GeekWire Podcast: Seattle area’s new tech big; ‘Slackforce’ evaluation; AWS re:Invent takeaways

This week on the GeekWire Podcast: Salesforce strikes a deal to acquire Slack for $27.7 billion; Amazon Internet Providers makes some surprising news at its annual re:Invent cloud conference; and a new tech giant arrives in our backyard.

Matt McIlwain. (Madrona Photograph)

Becoming a member of us on this episode is Matt McIlwain, managing director at Seattle-based enterprise capital agency Madrona Venture Group, providing his commentary on the implications of those developments for the area, and for the world of cloud and enterprise expertise.

McIlwain invests in software program and data-oriented corporations in areas together with cloud computing, clever purposes, and the intersection of life science and knowledge science. He’s additionally a board member and previous chair of the Fred Hutchinson Most cancers Analysis Heart in Seattle.

Hear beneath, subscribe to the GeekWire Podcast wherever you hear, and proceed studying for highlights and takeaways from this week’s present.

A brand new unicorn in Seattle: First up is the information that Tanium, a $9 billion cybersecurity firm with greater than $430 million in annual income, just moved its headquarters from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Seattle region

The corporate inked a lease for slightly below 7,000 sq. ft of workplace area on the fifth flooring of the 3000 Carillon Level constructing in Kirkland, a comparatively modest footprint. Nonetheless, Tanium CEO Orion Hindawi says he expects to “expand pretty materially” within the area, noting that he wouldn’t be shocked if the corporate occupied as a lot as 50,000 sq. ft within the subsequent couple of years. Enterprise capital behemoth Andreessen Horowitz is amongst Tanium’s ackers.

Reacting to the story on Twitter this week, McIlwain puzzled aloud if Seattle has what it takes to maintain these huge tech corporations right here.

Increasing on that theme throughout the podcast, McIlwain mentioned he believes that the “digital first” mindset led to by the pandemic will persist after it ends. He mentioned he hopes enterprise leaders, nonprofit leaders, neighborhood leaders, and political leaders will acknowledge the results of these adjustments and as they set regional technique and coverage. McIlwain led a marketing campaign towards Seattle’s income tax on high wage earners, which has since been overturned by the courts.

“The talent is quite mobile, and will go to places that are welcoming, even if those places are Bellevue, as as evidenced by where Amazon is putting all its incremental people in the greater Seattle area,” he mentioned.

Salesforce’s deal to acquire Slack for $27.7 billion might create harder competitors not only for Microsoft Groups but additionally for Adobe, which is acquiring work management platform Workfront for $1.5 billion, McIlwain famous. The transfer performs into Slack’s want for broader distribution, and Salesforce’s must strengthen its place in office communication and collaboration.

Within the context of that acquisition, McIlwain and GeekWire’s John Cook dinner bought right into a energetic back-and-forth over whether or not it’s nonetheless doable to construct a standalone enterprise expertise big, on the order of a $100 billion valuation, given the market energy of the incumbent tech corporations, and their behavior of buying smaller opponents earlier than they’ll attain their full potential.

McIlwain pointed to Snowflake, in which Madrona is an investor, to bolster his case that it may well nonetheless be carried out. The information warehousing firm surpassed a $100 billion valuation this week.

In the meantime, on the digital Amazon Internet Providers re:Invent convention, AWS CEO Andy Jassy touted the Amazon cloud unit’s speedy progress to $40 billion in annual income, whilst Amazon total faces scrutiny over its market energy.

The large shock of the week was the disclosing of an AWS service that offers software developers access to macOS on-demand within the cloud for the primary time.

And in an enormous transfer, Amazon announced new variations of its services for managing software containers, dubbed ECS Anyplace and EKS Anyplace, saying that prospects would be capable of run them in their very own knowledge facilities along with “any infrastructure.”

Whereas the corporate didn’t precisely trumpet this truth, “any infrastructure” does in actual fact, embrace purposes operating on Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and different competing cloud platforms. It’s an implicit recognition by AWS of the rising realities of the multi-cloud world.

McIlwain, who has attended the convention for 9 years, mentioned Amazon’s re:Invent bulletins up to now this 12 months have prolonged its current huge bets, relatively than introducing revolutionary new applied sciences. The convention continues for 2 extra weeks. A keynote Tuesday Dec. 8 by Swami Sivasubramanian, Amazon vice chairman of synthetic intelligence, might be carefully watched.

GeekWire Trivia: And eventually, hearken to the tip of the present for a brand new installment of our tech trivia contest, with an opportunity to win a GeekWire masks or socks.

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