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Data Sheet—Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Good morning, Data Sheet readers. It won’t be a quiet summer for Hewlett-Packard, which is hunkering down to complete the onerous administrative task of splitting the $111 billion company. Apparently, Satya Nadella was very serious in his memo about “tough choices.” Microsoft has begun shedding groups that aren’t core to his updated mission statement. Plus, Workday is launching a forecasting and budgeting application for finance teams on the very same day that the leading cloud company in this category, Adaptive Insights, disclosed its latest large funding round. That’s bound to shake up this hot emerging software segment. And Apple Music goes live today, so stay tuned for some noise. Have a great Tuesday!


This Supreme Court decision could have big ramifications for software. The justices have passed on hearing a case that involves whether companies can really “own” application programming interfaces, which enable different software systems communicate with each other seamlessly. Specifically, Oracle wants to protect the APIs within Java. That’s a problem for Google, which uses some for its highly strategic Android mobile operating system. It’s also a big deal for any business investing in software for Internet of things services and other digital transformation initiatives.

Writes Fortune’s Jeff John Roberts:

“At worst, some companies could seize on the Oracle finding to threaten copyright litigation against a broad swath of the software industry. To avoid this risk, developers could create a distinct style of commands each time they wished to implement an API, but doing so would entail enormous duplication of effort.”

Given the higher priority every company now places on software development, this is an ongoing situation that bears close scrutiny.


HP readies for next phase of separation plan. More details should be forthcoming as part of an SEC filing due this week. Meanwhile, the company’s chief information officer is preparing to handle the onerous task of migrating Hewlett-Packard’s business systems, reports the Wall Street Journal. The split should be complete by early November.

Google gets extra time for antitrust response. It now has until mid-August to comment on the European Commission’s allegations about its business practices. That may not necessarily be a good thing: new research backed by Yelp seems to support the theory that the Internet search giant promotes its own content to the detriment of competitors. Although, to be fair, the argument is pretty weak.

Next up for Amazon’s cloud: India. Lead executive Andy Jassy says “tens of thousands” of Indian businesses already use its services. He noted in a statement: “Several of these customers, along with many prospective new customers, have asked us to locate infrastructure in India so they can enjoy even lower latency.”

Microsoft hands off ads, mapping businesses to AOL and Uber. AOL will now have responsibility for selling display advertising for the Bing search engine, MSN, and other services. Current employees will have a chance to transfer. In a separate deal, the software giant is transferring its mapping software division (which employs about 100 people) to ride-sharing giant Uber.

Speaking of Uber, two of its French executives were detained for questioning as protests over the legality of its services there continue. Plus, it looks like the company’s steep growth curve comes with deep losses, according to a bond prospectus examined by Bloomberg.

Sony is raising $3.6 billion in new stock and bond offerings. The money will go toward more production capacity for the company’s burgeoning image sensors business, which boasts customers including Apple and Samsung Electronics.


Workday joins crusade to modernize financial planning

The movement to modernize the tools that finance teams use for planning and decision-making just gained more momentum, as more CFOs prioritize analytics investments.

Category leader Adaptive Insights has closed $75 million in new financing led by JMI Equity, bringing its total to approximately $176 million. It won’t disclose the valuation, but it has quite the account pedigree. Adaptive Insights has signed up more than 2,700 customers for its cloud-based finance software, ranging from Coca-Cola to ZenDesk. That’s more than three times what the other startups in this category can boost, combined.

This latest infusion will go mainly toward global expansion. “This is about Excel replacement for corporate planning and the ‘cloudification’ of existing apps,” said Adaptive Insights CEO Tom Bogan, himself a former CFO and also the chairman of another software company, Citrix Systems. “Back when I made the transition from CFO to CEO, it was a lot harder to do,” he noted. “Today, you see it a lot more, and it’s really centered on the importance of analytics within organizations.”

Against that backdrop, Adaptive Insights has new reason to look over its shoulder.

That’s because Workday revealed plans this morning to sell its own financial planning solution, starting in March 2016. “Planning has been a top request from our customers, and we felt the time was right,” said Leighanne Levensaler, senior vice president of products for Workday.

Until now, the human resources and financial management company has relied mainly on relationships with other companies to offer this capability, which complements its existing financial management services. Just two weeks ago, for example, Workday showed up as a new strategic investor participating in a $25 million round for Tidemark, another startup in the enterprise performance management category that claims accounts such as La Quinta Holdings and Veolia Environnement. Relationships such as these continue be important, Levensaler insisted.

