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Airtel, SK Telecom Join Hands To Create India’s Best Network

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Bharti Airtel today announced it has forged a partnership with Korea’s SK Telecom to bring more improvements and future ready technologies to its network to bring India at par with the world’s best telecom operators.

The Indian operator, in its own terms, claims SK Telecom as the most advanced mobile broadband operator in the world.

Both the teams would work towards designing and implementing a customised software stack on the Network layer to dramatically improve customer experience. Airtel says it would use machine learning and big data analytics to measure network quality and experience at customer device level.

India’s largest operator and the world’s ‘best’ operator would jointly work towards the evolution of 5G, NFV, SDN and IoT, the Indian company said in a statement.

The two companies will also collaborate on an on-going basis to evolve standards for 5G, Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), Software-defined Networking (SDN) and Internet of Things (IoT), and jointly work towards building an enabling ecosystem for the introduction of these technologies in the Indian context.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman – Bharti Airtel said, “This partnership will bring a dramatically improved experience to Airtel customers in India by leveraging the expertise of a company that has built one of the best mobile broadband networks in the world.”

“Strong partnerships have been a hallmark of Airtel’s growth journey and we are proud to have always looked ahead to bring the latest technology to India. With SK Telecom’s clear and undisputed leadership in technology, this is one partnership that will decisively change the game in India and put the country at par with the most advanced broadband nations in the world.” added Sunil Bharti Mittal

“SK Telecom is delighted to announce a strategic partnership with Bharti Airtel, a global leading mobile operator,” said Park Jung-ho, the President and CEO of SK Telecom. “SK Telecom will work closely with Bharti to achieve new network innovations so as to deliver a greater value to Bharti’s customers.”

The partnership will work across several areas including developing bespoke software to dramatically improve network experience, leveraging advanced digital tools including machine learning, big data and building customized tools to improve network planning based on every customer’s device experience. The capacity to identify, monitor and deliver improvements to the network experience on an individual device basis will be a first in India, helped by SK Telecom’s global leadership in this area.

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M&A

Thales Completes Acquisition Of Data Analytics Firm Guavus

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French aerospace and critical security major Thales Tuesday announced that it has completed the acquisition of Guavus, a California based data analytics firm.

The said acquisition was announced in May this year. The deal value then announced was $215 million.

Headquartered in San Mateo, California, in the Silicon valley, Guavus employs 250 people, of which 140 are based in Gurgaon (India), 60 in California and 50 in Montreal (Canada).

Guavus is perfectly suited, the French major said, to help Thales address the growing needs of an increasingly connected global ecosystem. The company has built a recognised industrial “big data” platform particularly adapted to real-time analytics and designed to be easily implemented across any number of new markets.

The revenues of Guavus are expected to exceed $30 million for the current fiscal year.

“The impact of this acquisition on Thales’s 2017 EBIT should be non-material. This business will be assigned to the Defence & Security operating segment,” Thales said in a statement.

“Thanks to this acquisition, Thales strengthens its positioning in one of the key technologies at the heart of digital transformation of its customers,” it added.

Patrice Caine, Thales’s Chairman and CEO, commented: “Thales is very excited that this acquisition has now closed and welcomes Guavus’s talents as part of its family. Combined with our established expertise in other key digital technologies, the acquisition of Guavus represents a tremendous accelerator of our digital strategy for the benefit of all our customers, whether in aeronautics, space, rail signaling, defense or security.”

The acquisition of Guavus follows several acquisitions in the fields of connectivity, mobility and cyber security, and strengthens Thales’s positioning in one of the key technologies at the heart of digital transformation, the processing and predictive analysis of “big data”, an increasingly critical factor in real- time decision-making.

Founded by Anukool Lakhina in 2006, Guavus has focused on the telecommunication and cable network operators’ market, and analyses more than 5 petabytes (5,000 terabytes) of data for its customers every single day. This represents the equivalent of analysing around 3 million feature films every day or 500 times the entire print collections of the US Library of Congress. The company supports more than 20 major operators around the world, including the 5 largest North-American mobile operators (AT&T, Rogers, Sprint, T- Mobile and Verizon), 4 out of the top 5 Internet backbone carriers, and 7 out of the top 8 cable operators.

This story was first published in M2MCafe.

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M&A

Infosys Completes Acquisition Of Brilliant Basics

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Indian IT major Infosys Monday announced that it has completed the acquisition of Brilliant Basics, a London-based product design and customer experience (CX) innovator known for its world-class design thinking-led approach and experience in executing global programs.

The acquisition is in accordance with the terms set out in the agreement announced by the company on August 3, 2017.

