5 Technology Observations: 2 March 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Welcome to the final month of Q1 -- when the pressure to meet your quarterly quota cranks up to 11. Here are five technology news insights, observations, chatter, rumors and plenty more for Monday, March 2, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves 10 items.

10. Acquisition: Hewlett-Packard, as expected, has acquired Aruba Networks for $2.7 billion in cash. HP confirmed the deal this morning. Rumors about the hookup have been swirling for about a week. HP gains a valuable wireless networking company -- but I've already stated my bigger concern. Hewlett-Packard's SaaS revenues are flat, and the company needs to spend more cash and time building/fixing its recurring revenue business. That said, Aruba isn't a bad buy as HP tries to solidify its networking business, where sales dropped in the company's more recent quarter.

9. Worth Wearing?: Sony is shifting its wearable focus to B2B devices. The goal is to develop devices that allow workers to free up both hands. Ironically, mobile is Sony's No. 4 market priority -- trailing PlayStation, image sensors and the company's entertainment business, according to The Wall Street Journal. I keep waiting for Sony to restore its brand dominance -- the way Apple did a decade ago. But I haven't seen anything to suggest that the wait is worth it.

8. About Time: BlackBerry has launched a cloud version of its mobile security software. It's Called BES12 Cloud -- an enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices. BES12 Cloud is in closed bata now and will launch publicly later this month -- potentially allowing small, midsize and large enterprises to more rapidly manage their devices without complex on-premises software setups.

7. Apple Plus IBM Equals?: The latest answer comes from Mobile World Congress, where Apple and IBM have unveiled new apps for airline customer service, retail buyers and wealth managers. The big question: Can IBM actually make serious money from this long-tail approach -- rapidly introducing more and more apps on iOS. And I wonder: Is Apple still taking a 30 percent cut or so of every IBM-related app sale?

6. Brilliant Market Move: Essentially overnight, Samsung has found a way to potentially leapfrog Apple Pay in the mobile payments market. The key move was buying LoopPay -- which basically has the power of near ubiquity -- if Samsung plays its cards right.  

5. Notice Her Title?: Uber was hacked earlier this year -- potentially leaking information about 50,000 drivers who are plugged into the ride-hailing service. The really interesting part: Katherine Tassi, Uber's managing counsel of data privacy, is managing the damage control. That's right: A lawyer who's core job is to deal with privacy issues. I wonder how many IT startups can afford to have someone in that role. On the flip side: Can you afford not to have that type of expertise on staff amid today's cybersecurity challenges?

4. Fresh Funding: Among the deals we're watching...

  • Airtable has raised $3 million to fund its re-imagined mobile spreadsheet and productivity apps. In theory, it's a database for managing your business or life...
  • OrbitHCI has raised $1 million in seed money to advance smart devices for families. Google Ventures is involved. Could a NEST connection be coming?
  • Workable, developer of recruiting and hiring software for small and midsize businesses, has raised $5 million in funding. 

3. Congrats: Rackspace and ViaWest Veteran Chris Rajiah has joined Equinix. Sharp guy, growing company. This could get really interesting.

Morning Brew with Dairy Records Management Systems' Ian Rumbles. See items 2 and 1 to put your face here.

Morning Brew with Dairy Records Management Systems' Ian Rumbles. See items 2 and 1 to put your face here.

2. Morning Brew: Ian Rumbles (pictured) is a quality assurance specialist for Dairy Records Management Systems in Raleigh, N.C. Ian's brew of the day is Maxwell House from his Tassimo. His office is a mixture of agricultural memorabilia and steampunk oddities. Dairy Records provides herd management and marketing information to 70% of the dairy herds in the United States (13,000 herds / 2 million cows). The company develops and supports software for the dairy producer to use on their desktop, tablet or Android phone. Ian discovered After Nines Inc. after spotting Joe Panettieri (yours truly) on Tech News Today's Tuesday video netcast.

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