5 Tech Observations to Start Your Day, Oct 8

Greetings from home sweet home -- After Nines Inc.'s New York hub. I'm considering getting back on the road soon. But for today, I'm blogging from the comfort of my home office. Here are five technology news nuggets, rumors, gossip and chatter to start your day for Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014.

Whoops. Today's list is seven nuggets, not five. Enjoy:

7. Big Tent Events: Amazon's AWS re:Event conference (Nov. 11-14, Las Vegas) is 94 percent sold out. If you're a corporate IT executive trying to build or accelerate your cloud strategy, this is a great event. Most of the keynotes involve real-world deployments, key performance indicators and RIO information. But don't forget, IT Nation -- a perhaps the largest and best event for channel partners -- is that same week in Orlando. The best site for IT Nation coverage, by the way, remains MSPmentor (yes, my old stomping ground). 

6. HP's Split, Continued: By the Numbers: When it comes to Hewlett-Packard's company breakup, you already know that I'm concerned about HP's SMB customers. But I'm also reading as much as I can about each business's financials (HP Enterprise and HP Inc., which will be PCs and printers). Some of the best HP breakup analysis comes from Jason Ditz on SeekingAlpha. HP keeps saying opportunities like cloud and 3-D printing will drive HP Enterprise and HP Inc. forward. But shouldn't HP have been AHEAD of the curve on both of those opportunities under its current single company structure?

5. Samsung is the New Dell: Quick, what do you call a hardware company that dominates its market as margins plummet? The answer in the 1990s was Dell. The answer today is Samsung -- which issued a Q3 profit warning after a soft Q2. You can focus on Samsung's weak smartphone business outlook... or you can take a look at Samsung's strategy to move more software and vertical market applications into classrooms, healthcare, financial services and more. That's where savvy Samsung buyers are heading next.

4. Cloud-based Backup Innovations: Keep a close eye on Druva over the next few days (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). In some ways, you can say the endpoint protection and backup company competes with Axcient and eVault. But what if Druva had a new twist on public cloud-based data protection?

3. Mo' Money: SolidFire has raised $82 million for pooled storage of Flash Memory. Comply365 has raised $12 million to develop mobile apps for airlines and other industries. Amy Katz and I have raised nothing to fund After Nines Inc. But the boot straps are quite comfortable so far.

2. Hiring Paradox: Small business owners are hesitant to hire new employees near-term, but they're optimistic about their long-term outlooks, according to a Bank of America/CFI Group Small Business Forecast (PDF). Isn't that a bit like enterprise businesses avoiding major hires even as profits sit at or near all-time highs?

1. Walt Wants Apple Watch: Steve Jobs' biographer, Walter Isaacson, wants an Apple Watch -- calling the device "extraordinarily cool." As for me, I won't likely be among the first Apple Watch buyers -- but I have a confession: I purchased an iPhone 6 Plus (instead of Samsung/Android) because, among other reasons, I wanted to make sure I remained part of Apple's ecosystem extensions. Apple Watch could be one such extension.

Bonus: Subscribe to the After Nines Inc. daily enewsletter, which delivers our blog headlines to your inbox each business day.

Thank you for visiting After Nines Inc. and for reading the 9:01 blog.