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Cloud Computing News & Analysis

Office 365 Digs Deeper Into Lucrative Government Market

Microsoft took a significant step forward late last week in overcoming security concerns related to cloud computing in government agencies. The step came in the form of an announcement that the watchdog body governing the Department of Health has given Office 365 the thumbs up to operate in the department.

Office 365 will be the first cloud based email and collaboration and communication product to obtain a FedRAMP authorization. The authorization could potentially open the doors to a rush of deployments across government services.

Chaos Reigns at Content Management Vendors

2014-24-November-Chaos.jpgThis year has seen a lot of change at the executive levels of multiple Content Management vendors. This has spawned a long list of articles of people speculating what must be going on at the various companies. All the speculation I’ve been able to validate has been wrong. What is really happening is quite simple.

People are starting to panic.

Microsoft Adds Office Dropbox Support for Android Devices

Microsoft is rounding off a busy month on the Office front with the release of Dropbox support for Android users.

According to an Office blog post, the updates will enable easier editing, access and sharing of Office files from an Android phone. It is also offers the ability to generate and share links to documents in One Drive and OneDrive for Business directly from inside the app itself.

Forrester's Best of the Best in Private, Public Cloud Space

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Forrester Research just named what it considers the leaders in hosted private cloud solutions and the top guns of security among public cloud platform service providers.

In its newly released Wave, the research giant tabbed Virtustream and Datapipe as industry leaders in its Wave for Hosted Private Cloud Solutions.

Meanwhile, Amazon Web Services took the top spot in this week's Wave for Public Cloud Platform Service Providers’ Security. Three other public cloud security offerings -- IBM's, Microsoft's and CenturyLink's -- offer competitive advantages. Forrester only included those four providers in its public cloud security assessment.

Ramp Introduces Native Video For SharePoint #smwest

2014-11-19 ramp native sharepoint video.jpgVideo for SharePoint or Office 365! Before this week, it was a pretty low key affair. Now Microsoft is launching a video service. And just yesterday, video experience provider Ramp released what it says is the first enterprise-class, self-service webcasting solution for SharePoint.

The new native solution, developed by Ramp in partnership with Wowza Media Systems, will provide SharePoint users with a way of broadcasting live events by either Internet or intranet, whether that event is a schoolyard marbles tournament or a large-scale training webinar across different geographies.

Microsoft Adds Video Service to Office 365

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Video and video management is no longer a missing link in Office 365. Microsoft is now offering Office 365 Video to its First Release customers. It will make it available to most Office 365 plans for enterprise early next year.

The development is no real surprise, given the growing enterprise customer base for Office 365 and the increasing importance of video as a means of information and data transmission.

Few Organizations Have Strong Internal Search Capabilities

Why is it so easy to find virtually any information you need with a quick search online and so difficult to find what you need on internal networks? According to a new study (registration required), the problem is pervasive. 

The study, conduced by AIIM — the Association for Information and Image Management — found three out of four information professionals think it is easier to find information outside of their organizations than within. And 25 percent acknowledged their organizations lack advanced or dedicated search tools.

And that’s not all. More than 50 percent of the 415 information professionals polled describe their legal discovery procedures as “ad hoc, manual, disruptive and expensive,” said study author Doug Miles, head of the AIIM Market Intelligence Division.

“These people, and particularly the 28 percent who have no policy or process for legal discovery, could find themselves hit with litigation, or a compliance investigation at any time, and they would be in chaos — very expensive chaos!” he said.

EFSS Customers Keep Getting More for Their Bucks

Hey CIO, get with the program. Employees are accessing your content remotely. And though they may be using the service you’ve told them to use, they’re probably using something else too. We’ve seen surveys that say that the average employee uses three to five file sharing solutions.

A recent study conducted on the behalf of Soonr, a provider of secure file sharing and collaboration services for business, reveals that though 89 percent of full-time employees access files remotely, only 22 percent are aware of a company-approved file-sharing system in their workplace. That means that a whole lot of content is floating out in the wild outside of your control.

