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Cisco and Google announced an interesting partnership this week.
On paper, it seems like Google should be the most powerful cloud services provider. It doesn’t really care about margins, it has massive centralized data centers, it has hired people from a variety of older IT-focused companies, and it does understand technology. However, IT shops want to buy hybrid cloud, and Google doesn’t understand or do on-premise.
It desperately needed a powerful partner to bring a hybrid solution to market that could overcome the perceptions and limitations that surround the Google brand.
This is where Cisco comes in. The partnership announced this week should address these shortcomings because Cisco is, for the most part, doing the heavy lifting (and needs to).
Technology partnerships are often more marketing hype than reality, largely because both parties expect the other to do much of the work and nothing really happens as a result.
What you need in a partnership is a clear common goal and commitment, or a clear representation from one of the firms that they are willing to step up and carry most of the weight.
During my discussion with Cisco representatives, it was clear they knew they were going to be carrying much of the weight for this partnership and were good with that. Cisco was, for the most part, going to own the critical parts of sales and support while Google was only going to be providing some of the core technology. This is important because the IT buyer really needs that one throat to choke, and Cisco has stepped up.
Cisco has a reputation for delivering in the IT space that goes back decades. It also has a sales and service force that is skilled in the market, so its capabilities go beyond just intent and into ability to execute.
Be aware that this solution won’t be cooked until 2023, but that allows for Cisco customers interested in it to lobby for early access and help define the result, which in turn, could become far closer to what they’ll need.
At the heart of this eventual solution is an offering called Istio. This is a new hybrid cloud service management platform that has several key attributes. It is designed to discover and define complex service relationships, so they can be assured. It provides new developers and operators with the necessary education to build and deliver applications from the top down. It provides administrators with tools to define and manage related impacts on service, as well as a bird’s-eye view of service behavior so that they hit the ground running when they need to triage.
Underneath this management layer will be the existing services like Google’s Apigee, Cisco’s private cloud infrastructure, Google’s public cloud infrastructure and Google’s Kubernetes engine.
This seems like a very powerful offering. The part I was most interested in with this phase was who was going to do the heavy lifting (I have doubts about Google). Cisco indicated it would step up (I don’t have doubts about Cisco), and the result is something that could be very powerful when it shows up next year.
This partnership and the resulting hybrid cloud solution will revolve around Cisco’s ability to execute. That ability is near legendary and suggests a positive outcome for this offering.
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Microsoft and Oracle are working together? Oh, wait. I guess that should be a statement instead of a question. The two companies have joined forces in a new cloud venture. It seems Larry Ellison has embraced the wisdom of that ancient Arabic proverb “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
The nuts and bolts of the deal are that Microsoft and Oracle are teaming up to deliver Oracle software via Microsoft’s cloud platform, Azure. Azure customers will be able to run Java, Oracle Database, Oracle WebLogic Server, and even Oracle Linux on Windows Server Hyper-V or Windows Azure, and Oracle will deliver full certification and support.
It’s a dramatic reversal for Oracle, to put it mildly. Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison has been on a one-man quest to crush Microsoft for years. It’s always seemed a bit Quixotic, though, because Oracle isn’t in the same league and has never come close to achieving Ellison’s goal.
So, why this partnership? Why now? In a nutshell, it just makes sense for both parties. It’s a win-win move that benefits Microsoft and Oracle; one positions both companies to compete more aggressively with their respective rivals.
Rob Enderle, principal analyst with Enderle Group, told me the marriage isn’t as far-fetched as it might seem. “Microsoft really had no issues working with Oracle—or Sun for that matter,” said Enderle. “it was the CEOs from both companies that decided they wanted to try to put Microsoft out of business.”
Enderle said that both companies have bigger fish to fry, and that the rank and file at Oracle have already been working closely with Microsoft for some time. Despite Ellison’s goal to destroy Microsoft, the reality is that Oracle can’t deliver for its customers without engaging amicably with Microsoft on some level.
Wes Miller, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, believes Microsoft’s Azure platform and Oracle are both winners in the short term. Over the long term, Microsoft wins and VMware loses as a result of the Microsoft-Oracle partnership. “Microsoft gains additional customers for Azure,” said Miller. “Oracle gains customers who use or want to use their technology, but want to do so in the cloud.”
Windows Azure customers stand to benefit from Microsoft’s alliance with Oracle.
As much as Ellison might want to best Microsoft, doing so would bite the hand that feeds him. Oracle makes software, and that software needs a platform to run on. Many of Oracle’s customers run Oracle software on Windows Server.
