(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc is testing a service to stock groceries directly to customers’ refrigerators as it seeks to take on e-commerce giant Amazon.com.
The delivery of groceries and meal kits is emerging as the next frontier of competition among retailers.
The world’s biggest brick-and-mortar retailer said on Friday it is partnering with August Home, a provider of smart locks and home accessories, to test the service with certain customers in the Silicon Valley. (bit.ly/2ffqqvT)
The grocery business is set to be upended through Amazon’s acquisition of upmarket grocer Whole Foods last month and the online retailer is also entrenching itself more deeply in the restaurants business.
Amazon Restaurants on Friday teamed up with online food ordering company Olo whose network of restaurants includes Applebee’s and Chipotle.
A Wal-Mart Stores Inc company distribution center in Bentonville, Arkansas June 6, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
The partnership will help Olo’s restaurant customers connect with Amazon’s delivery services.
The competition in the meal-kits business is also heating up. Supermarket operator Albertsons Cos Inc said it would buy meal-kit delivery service Plated while rival Kroger-owned Ralphs started selling meal kits in stores this week.
ONE-TIME PASSCODE DELIVERY
As part of the test, Wal-Mart delivery persons gain access to a customer’s house using a pre-authorized one-time passcode and put away groceries in the fridge and other items in the foyer.
Homeowners would receive notifications when the delivery is in progress and could also watch the real-time process from their home security cameras through the August Home app.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer has been exploring new methods of delivery and in June said it was testing using its own store employees to deliver packages ordered online.
Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma and Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D’Couto
The Cloud Native Computing Foundation, created to promote and develop technologies like Kubernetes and core components of the container ecosystem spawned by Docker, welcomed Amazon Web Services into its fold this week.
Amazon comes on board as a top-level (“platinum”) member. According to Amazon’s Adrian Cockcroft, now a member of the CNCF’s governing board, containers are the big reason Amazon’s getting involved — at least, initially.
Amazon already has a major investment in container tech. Its ECS service provides managed containers that run via machine images deployed on clusters of EC2 instances. Its older Elastic Beanstalk service can deploy and manage Docker containers, although they’re scaled and managed via Amazon’s own internal stack, not the CNCF’s Kubernetes. And users can always manually deploy Docker Enterprise Edition, a container-centric Linux such as CoreOS, or a Kubernetes cluster on EC2.
Financial services companies as popular targets of cybercriminals for the obvious reason — they’re where the money’s at. And health care companies have medical records, which are very valuable on the black market since the information there can be abused in so many ways, and doesn’t expire.
HealthExpense, which provides health care payment services to banks and their enterprise customers, straddles both worlds.
“When we started, every new client asked us about security,” said Marco Smit, CEO at Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Health Expense.
“It has to do with the data we’re collecting,” said company CSO Ken Lee. “We are definitely bound by HIPAA compliance, and we hold all the personal health information and financial information.”
Has Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Google Home taken up residence in your home? If not, you’re probably at least considering adding one of these digital helpers. They are supremely useful after all, providing assistance with everything from weather forecasts to smart-home control. All you need to do is ask.
Stratoscale is a small company with a very big ambition: to turn your datacenter into an Amazon Web Services (AWS) region. Forget OpenStack, forget VMware. Stratoscale aims to help IT shops get beyond device-level virtualization and deliver the same app-friendly building blocks AWS provides. In the process, the company promises to cut the cost of operating datacenters by more than 80 percent.
Oracle executives on Tuesday revealed the results of years’ worth of engineering and development efforts on its IaaS public cloud and announced a new bare metal cloud database service and an international geographic expansion.
Oracle is typically not considered one of the top IaaS public cloud leaders, but the company has hopes of competing in the market by combining its infrastructure services – which focus on its core database services – with a suite of application development and software as a service offerings. At its Cloud World event in New York, company executives laid out their vision of how they will take on competitors such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Salesforce.com.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority moved its key market surveillance functionality onto EC2 in 2014, and is making plans to migrate the Oracle database it uses for registration from an internal data center to an AWS service. InformationWeek: Cloud
At the AWS re:Invent show, Network World’s Brandon Butler takes a closer look at the AWS Snowball offering. The ruggedized appliance helps enterprises migrate very large amounts of data to Amazon’s cloud. InfoWorld Cloud Computing
Larry Ellison continued his assault on Amazon during his second keynote address at Oracle OpenWorld on Tuesday.
“Amazon Web Services are simply not optimized for the Oracle Database. I’ll go further than that: Amazon Web Services aren’t optimized for their own databases either, as you will see,” he said, while displaying a set of benchmarks that showed Oracle Database performing several times faster on Oracle’s cloud than it does on Amazon’s cloud. “It doesn’t get better, it gets worse.”
Larry Ellison continued his assault on Amazon during his second keynote address at Oracle OpenWorld on Tuesday.
