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Cloud Computing News & Analysis

Microsoft Gives Apple Users OneDrive For Business Access

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Last year, Microsoft promised OneDrive for Business for Mac would be ready by the end of the year. It wasn't. However this week Microsoft finally released the first public preview.

The comes only two weeks after Microsoft announced that it was pulling the OneDrive consumer storage service and the OneDrive for Business storage together so that users will be able to sync shared folders across the entire system or selectively chose files to sync, just like products like Dropbox.

Google, VMware Partner for Hybrid Cloud Computing

Google announced today that it has inked a new partnership deal with VMware that should give its public cloud services a considerable boost in the enterprise.

According to a statement issued by the two companies, VMware is making four Google cloud services available to enterprise customers through its vCloud Air hybrid cloud. The services include Big Query analytics, Google Cloud Storage, as well as Google Datastore and DNS services.

Office 365 Shines, But What About Microsoft Windows?

You’d have to be a forensic accountant to understand Microsoft’s financials. However, a few things are clear from this week's second quarter earnings release.

The first is that the Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant is starting to make serious ground in the cloud space. The second is that CEO Satya Nadella’s strategy of revamping and remarketing Windows is needed more than ever. The third: there's no beating Office 365, at least for the moment.

While the numbers triggered only tepid enthusiasm from the financial markets, from an IT perspective there are a lot of positives that show Nadella’s strategy of moving Microsoft from packaged software company to cloud-based software provider is beginning to pay off.

6 Best People Practices In ECM

Surprise, surprise. Nearly half of the companies that responded to research by nonprofit knowledge consultancy APQC report their organizations are poor content managers.

While firms are gravitating toward the slickest, newest technologies, nothing can replace a well-developed enterprise content management strategy (ECM), the research found.

Furthermore, less than 20 percent blamed technology. The problem, they concurred, lies with issues around change management, organizational structure and accountability, the report noted.

Blame People for Cloud Downtime Woes

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People are among the top concerns for public clouds. They make mistakes. And those mistakes lead to downtimes.

The findings come from CloudEndure's first survey of IT professionals in North America and Europe, "2014 State of Public Cloud Disaster Recovery."

Specifically, the 116 IT pros ranked human error is right up there with application bugs and network failures as the primary risks to system availability.

Office 365 Gains Text Analytics With Equivio Buy

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Microsoft has bought text analytics provider Equivio — an acquisition that should both add another piece to the Office 365 puzzle and give Microsoft considerable traction in document-heavy enterprises like legal or financial firms.

While neither company would confirm the sales price, there is speculation the deal closed for about $200 million. If that's correct, Microsoft snapped up some pretty impressive text analytics for a relatively reasonable sum. In fact, the technology could end as a premium layer to Office 365 once Microsoft starts pulling it into its wider portfolio.

M-Files Eases Hybrid Cloud Computing With Metadata

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The only things everyone seems to agree about when it comes to hybrid cloud computing is that it’s going to be around for a long time to come — and many vendors have many ways of approaching it. For M-Files, the unique selling point is a system that can manage all your content without repositories.

That sounds like a big claim … and maybe it is. However, M-Files has been developing this for years, first in Europe and now in the US, and the proof of its claims are clear in its continued and staggering growth rates.

Tackling the Cloud Skills Shortage

"Cloud-related skills represent virtually all the growth opportunities in IT employment worldwide and demand for cloud-related positions will grow by 26 percent annually through 2015."

Jennifer Warnick, news and feature writer for Microsoft, wrote these words in 2013. Two years later, the demand persists, but a skill shortage looms.

Discussion Point: What Can We Expect from the Cloud in 2015?

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Oracle CEO Mark Hurd doesn't hide his enthusiasm for cloud computing. In a LinkedIn post this week, he said "Cloud computing is triggering a stunning shift in how businesses operate. Modern SaaS applications for marketing, HR and (enterprise resource planning) ERP are allowing companies to accelerate operations and engage more intimately with their customers thanks to heretofore unseen heroes in their ranks."

