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Cloud Computing News & Analysis

Take a Seat Google, Amazon: Microsoft's Cloud Wins the Day

Though the new mobile-first, cloud-first Microsoft is more open and plays nice with everyone, it also wants to knock the socks, shirt and hat off of the competition. And, if CEO Satya Nadella is right, it has everything it needs to do so.

While mobile, as Microsoft now defines it, is “not about the device” whether it’s a sensor, small screen or large screen, but about “powering mobility with intelligence,” the productivity and collaboration tools are all Microsoft (Office 365 and Dynamics).

And when it comes to the cloud, Microsoft may have one few others can match. We’re not talking only about a super-charged, hyper-scale cloud in the heavens, but also about a new Azure-like appliance that Enterprises can deploy in their own data centers. It has been designed specifically to handle big data workloads (32 cores, 450 gigabytes of RAM and 6.5 terabytes of local solid-state drive storage). Officially named the Microsoft Cloud Platform System (CPS), powered by Dell it is, in essence, an “Azure consistent cloud in a box” with pre-integrated hardware from Dell and software from Microsoft.

IBM Stumbles on its Road to the Cloud

The transition to the cloud is not happening fast enough for slow-moving IBM, which today reported disappointing third quarter results: Revenue of $22.4 billion declined 4 percent year over year and fell short of the Wall Street consensus estimate of $23.37 billion, while per-share earnings of $3.68 missed the consensus by 64 cents. 

With the second half of this year now coming in weaker than expected, the company’s outlook has gotten more hazy, so management pulled its 2015 earnings forecast of $20 a share, saying it would provide an updated figure in January.

IBM’s latest numbers have not been well received on Wall Street: the stock today is down 7 percent, earlier hitting a new 52-week low at $166.71. 

For the quarter, IBM’s global services revenue of $13.7 billion (61 percent of total revenue) was off 3 percent, while software revenue declined 2 percent to $5.7 billion and hardware revenue dropped 15 percent to $2.4 billion. “We saw a marked slowdown in September in client buying behavior,” said CEO Ginni Rometty.

Can You Make Google Love Your Global Content?

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Nǐ hǎo! ¡Hola! Konnichiwa! Oi! Guten Tag! Bonjour! Ciao! Privét! 

If your website isn’t translated into at least five of the above languages, you could be missing out on at least double your potential sales. This is the new reality of a global economy, said Alison Toon, senior director of new markets at Smartling, one of the hosts for a recent American Marketing Association webinar, “How to Make Google Love Your Global Content.”

She contends that 90 percent of global opportunities can be reached by businesses that have websites in 12 languages other than English. But many businesses seem to be missing out. When checking in with webinar participants via an interactive poll, almost 40 percent stated they currently have no website option for the non-English speaking world.

Microsoft Ignites 'One' Enterprise Strategy

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It’s still only October, but already some companies are starting to talk about what they plan to do next year. Unfortunately, the word from most tends to be pretty vague this far in advance.

Microsoft is no exception.

However, one thing Microsoft has given some very concrete details about is its conference line-up for 2015. 

For the first time ever, Microsoft is bring all its enterprise business applications together in a new conference called Ignite.

Cloudwords Localizes the Oracle Cloud

Cloudwords, a startup backed by Salesforce.com founder Marc Benioff, has beefed up its integration with the Oracle Marketing Cloud, aiming to automate and organize the process of managing the localization of B2B and B2C content

Cloudwords announced yesterday that it is now integrated with Oracle Reponsys, Oracle Content Marketing (formerly Compendium), Oracle WebCenter Sites and Oracle WebCenter Content.

HP, EMC Drop Merger Talk

Hewlett-Packard Co. has walked away from merger discussions with EMC Corp., Reuters reported today. Reuters reported HP has walked away after "months of fruitless negotiations."

The news comes as no real surprise as there were rumors earlier this month that the two companies were deadlocked over financial terms.

Real Bedfellows? Salesforce, Office 365, OneDrive & Power BI #DF14

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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff knew the conversation would be special, so on the opening day of Dreamforce, Salesforce’s user conference in San Francisco this week, he brought Microsoft Windows Vice President Tony Prophet on stage for a fireside chat.

After some genuine, inspirational, heart-to-heart talk about their mutual charitable work at Benioff’s Children’s Hospital at University of California San Francisco (UCSF), among other things, Benioff dropped his jaw.

"A year ago at Dreamforce we would not have thought Microsoft would have been here, on stage,” he said. “It's a shock."

And to him it certainly seemed to be, and for good reason. But are things always what they seem? 

London Firm Bets Money on the Internet of Things

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Gartner expects the Internet of Things (IoT) will be driven by small entrepreneurs rather than big tech companies. And that means funding for those entrepreneurs is going to be crucial.

So far, compared with the funds available for start-ups in other areas like social or information management, there is relatively little investment in IoT start-ups. However, Reply, a London-based consulting, systems integration and digital services company, is taking up the torch and setting up a new trans-Atlantic initiative called Breed Reply.

Will Cloud Foundry Be Key to Computing's History?

