Hello from SHIFT
Boston, bringing you this week’s roundup of the most notable news from the
technology world. These are the stories that have caught our B2B tech PR team’s
UBER MAKES ITS IPO
The much talked about Uber IPO filing finally landed Thursday
after markets closed. Uber Technologies filed its IPO prospectus, reporting its
2018 revenue – and losses of $1.8 billion, quite out of the norm for a company
right before they go public. Still, this could value Uber around $100 billion
and be one of the biggest technology IPOs ever.
Uber is so entrenched in our day-to-day lives and has completely
disrupted the market, but how it performs as a public company is yet to be
seen. Still, what Uber has made clear is there’s a new order when it comes to
how technology companies are valued, as shown in the “Monthly Active Platform
Consumers” number it reported on in the filing. Physical assets and products
aren’t the only measure of worth – platforms
that make connections and provide services, and the complex technologies behind
them, are worth a lot in today’s on-demand economy.
TECH INFRASTRUCTURE TAKES
CENTER STAGE IN REAL ESTATE
An article in The New York Times sheds
light on just how important “high-tech” has become to commercial real estate.
Corporate office developers used to be able to get away with building in the
basics: plumbing, heating, walls, electricity. Now, it’s not just location and
floor plan wooing tenants. It’s advanced technology capabilities. This spans
telecommunications infrastructure, video screens, smart windows that self-tint
and more. Internet connectivity was another big one, with one major development
project in Cambridge, Massachusetts laying 10 miles of fiber-optic cable for
uninterrupted Wi-Fi in every part its six office buildings with 2.1 million
square feet of space. These examples are likely just the beginning of what’s to
come, and a trend that hardware, software, “smart” device, IoT and many other
companies will have play in as high-tech real estate expands.
AMAZON WORKERS ARE LISTENING TO YOUR CONVERSATIONS
Apparently, thousands of people are employed by Amazon to listen
to voice recordings captured by Amazon Echo devices. Bloomberg explains it’s part of an initiative to “eliminate gaps in Alexa’s
understanding of human speech and help it better respond to commands,” but it’s
a bit unsettling to know employees and contractors around the world are
reviewing audio clips from our home lives.
In the age of smart devices and GDPR, diligence around privacy
policies and data sharing is key for both consumers and businesses. But with
people wanting everything personalized (from Netflix movies, to Amazon product
suggestions, to relevant Instagram ads), there is a trade-off between privacy
and sharing data to fuel those experiences. The good news? There’s an option in
Amazon Echo and Alexa’s privacy settings to disable the use of our personal
voice recordings for the development of new features.
THE CLOUD WARS CONTINUE
The rivalry for cloud market share continues – in the government
sector. The Pentagon announced this week Amazon and Microsoft were the final two
candidates in a $10 billion bid for a cloud computing contract with the Defense
Department. This cloud migration project is one of the largest federal IT
contracts in history. And while many enterprises are employing multi-cloud
strategies, meaning they run different applications and tools through different
cloud providers, this contract will go to just one cloud vendor.
AWS is the dominant cloud platform today, with Microsoft and
Google as other major players. But with the global cloud computing market expected to reach $278B by 2021, and cloud success reliant on players in infrastructure-as-a-service
(IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS), there’s
a lot of opportunity to go around.
RELATED PRO TIP
Want to hone in on trends to fuel your PR program? There’s lots
of data and tools we can tap into to uncover new storylines and areas of
opportunity. Check out the resources on the SHIFT blog that
can help. Try starting with How to Research Industry Trends Hassle Free, which provides an overview of easy ways to research industry trends. Or, just give us a call!