Al Hilwa, an IDC analyst, rationalized, “Since Azure now essentially runs virtual machines and provides Infrastructure-as-a-Service, it is effectively a cloud operating system. It only makes sense to see other popular technologies that need an operating system run on Azure.”
Hilwa added that he hopes this is just the opening salvo from Microsoft and Oracle. Ultimately, Hilwa thinks the two companies should partner at a deeper level and introduce added-value services that reduce the friction of migrating to the cloud and minimize IT costs for customers.
This new relationship between Microsoft and Oracle is good for all. Rivalries aside, many Microsoft customers rely on Oracle software, and many Oracle customers rely on the Windows operating system. Joining forces to ensure everything works smoothly in the cloud is the right thing to do for customers.
What is an Investment Partnership?
Download Corporate Valuation, Investment Banking, Accounting, CFA Calculator & othersHow does Investment Partnership work?
In an investment partnership, a fund manager becomes a partner in the business by investing cash and only then earns the authority to exercise influence on the decision-making of the business. Therefore, the fund manager’s capital contribution to the business should be higher than that of the other general limited partners, who are mere investors and have no say in the investment decisions. The fund manager becomes eligible for additional profit distribution over and above the interest holding (owing to invested capital) if the profits derived from the business exceed a certain level of returns, which is also known as the hurdle rate.Examples of Investment Partnership
Investment partnership businesses usually invest in alternative investment funds. Some of the most common examples of such investments are mentioned below:1. Hedge Fund
Typically, institutional investors, high-net-worth individuals, and other accredited investors invest in this type of financial instrument. This investment vehicle is usually used to hedge risk by simultaneously buying and shorting assets in a long-short equity strategy, hence the “hedge fund.”2. Private Equity
It is a type of alternative investment class that comprises capital that is invested in unlisted companies. Generally, this type of fund either directly invests in private companies or buyout public companies leading to their delisting from the stock exchange. It is considered to be a high-risk, high-return investment.3. Venture Capital 4. Mutual Fund
In this type of financial instrument, the fund manager pools money from a large number of investors and then invests the raised capital in different types of financial securities, such as equity stocks, bonds, short-term debt funds, etc. The collective holdings of a mutual fund are popularly called its portfolio.How is an Investment Partnership taxed?
An investment partnership enjoys favorable tax treatment, as reflected from the instances mentioned below.
In North Carolina, a firm operating as an investment partnership is not considered to be doing business. Hence, such a firm is not mandated to file an income tax return, nor is it liable to pay any income tax on behalf of its non-resident partners.
In Illinois, an investment partnership is not required to pay replacement tax for tax years ending on or after December 31, 2004. Also, its non-resident partner needs to pay tax on the income passed through the investment partnership, only if the partner’s contribution to the business is made in connection with a business conducted only partially within Illinois.Advantages of Investment Partnership
An investment partnership falls in the category of alternative investment funds, which means the investments go into risky securities that offer higher return potential.
The regulations are limited for these investment funds. Hence, the fund managers enjoy a greater degree of discretion regarding managing the investments to generate higher returns.
These investment funds, in many cases, put their money into companies that are just in their initial phase of business. These financing options help these start-ups secure their growth funding.
One of the best things about investment partnerships is that the general partners or investors outsource the fund management to professionally trained fund managers.
The profit distribution generated from the business enjoys favorable tax treatment.
First, in most cases, the general partners don’t possess much knowledge about the business, especially financial statements. Likewise, the investors have a very limited idea about how the fund managers are managed.
Given these are high-risk, high-return investments, a wrong move with regard to an investment strategy can prove lethal and may wipe out the entire wealth accumulated over the years.
Small retail investors seldom get an opportunity to invest in an investment partnership business as the fund managers usually seek funding from wealthy and accredited investors only.Key Takeaways
Some of the key takeaways of the article are:
In investment partnerships, more than 90% of the business assets are held in the form of investments in financial instruments. As a result, more than 90% of its income comes from these financial assets.
The fund manager invests cash in the business to become one of the partners, after which he/ she can exercise influence on the decision-making. Typically, the fund manager’s contribution is higher than that of the other general limited partners.
Investment partnership is classified as alternative investment funds. These funds invest in risky securities that offer higher return potential. Hence, even a slight mistake can wipe out the entire wealth accumulated over the years.
Usually, fund managers prefer wealthy and accredited investors over small retail investors.Conclusion
Apart from providing the required growth funding to start-ups, investment partnerships help investors earn amazing returns on their investments. In this way, this business model facilitates better efficiency in the financial market. However, the general partners or investors remain exposed to significant risk due to the investments’ nature and lack of transparency.Recommended Articles
Wouldn’t it be nice if Google Assistant performed more than one task with a word that only you know? Besides the typical commands to show you the weather, you can make Google Assistant open specific apps in the order you want.
