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Cloud Computing News & Analysis

No Best of Breed in Cloud Computing - Yet

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There is no clear winner among cloud computing vendors at the moment. But cloud professional services are growing like no other.

Technology Business Research Inc.’s (TBR) 2H14 cloud customer research reports revealed that users are jumping onto cloud professional services vendors at twice the rate of private and public cloud vendors.

The end users, TBR officials reported this month, want cloud professional services as the entry point for the guidance and education as their enterprises migrate to the cloud. 

New Alliance to Big Providers: Share the Cloud

Smaller providers are tired of big players monopolizing the cloud — and now they are banding together to do something about it.

Intent on balancing out a market they claim is unfairly dominated by large public cloud providers, the newly formed Open Cloud Alliance (OCA) claims it has a strategy to level the playing field. The group is a network of providers, software vendors and system integrators.

Harmon.ie Makes It Easier to Track Activity in the Cloud

Harmon.ie today addressed one of the biggest issues in cloud computing: how to track everything that happens in the services you are using. It's solution, Collage, pulls together enterprise cloud services onto a single screen and lets users know what’s happening across the cloud ecosystem in which they operate.

The result is a 360-degree view across enterprise cloud services providing workers with a contextual, single-screen activity stream or what Harmon.ie calls a work stream.

2015 Forecast: The Sun is Out for Cloud Computing

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The cloud space continues to evolve at an astounding pace. As recently as 12 months ago, we were still educating many clients about what they could achieve with cloud computing.

We tirelessly explained the differences and benefits of options such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). We also debated the suitability of various architectural alternatives, like private, public or hybrid cloud.

While there continues to be some mystique around the use of the cloud, it’s safe to say that many enterprises have successfully adopted it.

Huddle Gets $51M to Prove Its Value is Collaboration, Not Files

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Huddle founders Andy McLoughlin and Alastair Mitchell have something that Box CEO Aaron Levie badly wants. And it’s not the $51 million in new funding they announced yesterday, a car with a steering wheel on the right side or even a British accent.

It’s having his company recognized as an Enterprise Content Collaboration platform provider or, in other words, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that goes beyond file sharing and not only gets the right information to the right people but also gives them the tools they need to achieve their goals, all in one place.

Levie didn’t tell us this, of course.  But Box, in its S-1, which was updated this week, calls itself an “a cloud-based, mobile-optimized Enterprise Content Collaboration platform that enables organizations of all sizes to easily and securely manage their content and collaborate internally and externally”. Ask the modern worker what Box is, and if they’re familiar with it, they’ll tell you it’s the Dropbox for business, which may be a whole other problem.

6 C's for More Efficient IT In 2015 [Infographic]

There’s no getting away from the inevitable round of IT predictions that mark the end of every year. Just about every research company and IT vendor has its own list — and 451 Research is no exception.

This time it comes in the shape of 6 C’s for 2015 that cover a range of issues from content management to containers to cloud and crowd working. Combined, they envisage a year that will see workers using more agile IT, largely through cloud and converged platforms. These same workers will also be more mobile and disassociated from the enterprise.

Will Microsoft Land the Federal Market with Azure Government?

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Remember when Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced his Cloud First Mobile First strategy? He really wasn’t joking.

On Monday, he announced a new hybrid cloud initiative with Accenture. Last night, he announced that Microsoft’s Azure Government cloud is now generally available, and that Dynamics CRM Online for government will be available next month.

This follows hot on the heels of the recent announcement that Office 365 for Government has been awarded some major security certifications and that the Feds are now happy to work with it.  

Box Has a Problem and a New Trust Initiative

2014-09-December-Polka-Dot-Socks.jpgFirst off, let’s get one thing straight: Box is not in the Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) business.

“We certainly do that,” says Box executive Whitney Bouck, every time I ask her if Box is an EFSS provider. “But that’s not where the value is,” she always adds “that’s table stakes.”

So what does Box do? According to its SEC S-1 registration it is “a cloud-based, mobile-optimized Enterprise Content Collaboration platform that enables organizations of all sizes to easily and securely manage their content and collaborate internally and externally.”

How’s that for an elevator pitch?

Not too good. But, to be fair, it probably wasn’t crafted to be one.
 

Accenture, Microsoft Team Up to Take Enterprises to the Hybrid Cloud

Enterprises are increasingly willing to weigh the commercial advantages of cloud computing against potential security issues, yet many are still uncomfortable with making the leap.

To help them get over any lingering reluctance, Accenture and Microsoft have extended their existing partnership with the introduction of Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure. The hybrid cloud solution enables enterprises to manage applications between private and public clouds.

IDC: 10 Predictions For Emerging Technologies In 2015

Thumbnail image for 2014-08-December-Passing-Platform.jpgWhether you realize it or not, every day you work on what International Data Corporation (IDC) describes as the third platform. By the end of next year, you will be doing a lot more work on it and using its technologies.

The rise and expansion of the third platform has reached a tipping point according to IDC, and with the growth of investments in the Internet of Things, big data, data centers, mobile and social computing, there is, in effect, no way of avoiding it.

Spanning Expands Cloud Data Protection to Office 365

2014-05-December-Copies.jpg"What if?" This question plagues companies who have made the move to the cloud. In spite of reassurances of data security and efforts by providers to back data up, the worst case scenario is never far from mind. Spanning, just over a month after its acquisition by EMC, is offering Office 365 users a solution to help manage that "what if" scenario.

The new cloud-to-cloud backup solution is designed from the ground up to work with desktops, tablets and mobile devices and offers access to all enterprise data wherever employees are working and through their preferred device.

Here's a Way to Pull Your Project Data Together in Office 365

Although Microsoft has been developing Office 365 at a ferocious rate recently, it still remains a suite of individual applications designed to accomplish specific tasks. To enhance user navigation, harmon.ie has developed a single screen view of those applications and what’s happening in them.

This week, it took that a step further with the launch of its new Project Management Solution, an extension of its harmon.ie email that enables users to pull together all the information that is passing through Office 365, OneDrive, Lync and Yammer on a given project for easy access on either mobile or desktop.

Microsoft Offers Office 365 on Steroids with HP Services

HP and Microsoft, which have always had a fairly tight relationship, just inked another agreement that enables HP to offer Office 365 services and support.

The new agreement will allow HP to manage Office 365 and related HP services for enterprise customers, and also allows select HP datacenters to be used by Microsoft for Office 365 email hosting.

An ECM Space Oddity: Still Chaotic After 6 Years, 2001 Stories

2014-02-December-Odyssey.jpgSometimes — and in some areas of IT — you feel like you’re going around in circles. Enterprise content management (ECM) is a case in point.

Six years and 2001 posts ago, when I started covering ECM for CMSWire, the single biggest issue was the struggle to keep content chaos at bay.

Fast forward to last week and the problem remains. Social media, customer experience management, digital marketing and big data management have emerged as driving forces across the content industry, but the cruel reality remains.

Effective content management still eludes many, many enterprises.

The SharePoint Landscape from 30,000 Feet

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If SharePoint were a character in a movie, it would be Rocky Balboa, or maybe Mark Twain (“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”). With the end of the year around the corner, it's a good time to take a 30,000-foot view of the lay of the SharePoint land and see what's in store for 2015. While SharePoint may not be perfect, the technology is something many enterprises count on. We've seen great growth and energy in SharePoint over the past year and there are some events and developments that will be driving the technology next year.

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