It’s a big problem, and also a huge opportunity for the 100 plus Enterprise File Sync & Share (EFSS) providers who want to solve it. They’re continuously raising their games to help companies protect files and comply with regulations, to win trust, to create emotional bonds with workers by providing them with awesome user experiences and to help make-work more productive.

Though we cover the EFSS market regularly, we can’t write an article about each vendor every time they make a move. So we’re highlighting those that we haven’t covered but are noteworthy.

Trending Features In Document Management

The paperless office is still to a large extent a dream. But the possibility of developing paperless processes is a very real opportunity, according to this year’s AIIM annual industry watch research.

The findings are contained in AIIM’s Paper Wars: An Update From The Battlefield. AIIM — the Association for Information and Image Management — is a global community of information professionals. The research is the result of a global survey of 336 AIIM members between September and October of this year.

According to Doug Miles, report author and director of market intelligence, paper documents are still clogging offices and stalling business processes even though office workers are mobile, computer literate and aware that paper-free processes improve productivity and lower costs. But the news isn't all bad.

7 Trends to Watch to Stay Ahead of the Digital Era Curve

2014-17-November-Crown-Fountain.jpgThis is the time of year when you start seeing a mad dash of articles looking back on the trends of 2014 and what to expect in 2015. While this is par for the course, something much more significant occurred in 2014 -- this was the year it became clear that digital disruption is here to stay. According to a recent Zinnov study, almost 50 percent of the companies on the Forbes 2000 list will drop from the list because of disruption and the impact of the digital era. The study notes that enterprises will need to spend $70 billion in 2015 to compete with emerging digital organizations.

AWS Supports Hybrid Cloud with EC2 Container Service #reinvent

“Why do developers love containers?”

This is the question Werner Vogels, CTO and Vice President of Amazon.com, asked attendees of the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas just before announcing the preview availability of EC2 Container Services (ECS) – the new service for managing Docker containers that boosts AWS support for hybrid cloud.

After answering his question with a listing of benefits such as ease of development management, portability between environments, lower risk in deployments, smoother maintenance and management of application components, and the ability for it all to work together, Vogel went on to talk about the challenges of working with containers. 

“It’s really hard, I find,” he said. “Scheduling containers requires a lot of heavy lifting.” For example, he noted issues such as placement for higher availability, dividing resources per container, launching, rolling back, and handling custom management. 

With ECS, he said, customers can get all the benefits of containers without the overhead.

SharePoint in the Clouds: Choosing Between Office 365 or Azure

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Every time I read about “the cloud” I want to drag out a red pencil and edit the sentence. Why? Because we should really be talking about “the clouds,” plural.

There are dozens of cloud hosting options for SharePoint, beyond Office 365. Amazon, Rackspace and Fpweb offer compelling alternatives to Microsoft’s public cloud for SharePoint online with a mix of capabilities.

AWS Woos Enterprises with New Security Services #reinvent

Amazon is taking steps to ease enterprises’ biggest concerns around moving to its AWS platform. During a keynote at its AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas yesterday, the company announced three new security and compliance services developed specifically for enterprise customers.

Enterprises have been reluctant to move "the number of workloads they really wanted to move” to the cloud and AWS because of security and compliance issues, said Andy Jassy, senior vice president of Amazon Web Services. “What we see as the new normal now is that security and compliance are becoming reasons that customers are moving to the cloud.”

The Paperless Office? Dream On

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The paperless office is only a dream, and we should be setting our sights a little bit lower.

That's how Doug Miles introduces this year’s AIIM Industry Watch report on document management, specifically on paper-free processes.

Even though office workers are mobile, computer literate and aware that paper-free processes improve productivity and lower costs, most organizations are still struggling against the tide of paper documents that clog offices and stall business processes.

AIIM — the Association for Information and Image Management — is a global community of information professionals.

Box Wraps Enterprise Files in Snazzy iOS Features

Stop the presses. Box built a new user interface (UI) for its enterprise sync and share apps. Perhaps it’s a little rude to say so, but who cares?

Those of us who have been watching the enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) market for a few years know that one vendor innovates and in the next few weeks another catches up or comes up with something compelling of their own.

New features cause us to drop our jaws at first. Then they become ordinary.

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