May 23, 2022
Illustration: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol
Hello and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! Today: how first responders are finally embracing the benefits of cloud-based 911 call centers despite outage worries, Broadcom is supposedly making a big bid for VMware, and the latest funding rounds raised by enterprise tech startups.
Syncing data between multiple operating environments is one of the biggest challenges of choosing a hybrid cloud strategy, according to new research from Confluent. 32% of respondents said they “struggle” with operating across cloud providers and their own data centers, and only 39% think they are “completely prepared” for such a future.
Dialing 911 could be the most important phone call you will ever make. But what happens when the software that’s supposed to deliver that call fails you? It may seem simple, but the technology behind a call for help is complicated, and when it fails, deadly.
The infrastructure supporting emergency contact centers is one of the most critical assets for any city, town or local government. But just as the pandemic exposed the creaky tech infrastructure that runs local governments, in many cases the technology in those call centers is outdated and hasn’t been touched for decades.
The first 911 call was made only 40 to 50 years ago, said Robin Erkkila, a 911 solutions engineer at software company Bandwidth.
Emergency contact centers still face many of the same challenges as traditional on-premises contact centers.
Migrating to the cloud has the potential to solve many of the challenges facing 911 contact centers, from providing flexibility to scale contact center seats seamlessly to enabling better resilience in the face of outages or natural disasters.
While there are benefits to upgrading analog telephone networks to the cloud, there are also certainly disadvantages that come along with depending on any cloud service.
In the future, cloud-911 backers believe that additional capabilities such as AI, natural-language processing and automation will make 911 even more responsive, allowing dispatchers to more accurately route calls, provide automated responses where appropriate or group similar incidents.
In the New Logic of Work, solutions meet people where they are now, not where they were last year or even last week. And it means providing tools and experiences tailored to different people and roles in an organization. At Logitech, our products create opportunities for people and organizations to thrive.
VMware’s independence as a standalone company could be short-lived.
Chipmaker Broadcom reportedly is in discussions to acquire the virtualization and cloud computing software company for $60 billion, both Reuters and The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.
News of the talks comes almost seven months after VMware spun off from Dell Technologies last November.
“A VMware acquisition would just about triple the size of Broadcom's software segment, as well as bring overall software mix close to 50% for the combined company,” Bernstein analysts wrote in a research note on Monday.
Broadcom has been diversifying beyond its semiconductor business after the Trump administration blocked the then-Singapore-based company from taking over mobile chipmaker Qualcomm in 2018, citing national security concerns related to China. Broadcom subsequently moved its headquarters to California and made a pair of software plays, acquiring CA Technologies that year for $18.9 billion and Symantec's enterprise security business for $10.7 billion in 2019.
“We note that Broadcom took 60-70% out of the cost base from CA and Symantec post-purchase; a similar degree of synergies would suggest they might target $5B+ in cost savings (if possible) following a VMware acquisition,” Bernstein analysts said.
VMware, which got its start as a hypervisor pioneer, has shifted to what CEO Raghu Raghuram calls the third phase of its evolution: helping customers navigate a distributed, multicloud world and hybrid work. In an interview with Protocol this month, Raghuram touted VMware’s freedom from Dell and its new position as the “Switzerland of the industry” with its ability to now partner with the industry’s top cloud, infrastructure and software providers.
“The second [benefit] is ... it strengthens our M&A strategy down the road, because it gives us the ability to use our stock as a currency in addition to cash,” Raghuram told Protocol.
VMware is scheduled to release its first-quarter results on Thursday, while Broadcom’s second-quarter earnings call is set for June 2.— Donna Goodison (email | twitter)
Imply Data was valued at more than $1 billion after raising $100 million for its real-time analytics database.
Glean was valued at $1 billion after raising $100 million to help companies search across workplace SaaS apps.
Velocity Global raised $400 million to simplify the hiring process for remote and international workers.
Inflection AIraised $225 million to build AI software products that make it easier for humans to communicate with computers.
Pathlockraised $200 million to develop access governance and application security tools.
Nearraised $100 million for its privacy-focused data intelligence platform.
GreyOrangeraised $110 million for its AI cloud software that powers warehouse robotics.
Zoom beat Wall Street estimates with revenue growth of 12%, which might be a welcome sign that the incredible growth expectations put on workplace collaboration companies during the pandemic might be coming back to normal.
Microsoft released two open-source tools that could make it easier for AI researchers to test large-language models for flaws or signs of toxic content.AWS launched the first instances based on its Graviton3 processor, expanding its Arm server program with a chip that it believes stacks up well against Intel and AMD.
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Thanks for reading — see you tomorrow!