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SENDACHI LAUNCHES WITH $30M INITIAL FUNDING COMMITMENT TO HELP ENTERPRISES WORLDWIDE HARNESS THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF MODERN TECHNOLOGIES AND METHODOLOGIES

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SENDACHI LAUNCHES WITH $30M INITIAL FUNDING COMMITMENT TO HELP ENTERPRISES WORLDWIDE HARNESS THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF MODERN TECHNOLOGIES AND METHODOLOGIES

New company unites experts in the US and UK to provide enterprise IT project teams with hands-on guidance to achieve self-sufficiency in DevOps and continuous delivery.

Sendachi, a technology services firm created to facilitate vibrant, modern software development cultures within corporate IT departments, officially launched with a $30 million investment commitment from venture financier, Columbia Capital. Sendachi was formed through the merger of like-minded IT services companies, Clutch (based in Seattle) and Contino (based in London). Sendachi will be led by former Clutch CEO, Steven Anderson.

Sendachi is tackling one of the most vexing problems facing enterprise IT departments today. Specifically: how to accelerate deployment of new services and service enhancements to gain the agility and velocity that lets entrepreneurial and customer-centric approaches flourish. Achieving this goal is not trivial in the enterprise, where internal development teams are burdened by existing responsibilities to legacy applications and a technology stack that has grown, layer by layer, over multiple decades.

Many of the world’s biggest brands have begun to view software as a strategic differentiator, but creating the next wave of digital products and services requires experience with technologies such as cloud and containers, microservices architectures, and methods like Agile and DevOps. The most disruptive internet-age companies have demonstrated how harnessing these techniques can enable exponential growth and secure competitive advantage. Established enterprises want to follow suit, but need hands-on guidance and technical support to get there.

That’s where Sendachi excels. Its expert teams work alongside clients, mentoring them, so internal staff can experience modern systems and methodologies in a material way, and learn to replicate those strategies and tactics. “Our biggest differentiator,” says Anderson. “Is that we don’t train internal teams in an abstracted way, we participate with them, showing them how by executing their real-world work. It’s not academic; it’s absolutely practical. We show them how to use new stack technologies and work differently to achieve acceleration and quality.”

“Today’s enterprise IT landscape is full of new technologies and methodologies centered on agility and efficiency to help organizations address time, scale, business, competitive and other challenges,” says Jay Lyman, Research Manager, Cloud Management and Containers, 451 Research. “However, the reality is organizations must build on the infrastructure, process and people they already have in place in order to transform effectively and that means leveraging innovative software as well as intensive support to initiate and build out successful DevOps initiatives, applications and services.”

Sendachi is focused on customers in the upper midmarket and large enterprise across industries. Its staff has extensive experience in DevOps and continuous integration/continuous delivery, having worked with Fortune 50 companies in the US and Europe. Sendachi has its global headquarters in Seattle, with its European head office in London. Contino cofounders Benjamin Wootton and Matt Farmer remain with the new company, Wootton as vice president of technology for Europe and Farmer as GM of Europe and former Clutch principal Jerome Gagner has been appointed vice president of technology for the Americas, and former CA Technologies global digital transformation lead Justin Vaughan-Brown has been named vice president of marketing. The firm will hire aggressively over the next year on both continents.

“Across industries, from banking to media and even taxis, the threat or pain of software-based disruption is being felt. Enterprises have to make increasingly bold bets to stay ahead,” comments Wootton. “Over the next two years we will see more reorganizations, more insourcing, more re-platforming and more re-architecture than we saw in the previous decade as companies race to move from software legacy, to software as a competitive advantage. With a growing team on both sides of the Atlantic, we are looking forward to empowering more organizations with the skills, tools and culture to deliver that advantage.”

“Both Contino and Clutch are demonstrating that their enterprise customers can incrementally build from accomplishing low risk projects with new technologies and methods to strategic, enterprise-wide transformations,” says Jason Booma, Partner at Columbia Capital. “Together as Sendachi, the company will continue its different approach to the application outsourcing market where a key customer benefit is an improved technology development capability, not just a great application. We’re excited to work with Steven and the team to collaborate on a business with this customer mission.”

