Dell reverse merger with VMware: rumours rise of April deal

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Since January, rumours have been flying that Dell is planning a reverse merger with its VMware subsidiary, which would allow privately held Dell Technologies to become a publicly traded stock again without going for IPO.

CNBC quotes sources close to the matter who say that founder and CEO Michael Dell is now discussing details of a deal to take the company back into the public market, perhaps as early as April.

Dell and VMware are reportedly considering an equity exchange to give Dell access to VMware’s cashflow by merging the companies into a new publicly traded entity.

In February, Dell disclosed in an SEC filing that a reverse merger was one of the “potential business opportunities” being discussed. Analysts have suggested VMware’s board could hold a “majority of the minority” vote on the deal.

Dell’s $ 67 billion acquisition of EMC – announced in 2015, completed in 2016 – was the biggest in tech industry history. As part of the deal, it acquired a majority stake in VMware, which continued trading as a public company, while EMC was taken private.

However, that deal will be dwarfed by any deal between Qualcomm and Broadcom, as reported by Internet of Business earlier this week.

Internet of Business says

The acquisition of EMC freighted Dell with an estimated $ 50 billion of debt. A reverse merger – selling itself to a company in which it owns a majority stake – would allow investors to monetise their support of Dell taking itself private, while also tackling its debt problem.

Alternative strategies would include Dell selling its 80 per cent stake in VMware, buying the remaining 20 per cent, or going for IPO five years after taking itself private. The reverse merger is thought to be a simpler option than relisting, unlikely thought that may seem.

• Dell recently announced that it was investing $ 1 billion over the next three years in a new central IoT division. This will focus on developing next-gen products, research, and partnerships, across everything from driverless cars to smart light bulbs, with a focus on edge computing and the distributed core. Dell has also invested in a number of IoT startups, including security specialist Zingbox.

Last month, Internet of Business reported that revenues from Dell EMC’s Internet of Things and OEM business in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) passed the $ 1 billion mark.

Read more: Exclusive Q&A: Dell sets out new IoT strategy

Read more: Dell takes a fresh look at IoT with Aerofarms


 

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VMware partners with Axis, Wipro on new IoT edge range

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VMware, Axis IoT edge

VMware, the cloud infrastructure and virtualisation vendor, has announced that it will be delivering a range of new edge computing products.

The company is partnering with Swedish surveillance camera manufacturer Axis Communications and IT services provider Wipro, among others. Use cases for the new product range will include asset management and smart surveillance in remote locations, it said.

The company added that it was also working with financial services firms to develop ‘the modern bank of the future’ using these tools.

What’s in the box?

VMware, which is rumoured to be on the verge of a reverse merger deal with Dell, announced these latest IoT products at Mobile World Congress (#MWC18) in Barcelona.

The new range will feature VMware vSAN hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) software, VMware vSphere and VMware Pulse IoT Center, and will be developed in collaboration with its new partners.

The company said that edge computing will make it easier for businesses to exploit data created by IoT networks securely and effectively.

“Building an edge computing solution today is a time-intensive exercise that most enterprises can’t afford,” said Ray O’Farrell, VMware executive VP and CTO.

“VMware unveils hyper-converged edge computing solutions that are cost-effective and will enable customers to build and scale secure, use case-specific IoT solutions that work for them from the edge all the way to the cloud.

“Together with ecosystem partners Axis, Wipro Limited, and Dell EMC, we’re excited to deliver the first of many tailored solutions to meet the unique IoT needs of our enterprise customers,”

IoT out in the open

Initially, VMware will focus on specific use cases, including remote oil well optimisation, utility grids, smart city deployments – where devices or sensors may be in rugged, outdoor containers – and remote locations, where network connectivity and power may be poor or inconsistent.

Closed networks in factories, plants or shops, and in-store applications that require unique space or power requirements are other potential applications of the new range.

As part of its initial rollout, VMware said it would be collaborating with its partners on an IoT product for the surveillance industry. This will feature IP cameras, 4G/LTE routers, and VMware’s Pulse IoT Center system.

