Cisco has reported a 6% revenue increase in the quarter ended July 28, as the strong economy contributed to a boost in product sales and customer adoption of new software-driven technology.
Cisco reported on Wednesday its “highest quarterly revenue” of $12.8 billion and predicted a 5% to 7% increase in Cisco revenues year over year in the current quarter, which sent its stock up more than 6% in after-hours trading.
Cisco predicted adjusted net income for the quarter ending in October would range from 70 to 72 cents a share, beating analysts’ projection of 69 cents. Earnings of 70 cents per share for the July quarter beat analysts’ expectations by a penny a share.
The company reported “solid demand” for its products as it continued its transformation into a provider of network software and services from a company dependent on selling high-priced switching and routing hardware. Application sales rose 10% and recurring revenue, a reflection of sales in software subscriptions and services, accounted for 32% of total revenue, up a point from the same period last year.
During a conference call with analysts, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins attributed the company’s strong quarter to a combination of customers buying more during a strong economy and execution by the Cisco’s sales and product development teams.
“I’m pragmatic to know it’s a combination of both,” Robbins said. “Clearly, the economy has been pretty consistent, and the markets have been positive, so that has certainly helped.”
Cisco revenues show new product sales
Nevertheless, Robbins was pleased with customer reaction to Cisco’s new products, notably the Catalyst 9000 campus switch and the Viptela software-defined WAN, which Cisco acquired last year for $610 million.
Chuck RobbinsCEO, Cisco
Introduced in June 2017, the Catalyst 9000 is the first switch Cisco has sold that requires the customer to buy a subscription to the software running on the hardware.
“I’m very pleased with how the adoption has been from our customers,” Robbins said. As of the end of the July quarter, Cisco had sold the Catalyst 9000 to more than 9,650 organizations.
“You’ll see us over the next coming quarters when we bring new products to market — particularly in the enterprise networking space, but across the portfolio — we will apply that same [software subscription] strategy,” Robbins said.
Viptela is vital in maintaining Cisco’s leading position as a campus networking supplier. The SD-WAN product routes traffic via software to and from campus networks and remote offices. Cisco has integrated the subscription-based Viptela with its Integrated Services Router (ISR) and plans to combine the software with other hardware.
“We’ve begun to see customers actually move forward with deployments,” Robbins said. “It’s early, but we like where we are, and we like what we see.”
Cisco revenues helped by service providers
Cisco also managed to increase sales by 6% to services providers, a customer segment that was down 4% in the previous quarter. Robbins attributed the growth to increased spending by some large customers rather than to purchases of new technology, such as products related to 5G, the next generation of wireless technology.
Robbins said carriers started discussing the infrastructure needs for 5G “in earnest” at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. Nevertheless, he did not expect 5G-related sales to begin for at least a year, picking up in 2020.
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C3 IoT Platform to increase customer value, provide more intelligent business solutions with Microsoft Azure as a preferred cloud provider
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. and REDMOND, Wash. – April 10, 2018 – C3 IoT and Microsoft Corp. announced Tuesday a strategic partnership to deliver new technology developments and go-to-market initiatives that accelerate enterprise AI and IoT application development.
As part of this partnership, the companies will create a “better together” solution, comprising the C3 IoT Platform, a low-code, high-productivity PaaS for scaling AI and IoT across enterprises, fully integrated to operate on Microsoft Azure. C3 IoT will leverage Microsoft Azure as a preferred cloud platform and tap into the power of its intelligent capabilities. The companies will conduct co-marketing and co-selling strategies that rapidly scale distribution globally, as well as intensive training for dedicated teams to speed customers’ time to value.
Close collaboration between Microsoft and C3 IoT will help enable customers to more rapidly develop and deploy AI-based applications for transformative use cases, such as AI predictive maintenance, dynamic inventory optimization, precision healthcare and CRM.
“The partnership between Microsoft and C3 IoT is significant in that it allows us to optimize our existing investments in data infrastructure while accelerating time to value of AI-based applications that enable Shell to better serve our customers with even more agility and efficiency,” said Erik Betz, Vice President, Architecture, Platforms, and Data, Shell.
“With this partnership, two market leaders are joining forces to drive digital transformation at the world’s leading organizations,” said Thomas M. Siebel, C3 IoT CEO. “Combining the market reach of Microsoft, the amazing power of Microsoft Azure, and the capability of the C3 IoT AI platform, we will dramatically accelerate the adoption of AI, IoT, and elastic cloud computing globally.”
“C3 IoT has an exciting vision, proven technology, and demonstrated customer success across industries, making them a great partner for implementing 3M’s digital transformation initiatives,” said H.C. Shin, 3M Vice Chair and Executive Vice President. “With tangible business results from the initial predictive healthcare and supply chain analytics applications, we plan on scaling the C3 IoT and Microsoft Azure solution across our enterprise. In this way, 3M is combining data science into material science, transforming how we design and deliver products and better serve our customers.”