For example, with one word you can have it show you the news and open WhatsApp for you. If you have a routine where you usually open the same apps in the same order, this can be a real timesaver.How to Create Personalized Google Assistant Commands
To create your own Assistant Command, open the Google app and tap on the hamburger icon at the bottom-right. Tap on Settings (second to last option) at the bottom, and under Google Assistant select Settings.
In the following page tap on the Assistant tab, and select Routines. Google Assistant will already have some commands ready for you to use. Pressing the blue button at the bottom-right, you can create your own.
Once you’re in the New routine page, tap on “Add commands” to add the word that will trigger the actions. Below, you will see the “Add action” option. After you select it, you can either choose from popular actions such as “tell me about the weather,” “tell me about my commute home,” “broadcast I’m home,” “read unread texts” and many more.How to Personalize Your Google Assistant Commands
If there’s an action that needs more information such as a phone number, tap on the cog wheel to the side to add the additional information.
When you’re done adding your action, don’t forget to tap on “Add option” at the top to save your changes. The same applies when you personally add the action you want Google Assistant to perform. If you wish to add more actions, keep tapping on the “Add action” option.
You can also change the order of the actions in a particular routine Tap on a routine and then on the option that says “Change Order.” You’ll see a list of all the actions. Long-press and slide the actions to the order you want. To save your changes, merely tap on the back button, and it will be saved.
You can also add media to your routine. Tap on the “Add media” option, and you can add audio such as music, news, radio, podcasts, audiobooks, and even sleep sounds. Each of these media options can be customized. For example, if you choose to hear the news, tap on the cog wheel, and either add or remove a new source.
When you’re done adding all the actions, tap on the checkmark at the top to save everything. Your newly created routine should appear on the Custom list automatically.Conclusion
Just a simple guy that can’t enough of Technology in general and is always surrounded by at least one Android and iOS device. I’m a Pizza addict as well.
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Google announced that publishers can now create how-to “actions” for Google Assistant by using structured data. This is an opportunity for publishers to expand their reach to a wider audience on Google Assistant.What are Google Actions?
Google actions are a way to interact with Google Assistant. While actions can consist of trivia games or bedtime stories, in this case, actions can provide guided instructions.
Previously developers had to code the actions. Now publishers can simply add structured data to existing how-to content in order for it to become an action for Google Assistant.
Here’s how Google’s developer page for actions describes it:
“Actions on Google lets you extend the functionality of the Google Assistant with Actions. Actions let users get things done through a conversational interface that can range from a quick command to turn on some lights or a longer conversation, such as playing a trivia game.”
Unfortunately, creating actions meant knowing how to code. That’s no longer the case for publishers of how-to content.What Pages are Eligible For How-to Structured Data
Google published a developers page for how-to structured data. This is how it explains it:
“Use HowTo structured data to explicitly tell Google that your content is a how-to… Properly marked up how-to pages may be eligible to have a rich result on Search and How-to Action for the Google Assistant, which can help your site reach the right users.”
The developers page states there are two ways to know if the how-to structured data is appropriate for your page.
The how-to must be read sequentially.
The how-to is the “main focus of the page.”
That last requirement appears to say that you cannot add a how-to to an existing page with other content on it, such as an article or a product page, where the article or the products on sale or reviewed are the main focus.How-to for Smart Displays
The how-to actions are currently just for Google Assistant. However, Google is currently signing up publishers who are interested in participating in publishing how-to content for smart displays. The sign up form is on Google’s developer page for how-to structured data for smart displays is here.Google Assistant Actions May Expand Your Reach
It’s inevitable that some publishers will complain that content marked up for Google Assistant will result in less traffic. That view is short sighted and mistaken.
Creating actions for Google Assistant by using structured data may expand the reach of your brand without taking away any traffic. The traffic that’s on Google Assistant is there, regardless if a publisher participates or not.
The how-to structured data may result in rich results in Google search. So it’s not a burden for the same code to also provide the opportunity to expand your brands reach to Google Assistant.
Read Google’s announcement:
Enhance Your Web Presence for Search and the Assistant
Read Google’s developer page for how-to structured data:More Resources
Cloud Storage has made maintaining and storing the data simple. In the process, it saves you the cost of buying multiple Hard Drives and other physical storage devices. Cloud computing, in general, can be defined as a system to store data on cloud servers instead of physical devices.
