5 Technology Observations: 4 June 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology news insights, updates, Triple Crown predictions, gossip and more to start your day for Thursday, June 4, 2015.

Actually, today's update include 10 items for you to sip on.

10. Left At the Cloud Alter: Both Cisco Systems and IBM acquired OpenStack-focused cloud companies this week. Cisco snapped up PistonCloud and IBM acquired BlueBox. Cisco earlier acquired a different OpenStack company called Metacloud. Ironically, the biggest OpenStack promoter of them all -- Rackspace -- hasn't been snapped up. The reason? I suspect Rackspace is suffering from a "Tween" issue. The cloud provider is "too big" for tech giants to easily digest but "too small" to really move the needle for a potential suitor. PS: Keep a close eye on Mirantis -- one of the most experienced OpenStack consulting companies in the world...

8. Small Business Cloud Adoption: Roughly 37 percent of small businesses are "fully adapted" to cloud-based applications and that figure will jump to 78 percent of small businesses by 2020, according to Emergent Research. And this is more than an Office 365 and Google Apps trend. Apple just announced a cloud partnership with Vend, which makes cloud-based point of sale software for retailers, notes The Wall Street Journal. Intuit offers more insights on small business cloud adoption here.

7. New Google HangOuts, Skype Alternative: It's called Popcorn Buzz -- and it allows free group voice calls for up to 200 people. WOW. But does it work? And what about video support? The early release is built for Google Android. An Apple iOS release is forthcoming. I don't know about Web browser support. Checking... 

6. Machine Learning: It's not quite artificial intelligence -- or is it? You already know about the big data wave. But if you listen to recent earnings calls from Google and its rivals, you'll hear a lot of chatter about machine learning. Instead of forcing humans to program and re-program computers over and over again, the machines are learning on their own in such applications as voice-based search, smart home automation, sensor networks and more. Now, if only the machines would program themselves to offer smart home interoperability between Android and iOS...

5. What Comes After Hadoop for Big Data?: Although Hadoop continues to grow in popularity, Gartner recently said the market for Hadoop software is growing less rapidly than originally expected -- perhaps because customers aren't sure how or why to leverage the storage grid technology. Meanwhile, some pundits are starting to wonder about potential Hadoop alternatives or successors. The answer could involve Spark. I'll be hunting for answers and clarifications at Hadoop Summit (June 9-11, San Jose).

4. Desktop As A Service Goes Hybrid?: My views on DaaS have evolved quite a bit over the years. My current thinking goes like this: I want to run my core operating system locally, but all of my apps can live in the cloud -- as long as they have offline capabilities for emergency access. Call it Hybrid DaaS -- and credit me when you do (wink, wink). I really value Hybrid DaaS since I'm in real-time collaboration mode with business partner Amy Katz much of my business day. PS: My kids are addicted to Chromebooks, perhaps the ultimate example of Desktop as a Service in the mainstream consumer market...

3. Who Predicted Cisco's Next CEO -- Back in 2013?: Hmmmm... I wonder who wrote this? The attitude. The wit. The complete disregard for fact checking -- perhaps because the anonymous author was "in the know"... By the way, new Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins does have a leadership team plan -- it was announced today.

2. Join Me: Our podcast guest list continues to grow rapidly. Check the lineup here and tune in every Tuesday at 9:01 p.m. ET for the latest conversation. And stay tuned. We could have some surprise conversations from Hadoop Summit in the next few days... Our podcasts are designed for I.T. entrepreneurs who are navigating major inflection points -- funding, expansion, talent acquisition, and plenty more.

1. Reminder: After Nines Inc. does not publish content or newsletters on Friday's because we're at the beach... or focused on R&D. We'll be back Monday with content updates.

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