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Cloud Computing News & Analysis

Is Microsoft Even Pushing SharePoint Users into the Cloud? #SPTechCon

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BOSTON -- The cloud. SharePoint.

Wait, what? Not me. Not us. Not anytime soon, if ever.

That captures some of the sentiment we heard here among the nearly 1,000 people at the SharePoint Technology Conference at the Boston Park Plaza hotel.

David Maldonado, an analyst programmer at the University of New Mexico's health division (pictured with co-worker Erin Youtzy), came up with a few words to answer the cloud proposition in SharePoint: "HIPAA. Personal information. Health records."

Are You a Top 20 Document Management Vendor? [Infographic]

2014-17-September-Ruffled-Feathers.jpgAny top ______ list is sure to ruffle a few feathers, and this one is no different. Capterra, an online software review service, published a list of what it identifies as the top 20 document management software solutions.

While many of the names will be familiar to those working in the document management space, a few notable absences are sure to cause debate.

Is IBM's Watson Analytics All That?

2014-17-September-Computer-Watson.jpgIf we got a dollar every time someone told us that they’re democratizing big data, we’d have a hundred dollar bills, and that’s just so far this week.

So when an IBM representative sent a note saying that it was making Watson Analytics available to everyday business users to let them ask questions in plain language and get big data informed answers back in short order, our hearts didn’t patter too much. Even when they said we could try it for free.

After all, we’ve sat side by side, live and in person, with vendors who make big, big data analytics promises. And when we’ve said “Show me, turn me into a data scientist, big data analyst, heck, even novice user,” they haven’t been able to do it.

And maybe it’s us, but more than likely, here’s the deal -- in most cases, these vendors don’t include people like us (non-data workers) as citizens of their democratic, big data republics. And that’s fine, as long as we define that from the start.

Why History (and the Enterprise) Will Be Kind to Steve Ballmer

2014-16-September-Ballmer.jpgWe hear a lot about Microsoft’s new direction, and we hear a lot about SharePoint. We haven’t heard a lot about how the one impacts the other, but if you’re buying into collaboration (and odds are that you are) then you ought to be thinking about it. And if you think about it just a little, you’ll realize that Steve Ballmer mapped all of this out years ago. We just weren’t listening.

Which Cloud Office Suite: Microsoft or Google? #gartnerpcc

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Gartner Research Vice President Jeffrey Mann has added another snarl to the Microsoft versus Google brawl in the productivity space.

He also took time to fire at IBM’s SocialBusiness for the SmartCloud, calling it a "nice try" that is unlikely to catch on.

Speaking at the Gartner Portals, Content and Collaboration summit in London today, he pointed out that Microsoft, which already has the lion’s share of the market, is going to increase its presence at the expense of other players.

12 Steps To A Successful ECM Deployment #gartnerpcc

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Many enterprises are investing in costly enterprise content management (ECM) systems without knowing why or even how they will be used.

On the sidelines of the Gartner Portals, Content and Collaboration summit in London yesterday, Kenneth Chin, Gartner research vice president for ECM, explained that many enterprises have yet to develop strategies around their ECM deployments. He also outlined 12 considerations that enterprises should consider to make their ECM deployments successful.

The Future of SharePoint is the Cloud #gartnerpcc

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It's not exactly ground-breaking, but Jim Murphy, a research director in Gartner's web and cloud group, thinks Microsoft is trying to lure its SharePoint users into the cloud, despite the number of enterprises that are still using it on-premises.

Speaking at this morning’s session on the future of SharePoint at Gartner’s Portals, Content and Collaboration Summit in London, Murphy reassured attendees that there is still plenty of time before time runs out on the on-premises version.

Is Box Writing Enterprise Content Management's Obituary?

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By now it should be clear that Box doesn’t see itself as a simple Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) service. “We certainly do that,” Whitney Bouck, Box’s SVP of Global Marketing told an audience of the faithful at BoxWorks, the company’s annual user conference earlier this month.

“But that’s not where the value is,” she added. “That’s table stakes.”

So while most EFSS vendors aim to provide the best, most secure, relevant and user-friendly file-sharing experience on the planet, that’s where Box says its journey begins rather than ends.

Gartner Names Wise Choices for Workplace Social Software

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In the market for social software? Gartner included 17 vendors in this year’s Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace. 

