5 Technology Observations: 9 March 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology news insights, rumors, gossip and perspectives to start your day for Monday, March 9, 2015.

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

10. Cloud Forecast: The global cloud computing market will continue to grow 30 percent annually, reaching $270 billion by 2020, predicts Market Research Media. Still, analysis of the report suggests profits remain difficult to find in many cloud segments. One theory suggests Amazon Web Services price cuts will gradually slow down -- allowing the IaaS market to finally build a more predictable profit margin base.

9. Banking on SDN: Bank of America is overhauling its data center and network infrastructure, using technology from Facebook's Open Compute project. Roughly 80 percent of the bank's workloads will be on a software-defined infrastructure by 2018. The big question: Will big-name network hardware be in place -- or is the bank shifting to commodity x86 hardware with SDN atop it.

8. Late But Still Early?: WANdisco is the latest company to join the Hadoop Open Data Platform standards group. The company is listed as a founding member of the group -- even though the group launched last month. Proponents like IBM, EMC and VMware say the group will work to ensure that Hadoop will gain open, high-value standards that enhance big data application deployments. But critics like Cloudera and MapR say the group is redundant with existing Hadoop initiatives.

7. M&A: SugarCRM apparently has acquired Stitch -- a mobile sales app startup. It sounds like SugarCRM has shut down the app, perhaps to rebrand it for a re-launch that works far more closely with SugarCRM's core CRM platform.

6. Somewhat Ironic: The FTC is adding encryption to its website -- at a time when the US government has expressed concerns about iPhones, Android smartphones and other devices shipping with encryption. The feds worry encryption on consumer devices will block law enforcement from finding and tracking terror groups, organized crime and more...

5. Fresh Funding:

  • BookKeeping Express, which provides personalized business bookkeeping services, has raised $5.8 million in Series A funding. Paulson Investment Company was the exclusive investor.
  • Pressly, a content marketing startup, raised $2.1 million in a round led by Gibraltar Ventures. The company's SaaS platform allows you to search the web and social networks, and syndicate content in real-time.
  • Quixley, the app search engine, has raised a $60 million round in Series C1 funding. Alibaba led the round, with participation from SoftBank, Goldman Sachs and GGV.

4. Why So Silent: The newswires are a bit quiet this morning. Why's that? Seems like much of the tech industry has bowed out of today's news cycle -- because of the Apple Watch launch event.

3. Logo: Every business ultimately needs a catchy, memorable logo. The McDonald's Golden Arches. The Nike Swoosh. The Starbucks Mermaid. The After Nines Inc. ... stay tuned.

2. Booking Early: I'm thinking about booking dinner reservations for Carmines the week of May 3... Will I be seated alone... or dining with some special guests?

1. Sour Notes, Great Night: Well, tonight I'm scheduled to play the tuba at my son's fourth grade band concert. The challenges: I don't know how to play the tuba and I haven't read music -- notes on page -- since sixth grade. Parents are asked to play their children's instruments at the start of the concert -- to demonstrate just how difficult it is to master each instrument. After the parents deliver some sour notes... the kids, thankfully, take over. Back when I was a road warrior, I missed this particular concert performance twice before -- when my two older sons performed with my wife years ago. This time, I'm off the road -- and ready to show my lack of musical talent.

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