The offering will be available on a choice of Dell EMC servers and include the option of Dell Edge Gateways.

Asset management

VMware is also teaming up with majority owner Dell and Wipro on an IoT product for manufacturers and asset management specialists.

The idea is to combine Wipro’s IoT offerings, including its Looking Glass asset management platform and services capability, with VMware’s Pulse IoT Center.

By integrating multiple IoT platforms in this way, and by connecting customers’ IoT environments to their data centres, users will benefit from deeper analytics and machine learning, said the company.

Plus: VMware Q4 results

VMware, in which Dell owns an 80 percent stake, released its fourth-quarter results yesterday, beating Wall Street forecasts. Licensing revenue rose 20 percent to $ 1.07 billion. There was a 13.8 percent jump in year-on-year revenue growth, and its services revenue, which accounts for more than half of its total revenue, rose 8.4 percent to $ 1.24 billion.

Internet of Business says

The edge space is hotting up, and it’s exciting to see so many new products, services, and industry partners announced already in 2018. #MWC18 has put the IoT in all its forms centre stage and, as analysts – and Dell EMC itself – have predicted, the edge and the distributed core are where much of the action is.

Read more: Dell reverse merger with VMware: rumours mount of April deal

Read more: Analysis: Dell EMC IoT revenues in Asia Pacific hit $ 1bn mark

Read more: Exclusive Q&A: Dell sets out new IoT strategy


 

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VMware furthers IoT strategy with new edge computing solutions

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MWC VMware has unveiled an advancement of its IoT strategy focusing on new edge computing solutions for specific use cases including Asset Management and Smart Surveillance at Mobile World Congress 2018.

To be featured at the new edge computing solutions are VMware vSAN hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) software, VMware vSphere and VMware Pulse IoT Center. For the formulations, VMware will collaborate with several partners including Axis Communications and Wipro Limited.

Targeting the surveillance industry, VMware and Axis Communications are partnering on an IoT solution that features Axis’ advanced surveillance capabilities including IP cameras and 4G/LTE routers which can be deployed for protection of employees and properties. With VMware Pulse IoT Center, customers can manage, monitor, and secure their Axis cameras and routers. In the initial phase, the solution will be available on select Dell EMC servers and include the option of Dell Edge Gateways.

VMware and Wipro are also working together to provide manufacturers a complete edge to cloud IoT solution for enhanced productivity and efficiency of machineries and other assets. The new solution will feature Wipro's IoT offerings and integrate many IoT platforms that are hosted on-premises or in the cloud.  

Ray O’Farrell, executive vice president & chief technology officer, VMware, said: “Building an edge computing solution today is a time-intensive exercise most enterprises can’t afford. Today, VMware unveils hyper-converged edge computing solutions that are cost-effective and will enable customers to build and scale secure, use case-specific IoT solutions that work for them from the edge all the way to the cloud, relying on proven, tested software they already use and trust.

“Together with ecosystem partners Axis, Wipro Limited and Dell EMC, we’re excited to deliver the first of many tailored solutions to meet the unique IoT needs of our enterprise customers,” O’Farrell added.

Picture credit: VMware

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VMware, SAP team up for enterprise IoT adoption race

VMware, SAP team up for enterprise IoT adoption race

SAP and VMWare announce they will work together on a “pre-integrated, pre-tested solution” for fast IoT deployments.

VMware and SAP have unveiled a new partnership that they claim will result in an “enterprise IoT-ready architecture” for customers.

This term, according to the companies, refers to an offering that comprises both an infrastructure plane and an application plane. “The infrastructure layer refers to the IoT infrastructure itself, along with the capabilities to manage and secure it, whereas the application plane analyzes insight-rich data from connected things to drive business decisions and processes,” they said in a public statement.

In other words, it’s safe to assume that they’ll be combining SAP’s analytics cloud, which enables companies to explore business transactions and device data for new insights, with VMware’s systems for infrastructure management.

According to the companies, the agreement will enable the “fast deployment, scalability and on-schedule execution of IoT projects.”

