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Cloud Computing News & Analysis

Microsoft Makes Office 365 Cheap Enough That You Can Ignore Google

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Keeping a schedule set at its Worldwide Partner Conference in July, Microsoft has finally released service plans that will make it cheaper for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to use Office 365.

There is a small sting in the program, which went into effect last week. New customers can access the new and cheaper plans straight away, but those already signed up to Office 365 SMB plans will have to wait until late next year before they will transitioned to the new plans.

Is it the Market or is it Box? More IPO Woes

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Everyone from Bloomberg to the Wall Street Journal to TechCrunch is reporting that Box has delayed its initial public offering (IPO), yet again. Most cite market volatility as the reason.

It’s the same rationale the company has (reportedly) used in the past, though we don’t know for sure because at this stage of the game Box isn’t offering much more than boilerplate answers like, “Our plan continues to go public when it makes the most sense for Box and the market. As always, investing in our customers, technology and future growth remains our top priority.”

How Many Layers in Oracle's Cloud? #OOW14

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The tech pundits here are happy to focus on the soap opera of management shifts including new roles for Oracle founder and chairman — former CEO and current CTO — Larry Ellison and Oracle co-CEOs Mark Hurd and Safra Catz.

But the real story at Oracle OpenWorld here this week is much deeper. Beneath the surface, Oracle has orchestrated a broad and complicated integration of dozens of cloud, web and customer experience technologies.

IT Gets Strategic (Again)

2014-30-September-Check.jpgThe CIO of a global Medical Device manufacturing company recently said to me, "I don't want to have to install another piece of software at this company unless I absolutely have to."

"You want to hear something that will really blow your mind?" he followed.

I was already pretty excited about how forward thinking the conversation was. What comes after putting the entire legacy software industry on notice?

"I could have my entire supply chain being run by Amazon by the end of the year."

These guys don't sell widgets to consumers. They sell respiratory care equipment and supplies for operating rooms to health care providers.

Oracle has Finally Figured Out the Cloud #OOW14

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It was just six years ago that Larry Ellison famously dissed cloud computing at an analyst conference. But this year's Oracle Open World is all about the cloud and Oracle today made sure all 60,000 attendees knew it.

Ellison himself, now executive chairman and CTO of the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company, said last night Oracle reached an "inflection point" in the cloud during 2014. Never mind that others reached that point years ago.

With characteristic bravado, he still mocked competitors and proclaimed Oracle as the only company that now offers platforms, software and infrastructure as services. 

Is Box Too Distracted to Care About Deal with Oracle?

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You’d think that Aaron Levie would find it significant that Oracle has announced the integration of its Marketing Cloud with Box. But we haven’t heard a peep about it from Levie or anyone else at his Los Altos, Calif.-based Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) start-up.

Box didn’t put out a press release about the “expanded” relationship, which it did in the past with other big deals like Samsung and AT&T.

Box responded to our request for comment late today by stressing how excited everyone was about the deal, despite the notable lack of publicity about it.

The company’s communications team added that Niall Wall, senior vice president of business development at Box, had included a supporting quote in Oracle’s press release — which noted that he, too, was "excited to extend our partnership with Oracle.”

The Metamorphosis of the Social Enterprise

2014-26-September-Change.jpgThe Social Enterprise is dead … but it hasn’t disappeared. Rather, it has been replaced by a remarkably similar concept: the Digital Workplace. According to Gartner, the Digital Workplace "enables new and more effective ways of working, improves employee engagement and agility, and exploits consumer-oriented styles and technologies."

Rackspace Guarantees 99.99% Uptime on Private Cloud

Rackspace is so confident with the new release of its private cloud software on its cloud computing open source OpenStack creation, it's guaranteeing success for enterprise workload production.

The San Antonio, Texas-based managed hosting provider debuted its private cloud in the summer of 2013, and now beefed up its offering with a 99.99 percent OpenStack API uptime guarantee, increased scalability to hundreds of nodes and DevOps automation services for application lifecycle management.

