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Amazon Gaining Traction in the Cloud as it Threatens Venerable Tech Brands

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 22, 2013 05:39 PM

Amazon isn't only expanding its e-commerce offerings. The leading e-tailer has nearly beat out IBM on a $600 million, 10-year US Central Intelligence Agency contract. Long the gold standard in advanced computing and data, IBM and others are increasingly challenged by Amazon's growing cloud data services. 

IBM has stalled the process for now with an appeal, but it’s a fact that Amazon Web Services (AWS) has evolved into a robust competitor in supplying information technology and services to enterprise companies and government agencies.

"AWS is one of the main spokes of the bull case on Amazon shares," Ron Josey, analyst at JMP Securities, told Reuters. "Software and IT investors are aware of and are trying to size AWS, and what the impact could be on their sector."

Public cloud computing, pioneered by AWS in 2006, offers organizations power, storage and other services at prices cheaper than they can manage themselves. To date, AWS has worked with Samsung, Pfizer, PBS and NASA, generating $2 billion annually with expectations to hit $10 billion in the near future—growth largely spurred by government cloud spending.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Hulu, Sears, Microsoft and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 15, 2013 09:12 AM

In the News

Hulu rejects all takeover bids as owners commit to bigger investment in service.

Sears focuses on "omnichannel" shopping in last-ditch bid.

Microsoft cuts price of Surface RT by up to 30 percent.

Apple vows to aid investigation into death of Chinese woman who may have been electrocuted by iPhone 5

Boeing sees lithium-ion battery systems escape blame in 787 fire at Heathrow.

Boost Mobile promotes "shrinking payment" feature.

Citigroup sees 41 percent increase in Q2 earnings. 

Four Loko owner doubles down on distributing new products.

GlaxoSmithKline bribery allegations are detailed by Chinese.

HP names former CEOs of McDonald's, Liberty Media to its board. 

IMAX expands in Asia.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Foxconn Still Struggling as Apple Distances Itself

Posted by Ben Berkon on May 24, 2013 06:36 PM

Mega tech manufacturer Foxconn has been in the negative spotlight a lot over the past few months. Despite once being the main manufacturer for Apple products—as well as a significant player for Hewlettt-Packard, and to a lesser extent, Sony, Dell and Acer—Apple recently decided to take their iPhone 4S and iPad mini business to Taiwanese competitor, Pegatron. Apple has also promised to eventually bring a chunk of their manufacturing work back to the United States to help create new jobs.

Unfortunately, Foxconn was thrust back into the spotlight recently as reports of three employee suicides surfaced. While Foxconn is hardly the only Chinese or global company to be accused of archaic and dangerous labor conditions, the recent suicides mark a new low in the category, especially since the company had previously come under fire and had supposedly reformed many of its practices.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: JCPenney, Facebook, Apple and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 12, 2013 09:02 AM

In the News

JCPenney seeks to raise $1 billion as Martha Stewart loses a round in JCP-Macy's case.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg launches FWD.us with Silicon Valley heavyhitters on immigration reform.

Apple agrees to settle suit on iPhone and iPad warranties.

Argos plans digital "store of the future" to fight Amazon.

Bibigo Korean food brand partners with Psy.

Bitcoin finds Winklevoss twins rise in digital money as crash continues.

BlackBerry looks to apps and China for growth.

Burger King CEO leaves to take top job at H.J. Heinz.

Douwe Egberts goes to JAB for $9.8 billion.

Eli Lilly plans to lay off 30 percent of sales reps in major restructuring.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News; AB InBev, GE, PepsiCo and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 8, 2013 09:02 AM

In the News

AB InBev reachedtentative agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice over its disputed $20.1 billion acquisition of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo, which faces inquiry over Mexico worker deaths.

GE to buy Lufkin for $3 billion in oil-and-gas-industry play.

PepsiCo seeks to patent novel high-protein nutrition beverages.

Adidas stops controversial sale of t-shirts around injured Louisville player Kevin Ware.

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong to be honored for pro-women Makers series.

Apple's former advisor to Steve Jobs admits brand screwed up iPhone naming system.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: HP, BP, BMW and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 5, 2013 09:01 AM

In the NewsHP board shakeup and chairman exit gives CEO Meg Whitman a chance to shake off troubles.

BP faults Deepwater Horizon claims overseer, launches first brand-wide fuel loyalty program.

BMW prepares X4 crossover for U.S. market, makes vehicles greener with fewer cylinders, less gasoline.

Al Jazeera America hires CNN's Ali Velshi as anchor.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos leads $5 million investment round in Henry Blodget's Business Insider.

Apple reportedly signs music labels for streaming service as Google's YouTube clinches deal with Universal Music.

Best Buy may have turned the tide on showrooming Amazon.Continue reading...

social media

LinkedIn Has Locked Into Social Success

Posted by Dale Buss on February 28, 2013 06:47 PM

LinkedIn is locked in to a successful if lackluster business model, as far as Wall Street—and the online social network's 40 to 43 million reguar unique visitors—are concerned. That puts it in contrast to many of the sexier brands in the social media-sphere.

While the market capitalizations of darlings such as Facebook, Zynga and Groupon have fallen by 25 percent to 60 percent since their recent public offerings, LinkedIn is now valued at more than $18 billion versus just $4 billion when it went public nearly two years ago. With that, its stock closed at all-time highs this week.

That's because the Mountain View, Calif.-based brand has managed to create and then dominate social media networking focused around jobs, careers and business identities. LinkedIn also has been able to monetize its site by selling services such as job ads, career pages and a recruiter talent finder that helps companies find, attract and manage their talent.

In turn, LinkedIn's utility has helped make it gradually more attractive to the most career-challenged generation—Milennials—in addition to Generation Xers and boomers who tended to become the initial members of LinkedIn as established professionals. Meanwhile, Facebook, for instance, has lost its identity as the place where young social-networkers gather. Continue reading...

diversity watch

Brands Come Out to Support Gay Marriage

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 27, 2013 04:26 PM

The U.S. federal government still defines the act of marriage as one taking place between a man and a woman even though a number of states have made gay marriage legal and President Obama made it clear in his Inauguration speech (and other speeches since) that gay marriage is something he firmly believes in. “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law—for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,” Obama said after being sworn in on Jan. 21 by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

Roberts will have a lot to do with possibly making a change to the way the federal government defines marriage when his Court hears two gay-marriage-related cases on March 26 and 27. Nearly 300 companies came out Wednesday to “urge the U.S. Supreme Court … to strike down a federal law that restricts the definition of marriage to heterosexual unions,” Reuters reports.

Considering the size and number of brands taking part, it will be hard for conservatives who have long opposed gay marriage to try and boycott everyone involved.Continue reading...

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