Like all of the other Garter Magic Quadrants, it's quite difficult to make the list. And squeezing into the Leaders quadrant is especially challenging. In this case, only Microsoft, IBM, Jive, Salesforce and Tibco managed to earn a spot. 

However, Gartner points out that Challengers offer solutions that have a strong market presence, and adds that these vendors have the market position and resources to become Leaders down the line. VMWare, Atlassian and Sitrion earned spots in this quadrant.

Caveat Emptor: Are You Buying a Solution or a Science Project?

2014-11-September-Large-Hadron-Collider.jpgMost enterprise software is more like undertaking a science project than buying a product that solves a problem. Organizations buy a “platform” and have their IT departments build the “solution” on it.

A platform is essentially an Erector set with very poor instructions. Sure -- go ahead and build a motorized crane. If you a. know what a crane is and should do and b. know what parts need to be assembled in what order to do it. Otherwise, you’re just trying stuff.  

Your first few cranes won’t work very well. People will likely use something (anything) else they can until you have built a better crane. You have on your hands a Science Project.

6 Things to Consider Before Buying Enterprise Social Software

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The social software market is dynamic and growing. It's customer rather than vendor driven, and grew by 15 percent last year, according to Gartner’s recently published Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace.

In the past, customers were primarily concerned with product maturity and support. But now they're more focused on collaboration and social capabilities, and how both can be seamlessly embedded into daily operations.

Office 365 Now Makes You Look Smarter via Office Delve

Even though it’s cloudy in Redmond, Wash. today, it actually looks brighter.

Oops sorry, it’s you that looks brighter if you’re one of the Office 365 Business users who is getting first access to Office Delve. Microsoft begins rolling it out today.

Office Delve’s (formerly codenamed Oslo) big promise is to present you with the right information at the right time without you needing to look for it. It makes information “even more valuable” according to Julia White, general manager of Office 365 Technical Product Management.

The 'Drives Race' - The Battle for Cloud-Based File Storage

2014-05-September-Buy-of-the-Week.jpgInspiration comes from strange places. Last week on the radio I heard a DJ talking about how he still uses his VCR (for those of you that are too young to remember, that is what preceded DVRs). My first memory of VCRs was in a commercial that ran during an interview with Ronald Reagan. Although I was too young to understand the point, Reagan spent much of the interview discussing how we must rebuild our military, which was later branded by pundits as another “Arms Race.” Hence the name for this post. But back to the VCR ....

In that commercial, the VCRs were advertised for upward of $500 (that’s around $1000 in today’s money), but as more options came out, prices started falling. When DVDs came out, VCRs dropped under $100 and it seemed that they would soon be relegated to the scrap heap next to record players. Yet many households still have VCRs (and record players). Mine is disconnected, sitting in a cardboard box and likely doesn’t even work, but I am not throwing it away. The thing is, I still have a lot of tapes. Between kids’ birthday parties, family dinners and even videos of my old dog, I feel better knowing it’s there.

Cloud-based storage (and Drives in particular) share many similarities with VCRs.

Cryptzone Makes a Buy to Boost Security Offerings

In a move to further bolster its data security offerings, Boston-based Cryptzone announced today that it has acquired HiSoftware Inc., which specializes in governance, compliance and security solutions.

By joining the two companies, Cryptzone, a global provider of data security and identity and access management (IAM) solutions, boasts that it will not only boost its data-protection capabilities, but expand its customer base to 700. Clients includes companies such as JPMorgan Chase, AIG, California State Universities and the Department of Treasury, specifically the IRS.

Is Box Solving Its Cloud-Only Problem? #BoxWorks

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Box CEO Aaron Levie loves the cloud. He wears cloud socks, his license plate said “GoCloud” and he knocks on-prem storage as if it were an artifact from the Flintstone era anytime he gets the chance.

Hip and forward thinking as he may be, being “cloud only” is one of Box’s biggest problems. In its most recent Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) Gartner wrote:

Despite implementations in proprietary data centers, Box's offering is available only in a public cloud model. No hybrid model for data storage on-premises is supported. The movement or replication of corporate content in Box's cloud repository is not a viable option for some IT organizations."

The reality is that Levie’s stance is costing Box business because many, many enterprises aren’t willing to store their most precious, most sensitive, most strategic information on the public cloud.

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