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Cloud Computing News & Analysis

IBM Boosts Public Sector Muscle, Slashes SoftLayer Prices

IBM is opening two new cloud services data centers for the government and also upped its game in the server space by slashing the prices of multiple cloud services.

Unlike Amazon, Google or Microsoft, which like to boast about cloud service price cuts, IBM takes a different approach and announced the SoftLayer price cuts very, very quietly.

Pivotal's Cloud Foundry Gives Enterprises New Mojo

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Enterprise computing needs some new mojo — and if Pivotal CEO Paul Maritz and his crew have their way, it will first be built — and then found — atop their brand of Cloud Foundry.

Bear with us as we explain this because Cloud Foundry is an Apache Open Source project that will soon be governed by a foundation and leveraged by as many as 34 vendors (thus far). Pivotal CF is an enterprise-grade Platform as a Service (PaaS) that EMC and VMware spinoff Pivotal provides. It is powered by Cloud Foundry.

Sound complicated? Just think of Cloud Foundry as the Cloud’s Linux.

Do Sync & Share Files Belong on Public Clouds?

2014-10-June-Paper-Airplanes.jpgIt was only a matter of time.

With public cloud storage costs quickly heading toward zero, it may not make sense for some Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) providers to store customer files in their own data centers.

Last night news broke that EFSS provider Egnyte will now leverage Google Cloud Services to store client files.

It’s a move that didn't shock Alan Pelz-Sharpe, a research director at the 451 Research.

“Many cloud service providers are finding out that low cost and free subscriptions are hard to upsell and the cloud storage costs alone can be a huge drag on the limited finances of a startup,” he said.

Cloud Foundry Unveils Computing's 3rd Era #CFSummit

Unless you’ve had your ears plugged and your eyes closed for the past few years, you know that we’re quickly moving away from computing’s 2nd Era and onto the 3rd.

We’ve heard it said that the only industry sector that’s growing more slowly than the one made up of computing’s client-server companies is the tobacco industry.

"Wow!," we said when we heard that. We knew the world was going the way of cloud. We just didn’t know it was happening this quickly.

5 Lessons About Big Data from Big Companies

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Big data is no longer the sole domain of big companies.

As the perception of big data moves from futuristic hype to real-world opportunity, the promise of improved decision making, increased operational efficiency and new revenue streams has more organizations actively engaging in data analysis projects than ever before.

That no longer just means more enterprise organizations, either. Midmarket companies are jumping on the big data bandwagon in a big way.

In fact, a recent survey by Competitive Edge Research Reports indicates an astounding 96 percent of midmarket organizations are either already in flight with a big data initiative or plan to start one in the next year. That’s a whole lot of companies whose big data projects are either going to sink or swim in the very near future.

On the Eve of Box's IPO, Dropbox Raises Its Enterprise Play

While the battle between BYOD and company issued mobile devices is pretty much over (BYOD takes it all), the competition between Enterprise File Sync & Share providers seems to be getting more and more intense.

It’s a bit unfortunate for Aaron Levie’s once red hot Box which is trying to go public (Quartz reports that this is supposed to happen within weeks) because its competitors, and would be competitors, keep upping their plays, adding appealing end-user facing features as well as safeguards to suit the CIO’s fancy.

Consider that last week Salesforce’s Mark Benioff and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced plansfor a tight integration between their products (including EFSS), and that SAP and OpenText made arrangements to offer TempoBox to certain mutual customers for free.

Add to that Microsoft’s recent announcement that it’s increasing OneDrive for Business storage from 25GB to 1TB per user.  Levie finds himself in a crowded field (Apple may join soon) that includes not only the 100+ existing players (see our recent EFSS update), but also 300 million user Dropbox that seems to be getting serious about the Enterprise.

How SAP Will Disrupt the Enterprise in the Big Data Age

2014-04-June-SAPPHIRENOW.jpgWhen it comes to business applications, SAP has owned the enterprise for quite a long time. The world’s third largest software vendor has done a lot of things right -- most notably it has provided the reliable tools managers need to run their businesses.

