TradeBeyond Acquires Pivot88 

This is not exactly in my field, but this acquisition news opens a door on what’s happening in supply chain technology markets.

TradeBeyond announced that it has acquired Pivot88, the trusted SaaS provider of quality, compliance, and traceability solutions to brands and retailers around the world. 

Powered by Applied AI, Pivot88’s platform enables a 360-degree view of products from cradle to grave, equipping retail businesses with actionable supply chain data to mitigate risk. The company orchestrates quality and compliance processes across more than 50,000 supply chain partners in 112 countries. Its customers include many of the world’s largest and most recognizable brands and retailers.  

This strategic acquisition reinforces TradeBeyond’s commitment to offering the most comprehensive multi-enterprise platform to streamline retail supply chains, enabling businesses to bring products to market more efficiently, responsibly, and profitably. The combination of TradeBeyond’s deep solutions in product development, sourcing, and supply chain management with Pivot88’s rich, AI-powered functionality in quality, compliance, and traceability will create a powerful platform that is unparalleled in the market.

Since EQT’s investment into the company in 2022, TradeBeyond has invested heavily in organic growth, expanding its geographic reach and product offerings, particularly its ESG solutions. As a result, TradeBeyond is on track to double its recurring revenue growth in 2023. The Pivot88 acquisition is a major step in TradeBeyond’s M&A strategy to invest in pioneering solutions that will better serve its expanding customer base and capture a larger share of the growing SaaS supply chain market. 

This strategic move will not only deepen TradeBeyond’s service offerings but also enhance operational efficiency. By pooling resources and expertise with Pivot88, the combined entity will generate economies of scale that will strengthen its competitive standing, allowing both brands to better meet the evolving needs of the global supply chain landscape. 

Data Security Platform Developer Releases Two Announcements

Laminar Announces AWS Built-in Solution for Data Security

Here is a little IT news. A start up I’ve not heard about before, Laminar, has built a data security platform working with the large cloud providers. It has recently published two announcements. 

The first announcement reveals it has worked with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to complete an AWS built-in co-build solution that automatically installs, configures, and integrates with native AWS Cloud Foundational Services across multiple domains such as identity, security, and operations.

Laminar is a member of the AWS Partner Network (APN) that built their software solution to include foundational AWS services like AWS CloudTrail, AWS Control Tower, and AWS Organizations to decrease risk, reduce operational overhead, and provide consistent observability in cloud environments. Utilizing a well-architected Modular Code Repository (MCR) that is both validated by AWS and designed specifically to add value to a partner solution, Laminar is equipped to help customers achieve their goals for scale, simplicity, and cost savings.

“By utilizing an AWS built-in co-build solution with the Laminar Data Security Platform, organizations will be able to gain the visibility and control needed to continue cloud data growth across AWS services while keeping it protected,” said Amit Shaked, CEO and co-founder, Laminar.

Laminar’s AWS built-in solution comes built in with AWS CloudTrail, making it easier for customers to discover, classify, secure, and monitor their sensitive data in the cloud. By processing CloudTrail logs, Laminar provides automated data detection and response (DDR) – alerting customers to real-time threats to their data and streamlining quick remediation. Laminar also helps identify the root cause of the data threat with event timelines and data access flowcharts.

The news is the latest development in Laminar’s deepening relationship with AWS. The company was also selected to be a launch partner for Amazon Security Lake at AWS re:Invent last November. Furthermore, Laminar’s platform was the first pure-play data security posture management (DSPM) to be named an AWS Security Competency Partner in the new Data Protection category, and has received the Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) Ready Product Designation.

Laminar Announced as Launch Partner for Wiz Integration (WIN) Platform

Laminar announces its partnership with leading cloud security provider, Wiz as the company unveils Wiz Integration (WIN) Platform. Laminar, hand selected as a launch partner, brings the power of the Laminar Data Security Platform to WIN, to improve customer understanding of how cloud vulnerabilities may put their sensitive data at risk.

