Granite Construction wins USD 59m sub-contract for international terminal project at LAX

Granite Construction Incorporated (NYSE:GVA) has been awarded a USD 59m sub-contract by the Turner/PCL Joint Venture for the Midfield Satellite Concourse North Project at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in California,.

Approximately USD 16m was booked into backlog in the fourth quarter of 2016 and USD 43m in the first quarter of 2017.

The approximately USD 1.6bn Midfield Satellite Concourse Project will expand LAX´s capacity to serve international travelers in and out of the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Construction is currently underway with Granite´s portion of the work scheduled to be complete by December 2019.

Granite´s scope of work includes demolition of over 80,000 cubic yards of existing portland cement concrete and asphalt surfaces, demolition of over 13,000 feet of existing utilities, over 350,000 cubic yards of mass grading, structural excavation and backfill, and installation of over 28,000 feet of new domestic and fire water, storm drain, sanitary sewer, and natural gas utilities, along with nearly 3,000 cubic yards of utility structures including the construction of five pump stations.

Through its offices and subsidiaries nationwide, Granite Construction is an infrastructure contractor and construction materials producer. Granite specializes in complex infrastructure projects, including transportation, industrial and federal contracting, and is a proven leader in alternative procurement project delivery. Granite is an award-winning firm in safety, quality and environmental stewardship, and has been honored as one of the World´s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute for eight consecutive years.

IBM brings Anaconda platform to IBM cognitive systems

IBM (NYSE: IBM) is working with Continuum Analytics to offer Anaconda, a leading Open Data Science platform, on IBM Cognitive Systems, the company said.

Anaconda will also integrate with the PowerAI software distribution for machine learning and deep learning that makes it simple and fast to take advantage of Power performance and GPU optimization for data intensive cognitive workloads.

As one of the fastest growing fields of machine learning, deep learning makes it possible to process enormous datasets withms or evenbns of elements and extract useful predictive models. Deep learning is transforming the businesses of leading consumer Web and mobile application companies, and it is quickly being adopted by more traditional business enterprises as well.

IBM developed PowerAI to accelerate enterprise adoption of open-source machine and deep learning frameworks used to build cognitive applications. PowerAI reduces the complexity and risk of deploying these open source frameworks for enterprises on the Power architecture and is tuned for high performance. With PowerAI, clients can realize the benefit of enterprise support on IBM Cognitive Systems HPC platforms used in the most demanding commercial, academic and hyperscale environments.

These Cognitive Systems are built with IBM´s POWER8 leveraging NVIDIA´s high-speed NVLink interface to NVIDIA´s Tesla Pascal P100 GPU accelerators. The CPU to GPU and GPU to GPU NVLink high bandwidth connections give a performance boost to deep learning and analytics applications. The CPU to GPU NVLink interface is only available on POWER8 CPUs.

The Anaconda platform brings powerful capabilities for large-scale data processing, predictive analytics, and scientific computing to simplify package management and deployment. Developers using open source ML/DL components will now be able to use Power as the deployment platform and take advantage of Power optimization & GPU differentiation for NVIDIA.

In addition, there continues to be growing support for the OpenPOWER Foundation. The Foundation recently announced the OpenPOWER Machine Learning Work Group (OPMLWG). The new group includes members like Google, NVIDIA and Mellanox to provide a forum for collaboration that will help define frameworks for the productive development and deployment of machine learning solutions using OpenPOWER ecosystem technology. The foundation has also eclipsed 300-members, with new participants such as Kinetica, Red Hat and Toshiba.

JetBlue to begin nonstop flights between Port-au-Prince, Orlando Flights

JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) will operate service between Port-au-Prince´s Toussaint Louverture International Airport (PAP) and Orlando International Airport (MCO) later this year, pending government approval, the airline said.

JetBlue intends to launch this route, which currently does not have nonstop service, in December. Seats are expected to go on sale in the coming weeks.

Orlando will become JetBlue´s fourth focus city with service to Port-au-Prince. JetBlue currently offers nonstop flights to the Haitian destination from New York´s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). JetBlue operates nearly a third of its capacity in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Port-au-Prince is set on a natural harbor on the Gulf of Gonâve, making it one of the country´s premiere destinations. The city´s layout is divided with the commercial areas near the water and the residential areas in the hills. JetBlue was also a large supporter of rebuilding efforts following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, partnering with agencies such as the American Red Cross to help with aiding efforts.

Toussaint Louverture International Airport is the busiest in Haiti and recently underwent renovations, which increased the terminal´s capacity to about 800,000 passengers per year. The Haitian government spent over 6 million dollars in the restoration of the airport.

JetBlue intends to serve the route with its 100-seat Embraer 190 aircraft offering the airline´s award-winning service and the most legroom in coach (b), as well as complimentary and unlimited name-brand snacks and soft drinks and free first-run Hollywood movies.

