|Day's range||33.39 - 34.28|
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. claims it lost a Pentagon cloud contract valued at as much as $10 billion because of political interference by President Donald Trump, according to the judge overseeing the case.Federal Claims Court Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith said during a court proceeding last week that Amazon’s lawsuit argues that the Pentagon didn’t award the cloud deal to Microsoft Corp. on the basis of a fair evaluation of the companies’ bids.“Plaintiff contends that the procurement process was compromised and negatively affected by the bias expressed publicly by the president and commander in chief Donald Trump against plaintiff,” Campbell-Smith said in a recording of a status hearing released Thursday by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington.The judge’s comments were the first public confirmation that Amazon cited bias by Trump as grounds to overturn the award to Microsoft. Trump has long criticized Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on everything from the shipping rates his company pays the U.S. Postal Service to his personal ownership of what Trump calls “the Amazon Washington Post.”The contract was awarded to Microsoft “despite what plaintiff characterizes as its depth of experience, superior technology and proven record of success in handling the most sensitive government data,” Campbell-Smith said.Amazon filed a lawsuit under seal with the court last month to formally protest its loss of the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, cloud contract.For More: Amazon’s $10 Billion Pentagon Challenge: Proving Trump MeddledCampbell-Smith said Amazon is seeking to prohibit the Defense Department from proceeding without a new evaluation or award decision. The company is requesting that the Pentagon either reevaluate bids or reopen the procurement to allow for bid revisions, the judge said.Campbell-Smith also granted Microsoft’s request to intervene in the suit.In July, Trump stunned lawmakers and technology companies when he openly questioned whether the JEDI contract was being competitively bid, citing complaints from Microsoft, Oracle Corp. and International Business Machines Corp.Dana Deasy, the Pentagon’s chief information officer, said during his confirmation hearing in late October that to the best of his knowledge, no one from the White House reached out to any members of the JEDI cloud contract selection team.The Pentagon’s JEDI cloud project is designed to consolidate the department’s cloud computing infrastructure and modernize its technology systems. The contract is worth as much as $10 billion over 10 years and could offer the winner a bigger foothold in the burgeoning federal cloud market.(Updates with Amazon seeking new evaluation and decision from seventh paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Naomi Nix in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Larry LiebertFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Robust demand of IBM Maximo on strength in asset optimization and management capabilities is expected to favor the top line in the days ahead.
Today we are going to look at International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM) to see whether it might be an...
Should investors consider buying struggling Slack stock before it reports its Q3 fiscal 2020 financial results on Wednesday, December 4 amid Microsoft competition?
Company INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION TIDM IBM Headline Notification of filing of document The Corporation's current report on Form 8-K dated November 11, 2019 was filed with the United States Securities Exchange Commission and in Luxembourg with the Luxembourg Stock Exchange as the officially appointed mechanism for the central storage of regulated information and with the CSSF on November 25, 2019. The report is available at www.sec.gov and www.bourse.lu.
