5 Technology Observations: 17 February 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology updates, insights, rumors and chatter to start your day for Tuesday, February 17, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves 10 items...

10. Ramping Up: Apple is expected to manufacture five million to six million Apple Watches for the Q2 launch in April. Amid the hardware chatter, we keep shifting the focus to software -- and WatchKit, the software development kit for the watch. If ISVs innovate with WatchKit, then Apple Watch will shift from a novelty item to another market maker. Still, there are signs that Apple is retreating a bit from the health market because early apps for that vertical simply didn't work as planned.

9. Content Monetization: Here's another reason why content developers need to own the platforms upon which they stand. Pinterest has essentially "cut off" style bloggers that make money from "affiliate" links. The lesson for anyone in the media business: Own your content. Own your platform. Control your financial destiny with an end-to-end solution.

8. Cloud Identity Management: Amazon Web Services has bolstered its identity and access management (IAM) effort. But here's the thing: How can enterprises blur the lines between on-premises directory services (like Microsoft Active Directory) and cloud-oriented identity offering? JumpCloud CEO Rajat Bhargava shared some answers in a podcast with After Nines Inc.

7. More Money: WeTransfer, which allows users to send massive files to each other, has raised $25 million to push into the U.S. market. In some ways, WeTransfer competes with Box and Dropbox.

6. Cloud-based Management: The global cloud-based data management services market will reach $13.28 billion by 2019, up sharply from $3.51 billion in 29014, according to Research and Markets. That's a 30.5 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR). While I haven't been briefed directly, I suspect much of the growth will come from two areas. First, born in the cloud tools that allow you to manage on-premises or cloud-based data. And second, legacy management tools that are shifted from their on-premises heritage to a hosted approach. Solutions from Actian, Cisco, Dell Boomi, EMC, Fujitsu, HP, Hitachi, IBM, Informatica and NetApp apparently are mentioned in the report.

5. LinkedIn for Businesses: It's called ComLinked, and I'm watching it closely for a range of reasons. As you know, employees -- and their social identities -- come and go. ComLinked, however, focuses on social identities for business -- allowing companies to interconnect and potentially partner up over the emerging social network.

4. Funding Female-led Businesses: As you may recall, last year I joined Golden Seeds -- an angel investment group that focuses on women-led businesses. In a somewhat similar move, the Tennessee Small Business Development Center and Pathway Lending have launched Ready.Fund.Grow! -- which aims to provide female business owners with greater access to lines of credit. Generally speaking, research suggests that startups with diverse leadership -- women and men from all walks of life -- tend to perform better than businesses that lack leadership diversity.

3. Launch Day: Pilixo, backed by several Kaseya veterans, is expected to officially launch in the next few weeks, multiple sources suggest. My guess: It has something to do with cloud management for corporate IT.

2. Next Acquisition: If I had to make a very educated guess, J2 Global -- which specializes in cloud services and digital media -- will announce its next acquisition within the next few days. In fact, the deal allegedly involves a SaaS security distributor. Update: The news is now official. The buyout involved Nuvotera.

1. Thank  You: I hope I say (er, write) that often enough. Yes, After Nines Inc. is a business -- a growing one, at that. But this daily blog feels like a hobby. And I rather enjoy watching the traffic and reader comments grow. Thanks for your readership, tips, feedback and constructive criticism. 

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