JetBlue carries more than 38 million customers a year to 101 cities in the US, Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 1,000 daily flights.

Verne Global inks deal with Símafélagið

Verne Global, a global developer at the forefront of data center infrastructure design, has signed a technology partnership with Símafélagið, an Icelandic telecommunications provider specializing in data connectivity solutions for enterprise customers, to offer dedicated connectivity to the public cloud, the company said.

From the Verne Global campus in Iceland, Símafélagið provides a private, secure service to interconnect physical infrastructure with cloud based applications and services to leading cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services, Google, Office 365, and Microsoft Azure.

Verne Global provides advanced connectivity solutions to over 170 countries through a network of more than 500 carriers and multiple interconnection on-campus points-of-presence. Leading businesses in industries like manufacturing, finance, technology, education, research and science sectors, meet global access and connectivity requirements through Verne Global.

Verne Global provides highly optimised, secure, flexible, scalable and 100% renewably powered data center solutions offering forward thinking organisations significant and long-term cost savings. To learn more, visit

Rockwell Collins acquires B/E Aerospace for USD 8.6bn

Rockwell Collins, Inc. (NYSE: COL) has successfully completed the acquisition of B/E Aerospace, a manufacturer of aircraft cabin interior products and services, for USD 8.6bn in total consideration, including debt assumed,.

Rockwell Collins now has nearly 30,000 employees and pro forma annual revenue in excess of USD 8bn based on calendar year 2016 results.

Effective immediately, B/E Aerospace is rebranded Rockwell Collins. Werner Lieberherr, former B/E Aerospace president and chief executive officer, now becomes executive vice president and chief operating officer of Rockwell Collins´ newly created Interior Systems business. He reports to Kelly Ortberg, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Rockwell Collins.

The transaction is expected to generate run-rate pre-tax cost synergies of approximately USD 160m (USD 125m after tax). The company expects to achieve 90% of the cost synergies by the end of its fiscal year 2019. The transaction is expected to be double-digit accretive to GAAP earnings per share in fiscal year 2018.

Rockwell Collins provides solutions for commercial and military customers around the world as experts in flight deck avionics, cabin electronics, cabin interiors, information management, mission communications, and simulation and training.

Zayo expands in Los Angeles

Zayo Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO) will significantly expand its Los Angeles data center presence with a new location at One Wilshire Building, 624 S Grand Ave., the company said.

The facility will add 24,215 total square feet and two megawatts (MW) of critical power, and is the company´s fifth data center in California. The expansion is driven by strong customer demand in Los Angeles, including a new agreement with a major webscale company as an anchor tenant in the space.

The data center complements Zayo´s Tier III facilities in nearby Irvine, California, which are connected to One Wilshire via high-performance dark fiber. Customers are able to connect to Zayo´s expansive fiber network, which now includes a unique subsea fiber route up the coast of California, recently acquired from Electric Lightwave.

Zayo Group Holdings provides communications infrastructure services, including fiber and bandwidth connectivity, colocation and cloud infrastructure to the world´s leading businesses. Customers include wireless and wireline carriers, media and content companies and finance, healthcare and other large enterprises. Zayo´s 126,000-network in North America and Europe includes extensive metro connectivity to thousands of buildings and data centers. In addition to high capacity dark fiber, wavelength, Ethernet and other connectivity solutions, Zayo offers colocation and cloud infrastructure in its carrier-neutral data centers. Zayo provides clients with flexible, customized solutions and self-service through Tranzact, an innovative online platform for managing and purchasing bandwidth and services.

AIAA elects next President

John S Langford, Chairman has been elected the next President for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA),.

He will serve as President-Elect alongside current AIAA President James G. Maser beginning this May, and assumes the office of President to lead the AIAA Board of Directors in 2018.

Langford is strong proponent of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, and one of the cornerstones of his campaign was to expand upon AIAA´s current educational outreach, which is primarily collegiate-focused, and incorporate middle and high school-level programs. Another focus of his upcoming term will be regaining the membership numbers the organization has lost over the past decade, aiming to double professional membership within five years. This goal also encompasses increasing diversity so that AIAA´s membership is more reflective of 21st Century America´s workforce.

While Langford primarily serves in the corporate and government world today, he has a strong background in academics and research as well.

Langford is now the Chairman and CEO of Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, which he founded in 1989 and has grown to a developer and manufacturer of unmanned aerial systems and aerospace vehicles. He received his Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where his education focused on aeronautics, astronautics, and defense policy.

Aurora Flight Sciences develops versatile and intuitive autonomous systems for aircraft. Operating at the intersection of technology and robotic aviation, the company leverages the power of autonomy to make manned and unmanned flight safer and more efficient. Headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, it operates production plants in Bridgeport, West Virginia and Columbus, Mississippi, has Research and Development Centers in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dayton, Ohio and Mountain View, California, and a European office, Aurora Swiss Aerospace, located in Luzern, Switzerland.