And he's not the only one who thinks the cloud is revolutionizing the way business is done. A new report from Dublin-based Research and Markets concurs that developments in the field of enterprise mobility and cloud computing has transformed the way enterprises undertake their operations.

It notes that the adoption of hybrid cloud solutions are gaining momentum among enterprises, and that this cloud delivery model will go mainstream in the coming years. Already, with market shares of 13.5 percent, 10.8 percent and 10.4 percent, respectively, the retail, healthcare and government sectors have already invested significantly in cloud computing solutions in recent years.

Even the future of SharePoint is in the cloud.

So what developments, evolutions and innovations can we expect in cloud computing this year?

8 Companies Leading ECM Into 2015

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The enterprise content management (ECM) market looks set to change again. According to new research form Boston-based Nucleus Research, enterprises are taking to the idea of storing content on external servers.

ECM vendors have moved into agile mode and are now focusing on the development and simplification of their systems as well as automation and integration of new capabilities to generate value propositions for customers.

Microsoft Explains How It Will Fix OneDrive

If you’re using Microsoft OneDrive and thinking about moving to Dropbox so you can sync shared folders or sync selected files across your platforms, then you might want to hang on for a while. Microsoft announced in its roadmap for OneDrive that all users will have this functionality by the end of the year.

It has also promised both OneDrive, its consumer file sharing application, and OneDrive for Business will work off a single sync engine in an attempt to dispel the confusion over two products with the same name but different back ends and audiences.

Top 10 Tech Trends from Nucleus Research

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We work on a technology landscape built around cloud computing, social applications, big data and mobile computing, according to Framingham, Mass.-based International Data Corporation (IDC). It's the basis for the development of new solutions for the next 20 years, IDC researchers told us as they discussed the top technology trends for 2015 and beyond.

They're not the only ones with a tech vision. Boston-based Nucleus Research has a different take on how things are shaping up in tech:

"Increased transparency and the ability of every business user to increase their influence and impact on IT priorities will shape changes in the way vendors interact with their clients beyond the sale," researchers wrote in their 2015 analysis released this week. "These trends will impact the core application pillars that support the management of people, customers, production and financial management."

Here's how Nucleus sees the 2015 tech scene shaking up.

Lexmark Believes ECM Is Good For Your Health

Lexmark moves slowly, but solidly. Its latest move is the acquisition of medical imaging technology provider Claron in an all cash deal worth $37 million.

Lexmark has also announced that once the deal is closed it will incorporate Claron’s medical content management technology into Perceptive, the enterprise content management vendor that Lexmark bought in 2010 for $280 million.

If this all appears to be a little marginal to the main ECM game plan, then think again.

New research by Dallas-based MarketsandMarkets has estimated that the medical document management systems market could be worth an estimated $425 million by 2019, up from $220 million this year. While that is a relatively small amount of money in the overall ECM scheme of things, there are few enough players in the market, making it a lucrative if specialized sweet spot.

Office 365 & Sharepoint Online Just Became Irresistible

Forget Google Docs, Box and any productivity tool that anyone else has to offer. Microsoft is committing its brains and its brawn to one thing —being your “go to” for your digital life, at work and at home.

It plans to do this by providing a window to the digital world that feels “more personal and natural,” to use CEO Satya Nadella’s words, via innovations in touch, speech, vision, inking and much more. They will all come together with intelligent agent (can you say machine learning, analytics, PowerBI, Office Graph) and shell technologies.

Good Cloud, Bad Cloud. Why Cloud?

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Confused about the cloud? You're not alone.

Adoption is projected to grow at double digits despite plentiful guidance on why we should fear the cloud. Pundits tell us, “If your organization is not implementing the cloud, you’re already behind.” Yet it is easy to feel the cloud is just beyond our grasp. To quote Jason Segel, as Jay in the comedy Sex Tape -- Nobody understands the cloud. It’s a [expletive deleted] mystery.

So let's kick off 2015 with a look at some real-life use cases from sectors that are leading the way in enterprise adoption of the cloud.

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