The integration between Wiz and Laminar optimizes the value of both platforms while enabling organizations to more efficiently and effectively secure their public cloud environments. With this integration, data security teams can use the Laminar Platform to secure overexposed and unprotected data, remediate misplaced data, and delete any redundant, obsolete, or trivial (ROT) data — which ultimately ensures a more secure, hygienic data environment that meets compliance requirements. Pairing all of this data security posture with the Wiz platform allows cloud security teams to better understand how to prioritize cloud infrastructure vulnerabilities.

WIN enables Wiz and Laminar to share prioritized security findings with context including inventory, vulnerabilities, issues, and configuration findings. Mutual customers receive the following benefits:

  • Prevent Sensitive Data Exposure – Laminar enriches Wiz with a layer of data context that gives organizations additional visibility into the full impact of each attack path and issues.
  • Ruthless Prioritization – In collaboration with Laminar, Wiz enables infrastructure security teams to focus on issues that impact highly sensitive data first.
  • Streamline Collaboration and Remediation Workflows – With the joint solution, data security and infrastructure teams share data with a common view to contain and remediate risk faster.

WIN is designed to enable a cloud security operating model where security and cloud teams work collaboratively to understand and control risks across their CI/CD pipeline. Wiz is setting the industry standard in integrated solution strategy to maximize operational capabilities of organizations with partners like Laminar in WIN.

Snowflake Launches Manufacturing Data Cloud

Pundits and writers of the manufacturing market harp on data. Nassim Nicholas Taleb tells us in his writings that we can keep accumulating data until we drown. Snowflake has data management tools used by many to handle all the data. This is a new release called Snowflake Manufacturing Data Cloud that looks full of possibility.

  • Empowers manufacturers to collaborate with partners, suppliers, and customers to improve supply chain performance, product quality and factory efficiency
  • Snowflake’s ecosystem of manufacturing partners delivers pre-built solutions and industry datasets to support a diverse set of manufacturing and industrial use cases
  • Global manufacturers across industries, including ExxonMobil and Scania use Snowflake to drive digital transformation 

Snowflake Launches Manufacturing Data Cloud to Improve Supply Chain Performance and Power Smart Manufacturing

● The Manufacturing Data Cloud empowers manufacturers to collaborate with partners, suppliers, and customers to improve supply chain performance, product quality and factory efficiency

● Snowflake’s ecosystem of manufacturing partners delivers pre-built solutions and industry datasets to support a diverse set of manufacturing and industrial use cases

● Global manufacturers across industries, including ExxonMobil and Scania use Snowflake to drive digital transformation 

Manufacturing Data Cloud enables companies in automotive, technology, energy, and industrial sectors to unlock the value of their critical siloed industrial data by leveraging Snowflake’s data platform, Snowflake- and partner-delivered solutions, and industry-specific datasets. 

Following are a number of lists with details and use cases.

  • Building a data foundation: A single, fully-managed, secure platform for multi-cloud data consolidation with unified governance and elastic performance that supports virtually any scale of storage, compute, and users. It allows manufacturers to break down data silos by ingesting both IT and OT data and analyzing it alongside third-party partner data. 
  • Improving supply chain performance: Enable seamless data sharing and collaboration with partners for downstream and upstream visibility across an organization’s entire supply chain coupling its own data with data from third-party partners and data from Snowflake Marketplace. By leveraging this data with SQL and Snowpark, Snowflake’s developer framework for Python, Java, and Scala, different teams can collaborate on the same data and build AI and ML models.
  • Powering smart manufacturing: Native support for semi-structured, structured, and unstructured high volume Internet of Things (IoT) data. 
  • Leveraging industry leading network of manufacturing partners: Take advantage of a rich partner ecosystem and industry-specific, prebuilt templates. 