“Amazon Web Services are simply not optimized for the Oracle Database. I’ll go further than that: Amazon Web Services aren’t optimized for their own databases either, as you will see,” he said, while showing off a set of benchmarks that showed Oracle Database performing several times faster on Oracle’s cloud than it does on Amazon’s cloud. “It doesn’t get better, it gets worse.”
Fast-growing Hudl provides coaches and athletes with key feedback based on its customers’ video uploaded to the cloud. Like many other startups, the company relies on Amazon Web Services for its backend support. InformationWeek: Cloud
The bot revolution is happening fast for Facebook. After launching third-party bots in April offering everything from forecasts to your boarding pass, the social network says there are now more than 11,000 bots active on Facebook.
To celebrate, Facebook is adding a bunch of new features that could show up on your favorite bots soon—if developers enable them, that is.
As SAP holds its annual Sapphire Now user conference in Orlando this week, two of the leading IaaS providers are making the case for running SAP apps on their public clouds.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella joined SAP CEO Bill McDermott during the Sapphire keynotes on Tuesday to announce a broad partnership between the two companies that will optimize the Azure public cloud to run SAP workloads.
Sometimes the hardest part of performing a cloud migration is figuring out what has to be migrated in the first place. That’s one idea behind Amazon’s now generally available AWS ADS (Application Discovery Service), which polls existing on-premises systems and determines what apps they’re running as a prelude to migration.
Originally announced in April, ADS is yet another sign that Amazon is more interested in building a one-way bridge into its cloud than in creating a two-way street involving a hybrid cloud strategy.
Amazon showed off its dominance in the public cloud market on Thursday as the capstone to a better than expected quarterly earnings report.
Revenue from Amazon Web Services during the first quarter of 2016 was up 64 percent year-over-year, showing the big money that’s still out there as companies invest more and more in the public cloud.
Amazon’s cloud platform generated revenue of $ 2.56 billion, putting it on pace to make $ 10 billion this year, in line with a letter from CEO Jeff Bezos sent to shareholders earlier this month. That’s big money to go with Amazon’s massive customer base, which includes names like Netflix, Time Inc., and Intuit.
In an interview with Matt Wood, Chief product strategist at Amazon Web Services, one thing that stuck out was how big of an emphasis he placed on AWS Lambda.
Many people probably don’t know what Lambda is, or why it’s important. But Wood says it could usher in a new era of application development and cloud-based hosting. And perhaps most interestingly, it could be a replacement for one of Amazon’s core cloud services: Virtual machines.
+ MORE AWS FROM NETWORK WORLD: Q&A with Amazon Web Service’s strategist on competing with Google and Microsoft and building the next big thing in the cloud +
Do you have an older Amazon Kindle? Beware that it may lose its connection to the cloud unless you update it today or tomorrow — otherwise, you’ll need to fiddle with USB cables, and ain’t nobody got time for that.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers make like Sweet Brown. Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
Amazon does a U-turn over encryption on the Kindle Fire (and other toys using the Android-derived Fire OS). In a one-line PR statement, Amazon says encryption will come back to the suspiciously-cheap units in the springtime.
Really, so what? Amazon was probably correct when it said users didn’t want the feature. Because of the painfully weak hardware in these useless tablets, switching on encryption would have been a recipe for frustration, reduced battery life, and general sad feels.
So don’t store confidential information on them. Stick to using Amazon tablets for what they’re designed to do: consuming media and buying stuff.
Amazon.com comes under fire for disabling encryption on Kindle Fire tablets, and other toys that use the Android-fork Fire OS 5. Since the “quiet” change, the devices can no longer encrypt the data stored in them.
Cue: Tedious comparisons with Apple. When asked, Amazon PR explained users didn’t care for the feature. Perhaps that had something to do with the utterly weak CPUs inside these nasty, plastic boxes.
Heavily regulated industries with lots of regulation compliance rules, such as healthcare and finance services, have found the cloud to be a bridge too far, since they had such strict controls over data, where it resided and how it was protected.
Late last year, Amazon sought to fix that issue with its Amazon Web Services EC2 Dedicated Hosts, which provide dedicated physical servers, along with the management and visibility tools, to ensure a more granular control over which VMs certain applications and data reside.
“EC2 Dedicated Hosts are a good choice for any customer looking to save money by leveraging existing server-bound software license investments within EC2. Dedicated Hosts can also help customers meet compliance and regulatory requirements by giving more flexibility, visibility, and control over the placement of instances on dedicated hardware,” says Jim Sherhart, senior product marketing manager at Amazon Web Services.
One of the under-the-radar announcements at Amazon Web Service’s re:Invent cloud conference last year was the announcement of Snowball. It’s a box the size of a small suitcase filled with storage drives. Amazon will ship you one, customers can load it up, then send it back to Amazon and upload data 50 terabytes at a time into the cloud. Check out a video of Amazon executives revealing Snowball here.