Aside from Adaptive Insights and Tidemark, two other high-profile cloud startups focused on better financial planning are Anaplan and Host Analytics. There are also many smaller startups clamoring for attention. Exhibit A (from this week at least) is forecasting analytics company Prevedére, which Monday disclosed a $6.7 million Series A round led by PointGuard Ventures.

The first wave of Workday’s new product, aptly named Workday Planning, will introduce basic collaborative budgeting features that go beyond what people normally can manage using spreadsheets. By next September, “we feel we will have a solution rich enough for customers to transition onto Workday” from other corporate planning software, Levensaler said. The software will be compelling for companies that use Workday’s financial software as a system of record. As previously mentioned, those customers include Netflix or Cushman & Wakefield.

Sergio Monsalve with Norwest Venture Partners, who serves on the Adaptive Insights board, suggests that the deepening interest in cloud financials is driven by several megatrends. Among the most prominent: the need for better cross-company collaboration when it comes to corporate planning and a yearning for real-time access to data. “For us, specifically, we aim to become the CFO’s best friend,” he said.

Close to 60% of the CFOs surveyed by Adaptive Insights for the Q2 version of its CFO Indicator named inaccurate and fragmented access to data as the Achilles heel of their strategic forecasting processes.

separate survey by another player in this category, Epicor Software, came to a similar conclusion. Only half of the 1,500 CFOs or financial decision makers included in that research said they have “good visibility” into business division performance, sales and labor costs, raw materials metrics, and other data vital for decision-making. Almost 60% of the respondents still use Excel to access and analyze this information.


Airlines are getting far more serious about measures to protect against hackers attacking airplanes, after a series of troubling incidents.

PayPal: About those robocalls. The soon-to-be-independent digital payments company is modifying its new user agreement, which would have entitled it to contact customers with automated marketing calls and texts. Now, it will need to get permission first.

Ready for 5G wireless? Ericsson is testing its version of the technology in Sweden and Texas, but it will take several years for standards to play out.

Cisco details its plan for the Internet of things. Its main ambition: create a platform for managing all those interconnected cameras, switches, routers and other gadgets.

NetSuite just hired a high-profile enterprise software analyst. Jason Maynard, most recently at Wells Fargo, is the cloud software company’s new executive vice president of strategy and corporate development.

Into Africa. Facebook will establish an office in Johannesburg, eyeing more than 1 billion potential new members on the continent.

Amazon is expanding its loan program. Next to benefit will be small merchants in the United Kingdom. But Amazon Lending could reach seven more countries this year, including China, reports Reuters.

The European Union may abolish wireless roaming fees between member countries within two years.

IBM has received the final government blessing to sell its microelectronics business to Globalfoundries.

AMD goes to Hollywood. The chipmaker sees virtual reality content—and the hefty computing equipment needed to create it—as one ticket to future growth. Hence, its new partnership with Creative Artists Agency.

Ponder this prediction. By 2019, U.S. banks will spend one-third of their information technology budgets on digital transformation. This year, investments in these initiatives will reach $16.6 billion, according to the IDC forecast.



Sure, robots can perform surgery and build cars, but can they write a sonnet? by Barb Darrow

Here’s how many Americans sleep with their smartphones by Claire Groden

Hold fire! Shooting your neighbor’s drone could be a felony by Kia Kokalitcheva

Think Apple’s come too late to the music streaming party? Here’s why you’re wrong. by Philip Elmer-DeWitt

Arianna Huffington’s new platform strategy has one big problem by Mathew Ingram

The recent bitcoin bump is not from Greece by Daniel Roberts


Craving a good night’s sleep? Serial software entrepreneur Philippe Kahn, cofounder of Borland Software, is back with a big data project that aims to explain your insomnia.


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

Esri Business Summit: Mapping the value of data. (July 18 – 21; San Diego)

LinuxCon North America: All about open source. (Aug. 17 – 19; Seattle)

SuccessConnect: Simplify the way the world works. (Aug. 10 – 12; Las Vegas)

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

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

.conf2015: Splunk’s “get your data on” gathering. (Sept. 21 – 24; Las Vegas)

Cassandra Summit: Largest gathering of Cassandra database developers. (Sept. 22 – 24; 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)

I Love APIs 2015: Apigee’s annual conference. (Oct. 12 – 14; San Jose, California)

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing: World’s largest gather of women technologists. (Oct. 14 – 16; Houston)

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

TBM Conference 2015: Manage IT like a business. (Oct. 26 – 29; Chicago)

QuickBooks Connect: SMBs, entrepreneurs, accountants and developers. (Nov. 2 – 4; San Jose, California)