Data Sheet—Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11, 2014, 12:37 PM UTC

Good morning, Data Sheet readers. What do Google, Intel and Xerox have in common? They’re just three of the high-tech companies trying to develop better prescriptions for healthcare technology. Plus, if you want to get a better handle on how much your IT really costs, Apptio CEO Sunny Gupta wants to help crunch the numbers.


Talking healthcare tech. Apple scored U2 for its launch extravaganza, but Intel got physicist Stephen Hawking's stamp of approval for its latest healthcare invention: a connected wheelchair. Google's latest medical-tech investment is Lift Labs, which makes gadgets to help people with Parkinson's disease get on with everyday life. Xerox just released a patient-care analytics service to help hospitals understand their performance. And the former CEO of Allscripts just got $10 million to start Livongo Health, focused on diabetes management.

JDS Uniphase will split up. Is it an optical components or networking services vendor? The company is addressing its identity crisis with a plan to create two, publicly traded companies.  

Microsoft in contempt. It's not really in trouble (yet) but the developer's refusal to hand over data from an Irish data center sets the stage for an appeal. It could still face penalties, but this matters for matters of cloud data privacy and protection. (Now, if NFL announcers would only stop identifying Surface tablets as iPads.)

Being Marc Benioff. The Salesforce CEO's passion for corporate philanthropy is no secret, but did you know he prefers Airbnb rentals to hotels? Here are nine things you should know about the enterprise software billionaire.


Seagate jumps on the bandwagon. It's creating a new division dedicated to private and public cloud infrastructure and services. Among the first new products: enterprise storage solutions built for high-performance computing, analytics and disaster recovery. (BTW, just last month, Seagate broke capacity records with an 8 terabyte drive, but Western Digital just topped it with 10 terabytes.)

Cloudbees cultivates Pivotal relationship. Instead of managing its own enterprise app development platform in the cloud, it's moving that service to Foundry and concentrating on making its Java programming tools better.


Streamlined and super-bright. There's no price yet, but Dell's upcoming 8.4-inch Android tablet (which Michael showed off at the Intel Developer Forum) will be the thinnest one on the market yet.


Atlassian breaks the mold. It hasn't taken venture money, letting employees sell shares directly to investors. But even though the 12-year-old online collaboration company didn't hire its first salesperson until this year, it just reported a respectable $215 million in annual revenue.

Find bad code before bad guys do. Veracode's application-layer security software is used by three of the world's top four banks. It just got another $40 million for acquisitions and a potential IPO.

Now see this. Mapping visualization startup CartoDB, which makes technology that rivals Esri and Google Mapping Engine, has raised $7 million with which it will court corporate customers.



On the list of things CIOs worry about, seeing eye-to-eye with line-of-business counterparts is still right up there (thus says a survey leaked this week). That's not really a surprise considering most are now judged on metrics like contributions to new revenue or customer satisfaction. (Both revelations are part of an annual study by the Society for Information Management, officially due in October.)

The irony: even though IT professionals have all sorts of tools for managing stuff to do with service levels or security or help desk issues or whatever-other-incident-you-can-think-of, they have very few options for monitoring the "business" side of their job. (Although the HP-subsumed Mercury Interactive got pretty close.)

That's one reason the venture community has tossed $136 million at Apptio, which plays in a category it self-describes as "technology business management." (Apptio was the first investment by Andreessen Horowitz in 2009.)

Co-founder and CEO Sunny Gupta (previously engineering exec at Mercury, Opsware, Rational Software and IBM) credits Goldman Sachs's CIO with the idea, which he bounced off another 40-plus IT leaders before figuring he was onto something. Now, the 550-person Bellevue, Wash.-based developer claims roughly 200 customers, including one-third of the Fortune 100. (Cisco, Bank of America and Microsoft are three names Gupta reveals.)

"At a very simple level, we've created an analytics system. We help the CIO understand the entire cost base of running technology products and services, and we help them benchmark their investments relative to their peers," he says.

Apptio's suite of apps works by aggregating information you already have about licensing, labor, maintenance, support and other costs, and crunching them into reports that can inform vendor discussions or contract negotiations. It can do this for on-premise infrastructure investments and (as of mid-August) for Amazon Web Services. In short, it wants to help make this sort of benchmarking less subjective than it tends to be right now.

Gupta dodges questions about pricing, saying it varies depending on how much a business spends on IT. (Kind of like how you would compensate a financial advisor, based on portfolio value.) But he's pushing to standardize the approach through the TBM Council, an organization of roughly 1,300 CIOs and IT executives Apptio helped found about six years ago. If his company can help CIOs gain even 2%-3% in efficiencies from heavily loaded operations budgets, those savings can be put toward innovation, right where he or she needs them to be. "The modern-day CIO is really the CEO of a technology business." 

Is Apptio onto something? Why hasn't someone done this before? Share your feedback at


Your gut was right about big data. Roughly two-thirds of the 1,000 CIOs, CMOs (and other CxO types) participating in a recent Accenture survey have analytics projects under way—for everything from mobile marketing to predictive equipment maintenance. Of those, 89% rate the initiatives as "very important" or "extremely important." Plus, more than half are using the technology to drive new revenue.


Open Data Center Alliance Forecast 2014: Cloud trends. (Sept. 22 – 24, San Francisco)

Oracle OpenWorld: Get a roadmap reality check. (Sept. 27 – Oct. 2, San Francisco)

Interop: Actionable solutions for IT headaches. (Sept. 29 – Oct. 3, New York)

Enterprise Security Summit: Challenges, trends and solutions. (Sept. 30, New York)

Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2014: Compare notes. (Oct. 5 – 9, Orlando, Fla.)

Splunk .conf2014. Glean intelligence from machine data. (Oct. 6 – 9, Las Vegas)

Dreamforce: 1,400 sessions about the largest cloud ecosystem. (Oct. 13-16, San Francisco)

Strata/Hadoop World: Big data tools and techniques. (Oct. 15 – 17, New York)

TBM Conference 2014: Manage the business of IT. (Oct. 28- 30, Miami Beach)

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)