5 Technology Observations: 27 January 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology news updates, insights, rumors, gossip, blizzard survival stories and more to start your day for Tuesday, January 27, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves a dozen items.

12. Total Accumulations: I suspect Blizzard 2015 dumped one to two feet of snow on my town, though my neighborhood is likely at the lower end of that range. It's still snowing. But instead of shoveling snow, I'm at my desk enjoying the warm glow of my computer screen -- chatting with you.

11. Cargate: Forget Watergate and Deflategate. Now comes Cargate. The Justice Department apparently has been building a massive database -- tracking realtime movement of cars in the U.S. In my case, I hope the feds are de-duplicating all the boring data I'm contributing. My daily commute involves a 1 mile round trip to Dunkin' Donuts for coffee. Although today's commute was canceled -- or at least delayed -- until the snow ends. I wonder if the government's system is smart enough to cross-correlate "snow storm" with "didn't travel" today...

10. Mr. IBM Cloud?: His name is Robert LeBlanc, according to The Wall Street Journal, and he oversees IBM's cloud-related businesses, which now generate about $7 billion in annual revenue. Still, much of LeBlanc's responsibilities involve traditional hardware and software sales packaged as cloud deals. But IBM's real "as a service" revenue expert, in my opinion, is Lance Crosby. He leads SoftLayer -- the cloud data center provider that IBM acquired nearly two years ago. As Lance goes, so goes IBM's recurring revenue business.

9. Honeymoon Over?: Microsoft's latest quarterly financial results, released yesterday, disappointed Wall Street -- potentially ending a honeymoon period for CEO Satya Nadella. Although revenues rose 8 percent to $26.5 billion, sales of Microsoft's core Windows and Office software disappointed financial pundits. Four Wall Street analysts immediately downgraded Microsoft's shares, which have dipped about 7 percent in after hours trading, though the fall has since been trimmed to 3 percent. Still, Surface revenue rose 24 percent to $1.1 billion, and commercial cloud revenue grew 114 percent. Long term, I'm a Nadella believer.

8. PC Recovery?: P.S., Microsoft's financial results suggest the so-called "PC industry recovery" isn't as strong as some pundits had previously stated. HP and Intel shares are now tumbling because of their co-dependence on that PC ecosystem with Microsoft.

7. Overstated: IBM says massive layoffs are not coming -- contrary to a Forbes report that suggested 26 percent of the staff will be fired. Yes, several thousand employees will be let go as IBM seeks to focus on cloud, mobile, security and big data opportunities. But Forbes' claim that 112,000 employees are on the block is wrong, IBM has now told media outlets.

6. Congrats: To Brendan Cosgrove, now CIO at StoneHill Technical Solutions, one of Southern California's leading IT support providers. Brendan has been instrumental in our effort to reach several key CEOs for our weekly podcast -- Good Evening, I.T. Entrepreneurs, and he has also helped to shape our views on mobile, social, cloud, and IT management issues. 

5. Financial Buzz: CloudBees has raised $23.5 million -- bringing total funding to nearly $50 million -- to expand its Jenkins-based business. Jenkins is an open source continuous delivery (CD) hub. I.T. entrepreneurs can use Jenkins for agile software development -- empowering developers to automate the build, artifact management and deployment processes.

4. Google Fiber: The search giant will expand the Google Fiber broadband network to Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham and Nashville, according to The Wall Street Journal. Generally speaking, Google has rolled out the fiber network more slowly than originally planned. The network is roughly 10 times faster than traditional U.S. broadband, but some consumers have complained about installation problems and fees that range from $80 to $120 per month. A slower version is available for "free" -- but requires a lofty one-time installation cost that many low-income residents say they can't afford...

3. Time to Automate RFPs?: Yes, the request for proposal (RFP) process can be complicated. But Scout has raised $2.75 million in seed funding from Google Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and Zapis Capital. Scout claims its RFP system can help buyers and suppliers across engineering, finance, software developments and more.

2. After the Breakup: So who are the key executives that will lead Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. after the company breakup? HP published the list of executives here. The big spots yet to be filled include Chief Marketing Officer for HP Inc...

1. February: For me, my day job will likely change considerably. Fingers crossed, our incubator will be heating up... If months were days, we now have about one week to get things right...

Subscribe: Want to receive our blog headlines in your inbox each business day? Then subscribe to our enewsletter. Thanks to those who already have.