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New cloud services business emerges from big deal

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EMC and VMWare have announced plans to form a new cloud services business by combining their respective cloud capabilities.

Following Dell’s record-breaking acquisition of EMC Corporation, the storage giant and VMware have announced plans to form a new cloud services business by combining their respective cloud capabilities, along with existing Virtustream cloud offerings, under the Virtustream brand. Virtustream will be jointly owned by VMware and EMC and led by Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream. Virtustream’s financial results will be consolidated into VMware’s financial statements beginning in Q1 2016.

Virtustream is expected to generate multiple hundreds of millions of dollars in recurring revenue in 2016, focused on enterprise-centric cloud services, with an outlook to grow to a multi-billion business over the next several years. Virtustream will be a leader in hybrid cloud, one of the largest markets for IT infrastructure spending. The company will provide a complete spectrum of managed services for on-premises infrastructure and its enterprise-class Infrastructure-as-a-Service platform, enabling customers to move all their applications, including mission-critical applications, to cloud-based IT environments. Virtustream will offer a compatible public cloud experience for customers who deploy the Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud solution within their business.

“Through Virtustream, we are addressing the changes in buying patterns and IT cloud operation models that we are seeing in the market. Our customers consistently tell us that they are focused on their IT transformations and journeys to the hybrid cloud. The EMC Federation is now positioned as a complete provider of hybrid cloud offerings,” said Joe Tucci, EMC Corporation Chairman and CEO.

The new business will incorporate and align the cloud capabilities of EMC Information Infrastructure, VCE, Virtustream and VMware to provide the complete spectrum of on- and off- premises offerings including: VMware vCloud Air, VCE Cloud Managed Services, Virtustream’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service, and EMC’s Storage Managed Services and Object Storage Services offerings.

Virtustream will integrate these assets to provide customers with a unified infrastructure-as-a-service offering, designed to support the complete spectrum of business workloads, with a service portfolio that spans a full range of services and deployment options. The business will integrate and extend existing on-premises EMC Federation private cloud deployments into the public cloud, maintaining a common experience for developers, managers, architects and end users. Virtustream’s cloud services will be delivered directly to customers and through partners.

VMware will establish a Cloud Provider Software business unit led by Ajay Patel, VMware senior vice president, focused on delivering cloud software and solutions to cloud providers including VMware’s vCloud Air Network, to help them rapidly harness the opportunity of the hybrid cloud. This new unit will incorporate assets and people from the VMware vCloud Air Application Services business, vCloud Director and vCloud Air Network teams, as well as Virtustream’s Software Business including Advisor Planning and Migration tool, xStream cloud management platform and Viewtrust governance, risk and compliance solution.

Market opportunity

Nearly one-third of all IT infrastructure spending is going to cloud-related technologies, according to a recent 451 Group report1. In addition, the focus of Cloud Services buyers is seen to be shifting up to the application stack. The demand for a simple infrastructure on demand utility is giving way to higher levels of interest in solutions that include integration and management. Enterprise adoption overall is still on the rise with a shift in focus to private & hybrid architectures. The Global ERP market is estimated to reach $41.2B by 20202 with Cloud-based ERP now growing faster than on-premises ERP3.

Executive quotes

Rodney Rogers, Chief Executive Officer, Virtustream

“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead the new Virtustream,” said Rodney Rogers, CEO for Virtustream. “Our vision of combining our IP and collective cloud platform and services capabilities for mission-critical applications, backed by the strength and reach of EMC and VMware will deliver an enterprise-focused hybrid cloud solution that is unrivaled in the market. We expect Virtustream will become one of the top 5 service providers globally and are thrilled about what this means to all of our customers, partners, and the Federation moving forward.”

Pat Gelsinger, Chief Executive Officer, VMware

“The new Virtustream business will feature the industry’s broadest portfolio of hybrid cloud offerings, enabling customers to move all their applications to cloud-based IT environments and seamlessly manage their on-premises and off-premises environments.  We see tremendous growth opportunities for VMware and EMC with the new Virtustream business, building on the strong momentum of vCloud Air.”

David Goulden, Chief Executive Officer, EMC Information Infrastructure

“This is an exciting time for the EMC Federation of businesses, and today’s news is central to our strategy to help customers move all of their applications to the cloud. The new Virtustream business will enable customers to implement a hybrid cloud-based IT environment that incorporates the best of both public and private cloud quickly, and from one source. The Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud solution, along with the addition of Virtustream and vCloud Air cloud offerings, will not only offer customers choice and flexibility, but also will help them react quickly to optimise growth and transform their businesses.”

 

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Load-shedding leads
local searches

South Africans are searching in the dark, according to the latest Google Search trends.

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With more 1 million search queries generated in the space of 76 hours, load-shedding was by far the top trending search on Google South Africa this week.

Valentine’s Day came a distant second.