“AI is one of the most transformative technology paradigms of our time in its ability to empower companies, societies, and economies to achieve more,” said Judson Althoff, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Business, Microsoft. “C3 IoT’s proven technology and strong customer relationships make them an ideal partner in helping drive forward AI-based solutions built on the intelligent cloud.”
The C3 IoT Platform is now available on Microsoft Azure and fully integrated with a rich set of Azure services, including Azure IoT Hub, Azure Machine Learning, and big data and advanced analytics solutions.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
About C3 IoT
C3 IoT is the world’s leading AI and IoT software platform for digital transformation. C3 IoT delivers a comprehensive platform as a service (PaaS) for the rapid design, development, and deployment of the largest-scale big data, predictive analytics, AI, and IoT applications for any business value chain. C3 IoT also provides a family of configurable and extensible SaaS products developed with and operating on its PaaS, including predictive maintenance, fraud detection, sensor network health, supply chain optimization, investment planning, and customer engagement.
C3 IoT Contact:
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Following a two-year revenue decline, Cisco has forecast an increase in sales in the current quarter, as enterprise customers warm up to new products stemming from the company’s security and intent-based networking initiatives.
On Wednesday, Cisco revenue was projected to increase by 1% to 3% in the current quarter. The company based the forecast on the progress it has made in transforming itself from a maker of traditional network switches and routers to a software-centric, subscription-based business.
“Cisco is prudent when it comes to guidance and outlooks; the executive team must be profoundly confident in the company’s ability to clear the bar,” said Brad Casemore, an analyst at IDC.
In the fiscal first quarter ended Oct. 28, revenue from software and subscriptions rose 37% year over year to $5.2 billion. Nevertheless, total revenue from products and services fell 2% to $12.1 billion, marking Cisco’s eighth consecutive quarterly decline. A decrease in router sales was a significant contributor to the drop.
Cisco revenue helped by 1,100 new Catalyst 9000 customers
Despite the decline, Cisco continued to show progress in areas expected to drive future growth. Applications and security were up 6% and 8%, respectively, and the company had more than 1,100 customers for its latest line of campus switches, called the Catalyst 9000s.
Brad Casemoreanalyst at IDC
“We’re pleased with the early feedback [on the Catalyst switches],” Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said during a conference call with analysts. “We would hope the platform continues to accelerate.”
Sales of the switches — introduced in June — are significant because the software included with the hardware is sold through a subscription model. Cisco expects the central management console for the switches, called the Digital Network Architecture (DNA) Center, to become an important contributor to recurring revenue, as more networking products are tied to the software.
DNA Center is also a component of Cisco’s recently announced intent-based networking initiative. The goal of IBN is to integrate automation and machine learning into network management so operators can make changes to devices through policy-driven software, rather than reconfiguring each piece of hardware separately.
Customers upbeat on Cisco-Viptela SD-WAN
Cisco reported encouraging talks with customers interested in the SD-WAN technology the company acquired in early August after completing the $610 million purchase of Viptela. “I would expect that we’ll start to see customers move somewhat this quarter. And then, in the second half of the [fiscal] year, I think our customers will begin to deploy some of these solutions,” Robbins said.
The SD-WAN market has evolved into a race between Cisco and VMware for the top slot, according to London-based IHS Markit. This month, VMware said it would acquire VeloCloud, which IHS identified as a revenue leader along with Viptela.
Other indicators of potential Cisco revenue growth include the company’s work in the hyperscale data centers of Google and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China’s largest online retailer and public cloud provider.
Cisco is helping Alibaba build a new data center that would use Cisco infrastructure technology. The partnership with Google includes building technology for interoperability between the Cisco HyperFlex hyper-converged system and the Google public cloud.
Cisco’s work with Google will improve its standing in the market for technology that sits at the edge of an enterprise data center and connects the organization to its public cloud provider, Robbins said.
“They [cloud providers] definitely have come to the conclusion that the edge is going to be mission-critical for our customers going forward,” he said. “As they think about that, we’re the very natural partner for them.”
Cisco’s net income for the quarter was down 2% to $3 billion, based on non-GAAP results. Earnings per share were 61 cents, which was flat from a year ago and slightly higher than the 60 cents forecast by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
New tools to help increase developer productivity and simplify app development for intelligent cloud and edge, across devices, platforms or data sources
NEW YORK — Nov. 15, 2017 — Wednesday at Connect(); 2017, Microsoft Corp.’s annual event for professional developers, Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie announced new Microsoft data platform technologies and cross-platform developer tools. Guthrie outlined the company’s vision and shared what’s next for developers across a broad range of Microsoft and open source technologies, and how Microsoft is helping them get more done across apps or platforms. He also touched on key application scenarios and ways developers can use built-in artificial intelligence (AI) to support continuous innovation and continuous deployment of today’s intelligent applications.
