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Cloud Computing News & Analysis

Building a Hybrid Bridge to the Microsoft Cloud

2014-29-August-Rope-Bridge.jpgWhen Satya Nadella announced Microsoft’s new Mobile-First, Cloud-First strategy, he drew a line in the sand with Microsoft employees and set the company on a new course. When Microsoft COO, Kevin Turner reiterated the message at the World Wide Partner Conference in July, he sent partners scrambling to get cloud certified, saying “Selling on-premises software was good for you and us for a long time but the future lies in the cloud and mobility, and Microsoft plans to go in that direction with our partner community intact.”

Customers have felt the shift as well as they ponder what solutions can be cloud based and how to integrate them without significant effort and cost. Some organizations look at Office 365 and feel insecure about moving to a multi-tenant environment. Many organizations have significant investments in on-premises applications and infrastructure so moving to the cloud will not be an easy process.

These critical business systems have kept the wheels of commerce running for some time and have been built up with many layers of complexity and integration. Strict compliance regulations prevent many companies from exposing data in a cloud environment. With these constraints and issues in mind Microsoft has created a number of hybrid options that allow companies to selectively migrate enterprise solutions or build new applications that use cloud services while maintaining an on-prem infrastructure.

Let’s look at the options.

Zocalo + Amazon Web Services Could Be Game Changer

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Things are already pretty messy in the productivity space between Microsoft and Google. But it could get a whole lot messier.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)  just announced that its document storage, sharing and collaboration application for the enterprises is now on general release.

Amazon Zocalo has been in limited preview since July, but is now available to all AWS customers with bargain basement prices, and could be a game changer in the document collaboration and sharing and sync space.

Why Your DAM Will Be Obsolete

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Social. Mobile. Analytics. Cloud. Big Data. These are the buzzwords that have been used to describe the transformation of all technologies over the past decade. With the evolution of these technologies, we have fundamentally moved from a basic client-server model of computing to a highly distributed, scalable, contextualized and scrutinized computing environment. But how does this concretely affect the future of Digital Asset Management?

Huddle Unveils Secure Publishing Platform

Some document management providers have platforms predicated on sharing links. A Huddle official says his company has a "much broader vision." 

Huddle today unveils its secure publishing platform that comes with a full analytics dashboard and helps enterprises measure, track and interact with the files that they share and publish. These capabilities complement its existing intelligent recommendation engine.

"There are players, such as Dropbox and Box, that are all about sharing links," Stuart Cochran, CTO of Huddle, told CMSWire. "For these vendors, the link is the key piece of the puzzle. The link can be previewed, downloaded, emailed, etc. Our vision for a secure publishing platform, as compared to just 'sharing links,' brings a much broader vision."

Microsoft Secures SharePoint Online Data

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Microsoft has taken another step to secure data in SharePoint Online with the introduction of Data Loss Prevention (DLP). The only thing surprising is that it has taken this long to do it, given that Microsoft already provides DLP for Exchange, Outlook and Outlook Web App (OWA).

However, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to introduce DLP to SharePoint Online without also applying it to OneDrive.

So Microsoft has gone ahead and done that, too.  With it, users will be able to to search for sensitive content in the enterprise eDiscovery Center, but keep the content where it was originally located.

Quick Start Guide to Archiving Documents in the Cloud

2014-27-August-Squirrel.jpgIf you're considering whether your organization should go with cloud-based archiving for some of your documents, take a two step approach in your decision making. First, understand what your archiving requirements are -- whether on premises or in the cloud. Then clarify what the pros and cons are of on premises versus cloud based archiving and decide which approach makes sense for your organization right now.

IBM Pumps Up the SoftLayer Data Volumes

IBM is pumping up the SoftLayer volume again, this time with the announcement that it is opening a new SoftLayer data center in Australia, with another due to be opened later in the year. It also announced the availability of new bare metal servers that can be deployed in less than 30 minutes and billed by the hour.

The latest SoftLayer data center continues IBM’ push into the Asia Pacific region with hybrid, private and public cloud environments, while the introduction of bare metal servers will make this kind of cloud deployments cheaper and easier to install.

Has Google Delivered a Killer Blow to Microsoft Office Apps?

Google quietly landed what could be a killer blow for Microsoft Apps with the release of a number of upgrades to Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.

The first piece of bad news for Microsoft: Google created a separate iOS app for Slides, its answer to Microsoft PowerPoint.

