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Data Sheet—Thursday, January 8, 2015

Good morning, Data Sheet readers. Lisa Su spent her first 90 days as CEO of Advanced Micro Devices leading the chipmaker back toward the path of profitable growth. She sat down with Fortune to discuss how AMD intends to differentiate.

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TRENDING

FBI chief has ‘no doubt’ on North Korean blame theory. Be careful not to anger foreign governments. Clues about the origin of Sony’s unprecedented corporate security incident point to its involvement, which blurs the lines of exactly how to retaliate. Plus, what security experts are learning from the perpetrators’ “sloppy” cover-up techniques. New York Times

Layoffs for two well-funded software startups? Separate reports suggest mobile app company Evernote ($290 million raised) and mobile device management and security company Good Technology ($293 million) are both reducing expenses (and workforces). The latter company decided to delay its IPO last year. TechCrunch

AT&T counters T-Mobile, kinda. Didn’t use up your wireless data service? Customers who “share” their monthly allotment on multiple devices can now push the unused portion forward. But only into the next month. Watch for more to follow. Ars Technica

RESEARCH & PREDICTIONS

Big year ahead for enterprise software. Sales should reach $620 billion in 2015, with Forrester Research forecasting that the biggest checks will go to these usual suspects: customer relationship management, resource planning, and business intelligence. Projected revenue growth for cloud business software over the next two years: 20%. ZDNet

POLICY & STRATEGY

All Internet traffic shall be treated equal. It looks like FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler now supports the idea that Internet service should be treated more like a public utility. He spoke out this week against traffic prioritization, hinting at tighter regulations for service providers. That’s an about-face from last year. Incidentally, the commission wants “broadband” networks to get much faster in rural areas. That means you’ll see future build-outs favor much higher data download and upload speeds. Wheeler’s comments came during CES this week. (Have you noticed how many government agencies are there?) Wired, Ars Technica

Joining forces to fight back. Most businesses are super secretive about their security strategies. But if black-hat hackers benefit from sharing tips, shouldn’t those defending against cyber breaches do the same? Meet Operation SMN, which likes that storyline. It includes Cisco, FireEye, Microsoft, and Symantec. Fortune

LEADERSHIP

Fortune 500’s newest woman CEO talks about her first 90 days on the job

Last October, Lisa Su became the first female leader of a major semiconductor company. As Advanced Micro Devices new CEO, the long-time technologist also became one of the 25 women CEOs in the Fortune 500. She spent the past few months trying to get the company—which, like larger rival Intel, has suffered from slumping PC sales—back on a path of profitable growth. To explain how she plans to do that (and to share her thoughts on breaking the glass ceiling at AMD and her passion for gaming), Su sat down for an exclusive interview with Fortune this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

You’re a few months in to the job now. What do you hope to do, and what’s the plan?

It’s been just about 90 days, and it’s been fabulous. I have been with the company for a couple of years and in the semiconductor industry for over 20 years. It is incredibly fun to run a company like AMD. I’ve spent most of the last quarter on the road. So that’s a lot of time with customers and partners and employees. The most interesting thing is just talking about the technology and why it’s exciting and important and we’re going with it. I grew up as a technology geek, and now I get to live the part for real.

Semiconductors have always been my background, so building chips and seeing the product of our designs go into devices is really cool for me. I think the vision that I’m trying to establish for AMD is that we are a company with technology that’s really, really leading edge, and we’re going into the most important applications over the next five years. So 50 billion devices will be connected together and there will be all different types of devices. You’ll have PCs and cars and more, and all of them need computing and visualization. That’s what we do.

How can you differentiate the company going forward?

Diversifying the business is definitely a good thing. But for me, it’s really about product applications and what we can enable and inspire. I think AMD is at our best when we’re working with a customer and allowing them to do something they couldn’t do before. That is not the history of the company—the history of the company is that we’ve been second source to other people. I think we really need to change that, that’s the nugget I’d like to change. Two years from now if we’re sitting here, you should be thinking, “Hey, these are all the cool things that AMD is in”—not that AMD is a second source to somebody else.

So what kind of cool things, for example?

Like the iMac 5K display. It has all of the technology that we can pack and graphics and visualization in a beautiful form factor. Also game consoles—that’s really a product that enables so much. I happen to have lots of game consoles in my house, and for our holiday party we did Just Dance [a “rhythm game” developed and published by Ubisoft]. It’s not a fighter game, but it’s a different way of socializing and bringing technology to the forefront. I think that’s what I’d like AMD to be known for—you know, we bring cool applications to the market.

