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Harvey Tech

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Harvey clearly doesn’t know when it’s time to leave.

His remnants blew back inland to Port Arthur, Beaumont, and Western Louisana overnight, with one National Weather Service report indicating Harvey has now dumped 52 incnes of rain at at least one location east of Houston.

Keep on moving, Harvey, we hardly knew ye.

Amidst all this weather churn, of course, many businesses in the affected areas have struggled to, literally and figuratively, keep the lights — and their IT systems — on.

The Wall Street Journal’s “CIO Journal” this morning featured a story that led with this headline: “Houston Companies Rally to Keep Technology Operations Going.”

A few snippets:

Companies and organizations in the Houston area are scrambling to ride out Tropical Storm Harvey by maintaining around-the-clock oversight of information technology systems — in some cases outfitting technology hubs with sleeping cots — while shifting key business applications to the cloud and closely monitoring the status of the power grid and online providers.
– via WSJ

The largest IT challenge has been disruptions to inbound and outbound calls on landline phones, Mr. Eardley said. The hospital has worked with carriers to fix the problems.
– via WSJ

Food distributor Sysco, based in Houston, moved some core applications to cloud providers ahead of the storm, “diminishing our reliance on ground infrastructure,” a spokeswoman told CIO Journal.
– via WSJ

One local data center, Equinix, has been online without a single outage since the storm and flooding began, the WSJ reports, and is currently operating on utility power but able to switch over to generators as needed.

Another vector: Social media has played an instrumental role in Harvey, using Facebook, Twitter, and other tools for everything from raising a virtual SOS for needed rescue to helping families and friends find and check in on one another throughout the storm.

Fast Company reports that Snap’s Harvey “Our Stories” feature had as many as 300,000 posts submitted to it, and its Map section has helped present up-to-date info on areas in need of emergency assistance.

Local and federal agencies are also using this kind of information to build faster and more efficient disaster responses, with FEMA employing people who now “listen” to social media to better understand specific locational need and then use that information to better apply resources.

When people make the inevitable comparisons between Katrina and Harvey, it’s easy to forget that, at the time of Katrina, Facebook was largely used by college students, and Twitter hadn’t even yet been born.

Twelve years is an enternity in tech time….just as five endless days has been an eternity for those caught in the midst of Harvey’s wrath.

Written by turbotodd

August 30, 2017 at 8:59 am

Posted in 2017, harvey, tech, weather

A Public Snap

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Tech earnings season kicked into high gear this week. A few synthesized highlights…

Apple reported $78.4B in Q1 2017 revenue, with 78.3M iPhones sold and a 19% decline in iPad sales. Apple said developers earned $20B from the App Store in 2016, a 40% increase.

Microsoft reported Q2 revenue of $26.1B, indicating Office 365 revenue grew 10% for the quarter. Microsoft indicated its Azure revenue increased 116% in the most recent quarter, “doubling usage.” Surface was down 2% YOY, Phone revenue down 81%.

Facebook reported Q4 revenue of $8.81B, indicating its mobile ad revenue was on a trajectory of bringing in 84% of all ad revenue. Their Monthly Active Users was 1.86B, up 3.91% for the quarter, and last quarter the company said it’s expecting to run out of ad space in mid-2017. It’s not clear whether this sent digital media buyers everywhere scurrying or not.

Amazon reported Q4 revenue of $43.7B, up 22% YOY, and AWS continued to chug forward growing at 47% and delivering revenue of $3.53B. AWS noted it had migrated more than 18K databases using the company’s service in 2016. Echo sales were up 9X compared to last holiday season. “Alexa, crank up the volume.”

And finally, there’s Snap (formerly known as Snapchat). TechCrunch reported their official IPO filing has their revenues at $404M in 2016 with some 158M daily users. That was 500% YOY growth, according to its S-1, but that also incurred a $513M net loss. But Snap has asserted it has a very aggressive “time spent per user” and has strong international growth in Western Europe and Australia. It also recently introduced its Ads API to widen the aperture on its advertising efforts. Its IPO is expected to be the largest tech float since Alibaba in 2014.

Written by turbotodd

February 3, 2017 at 9:16 am

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