The rest of the bad news comes in the form of upgrades to the existing Google Docs and Sheets apps for iOS. With them, users can open, create and edit native Microsoft Office files on any iOS device for the first time.

Google Apps are platform and device neutral — and they are also cheaper than Microsoft's offerings.

OpenText, Microsoft Woo Law Firms #ILTA14

This week's International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) conference drew little interest from anyone but legal professionals.

But as the conference concludes, it is worth noting two new releases that underscore ongoing competition between OpenText and Microsoft in the document management and collaboration space. Both companies released new law-focused collaboration tools that focus on the secure transfer, syncing and sharing of documents.

  • OpenText announced the release of eDOCS10, its specialized document management application for the legal profession
  • Microsoft announced a preview of Office 365 Matter Center that enables file sharing and organization from the comfort of familiar productivity tools

Both solutions tackle the ongoing problem of document chaos in the enterprise.

Pivotal Leads the Charge into the Enterprise Mobile App Era

2014-20-August-Bull-Charge.jpgThe canned software era is over and the custom mobile app era is here. We know, it sounds like a bunch of marketing jive, but in reality, it’s pretty deep. Tomorrow’s enterprise applications will be mobile apps.

Think about your most common gateway to the web right now -- it’s probably not your PC. How many times a day do you use your phone for things other than making calls? And your tablet? We’d bet that you’re visiting apps a lot more often than you’re typing in URLs.

With the onset of the consumerization of IT, what you do in your personal life first, moves to the enterprise. It’s only a matter of time before the way you interact with where you do business, your workplace and its business partners will be via mobile apps too.

Taking the First Steps Toward ECM in the Cloud

2014-20-August-Climbing.jpgIt was only two or three years ago that clients would ask about storing their content in the cloud in purely theoretical terms. There was no interest in actually doing anything about it, but it was a sexy conversation to have.

Now the conversation is no longer about "if clients could move their content to the cloud" but "when will they move content to the cloud." And if our clients are really honest, the conversation is about how they get control over all of the content they currently have in the cloud regardless of if the platform is official or not.

By 2020 every enterprise organization will be running cloud content management for a portion of their application needs. So the question becomes, where do you start? How do you begin building a strategy when we don't know exactly what things will look like when we get to the end?

Netbiscuits Launches Routing Device for Adaptive Mobile Experiences

In a time when mobile devices outnumber PCs, having a mobile-optimized web presence is no longer considered a luxury, but a necessity. Data from ComScore revealed that in January of this year, Americans used smartphone and tablet apps more than PCs to access the Internet -- for the first time in history. Moreover, according to The Diffusion Group, a quarter of all broadband households in the US also own a TV set with internet connectivity, making the ability for a company’s website to adapt its user experience beyond the PC more important than ever before.

Microsoft Frees-up Storage For SharePoint Online Sites

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Microsoft just announced a service that will make it easier to manage storage for SharePoint Online within the Office 365 suite.

The move effectively tackles one of the big problems users were having with storage allocation to SharePoint site collections. It also makes the management of entire SharePoint environments easier.

The changes announced last night makes the storage limits associated with each group of sites more flexible. It means storage that is not used with one site collection can be moved to another to facilitate the development of that collection.

Gartner Names 7 'Hype Cycle' Technologies

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Driving your organization down the road to digital business? If you are, Gartner has identified seven emerging and established technologies that may help assure a smoother journey.

The recently published 2014 Gartner Hype Cycle Special Report identifies them as: Internet of Things and operational technologies, mobile infrastructure, enterprise mobility management (EMM), analytics, big data, social and cloud. But don’t get too hooked on these goodies, because there are more technologies just starting to emerge.

The report is the result of an evolution of over 2000 technologies, services and trends in 119 different areas over the past year.

A Graceful Exit for Box?

2014-18-August-Exit.jpgJust a little more than two weeks from today, on Sept. 2, Box CEO Aaron Levie will host BoxWorks, the company’s biggest pep rally of the year. There’s a nice line-up of all-stars keynoting — Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, Disney’s Jeff Katzenberg, LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner and Aneesh Chopra, former CTO of the United States.

And then, of course, there’s Levie himself. Not only is he Inc. Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year, but he’s also got celebrity-like status in Silicon Valley. Never mind his Hollywood connections to the likes of Ashton Kutcher, who invested in Box, and Oscar winner Jared Leto who reportedly visited the company earlier this year.

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