Read more: SAP shifts gears of IoT into business ERP

Time to value

While details are sketchy, both companies say they are working together to develop a pre-integrated, pre-tested solution for fast IoT deployments, while providing the necessary security and management capabilities for IoT architecture across gateways, data centers and the cloud, in order to “drastically help speed up time to value”.

Through collaboration and testing, VMware and SAP plan to offer mutual customers real-time visibility by converging time-series device data with business transactional data via SAP, while VMware will enable IT to have visibility and control of the IoT use case from the infrastructure operations point of view.

Read more: VMware launches Pulse IoT Center

Working together

The premise here appears to be that IoT is not taking off as quickly as it should be and that, where it is happening, many projects prove to be more complicated, and less scalable, than initially anticipated.

“VMware and SAP have a long and rich history of working together to empower our mutual customers to transform their businesses with solutions that help to innovate, simplify and move toward a software-defined enterprise architecture,” said Mimi Spier, vice president of IoT at VMware.

“Companies win when they can make intelligent real-time decisions at the edge; SAP Leonardo supports that bold innovation,” said Nils Herzberg, senior vice president and global head of IoT go-to-market and strategic partnerships for SAP.

“As customers start to implement, one obstacle to realizing that vision is tackling infrastructure lifecycle and management outside of the traditional data centre,” he added.

Both companies have been working on IoT for some time, independently of each other. In May, VMware announced Pulse IoT Center, hailed by the company as a “secure, enterprise-grade IoT infrastructure management solution.” In the same month, SAP used its Sapphire 2017 conference to showcase a new iteration of its Leonardo digital innovation system.

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ZingBox to partner with VMware to enhance enterprise IoT security

ZingBox, a provider of Internet of Things (IoT) security solutions, has announced that it will collaborate with VMware to deliver enhanced security to enterprise IoT implementations.

The two companies will work together to strengthen IoT security by integrating ZingBox’s IoT personality-based approach with VMware Pulse IoT Center, an IoT infrastructure management solution. By 2020, over 25% of identified attacks in enterprises will involve IoT, according to Gartner.

The VMware Pulse IoT Center will simplify IoT complexity by managing all ‘things’ as one, improving the reliability and security of IoT infrastructure through accurate and real-time visibility of IoT device health, and accelerating the ROI of IoT use cases by streamlining how IoT projects are deployed and scaled.

May Wang, co-founder and CTO of ZingBox, said, “ZingBox focuses on IoT security and the need to tighten it at all levels—software, hardware, network and user access. Part of our mission is to educate the healthcare industry about the need for IoT operational analytics and its benefits. This partnership focuses on the benefits of our pre-integrated and pre-validated solution and how it reduces time to value for the end customer.”

Earlier this month, ZingBox announced it had raised $ 22 million in a series B funding round led by Dell Technologies Capital and Triventures. The company will utilise the funds to meet strong demand for its product IoT Guardian. First launched in February 2017, IoT Guardian reportedly offers a combination of deep learning algorithms to discern each device’s unique personality and enforce acceptable behaviour.

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ZingBox teams with VMware to drive ‘Internet of Trusted Things’

Zingbox teams with VMware to drive 'Internet of Trusted Things'

IoT security vendor ZingBox has announced a tie-up with VMware to bolster enterprise IoT security.

Executives at start-up Zingbox have pointed to figures from Gartner that forecast that by 2020, over 25 percent of identified attacks in enterprises will involve IoT. They described the Mirai attack last year as a “wake-up call”, that demonstrated the real-world impact of attacks targeting IoT devices.

ZingBox will work with virtualization specialist VMware to add security at every level of the architecture: software, hardware, network and user. The company sees itself as being in the business of driving “the Internet of Trusted Things.”

The two companies will work together to strengthen IoT security by integrating ZingBox’s IoT personality-based approach with VMware Pulse IoT Center, an IoT infrastructure management product. ZingBox will help to introduce trust between IoT devices and a vendor-neutral open source SDK [software development kit] by discerning each device’s unique personality and enforcing acceptable behaviour based on rules created within VMware Pulse IoT Center.