And while that’s oversimplifying it a bit, the statement certainly lacks a “cool” factor. But if we look at the products and services we use every day, there’s a good chance that SAP’s technologies have been involved somewhere along the way -- from the manufacturing plants that use SAP’s ERP systems, to the marketing pitches that leverage SAP’s customer analytics, to the Financial powerhouses that use Sybase.

But that’s yesterday’s news and SAP knows it. They know something else too -- that if they’re going to remain viable in computing’s next era, they have work to do. Not only that, but they also have to keep their current customers happy as they move to the age of big data, mobile and cloud.

Finding the Perfect Balance Between SaaS and In-House DAM

2014-04-June-Bearded-Juggler.jpgIt's a delicate balance to develop a hybrid strategy for Digital Asset Management. While Cloud SaaS solutions appeal to many organizations as a way to reduce costs and infrastructure, there are compelling reasons not to move all assets to the cloud. The secret to finding this balance lies in understanding what assets should be moved to the cloud and what should stay in-house.

These Cloud Computing Vendors are Edging Up on AWS

Sure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the golden child of cloud computing, but Microsoft Azure isn't too far behind. And according to Gartner’s recently released Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (Iaas), it's starting to nip into AWS’s market.

Gartner contends AWS is beginning to face significant competition on two fronts:  Microsoft is competing in the traditional business market and Google is challenging it in the cloud native market.

Huddle Scores with Williams Lea

Huddle earned an enterprise win for its cloud-based collaboration and content management software. It announced today that Williams Lea, which provides specialized business process outsourcing solutions, added Huddle to its suite of online tools for internal and external collaboration. 

Williams Lea plans to use Huddle to promote "greater collaboration and cross-learning" for its global workforce, and provide another way for its employees "to share best practices, success stories and new approaches to projects."

Matt Porter, Group CIO for Williams Lea, noted that Huddle offers the information governance the firm requires with full audit trails that track who has reviewed, commented on and edited files, as well as version controls.

Now You Can Now Have SAP Fiori for Free #SapphireNow

customer experience, Hey SAP User, You Can Now Have SAP Fiori for Free

Even Steve Lucas, president of SAP Platform Solutions, admits his company’s traditional user interfaces are ugly — for this day and age — and that the company's user experiences leave a lot to be desired.

Instead of being colorful, “delightful” and productivity-oriented, they come in and act in on something Lucas describes as “a palette of grays”.

And they aren't anywhere as exciting as those 50 shades you may envision.

This isn’t an experience that modern users who expect consumer-like feel and function want. 

SAP has a product, SAP Fiori, that changes all of that. But it has come at a price that many enterprises haven’t been willing or able to pay.

This has caused quite a bit of anger. 

SAP Invites Customers, Partners to Dance on its Industry Cloud

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The days of tired, old legacy applications developed by Oracle and loved by few will soon be over. At least that’s what SAP has in mind.

And in the age of cloud, collaboration and app stores, does it make sense for a software company to sit in some ivory tower building solutions that tell you how to do your job? Or would it be smarter for a vendor that has deep industry and development experience to partner with customers and developers to build products and services that delight?

The answer, we think, is plain to anyone; yet it’s not an approach that many software or solution vendors have taken.

At least until now.

SAP Turns the Page, But We've Already Read the Next Chapter

CEOs Larry Ellison and Marc Benioff, of Oracle and Salesforce, respectively, may not be feeling anxious this week. But maybe they should be. After all, there’s a calm that neither being the world’s highest paid CEO nor Satya Nadella’s newest BFF can bring.

Especially when the competition is about to change the game on you. And that’s precisely what will be happening at Sapphire Now, SAP’s user conference in Orlando, Fla. this week.

Granted, the fact that something big is about to happen at SAP shouldn’t come as a surprise. There have been plenty of clues, including the notable departure of visionary Vishal Sikka. And now another senior exec, Peter Graf, announced he has parted ways with the company, too.

IBM's Offers: Customizable Cloud Apps for Business

IBM has upped the stakes in the cloud space with its announcement of a new set of cloud packages that will put it ahead of more traditional cloud offerings from competitors like Amazon and Microsoft.

Under the umbrella title of IBM Global Business Services, IBM is offering organizations the possibility of mixing and matching a number of IBM technologies and services to meet the needs of the organization as they arise.

Graph Databases Unlock Goldmines, