InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips
Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) stock is having a strong day as earnings top estimates. Cisco is a powerhouse of a company, with a solid balance sheet and great fundamentals.
Source: Charts by TradingView
Established as a global pioneer in the domain of communications equipment, Cisco Systems designs and sells an extensive array of technology that powers the internet. According to the latest 10-K report, over 40% of Cisco’s total sales are generated outside the Americas. The primary revenue stream, contributing nearly three-fourths of the total, comes from product sales.
Despite full internet penetration in developed regions, around a third of the global population remains without internet access. This presents a substantial long-term growth opportunity for Cisco, and given its vast scale and exceptional execution, it’s well-positioned to capitalize on these positive secular shifts.
To sustain its competitive advantages and enhance efficiency, the company regularly reinvests a significant part of its sales into R&D. Over the past decade, Cisco has funneled more than $60 billion into R&D. The company skillfully balances investing in innovation while maintaining a shareholder-friendly capital allocation. Its share buybacks have been substantial, amounting to about $80 billion over the past decade. Moreover, the company boasts a stellar dividend history, with 11 consecutive years of dividend hikes.
Source: Chart courtesy of YCharts
Cisco is as blue chip as it gets and is relatively well valued. However, the current uncertain macroeconomic environment poses the most significant risk for a market leader like Cisco.
While recession fears are easing, numerous red flags suggest that macro headwinds could persist for multiple quarters. Global central banks’ rates remain high, and many of the world’s leading economies continue to implement rate hikes. The Eurozone, a significant market for the company, fell into recession in early summer. The war in Ukraine seems far from concluding, adding substantial uncertainty regarding the pace of economic recovery in the Eurozone.
Moreover, the uncertainty regarding a credit crunch remains high. Moody’s surprised the market by downgrading the credit rating of several mid-size banks and added that many big names like U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB) and Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE:BK) are under review for potential downgrades. This suggests that credit conditions will likely continue to tighten, which is detrimental to business activity levels and spending.
While Cisco’s robust balance sheet can withstand such conditions, it might negatively impact the overall stock market, exerting pressure on CSCO stock.
Bottom line? I think CSCO stock is a compelling “hold” for investors seeking a low-risk investment opportunity with a decent dividend yield. The company’s remarkable profitability, which continues to expand despite the massive scale of the business, is impressive. The stock is fairly valued I’d argue, and the upside potential outweighs the potential risks very long term.
However, investors should remain mindful of the potential impact of a credit event on Cisco’s stock in the short term.
On the date of publication, Michael Gayed did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
The Lead-Lag Report is provided by Lead-Lag Publishing, LLC. All opinions and views mentioned in this report constitute our judgments as of the date of writing and are subject to change at any time. Information within this material is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions and should also not be construed as advice meeting the particular investment needs of any individual investor. Trading signals produced by the Lead-Lag Report are independent of other services provided by Lead-Lag Publishing, LLC or its affiliates, and positioning of accounts under their management may differ. Please remember that investing involves risk, including loss of principal, and past performance may not be indicative of future results. Lead-Lag Publishing, LLC, its members, officers, directors and employees expressly disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken based on any or all of the information on this writing.
Michael A. Gayed is the Publisher of The Lead-Lag Report, and Portfolio Manager at Tidal Financial Group, an investment management company specializing in ETF-focused research, investment strategies and services designed for financial advisors, RIAs, family offices and investment managers.
InvestorPlace readers that are new subscribers to the The Lead-Lag Report can receive a 30% discount by entering the promo code “InvestorPlace30” with your order.
The post CSCO Stock: Cisco Is a Powerhouse ‘Buy and Hold’ With Strong Fundamentals appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates — Cisco, the leader in enterprise networking and security, is dramatically enhancing its Extended Detection and Response (XDR) solution. By adding recovery to the response process, Cisco XDR is redefining what customers should expect from security products. Today’s announcement brings near real-time recovery for business operations after a ransomware attack.
Cisco continues to drive momentum towards its vision of the Cisco Security Cloud—a unified, AI-driven, cross-domain security platform. With the launch of Cisco XDR at the RSA Conference this year, Cisco delivered deep telemetry and unmatched visibility across the network and endpoints. Now, by reducing the crucial time between the beginnings of a ransomware outbreak and capturing a snapshot of business-critical information to near-zero, Cisco XDR will further support that vision, while enabling new levels of business continuity.
“Cybercrime remains a present risk that cannot be ignored for individuals and organizations across our region. In the last quarter, we have seen ransomware continuing to be one of the most-observed threats. To drive fightback against these cyber-attacks, a platform approach has become crucial. That is why we are consistently striving to build a resilient and open cybersecurity platform that can withstand ransomware attacks,” said Fady Younes, Cybersecurity Director, EMEA Service Providers and MEA. “Our innovations with automated ransomware recovery are a significant step towards achieving truly unified detection and response data, turning security insights into action.”
During the second quarter of 2023, the Cisco Talos Incident Response (IR) team responded to the highest number of ransomware engagements in more than a year. With the new capabilities in Cisco XDR, Security Operations Center (SOC) teams will be able to automatically detect, snapshot, and restore the business-critical data at the very first signs of a ransomware attack, often before it moves laterally through the network to reach high-value assets.
"Cisco is quickly disrupting the security landscape across their entire portfolio and their XDR solution could become the de facto reference architecture organizations turn to,” said Chris Konrad, Area Vice President, Global Cyber, World Wide Technology. “Not only does it provide broad visibility by integrating data across endpoints, network, cloud, and other sources - this extensive attack surface insight allows for superior threat detection using advanced analytics. Organizations should strongly consider the implementation of Cisco XDR to bolster their security posture and safeguard assets effectively. Cisco undoubtedly is contributing to the overall resilience of any organization.”
Cisco is expanding its initially released, extensive set of third-party XDR integrations to include leading infrastructure and enterprise data backup and recovery vendors. Today, Cisco is excited to announce the first integration of this kind with Cohesity’s DataProtect and DataHawk solutions.
“Cybersecurity is a board-level concern, and every CIO and CISO is under pressure to reduce risks posed by threat actors. To this end, Cisco and Cohesity have partnered to help enterprises around the world strengthen their cyber resilience,” said Sanjay Poonen, CEO and President, Cohesity. “Our first-of-its-kind proactive response is a key piece of our data security and management vision, and we’re excited to bring these capabilities to market first with Cisco.”
Cohesity has a proven track record of innovation in data backup and recovery capabilities. Cohesity’s products provide configurable recovery points and mass recovery for systems assigned to a protection plan. The new features take this core functionality to the next level by preserving potentially infected virtual machines for future forensic investigation, while simultaneously protecting data and workloads in the rest of the environment. Cohesity’s engineers worked alongside Cisco technical teams to dynamically adapt data protection policies to offer organizations a stronger security posture. This complements Cisco XDR’s robust detection, correlation, and integrated response capabilities and will enable customers to benefit from accelerated response for data protection and automated recovery.
Cisco XDR is now available globally to simplify security operations in today’s hybrid, multi-vendor, multi-threat landscape. To learn more, visit cisco.com/go/xdr
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide technology leader that securely connects everything to make anything possible. Our purpose is to power an inclusive future for all by helping our customers reimagine their applications, power hybrid work, secure their enterprise, transform their infrastructure, and meet their sustainability goals. Discover more on The Newsroom and follow us on Twitter at @Cisco.
Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco's trademarks can be found at www.cisco.com/go/trademarks. Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.
In today’s digitally driven world, communications professionals play a vital role in connecting businesses and people around the world. With the increasing demand for network professionals, obtaining the CCNP 350-401 certification has become an important subject for IT professionals looking to advance their careers. Recognizing the importance of this certification, SPOTO, a leading provider of online certification training, is proud to present CCNP 350-401 training.
Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) 350-401, also known as Implementing Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies (ENCOR), is a highly sought-after certification that validates the expertise and skills of professionals in the industry. Print solution. Designed for IT professionals who are familiar with the fundamentals of communication, the CCNP 350-401 certification covers many specific syllabus essential to everyday communication.
Mr. James Wong, spokesperson for SPOTO, said: “At SPOTO, we understand the challenges IT professionals face in the difficult journey of business communication. Their work and success in a rapidly changing technology.”
The SPOTO CCNP 350-401 training course provides comprehensive course material covering basic concepts and best practices in network marketing. Course content is regularly updated to meet the latest business trends and Cisco standards to ensure candidates gain knowledge and skills. The course is delivered through a user-friendly online platform, so students can study on their own at their preferred location.
One of the key features of SPOTO CCNP 350-401 certification training is the team of experts. All instructors are network professionals with experience in building, developing and managing collaborative networks. The unique combination of skills and knowledge in this world allows candidates to gain insight into solving the world’s communication problems.
In addition, SPOTO’s CCNP 350-401 training includes hands-on lab work and practical situations to reinforce the theoretical concepts learned. The platform offers virtual labs that allow candidates to experiment with various communication technologies, thereby building their confidence in using solutions in business.
The training program also includes regular assessments and practice tests that allow candidates to measure their progress and identify areas that require further attention. SPOTO’s practice tests carefully simulate the genuine CCNP 350-401 certification exam, familiarizing candidates with the exam pattern and ensuring they are well prepared to meet the challenges ahead.
