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Cloud Computing News & Analysis

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.

Will Alliance with AT&T Bring IBM Closer to the Internet of Things?

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The $19 trillion Internet of Things (IoT) may be closer than you think. Two of the world's biggest companies -- IBM and AT&T -- just entered into a global alliance to develop solutions to support the IoT. 

According to a joint statement from the two US giants, the companies are combining their analytic platforms, cloud and security technologies "with privacy in mind" to gain more insights on data collected from machines in a variety of industries.

The alliance will focus on creating new solutions initially targeted for city governments and midsize utilities — organizations that intend to integrate and analyze vast quantities of data from assets such as mass transit vehicles, utility meters and video cameras, Mobeen Khan, executive director of Mobility Marketing at AT&T Business wrote in a blog post.

What You Should Know About DocuSign's Integration with Office365

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DocuSign is bringing its electronic signature apps to Office 365. While it’s not a game-changer for Microsoft given Office 365’s traction in the enterprise, it will likely create heightened interest among businesses that might normally have an aversion to cloud computing.

Most business deals that are done through the cloud also need to be signed off with an e-signature cloud application like DocuSign or Adobe’s EchoSign app for Reader — a fact often overlooked.

The Business Benefits of Hybrid Online File Sharing

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Fie sharing is making inroads into the enterprise content management (ECM) market as business users look for easier ways to shunt content around the enterprise. But recent research shows even the file sharing market is evolving with many users now looking for hybrid cloud/on-premises solutions, as opposed to the pure cloud-based approach.

In effect, many online file sharing (OFS) users are now looking for ways to store at least some of their data on-premises as an alternative to storing that data in third-party data centers, reversing the current trend to move everything to the cloud.

5 Reasons Customer Relationship Management Is Still Hot

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Customer relationship management (CRM) technologies may not be making headlines — but they haven’t gone away. In fact, according to Gartner, demand for CRM is growing. To provide integrated customer experiences, businesses are focusing on technologies that enable targeted customer interactions in multichannel environments. 

Microsoft Tries to Relieve Security Fears with Office 365 Makeover

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Microsoft appears to be getting jumpy about the security of Office 365 and Yammer. That is not to say that there have been any recent events to make users nervous.

It’s just that over the past two days, Microsoft has announced the introduction of multi-factor authentication for Office 365, including security enhancements for those using Yammer in SharePoint.

Will Microsoft Beat the Legacy Enterprise Resource Planning Meltdown?

Gartner recently warned enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendors to move to the cloud or face extinction. Microsoft beat the rush last June, when it pushed its Dynamics GP ERP solution to the cloud. This week it announced that Dynamics GP's next major release will be unveiled in November.

Microsoft Dynamics GP is a mid-market business accounting and ERP Software package that uses either Microsoft SQL Server 2005, 2008 or 2012 to store data. The current version of Dynamics GP 2013 (Version 12) was released by Microsoft in December 2012, evolving from a pure client-server application to a web-enabled application.

4 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Moving Email To The Cloud

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Despite the best efforts of social networking vendors to convince us to the contrary, email is alive and kicking in the enterprise. In fact, research from Dell shows 81 percent of enterprise workers consider it their most important collaboration tool.

The problem is it is not evolving.

Microsoft Brings Business Intelligence Tools to a Billion Screens

Or at least that’s the goal. And if anyone has a chance to achieve it in the near term, it’s Quentin Clark, the corporate Vice President of the company’s Data Platform Group, and his team.

Today the Redmond, Wash.-based company will announce the general availability of Power BI for Office 365, a cloud-based business intelligence (BI) service that gives everyday workers new way to work with data (big, fast and small) in the tools that they already know, namely, Excel and Office 365.

In other words, starting today, everyone can be a data analyst.

5 SaaS Advantages To Confound Your Competitors

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is not just about cutting costs anymore, it’s about getting a competitive edge. While slashing capital expenditure on software is still a primary reason for taking the SaaS route, recent research from IBM shows that leading companies are using it to give them an edge over the competition.

Challenges Abound for New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

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As founder and chief marketing officer of a Seattle-based business collaboration software provider, Brent Frei’s not only close to Microsoft geographically. He’s worked closely with the company on a business level -- and, particularly, he knows a little about new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

“Since the recent re-org at Microsoft and possibly also before the re-org, Satya has been very active in reaching out directly to ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) like Smartsheet to prioritize how best to get the cloud ecosystem rallied around Microsoft,” Frei told CMSWire. “And, it's more than lip service. We've been in direct contact with the senior folks that have made rapid progress in addressing specific infrastructure areas that enable third party apps to successfully operate with their products at enterprise customers.”

So was Nadella the right choice to become the Redmond, Wash. software and technology giant’s third CEO?

“We Seattle-based companies have a big stake in a strong set of thriving technology anchor-titans,” Frei said. “Clearly Microsoft is a central figure in that set. There has been plenty of concern in recent years that Microsoft's slow pace and progress into the cloud was the front end of a long decline. Satya is likely the best of the choices I'm aware of to address that head on.”

Why You Should Care About Microsoft's CEO Choice

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Microsoft announced today what most of the business world presumed last week: Satya Nadella is the new CEO of the Redmond, Wash.-based software and technology giant.

Surprised? Probably not. We understand.

But the company also announced something that may surprise othersBill Gates is still around. Previously chairman of the board, Gates is now the board's founder and technology advisor. John Thompson, lead independent director for the Microsoft board, maintains his role and is now also the board chairman.

Hybrid Clouds for SharePoint: Great, but Not for Everyone

The hybrid cloud is the talk of the industry for 2014, and a hybrid cloud for SharePoint / Office 365 is no exception. But not everyone is going hybrid, at least not permanently.

Five Things About Potential New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

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So who placed bets with us on the next Microsoft CEO? These were the odds we posted back in November:

  • Stephen Elop 1/7
  • Alan Mulally 6/1
  • Satya Nadella 7/1
  • Tony Bates 10/1
  • Mike Lawrie 20/1
  • Sheryl Sandberg 25/1
  • Bill Gates 50/1

Anyone go with Nadella? Seven times your investment isn't so shabby.

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