Good morning, Data Sheet readers. LinkedIn’s $1.5 billion buyout of Lynda.com is a huge endorsement for online learning. After their split, eBay and PayPal will remain very close friends. Plus, watch out IBM: Amazon’s cloud division will now let other companies buy the smart analytics technology that its e-commerce operation uses for personalized recommendations.
By the way, if you haven’t pre-ordered an Apple Watch, your chances of having one on your wrist by late April are pretty slim. Have a terrific weekend.
TOP OF MIND
Amazon protects its cloud turf with smarter machines. Those explaining the potential of predictive analytics to neophytes often cite the personal recommendations feature on Amazon’s e-commerce site as an example of what’s possible. Now, Amazon will let its cloud customers tap those algorithms.
The service, called Amazon Machine Learning, can be used for everything from medical research to business intelligence to city planning. “It can provide a company with information on the challenges facing them, or an overlay about what to do next,” Amazon’s data science chief, Matt Wood, told the New York Times.
Microsoft beat Amazon to the punch with a similar machine learning service last summer. Signs suggest we can expect the same from the other big public cloud services contender, Google. Needless to say, analytics services are also central to IBM’s ambitions.
LinkedIn’s $1.5 billion endorsement of online learning. The corporate training world was rocked Thursday by the social networking site’s buyout of Lynda.com, a pioneer in online education that has been in business for two decades. The site currently hosts a library of more than 6,300 courses. Its 60-year-old founder, Lynda Weinman, got her start teaching web and graphics design. The integration could make it simpler for LinkedIn members to upgrade their job skills. Plus, LinkedIn sees the union as helpful for getting into new markets where it’s harder to find training: such as China.
An extremely amicable divorce. A lengthy regulatory filing details what investors and consumers can expect after the eBay-PayPal split. One of the more notable revelations: eBay must use PayPal services for 80% of transactions for the next five years. Still, it is now free to add other mobile or digital payments options. Plus, don’t expect any sort of PayPal e-commerce organization that sells physical goods. (By the way, still no official date for the split.)
No deal. Merger talks between Intel and Altera are over, according to several news reports. The union would have been the chip giant’s biggest acquisition ever, but apparently the two sides couldn’t agree on a price.
Google’s deadline on mobile search is approaching. If your company hasn’t gotten around to optimizing its website for tablets or smartphones, your search result rankings are about to suffer. Here’s what you might do before April 21 to minimize the damage.
Plus, in a troubling development in Japan, Google was ordered to remove negative, patient-submitted reviews about a local medical clinic from its Maps service.
Insurance adjustors get drone pilot skills. AIG is testing the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for collecting images up on roofs or in places where it might be dangerous for humans to investigate. At least two other insurance companies were also blessed by the FAA to experiment with similar applications. Plus, Amazon’s drone delivery pilot is progressing.
This mobile startup modernizes enterprise apps, fast. Within the cohort of disruptive companies tackling mobile app creation, Capriza’s mission is relatively unique and specific.
Its software can be used to capture data from widely used business applications from the likes of SAP, Oracle, Salesforce and Microsoft and then handcraft it into simple dashboards, called Zapps, on tablets or smartphones.
Capriza’s customers are using the platform for tasks such as managing marketing campaigns or getting a view into vacation schedules.
One Fortune 500 retailer with thousands of the stores across the United States used it to create a system for monitoring inventory levels and making real-time adjustments, according to a corporate case study. The initial application was assembled in just three days, and refreshed one week later after feedback from users.
As another example, DirecTV field technicians use Zapps to manage account activations, speeding the process and freeing call centers for other tasks. The application was developed within three weeks; by the end of the first month, it was driving 30% of all activations.
“The way I envision my world is no longer running those complex, desktops applications but with snippets of data,” said Yuval Scarlat, co-founder and CEO of the company, which splits operations between Israel and Palo Alto, California.
Scarlat and two co-founders, Oren Ariel and Amnon Landon, are all former executives of Mercury Interactive, a software company acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2006 for $4.5 billion. Those credentials helped them close a $27 million Series C funding round last October, led by Andreessen Horowitz and Charles River Ventures. “Capriza’s breakthrough approach to mobile applications gives enterprises 10x more mobility at less than 1/10 the cost,” said Ben Horowitz, general partner at the VC firm and a Capriza board member.
Capriza uses figures that suggest it takes an average of six to nine months to mobilize most business software applications, at an average cost of $250,000.
The new financing has already funded several key hires, including a new vice president and general manager for international operations, along with chief sales and marketing officers.
Most of Capriza’s customers concentrate first on mobilizing processes that touch customers in some way, Scarlat said. “Executives also are embracing this approach” to generate sales and marketing forecasts in real time, he said.
ALSO WORTH SHARING
Satyam execs head for prison. The former chairman of the Indian technology outsourcing firm was convicted of accounting fraud—along with his brother and eight other former executives and auditors. At one time, Satyam claimed 185 members of the Fortune 500 as its customers.
Intel, Cray score $200 million supercomputer contract. The chip giant is the prime contractor for what could be the world’s fastest system, when it’s delivered to the Argonne National Laboratory sometime in 2018.
New math for Citrix first quarter. Restructuring costs and foreign exchange “volatility” will undercut the software company’s original Q1 forecast.
MY FORTUNE BOOKMARKS
Why women are better investors than men by Jean Chatzky
Alibaba’s online bank could be a quick hit. Then what? by Scott Cendrowski
Top investors hold ‘pitch competition’ for women only by Erica Swallow
Samsung expects its new Galaxy S6 to be a massive hit by Benjamin Snyder
50 Cent says he wants to be the Adidas of headphones by Daniel Roberts
ONE MORE THING
Candidate Rand Paul will accept your donations via bitcoin. This will excite millennials and libertarians, but the virtual currency promises to further complicate Presidential fund-raising.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
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)
Cloud Foundry Summit: Open source development. (May 11 - 12; Santa Clara, California)
Annual Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference: JP Morgan’s 43rd invite-only event. (May 18 - 20; Boston)
Signal: The modern communications conference. (May 19 - 20; San Francisco)
MuleSoft Connect: Tie together apps, data and devices. (May 27 - 29; San Francisco)
MongoDB World: Scale the universe. (June 1 - 2; New York)
HP Discover: Trends and technologies. (June 2 - 4; Las Vegas)
Hadoop Summit San Jose: Mainstreaming adoption. (June 9 - 11; San Jose, California)
Red Hat Summit: Energize your enterprise. (June 23 - 26; Boston)
Brainstorm Tech: Fortune’s invite-only gathering of thinkers, influencers and entrepreneurs. (July 13 - 15; Aspen, Colorado)
LinuxCon North America: All about open source. (Aug. 17 - 19; Seattle)
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)
Workday Rising: Meet and share. (Sept. 28 - Oct. 1; Las Vegas)
HP Engage: Big data, big engagement. (Oct. 4 - 6; San Diego)
Gartner Symposium ITxpo: CIOs and senior IT executives. (Oct. 4 - 8; Orlando, Florida)
Oracle OpenWorld: Customer and partner conference. (Oct. 25 - 29; San Francisco)