5 Technology Observations: 26 May 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology observations, insights, rumors, gossip and chatter to start your day for Tuesday, May 26, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves 12 items.

12. What Does CDO Truly Stand For?: At first, the answer was either Chief Data Officer or Chief Digital Officer. But now, Apple has a new twist on the acronym -- promoting Jony Ive to Chief Design Officer...

11. Did You Feel That?: IBM's next-generation customer service software apparently performs "emotional analysis" to see how customers are feeling. But does anybody ever call a support line when they're in a good mood? Hopefully, the code can track a mood shift -- from irate customer to satisfied customer as a support professional solves the customer's issue...

10. Great Advice: If you and your team are burning out while building your startup business, it could be time to hire so-called black sheep from larger companies, according to The Wall Street Journal. As I read that opinion piece, I re-lived the early days of our previous startup -- where fun, innovation and sleep deprivation were the norm...

9. M&A: EMC has acquired Virtustream for about $1.2 billion in cash. The deal will provide the foundation for EMC's managed cloud services business. No doubt, EMC Federation companies like VMware will find their technology used in Virtustream's world. Interestingly, I don't think the announcement mentioned another EMC Federation member -- Pivotal. I'll be watching for EMC CEO Joe Tucci's spin on the deal today.

8. Facebook - Friend or Foe?: That debate continues to rage in the content world, where folks are curious but worried about Facebook's new Instant Articles strategy. I'm not quite ready to hit "Like" but After Nines Inc. is watching that strategy closely...

7. Dollars and Cents: Workday is set to announce quarterly results later today. The fast-growth provider of cloud-based HR software has been pushing into financial management, professional services automation and plenty more. I'm curious to learn how that diversity is playing out.

6. What the SaaS Is Wrong?: Take a closer look at Hewlett-Packard's recent quarterly results, and you'll see that SaaS revenues actually fell 5 percent. Although CEO Meg Whitman has stabilized the company in recent years, the continued SaaS weakness is a clear warning sign that HP continues to lag in growth markets.

5. Here or There?: A lot of readers have been asking if I plan to attend Cloud Expo (June 9-11, New York) or Hadoop Summit (June 9-11, San Jose). I'm located in New York so Cloud Expo is the easy visit... but I've decided instead to go cross-country to the Hadoop gathering. Hmmm...

4. Fresh Funding: Technology startups raising money to drive growth include...

  • Granify (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), which offers an e-commerce revenue optimization platform, raised $7 million in Series A funding led by Valar Ventures.
  • PayItSimple (New York), focused on PCI-compliant payment technology, raised $10 million from Simpel Management.
  • Samsara (San Francisco), which develops Internet of Things sensor systems, raised $25 million led by Andreessen Horowitz.

3. Join Me At 1:00 p.m. ET: I'm co-anchoring Tech News Today with Mike Elgan and several surprise guests. It's a safe bet we'll cover Charter Communications' $55 billion plan to buy Time Warner Cable -- along with the latest from Apple, Facebook, Google and more. 

2. And at 9:01 p.m. ET: Tune in our latest podcast -- with MemSQL CEO Eric Frenkiel -- describing the finer points of real-time big data management. During the conversation, Frenkiel talks a bit about his experience managing data -- lots of data -- at Facebook before he and a pal went off to launch MemSQL. Tune in at 9:01 p.m. ET or grab the archived podcast for future listening.

1. Reality Check: If you're a U.S.-based employee and you woke up today dreading work -- after a three-day weekend -- then it's simply time to change jobs. What are you waiting for?

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