Westcon-Comstor, Viptela expand global distribution agreement

Viptela, a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) company, has joined Westcon-Comstor´s invitation-only Accelerate program, the company said.

The partnership provides Viptela with the regional support and delivery resources to rapidly scale its global channel footprint and expand into new markets in order to satisfy growing demand for SD-WAN solutions. The Accelerate program makes it easy for Viptela to ramp up in each country or region, providing a repeatable, efficient, cost-effective, scalable process to expand geographically.

Research firm IDC predicts the SD-WAN market will grow to more than a 90 percent compound annual growth rate for the next five years to become a USD 6bn industry by 2020. This trend creates significant opportunity for solution providers over the next several years. To prepare solution providers for this increased demand, Viptela and Westcon-Comstor are collaborating to ensure worldwide access to Viptela´s products, services and its vForce Partner Program.

Viptela´s innovative SD-WAN solution enables enterprises to increase bandwidth by 10X, improve cloud performance by 5X and reduce WAN operating costs by more than 50 percent. Meanwhile, it also provides more control and visibility over the network, faster provisioning of services, and significantly improves security and compliance. Viptela is the most widely deployed SD-WAN solution within Fortune-1000 enterprises globally.

Westcon-Comstor regularly analyzes the technology landscape to identify innovative products and services that hold long-term opportunity for solution providers´ success. The Accelerate program specifically targets vendors that may not have previously used or considered distribution as a route to market and are looking to expand their partner base globally. The value-added distributor enables vendors to ramp their channel business in multiple countries or regions, providing a repeatable, cost-effective, scalable process to expand geographically.

Vendors also receive valuable access to Westcon-Comstor´s highly specialized solutions groups and services to more accurately target the IT solution providers and the markets they wish to reach. The Accelerate program also strengthens Westcon-Comstor´s overall ecosystem, enhancing its ability to offer multi-vendor solutions that solve more complex business problems.

Viptela provides Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology that virtualizes WAN infrastructure. The platform allows global companies to build carrier agnostic, policy-controlled and cost-effective WANs. Viptela has been deployed at thousands of sites by more than 25 Fortune 500 enterprises; and major carriers including Verizon and Singtel are using Viptela to deliver managed SD-WAN services. The company has been named a Nextbn Dollar Startup by Forbes, 2016 Red Herring Global 100 company and CRN Tech Innovator. Viptela is backed by Sequoia Capital, Redline Capital, and Northgate Capital.

Westcon-Comstor (WestconGroup Inc.) is a value-added technology distributor of category-leading solutions in Security, Collaboration, Networking and Data Center. The company is transforming the technology supply chain through its capabilities in Cloud, Services and Global Deployment. Westcon-Comstor combines expert technical and market knowledge with industry-leading partner enablement programs. Westcon-Comstor delivers results together through deep partner relationships. The company goes to market under the Westcon and Comstor brands.

United Data Technologies noted for managed IT services

United Data Technologies has been named by CRN, a brand of The Channel company, to its 2017 Managed Service Provider 500 list in the Managed IT Services category, the company said.

The annual list recognizes North American solution providers with cutting-edge approaches to delivering managed services. Their offerings help companies navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of IT, improve operational efficiencies, and maximize their return on IT investments.

The list is divided into three categories: the MSP Pioneer 250, recognizing companies with business models weighted toward managed services and largely focused on the SMB market; the MSP Elite 150, recognizing large, data center-focused MSPs with a strong mix of on-premise and off-premise services; and the Managed Security 100, recognizing MSPs focused primarily on off-premise, cloud-based security services.

United Data Technologies is a technology enabler that helps clients in major industries evaluate, architect, provide, secure, and manage technology on the go, in the rack and in the cloud. UDT provides flexible and interoperable services, including mobility, cloud, collaboration, data, cyber security and software and IT as a service. The company also provides technical, professional and managed services.

WestJet reports March 2017 traffic increases

WestJet has reported March 2017 revenue passenger miles (RPMs), or traffic, an increase of 8.7% year-over-year, and capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASMs), grew 7.4% over the same period,.

The airline flew a record 5.7 million guests in the first quarter, a year-over-year increase of 6.8% or approximately 363,000 additional guests. Load factor was 84.1%, an increase of 0.9 percentage points year over year.

WestJet recently announced an expansion to their reciprocal frequent flyer agreement with Delta Air Lines to include redemption of WestJet dollars on new select Delta routes including Paris, Tokyo, Rome, Madrid, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Sydney (Australia). Delta SkyMiles Members can now redeem miles anywhere WestJet flies.

WestJet offers scheduled service to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Through its regional airline, WestJet Encore, and with partnerships with airlines representing every major region of the world, the airline offers more than 150 destinations in over 20 countries.