“With today’s intelligent cloud, emerging technologies like AI have the potential to change every facet of how we interact with the world,” Guthrie said. “Developers are in the forefront of shaping that potential. Today at Connect(); we’re announcing new tools and services that help developers build applications and services for the AI-driven future, using the platforms, languages and collaboration tools they already know and love.”
Across devs, apps, data, platforms
Microsoft is continuing its commitment to delivering open technologies and contributing to and partnering with the open source community. New tools and partnerships are designed to help developers build intelligent, enterprise-ready and cloud-scale apps — regardless of their platform, and to give them the peace of mind with the built-in security, performance, compliance features, support and SLAs available in Azure.
Designed in collaboration with the founders of Apache Spark, the preview of Azure Databricks is a fast, easy and collaborative Apache Spark-based analytics platform that delivers one-click setup, streamlined workflows and an interactive workspace. Native integration with Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Storage, Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Active Directory and Power BI simplifies the creation of modern data warehouses that enable organizations to provide self-service analytics and machine learning over all data with enterprise-grade performance and governance.
Microsoft Joins MariaDB Foundation
Microsoft joins MariaDB Foundation as a platinum member and announces the upcoming preview of Azure Database for MariaDB for a fully managed MariaDB service in the cloud.
Azure Cosmos DB with Apache Cassandra API
The preview expands on the multimodel capabilities of Azure Cosmos DB to offer Cassandra as a service over turnkey global distribution, multiple consistency levels and industry-leading SLAs.
GitHub Roadmap for Git Virtual File Systems (GVFS)
Microsoft and GitHub will further their open source partnership to extend GVFS support to GitHub. GVFS is an open source extension to the Git version control system developed by Microsoft to support the world’s largest repositories.
Helping developers get more done
Microsoft is releasing tools designed to help developers, development teams and data scientists collaborate and work together more efficiently for application development, deployment and management. New tools and feature improvements help streamline essential tasks, so developers can focus more on getting apps to market across multiple platforms, and for any scenario — whether cloud, mobile or AI.
Visual Studio App Center General Availability
New cloud service for developers to ship higher-quality applications more frequently. Objective-C, Swift, Android Java, Xamarin and React Native developers can use App Center to increase productivity and accelerate application lifecycle, freeing them to spend more time on new features and better user experiences.
Visual Studio Live Share
Unique new capability for developers to collaborate in a seamless and secure way with full project context. With this preview, developers can share projects with teammates, or other developers, to edit and debug the same code in their personalized editor or IDE.
Azure DevOps Projects
The preview lets developers configure a full DevOps pipeline and connect to Azure Services within five minutes for faster app development and deployment. With just a few clicks in the Azure portal, developers can set up Git repositories, wire up completely automated builds and release pipelines without any prior knowledge of how to do so.
Transforming business through analytics and AI
Advances in AI and machine learning are placing the seemingly impossible within reach. The combination of cloud services, infrastructure and tools from Microsoft are designed to help any developer embrace AI and create apps across the cloud and the edge, harnessing the power of data and AI.
Azure IoT Edge
Azure IoT Edge preview availability, enabling AI, advanced analytics and machine learning at the Internet of Things (IoT) edge.
Azure Machine Learning updates
Integration with Azure IoT Edge and AI deployment on iOS devices with Core ML, bringing AI everywhere from the cloud to the IoT edge of devices.
Visual Studio Tools for AI
Developers and data scientists can develop AI models with all the productivity of Visual Studio, on frameworks and languages. Updates to .NET make it easier for .NET developers to consume AI models from their applications.
Support for R models inside SQL Database makes it seamless for data scientists to develop and train models in Azure Machine Learning and deploy those models directly to Azure SQL Database to create predictions at blazing-fast speeds.
For the next three days, Microsoft is streaming more than 36 live, engineering-led training sessions that are designed to give developers hands-on experience with the tools and technologies featured throughout the keynote presentations.
More about Connect(); 2017 announcements can be found here.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
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A tenfold increase in computing education funding is needed or the UK risks seeing an entire generation fail to have the technology skills needed for the future, a new report has found.
The Royal Society study, which was co-funded by Microsoft, found that more than half of schools in England do not offer a GCSE in Computer Science, leaving many young people without critical experience in coding and programming.
It is estimated that around 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet, and these will require skills in areas such as robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
In order to prepare the next generation for advances in technology, the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of sciences, said more than £60 million needed to be injected into computing education over the next five years – a tenfold increase from current levels. This would give the area the same support as maths and physics.
