5 Technology Observations: 30 April 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology observations, insights, chatter, rumors and gossip to start your day for Thursday, April 30, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves nine items.

9. Feeling Anti-Social (On Wall Street): After a dismal earnings report from Twitter earlier this week, now Yelp has reported slower-than-expected visitor growth. Of the Big Four IT trends (cloud, mobile, big data and social), right now social is showing the most cracks. The rich are getting richer (i.e., Facebook, LinkedIn)... but I'm worried about the social startups that are still in the pipeline...

8. Facebook for Small Business: Facebook claims there are now 40 million active small business pages on its social network. To further boost that figure, the company is hitting the road (again) with Facebook Boost Your Business -- essentially a roadshow for small businesses.

7. Salesforce Up for Sale?: That's the rumor. The cloud CRM giant apparently has hired a financial advisor to manage an offer from an unidentified buyer. Why did the story leak? My guess: To bring more potential suitors to the bidding table... and drive up a potential sale price. Meanwhile, Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff had dinner with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella ahead of the Build conference, sources told Re/code...

6. Game On for MS-DOS: You can now embed MS-DOS games directly in your Tweets -- proving once again that time-wasting activities from the 1980s (playing DOS-based games) fused with time-wasting activities of 2015 (social media) can inspire new ways to waste even more time. Somebody please call me when Amazon drones can deliver Pet Rocks to my doorstep...

5. Microsoft's $20 Billion Cloud Math: Microsoft expects its cloud revenue run rate to reach $20 billion by 2018. But don't confuse run rate with actual revenue. A run rate basically multiplies a best quarter of performance by four to give you an overall 12-month pace.

It's safe to say Microsoft was using a Q4 2018 estimate (maybe $5 billion) and then multiplying by 4 to reach the $20 billion run rate figure. Assuming Microsoft's cloud business continues to grow about 30 percent annually from 2017 to 2018, I suspect Microsoft's actual cloud goals for 2018 look like this:

  • Q4 2017: $3.7 billion
  • Q1 2018: $4 billion
  • Q2 2018: $4.3 billion
  • Q3 2018: 4.7 billion
  • Q4 2018: $5 billion
  • Actual 2018 total: $18 billion.

Again, the figures above are my own fuzzy math. They don't add up to that $20 billion annual run rate. But they're still impressive. Very impressive.

4. Big Data Everywhere: MapR and a range of technology companies are hosting Big Data Everywhere conferences across the globe. The one-day conference includes stops in Washington, D.C.; Denver, Singapore, London, Sydney and Boston. Will I attend? Hmmm...

3. NoSQL Reality Check: The market for NoSQL will reach $4.2 billion by 2020, enjoying a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 35.1 percent from 2014 to 2020, according to Allied Market Research. Still, a recent report from Dell and Unisphere Research suggested that most companies have yet to get started with Hadoop and NoSQL. Instead, the majority of corporate data remains in relational databases from Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and others.

2. Fresh Funding: Tech startups raising new rounds of money include...

  • Infinidat (Needham, Mass.), an enterprise storage startup, raised $150 million led by TPG Growth. The company's overall valuation: $1.2 billion. 
  • MD Insider (Santa Monica, Calif.), which develops a big data healthcare platform, raised $9.5 million in Series A funding led by multiple individuals. Basically, you use MD Insider to find the most qualified doctors for your specific needs.
  • Netbase (Mountain View, Calif.), which offers enterprise-scale social media analytics, raised $9 million in Series E funding led by ORIX Ventures.
  • ThreatQuotient Inc. (Dulles, Va.), a cybersecurity software company, raised $1.5 million in seed funding led by Blu Venture.
  • XOEye Technologies (Nashville, Tenn.), focused on enterprise wearable solutions, raised $1.9 million in Series A funding led by IncWell LLP II.

1. Reminder: After Nines Inc. does not publish blogs or a newsletter on Fridays. We put aside that day for R&D reality checks, new innovations, and binge watching Netflix. We'll be back Monday with more content and insights.

Subscribe: Want to receive our blog headlines in your inbox each business day (except when we go stealth on Fridays)? Then subscribe to our enewsletter. Thanks to those who already have.