Visit Fortune.com for more interview excerpts.

STARTUPS & DISRUPTORS

A sales presentation that updates itself? That’s Seismic

Most big companies create scads of marketing collateral, presentations, brochures, case studies and other marketing content for pitches. Keeping that information up to date, and making sure everyone’s using the right version, is a tedious process. Knowing which message can help close a specific deal is anyone’s guess.

Sales enablement software company Seismic—which this morning disclosed a $20 million Series B round from JMI Equity (the company behind ServiceNow) along with repeat investor Sigma West—is focused on automating that process.

“Seismic is the only platform that allows companies to get an end-to-end view of how content is used by employees and consumed by customers,” said Seismic co-founder and CEO Doug Winter. His previous venture was Objectiva Software Solutions, which eventually became part of EMC.

The San Diego-based company has created a mobile platform for tablet computers that keeps key presentations perpetually updated. It works by using real-time data or documents from internal and external sources. For example, your company’s corporate pitch could be turned into a “LiveDoc” that includes links to spreadsheets containing its latest pricing, logo images, customer lists, management team bios, and the like. Update one of the related documents, and the LiveDoc is likewise refreshed.

“Your content is no longer something that is static,” Winter said.

To build early momentum, Seismic designed its technology to work closely with customer relationship management (CRM) and business productivity apps from Salesforce and Microsoft. And that’s the second part of its story. Aside from keeping content tidier, the platform gathers information about what’s being viewed. “The more teams know about the person who’s looking at something, the better they are able to target that person,” Winter said.

It also keeps audit trails of when things are changed. That message resonates especially well with financial services companies, he said. That industry represents about half of Seismic’s current customer base, although a pharmaceutical company is its biggest client.

Seismic’s Series A round of $4.5 million was back in July 2013. Since that time, Winter said the startup has quadrupled in revenue and tripled in customer count.

MY FORTUNE.COM BOOKMARKS

Which Fortune 100 CEO has the biggest security budget? By Claire Zillman

Sleep deprived? There’s an app for that By Chris Morris

What Unilever shares with Google and Apple By Rick Wartzman

This Maryland company is the 3-D scanning firm for Hollywood stars By Andrew Zaleski

What do consumers want? Better batteries, not wearables By Alan Murray

Don’t have a 3-D printer yet? This startup wants to change that By Entrepreneur

The weirdest gadgets of CES 2015 By Chris Morris

 

ONE MORE THING

PC on a stick. Intel has crammed an entire mobile computer onto a gadget that’s about the size of a digital recorder. It could be used on an impromptu basis to access software applications using a television or to run multimedia presentations in areas where there isn’t any wireless access. (Think interactive signage in retail stores.)
Ars Technica

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

National Retail Federation: Technology showcase. (Jan. 11 – 14; New York)

IBM ConnectED: Collaboration and digital experience. (Jan. 25 – 28; Orlando, Florida)

IBM Interconnect: Cloud and mobile strategy. (Feb. 22 – 26; Las Vegas)

Gartner CIO Leadership Forum: Digital business strategy. (March 1 – 3; Phoenix)

Microsoft Convergence: Dynamics solutions. (March 16 – 19; Atlanta)

IDC Directions 2015: Innovation in the 3rd Platform era. (March 18; Boston)

Cisco Leadership Council: CIO-CEO thought leadership. (March 18 – 20; Kiawah Island, South Carolina)

Gartner Business Intelligence & Analytics Summit: Crossing the divide. (March 30 – April 1; Las Vegas)

Knowledge15: Automate IT services. (April 19 – 24; Las Vegas)

RSA Conference: The world talks security. (April 20 – 24; San Francisco)

Forrester’s Forum for Technology Leaders: Win in the age of the customer. (April 27 – 28; Orlando, Fla.)

MicrosoftIgnite: Business tech extravaganza. (May 4 – 8; Chicago)

NetSuite SuiteWorld: Cloud ERP strategy. (May 4 – 7; San Jose, California)

EMC World: Data strategy. (May 4 – 7; Las Vegas)

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

Gartner Digital Marketing Conference: Reach your destination faster. (May 5 – 7; San Diego)

Annual Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference: JP Morgan’s 43rd invite-only event. (May 18 – 20; Boston)

HP Discover: Trends and technologies. (June 2 – 4; Las Vegas)