Good morning, Data Sheet readers! Apple Pay is barely one week old, but more than one million cards have been activated, making it the leading mobile payment system in the United States. Plus: More businesses are taking a cue from digital application catalogs like the Apple App Store and Google Play. They are organizing corporate mobile and cloud services into enterprise "app stores." Why, you ask? Read today's FAQ to find out.
Apple Pay explodes, Alipay linkup possible. More than 1 million Apple Pay "cards" were activated in the first 72 hours of the service launch, Apple CEO Tim Cook told attendees of a Wall Street Journal technology conference Monday evening. "We are already No. 1," he said. "We are more than the total of the other guys." This despite high-profile decisions by CVS and Rite Aid to turn off the service, because they are committed to a competitive alternative. Besides, there's another potentially huge supporter waiting in the wings: Alibaba founder Jack Ma wants to integrate his Alipay service with Apple Pay. Fortune
AMD hires Dell executive to lead enterprise strategy. "Hyperscale" computing expert Forrest Norrod, who most recently was general manager for Dell's server business, now manages engineering and sales for the chipmaker's enterprise, embedded and "semi-custom" microprocessors. He reports to new AMD CEO Lisa Su.
Carriers could face $10 million fines for lax security. The FCC alleges that TerraCom and YourTel America put names, addresses, and Social Security numbers for more than 305,000 consumers at risk through inadequate data protection. Its proposed penalties are meant to ensure telecommunications companies honor the "public trust" and could set a new precedent for how data breaches are considered by the government. eWeek
Amazon Web Services hires former Dow Jones tech chief. Stephen Orban's position as head of enterprise strategy is a newly created one. He's in charge of ensuring better interconnections between AWS's cloud services and the legacy servers, storage, and networking technology that resides in traditional corporate data centers. Gigaom
NetApp's strengthens backup, management stories. It will pay $80 million to buy Riverbed Technology's SteelStore technology, which backs up enterprise storage hardware to cloud services (it supports all the market-leading providers). Also on tap this week: NetApp is disclosing several product updates that make it simpler to manage "hybrid" data environments spread between private corporate data centers and public cloud services. Plus, it is tightening relations with Amazon Web Services and IBM's SoftLayer division.
STATS & SPECS
Targeted attacks on the rise. At least 12% of organizations considered in a new survey by security company Kaspersky Labs survey suffered one cyberattack during the past 12 months specifically intended for them (rather than launched more broadly). That's up from 9% in 2013. Plus, IBM is the latest company to introduce a security analytics service meant to detect this sort of activity. ZDNet
E-sign on the dotted line. Want to make sure that talented new recruit your business wants to hire signs on with your team more quickly? Human resources software company Workday is adding support for Adobe Systems's EchoSign electronic signatures to speed hiring approvals and employee onboarding. ZDNet
STARTUPS & DISRUPTORS
Where's that object? Enterprise storage SwiftStack just raised $16 million in Series B funding led by OpenView Venture Partners, bringing its total to $23.6 million. SwiftStack's technology organizes unstructured data (think photos or songs or documents) into "objects" that make them simpler to manage. For perspective, object storage is the foundation of Amazon's S3 service.) SwiftStack's customers include Disney, Hewlett-Packard, and Time Warner Cable.
Orchestrate international e-commerce payments. Credorax's technology makes it simpler for online merchants to accept transactions from buyers outside their domestic market. It just raised another $40 million in a round that includes new backer Columbus Nova Technology Partners and previous investor Blumberg Capital. (That makes $130 million so far.) Its service supports 28 countries, but Credorax faces massive competitors, including First Data. TechCrunch
Why more businesses use enterprise 'app stores'
Most smartphone or tablet owners are familiar with the process of downloading mobile apps from online catalogs such as Google Play or Apple's App Store. That's why more businesses are embracing a similar model as a method of simplifying management, disseminating updates, and controlling access to cloud services and mobile apps.
So-called "enterprise app stores" give employees the freedom to download software they need for their job without having to pester someone within the corporate IT organization. At the same time, they allow more control over that's used. Research firm Gartner estimates that by 2017, at least one-quarter of businesses will use them to deliver software.
"When successful, they can increase the value delivered by the application portfolio and reduce the associated risks, license fees and administration expenses," says Gartner analyst Ian Finley.
Three of the more vocal software companies tackling this segment are Apperian in Boston, AppDirect in San Francisco, and Flexera Software in Itasca, Ill. Since 2009, Apperian's technology has been used to deliver more than 1 million enterprise app downloads. Flexera works with about 80,000 companies, mostly related to its long history in software licensing technology and services. AppDirect (backed by Peter Thiel's Mithril Capital) is at the center of a high-profile human resources application marketplace being assembled by ADP.
One early adopter of the enterprise app store concept is financing and leasing company De Lage Linden (DLL), which uses Apperian's technology. It had several rationales, starting with its need to create standardized processes for downloads. It is arming its sales partners with mobile apps that can be used to generate quotes in the field.
"If you have multiple apps that you're considering, you want to make sure you have a consistent method for deploying them," says Scott Phelps, DLL's vice president of global e-business operations. "Having an app catalog is something that allows you to do that."
DLL also expects to use its technology for securing the data collected with its mobile apps (rather than allowing the data to "live" on the mobile device) and for gathering feedback about which features are used most frequently. "The ability to collect reviews and gather information about usage is very helpful," Phelps says.
ONE MORE THING
Report: Heavy tax burden could weigh down digital progress. Did you know that Bangladesh adds 57.8% to information and communications technologies (ICT) and services above its 15% VAR? Indeed, many emerging nations are impeding adoption of cellphones, computers and telecommunications with "discriminatory" tariffs and taxes on both consumers and businesses. Of the 125 countries studied by The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, 31 impose taxes of at least 5%; several add more than 20%.
"Nations impose discriminatory taxes and tariffs on ICT goods and services for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they are relatively easy to tax and are seen as luxury goods," the Washington-based research group notes. "But because ICT taxes and tariffs limit growth, the net revenue benefits from taxing ICT goods and services are usually short-lived."
TBM Conference 2014: Manage the business of IT. (Oct. 28- 30, Miami Beach)
SIMposium 2014: Tech execs and practioners. (Nov. 2 – 4, Denver)
Techonomy14: Tech-driven transformation. (Nov. 9 – 11, Half Moon Bay, Calif.)
AWS re:Invent: The latest about Amazon Web Services. (Nov. 11 – 14, Las Vegas)
Gartner Data Center Conference: Ideas for operations and management. (Dec. 2 – 5, Las Vegas)
IBM Interconnect 2015: Cloud and mobile strategy. (Feb. 22 – 26, 2015; Las Vegas)
Microsoft Convergence 2015: Dynamics solutions. (March 16 – 19, 2015; Atlanta)