Cindy Rose, Chief Executive of Microsoft UK, said: “Microsoft is dramatically scaling up its digital skills programme in the UK and we believe now is the time for the Government to do the same. The risk, if we don’t make these investments now, is that too many young people struggle to access new opportunities, and the UK loses its advantage in a world being transformed by technology.”
The report (below), which was also part-funded by Google and led by world-famous engineer Steve Furber, found that:
54% of English schools do not offer Computer Science GCSE
30% of English GCSE pupils attend a school that does not offer Computer Science GCSE – the equivalent of 175,000 pupils each year, almost a third of the total number in England
Bournemouth leads England with the highest uptake of Computer Science GCSE (23% of all pupils), with Kensington & Chelsea, Blackburn and City of London coming last
England meets only 68% of its recruitment target for entries into computing teacher training courses, lower than Physics and Classics
Only one-in-five Computer Science GCSE pupils is female
Only 11% of Key Stage 4 students took GCSE Computer Science (62,703 out of a total of 588,000) in 2017. The report also found that more than half of schools in England (2,703 out of a total of 5,135) do not offer Computer Science GCSE at all.
At local authority level, Bournemouth leads England with the highest uptake of GCSE Computer Science (23% of all pupils at Key Stage 4), followed by Central Bedfordshire (22%), Hartlepool (22%), Knowsley (20%) and Slough (20%). The City of London has the lowest uptake (4%) followed by Blackburn (5%), Kensington & Chelsea (5%), Carderdale (5%) and Rutland (5%).
The report also found that two-in-three schools in Hackney do not offer Computer Science at GCSE level, despite being located near the Silicon Roundabout, London’s tech hub. Nearby Islington only had six out of 14 schools offering the subject.
The Isles of Scilly (100%), Hartlepool (71%), Harrow (67%) and Bracknell Forest (67%) are the local authorities with the highest proportion of schools offering Computer Science GCSE, while Kensington & Chelsea (18%) sits at the bottom of the list, followed by Tower Hamlets (27%), Shropshire (27%), Rutland (29%) and Greenwich (29%).
The report, which was based on a survey, in-depth meetings with teachers and Government data, suggests that part of the problem with computing education is a lack of knowledge about the fast-paced technology sector among staff. One-in-four secondary school teachers surveyed took no professional development activities to enhance their knowledge of computing. The Government allocates just £1.2 million a year to training existing computing teachers, and the Royal Society called on the government to provide enough funding to train 8,000 secondary school computing teachers.
“For pupils to thrive, we need knowledgeable, highly skilled teachers,” Furber said. “The report paints a bleak picture in England, which meets only 68% of its computing teacher recruitment targets and where, as a result, one-in-two schools doesn’t offer Computer Science at GCSE, a crucial stage of young people’s education.”
Teachers told the Royal Society they are most confident with parts of the computing curriculum inherited from previous Information and Communications Technology courses, and 44% feel more confident in delivering the earlier stages of the curriculum.
Computing teachers are also in short supply, with the government meeting only 68% of its recruitment target for entrants to computing teacher training courses in England between 2012 and 2017. In Scotland, the number of computer science teachers has fallen by 25% in the past 10 years. There is also a shortage of trainees with enough specialist knowledge to teach a technical subject. While there are 65 Physics and 93 Maths teacher conversion courses available, none exists for computing. The Royal Society is calling for government funding on top of the £60 million to set up conversion courses so there is no personal cost to teachers and schools.
Reinforcing previous reports on the gender divide in computing lessons, the Royal Society also found that just 20% of GCSE Computer Science candidates were female, falling to 10% at A-level. There is a similar picture in Scotland, with a 20% female uptake at National 5. Chinese pupils and those from other Asian backgrounds are significantly more likely than white pupils and black pupils to study GCSE Computer Science (12.7% vs 7.5%, 5.5% and 4.1% respectively).
“The rate at which technology is transforming the workplace means that we live in a world where many primary schoolchildren will work in technology-based roles that do not yet exist, so it is essential that future generations can apply digital skills with confidence,” Furber added.
“Overhauling the fragile state of our computing education will require an ambitious, multipronged approach. We need to invest significantly more to support and train 8,000 secondary school computing teachers to ensure pupils have the skills and knowledge needed for the future.”
Microsoft President Brad Smith told the CBI Annual Conference earlier this week that technology skills were in demand in the UK, and companies and that people of all ages needed to acquire the right knowledge and experience.
“It’s clear that 90% of jobs will need new digital skills; and it’s clear that employees don’t have the skills that employers require,” he told hundreds of business leaders at the event in London.
“That starts with bringing new skills into schools, bringing new initiatives like Computing at School, a programme we have been proud to support. It’s a programme that does what needs to be done – create a new curriculum to teach a new subject and provide professional development.”
Microsoft has also launched a programme to teach digital skills to people across the UK, to ensure the country remains one of the global leaders in next-generation technologies.