More than anything else, over its long history in the computing business, IBM has been a platform company and say what you will about the woes it has had through several phases of its history, what seems obvious is that when Big Blue forgets this it runs into trouble. If you stare at its quarterly financial results long enough, you can still see that platform company looking back at you, even through the artificially dissected product groups the company has used for the past decade and the new ones that IBM is using starting in 2016. It is important to remember that even after all the divestures of its System x server business to Lenovo and its Microelectronics chip business to Globalfoundries last year, IBM's systems business is still a much larger platform company than Amazon Web Services and is many times larger than Google Compute Platform and Microsoft Azure (at least the part that is selling raw capacity and services to end users). In 2014, when IBM still sold servers based on Intel Xeon processors, that systems business generated around 33.3 billion, including servers, storage, operating systems, transaction processing software, integration middleware, technical support, and financing of this gear, and in 2015, after divesting itself of that Xeon server business and the associated revenue streams, the overall systems business fell by 14.5 percent to 28.5 billion. This is still 3.6X as large as AWS, although the two are arguably very different animals indeed, and AWS is growing at 80 percent a year and if IBM's systems business continues to shrink, they will be roughly the same size at 25 billion a year in 2018.
Rocket Fuel late Monday announced a restructuring that it says will enable the company to continue its transformation into a SaaS-based (software as a service) platform company. In so doing, the company said it eliminated 93 jobs, or 11% of the company's headcount, and shuffled executive responsibilities. The job cuts were in "services and administrative" roles, according to the company. The organizational changes announced involve a focus on the company's predictive marketing platform solutions and media services businesses. The company said David Gosen -- currently SVP and managing director of international --will expand his role to become GM, platform solutions & international, and Simon Hayhurst, currently SVP of product, will become GM of media services.
Xero CEO Rod Drury has announced he will be stepping down from the chief executive position at the company he founded 11 years ago. Replacing Drury is Steve Vamos, who has been working closely with Xero's executive team over the past 18 months in preparation for his takeover. Vamos will join the New Zealand company with 30 years of tech industry experience under his belt, most notably having held the position of CEO at Microsoft Australia from 2003 to 2006 where he then continued as the company's vice president of worldwide sales and international operations until 2008. He was also CEO of Ninemsn from 1998 through 2002; Apple Computer Australia and New Zealand's managing director in 1994 and 1995 and Asia Pacific managing director from 1996-1998; and prior to that he held various roles at IBM since 1979. Vamos has been a non-executive director of Telstra since September 2009.