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. filed a lawsuit on Friday challenging the Defense Department’s choice of rival Microsoft Corp. for a Pentagon cloud-computing contract worth as much as $10 billion.The lawsuit, which was filed under seal in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, marks Amazon’s most aggressive push to defend its competitive edge in the lucrative and cutthroat world of federal government contracts.Amazon previously said it planned to formally protest its loss of the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, cloud contract because the evaluation process was deficient.“It’s critical for our country that the government and its elected leaders administer procurements objectively and in a manner that is free from political influence,” Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said in a Nov. 14 statement. “Numerous aspects of the JEDI evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias -- and it’s important that these matters be examined and rectified.”Elissa Smith, a spokeswoman for the Defense Department, said in a statement that it, along with the Justice Department, would review the lawsuit. She added that the Pentagon “was confident in the JEDI award. The source selection process was conducted in accordance with the stated criteria in the solicitation and procurement law.”Representatives of Amazon didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday night.Read More: Amazon Seen Focusing on Trump in Pentagon Contract ChallengeIn court paperwork, Amazon said the lawsuit was filed under seal because it contains “sensitive” information that “would cause severe competitive harm” if it’s released.Political InfluenceMicrosoft asked to intervene in the suit, arguing in a filing that the case will “directly affect Microsoft’s interests” and “carries the potential for significant economic and other harms to Microsoft.”It’s widely expected that Amazon will argue that its loss of the high-profile contract was due to improper political influence by President Donald Trump. Exhibits filed with Friday’s complaint include Trump’s comments to the press in July as well as a Fox News segment called “Swamp Watch.”In July, Trump stunned lawmakers and technology companies when he openly questioned whether the JEDI contract was being competitively bid, citing complaints from Microsoft, Oracle Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. Trump has long criticized Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on everything from the shipping rates his company pays the U.S. Postal Service to his personal ownership of what Trump calls “the Amazon Washington Post.”A new book by Guy Snodgrass, a speechwriter to former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, alleges that Trump, in the summer of 2018, told Mattis to “screw Amazon” and lock it out of the bid. Mattis didn’t do what Trump asked, Snodgrass wrote. Mattis has criticized the book, but hasn’t commented on the allegation concerning Amazon.Dana Deasy, the Pentagon’s chief information officer, said during his confirmation hearing in late October that to the best of his knowledge, no one from the White House reached out to any members of the JEDI cloud contract selection team.Read More: Trump Attack on Cloud Bidding Gives Pentagon Chief Hard ChoicesProcurement experts have said it’s difficult for losing bidders such as Amazon to overturn contract awards by alleging political or vendor bias because it requires the company to show the agency took Trump’s comments into consideration when it picked Microsoft.While no law prohibits a president from weighing in on a contract, federal agencies must follow strict rules about what they can and can’t consider when making an award decision. Agencies must choose vendors based on the criteria outlined in their requests for proposals to avoid inviting a successful legal challenge, according to procurement experts.“We have confidence in the qualified staff at the Department of Defense, and we believe the facts will show they ran a detailed, thorough and fair process in determining the needs of the warfighter were best met by Microsoft,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement late Friday.Amazon isn’t the only losing bidder suing the Pentagon. Oracle is also appealing a July ruling from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that dismissed its legal challenge to the cloud contract.Both legal challenges could delay the Pentagon’s implementation of the contract the Defense Department considers critical to its modernization. The cloud project is designed to consolidate the department’s cloud computing infrastructure and modernize its technology systems. The contract is worth as much as $10 billion over 10 years and could offer the winner a bigger foothold in the burgeoning federal cloud market.(Updates with Microsoft’s comment in 15th paragraph)\--With assistance from Matt Day.To contact the reporter on this story: Naomi Nix in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at firstname.lastname@example.org, Peter Blumberg, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) shares have surged 34% in the last three months. Now the question is will HPE's recent run of success continue after it reports its quarterly financial results on Monday, November 25?
Investing.com – Wall Street rose on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump said that a deal with China is “potentially very close,” even though the week's news flow has often suggested the opposite.