"Arguably the most exciting thing about this is we're backing it with an industry-leading OpenStack API uptime at 99.99 percent," Christian Foster, Rackspace Private Cloud director of marketing, told CMSWire. "OpenStack is four years old and is maturing with the technology. The market is looking for a provider to stand behind its product in a big way, and that's what we're doing here. If we don't meet this uptime monthly, our customers will be receiving credit from us missing that number."

Pivotal Revs Its Big Data Play, But There's a Better Story

2014-23-September-Chunyun.jpgWe’ve all heard an earful about the emergence of computing’s third platform, built for a world in which big data, mobile, social, analytics and cloud change the way we live and work. And while, for many of us, the actual impact thus far has been around shopping, dating, getting movie or music suggestions, there are real world examples that are absolute game-changers for large segments of the population.

And Pivotal’s big data platform and Pivotal GemFire, in particular, is powering some of them.

Pivotal GemFire, for anyone who needs a refresher, is a distributed in-memory data management solution for enterprises creating high-scale custom applications.
 

Does Cloudera Need to Cool It?

2014-22-September-Elephant-Fight.jpgA staple gun or roll of masking tape might come in handy today when Amr Awadallah walks in through his company’s doors. The CTO and co-founder of Hadoop platform provider Cloudera mouthed off about the competition to the European press late last week inspiring tweets like “Elephant fight!” The elephant reference, for anyone who may not know, refers to the symbol used for Apache Open Source Hadoop.

SharePoint Users Stick with Older Versions, Eye Hybrid Cloud #SPTechCon

When we caught up in Boston a year ago with SharePoint Technology Conference Chair David Rubinstein, SharePoint 2013, Office 365 capabilities and mobile were all the rage.  

Same conference, next year at the Boston Park Plaza hotel? The cloud. SharePoint Online. When's the big move coming?

The truth is, for most organizations -- at least those among the 1,000 at the conference this week -- they're still flying in 2010 and even 2007 air space when it comes to SharePoint technology.

"The majority of our attendees still sit on 2010 and 2007 versions of SharePoint," said Rubinstein, whose Melville, NY-based media organization, BZ Media, has put on 12 SPTechCons over the last six years. "There's where we're going to be until things change."

Microsoft Puts Pieces Together with Office 365 Home Page

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Google has been making a lot of ground in recent months with the addition of lots of new functionality to Google Apps, now called Google Apps for Work.

And Microsoft hasn’t been slouching either. However, Microsoft upgrades have been a little more subtle — and it’s often hard to track what has been added or even what tools you have at your disposable.

But now we have something concrete: Microsoft just announced that it has upgraded the portal page for Office 365, which is being rolled out to current SharePoint and Exchange customers as of today.

Why You Must Identify Risks in SharePoint Technology #SPTechCon

information management, Why You Must Identify Risks in SharePoint Technology #SPTechCon

SharePoint stakeholders can't know their risks without knowing their requirements.

And they can't know their risks without knowing the potentially adverse effects of those risks.

Bill English, 11-consecutive SharePoint MVP winner, champions these thoughts. Knowing your risks and potential outcomes can lead to strong governance and compliance.

And as English told an audience here today at the SharePoint Technology Conference at the Boston Park Plaza hotel, "Governance is the enforcement of compliance." 

Alibaba: The Web IPO Heard Round the World

2014-18-September-Monopoly-Money.jpgThe global Internet and finance community is transfixed by the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Alibaba Group Holdings, the  Chinese e-commerce giant that is expected to go public on Friday at a market capitalization in excess of $160 billion. This is likely to be the largest IPO of all time, raising up to $25 billion in capital for the company and giving a market capitalization larger than eBay (market cap, $64B) and possibly Amazon.com ($150B).

Google Lets App Users Bypass IT Administrators

Google has fulfilled every IT administrator's nightmare: It's given users of its app packages the ability to download and use new apps from its Marketplace without IT intervention. 

It’s hard to know what's behind this latest move. It may be that Google is eager to offer users of its Google Apps for Work, Google Apps for Education or Google Apps for Government as much functionality as possible as quickly as s possible.

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