To accommodate different learning styles and interests, SPOTO offers a flexible study program that can be tailored to the needs of each individual. Whether one is a self-learner or prefers professional guidance, the SPOTO CCNP 350-401 certification program has a solution for everyone.
SPOTO is very proud of its success so far, many candidates have achieved the CCNP 350-401 certification during the training. Many of the successful people share their experiences and show the success of the SPOTO training and the great impact it has on their career growth.
Finally, the CCNP 350-401 certification is an important stepping stone for collaboration professionals who want to do their work in the digital age. With SPOTO’s comprehensive and effective training, candidates can confidently prepare for the CCNP 350-401 exam and position themselves as a valuable asset in a competitive market.
Name: Zhong Qing
Email: Send Email
Release ID: 89104352
If you encounter any issues, discrepancies, or concerns regarding the content provided in this press release that require attention or if there is a need for a press release takedown, we kindly request that you notify us without delay at email@example.com. Our responsive team will be available round-the-clock to address your concerns within 8 hours and take necessary actions to rectify any identified issues or guide you through the removal process. Ensuring accurate and reliable information is fundamental to our mission.
Chicago, IL – August 23, 2023 – Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses Cisco CSCO, Extreme Networks EXTR and RADCOM Ltd. RDCM.
Industry: Computer Networking
Increasing focus on cloud computing, network security, big data and cloud storage is expected to boost the performance of the Zacks Computer - Networking industry participants. Accelerated deployment of 5G is driving the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT), Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) devices and 5G smartphones, calling for solid networking infrastructure.
This spurred demand for networking products, favoring the prospects of prominent industry players like Cisco, Extreme Networks and RADCOM Ltd.. However, negative impacts stemming from the lingering supply chain disruptions and component shortages will likely be a concern in the near term. Weak global economic conditions and rising inflation are likely to act as additional headwinds.
The Zacks Computer - Networking industry comprises companies that offer networking and Internet-connected products, including wireless (WiFi and Long-Term Evolution or LTE), Ethernet and powerline, focusing on dependability and ease of use. The products are available in numerous configurations to cater to the changing requirements of consumers in each geographic territory where it operates for smooth network connectivity and broadband access.
Some industry players also provide mission-critical IoT solutions and network security services to help clients build next-generation connected products and implement and manage critical communications infrastructures in demanding environments with enhanced levels of safety. Focus on developing IoT sensors, drones and wearables amid increasing demand for cloud computing-based contact tracing applications is driving the industry
Rapid Deployment of 5G to Boost Growth Prospects: Adopting a hybrid/flexible work model has triggered demand for network-intensive applications like video conferencing and cloud services. This is anticipated to accelerate 5G deployment through 2023 and beyond. The impending 5G boom will likely propel the industry to newer heights. The success of 5G technology hinges on substantial investments to upgrade infrastructure in the core fiber backhaul network to support growth in data services.
More efforts to develop smart connected homes, hospitals, factories, buildings, cities and self-driving vehicles bode well for industry players. These firms invest heavily in LTE, broadband and fiber to provide additional capacity and Boost Internet and wireless networks. These initiatives hold promise.
The Uptick in Wi-Fi 6 Networking to Drive Momentum: Brisk technological advancement, dynamic products, high-speed connectivity, low latency and evolving industry standards define the Computer Networking industry. The growing clout of the latest Wi-Fi 6-compliant residential gateways, Wi-Fi routers, set-top boxes and wireless range extenders is a testament to the same. Wi-Fi 6 — the latest 802.11ax wireless standard — is estimated to offer 30% faster network speed over 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5). This is anticipated to bolster the industry participants’ top line.
Innovation in Networking Technologies is Opening New Business Avenues: Growing clout of Smart Home and Internet-connected products such as Smart TVs, game consoles, High Definition (HD) streaming players, security cameras, thermostats and smoke detectors continue to drive innovations in networking. The rapid proliferation of IoT, the increasing popularity of smart connected devices and the growing adoption of cloud computing in network security fuel the demand for an efficient network support infrastructure.
The advancements in AI and ML and the high adoption of cloud applications hold immense potential for companies in the industry. Enterprises are striving to manage fixed and wireless devices in a secured infrastructure. To address the demand, industry firms are driving innovation in networking technologies, including network virtualization and Software-Defined Networking (SDN), which favors growth prospects.
Increase in IT Spending Amid Economic Turmoil Bodes Well: Per a Gartner report, worldwide IT spending is expected to increase 4.3% in 2023 from 2022 levels and reach around $4.7 trillion. The report added that despite macroeconomic headwinds, enterprises are increasing spending on digital business initiatives, which bodes well for industry participants.
Gartner states that the software segment is likely to witness double-digit growth in the current year. However, consumers are deferring spending on the purchase of devices, which will likely affect the IT spending growth to an extent in 2023. Gartner expects the devices segment to decline by nearly 8.6% in 2023.
The Zacks Computer - Networking Industry is housed within the broader Zacks Computer and Technology sector. It carries a Zacks Industry Rank of 28, positioning it in the top 11% of more than 252 Zacks industries.
The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates bright near-term prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.
The industry’s positioning in the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries results from a positive aggregate earnings outlook for the constituent companies. Looking at the aggregate earnings estimate revisions, analysts are optimistic about this group’s earnings growth potential. The industry’s earnings estimate for 2023 has improved to earnings of $3.09 against a loss of $2.95 as of Jan 31, 2023.
Before we present a few stocks that you may want to consider for your portfolio, considering bright prospects, let us look at the industry’s recent stock-market performance and valuation picture.
The Zacks Computer – Networking industry has outperformed the S&P 500 composite and the broader Zacks Computer and Technology sector in the past year.
The industry is up 16% over this period compared with the broader sector’s gain of 13.9%. The S&P 500 has gained 6.9% over the same time frame.
On the basis of the forward 12-month price-to-earnings ratio (P/E), which is a common multiple for valuing Computer – Networking stocks, we see that the industry is currently trading at 15.58X compared with the S&P 500’s 19.10X. It is also below the sector’s forward-12-month P/E of 23.93X.
In the past five years, the industry has traded as high as 20.33X and as low as 12.56X, with media being at 15.64X.
Extreme Networks: Based in Morrisville, NC, Extreme Networks provides next-generation switching solutions that cater to the increasing requirements of enterprise local area networks or LAN, internet service and content providers.
Higher deployment of 5G base stations on accelerated demand for 5G networking is expected to boost growth prospects. Acquisitions like Ipanema bode well in the long haul. Earlier in the year, the company unveiled the ExtremeCloud Edge platform that covers public to private to edge cloud deployments and aids customers in lowering operating costs related to the management of many cloud platforms. The company expects new product innovations like universal hardware, end-to-end cloud management and enhanced AI to boost growth prospects.
Extreme Networks carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2024 is pegged at $1.55 per share, indicating an increase of 42.2% year over year. Shares have increased 99.6% in the past year.
RADCOM: This Tel Aviv, Israel-based company specializes in providing cloud-native, automated service assurance offerings for telecommunication operators for 5G networks.
The company recently reported its second-quarter 2023 results, with revenues totaling $12.4 million, up 11% on a year-over-year basis. The company recently unveiled a 5G assurance solution on Google Cloud. The company noted that availability on Google Cloud will extend availability of 5G assurance solutions to clients to help them streamline 5G rollouts.
RADCOM carries a Zacks Rank #1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s 2023 earnings is pegged at 39 cents per share, up 30% in the past 60 days.
Cisco: Headquartered in San Jose, CA, Cisco provides performance management, cybersecurity and DDoS protection solutions. Cisco is riding on the growing demand for its security products. Its security portfolio benefits from the launch of new data loss prevention, firewall and zero trust capabilities. Zero Trust portfolio is riding on strong demand for its Duo offering. Optimized application experience is benefiting from strong demand for ThousandEyes.
Its investments across the security business, focusing on cloud-based and AI-driven offerings, are expected to drive growth. Expanding growth opportunities for low-power-consuming technologies, including IoT, Silicon One and Power over Ethernet, bodes well for Cisco.
Cisco carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2024 earnings is pegged at $4.04 per share. Shares have increased 16.9% in the past year.
Since 2000, our top stock-picking strategies have blown away the S&P's +6.2 average gain per year. Amazingly, they soared with average gains of +46.4%, +49.5% and +55.2% per year. Today you can access their live picks without cost or obligation.
See Stocks Free >>
Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ZacksInvestmentResearch/
Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
Past performance is no certain of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of genuine portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can obtain 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Extreme Networks, Inc. (EXTR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Radcom Ltd. (RDCM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research
The convergence of information technology (IT) with operational technology (OT) and engineering technology (ET) is a crucial enabler for digital transformation in companies, particularly asset-intensive industries such as mining and manufacturing. We can see this in the partnership between AFRY, a leader in engineering design and advisory services, and Infosys, a leader in next-generation digital services and consulting.
This article focuses on AFRY’s process industry business and how the two companies partnered to deliver an IT-OT-ET integrated "single source of truth," assuring data integrity from the time of initial engineering and construction and across all the plant lifecycle stages, speeding the ability to ramp up to design capacity, eliminate delays due to engineering rework and costly design fixes, reduce unplanned downtime and Boost overall plant performance and productivity.
AFRY is a trailblazer in a domain that has traditionally been slow in fully embracing the latest technological advances. As Kai Vikman, COO at AFRY, noted, "Successful IT-OT-ET integration is a clear prerequisite to reap the benefits of digital manufacturing at scale." He also believes that this will be an obligation with the new European Data Act calling for more harmonized rules on fair access to and use of data.
Getting started: The handover from construction to operations
The life span of a process plant in industries such as industrial chemical manufacturing is typically more than 50 years. Building such a plant is a complex multistep process, and its success will rely heavily on effective collaboration among all stakeholders covering multiple disciplines from process engineering to mechanical engineering to architecture to electrical and instrumentation to piping and construction.
After the plant is complete, there is a handover of information from the builder to the plant operator. The handover may involve millions of documents from multiple engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors. Transferring relevant data in a format usable by the plant’s operations and maintenance is a challenge and a potential inhibiter that could add months or years to the schedule for making the plant fully operational.
The data involved in this process spans multiple disciplines. It might include the standard technical specifications, process and instrumentation and process flow diagrams, architectural designs and schematics, electrical circuit diagrams, instrumentation details or a 3-D model of the plan. Each of these elements adds to the complexity.
Leveraging global standards for data sharing and integration
IT-OT-ET integration plays a central role as a critical facilitator for many other systems and information integration. The key to success is information standardization, ensuring minimum effort to hand over information between parties. Infosys worked with AFRY to establish the standard guiding principles and class libraries from multiple industry standards and best practices, as no single standard could address the data integration challenges across the lifecycle. The approach uses ISO 15926 (“Integration of lifecycle data for process plants, including oil and gas production facilities”), a globally recognized standard for data sharing and integrating complex plant and project information.
ISO 15926’s Resource Description Framework (RDF) acts as a universal reference across disparate information systems, providing a neutral information layer with which any software application with an ISO 15926 adaptor can exchange data. It preserves the precise meaning of the data as it is being exchanged by referencing a data dictionary containing definitions of all objects and associated attributes within the plant. This ability for systems to exchange information with shared meaning by using universal standards is called semantic interoperability.
In a semantic implementation, data arrives pre-packaged with self-described context, and the receiving system can derive meaning from that data through a universal vocabulary. In this case, Infosys added data about the data (i.e., metadata) and linked each element to a controlled, shared vocabulary defined by ISO 15926.
Other standards leveraged were the Capital Facilities Information Handover Specification (CFIHOS) and the DEXPI Initiative, promoting general data exchange standards for the process industry, with a current focus on Piping and Instrumentation diagrams. Infosys also used the OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) standard for operational technology integration for machine-to-machine communications for industrial automation.
Together with Infosys, AFRY has set up a sandbox environment integrating Virtual Site, a plant engineering system, SAP, the enterprise business planning system, and the Simatic platform, a plant automation system, to demonstrate new use cases. The structured data is implemented in an application server that binds the semantics to data based on the chosen standards to retrieve information in subsequent applications efficiently. The environment is currently set up on the Microsoft Azure platform but can be implemented on any on-premise or public cloud platforms. The unique contribution of the AFRY-Infosys partnership is the standardization and harmonization of data using the interoperability layer aligning to global standards.
Overall benefits of a single integrated source of truth
By integrating plant lifecycle data across the IT, OT and ET domains, Infosys and AFRY were able to build a single source of truth across the plant lifecycle—a digital twin of the entire plant. The digital twin is an exact digital representation of the physical plant and accurately reflects the state of the plant, including all of the information about work processes for operations and maintenance and engineering information.
Sharing integrated plant engineering data in the correct format between EPC companies and the plant operator reduced delays, rework, conflicts and change orders during the construction phase. Multidisciplinary engineering data simplified conformance to regulatory, environmental, safety and compliance standards.
For operations, a single source of information available at the right time, place and format led to significant improvements in long-term lifecycle performance and optimization, maximizing plant yield and efficiency. Safety information management with standardized processes, augmented by safe working training, led to fewer safety accidents and less lost time due to injury.
Effective maintenance management reduced unplanned downtime and a significant reduction in maintenance costs thanks to well-organized maintenance data and procedures, easy-to-find technical data sheets and ready access to spare parts. Deploying engineering data management as a shared data source to support digital solutions such as predictive maintenance resulted in improved productivity per technician and reductions in mean time-to-repair.
The challenges that AFRY is tackling are in a domain that has been hesitant and slow to embrace the latest technological advances fully. The result has been fragmentation, inadequate collaboration with suppliers and insufficient knowledge transfer information from project to project. For the longest time, plant engineering data has resided in silos.
When a problem occurs in the plant, it is hard for engineers, operations and maintenance people to access information and identify the cause. When changes occur, it takes way too long to update the other systems that need to know about the change. The result is that the systems people rely on don't have accurate or sufficient data. The industry needs a radical approach. If digitalization is the primary goal, interoperability is the means to achieve it, and interoperability requires standardization.
Transactional and business process information (from IT), the monitoring and analysis of industrial assets (OT) and the use of engineering design data (ET) are all essential for the proper day-to-day function of a process plant. The incremental value of the AFRY-Infosys partnership comes from creating interoperability among these domains when the IT-OT-ET data is brought together in a single source of truth as the foundation for a digital enterprise.
Moor Insights & Strategy provides or has provided paid (wish services to technology companies, like all tech industry research and analyst firms. These services include research, analysis, advising, consulting, benchmarking, acquisition matchmaking, and video and speaking sponsorships. The company has had or currently has paid business relationships with 8×8, Accenture, A10 Networks, Adobe, Advanced Micro Devices, Amazon, Amazon Web Services, Ambient Scientific, Ampere Computing, Analog Devices, Anuta Networks, Applied Brain Research, Applied Micro, Apstra, Arm, Aruba Networks (now HPE), Atom Computing, AT&T, Aura, Avaya Holdings, Automation Anywhere, AWS, A-10 Strategies, Bitfusion, Blaize, Box, Broadcom, C3.AI, Calix, Cadence Systems, Campfire, Cisco Systems, Clear Software, Cloudera, Clumio, Cohesity, Cognitive Systems, CompuCom, Cradlepoint, CyberArk, Dell, Dell EMC, Dell Technologies, Diablo Technologies, Dialogue Group, Digital Optics, Dreamium Labs, D-Wave, Echelon, Elastic, Ericsson, Extreme Networks, Five9, Flex, Fortinet, Foundries.io, Foxconn, Frame (now VMware), Frore Systems, Fujitsu, Gen Z Consortium, Glue Networks, GlobalFoundries, Revolve (now Google), Google Cloud, Graphcore, Groq, Hiregenics, Hotwire Global, HP Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Honeywell, Huawei Technologies, HYCU, IBM, Infinidat, Infoblox, Infosys, Inseego, IonQ, IonVR, Inseego, Infosys, Infiot, Intel, Interdigital, Intuit, Iron Mountain, Jabil Circuit, Juniper Networks, Keysight, Konica Minolta, Lattice Semiconductor, Lenovo, Linux Foundation, Lightbits Labs, LogicMonitor, LoRa Alliance, Luminar, MapBox, Marvell Technology, Mavenir, Marseille Inc, Mayfair Equity, MemryX, Meraki (Cisco), Merck KGaA, Mesophere, Micron Technology, Microsoft, MiTEL, Mojo Networks, MongoDB, Movandi, Multefire Alliance, National Instruments, Neat, NetApp, Netskope, Nightwatch, NOKIA, Nortek, Novumind, NTT, NVIDIA, Nutanix, Nuvia (now Qualcomm), NXP, onsemi, ONUG, OpenStack Foundation, Oracle, Palo Alto Networks, Panasas, Peraso, Pexip, Pixelworks, Plume Design, PlusAI, Poly (formerly Plantronics), Portworx, Pure Storage, Qualcomm, Quantinuum, Rackspace, Rambus, Rayvolt E-Bikes, Red Hat, Renesas, Residio, Rigetti Computing, Ring Central, Salseforce.com, Samsung Electronics, Samsung Semi, SAP, SAS, Scale Computing, Schneider Electric, SiFive, Silver Peak (now Aruba-HPE), SkyWorks, SONY Optical Storage, Splunk, Springpath (now Cisco), Spirent, Splunk, Sprint (now T-Mobile), Stratus Technologies, Symantec, Synaptics, Syniverse, Synopsys, Tanium, Telesign,TE Connectivity, TensTorrent, Tobii Technology, Teradata,T-Mobile, Treasure Data, Twitter, Unity Technologies, UiPath, Verizon Communications, VAST Data, Veeam, Ventana Micro Systems, Vidyo, Volumez, VMware, Wave Computing, Wells Fargo, Wellsmith, Xilinx, Zayo, Zebra, Zededa, Zendesk, Zoho, Zoom, and Zscaler.
Is the inevitable backlash against generative artificial intelligence at hand? Some early signals suggest the possibility, but you’d never know it from all the fundings and new products streaming out this week, as SiliconANGLE documented in a raft of stories this week.
We also covered the better-than-expected quarterly earnings from Cisco Systems Inc., which gave investors hope that a tech spending lull might be easing. Meantime, though, some cybersecurity companies are struggling as generative AI could be siphoning off information technology investments. Crypto isn’t dead yet despite the ongoing wintry conditions. And Intel Corp. dropped its bid for Tower Semiconductor after China’s regulators essentially nixed it — another in a string of bad news for the struggling chipmaking giant — even as Arm Ltd.’s IPO moves ahead.