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. will likely argue that meddling by President Donald Trump cost the company a cloud-computing contract worth as much as $10 billion as it seeks to overturn a Pentagon decision to award the work to arch-rival Microsoft Corp.Yet Amazon faces an uphill climb in basing its challenge on those grounds, as legal requirements to successfully appeal a contract award on claims of political interference are high. To prevail, losing bidders must show the agency made its decision as a result of bias -- rather than on the merits of the companies’ proposals, according to procurement experts.“There is not much of a burden of proof on what did the president say,” said David Berteau, president of Professional Services Council, a trade group that represents federal contractors. “The question the Court will look into is what did DoD do based on what the president said?”For Amazon, the fight isn’t just about a single Pentagon contract but its ability to defend its expertise in the competitive federal contracting world -- and the right to say its cloud services are safe and advanced enough to serve even the most complex and risk-averse government clients.The court challenge -- the second involving the cloud bid -- also means the Pentagon will likely have to delay starting a technology program the Defense Department has called critical to its modernization. Oracle Corp. is also appealing a July ruling from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that dismissed its legal challenge to the cloud contract.Amazon said it filed a notice on Nov. 8 with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that it plans to formally protest its loss of the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure or JEDI cloud contract. Amazon could seek to delay the start of the contract while it pursues its case.“It’s critical for our country that the government and its elected leaders administer procurements objectively and in a manner that is free from political influence,” Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said in a statement announcing the company’s decision to file a complaint. “Numerous aspects of the JEDI evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias -- and it’s important that these matters be examined and rectified.”In July, President Trump stunned lawmakers and technology companies when he openly questioned whether the JEDI contract was being competitively bid, citing complaints from Microsoft, Oracle Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. Trump has long criticized Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on everything from the shipping rates his company pays the U.S. Postal Service to his personal ownership of what Trump calls “the Amazon Washington Post.”It’s not enough for Amazon to allege that Pentagon employees were aware of the president’s opinion on the contract, said Charles Tiefer, a procurement law professor at the University of Baltimore Law School. The company will have to show the Defense Department took his perspective into consideration when they evaluated bids.“There is a well-developed doctrine in the Court of Federal Claims that a contract award can be challenged for bias, but it’s a difficult showing for Amazon to make,” said Tiefer. “The requirements to show bias are very high.”A new book by Guy Snodgrass, a speechwriter to former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, alleges that Trump, in the summer of 2018, told Mattis to “screw Amazon” and lock it out of the bid. Mattis didn’t do what Trump asked, Snodgrass wrote. Mattis has criticized the book, but hasn’t commented on the allegation concerning Amazon.The Pentagon JEDI cloud project is intended to modernize the Defense Department’s technology systems and speed up real-time sharing of information across the military. The contract is worth as much as $10 billion over ten years and could offer the winner a bigger foothold in the burgeoning federal cloud market.While no law prohibits a president from weighing in on a contract, federal agencies must follow strict rules about what they can and can’t consider when making an award decision.Agencies must choose vendors based on the criteria outlined in their requests for proposals to avoid inviting a successful legal challenge, according to procurement experts. In the case of JEDI, Pentagon officials said they would pick a winner based on companies’ security strategy, proposed price and execution timeline and their ability to offer portable cloud services to the war fighter among other factors.A study conducted by Rand Corp. found that the U.S Court of Federal claims sustained just 9% of contract protests against the Defense Department from 2008 through 2016. The Government Accountability Office sustained 2.6% of contract protests during the same time period, though a much larger percentage of challenges led the agency to make changes to the procurement decision or terms, according to the study.Amazon was widely seen as the leading contender for the deal because it is the commercial market leader and already won a 2013 cloud deal from the Central Intelligence Agency, paving the way for the company to earn the highest federal cloud security authorizations.The White House requested a briefing on the cloud contract after Fox News aired a sharply critical segment by Tucker Carlson in June. The Defense Department prepared a detailed document pushing back on the Fox program in preparation for the briefing, Bloomberg has reported.Dana Deasy, the Pentagon’s chief information officer, said during his confirmation hearing in late October that to the best of his knowledge, no one from the White House reached out to any members of the JEDI cloud contract selection team. The Pentagon will likely continue to argue in court that political influence played no role in its decision to choose Microsoft.To help make its case, Amazon could examine whether there are any differences between how the companies’ bids were evaluated by lower level technical staff on the Pentagon’s JEDI selection team and what Pentagon officials with closer access to the White House decided, said Frank Murray Jr., a procurement lawyer and partner at Foley & Lardner LLP. If top Pentagon officials chose Microsoft over the recommendation of their technical employees, that would be significant piece of evidence for Amazon, Murray said.Amazon could seek documents and interviews with Pentagon staff as part of its legal challenge. Amazon could also argue that the Pentagon erred in the way that it rated the bids from the two companies on metrics such as security, price and technical capabilities.“The nuts and bolts of the case are going to be: how were the proposals evaluated? And were they reasonable?” Murray said.If Amazon’s legal challenge is successful, the judge could force the Defense Department to reevaluate the companies’ proposals or even open up the bidding process again, procurement experts said.To contact the reporter on this story: Naomi Nix in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Larry LiebertFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
VMware's (VMW) third-quarter fiscal 2020 results are expected to reflect continued enterprise deal wins, portfolio strength and partnerships with the likes of AWS and IBM.