Partner Solutions

  • Applications Powered by Snowflake include ones developed by Blue Yonder, Elementum, and Avetta. 
  • Snowflake Marketplace partners, include FourKites and Yes Energy enabling live access to a variety of data sources.
  • Consulting and service organizations including Deloitte, LTIMindtree, and phData, offer pre-built solutions.
  • Technology leaders, including Fivetran and Tableau, provide integrations and out-of-the-box solutions. 

Customer use cases

  • ABB – The technology leader in electrification and automation is using Snowflake to unify all of its data, including incoming raw materials from suppliers, plant production capacity, and sales orders, to streamline manufacturing operations and meet customer demand. 
  • EDF –  The energy supplier for homes and businesses across the UK used Snowflake and its Snowpark Python development framework to build a complete machine learning operation solution in a few months, and deliver data products that lead to higher customer satisfaction and retention.
  • Molex – A leading manufacturer of connectors, is using the Snowflake Manufacturing Data Cloud to fuel their digital transformation journey, including sharing data securely across the organization and with external partners and generating manufacturing shop-floor and business KPIs. 
  • Scania – The truck, bus, and industrial engine manufacturer uses Snowflake to continuously stream data from 600,000 connected vehicles and Snowpark for Python to prepare data for machine learning, which gives the company a comprehensive view for monitoring vehicle performance and supporting Scania’s product-related services.

Meeting A New IT Company

[Updated 5/23/23]

An invitation came my way to talk with Alwyn Joseph, Chief Revenue Officer for FPT-USA. OK, I said, just what is that company? In brief, FPT is an information technology and services company based in Vietnam. This from a recent press release:

FPT Software is a global technology and IT services provider headquartered in Vietnam, with more than $632.5 million in revenue and 25,500 employees in 28 countries. As a pioneer in digital transformation, the company delivers world-class services in Smart factories, Digital platforms, RPA, AI, IoT, Cloud, AR/VR, BPO, and more. It has served 1000+ customers worldwide, a hundred of which are Fortune Global 500 companies in Automotive, Banking and Finance, Logistics & Transportation, Utilities, and more.

Joseph emphasized the company is more than just services, it is a technology company. It’s the second-largest ISP in Vietnam. The largest profit comes from work in the Americas. The leadership is intensely interested in helping people and even has developed a university with 100K students. They get intern work at FPT while in school. In fact, he added, the purpose of the company—it was founded to help community and nation building, invest in young people. It has brought many families out of poverty, creating healthy community.

I applaud the approach to projects—they start with the business outcome in mind. Too many engineers start with the engineering problem in mind and miss the big picture—why. He says they approach digital transformation initiatives to “think big, start smart, and scale very fast – with initial focus on 6-month projects, not 3-5 years.”

The latest news concerned the company positioned as a “Contender” in The Forrester Wave: Cloud Migration And Managed Service Partners In Asia Pacific, Q4 2022.

The report researched, analyzed, and scored the 14 most significant services providers across 27 criteria covering the current offering, strategy, and market presence. It shows that FPT Software received the highest score possible in the execution roadmap criterion. According to Forrester, “FPT Software has an impressive future roadmap and evidence that it has successfully delivered on its previous intentions.”

Additionally, the report stated that the company “supports delivery with its Japanese-inspired Digital Kaizen method and a cohesive, well-structured set of in-house developed tools… including the [platform CloudSuite] for multi-cloud management, monitoring, and cost optimization across AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP)”.

It is always interesting to become acquainted with a new (to me) company.

QAD CEO Speaks To Recent Acquisitions

While I was researching the QAD acquisition of RedZone, I noticed the prominence of something called “Adaptive Solutions.” When I mentioned I was curious about what that meant in beyond marketing terms, the PR team went to work and set up a conference call with QAD CEO Anton Chilton.

He told me, “The pace of change facing manufacturers has required a real-time response to situations. Industry models are changing. For instance, look at the automotive industry transitioning to electric vehicles. So they need solutions to adapt to rapid change.”

