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Cloud Computing News & Analysis

Yep, It's Still the Age of the Customer

Still need evidence that Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology is hot? Then take a quick look at recent research from Gartner, which shows CRM spending in Europe remains strong despite continuing economic problems.

Half of the 102 businesses surveyed in 30 countries and 20 industries in the fourth quarter last year plan to increase spending an average of 2.5 percent on CRM projects this year.

Moving to the Cloud, One Process at a Time with Hybrid Clouds

I admit, when I first heard of hybrid clouds I was suspicious of the whole concept. The goal is to move everything you could to the cloud --  liberating IT from routine infrastructure worries and freeing the department to solve business problems for the business, not technical details. The organization benefits greatly when IT is left to focus on governance, process automation and productivity enhancements.

I asked myself, “Why would anyone go with a hybrid model?”

Why add another CMS to the portfolio if you cannot retire an old system or provide a large amount of obvious business value? How does having IT manage systems in the cloud in addition to their existing duties allow them to help the business more?

Maybe Customers Should Choose: Privacy or Free Content

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With all the amazing content available for free on the web, why are customers surprised or upset that companies track your online behavior? Are they seriously "creeped out" that their web searches today drive some of the ads they'll see for the next few weeks? Why?

Does anyone think all that content is pure altruism?

7 Big Problems with the Internet of Things

new york city crowd

Reality is beginning to bite the Internet of Things (IoT). After months of enthusiastic discussion about  the opportunities it will provide and how much it will be worth, many of those looking to play in the IoT space are starting to look at the potential problems, including data management. 

Though everyone knows managing data will be a problem once the IoT is up and running at full scale, few have really considered the potential data storage problems.

Microsoft SQL Server Wins in a Big Data World

In-Memory OLTP Stored Procedures Based on Usage

While Larry Ellison was in the counting house counting all his money (or trophy homes), Microsoft engineers were hard at work spending thousands of hours building SQL Server 2014.

The new platform that’s being released to manufacturing later today will give Oracle users a boatload of reasons to consider ditching, what many consider to be, an overpriced database of a previous era.

Not only that, but it might give those who are considering SAP HANA for its in-memory capabilities and ability to glean insights from analytical and transactional data a reason to pause and look at Microsoft’s new release.

Microsoft May Release Office for iPad

Thumbnail image for Satya Nadella.jpg

If Microsoft press conferences are always a matter of intense speculation and conjecture, the conference that has been announced for next Thursday (March 27th) in San Francisco will be, by anyone’s standards, an exceptional event -- not least because it will be the first conference hosted by new CEO Satya Nadella. 

Of course, excitement is also being driven by speculation that, finally, Microsoft will be announcing Microsoft Office for iPad. 

SharePoint Online Users Get Unlimited Cloud Storage

Just after Google slashed the price of storage in Google Drive, Microsoft responded. It's giving SharePoint Online a massive cloud storage boost. When all the sniping has been said and done, enterprises and business users are the big winners. 

Google Hits Microsoft Again By Slashing Storage Prices

As we noted yesterday, Google upped the game in the ongoing battle for dominance in the productivity suite space by offering new add-ons as well as cash to users who switch to Google Drive. Now Google is slashing the price of storage on Google Drive. 

Contact Centers Drive the Social CRM Revolution

With more than 2 million Twitter accounts established every day, social media presents a host of new challenges and opportunities in the realm of customer relationship management (CRM). People are tweeting not only about their customer service needs but also the good, bad and ugly of the experience that they receive from companies.

According to evolve24, 70 percent of customer tweets to companies are being ignored -- and the damage can be significant. Gartner estimates that failure to respond via social channels can lead to an up to 15 percent increase in churn rate for existing customers.

SharePoint in the Cloud: You Have Options

When it comes to hosting SharePoint on premises or moving it into the cloud, there is never one right answer. Companies need to understand every hosting option available to them and find the one that best fits their available resources and technical needs. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the available platforms and who might benefit most from each.

Is Box Really All That?

Levie's Socks.jpgAll eyes are on Box as the world waits for the file sync and share startup to reveal its financials in preparation for its pre-IPO road show.

Today, at SXSW, Box CEO Aaron Levie revealed that Ashton Kutcher (yes, the Ashton Kutcher) and Guy Oseary (Madonna’s manager) have invested in his company. The investment happened in December, but why announce it then when you can do it just before IPO-time?

Opportune, no?

On Friday Bloomberg reported that the company plans to make its prospectus public in the next few weeks.

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.

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