(Bloomberg) -- In a rare show of public support, Palantir Technologies Inc.’s co-founder and chairman Peter Thiel pitched the power of the data-mining company during a splashy Tokyo event marking its formal entry into Asia.The billionaire entrepreneur was in Japan Monday to unveil a $150 million, 50-50 joint venture with local financial services firm Sompo Holdings Inc., Palantir Technologies Japan Co. The new company will target government and public sector customers, emphasizing health and cybersecurity initially. Like IBM Corp. and other providers, Palantir’s software pulls together a range of data provided by its customers, mining it for patterns and displaying connections in easy-to-read spiderweb-like graphics that might otherwise get overlooked.“We can learn a lot from Japan, that some of the challenges that Japan has with its aging population are the ones all countries of the West are going to have in the years ahead,” Thiel said at a briefing in Tokyo. “We hoped this can be a two-way exchange.”The push into Asia comes at a critical time for the 15-year-old company. Despite having long-term, billion-dollar contracts with BP Plc., Merck KGaA and others in more than a dozen countries worldwide, Palantir has never turned an annual profit. Under the leadership of Thiel and the management of Chief Executive Officer Alex Karp, Palantir has long emphasized engineering over sales and revenue, a focus that has shifted only this year.The company has not set a date for an initial public offering and continues to explore raising additional funding from private investors. Palantir spokeswoman Lisa Gordon told Bloomberg there are no formal conversations underway and disputed reports that Palantir is considering a deal with Softbank Group Corp. or that the company is seeking as much as $3 billion in funding at a $30 billion valuation.Valuation is a touchy subject for the Silicon Valley company. Although private investors valued Palantir in 2015 at more than $20 billion, aggressive markdowns by mutual funds and an uncertain IPO timeline have taken a toll. Palantir’s valuation has continued to tumble, with shares trading around $5 a share during the past month, according to data from secondary markets.Palantir is very close to breaking even and will end 2019 either slightly in the black or slightly in the red, Thiel said at the briefing. The company will be “significantly in the black” next year, he added.“The judgment call Palantir has made, as have many other companies in Silicon Valley post 2000, is it is often much better to build businesses in private,” Thiel said. “There is some day in the future when Palantir will go public, but we will try to stay private as long as possible.”Palantir’s public image has taken a beating in recent years. It’s attracted scrutiny from privacy advocates and protesters disturbed by the way Palantir’s software has been used by state and local law enforcement in the U.S., as well as by federal agencies like the Department of Homeland Security while implementing the controversial family separation policy at the U.S. Mexican border.Thiel himself has been a lightning rod for criticism, having helped the election of U.S. President Donald Trump in 2016, a divisive decision even within Palantir. That critique could intensify given he has pledged to support Trump’s 2020 re-election.“I envision supporting President Trump over his likely Democratic nominees,” Thiel said in Tokyo, adding he will determine the exact nature of his support as elections approach.(Updates with comments from news briefing from the third paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at email@example.com;Lizette Chapman in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at email@example.com, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Amazon is protesting the Pentagon's decision to award Microsoft a $10 billion DoD contract.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- In a landmark paper published in 1950, the mathematician Alan Turing proposed the eponymous Turing Test to decide whether a computer can demonstrate human-like intelligence. To pass the test, the computer must fool a human judge into believing it’s a person after a five-minute conversation conducted via text. Turing predicted that by the year 2000, a computer would be able to convince 30% of human judges; that criterion became a touchstone of artificial intelligence.Although it took a bit longer than Turing predicted, a Russian chatbot presenting itself as a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy named Eugene Goostman was able to dupe 33% of judges in a competition held in 2014. Perhaps the cleverest aspect of the machine’s design was that its teenage disguise made it more likely that people would excuse its broken grammar and general silliness. Nevertheless, the strategy of misdirection comes across as transparent and superficial in conversations the chatbot had with skeptical journalists — so much so that one marvels not at the computer’s purported intelligence, but at the gullibility of the judges. Sadly, conquering the Turing Test has brought us no closer to