This is a weekly browsing of recent relevant industry news articles, helpful for educating ourselves as well as for sharing with our peers. Please post any thoughts in the comments section!
The pace of technology spending in the United States will slow in 2016 as cloud services depress demand for traditional hardware and a range of political and economic uncertainties spur caution among corporate buyers, according to a Forrester Inc. forecast. U.S. tech spending is projected to grow 4.3% to $1.45 trillion this year. That’s down from a November 2015 forecast that projected 4.8% growth. The figures suggest that political and economic uncertainty have prompted executives to take a more cautious approach to their spending plans. “Uncertainties about future U.S. economic growth due to energy prices, overseas growth, interest rates and equity markets, and the U.S. elections is dampening tech demand, especially for capital-intensive hardware and licensed software,” the report said.
One notable for its co-founder's dismissal of cloud computing, Oracle has taken big steps recently to strengthen its cloud-service offerings, especially those focused on the customer-facing side of business, i.e., customer relationship management. Over the span of a week starting in late April, Oracle announced two large cloud service company acquisitions -- the utilities-focused Opower and Textura, which offers construction contracts and payment management services -- and launched several new marketing- and customer-focused cloud services. Those included new account-based marketing capabilities in Oracle Marketing Cloud, a new release of Oracle Field Service Cloud and updates to its Sales Cloud and Commerce Cloud.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. teamed with its largest shareholder SoftBank Group Corp. to form a cloud computing service venture targeting Japanese customers, as the Chinese e-commerce giant expands one of its fastest growing businesses. The venture known as SB Cloud Corp. will open a new data center in Japan to tap SoftBank’s customers ranging from startups to global organizations, extending a battle for customers with Amazon.com Inc. Alibaba will provide services including data storage and processing services, the companies said in a joint statement.
TechCrunch: CoreOS raises $28M Series B round led by GV
CoreOS, the company behind the container-centric CoreOS Linux distribution and Tectonic container management service, today announced that it has raised a $28 million Series B round led by GV, the fund formerly known as Google Ventures. Other investors include Accel, Fuel Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and the Y Combinator Continuity Fund. In total, the company has now raised $48 million. As CoreOS co-founder and CEO Alex Polvi told me, this new round will provide “more fuel for the tank.” He noted that the company had a lot of inbound interest in this round, but the decision to work with GV was a pretty easy one, it seems. GV already led CoreOS’s add-on to its Series A round, after all, and Polvi describes the whole process as “quick and easy” (which isn’t something you typically hear about Series B rounds these days).
Diane Greene is in the hot seat. The onetime cofounder of VMware, a pioneer in what’s now known as cloud computing, heads Google’s enterprise and cloud businesses, seen by many as its next big business beyond advertising. Appointed last November when Google bought her startup, the senior vice president has an ambitious goal to rival Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, which it trails far behind in the fast-growing market for cloud services.