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Cloud Computing News & Analysis

You Can't Create Digital Businesses Without E-Signatures

Two converging trends — the growth of the mobile workforce and digital business processes — are giving a big boost to the e-signature market.

That's the word from Michael Laurie, co-founder and VP of product strategy at Silanis, an electronic signature provider.

"Acceptance for e-signatures has been growing over the past years in terms of end user adoption," he said, noting that customer experience is a priority. If users don't like an e-signature solution, they won't use it, he said.

Are You Ready to Tap the Power of Intelligent Business Clouds?

Just when companies are finally mastering the definition of hybrid clouds, Accenture claims there is a new paradigm on the horizon.

It predicts the next wave of hybrid clouds will be "Intelligent Business Clouds." And that's more than some vague marketing idea — or so it claims.

In a new report released by Accenture recently, it describes these new hybrid deployments as a way of working and combing multiple clouds and multiple vendors to offer highly adaptable applications to manage context-rich data as well and flexible IT infrastructure. 

Microsoft to Host Next-Generation BizTalk Server on Azure

Microsoft is deploying a new, Azure-based platform for applications designed to handle business transactions on mobile devices – apps that can be both designed and deployed in the cloud, by non-professional developers.  Azure App Service will be a web apps platform for the business process management (BPM) market.

As the business world moves away from the monolithic client/server model to a cloud infrastructure based on microservices, the transactional system upon which the world’s financial structure is based, must move with it.

The brains of the world are relocating.  Now it’s time to move its cardiovascular system.

Will Office 365 Destroy Consulting?

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If you had asked me back in 2010 if my banking or insurance clients would ever move their content to the cloud, I would have laughed. But over the past couple of years these same organizations have shifted their perspective. The idea of hosting email in Exchange online and providing users with an option of Office 365 capabilities (OneDrive, SharePoint, etc) intrigues many. 

Which raises the question: How will the shift towards SaaS technology impact modern consultancies like System Integrators (SI) and Managed Services Providers (MSP)?

Kiai! EMC Grasps Open Source, Kicks Off Cloud Foundry Dojo

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EMC CEO Joe Tucci’s star didn’t rise in an open source world. In fact, the idea of paying engineers to write code that would be donated to “the community” might have seemed as crazy to him as taking the doors off of all of his vacation homes and inviting a bunch of hippies to move in.

But the times they are a changin’, as Bob Dylan likes to sing.

This morning EMC will announce that it is opening the first Cloud Foundry Dojo, a place where application developers can receive the training needed to gain full open source contributor (“committer”) status on the open source development project in six weeks. It typically takes as long as one year.

The move, according to a pitch we received from EMC, is intended to signal “a new strategic focus for EMC as a major contributor to open source.”

Build Your Own Dropbox-Like File Server with ownCloud 8

Mention the phenomenon called Shadow IT — and someone will likely mention Dropbox. 

Shadow IT happens when departments or individual employees use technologies that aren’t sanctioned by IT — something that has been increasingly easy to do since cloud-based services arrived. And Dropbox is often the service of choice.

Employees, left to their own devices, provision Dropbox file sharing folders, often violating company policy.

Why don’t employers stop this wild and flagrant behavior?  The simple answer:  Dropbox just works better than many enterprise solutions.

How You Can Smooth the Road to the Hybrid Cloud

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Companies interested in a hybrid cloud model have more and more options.

In January, Google and VMware announced a partnership to offer hybrid cloud computing.

In February, IBM announced plans to move at least half of its cloud development team into its hybrid cloud computing business.

Last year, EMC developed its own storage cloud play. In addition, Accenture and Microsoft extended their partnership with the introduction of Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure.

With the plethora of platforms, services and products, however, companies still hit more than a few bumps in the road as they move to adopt this tech strategy.

Microsoft Azure IoT Suite: Will It Speed Your Journey? #Conv15

Microsoft is releasing the Azure IoT Suite. Coupled with two new programs, it is intended to take users to the Internet of Things (IoT) quicker.

The new suite and programs dovetail with the development of the new Windows 10 IoT operating system, as well as a number of Azure services. All of it is intended to help business that use digital technologies transform to digital businesses.