solving AI's big problems.Last month, quantum computing achieved its own controversial milestone. This field aims to harness the laws of quantum mechanics to revolutionize computing. Classical computers rely on memory units called bits that encode either zero or one, so a state of the memory is a sequence of zeros and ones. Quantum computers, by contrast, use qubits, each of which encodes a “combination” of zero and one. In a quantum computer, multiple qubits interact, which means that each of the exponentially(1) many sequences of bits is represented simultaneously.The key question is whether this strange power can be exploited to perform computations that are beyond the reach of classical computers. Demonstrating even one such computation, however contrived, would lead to “quantum supremacy” — a term coined by physicist John Preskill of the California Institute of Technology in 2012. By this standard, Google appears to have achieved quantum supremacy. Specifically, the company said in October that its team used a 53-qubit quantum computer to generate random sequences of bits, which depend on controlled interactions between its qubits. By Google’s calculations it would take 10,000 years to carry out the same task using classical computation.(2) There is no doubt that controlling a 53-qubit quantum computer is a feat of science and engineering. As Preskill put it, “the recent achievement by the Google team bolsters our confidence that quantum computing is merely really, really hard,” rather than being “ridiculously hard.”As long as Google’s quantum computer works as intended, however, its dominance isn’t surprising — because the competition is rigged. It’s a bit like building a robotic hand that flips coins according to given parameters (such as, totally off the top of my head, the angle between the normal to the coin and the angular momentum vector), and then challenging a classical computer to generate sequences of heads and tails that obey the same laws of physics. This robot hand would perform astounding feats of coin-flipping but wouldn’t be able to do kindergarten arithmetic — and neither can Google’s quantum computer.It’s unclear, therefore, whether quantum supremacy is a meaningful milestone in the quest to build a useful quantum computer. To mention just one major obstacle (there are several), reliable quantum computing requires error correction. The catch is that quantum error correction protocols themselves demand fairly reliable qubits — and lots of them.In some ways, quantum supremacy is akin to iconic AI milestones like the Turing Test, or IBM’s chess victory over Gary Kasparov in 1997, which was also an engineering tour de force. These achievements demonstrate specialized capabilities and garner widespread attention, but their impact on the overarching goals of their respective fields may ultimately be limited.The danger is that excessive publicity creates inflated expectations of an imminent revolution in computing, despite measured commentary from experts. AI again provides historical precedent: The field has famously gone through several AI winters — decades in which talent fled and research funding ran dry — driven in large part by expectations that failed to materialize.Quantum computing research started three decades after AI, in the 1980s, and experienced a burst of excitement following the invention in 1994 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology mathematician Peter Shor of a quantum algorithm that would, in theory, crush modern cryptography. But eventually the dearth of, well, quantum computers caught up with quantum computing, and by 2005 the field was experiencing a massive downturn. The current quantum spring started only a few years ago; its signs include a surge of academic research as well as major investments by governments and tech giants like Alphabet Inc., International Business Machines Corp. and Intel Corp.Quantum computing and AI are two distinct fields — despite what whoever came up with the name Google AI Quantum would have you believe — and what is true for one isn't necessarily true for the other. But quantum computing can learn from AI's much longer career as an alternatively overhyped and underappreciated field. I am tempted to say that the chief lesson is “winter is coming,” but it is actually this: the pursuit of artificial milestones is a double-edged blade.(1) I am reminded of a mathematician’s plea to stop abusing the word “exponentially”; here I am using it in a way he would approve of.(2) The calculation was credibly disputed by IBM, but both companies agree that quantum computers are vastly more efficient than classical computers at this particular task.To contact the author of this story: Ariel Procaccia at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonathan Landman at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Ariel Procaccia is an associate professor in the computer science department at Carnegie Mellon University. His areas of expertise include artificial intelligence, theoretical computer science and algorithmic game theory.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.