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Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs

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Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs 1

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Bitcoin hit a fresh high in Asian trading on Saturday, extending a two-month rally that saw its market capitalisation cross $1 trillion a day earlier.

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency rose to an record $56,620, taking its weekly gain to 18%. It has surged more than 92% this year.

Bitcoin’s gains have been fuelled by evidence it is gaining acceptance among mainstream investors and companies, such as Tesla Inc, Mastercard Inc and BNY Mellon.

Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization and daily volume, hit a record $2,040.62, for a weekly gain of about 12%.

Ether is the digital currency or token that facilitates transactions on the ethereum blockchain. In the crypto world, the terms ether and ethereum have become interchangeable.

Ether futures contracts launched on derivatives exchange CME earlier this month.

(Reporting by Vidya Ranganathan; Editing by William Mallard)

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World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers

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World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers 2

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The World Bank is working to standardize COVID-19 vaccine contracts that countries are signing with drug makers, and is pushing manufacturers to be more open about where doses are headed, as it races to get more vaccines to poor countries, the bank’s president said on Friday.

World Bank President David Malpass told Reuters he expected the bank’s board to have approved $1.6 billion in vaccine funding for 12 countries, including the Philippines, Bangladesh, Tunisia and Ethiopia, by the end of March, with 30 more to follow shortly thereafter.

The bank is working with local governments to identify and fill gaps in distribution capacity, after they purchase vaccines under a $12 billion World Bank program, and also to standardize the contracts they are signing with manufacturers, he said.

The bank’s International Finance Corp, its private financing arm, has $4 billion to invest in expanding existing production plants or building new ones, including in developed countries, but needs more data on where current production is headed, he said.

“We are eager to be investing in new capacity, but it’s hard to do because you don’t know how much of the existing capacity is already committed to the various off-takers,” Malpass said in an interview with Reuters. New or expanded plants could be used to produce other types of vaccinations in the future, he said.

The bank’s funds could be used to expand plants in advanced economies, if the production was earmarked for developing nations, he said.

Malpass welcomed Friday’s pledge by the Group of Seven rich countries to intensify cooperation on the pandemic, saying it could help jump-start deliveries of vaccines to poorer countries, which are lagging far behind rich countries in getting shots in arms.

Data compiled by Our World In Data, a scientific online publication, showed Israel was leading the world in COVID-19 vaccinations, with nearly 82 of 100 people vaccinated, while India and Bangladesh reported less than one person per 100, Many African countries have not started at all.

Malpass said he was heartened by news about new vaccines coming down the road, and about Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE seeking permission to store their vaccine at higher temperatures, which would ease another obstacle to deliveries in lower-income countries.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Heather Timmons and Leslie Adler)

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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion

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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion 3

By Paresh Dave

(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google will evaluate the performance of its vice presidents and above on team diversity and inclusion starting this year, the company said on Friday in one of several responses to concerns about its treatment of a Black scientist.

Timnit Gebru, co-leader of Google’s ethical artificial intelligence research team, said in December that Google abruptly fired her after she criticized its diversity efforts and threatened to resign.

Alphabet and Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai ordered a review of the situation. While Google declined to share specific findings, the company announced on Friday it will engage human resources specialists during sensitive employee departures.

Pichai in June said that by 2025, Google aims to have 30% more of its leaders come from underrepresented groups, with a focus on Black, Latinx and Native American leaders in the United States and female technical leaders globally. About 96% of Google’s U.S. leaders at the time were white or Asian, and 73% globally were men.

As a result of the investigation, the company also expanded a commitment announced in June to devote more resources to retaining and promoting existing employees, including by expanding a team addressing disputes among workers and their managers.

The diversity component of executive performance reviews was not previously announced, and the company did not immediately share details about what would be measured and how pay would be affected.

Alphabet for years had rejected proposals from shareholders and employees to set diversity goals and tie executive pay to them.

Irene Knapp, a former Google employee who advocated for one such proposal at a 2018 shareholder meeting, said on Friday, “I am pleased that they met our demand from 2018, which was a bare minimum that should have been easy to do immediately.”

Evaluating managers on diversity goals is becoming more commonplace. McDonald’s Corp on Thursday tied executive bonuses to diversity.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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