5 Technology Observations: 4 March 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology news insights, rumors, gossip, chatter, rants, and predictions to start your day for Wednesday, March 4, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves 12 items.

12. Google Cloud Management: What's the status of your Google Cloud Platform services? Google's new cloud Status Dashboard is available to help answer that question. Nice effort -- but rival clouds have offered similar dashboards for several years.

11. Nice Threads: Huawei CEO Ken Hu says wearable devices will rule the world -- evolving beyond smart bracelets and intelligent watches all the way to virtual reality devices. All future communication devices, he suggested, could be wearable. He made the comments at Mobile World Congress 2015 -- one week before the anticipated Apple Watch launch...

10. Business Attire: Speaking of wearables, enterprise software and cloud companies are exploring ways to integrate wearables into business platforms like Salesforce.com. Looks like dress down day -- and all others -- could go digital.

9. Apple Pay Fraud: Money -- even of the digital kind -- attracts criminal activity. Apparently, Apple Pay is already suffering from various forms of fraud, according to Cherian Abraham -- a mobile payments expert at Drop Labs. He suggests Apple Pay fraud has "now graduated from an itch to a raging infection."

8. Tipping Point: What comes after Salesforce.com? The answer could be ToutApp -- which is sales acceleration platform. ToutApp is generating lots of buzz about its sales tracking, templates and analytics software -- and the company just raised $15 million in Series B funding, led by Andreessen Horowitz. The twist? ToutApp isn't really a Salesforce.com replacement. Instead, the company's apps integrate with Salesforce.com, Gmail, Outlook and more. ToutApp's revenue grew 300 percent and its customer base doubled in 2014, according to multiple reports.

7. The 16 Most Common Funding Questions: Chances are, your funding questions have been asked a few thousand times by entrepreneurs -- most of whom have already been down the VC and angel investor road. So what are those questions -- and answers? Andreessen Horowitz answers them here.

6. Hilary's Email: Don't underestimate the importance of this story, and the potential fallout. Not only for the Clintons. But for government policy czars, and the federal IT leaders who have to enforce them...

5. Hadoop Battle: One week after Hortonworks' quarterly results disappointed Wall Street, Hadoop rival Cloudera is declaring victory -- but over whom? The answer actually involves Pivotal (spun off from EMC and VMware). A recent Open Data Platform standards initiative, involving Pivotal, is nothing but a "ruse" that provides a "graceful exit" for Pivotal from the Hadoop market, Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly asserts. On the one hand, I'm not all that impressed when standards bodies announce their initial initiatives. But on the other... I wouldn't underestimate Pivotal -- led by former VMware and Microsoft executive Paul Maritz...

4. Oracle's Response?: IBM is now using its POWER8 chips as part of an OpenPower hardware push into the company's own SoftLayer cloud data centers. The key takeaway: IBM and some of its partners are trying to reduce cloud data center reliance on Intel processors. My spin? It's an important wakeup call for... wait for it... Oracle Corp. If Oracle's Engineered Systems (based on Sun SPARC processors) truly are more scalable and cost-effective than commodity Intel hardware, then Oracle has got to promote Engineered Systems within its own cloud data centers -- and within third-party clouds.

3. Talent Grab: Box is buying Subspace -- a seven-person startup focused on mobile device security. More proof that secure file management between clouds and mobile devices remains a hot opportunity -- and challenge.

2. Fresh Funding:

  • Alation, which develops a data-driven platform to make information more accessible across organizations, raised $9 million in Series A funding.
  • CloudMine, which develops tools for enterprise mobile applications, has raised $5 million in Series A financing.
  • Culture Amp, a people analytics company, has raised $6.3 million in Series A funding.
  • Tempered Networks, which develops secure connectivity for industrial control systems and other IT infrastructure, has raised $15 million in Series A funding.
  • YouMail, which develops a digital personal assistant to help you manage incoming calls, has raised $5.5 million in Series B funding.

1. Have You Heard?: The largest technology event for entrepreneurs, VCs and angel investors is coming soon to New York. But what exactly is NY TechDay -- and why do 15,000 people plan to attend? We've got the details in our latest podcast (Episode 24: Building the TechDay Ecosystem) with event leaders Jesse Podell and Alec Hartman. And don't forget to check out all of our weekly podcasts.

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