June 21, 2022
Illustration: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol
Hello, and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! Today: why not all cloud migration projects are created equal (as Acxiom quickly found out), the enterprise startups raising new funding rounds and how one of the most important companies in the chip supply chain plans to double production.
Despite the cappuccino robot and Michelin-caliber spread, there was something nagging guests from 53-year-old data giant Acxiom at an all-day briefing at Google Cloud HQ in 2019. As much as Acxiom’s cloud converts believed in its promise of speed, efficiency and connectivity, they knew that moving to the cloud could cannibalize a core part of the Arkansas company’s business.
Today, Acxiom has relationships with AWS, Google Cloud and Snowflake, as well as other cloud services including Databricks and MongoDB. But moving to the cloud is not as simple as flipping a “cloud-first” switch.
As tech built for the cloud infringed on the old way of doing things, it forced an upheaval of how the company did business.
Eventually, Google did get an Acxiom win, but the future of Acxiom’s data centers is unclear.
The competitive edge of digital solutions
For the last 50 years, SAP has worked closely with our customers to solve some of the world’s most intricate problems. We have also seen, and have been a part of, rapid accelerations in technology in response. Across industries, certain paths have emerged to help businesses manage the unexpected challenges over the last few years.
AlphaSense raised $225 million at a $1.7 billion valuation to build search tools for market analysis and intelligence.
CoachHub raised $200 million to provide employee training and digital coaching.
Zoovu raised $169 million for its product discovery software.
Vendr raised $150 million to help enterprises buy and renew their SaaS applications.
Platform.sh raised $140 million to help developers build websites and applications.
LeadSquared raised over $150 million for its software, which helps sales teams become more efficient.
DataStax raised $115 million at a $1.6 billion valuation for its database built on the open-source NoSQL database Cassandra.
Fountain raised $100 million for its recruiting and hiring software.— Aisha Counts (email | twitter)
Making the most advanced chips with extreme ultraviolet lithography technology is a challenge. But building the EUV tools themselves is a momentous undertaking for ASML, the only company in the world that can do it.
Even as it rushes to increase its capacity, ASML executives estimate it will ship only 55 EUV tools this year, a sharp contrast to the nearly 400 machines using earlier-generation technology it expects to ship. As the thirst for silicon continues to grow, ASML realized that it would have to figure out a way to churn out almost twice that many EUV machines every year. To do so would require the entire supply chain around the machines to ramp up too.
The reason for the big demand is twofold, according to ASML Vice President Christophe Fouquet: EUV tech lets manufacturers produce chips that use less power, which is increasingly becoming a priority. And chips are getting larger in size, which translates into stronger demand for tools.
“So our customers are already looking at, indeed, 90 systems per year, maybe even more in the future,” Fouquet said at a recent investor conference, according to a transcript from Sentieo. “That's something we believe to be structural.”
AWS introduced the AWS Center for Quantum Networking, a long-term research project to understand how quantum networks will evolve alongside quantum computers somewhere down the road.
HashiCorp unveiled a new tool called Drift Detection for Terraform Cloud, which will allow Terraform users to more quickly understand when configuration changes have taken a production environment too far away from its intended state, a common cause of many outages.
The competitive edge of digital solutions
When companies invest in maintaining their “green ledger” with the same commitment they have to their financial ledgers, they will be able to connect their environmental, social, and financial data holistically so they can steer their business towards sustainability. At the end of the day, what gets measured, gets managed.
Thanks for reading — see you tomorrow!