Data Sheet—Monday, March 16, 2015

March 16, 2015, 11:31 AM UTC

Good morning from lovely Savannah, which I’m visiting on a working vacation. A Chicago bank plans the nation’s largest “cardless” ATM network. HP is closer to settling a lawsuit over its botched Autonomy deal. Plus, big data can predict when someone might quit—and when that’s because of a bad manager. Wishing you a productive Monday!


How to tell when someone might punch out permanently. Clues to employee retention can be found in data about employee absenteeism, the frequency of team interactions, manager ratings, and dozens of factors that your company probably already tracks but doesn't measure.

That’s why companies like Wal-Mart Stores, Credit Suisse, AOL, and Box are investing in talent analytics software that makes sense of those hints, reports The Wall Street Journal. At Credit Suisse, for example, reducing unwanted attrition saves an estimated $75 million to $100 million annually.

On the flip side, knowing when someone might quit helps predict when recruitment should be ramped up. Elpida Ormanidou, Wal-Mart’s vice president of global people analytics, told the WSJ: “If we can tell three months in advance [that a position is going to be open], we can start hiring and training people. You don’t want the jobs vacant for that long a time.”


This ATM doesn’t require a bankcard. BMO Harris Bank (owned by Bank of Montreal) is rolling out the largest U.S network of “cardless” automatic teller machines—starting with about 750 locations in states including Illinois and Wisconsin. Cash can be withdrawn using a smartphone application that is read by the system by scanning a QR code. The pitch: transactions are more secure plus they only take about one-third as long.

Broader reach for your Facebook ads. The social network’s buyout of shopping app The Find is its latest attempt to boost e-commerce business for advertisers and make ads that are served up to visitors “more relevant and even better for consumers.” Facebook generates roughly $12.6 billion annual in digital advertising business.

Is this the future of passwords? Yahoo is testing a system that sends one-use, randomly selected logins whenever someone wants to sign into their account.

Coast-to-coast test drive for ‘driverless’ car. Now that’s some road trip. Engineers from Delphi Automotive will travel 3,500 miles from San Francisco to New York to collect data about how well self-driving vehicles respond to real-world conditions. Ironically, there will always be someone in the driver’s seat.



Former Isilon engineers promise ‘data aware’ storage, at scale

One month after snagging $40 million in Series B financing, stealthy startup Qumulo is delivering on its vision for scale-out storage technology optimized for analytics and other big data applications.

Its goal: help businesses prioritize the petabytes of data they’re collecting (video, images, and other unstructured files) rather than worrying about the storage hardware beneath it all. Its technology is “data aware,” collecting pertinent information as digital assets are saved. The chief benefit is speedier retrieval. Early customers include three of the top five film animation studios, a life sciences organization, and a major oil and gas exploration company.

“For the time being, we aspire to focus on pleasing people that need to store large amounts of files who need to access them at high performance,” said Peter Godman, co-founder and CEO of the Seattle-based startup.

Like many notable companies seeking to disrupt enterprise storage, Qumulo has an impressive pedigree: it was started by engineers from Isilon (acquired by EMC in 2010 for $2.25 billion). Isilon’s founder Sujal Patel actually joined the board earlier this year, around the same time the company closed its latest round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

“The team is addressing the major problem of digital data growth and management that will only continue to compound … By attacking the root of the problem—managing the data, rather than managing the storage—new outcomes are possible,” Patel said.

Qumulo’s total backing stands at $67 million. Its storage appliance, which runs on commodity hardware and solid state drives, is priced starting at $50,000.

The company faces many potential competitors in adjacent product categories. They range from vendors selling converged data center equipment, such as Nutanix, to companies like DataGravity that are also talking up data-aware storage, but at a much smaller scale.


China pushes pause on controversial surveillance policy. The legislation, which has been criticized harshly by President Obama, will require tech companies to hand over code that grants the government a “back door” into servers hosted in the country. Not a palatable policy for either those selling gear or would-be buyers that require heavy-duty security. It’s apparently on hold, at least for now.

Shareholder settlement nearer in HP-Autonomy dispute. The deal (which has taken almost a year) will protect the company’s liability from future claims related to the botched buyout. Management linked approximately $5 billion of a write-down in November 2012 to alleged accounting fraud related to the transaction.

This tablet computer developed by BlackBerry, IBM and Samsung could be safer than an iPad for corporate applications.

Videoconferencing upstart raises another $32 million. The lead investor for Highfive’s Series B round was Lightspeed Venture Partners. The company seeks to displace legacy systems from the likes of Cisco and Polycom. It has signed up more than 500 businesses during its first 90 days of commercial availability including Patagonia, Slack, Zenefits, and Warby Parker.

Snapchat’s No. 2 exec is out. According to Re/code’s report, Emily White’s resignation is the third high-profile departure in just two months.

How does Facebook handle censorship? The social network is getting more transparent about its policies.


Bill Gurley predicts ‘dead unicorns’ in startup-land this year by Erin Griffith

7 signs you’re working for a bad employer by Daniel Bukszpan

Apple’s ResearchKit is a big hit at SXSW by Stacey Higginbotham

Ellen Pao faces tough questions from jurors in Kleiner Perkins sexism case by Kia Kokalitcheva

Why a free and open Internet is pointless by Lloyd Carney


Need wireless access at 30,000 feet? Flight-rating service Routehappy lets travelers compare flights based whether they have Wi-Fi or power outlets (and the best seats on the plane for same).


Technomy Bio: The big picture on transformation. (March 25; Mountain View, California)

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

AWS Summit. First in a series of cloud strategy briefings. (April 9; San Francisco)

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)

Cornerstone Convergence: Connect, collaborate. (May 11 - 13; Los Angeles)

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

MongoDB World: Scale the universe. (June 1 - 2; New York)

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

Brainstorm Tech: Fortune’s invite-only gathering of thinkers, influencers and entrepreneurs. (July 13 - 15; Aspen, Colorado)

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

Dreamforce: The Salesforce community. (Sept. 15 - 18; San Francisco)

BoxWorks 2015: Cloud collaboration solutions. (Sept. 28 - 30; San Francisco)

Gartner Symposium ITxpo: CIOs and senior IT executives. (Oct. 4 - 8; Orlando, Florida)

Oracle OpenWorld: Customer and partner conference. (Oct. 25 - 29; San Francisco)

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