of $48.7 million, up over 10% from the first quarter of 2014, and at the high end of its previously announced guidance.. Non-GAAP earnings are expected to be $.03 per share, above the company’s midpoint guidance of $.01 per share.

Some other highlights for the quarter:

  • Software-Systems revenue growth of over 20% year over year;
  • Embedded Products and Hardware Services operating income of approximately $4 million;
  • Retired the Company’s $18 million convertible debt; and
  • Cash generation, net of debt repayment and $1.5 million in cash restructuring payments, of nearly $3 million. Operating cash flows of nearly $4 million represent the best cash generation quarter since the second quarter of 2013.

“With cost reduction initiatives and personnel changes largely complete, the evaluation of various strategic alternatives behind us, and our new strategy defined and rolled out to all stakeholders, my team has now been able to focus 100% of their attention towards executing the transformation and delivering financial results,” said Brian Bronson, Radisys President and CEO. “We are off to a good start in 2015 and these results provide further confidence in our ability to deliver on our outlook for the full year. More specifically, we continue to see the funnel of opportunities building within our Software-Systems product lines, our Embedded Products business is off to a strong start against the 2015 cash flow objectives we set forth and our legacy revenue appears to be stable.”