“Adding Brilliant Basics’ design and CX capabilities has already proven to be invaluable, helping Infosys close large deals with a deep blend of skills,” Ravi Kumar S, President & Deputy COO, Infosys had said then. “Brilliant Basics will leverage the breadth and depth of Infosys Digital to drive Digital Transformation solutions, which connect our clients’ Systems of Record to new Systems of Engagement,” he had added.

Brilliant Basics Founder and CEO, Anand Verma added, “I am thrilled to be a key part of Infosys, a company I have admired for a long time. Being a key member of the Infosys family allows Brilliant Basics “bb” to enhance and scale the overall offering for our clients. It has a unique vision and approach to partnership and acquisition, which will enable us to closely collaborate on Digital Transformation programs globally.”

Through this acquisition, Infosys further expands its worldwide connected network of Digital Studios that are focused on fulfilling the needs of global clients for end-to-end Digital Transformation solutions required to meet customer demand for next-generation enhanced customer experiences. The addition of Brilliant Basics extends the IT major’s digital design services network to include Europe and the Middle East, and enhances the company’s expertise across financial services, retail and telecom sectors.

This acquisition represents Infosys’ commitment to the expansion of a worldwide connected network of Digital Studios. These studios are focused on fulfilling the needs of our global clients for end-to-end Digital Transformation solutions required to meet customer demand for next-generation enhanced customer experiences.

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M&A

HPE Completes $8.8 Bn Merger With Micro Focus

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Micro Focus today announced the completion of its merger with Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) software business to create the seventh largest pure-play enterprise software company in the world.

This merger brings together two leaders in the software industry to form a new, combined company uniquely positioned to help customers maximize existing software investments and embrace innovation in a world of Hybrid IT. Upon close, Chris Hsu, formerly COO of HPE and Executive Vice President and General Manager of HPE Software, was appointed CEO of Micro Focus.

“Today marks a significant milestone for Micro Focus, and I am honored to be leading this team,” said Chris Hsu, Chief Executive Officer of Micro Focus. “We are bringing together a powerful combination of technology and talent uniquely positioned to drive customer-centered innovation at enterprise scale – enabling organizations to maximize the ROI of existing software investments while embracing the new hybrid model for enterprise IT.”

“It is our mission to provide a best-in-class portfolio of enterprise-grade scalable software with analytics built in, and put customers at the center of our innovation building high-quality products that our teams can be proud of,” added Hsu. “Driven by this mission, Micro Focus is uniquely positioned to help customers and partners address opportunities and challenges within the new hybrid model for enterprise IT – from mainframe to mobile to cloud.”

“On behalf of everyone at DXC Technology, I would like to congratulate the Micro Focus team on this significant milestone,” said Mike Lawrie, chairman, president and CEO of DXC Technology. “This merger promises to greatly enhance our strategic partnership to help drive true digital transformation for our clients, and we look forward to further collaboration with a best-in-class partner like Micro Focus.”

This marks the fifth significant transaction in the past three years, and the largest to date for Micro Focus. It reflects the ongoing strategy to combine powerful software assets into a single company with a strong performance-based operating model.

“Our business strategy remains sound: bringing together software assets that deliver a high degree of value to our investors and an expansive solution portfolio to our customers so they can maximize the value of existing IT investments and adopt new technologies – essentially bridging the old and new,” said Kevin Loosemore, Executive Chairman of Micro Focus. “We’re excited to have Chris lead the combined company as we embark on this journey of uniting our organizations to create a world-class, pure-play enterprise software company.”

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M&A

Juniper To Acquire Security Software Firm Cyphort

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Juniper has said it is acquiring Cyphort, a Silicon Valley startup specialising the security software. The company however has not disclosed financial details of the deal and said the transaction would close in a months time.

Cyphort uses machine language and advanced intelligence in detecting potential threats and helps large and midsize enterprises with security analytics for advanced threat defense.

“The acquisition will strengthen the capabilities of Juniper Sky Advanced Threat Prevention (ATP), giving security practitioners a consistent feature set for both on-premises and cloud solutions,” the company said in a statement.

Cyphort’s solution is built with an open architecture that integrates with existing security tools to discover and contain the threats that bypass the first line of security defense. This is accomplished through machine learning and behavioral analytics to improve efficacy. Harnessing the power of its analytics engine, Cyphort’s technology complements traditional security information and event management (SIEM) platforms and, in some cases, provides a more efficient and simpler solution for enterprise customers.

Cyphort’s technology complements traditional security information and event management (SIEM) platforms. The open, scalable Cyphort security analytics platform helps incident responders and security analysts work more effectively to secure your business.