Read more: VMware teams with Adlink to offer pre-integrated IoT product

Machine learning security

ZingBox products use machine learning to discover and assess risk, baseline normal behaviour, detect anomalous activities and provide real-time remediation across an organisation’s IoT footprint.

“Our collaboration will enable IT and OT leaders to increase overall vendor/solution credibility, particularly in manufacturing, retail and healthcare,” said Xu Zou, co-founder and CEO of ZingBox.

At VMware, Mimi Spier, vice president of IoT, said that the process of provisioning, managing and securing IoT devices remains a significant challenge for many organisations. “We are excited to team up with ZingBox to greatly simplify the security and management of IoT infrastructure,” she added.

May Wang, co-founder and CTO of ZingBox, said that part of her company’s mission is to educate the healthcare industry about the need for IoT operational analytics and its benefits. “This partnership focuses on the benefits of our pre-integrated and pre-validated solution and how it reduces time to value for the end customer,” she said.

Earlier this month, the company announced that it had raised $ 22 million in a Series B funding round led by Dell Technologies Capital and Triventures. And in July, at the DefCon security conference in Las Vegas, the company’s principal security researcher Daniel Regalado demonstrated how easily IV infusion pumps used in healthcare could be hacked.


Six weeks to go: On 11 & 12 October 2017, Internet of Business will be holding its IoT Build USA event in San Francisco, California. This event will focus on the technologies that end-user companies are deploying to build out their IoT ecosystems. 

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VMware teams with Adlink to offer pre-integrated IoT product

VMware is working with ADLINK on a integrated IoT product for mutual customers

VMware, the cloud infrastructure and virtualization vendor, is teaming with Adlink Technology, a Taiwanese designer and manufacturer of embedded and edge computing products, to provide mutual customers with a pre-integrated IoT product.

VMware claims that the product will help customers by taking the guesswork out of selecting the hardware and components of a typical IoT architecture.

“VMware and Adlink have a common goal of speeding up IoT adoption for organizations by enabling their solutions to reduce the time and effort required to setup an end-to-end IoT solution and improve the experience,” said Mimi Spier, vice president of IoT at VMware.

“VMware and Adlink together will provide a comprehensive edge infrastructure solution to power IoT analytics platforms that deliver new business insights for mutual customers,” she continued.

Read more: VMware announces new IoT alliances

Integration help

The two companies believe that by working together, they can help customers with the integration aspect of IoT, citing this as a major challenge for enterprises that are looking to exploit IoT, as they have to seek to mix and match a number of offerings and then invest time and effort to maintain them in the longer run.

VMware’s part will be to provide the monitoring, managing and security needs of IoT infrastructure from the edge to the cloud, using its recently announced VMware Pulse IoT Center, which is scheduled for availability later this year.

Meanwhile, Adlink will provide the hardware and edge-related software needed for multi-vendor, multi-standard connectivity, and the network nodes it deems necessary for IoT systems.

Read more: VMware launches Pulse IoT Center

Combining core and edge

According to Rob Bamforth, principal analyst of business communications at IT advisory company Quocirca, the partnership follows a trend of collaborations in the IoT space in which vendors are seeking to combine ‘core’ with ‘edge’.

“An IoT solution – or combination of products and services that meet business needs – will need a combination of ‘core’ or data centre capabilities such as those offered by VMware, as well as ‘edge’ skills – such as robust, rugged and embedded like those offered by Adlink,” he said.

“They may have different mindsets and organisational cultures but they need to collaborate, so forming partnerships is a very valid route,” he added.

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VMware Fusion 10 will include High Sierra support, use Metal for graphical boost when it ships in October

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VMware has revealed new editions of its VMware Fusion and Fusion Pro virtualization software, with version 10 bringing compatibility with newer operating systems, a boost to virtual machine graphical performance with Metal support, and the ability to use the Touch Bar in virtual machines.
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