There are notable services in the tech industry such as Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive. In this article, we are putting neutral facts of Google Drive and OneDrive, to help you in making your decision.OneDrive vs Google Drive comparison
Google Drive and OneDrive, for the most part, offer you the same set of features but in a different manner so let’s get to know the difference based on certain parameters. These are:
Syncing Technology and Facilities
Free Storage space availability
Paid storage space availability
Let’s start with the first aspect.1] Syncing Technology and Facilities
When we compare OneDrive and Google Drive, speed enthusiasts may find Google drive a bit inferior. As OneDrive uses a superior file syncing technology called Block Level Copying. It breaks files into smaller packages, so instead of the entire file, its fragmented packages get uploaded. Therefore, the time required for syncing is less.
On the other hand, Google Drive does basic syncing and is a little inferior to OneDrive. However, if you are an Android user, you can look past its slow speed because of the ease-of-syncing.
If you are already using the Microsoft Productivity suite, such as Excel, PowerPoint, Word then syncing the file is easier in OneDrive as compared to that in Google Drive.
On the other hand, if you are using Google WorkPlace productivity suite such as Docs, Sheets, Slides then Google Drive is what you will find better.
However, if you are not able to decide whether to go for Google Workplace suite or Microsoft 365 set of applications, check out this comparative study.
Google Drive and OneDrive, for the most part, offer the same syncing facilities. You can easily sync files on the cloud with simple steps on both Google Drive and OneDrive. These files are easily accessible. So, your decision in this parameter will boil down to your priorities, whether you like speed or ease-of-syncing, whether you like Google Workplace or Microsoft 365.2] Free Storage Space Availability
When we compare the free storage space availability, you get 5 GB of free storage on OneDrive, whereas, Google One Drive offers you 15 GB free storage space. So when it comes to free storage space availability, Google Drive offers you more space to store your data including files, media, and especially photos.
Therefore, if you are not going to buy their respective subscription, Google Drive is a straightaway winner, just because of the fact that it has more storage.3] Paid Storage
For most users, Paid Storage will be the deciding factor. So, let us talk about that.
In the case of OneDrive, you will get two categories, For Home and For Business. If you want to buy OneDrive for your home or personal use then you have to choose between four tiers, they are:
Microsoft 365 Famly: It has a total of 6 TB and comes at $99.99 per year (or $9.99 a month and first month free).
Microsoft 365 Personal: It has a total of 1TB and comes at $69.99 per year (or $6.99 a month).
OneDrive Standalone 100 GB: It has a total of 100 GB and comes at $1.99 a month
OneDrive Basic 5 GB: It has a total of 5 GB and is free.
However, plans change if you are planning to buy OneDrive for your business. They are:
OneDrive for Business (Plan 1): It has a total of 1 TB per user and comes at $5/user/month.
OneDrive for Business (Plan 2): It has unlimited storage and comes at $10/user/month.
Microsoft 365 Business Basic: It has a total of 1 TB per user for $5/user/month for annual commitment ($6/user/month for monthly commitment), and comes with Web and Mobile Office apps.
Microsoft 365 Business Standard: It has a total of 1 TB per user for $12.5/user/month for annual commitment ($15/user/month for monthly commitment), and comes with Office apps.
On the other hand, Google streamlines everything. You will get 15 GB of free storage and can upgrade to paid plans. The prices start from $2 (for 100 GB) and $ 9 (for 2 TB and comes with added Google Benefits.
So, the decision is up to you.4] Collaboration
But if you are familiar with OneDrive’s Productivity apps that include PowerPoint, Excel, and Word then it may be easier for you to work on OneDrive. OneDrive also has a mobile app, just like Google Drive, to manage your data, whenever and wherever you want. But, the problem with OneDrive is that it does not integrate third-party applications.
However, in both cases, you can share your work with your colleagues. So, no winner here.5] Privacy
On the other hand, Microsoft also has the right to scan your informational data to prevent objectional data from entering but if you are a person who wants their privacy to be protected at any cost then OneDrive is a better choice.6] Back-up Limitation
When using Google Drive, you can back-up your contact list and calendar events along with your phone’s media with a single toggle key.
In comparison to Google Drive, OneDrive has some limitations as you can only back-up your devices’ media such as video and photos. But you can have more power over the media’s quality.
Read: Microsoft 365 vs Google Workspace.Verdict
Both OneDrive and Google Drive are good Cloud services. However, if you are in a large business then OneDrive is better because of its fast upload, more storage, and security, but for everyone else, Google Drive is a better option.
Another thing you need to make sure of before going for either of them, which productivity suite you use. For Google Workplace users, Google Drive is better, for Microsoft 365 users, OneDrive is perfect.
Hopefully, this has helped in making your decision.
Read Next: Google Drive vs Dropbox.
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