Let’s say you’re at the airport, checking your email on your iPhone over the wifi. Well, you’ve already made your first mistake. You’ve trusted the airport network to be secure enough to protect you from hacker attacks.
SugarSync, a gladiator in the long, hard battle that is hosted cloud storage, has decided to go mercenary. The company announced today that they will offer a “paid-only” service model, doing away with their free storage tiers. Current customers can still access their files and will be offered considerable discounts on the service – up to 75% in some cases.
Rainforest, a Y Combinator company, has developed an on-demand service that runs functional tests against a crowd of people through Mechanical Turk, Amazon’s crowdsourcing platform. The service is similar to how a customer can use Amazon Web Services to spin up and down instances. But in this case a customer makes an API request for people instead of machines.
The company is also working toward developing ways to seek out workers through private group to suit companies that have NDAs and bound by regulatory issues.
Shippable, a Techstars Seattle startup, has raised $2.05 million in seed funding for its continuous integration service that is built using Docker, the popular Linux container used for its lightweight portability. The syndicated round was led by Chris DeVore of Founders Co-op, along with Divergent Ventures, Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital, Madrona Venture Group and several angel investors.
Accel Partners has led a $4.5 million Series A funding round in a new Heidelberg, German-based startup Trufa, founded today (spun out of German energy company VMS), which is focusing on improving enterprises operational efficiency using real-time analytics that tap into SAP-based ERP systems – and displaying the results via easy-to-digest tablet apps. As part of the investment, Bruce Golden, Partner at Accel Partners, will be joining the Trufa board, along with former SAP execs Paul Wahl and Alex Ott. Prior to this funding round, VMS invested seed capital in the initial product development for Trufa, started during summer 2012. Trufa says it uses HANA in-memory database technology to “analyze unprecedented volumes of operational data” – describing its system an alternative to making operational decisions based on “backwards-looking case studies and intuition”. With its tablet-based interface, called Scoop, and apparently “no need for a specialist staff of data scientists” to crunch the data, Trufa is another startup taking a consumerisation approach to enterprise software – using predictive algorithms to simplify a common but complex and costly enterprise problem of how to optimise opex spend. The startup cites a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study suggesting global public companies have some $5 trillion in cash locked up in working capital that could be freed up via operational improvements – if better operational decisions were made. Trufa, which developed its software by drawing on ERP and data analytics expertise from “seasoned industry veterans from Lawson, SAP and VMS AG”, says its apps perform analytics of root/cause relationships between operation and financial metrics; allow enterprises to prioritise operational initiatives based on their financial impact; and measure their progress. It adds that its the system can start working after “no more than one week of initial data integration”. Trufa’s founders are Ralph Treitz (CEO): VMS (CEO), who was also at SAP for more than 10 years in various positions; Guenther Tolkmit, also of VMS, and SAP; and Prof. Dr. Andreas Mielke of the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of Heidelberg. Commenting on the funding round in a statement, Golden said: “Trufa is addressing a major industry problem with a solution that can have a tremendous impact on a company’s financial performance. We look forward to working with this world-class team on transforming operational decision-making and building a global software leader.”
Wibidata, a big data application provider, has a new platform for building real-time apps that shows the increasing accessibility of machine learning and how e-commerce companies can provide an experience similar to a giant like Amazon.com.
The new WibiEnterprise 3.0 platform allows a company to power a site with advanced analytics that fine-tunes itself, providing better recommendations and other features over time, including more relevant search results and personalized content.
According to Bloomberg, the potential pool of candidates being considered for the role of next CEO of Microsoft has narrowed, at least for the moment. Ford CEO Alan Mulally and current Microsoft executive vice president Satya Nadella are said to be the two front-runners.