Intuit said it has sold its largest data center to H5 Data Centers as it aims to speed up its move to the cloud. The company said that it is selling its data center in Quincy, Washington to H5, which operates data centers. Intuit is among the higher profile software vendors moving to Amazon Web Services. Intuit noted that AWS was able to handle peak tax season traffic and that gave it confidence to get out of the data center business. Related: The data science life: Intuit's Ashok Srivastava on AI, machine learning, and diversity of thought Intuit to use AWS as its standard artificial intelligence platform The hit to earnings will be offset by tax benefits from the sale.
Rolls-Royce has unveiled the propulsion side of an electric vertical take-off and landing (EVTOL) concept, which the company said could be used from personal transport through to military applications. The vehicle would be able to seat four or five people and would use a M250 gas turbine engine to power six low-noise electric propellers, as well as charge a battery. The M250 would be housed in the rear of the aircraft, with the company stating it delivered the first version of the series over 50 years ago and currently more than 16,000 remain in service from a delivery total of over 31,000. "In this hybrid-EVTOL configuration, it could carry four or five passengers at speeds up to 250mph for approximately 500 miles, would not require recharging -- as the battery is charged by the gas turbine -- and would be able to utilise existing infrastructure such as heliports and airports," Rolls-Royce said. The concept could be reality by "early to mid 2020s", the company claimed; however, it would need an airframe and partners to work on parts of the electrical system.
If you haven't heard already, which would mean you don't have Wi-Fi or a mobile device, Amazon Prime Day 2018 (APD 2018) is a week from today. And you will have no shortage of articles covering it from a variety of angles and perspectives leading up to the big day (and a half). So, I might as well add my two cents to the mix as well. Read also: When is Amazon Prime Day 2018? Now I'm not focusing on what the best deals are or all you need to know to make the most of APD 2018.
Singaporean mobile carrier M1 has announced that it will be trialling 5G small cells in partnership with Nokia at the end of this year. The trials will take place across M1's 4.5G narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) heterogeneous network (HetNet) in Singapore, which was rolled out using Nokia's Flexi Zone Wi-Fi equipment and small cells and was labelled a precursor for 5G. According to M1, the companies will use the tests to inform how to commercially deploy 5G small cells in a "dense cell grid architecture" at high-frequency spectrum bands, as well as to demonstrate low-latency 5G IoT use cases. "The practical learning from early 5G field trial is critical for the success of developing high-performance and demand-driven 5G services for our customers in future and enables us to play a key role in Singapore's Smart Nation initiatives," M1 CTO Denis Seek said. M1 had first partnered with Nokia on 5G network trials back in October 2016, displaying 1ms latency in a robotics demonstration.
Oracle CTO Larry Ellison said that the company is enabling its Fusion ERP and Fusion HCM interfaces to support voice services such as Amazon Alexa. You know Alexa for Business is going to loom large in the enterprise when Ellison, who is a tad obsessed with beating Amazon Web Services, is mentioning the digital assistant. Speaking on Oracle's fourth quarter earnings conference call, Ellison said the company has just about completed an effort to meld all of its software-, platform- and infrastructure-as-a-services in one data center. "This consolidation of all 3 categories of cloud services, SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, into a single standard data center, allows us to share assets while giving significant -- while giving a significant economies of scale. As a result, we expect continued expansion of our cloud margin," said Ellison.
Medidata said it will acquire SHYFT for $195 million in a deal designed to expand its reach in life sciences and clinical analytics. In a statement, the company said it already owned a 6 percent stake in SHYFT. Medidata combines CRM, research and third party data to help pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies commercialize and develop drug and product discoveries. SHYFT's analytics and data cloud weaves data sources together, provides visualizations and cleans and transforms data to provide insights. Life sciences and health care are ripe for everything from artificial intelligence to big data to digital transformation projects.
A three-way merger is shaking up the market for end-of-arm components that give robots task-specific abilities. The merging companies are Perception Robotics (US), OptoForce (Hungary), and On Robot (Denmark). The resulting company will be called OnRobot and will be headquartered in Denmark. Former CEO of Universal Robots, Enrico Krog Iversen, will manage the new enterprise. Collaborative robots (cobots) have transformed industrial automation in the last decade.
Workday announced Friday that it will acquire Rallyteam, makers of talent management software for enterprises. The acquisition includes Rallyteam's technology and team, and no financial terms were disclosed. According to Workday's blog post announcing the deal, Rallyteam's platform uses machine learning to help companies better understand their workers. Its system matches an employee's interests, skills and connections with relevant jobs, projects and tasks. The aim is to optimize an existing workforce to meet business needs.
Stitch Fix, a personal styling service powered by machine learning, delivered strong third quarter financial results on Thursday. The San Francisco-based company reported net income of $9.5 million, or nine cents per share, on revenue of $$316.7 million, an increase of 29 percent from a year ago. Wall Street was looking for earnings of just three cents per share on revenue of $306.4 million. Stitch Fix shares were up as much as six percent in after market trading. Elsewhere on the balance sheet, Stitch Fix said it had 2.7 million active clients, up 30 percent from the same time last year.
Cisco said it will acquire Accompany, an AI-based startup focused on sales relationships, $270 million in cash and put the company's CEO in charge of its collaboration group. Accompany CEO Amy Chang will now be in charge of Cisco's collaboration portfolio that includes Spark and WebEx--two products that are being combined. Cisco added that Rowan Trollope, general manager of the company's collaboration group, will leave to become a CEO at another company May 3. The move is notable since Accompany sounds more like Salesforce and sales automation than collaboration. Cisco's bet is that Chang can put artificial intelligence front and center in its collaboration tools. Chang's mission will be to add user and customer profile data to Webex meetings.