This explanation comes from the company’s website under the manufacturing tab—Digital manufacturing fully integrates planning, scheduling, quality, cost management, material movement and shop floor control. The solution allows manufacturers to leverage advanced digital manufacturing technologies to better communicate, analyze and use information to meet cost and quality objectives. Build a strong foundation for lean manufacturing concepts that eliminates waste throughout your operations. QAD’s manufacturing ERP capabilities also adapt to any style of manufacturing and to the unique needs of a geographic location and industry.

I mentioned that my experience and coverage usually ended with the MES layer. I have only a little ERP experience. Chilton said, “Some people see ERP as something like concrete poured in the form and left to harden. Enter a platform emphasizing no-code or low-code where users can build new capabilities on it without intrusive customization.” That sounds like a step in the right direction.

We spoke of the meaning of the RedZone acquisition. “We speak of the foundation of people, process, systems,” he said. “We due process and systems well with our current portfolio. With the RedZone acquisition, we can better address the people part of the equation. RedZone is a pure SaaS play providing real-time information to front line workers. It’s in the hands of workers on a tablet configured to each person’s role. The secret sauce includes locking in best practices such as kaizen right in the system on the tablet.  The system encourages the team to work collaboratively.”

I’m always curious about integrating the new acquisition into the existing structure. “RedZone can take in information from directly from QAD. It offers deeper interpretation with deeper modules, such as enterprise quality management and others.”

How good is this application? Chilton—“on overage RedZone users have seen 42% increased productivity for medium sized companies and 20% for large enterprises. It scales because it’s implemented at the plant level. The improvements are typically seen within the first 90 days on average. It’s in 1,000 locations with 300,000 users.”

Only a few months earlier, QAD had acquired LiveJourney. Its product is a data mining and predictive modeling application. It offers analysis of real-time data on the fly. It compares patterns from the actual to the as-designed. Managers and workers can use the results to find constraints or other problems and attack them as part of their Lean continuous improvement.

New IoT Services

Two announcements from HiveMQ.

HiveMQ Accelerates IoT Data Ingestion into Google Cloud 

Aligning your IT infrastructure with a major supplier can be not only expensive, but also it can leave you vulnerable to corporate decisions made far away. For example, Google recently announced plans to retire Google IoT Core, leaving customers with less than a year to migrate their IoT applications to a new service.

The latest Rework podcast from 37 Signals features co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson (@DHH) and Operations Director Eron Nicholson discussing leaving the cloud. They address this issue and others.

If you are caught by this shift in Google strategy, there is one possible solution just announced. HiveMQ has developed an MQTT broker that bypasses Google IoT Core to send up to billions of messages per day directly to Google Cloud for advanced analytics.

HiveMQ Enterprise Extension for Google Cloud Pub/Sub, is a new feature that seamlessly integrates MQTT data into Google Cloud. Organizations can now benefit from HiveMQ’s flexible, standards-based platform to send IoT data reliably and securely to Google Cloud enterprise services such as monitoring, advanced analytics and machine learning. 

HiveMQ can replace IoT Core’s MQTT data ingestion service to connect MQTT clients using HiveMQ’s MQTT broker and then map the MQTT message into Google Pub/Sub.

HiveMQ Enables Real-Time IoT Observability from Device to Cloud 

New feature traces MQTT data in real-time to give users better visibility into their IoT applications.

HiveMQ, a global leader in enterprise MQTT solutions, announced the availability of the HiveMQ Distributed Tracing Extension, a new feature that makes it possible to trace and debug MQTT data streams from device to cloud and back. Complete IoT observability requires insight into three pillars: metrics, traces and logs. HiveMQ has added distributed tracing to help organizations achieve end-to-end observability and make their IoT applications more performant and resilient. 

Distributed Tracing is a way to trace events and achieve a high-level overview of a message’s journey through multiple, complex systems. With the Distributed Tracing Extension, HiveMQ is the first MQTT broker to add OpenTelemetry support to provide complete transparency for every publish message that uses the HiveMQ MQTT broker. OpenTelemetry is an open standard for instrumentation that allows for interoperability across all services so organizations can achieve visibility over their entire system.

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