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Numbers, Volume 3

While we like to say that “RedMonk doesn’t do numbers,” I come across a lot of numbers every day. Here’s the one’s that caught my eye over the past week:

Burgers or Banks?


@gilcvv: CITI is trading at 99 cents. Should I buy one share or go get a double stack at Wendys?


Citibank’s ATM fee now costs more than a share of their stock.

We No Longer Need You

Hang in There (lil' buddy)!

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 2.6 million [US] jobs were lost in 2008, with 524,000 axed in December alone. And it isn’t projected to be any better in 2009. People who invested years of hard work, loyalty and dedication have been shown the door. Now they’re left wondering what their futures hold, not to mention their retirement plans.

As I’m fond of rhetorically asking: what the hell are all those families gonna do about health insurance? Not much except bend over and take it.

A Fab-u-less idea?

AMD will retain 14,000 employees focused on the design and marketing of microprocessors. Meanwhile, the temporarily-named Foundry Co. will manufacture chips for AMD and will have 3,000 employees.

Put That in Your Tape Hole

The thing about an enterprise-class cloud file store – apart from good retention period policies and compliance features – is that it should never go down and never, ever lose files. As Iron Mountain has lost quite a few tapes whilst trucking them to/from customer sites in its time: GE Money in January 2008 with 650,00 customer records lost; Long Island Railroad employee data in April 6, 2006; Time Warner in April, 2005 with 40 tapes lost; and Los Angeles-based City National Bank also in 2005. You might want to have cast iron service level agreements in place before taking on this hole-in-the-ground cloud file storage service.

The question here is: is that within SLA? How many tapes weren’t lost, and is that an acceptable amount? Surely “zero data lost” is impossible?

Beating Money Out of the Cloud

Tour de Force is proud to be the first billion dollar cloud computing company,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO,

They also report 55,400 customers.

The claim to making all that money from “cloud computing” is dubious. We’d need to see the breakout for “true” cloud (PaaS, in their case) revenue. The rest I’d call “SaaS,” which you could lump with cloud if you were being hand-wavy, as I tend to be.

Obscuring Money in the Cloud

Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t break out AWS revenue separately, though it should, and it will come under increasing pressure to do so. What we know is that AWS sales are included in a category called “other” — included are AWS, Amazon Enterprise Solutions, co-branded credit cards, and miscellaneous marketing — and that overall sales in that category totaled $175 million in the quarter, a 34% increase over a year ago. For the year, Amazon’s other revenue was $542 million, up 42% compared with 2007.

“Leapfrogging,” Broadband edition

By the end of last year there were an estimated 4.1bn mobile subscriptions, up from 1bn in 2002…. That represents six-in-ten of the world’s population, with developing countries accounting for about two-thirds of the mobile phones in use, compared with less than half of subscriptions in 2002.

However, only one-in-20 Africans went online in 2007, the last year for which firm figures were available.

Across the world just 5% of people have broadband internet at home, although 20% in the developed world now have a fast connection.

Many technology companies – like Sun – and lines of businesses in ISVs look towards the developing world (or, “emerging economies,” if you prefer) for future revenue. Part of the bet is that The Rest of the World will leap-frog legacy & contemporary technologies (read: IBM, Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, &co.) for hot ‘n’ fresh new technologies.

Mobile use is key for much of this thinking and even more so basic, but fast, internet access. Keep your eye on broadband access across the world because as each country lights up fiber, new markets which can be monetized at volume instead of steaks-n-strippers are created.

The Netbook Wars May Already Be Over

With the flat PC market, netbooks have become a hot area of interest for Microsoft, which says that Windows is now on 80 percent of netbooks.

Building Pent-up Desire for Upgrades

[Dell] said its net profits fell 48 per cent between October and January, compared to the same period last year. It managed to put $351m in its pockets during the quarter, down from $679m a year ago. That figure includes a pretax charge of $277m related to restructuring.

Google Apps Mo’

An estimated 45,000 applications have been built on App Engine, Koomen said. Among these applications are BuddyPoke, which is an OpenSocial application with more than 30 million users, and Lingospot, for content discovery.

Office: SaaS Edition

The worldwide availability of the Deskless Worker Suite will offer customers an affordable e-mail and collaboration solution for occasional users. By providing a cost-effective subscription rate (currently listed at 2.56 euros or 2.01 pounds per month per user), the Deskless Worker Suite will make it possible for organizations to give all employees access to the same messaging and collaboration systems. Today, in organizations that have deployed e-mail, more than 40 percent of employees do not have e-mail.

The Return of Paying for Software: Facebook Edition

Zuora chief executive Tien Tzuo notes that there are more than 50,000 apps and more than 600,000 developers on Facebook’s platform, and the vast majority of the apps try to make money with advertising — a model that may not be a great fit for the some apps, or for the site. But particularly as more productive, business-oriented applications move onto Facebook , there’s a growing number of apps that users might be willing to pay a small subscription fee to use.

Key to the future of software developers who can pay their mortgage and rising health-care costs is giving users/customers/consumers the option to actually pay for the software they write. Much like the music and video industry – who’d I’d gladly pay directly instead of cable and movie theaters to get content when and where I wanted it – the option to pay software developers simply doesn’t exist in many cases. Setting up credit card process is too expensive and tedious. Good luck with Paypal.

Hopefully, all of the PaaS and marketplace people out there will start making it easier for developers to charge small amounts for software. Cf. iTunes App Store and the Intuit Partner Platform for some inspiration.

Austin Virtualization Funding, Round 2

Austin-based Hyper9 officially announced $8M in a Series B funding round Thursday, saying that Venrock, Matrix Partners, Silverton Partners and Maples Investments invested in the round.



The Drupal social publishing system has been downloaded over 2 million times since its inception and powers more than 400,000 web sites globally.

Open Source Revenue

Novell reported revenue of $215m in Q1, down from $231m. $35m came from from Linux Platform Products, up 24%, however Ron Hovsepian declared that the Linux business had not met expectations. Novell CFO Dana Russell noted that Linux invoicing was $23 million, down 42% and that the reason for that was that Novell did not sign any large deals, “many of which have been historically fulfilled by Microsoft certificates.”

Elsewhere SourceForge’s revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2009 grew 9% to $23.9m, while Sourcefire’s full year 2008 revenue grew 35% to a record $76m.

Disclosure: Acquia, Microsoft, IBM, Sun, and Dell are clients. I live in Austin, so I tend to bias news from my home-town.

Categories: Cloud, Enterprise Software, Numbers, Open Source.

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