While that distinction appears subtle, it is actually pretty significant one. It flags a new business environment that will be driven by the IoT, with other applications feeding into it.

The announcements were made at this week's Convergence conference in Atlanta.

Microsoft Reveals Office 2016 for the Enterprise #Conv15

Microsoft has finally put Office 2016 IT Pro and Developer into technical preview.

To be clear about this, this is not the first time glimpse of Office 2016. It was in private preview, so we knew quite a bit about it already.

But now we have the definitive word. At the Convergence conference in Atlanta today, Microsoft gave a clear outline of where it stands with Office 2016 and where it wants to go with it.

Microsoft's New BI Tool Plays Nice, Even With 3rd Party Vendors

If you haven’t at least experimented with Microsoft’s business intelligence visualization tool Power BI yet, now there are no excuses left.

Microsoft made many announcements during its Convergence conference in Atlanta this morning. They included news that the preview of Power BI is now being released worldwide to 140 markets.

Thinking of Moving to a Public Cloud? Think Again

The public cloud is more than 30 percent riskier than on-premises applications — and security concerns remain a strong barrier to cloud adoption.

Those are just two of the findings from a new Cloud Security Spotlight Survey (registration required) by Campbell, Calif.-based Bitglass.

The data security company surveyed more than 1,000 IT and IT security practitioners to assess the state of cloud in the enterprise.

It found a third of respondents have experienced more security breaches with the public cloud than with on-premises applications. In addition, 90 percent still express concern about public cloud security.

The report also exposed other interesting facts, including that there are greater fears about employee misuse and access control than malware and hacking. In addition, Microsoft is making big gains in the enterprise, pushing past Google as an email provider and challenging Salesforce as the cloud service of choice.

Three's a Cloud: Are You Using Too Many Cloud Providers?

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Go ahead: Try to avoid conversation about the cloud. Odds are it will be impossible.

The cloud has evolved from a buzzword to an enterprise essential. But most companies have embraced the cloud a little too enthusiastically, a new study from Telstra shows.

Telstra, an Australian telecommunications company, found a disconnect between cloud desires and realities. Specifically, more than seven out of 10 IT decision makers want to store all their data on a single cloud provider. But the majority instead use three vendors.

While more vendors theoretically reduce risks by creating redundancies, too many clouds — like too many cooks — spoil the soup of enterprise simplicity.

Discussion Point: Will File Sharing Replace Your ECM Solution?

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Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) is a disruptive technology that burst into the information management space a few years ago.

Workers worldwide were quick converts because they were tired of the big, difficult-to-use proprietary enterprise content management systems (ECM).

As more workers started using EFSS, more and more analysts and vendors began to discuss the possible demise of ECM.

But is that really possible? Compared to ECM systems, EFSS has relatively little functionality.

Oh Please Cloudera: It's Not Game Over Yet

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You know the kid on the block who claims victory even though the game is still being played — and when you ask him why he thinks he’s won, his answer is “because I said so?"

It seems that Tom Reilly, CEO of Hadoop distro provider Cloudera, might have borrowed a play from that book, inspiring Gigaom’s Derrick Harris to write the headline, “Cloudera CEO declares victory over big data competition.”

And while some might conclude that Reilly was talking only about Pivotal — which open sourced its big data platform last month and is now partnering with Hortonworks on its HDP distro — there's more to the story. There are at least two other Hadoop distro providers in the space whose market share is still growing, perhaps as fast or even faster than Cloudera’s. Analysts like them just as much, if not more, too.

Microsoft Confirms 'Dramatic Refactoring' of Windows Server

During a Twitter-hosted tweet jam today, Microsoft’s lead architect for Windows Server, Jeffrey Snover, acknowledged what he called “crazy innovation” happening with his key product. In response to a question from CMSWire, Snover told the crowd that his team was “working on a dramatic refactoring of the server.”

Though Snover declined to provide many further details, the question involved a specific evolutionary path which both Snover and the jam’s co-host, Azure technical fellow Mark Russinovich, skillfully refrained from denying.

Microsoft may be steering Windows Server away from its traditional role as a provider of monolithic applications on a desktop — toward a radically different scheme much more similar to what’s being done in recent months with Linux and Docker.

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