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What is serverless computing?

Serverless is a mode of computing in which developers write business logic functions and then a Cloud provider executes those functions. Servers are still involved, of course—just not your servers. For the developer and operator, how the functions are executed—that is, which infrastructure it uses—is all hidden and, in fact, irrelevant.

This development gives companies a powerful new way to reduce IT operational costs, deploy services faster and be more responsive to customer demand.

With serverless, the drop in infrastructure costs can be enormous—ranging from 50 percent to 90 percent, with 70 percent to 80 percent being about average.

What’s special about serverless is that you only use what you need, when you need it.

Here are some of the business advantages you can get from serverless computing:

  • Reduce costs. Because you’re only paying for what you use, the drop in infrastructure costs can be significant.
  • Auto-scale on demand. Need more infrastructure support? Need less? With serverless, you can get just the infrastructure support you need.
  • Decrease time to market. It generally takes far less time to develop serverless applications. You don’t have to worry about setting up servers, configuring environments, clustering or other facets of building a traditional system.
  • Create more transparent, business-event-driven execution. Code is executed only in response to a well-defined business event. That increases overall transparency and reliability of the application to handle very specific business events or anomalies.
  • Reduce security risks. Instead of focusing on perimeter security and access control, security shifts to the orchestration of application code, enabling a complete monitoring of activities, connections and user behaviors.

When is serverless the right choice?

Companies and government agencies are using serverless computing to support a wide variety of opportunities and needs. These include IoT, mobile applications and web-based applications.

Accenture’s own use of serverless architecture: Accenture Cloud Platform

Accenture Cloud Platform (ACP) plays an important role in helping our clients get the most from their Cloud presence. ACP provides the visibility and control enabled through its serverless architecture to discover resources in customers’ accounts. The goal is to make it easy to manage our clients’ cloud estate with governance tools, advanced cost analytics capabilities and dashboards.

Already decided to go serverless?

If you’re ready to start the serverless journey, here are six especially important things to consider:

  1. Don’t try to reuse existing application code in a serverless environment.
  2. Use existing platform components from providers for non-business-logic application functionality.
  3. Create a reference architecture to guide all application development.
  4. Support DevOps.
  5. Recognize that the skills required for success in serverless are different from those of the average developer.
  6. Be prepared for a massive cultural shift.

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OnePlus is is getting into a new line of business: making TVs. Best known for its phones, China’s OnePlus also has a small catalog of really good accessories like wireless earphonesand surprisingly awesome backpacks, though nothing as complex or expensive as a television set. In announcing the news on the OnePlus online forums, company chief Pete Lau describes it as “the first step in building a connected human experience.”

Every hardware manufacturer is now looking intently at ways to monetize the smart home space. Samsung and Huawei recently announced smart speakers, Apple and Google already have the HomePod and Google Home, respectively, and Microsoft and Sony are old incumbents with their Xbox and PlayStation consoles. OnePlus has decided to make its entry point into this market the TV itself, which has always been at the center of home entertainment, though often with the help of other connected devices. Reading Lau’s teaser announcement, the OnePlus TV — which so far only has a project name, no timeline or specs have been revealed — will serve as the connectivity hub for OnePlus’ future vision of the smart home.

The OnePlus smart TV will be developed by a new division within OnePlus, led by Pete Lau himself. Still at the earliest stages of development, OnePlus is currently seeking input from its fans, as it often does, about what their priorities with a future smart TV will be.

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Amazon is said to be prepping an ad-supported streaming video service; it’ll be available to folks who own any of the company’s Fire TV streaming dongles and set-top boxes, reports The Information.

It’ll be separate from Prime Video, which offers a range of licensed shows and movies, as well original content produced by Amazon, to people who are subscribed to Prime.

Amazon's latest streaming device is the Fire TV Cube
Credit: Amazon
Amazon’s latest streaming device is the Fire TV Cube

Do you like good gadgets?

Those sweet cool gadgets?

Oh, yeah

The idea behind this upcoming service, which is dubbed Free Dive, is to help Amazon bring in more revenue through advertising. Ads presently account for a small fraction – about $2 billion out of more than $200 billion – of its annual revenue, but they offer higher margins than retail, and are one of Amazon’s fastest growing earners company-wide.

To that end, the company’s been selling ad space on its site, and is slated to run ads during live sporting events on Prime Video. It also turned off ad-free viewing on Twitch – its game video streaming service – for Prime subscribers earlier this month.

Free Dive could give Amazon a chance to rival Roku, which offers a similar ad-supported streaming service for owners of its devices and is expected to reach 59 million users by the end of 2018. Roku also made its ‘Channel’ service available via the web earlier this month to folks in the US, so you don’t need the company’s hardware to access it. It’ll be interesting to see if Amazon follows suit – and how it plays its cards with customers across the globe, especially in cost-conscious markets like India, where it’s expanding its media offerings.

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Verizon doesn’t sell its mobile phones or wireless plans over Amazon. Nor does it offer Fios, its high-speed internet service. But Verizon does advertise on Amazon.

On Black Friday last year, when millions of online shoppers took to Amazon in search of deals, a Verizon ad for a Google Pixel 2 phone — buy one and get a second one half off — could be seen blazing across Amazon’s home page. And on July 16, what Amazon calls Prime Day, an event with special deals for its Prime customers, Verizon again ran a variety of ads and special offers for Amazon shoppers, like a mix-and-match unlimited service plan.

Amazon, which has already reshaped and dominated the online retail landscape, is quickly gathering momentum in a new, highly profitable arena: online advertising, where it is rapidly emerging as a major competitor to Google and Facebook.

The push by the giant online retailer means consumers — even Prime customers, who pay $119 a year for access to free shipping as well as streaming music, video and discounts — are likely to be confronted by ads in places where they didn’t exist before.


In late August, some gamers were angered when Twitch, a video game streaming service acquired by Amazon in 2014, said it would soon no longer be ad-free for Prime members unless consumers paid an additional $8.99 a month for a premium service called Twitch Turbo.

Amazon derives the bulk of its annual revenue, forecast to be $235 billion this year, from its e-commerce business, selling everything from books to lawn furniture. Amazon is also a leader in the cloud computing business, with Amazon Web Services, which accounts for around 11 percent of its revenue but more than half of its operating income. But in the company’s most recent financial results, it was a category labeled “other” that caught the attention of many analysts. It mostly consists of revenue from selling banner, display and keyword search-driven ads known as “sponsored products.” That category surged by about 130 percent to $2.2 billion in the first quarter, compared with the same period in 2017.

Those numbers are a pittance for Google and Facebook, which make up more than half of the $88 billion digital ad market. But they come with big and troubling implications for those two giants.

Much of online advertising relies on imprecise algorithms that govern where marketing messages appear, and what impact they have on actual sales. Here, Amazon has a big advantage over its competitors. Thanks to its wealth of data and analytics on consumer shopping habits, it can put ads in front of people when they are more likely to be hunting for specific products and to welcome them as suggestions rather than see them as intrusions.

Amazon is gaining in advertising when the public perception of Google and Facebook has soured. In addition, some advertisers have yet to return to YouTube, a growing ad channel for Google, after brands like AT&T were found appearing adjacent to videos that promoted racism or terrorism.

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