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“The times they are a changin’.” For anyone who’s not a fan of rock music history that quote may not resonate, but it comes from a song that Bob Dylan wrote in the 1960s. It describes a period when the world began to change how it looked at issues like women’s rights, racism, poverty and social policy.

Though the term wasn’t used at the time, "more democratized" fits the bill pretty well. More people had an opportunity to play a role in their own future. And people began to learn that when they worked together they could get more, and often more significant things, done with greater satisfaction.

It’s interesting to note that at around this same period IBM decided to unbundle the way it sold computing to the world. Rather than offer hardware, services and software exclusively in one expensive package, where you had to buy the whole thing or nothing at all, marketers "unbundled" the components and offered them for sale individually.

It was a defining moment in computing’s history that gave birth to the multibillion-dollar software and services industries. If it hadn’t happened, all the software and consulting services in the world would have been sold by three or four vendors who, let’s face it, probably wouldn’t have been able to harness the creativity that the current market provides.

Here's What Happens When Employees BYOD

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Security-related headaches around BYOD may make users want to BYOB.

That's what you can conclude from a new survey that shows organizations with bring your own device (BYOD) policies have twice the number of security concerns as other organizations.

“BYOD introduces a variety of potential risks from security and policy perspectives, as well as end-user privacy,” said Eugene Liderman, director of the office of the CTO at Good Technology, the company that sponsored the Mid-Market Mobility Trends Survey.

Was Amazon Web Services the Winner in Xen Cloud Reboot?

information management, Was Amazon Web Services the Winner in Xen Cloud Reboot?

A cloud portfolio management provider has done some Monday-morning quarterbacking through cloud hosting customers affected by the recent Xen hypervisor problem and reboot for major cloud players. 

The winner?

If you go by Rightscale's numbers released today -- they surveyed about 449 customers of Amazon Web Services, Rackspace and SoftLayer -- Amazon seems to come out on top as the hosting companies worked to patch and reboot the potential issue announced Oct. 1.

Rightscale reported that of the 349 Amazon Web Services customers responding to Rightscale's Oct. 2-3 survey, 51 percent reported no application downtime as a result of the reboot, and another 21 percent reporting less than five minutes of downtime.

Of the 66 Rackspace Public Cloud users, 27 percent escaped with no downtime. Of the 42 SoftLayer Virtual Server respondents, 26 percent reported zero downtime. 

Meanwhile, 5 percent of AWS users reported more than one hour of downtime, while 13 percent for Rackspace and 17 percent for SoftLayer said the same.

(Rightscale also received 74 responses from organizations that used Xen in their internal data centers. Some respondents use multiple clouds, hence the total of more than 449).

Will SAP HANA + Birst Blow Salesforce and Oracle Analytics Away?

2014-09-October-jet-Pack.jpgSalesforce boss Mark Benioff better have a pretty remarkable rabbit in his hat next week when he makes a much anticipated announcement about how his company will deliver big data analytics in the cloud. If not, Birst and SAP have just partnered to steal his thunder.

Cloudera + Teradata = Big Data Love?

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Hadoop may make many promises, but Teradata delivers solutions that enterprises trust.

We’re not saying this to ruffle any feathers because it isn’t an either or game. Every now and then we see headlines that say things like “Cloudera Declares End Of Data Warehousing Era” or see pictures of tombstones with RDBMS written on them, but the reality is that a good many of Teradata’s  users ignore  them or figure that Teradata will deliver big data capabilities, in a palatable doses, when the time is right.

And that’s essentially what Teradata and Hadoop pioneer Cloudera are banging the drums about this morning as they announce an expanded partnership around technology integration, sales and support. In other words, the two companies will work together to integrate Teradata’s integrated data warehouse and Cloudera’s enterprise data hub so that customers can work with multiple data sources (Cloudera’s Enterprise Data Hub being one of them) through the Teradata Unified Data Architecture (TDA).

This means that not only will Teradata customers be able to “buy” Cloudera’s products and services from Teradata, but that they’ll be tuned to work together and mutually supported.

Top 10 Strategic Tech Trends for 2015 #GartnerSYM [Infographic]

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Can’t get enough of lists? Another Top 10 was revealed during Gartner’s Symposium/ITxpo 2014 in Orlando, Fla., this time focusing on technology trends for the coming year. 

“It all starts with digital business,” said David W. Cearley, Vice President and Gartner Fellow. “Welcome to your digitized future.” In presenting the trends, Cearley noted that strategic trends are those likely to have the biggest impact in the next three years.

The 2015 trends fall into three groups:

  1. Merging the Real and Virtual World
  2. Intelligence Everywhere
  3. Emergence of the New IT Reality

Embracing SharePoint and OneDrive in Hybrid Clouds

Last month, a colleague and I were recalling a conversation we had at a SharePoint conference a few years ago. At the time we were debating whether Office 365 would have more success than its predecessor, the Business Productivity Online Standard Suite (BPOS).

The funny thing is that neither of us could remember which conference it was. So I looked it up and it was way back in 2011 in Anaheim, California.

iThe debate is old news today. Microsoft announced that Office 365 is a $2.5 billion dollar business at its World Partner Conference in July.

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