Combined with Sky ATP, Cyphort will provide increased efficiency and performance, a wider range of supported file types, and new threat-detection functionality that draws from advanced machine learning and behavioral analytics.

As cloud-based advanced threat prevention becomes an increasingly critical feature of next-generation firewalls, Juniper will continue to be a leader through forward-looking technology investments.

The Silicon Valley startup is headed by Manoj Leelanivas, a 15 year old Juniper veteran who also had extensive service presence in Cisco.

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CorporateM&A

Cisco To Acquire Springpath For $320 Mn

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Cisco today said it will acquire Sunnyvale, the US based software firm Springpath for $ 320 million. Both the firms have been in talks and also worked together since last year when Cisco launched its HyperFlex solution.

“Cisco will acquire Springpath for $320 million in cash and assumed equity awards, plus additional retention-based incentives,” Cisco said in a statement. “The acquisition is expected to close in Cisco’s first quarter of fiscal year 2018, following customary closing conditions and regulatory review.”

Springpath has developed a distributed file system purpose-built for hyperconvergence that enables server-based storage systems. The acquisition will allow Cisco to continue to deliver next-generation data center innovation to its customers.

The acquisition is the culmination of a long-standing strategic relationship between Cisco and Springpath. The companies have worked together since early 2016 to launch HyperFlex, the industry’s first fully integrated hyperconverged infrastructure system. Since then, they have fully aligned on product development and go-to-market strategies.

This acquisition will allow Cisco to continue to grow its computing business, enabling more customers to realize the benefits of simple and economic software-defined infrastructure.

“This acquisition is a meaningful addition to our data center portfolio and aligns with our overall transition to providing more software-centric solutions,” said Rob Salvagno, Cisco vice president, Corporate Business Development.

“Springpath’s file system technology was built specifically for hyperconvergence, which we believe will deliver sustainable differentiation in this fast-growing segment. I’m excited to be able to provide our customers and partners with the simplicity and agility they need in data center innovation.”

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AnalysisM&A

Why Qualcomm Acquired Machine Learning Firm Scyfer?

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San Diego headquartered Qualcomm Technologies last week acquired Scyfer, an Amsterdam based machine learning startup. Though the valuation of the deal is not disclosed, the value of the acquisition can be well gauged from the fact that this is one area Qualcomm has been putting lots of effort since last ten years.

“We started fundamental research a decade ago, and our current products now support many AI use cases from computer vision and natural language processing to malware detection on a variety of devices — such as smartphones and cars — and we are researching broader topics, such as AI for wireless connectivity, power management and photography,” said Matt Grob, executive vice president, technology, Qualcomm Incorporated.

How Scyfer Helps Qualcomm

Unlike many AI companies who are more focused in offering cloud based solutions, Qualcomm wants to offer it at the end user level or at the device level. It wants artificial intelligence to be available at standalone basis, and does not necessarily dependent on any kind network or WiFI. The benefits of on-device intelligence include enhanced reliability, immediate response, and very importantly, increased privacy protection. The devices that Qualcomm looks at offering these kind of services through are smartphones, cars, robotics etc.

Scyfer, on the other hand, has developed AI based solutions for varied industry segments including healthcare, manufacturing, automation, manufacturing and finance – areas where Qualcomm sees a lot of potential in coming days. The Amsterdam based startup is believed to be an expert in areas where Qualcomm sees its future in. This justifies the acquisition.

Some of  Scyfer’s solution include personalized 3D bone segmentation and sound health solutions for the healthcare industry; predicting roadside assistance and traffic monitoring for the automotive and transport industry etc.

India’s Tata Steel is one of Scyfer’s customers where its uses machine learning for its surface inspection.

Going Forward

While the acquisition does not seem to involve any material transaction, as the company has not filed an 8-k that requires to filed in case of material transaction, Qualcomm certainly gets the founder of Scyfer, Dr Max Welling – a renowned professor of AI at University of Amsterdam, on board. Welling would continue his role as professor and the rest of the team would work from Amsterdam. Post acquisition, both the teams would work towards using Scyfer’s expertise in machine learning and AI into Qualcomm’s chips that target industries like robotics, healthcare, mobility and automotive.

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CorporateResults

Avaya Crisis Goes On; Posts Quarterly Revenue Dip

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Global communications ad collaboration firm Avaya remains in the red its third quarter ended June 30 with its revenue slipping further. For the third quarter 2017 the company posted revenues of $803 million, a million less than it reported in the previous quarter of this fiscal. On a year on year basis, the revenue loss gap increases to $79 million. It Q3 of previous fiscal Avaya had posted revenues of $ 882 million.