For an insightful and entertaining take on this and other news in enterprise and emerging tech, check out this week’s theCUBE Pod, John Furrier’s and Dave Vellante’s weekly podcast. And this weekend, look for Vellante’s Breaking Analysis, his weekly deep dive on an enterprise tech trend.
I’ll kick things off this week with a look at the current state of the cybersecurity industry through the lens of one of its top leaders, Palo Alto Networks Inc., which announced earnings today.
Palo Alto held a highly unusual presentation on its earnings and a review of its strategy today — unusual in that Friday announcements are usually reserved for bad news. Not so today, since in Palo Alto’s case, the news was plenty good. (As Chief Executive Nikesh Arora apologetically explained on the call, which was kicked off with a remix of Rebecca Black’s 2011 earworm “Friday,” he wanted to leave time to talk one-on-one with analysts over the weekend before a planned company sales meeting that starts Sunday, on top of a board meeting this week.)
Anyway, the company reported its fiscal fourth-quarter profit before certain costs such as stock compensation jumped 90% from a year ago, to $482.5 million, or $1.44 a share. Net profit hit $227.7 million, or 64 cents a share. Revenue rose 26%, to $2 billion.
The outlook was positive as well. For its fiscal first quarter, the company expects adjusted earnings of $1.15 to $1.17 a share, up 40% at the midpoint, on a 16% to 18% rise in revenue, to as much as $1.85 billion. For the full year, the revenue forecast is a tick higher, between 18% and 19%, with adjusted earnings up 19% to 22%.
Investors liked the results. Palo Alto’s shares were rising more than 8% in after-hours trading. Shares were already up 80% on the year through the start of August.
“The report is better than feared,” Ivana Delevska, founder and chief investment officer of investment adviser Spear Invest, told me. “Guidance is light, but given the timing of the report many investors were expecting something much worse like an accounting restatement, or management change.”
Arora touted the “changing environment” that drove more customers toward “platformization,” meaning customers that buy multiple product lines. To that end, Arora said the company was surprised by the strength of its extended security intelligence and automation management, or XSIAM, product, with bookings of more than $200 million in its first year.
XSIAM, in its Cortex line, combines endpoint detection and response or EDR, security orchestration automation and response or SOAR, attack surface management or ASM, and security information and event management or SIEM technologies into a single solution. Many other companies offer these separately, which can be a pain point for customers that often must juggle many different cybersecurity products from different companies.
Despite the positive results, it’s no easy sledding these days, given high interest rates that are tamping down spending. “There is more scrutiny” on deals, Arora said. “There are some that get stretched or get canceled.”
During a 90-minute presentation, Arora dug into the evolution of what he says is a $213 billion cybersecurity market. There are new segments such as SASE, cloud security and internet of things security that contribute $29 billion, transforming segments such as endpoint and XDR as well as SIEM and network security at a collective $72 billion, steady segments such as identity, app security, data and email security at a total of $31 billion, and $81 billion in services.
“We were told customers don’t want platforms, they wanted best-of-breed solutions,” Arora noted. Instead, he said, Palo Alto is aiming to do both, through what the company calls a “build and buy” strategy, to become the largest pure-play cybersecurity provider. Cisco and Microsoft are larger, but of course cyber is just part of their businesses.
The upshot of all this is that Palo Alto looks to continue as a consolidator in this industry, along with a few others such as CrowdStrike Holdings Inc., Check Point Software Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. The industry does seem to be splitting between larger companies continuing to grow and roll up smaller companies and others struggling to maintain traction either because of aging technology or because IT departments are diverting more spending toward AI. Just in the past week or so, Rapid7 and Secureworks laid off workers. And Arora noted that there are 3,000 cyber startups out there — clearly unsustainable.
“We believe M&A will pick up significantly in the second half and 2024 and companies like Palo Alto that have the capital availability are in a solid position to benefit,” Delevska said. “We see ‘shift left’ as a major theme for M&A, that is, cybersecurity embedded earlier in the software development cycle.”
She also thinks there will be only a limited number of industry consolidators, in particular Palo Alto and CrowdStrike. “M&A has been hit-and-miss in cybersecurity and therefore track record is key,” she said.
Going forward, Arora sees a need for, and shift to, more real-time and autonomous security. “We will see a standard platform for security,” he vowed. “That’s the only way we’re going to get to the future we need for real-time and AI-based security.”
More cyber news below.
A well-known AI skeptic raises doubts about generative AI that are worth memorizing even if the essential critique is, as often with Gary Marcus, points to inflated expectations more than a complete lack of utility: What if Generative AI turned out to be a Dud? Also, Benedict Evans is unimpressed so far, though it’s a bit mystifying he can’t find any good use for it. Plus, gen AI has landed right at the top of Gartner’s Hype Cycle and you know what that means.
