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Latest Information Management News & Articles

Don't Skip the Proof Of Concept

2014-17-September-Proof-of-Concept.jpgGenerally speaking, the larger the purchase, the more time and research we put into the decision before shelling out our hard-earned bucks. You don’t buy a car without test driving it, or a new couch without sitting on it. You probably don’t even buy shoes without walking around in them first.

Unfortunately, sometimes major technology purchases go unvetted and buyer’s remorse sets in hard, evident in the state of Oregon’s recent lawsuit (pdf) against Oracle for the failed deployment of its Cover Oregon healthcare exchange website.

This case reflects a dated IT evaluation process that’s all too common: businesses buying software based on RFPs and product demos, while failing to make vendors go through a proof-of-concept process. It’s a huge mistake that’s very easy to avoid.

Search Moves Up the Corporate Agenda

2014-16-September-Climb.jpgWe're gradually reaching a solid understanding of the state of enterprise search. Findwise started its Findability Survey in 2010 and the 2014 report will have been released by the time you read this. AIIM released its first survey for search implementation today. And while hurdles remain, search's prospects in the enterprise are finally looking up.

Which Matters More: Content Storage or Access?

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Remember when we thought that the leading Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) providers were going to obliterate each other in order to dominate the sector?

It may not look like that anymore. They might become frenemies — or at least coexist within the enterprise instead.

This morning Palo Alto, Calif.-based Accellion, which Gartner places in the EFSS leader’s quadrant, announces that it has built integrations with its competitors Box and Dropbox.

AirWatch Gets It: Your Mobile Device is Your Computer [Video]

Your mobile device is your computer. You might not know this just yet. But think about how you communicate and access information most often —where do you check your e-mail, message a co-worker, look something up or view a document or other kind of content?

If you’re like most people, you’re using a mobile device more and more frequently and your desktop or laptop less and less. While we’re not suggesting that your computer, as you now know it, is going to disappear just yet, it’s on its way out. Even Dell acknowledges that: Dell is now in the business phone business.

Consider too the technology vendors whose solutions you use most often. Microsoft has committed itself to a mobile-first, cloud-first strategy. Apple has joined forces with IBM to deliver mobile solutions to the enterprise and it has made its screens bigger, too.  SAP has gone mobile. And VMware bought AirWatchto get its mobile play.

The Future of SharePoint is the Cloud #gartnerpcc

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It's not exactly ground-breaking, but Jim Murphy, a research director in Gartner's web and cloud group, thinks Microsoft is trying to lure its SharePoint users into the cloud, despite the number of enterprises that are still using it on-premises.

Speaking at this morning’s session on the future of SharePoint at Gartner’s Portals, Content and Collaboration Summit in London, Murphy reassured attendees that there is still plenty of time before time runs out on the on-premises version.

Is Box Writing Enterprise Content Management's Obituary?

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By now it should be clear that Box doesn’t see itself as a simple Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) service. “We certainly do that,” Whitney Bouck, Box’s SVP of Global Marketing told an audience of the faithful at BoxWorks, the company’s annual user conference earlier this month.

“But that’s not where the value is,” she added. “That’s table stakes.”

So while most EFSS vendors aim to provide the best, most secure, relevant and user-friendly file-sharing experience on the planet, that’s where Box says its journey begins rather than ends.

Caveat Emptor: Are You Buying a Solution or a Science Project?

2014-11-September-Large-Hadron-Collider.jpgMost enterprise software is more like undertaking a science project than buying a product that solves a problem. Organizations buy a “platform” and have their IT departments build the “solution” on it.

A platform is essentially an Erector set with very poor instructions. Sure — go ahead and build a motorized crane. If you a. know what a crane is and should do and b. know what parts need to be assembled in what order to do it. Otherwise, you’re just trying stuff.  

Your first few cranes won’t work very well. People will likely use something (anything) else they can until you have built a better crane. You have on your hands a Science Project.

Change Your Gmail Password - Now

Around five million Gmail usernames and passwords were published late Tuesday on a Russian bitcoin forum. But Google has told account holders not to worry.

According to a post on Google’s online security blog, only 2 percent of the usernames and passwords might have actually worked, and Google’s automatic anti-hijacking systems would have blocked many of those login attempts.

Beating the Spreadsheet Blues

Remember the old days when it seemed that all you need to know from your computer is how to save a Microsoft Excel file? If you are a marketer those days seem rosy compared to what’s happening in digital media. 

New ways of capturing data has introduced challenges in inspecting data and developing models.  Marketers with a limited knowledge of traditional query language must access data. And as I wrote in the post, How Marketers Can Get A Better Handle On Their Data, new markup language elements raises the number of ways data can be associated with web and app elements.  This has increased the ways the data can be used in calculations for desired results.

Because of this new data challenge, analytic solution providers have created a number of options to simplify data usage.

Content Management Vendors Pushing Shiny Objects

2014-10-September-Raccoon.jpgWe've all been to that conference. The vendor is announcing a new feature in their Content Management System (CMS). They pull up a screen shot or a recorded demo that is very pretty, touting how easy the feature is to use. Everything everyone has ever wanted in that feature is there in crisp, shining detail.

What isn’t shown is the level of effort to make that demo a reality.

CMS Shopping? Solve Your Business Problems First

2014-09-September-Chicken-Egg.jpgContent management systems have been around for almost two decades, but we’re still talking about how much we hate them. They’re not intuitive to use, and many of their features probably sounded attractive during the sales process, but are never touched and often get in the way of ease of use.