The company attributed this fall to lack of enough orders for its products and services during the quarter.

The debt ridden company had moved into chapter 11 in January because of rising debt and its inability to make enough money. It had a debt of almost $6 billion.

“Total revenue for the third quarter was $803 million, down $1 million compared to the prior quarter and down $79 million year-over-year primarily as a result of lower demand for products and services primarily due to extended procurement cycles resulting from the chapter 11 filing,” the company said in a statement.

The company has been posting revenue losses quarter over quarter. In the fourth quarter of last fiscal, its reveue was $958 million which came down to $875 million in the next quarter or the 1st quarter of 2017. And the trrouble continued in the next or second quarter ass well when it posted revenues of $804 million.

Of its total revenue product revenue of $345 million decreased 1% from the prior quarter and 13% year-over-year, service revenue of $458 million was slightly higher sequentially and decreased 5% year-over-year, each in constant currency.

In the third or reported quarter the US market continuted 54% of its revenue whereas EMEA, APAC and LatAm contributed 25%, 11% and 10% respectively.

“The support of our amended Plan of Reorganization by a majority of holders of our first lien debt and the settlement reached with the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation gives us a clear and viable path to emerge from chapter 11 this fall,” said Kevin Kennedy, president and CEO.

 

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CorporateM&A

Tableau Acquires Natural Language Query Startup Cleargrpah

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Seattle, the US, headquartered data analytics firm Tableau Software has acquired Cleargraph, a startup that develops solutions based on natural language query as input. This acquisition, Tableau says, would accelerate its plans to add natural language into its platform, helping more people interact with data naturally.

As part of the acquisition, employees will join Tableau in its Palo Alto office and the team will be focused on integrating ClearGraph’s underlying technology into Tableau products.

Tableau plans to integrate ClearGraph’s technology into Tableau’s products, making it even easier for more people to interact with their data by using natural language to ask questions and search for insights.

“Natural language queries will make it easier for more people to interact with Tableau, whether you’re an executive who needs an answer quickly, or on a mobile phone and want an answer from your data on the move. We’re excited about this acquisition as the ClearGraph team shares our mission and is aligned with our innovation perspectives on conversational analytics,” said Francois Ajenstat, Chief Product Officer at Tableau.

ClearGraph makes it easy to analyze data using natural language. It brings a consumer-like experience to users by connecting disparate data sources and making them accessible and intelligible through simple conversational style search. ClearGraph’s unique natural language query technology stores semantic data in knowledge graphs that can expand and learn over time.

Accessing and analyzing data using ClearGraph requires no technical training, as the system can infer users’ intent through natural language. For example, people could ask questions such as, “Total sales by customers who purchased staples in New York,” then filter to, “orders in the last 30 days,” then group by, “project owner’s department.”

“We founded ClearGraph because we saw a need to bridge the gap between humans and computers through natural language, especially when it comes to exploring data,” said Andrew Vigneault, CEO of ClearGraph. “Tableau is a natural fit for us because we have similar missions, cultures and genuine desire to help more people around the world access, interact with and get answers from their data.”

ClearGraph was founded in 2014 by Andrew Vigneault and Ryan Atallah. The team recruited Stanford PhD graduate Alex Djalali, who specializes in computational linguistics, to develop the product along with several other engineers. ClearGraph is used by dozens of customers, including large enterprises.

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CorporateM&A

Kavin Mittal’s Hike Acquires Teewe Maker Creo

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Hike Messenger, the messaging app founded by Kavin Mittal, son of Bharti Airtel founder Sunil Bharti Mittal, has acquired Creo, a Bangalore based technology startup. The startup is known for making TeeWe, an HDMI based video streaming device.

Neither of the firms have disclosed the financial details of the deal.

Creo, earlier named as Mango Man Consumer Electronics was founded in 2013 by two former Hike employees – Sai Srinivas Kiran G, and Shubham Malhotra. In 2014 they developed and launched TeeWe and the team relaunched the product in 2015 as TeeWe-2. As per the company’s last announcement more than 50,000 households are using the streaming device.

The Bangalore based startup now constitutes over 50+ members. In the past, they have launched hardware products that includes streaming media dongles and smartphones.

According to the Hike spokesperson, “The Creo team will begin work on a developer platform to enable 3rd party developers to build services on the Hike platform”.

Creo, founded by ex-Hikers, was angel funded by Hike Founder Kavin Mittal as well as Palaash Ventures and former British Telecom executive Arun Seth.

They got their second round of seed funding of Rs 11 crore from Sequoia Capital and India Quotient Fund. In 2016 Creo raised $3 million from Sequoia, India Quotient and Beenext Ventures.

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