AvePoint lands $200M investment to expand market for Microsoft cloud governance tools

While Microsoft cloud services such as SharePoint, Microsoft Teams and Office 365 are used widely by large organizations, the products don’t come standard with an enterprise-grade control layer. That’s where AvePoint, a Microsoft independent software (ISV), comes in. Today, the company announced a $200 million Series C investment.

The round was led by TPG Sixth Street Partners with additional participation from prior investor Goldman Sachs and other unnamed investors. The round brings the total raised to $294 million, according to the company.

The company says that the equity investment has a couple of purposes. First of all it wants to provide some liquidity for long-time investors. Secondly, it wants capital for company expansion.

Specifically, it provides a set of governance and migration services for Microsoft SharePoint, Teams, Office 365, and other Microsoft SaaS products. The company has been around for 18 years, but transitioned about five years ago to protecting online services, chief marketing officer Dux Raymond Sy explained. Prior to that it concentrated on on-prem services like SharePoint backup.

Today, AvePoint takes care of few key management tasks. First of all, it provides a policy layer on top of Office 365, Microsoft Teams and SharePoint to give companies the ability to enforce usage rules across these products. For instance, it could define the types of files an employee can share in Teams.

In addition, the company provides backup for the three services and others like Microsoft Dynamics to aid in disaster recovery, and finally it has migration tools to move data from a related cloud service to a Microsoft cloud service.

For example, AvePoint could help move documents from Google Drive to Office 365 or Slack data to Microsoft Teams.

Sy says the company has been growing rapidly with four consecutive quarters of record growth, which he said works out to about 40% year over year growth. AvePoint currently has 1250 employees serving 16,000 customers. Overall, it is helping to protect 7 million Microsoft cloud service users around the world, but it has a long-term, rather ambitious goal of adding more than 40,000 new customers.

It hopes to expand its market further by adding new services to sell to existing customers, while expanding aggressively into the SMB market. It also wants to enhance relationships with channel partners to sell AvePoint on its behalf. It already has a number of channel partners including Ingram Micro, Synnex and TechData.

The new investment should help the company invest in the engineering, sales, customer service and partner relations that this level of expansion will no doubt require.

Google Kubeflow, machine learning for Kubernetes, begins to take shape

Ever since Google created Kubernetes as an open source container orchestration tool, it has seen it blossom in ways it might never have imagined. As the project gains in popularity, we are seeing many adjunct programs develop. Today, Google announced the release of version 0.1 of the Kubeflow open source tool, which is designed to bring machine learning to Kubernetes containers.

While Google has long since moved Kubernetes into the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, it continues to be actively involved, and Kubeflow is one manifestation of that. The project was only first announced at the end of last year at Kubecon in Austin, but it is beginning to gain some momentum.

David Aronchick, who runs Kubeflow for Google, led the Kubernetes team for 2.5 years before moving to Kubeflow. He says the idea behind the project is to enable data scientists to take advantage of running machine learning jobs on Kubernetes clusters. Kubeflow lets machine learning teams take existing jobs and simply attach them to a cluster without a lot of adapting.

With today’s announcement, the project begins to move ahead, and according to a blog post announcing the milestone, brings a new level of stability, while adding a slew of new features that the community has been requesting. These include Jupyter Hub for collaborative and interactive training on machine learning jobs and Tensorflow training and hosting support, among other elements.

Aronchick emphasizes that as an open source project you can bring whatever tools you like, and you are not limited to Tensorflow, despite the fact that this early version release does include support for Google’s machine learning tools. You can expect additional tool support as the project develops further.

In just over 4 months since the original announcement, the community has grown quickly with over 70 contributors, over 20 contributing organizations along with over 700 commits in 15 repositories. You can expect the next version, 0.2, sometime this summer.

Plot Thickens In Dell-EMC Deal As VMware Announces It’s Walking Away From Virtustream Deal With EMC

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Cloudyn Cloud Monitoring Service Catches $11 Million Investment

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CloudEndure Disaster Recovery Service Secures $7 Million Investment

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IBM Snags Clearleap Video Service As It Continues To Pick Off Strategic Cloud Properties

Video camera prepared to record. This morning IBM announced it was acquiring Clearleap, a company that gives it enterprise-grade video content management services in the cloud, and which adds another layer to its burgeoning cloud strategy.
IBM would not disclose the purchase price.
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Motus Wearable Sensors Bring Biomechanics Out Of The Lab And Into The Ball Park

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