Artificial Intelligence is Resurrecting Enterprise Search

2014-08-Sept-Oleson-Image1.jpgThe future of enterprise search is bright. Recent announcements show enterprise search is taking a number of different forms. Microsoft has been stirring things up in the cloud with Delve — the next generation Office Graph, based on search-driven discovery of activities and feeds. And some unlikely partnerships have been announced to combine consumer mobile technology with an enterprise injection. I'm ready for an enterprise search that understands me and gives me results based on my interests, location and social distance (i.e., people I work with the most). We've also seen the use of voice for search gain popularity as the lines between work and life blur.

Lose Your Customers' Personal Information, Lose Everything

The customer information your organization collects and analyzes can give you incredibly detailed and useful insights. But for all the advantages this storehouse of data can bring, it can also bring significant risks.

Anytime you collect information about your customers, you run the risk of exposing personally identifiable information. That can not only raise your customers' ire, but may cause your organization to run afoul of security breach laws.

How can you protect your organization? Is it enough to have a well-written privacy policy — and try to follow the rules?

The 'Drives Race' - The Battle for Cloud-Based File Storage

2014-05-September-Buy-of-the-Week.jpgInspiration comes from strange places. Last week on the radio I heard a DJ talking about how he still uses his VCR (for those of you that are too young to remember, that is what preceded DVRs). My first memory of VCRs was in a commercial that ran during an interview with Ronald Reagan. Although I was too young to understand the point, Reagan spent much of the interview discussing how we must rebuild our military, which was later branded by pundits as another “Arms Race.” Hence the name for this post. But back to the VCR ….

In that commercial, the VCRs were advertised for upward of $500 (that’s around $1000 in today’s money), but as more options came out, prices started falling. When DVDs came out, VCRs dropped under $100 and it seemed that they would soon be relegated to the scrap heap next to record players. Yet many households still have VCRs (and record players). Mine is disconnected, sitting in a cardboard box and likely doesn’t even work, but I am not throwing it away. The thing is, I still have a lot of tapes. Between kids’ birthday parties, family dinners and even videos of my old dog, I feel better knowing it’s there.

Cloud-based storage (and Drives in particular) share many similarities with VCRs.

Microsoft is Aggressively Expanding its Office Store

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At the end of a week that saw Microsoft piling on functionality and cash incentives to capture a bigger slice of the enterprise market, including businesses with a mere 150 seats, it also announced an aggressive expansion of its Office store and more languages to capture new markets.

While it's obvious Microsoft is going to push its own products in its own store, it will also highlight third party apps that integrate with Microsoft tools.

Cryptzone Makes a Buy to Boost Security Offerings

In a move to further bolster its data security offerings, Boston-based Cryptzone announced today that it has acquired HiSoftware Inc., which specializes in governance, compliance and security solutions.

By joining the two companies, Cryptzone, a global provider of data security and identity and access management (IAM) solutions, boasts that it will not only boost its data-protection capabilities, but expand its customer base to 700. Clients includes companies such as JPMorgan Chase, AIG, California State Universities and the Department of Treasury, specifically the IRS.

DataStax Gets Cash to Leave Oracle in the Dust

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Ask DataStax co-founders Jonathan Ellis and Matt Pfeil who their competition is and they won’t put a single NoSQL database provider on their list.

“It’s Oracle,” said Ellis. “We are displacing it as fast as we can,” adds Pfeil.

The pair is sure that the database that Larry Ellison helped build 37 years ago can’t handle today’s workloads. It can take Oracle five to seven minutes to execute the same query that DataStax’s enterprise version of Cassandra can answer in milliseconds, according to the pair.

Is Box Solving Its Cloud-Only Problem? #BoxWorks

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Box CEO Aaron Levie loves the cloud. He wears cloud socks, his license plate said “GoCloud” and he knocks on-prem storage as if it were an artifact from the Flintstone era anytime he gets the chance.

Hip and forward thinking as he may be, being “cloud only” is one of Box’s biggest problems. In its most recent Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) Gartner wrote:

Despite implementations in proprietary data centers, Box's offering is available only in a public cloud model. No hybrid model for data storage on-premises is supported. The movement or replication of corporate content in Box's cloud repository is not a viable option for some IT organizations."

The reality is that Levie’s stance is costing Box business because many, many enterprises aren’t willing to store their most precious, most sensitive, most strategic information on the public cloud.

Microsoft Cushions Google's Blows with Cash

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Yes, Google is encroaching into Microsoft’s traditional business space in a vicious productivity fight. But Google's rebranding of its Enterprise Business as Google for Work yesterday seems to be a tacit acceptance — for the moment, at least — that Microsoft is the Enterprise Daddy.

Microsoft, meanwhile, has responded to Google's blows with a number of financial incentives that must have many Chief Financial Officers salivating over their ledgers.

Hello ECM Managers, Check Out Box Workflow #BoxWorks

Workflow solutions aren’t very stimulating, unless you’re managing content, that is. Or working with it in a compliant, secure environment. Or not in detail.

Then, of course, there’s also the fascination that document management and enterprise content management professionals have had with automated workflow over the past few decades in a seemingly never ending quest to make working with content in the workplace smarter.

So, when Box CEO Aaron Levie introduced Box Workflow, it’s worth taking notice.

After all, Levie may have a point when he said that the software was built more around the process than the user. And what this has meant for users is having to stop what they’re doing to grab the files they need or to waste time weeding through files that are irrelevant to the task at hand.

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