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Cloud Computing News & Analysis

IBM's 3-Pronged Strategy: Data, Cloud, Engagement

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If it has been abundantly clear for quite some time that IBM is facing a number of significant challenges, it is also clear that Virginia Rometty is a woman that is able to face them. She’s never been one to bandy words, and her message to investors in this year’s annual report is no different. Going forward, IBM will be focusing on data, the cloud and “systems of engagement”. 

Usually, the annual report of any major corporation shares at least two of the qualities of drying paint: it takes a long time and it's not very interesting.

Document Mgt Roll-up: Mostly SharePoint #SPC14

You can argue it if you want, but this week was all about SharePoint -- and little about Microsoft Dynamics CRM and AX. In fact, as one of our editors pointed out, there’s more SharePoint than you could shake a stick at — largely as a result of the SharePoint Conference 2014 in Las Vegas.

In no particular order, here are some of the items that either slipped under the radar or which caught our attention. There is also some mention of Microsoft Convergence Dynamics.

Socializing SharePoint #SPC14

Socializing SharePoint #SPC14"Work like a Network." Spend enough time at SharePoint Conference 2014 in Las Vegas and you're bound to run into this message. It’s central to the short-term improvements that answer questions about Yammer and SharePoint, and even more central to new investments that Microsoft calls Inline Social, Groups and Office Graph.

Since Microsoft acquired Yammer in 2012, it has marched forward with the message of “Yammer First.” The company has encouraged businesses to lead with Yammer whenever possible and promised new integrations that will transform the ways users work together.

In two keynotes at the SharePoint Conference yesterday, Microsoft revealed some of the new ways it is integrating Yammer into existing Microsoft tools. Here are our takeaways.

Want to Move SharePoint Data to Office 365? Find a Vendor #SPC14

As Microsoft unraveled its long-tangled plans to integrate Office365 and SharePoint this week, one big question remains: How will legacy data move from existing on premises files into the cloud?

Data migration vendors once feared the folks in Redmond would develop an in-house solution.  But now it appears Microsoft will encourage its customers to choose a third-party vendor -- and the vendors are poised to reap the harvest.

At this week's SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft executives spent almost the entire first day singing the praises of the marriage of Office365 and SharePoint. Soon, you'll be able to add maps in Outlook messages, collaborate on files in Yammer groups and switch seamlessly between Office apps, finding the documents you want in a flash on any computer where you sign into your Microsoft account. As Jared Spataro, general manager for Microsoft's Office division, noted, Office365 has grown into a $1.5 billion business for the software giant, and its growth is accelerating with this announcement.

SharePoint Conference Keynote: Releases and Roadmap #SPC14

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There's anticipation about the keynote at every SharePoint Conference. Will there be news related to releases? Will there be a change in direction in how things are done today? The expectation for today’s keynote was no different. There was the usual questions about what would be covered, but I wish I had a $1 for every time I heard “What does Bill Clinton have to do with SharePoint?”

Clinton started the keynote with a message focused on the impact and transformational possibilities of technology, including how it is expanding the voices of people worldwide.

Jared Spataro, general manager of product marketing for Microsoft Office, followed Clinton. He focused on the vision and goals shaping the future of Microsoft.

Rackspace Emphasizes Digital Marketing Infrastructure

Companies deploying digital marketing capabilities have the technology experts. And they have those who specialize in customer engagement.

On the surface, that's two "very different" disciplines, said Gerardo Dada, product marketing leader for open cloud provider Rackspace Hosting.

Rackspace wants to merge those two worlds and today announced the launch of a new practice focusing on digital marketing infrastructure needs, Rackspace Digital. The hybrid cloud platform, Rackspace said, will help marketers engage with customers via websites, portal/extranets, mobile apps or online stores.

Having an "online presence" is for marketers "becoming more important than ever," Dada told CMSWire.

Exclusive: EMC Syncplicity is About to Cozy Up to SharePoint #SPC14

Some cloud-based file sync and share vendors bill themselves as replacements for SharePoint. Syncplicity isn’t one of them.

