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Data Sheet—Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Good morning, Data Sheet readers! Fast-growing e-commerce company Bigcommerce and data encryption expert CipherCloud have both scored $50 million funding rounds. Plus, an analysis of why Amazon Web Services’s lead in cloud computing is slipping.

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Senate votes to keep spying indiscriminately. So far, Edward Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency’s unbridled collection of phone records have been for naught. The “USA Freedom Act” backed by Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter (and others)—which would have required the NSA to request data for specific individuals rather than grabbing them in bulk—just died a procedural death. Reuters

SAP: No more big acquisitions for now. With the $8.3 billion takeover of expense software maker Concur expected to close in about three weeks, CEO Bill McDermott says any future buyouts will “probably put you to sleep.” In the past several years, SAP has picked off cloud software players including SuccessFactors, Ariba, and Fieldglass (among others). Reuters

Patent payments pending. Apple was ordered to pay $23.6 million to resolve a dispute over two-way messaging technology. Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics must still fork over royalties to Microsoft while the courts sort out a lawsuit over Nokia technologies. Re/code

More valuable than IBM. Both Microsoft and Oracle currently have bigger market capitalizations than rival Big Blue, despite the latter’s recent barrage of feel-good announcements. Microsoft value’s is more than twice as big, at about $404 billion. Here’s an analysis. BusinessInsider

Former BlackBerry CEO takes new job. Thorsten Heins will lead Power Technologies, one of several companies working on technology for charging gadgets and computers without wires—like the kind being tested at Starbucks locations. Re/code


7 billion people. That’s how many active mobile phone subscribers telecommunications equipment provider Ericsson predicts there will be in the world by the end of this year. Smartphones will account for just 2.7 billion on that number. TechCrunch

Smart wristbands versus smart watches. Next year, the latter’s ability to support more than one application will cut into sales of devices meant just for collecting information about exercise habits. Smart fitness devices will rebound the following year, reaching 91.3 million units by 2016. Gartner


$50 million more for Bigcommerce. Lead investors in the e-commerce technology company’s Series D round include SoftBank Capital, American Express Ventures and Telstra Ventures (a fund run by Australia’s biggest telecommunications company). Founder Eddie Machalaani told me the new money will go toward international expansion, support for its newly minted sourcing partnership with Alibaba, and technology that gives Bigcommerce a bigger footprint among brick-and-mortar retailers. The company currently serves about 60,000 “emerging” businesses.

Big round for security upstart. Data encryption company CipherCloud just disclosed $50 million in financing led by Transamerica Ventures and Delta Partners. Return investors are Andreessen Horowitz and T-Ventures (the venture arm of Deutsche Telekom). The technology works in concern with software as a service (SaaS) applications, such as, Microsoft Office 365, or ServiceNow. Customers include five of the top U.S. banks.

Tighter ties. Data warehouse giant Teradata is expanding its relationship with MapR Technologies, one of the leading Hadoop-focused enterprise data management startups. The alliance now includes joint product development and a leg up for MapR from the Teradata sales team.


Just how important was the Amazon Web Services customer conference last week? Fortune staff writer JP Mangalindan offers an analysis of just how much fierce competitors Microsoft and Google are closing the gap—and why.

To avoid the hassle of operating data centers, many companies hand the job off to Amazon. In addition to being the biggest online retailer, Amazon has built a giant business of renting servers to customers that need computing power to crunch numbers, stream movies and process orders.

But Amazon, the leading so-called “cloud services platform,” faces an increasingly stiff challenge. Rivals like Microsoft are slowly gaining ground in what is a key battleground between some of the technology industry’s biggest companies.

“Cloud platforms are the service of choice for modern software, which means that all the big businesses who have a significant stake in app development or distribution are getting into this space. They have to,” says James Staten, a Forrester Research analyst.

Amazon’s Web Services, the name of its data center arm, controlled up to 75% of the global cloud platforms market in 2013, according to Forrester Research analyst James Staten. But that share is expected to drop to around 65% by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, Microsoft, a distant second in the race with what is known as Azure, had 15% of the market in 2013. That share is expected to climb to 25% by the end of the year.

The potential for cloud computing remains huge. Corporations could spend as much as $235 billion on it in 2017, more than triple the amount they spent in 2011, according to IHS Technology. It’s no wonder then companies like Microsoft, Google, Salesforce, SAP and Oracle are ramping up efforts to meet demand.

To read the rest of the analysis, visit



Uber knows a lot about you, so what can it do with that information? By Laura Lorenzetti

Home Depot warns there’ll be more costs due to its data breach By John Kell

Advice from women in tech: ‘Be yourself and you’ll be legend’ By Shalene Gupta

Phantom trades bedevil AAPL By Philip Elmer-DeWitt

Five ways to hack your holiday travel By Jason Cipriani

How to avoid becoming a workaholic By Sarah Kauss

Who could buy Netflix? By Sanjay Sanghoee


Just what we need, another business email service. IBM is getting into the act with Verse. It’s meant to build on the company’s Notes software (from the Lotus buyout), still used by more than 25,000 companies worldwide. One especially cool feature: the application can compose email responses based on your previous interactions. Wait, where can I get this? Re/code

Watch out, caption writers. Separate research teams at Google and Stanford University have developed artificial software that is so good at recognizing and identifying what’s in photographs and videos that its accuracy rivals humans. New York Times


Punk rocker’s digital addiction. In the strange-but-true column, Sex Pistols singer Johnny Rotten admits he once spent almost $15,600 on games for his iPad. The Verge


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)

Knowledge15: Automate enterprise IT services. (April 19-24, 2015; Las Vegas)

MicrosoftIgnite: Enterprise tech extravangaza. (May 4 – 8, 2015; Chicago)

SAPPHIRE NOW: The SAP universe. (May 5 – 7, 2015; Orlando, Fla.)

VMworld: The virtualization ecosystem. (Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, 2015; San Francisco)