Axios talks to larger companies struggling to implement generative AI.
Some observers even think the AI startup Gold Rush is ending: A.I. startups are losing their bloom for seed investors, argues one VC
But that seems slightly early, many startups keep on coming: Former Google researchers launch startup to build nature-inspired neural networks and Elemental Cognition, led by IBM Watson’s former head, raises $60M
It’s getting competitive on the gen AI infrastructure front: Continuing AI investment is why the GPU battle, for one, keeps intensifying — and the software matters as much as the hardware, which is why Modular could raise so much money: AI software startup Modular seeks bumper Series A round to challenge Nvidia. Of course, the big guys such as Amazon are already well into this chips-and-software race: How Amazon is racing to catch Microsoft and Google in generative A.I. with custom AWS chips. Meantime, per the New York Times, the GPU shortage rages on.
And then there’s the endlessly fundraising Databricks: Databricks looking to raise ‘hundreds of millions’ in fresh funding to fuel generative AI push But Furrier notes in theCUBE Pod podcast that it’s not out of need for cash but striking while the AI iron is hot.
For better or — in the case of the Iowa school board that wants to ban books they can’t be bothered to read — for worse, harnessing chatbots for content moderation: OpenAI finds GPT-4 can Boost online platforms’ content moderation efforts
Even the big large language model creators are looking to provide industry-specific AI models: Anthropic raises $100M from SK Telecom to build AI for telecommunications Do they become AI superclouds? And in the same vein: Arthur launches open-source tool to help companies make data-driven decisions about LLMs
About the worry over those LLM data leaks — someone’s working on that: DynamoFL raises $15.1M to tackle language model data leaks
“Hey Google, what should I do?” Google DeepMind reportedly developing at least 21 new generative AI features Not scary at all, nope.
And the hardware suppliers see an opportunity to bundle things to make AI development easier, though it’s not clear how big a market there is for this kind of thing outside the big cloud providers: Nutanix offers quick-start approach to AI development
OpenAI makes its first acquisition: OpenAI acquires digital products company Global Illumination for undisclosed price
Amazon finds some low-hanging gen AI fruit: Amazon adds AI-powered review summaries to its e-commerce marketplace
Cybersecurity companies still cutting costs perhaps as AI steals some budget: Cybersecurity provider Secureworks to let go 15% of its workforce, on the heels of Rapid7 layoffs last week.
Strom looks at the latest CPU attacks and concludes they will be tough to fix quickly: Mitigating the latest processor attacks will be a chore on many levels
Same deal with phishing: New reports show phishing is on the rise — and getting more sophisticated
And another security issue in IoT (maybe take the stairs next time): New widespread IoT compromise could affect millions of logic controllers
Finally, here’s detailed advice on how to avoid security fatigue: How to prevent multifactor authentication fatigue attacks
Cisco earnings beat estimates and its stock rises a bit after-hours. At first a seemingly weak forecast from the industry bellwether raised doubts about tech infrastructure spending, but subsequent company comments and analysis indicate a good quarter and equally good outlook after all: In a positive sign for tech spending, Cisco’s stock rises on strong earnings and prospects for AI
More China economic war fallout: Intel scraps its $5.4B acquisition of Tower Semiconductor Vellante and Furrier think Intel’s in deep trouble, as they describe on theCUBE Pod. Tower wasn’t a game-changer in itself, but it’s hard to see how CEO Pat Gelsinger can revive Intel’s fortunes anytime soon.
Arm’s IPO to get rolling next month: SoftBank reportedly buys back 25% Arm stake from its Vision Fund unit
Crypto ain’t dead yet: Despite crypto downturn, BitGo raises $100M at $1.75B valuation and ZetaChain raises $27M. Plus Coinbase secures approval to offer crypto futures to US customers. And Crypto hardware wallet maker Ledger teams up with PayPal
That was quick: SUSE to be taken private by its majority shareholder
Eliminating the decryption tax for querying encrypted data: MongoDB unveils data encryption tech for developers to boosting data privacy and compliance
Supercomputers in the cloud: Harvard researchers clone supercomputer on Google Cloud
Sassine Ghazi to become CEO of chip design software firm Synopsys
Big changes in Europe for big tech: Doing business in Europe? Time to focus on its new Digital Services Act – now
VMware Explore runs Aug. 21-24, and SiliconANGLE and theCUBE will be covering it in Las Vegas.
Earnings from Zoom, Nvidia, Snowflake, NetApp, Splunk, Autodesk and Workday
Then the following week, Aug. 29-31, is Google Cloud Next, also to be covered onsite at Moscone Center in San Francisco by SiliconANGLE and theCUBE.