5 Tech Observations: 8 Jan 2015

Good mid-afternoon, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology observations, insights, chatter and news updates to keep your day going for Thursday, January 8, 2015.

9. Big Deal: I just got off the phone with Seismic CEO Doug Winter. His team has raised $20 million in Series B funding to help drive its sales enablement cloud platform forward. Winter will describe the funding round during our next podcast, Good Evening, I.T. Entrepreneurs, on Jan. 13. PS: There's something very familiar about the "Seismic" brand.

8. Cold: Why yes, it is incredibly cold outside here in New York. That's why I'm locked inside.

7. Not Good Enough: The FBI says there's "little doubt" North Korea hacked Sony. Next time around, it would be nice for the FBI to be "positive" about a digital crime's source before our president offers official statements on the culprits.

6. Perception Becomes Reality: It looks like Oracle has successfully convinced CIOs that the IT giant has a strong cloud portfolio for large and midsize organizations, according to Piper Jaffray. But take a closer look at that research and you'll see companies like Splunk also moving up the CIO radar incredibly fast. 

5. Cloud Reliability: Still skeptical about cloud reliability vs. on-premises infrastructure? 

4. Continued Expansion: After opening data centers in Canada and London, IBM SoftLayer has opened a location in Germany. My spin: SoftLayer has put IBM back in the cloud game after a miserable showing from the earlier SmartCloud effort.

3. Speaking of Clouds: Amazon Web Services is at/approaching five-nines cloud reliability -- the latest indication public cloud services will emerge as more reliable than on-premises services.

2. More Bubble Talk: Like quite a few pundits, I've been warning readers that today's IT and venture capital market feels a lot like the dot-com boom just before it went bust in 1999. Now, SFGate is reporting that venture-backed companies went public in 2014 at a pace not seen since -- wait for it -- the tail end of the dot-com bubble. Also of note: Venture capital investments in India jumped 50 percent in 2014. That's a massive jump... and it's not sustainable. Keep living below your means to minimize the potential pain ahead.

1. Shame on Me: During my conversation with Seismic CEO Doug Winter (item 9 far above), I forgot to ask him about tech valuations and my concerns about a potential Silicon Valley bubble. Shame on me for missing that opportunity for a reality check.

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