The rockin’ hot EMC subsidiary has all of the good things that great start-ups are known for, plus a keen understanding of how enterprises operate and their requirements.

OpenText Bets on Asia Pacific with Aussie Data Center

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Competition in the cloud computing market is intense everywhere — and Asia Pacific is one of the most hotly contested markets for cloud vendors. OpenText has just entered that market with the announcement that it's opening its first data center in Australia. 

IBM, AT&T Extend Partnerships For Enterprise, IoT Security [Infographic]

In the wake of last week’s announcement that IBM and AT&T are getting together to support the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), many have expressed concerns about IoT and security. It seems, though, that both companies anticipated this and have announced plans to develop simplified, single-source network security products.

A Sip of What CMSWire Offers ...

Glass of wineSo much information, so little time. So we thought we'd help you out. We've combed our archives, had a few conversations and created a curated list of information we know you'll enjoy. All you have to do is sit back, relax and savor the flavor of CMSWire.

Dropbox Gets Big Bucks, Box Gets Talent, Syncplicity Gets Analytical

These are golden days for enterprise (and wanna be enterprise) IT vendors, especially for those that offer consumer-like experiences in the cloud.

You don’t have to look any further than the (now confirmed) $350 million Dropbox raised last month to prove it. That puts the file sync and share vendor’s valuation at over $10 billion. It’s a pretty hefty sum for any company, let alone one which may be giving many of its products/services away for free.

That being said, Dropbox is loved by the masses; last November it reported that it had 200 million registered users. It’s safe to assume that most of them registered as individuals versus as members of corporations.
 

Big Data (Actually) Bites: Trust, Cannibals, Serving Man #MWLMWC14

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Big data — and its curious link to cannibals — has been on my mind for a while now. It came up nearly two years ago after I read a Pew Internet/Elon University survey on the state of big data, which somehow got me thinking about a Twilight Zone episode called "To Serve Man."

In my arguably twisted, clearly fertile imagination, cannibalism became a metaphor for big data. How? Well, just think of big data as a synonym for the Kanamits, a race of nine-foot-tall aliens who randomly land on Earth and start promoting the fact that their only intention is to help humanity.

Their advanced technologies quickly eradicate many of the planet's oldest problems, from hunger to the high cost of energy. It makes life better, or so it seems -- resolving questions, increasing convenience and transforming barren deserts into big, blooming fields.

Remind you of anything, big data aficionados? It should, especially if you are attending the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona this week.

Why IBM's Cloudant Acquisition is a Big Deal and Who it Threatens

While the age of big data, mobile, cloud and analytics is one of great excitement and opportunity for startups like Cloudera, DataStax, MongoDB and others who have emerged during the past several years, it’s also one of danger for computing giants like EMC, IBM, HP, Oracle, Microsoft and the like.

Chances are, better than not, that at least one of these established giants won’t make it into computing’s third era. 

Working Seamlessly Together: Collaboration Lessons from Email

Working Seamlessly Together: Collaboration Lessons from EmailA couple of months ago, I shared a vision where all information was at our fingertips. It's a nice vision for the future of work but we have a more immediate problem:

How do I collaborate with Jed in Toledo?

There have been a lot of solutions proposed. Historically they have involved software solutions that require me to work on a document on my computer, upload it to a collaboration system and wait for Jed. He will then add comments, upload a new version or do both.

The likely answer if Jed and I don’t work for the same company is that we'll use email. After all this time, email is still the most used collaboration tool. Maybe instead of declaring email as dead, we should examine why email works and apply that to our efforts to improve collaboration.

Who Decides What Tech to Buy?

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No matter what way you look at it, IT departments and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) still control technology purchasing decisions in most businesses. Despite evidence to suggest that the business side is increasingly involved in IT decision making, the buck generally stops at the CIOs desk.

According to new Forrester research, business-controlled technology decisions — meaning business executives choose, implement and run applications without CIO involvement — was as low as 6.3 percent in 2013, despite repeated claims over the past year by CIOs that they are losing control of IT budgets.

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