Weekend update: The death of iTunes, cloud investment from Microsoft, Google and Oracle, and Uber and Amazon takes flight

A lookback over the breaking tech and business news and analysis from the last seven days on Innovation Enterprise Channels

7Jun

In a week during which Apple finally put iTunes to bed (and with it our memories of iPods smaller than a post-it note) and Amazon gave us a first peak at its newest electric delivery drone, it has been clearer than ever that the industry is changing beyond recognition.

Many of our favorite movers and shakers gave us some insights into their financials for the first quarter of the year, with Slack reporting a 67% revenue boost and Salesforce topping analyst's expectations, while Uber shared a net loss of a whopping $1.1bn. Meanwhile, Google is bracing itself for an impending federal antitrust investigation by the US Department of Justice.

Below, we highlight some of our other most popular stories, interviews and analysis from across our Channels.

Retail is reaping the rewards of predictive analytics

In 2017, retailers added $1.14 trillion in value through data-driven decision-making.

Predictive analytics is sweeping through the retail industry and leaving companies unwilling to keep up with the "new normal" devastated in its wake. This week, we took a deep dive into the world of predictive analytics in retail.

"Retailers can identify the customers that will likely abandon their product, so they can suggest additional incentives to these customers to maximize returns," wrote Innovation Enterprise contributor Elianna Hyde. "Marketing departments can generate targeted marketing campaigns for those already most likely to make a purchase and then use that info to send coupons only to those customers."

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Google, Microsoft and Oracle ramp up their cloud investments

Reporting a revenue of $7.7bn in 1Q19, Amazon's AWS currently dominates the cloud market. But this week, its main competitors Google, Microsoft and Oracle hit the accelerator on their efforts to take on the giant.

Microsoft and Oracle announced a new alliance between their two cloud computing services where they will work together via high-speed links between their data centers, attempting to target big business users.

"With this alliance, our joint customers can migrate their entire set of existing applications to the cloud without having to re-architect anything, preserving the large investments they have already made," explained Don Johnson, executive vice-president of the cloud infrastructure unit at Oracle.

Meanwhile, Google revealed plans to buy data analytics company Looker for $2.6bn in cash in its biggest acquisition since buying Nest in 2014 for $3.2bn as it expands its cloud presence.

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Why your employees are a cybersecurity threat

A colossal two out of three cybersecurity incidents happen because of some kind of employee negligence, so, when you are looking at improving the security of your firm, it is only logical to start with your workers. To help you in your efforts, Jon Schram, CEO of The Purple Guys, helpfully outlined four ways of limiting the threat employees' create for your business.

"Make password management mandatory," advised Schram. "As your company grows, so do the odds that your employees are reusing the same passwords they use everywhere else.

"Reusing passwords is a risky practice because it makes it easier for sensitive information to get into the wrong hands."

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Twitter snaps up Fabula.AI to tackle fake news

Since the beginning of the Trump presidency, the phrase "fake news" has been at the forefront of everyone's minds whenever we scroll through our newsfeeds. Twitter in particular is a target for trolls sharing online disinformation, something the social media giant has promised to tackle, most recently by acquiring London startup Fabula.AI.

Fabula has developed Geometric Deep Learning, a "new class" of machine learning that is able to detect patterns in how fake news vs real news is spread.

"We're bringing Fabula in for the team, tech and mission, which are all aligned with our top priority: Health," a Twitter spokesperson remarked.

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How startups and enterprises can collaborate to drive true innovation

Operating in entirely different worlds, startups and enterprises have a notoriously hard time seeing eye to eye when it comes to driving innovation together. On our channels this week, Amit Rai, CEO of MachineMax, took a deep dive into the essential processes required for these mutually beneficial partnerships to form and succeed, drawing from his own experiences working with both.

"We have watched digital companies like Netflix, Amazon, Airbnb and Uber completely change the way core customer needs are met," Rai wrote. "Large enterprises are now realizing that they need to adapt their customer service models and they are increasingly looking at digital startups to save (or at least revitalize) their business models. In fact, it appears they often need each other to thrive."

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Uber takes to the skies with new helicopter service

Three years ago, when Uber announced its new ride-hailing division, Uber Elevate, the rumor mill was a-spin with theories that the company was developing a fleet of futuristic flying cars. Those truth may be less exciting for some, but everyone's favorite taxi service has this week announced that it is taking to the skies with a fleet of helicopters available in New York from July 9 onward.

"Uber Copters" will transport up to five passengers between Lower Manhattan and JFK, reducing journey times from more than an hour to just eight minutes.

"This is a trip that so many travelers make a day, and we see an opportunity to save them a huge amount of time on it," remarked Uber Elevate chief Eric Allison. And, more to the point, who doesn't want to ride over the Big Apple in style?

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