After news emerged last Sunday of the impending stage 3 load shedding, South Africans had generated more than 1-million load-shedding search queries by the time Tuesday came around:

  • “Loadshedding schedule” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding schedule” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Eskom load shedding” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding Cape Town” – generated more than 50k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding schedule” – generated more than 400k on Monday
  • “Load shedding Johannesburg” – generated more than 20k searches on Monday
  • Load shedding schedule” generated more than 200k search queries on Tuesday

Leading up to Valentine’s Day, South Africans generated close to 300k search queries related to the romantic festival, including searches for quotes and gift ideas:

  • “Valentines Day” generated more than 100k search queries on Thursday
  • “Happy Valentines Day Images” and “Valentines Day Images” generated more than 10k search queries each on Thursday, with “Happy Valentines Day 2019” generating more than 20k search queries on Wednesday
  • “Valentines Day Specials 2019” generated more than 5k search queries on Thursday
  • “Love quotes” generated more than 5k search queries on Thursday
  • “Valentines Day quotes” generated more than 100k search queries and “Valentine messages” generated more than 50 000 search queries on Wednesday

Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Live Google search trends data is available at https://www.google.co.za/trends/hottrends#pn=p40

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Showmax invites
student films

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Thanks to the growing popularity of video-on-demand services, there’s a new opportunity to help kickstart the careers of local filmmakers.

Numerous Hollywood blockbusters (District 9Tomb Raider 2018, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron to name a few) have featured substantial shoots in Johannesburg and Cape Town. While providing great opportunities for SA’s production talent, aspiring writers and directors don’t get the same benefit.

So where can local creatives showcase their work? Broadcast TV isn’t a natural home for unknown short films, and while self-publishing platforms are readily available hosting options, it’s tough to get noticed and get traffic when competing with videos from across the planet.

But with the emergence of video-on-demand services into the mainstream, there’s now a solution. The African film school AFDA has teamed up with the streaming service Showmax to give local talent a much larger platform than ever before. From 18 February, eighteen of the best recent short films made by AFDA students from their Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth campuses will be live on Showmax. Drama, documentary, fantasy, and animation are all represented, in pieces running from under eight minutes to almost half-an-hour long. The full list of movies is included below.

Teresa Passchier, CEO of AFDA, said: “AFDA, Africa’s number-one school for the Creative Economy, is proud to kickstart this exciting and meaningful journey with Showmax and AFDA students, ensuring emerging young African filmmakers’ voices are heard and given a platform. It’s ground-breaking to share young, local, culturally relevant content on the same platform as Hollywood blockbusters. I am certain that this unique initiative will serve to boost and develop the African film industry and the careers of many young South African and African students alike.”

Included in the short films coming to Showmax are the award winners Junior and O-PunchaJunior, directed by Bert Dijkstra, picked up the Audience Award in the Made in South Africa Competition at the shnit Worldwide Shortfilmfestival Awards 2017. O-Puncha, directed by Adam Hansen, won two awards at the 5th annual Eldorado Film Festival: Best Student Made Short, and Best Editing – Alexander La Cock.

Another celebrated film is Sicela Amanzi directed by Mlu Godola, which talks to the subject of water shortage. The film’s heroine Zoleka is a mild-mannered young woman forced to go to extreme lengths when a small community’s only source of water unexpectedly collapses. The power of films like this is they shine a light on critical topical issues in new ways.

Speaking about working with the film school, Candice Fangueiro, Head of Content for Showmax, said: “There’s immense depth of filmmaking talent in Africa and it’s a privilege to be able to give that talent a home and a platform. Showmax is becoming part of the fabric of film and TV production in Africa, and importantly we’re doing this as a partner rather than just as a consumer. This is a key competitive advantage of being local and something we aim to continue to work on.”

AFDA is an Academy Award-winning institution, founded in 1994, and the first and only African film school to win an Oscar – for the Best Foreign Student film in 2006, the postgraduate film Elalini, directed by Tristan Holmes.

The full list of AFDA short films coming to Showmax is as follows:

Film titleDirectorGenre
Lullaby from the CryptKeenan Lott & Raven DavidsAnimation
Ko Ga CherenyaneSibonokuhle MyatazaDocumentary
IzilwaneKyllian RouxDrama
MallemeuleJaco Van BoschDrama
Canal StreetBrodie MuirheadDrama
On the FenceWarrick BewsDrama
The Righteous FewLindo LangaDrama
Hlogoma PeakLuke AhrensDrama
Frozen FlameCameron HeathmanAnimation
WolfBrett van DortFantasy
The Walk HomeSisanda DyantyiDrama
BearWesley RoodtDrama
JuniorBert DijkstraDrama
O-PunchaAdam HansenDrama
UmngenoSiphosethu NdungeDrama
DoreenLuvuyo Equiano NyawoseDrama
ForeverLindo LangaMusical
Sicela AmanziMlu GodolaDrama

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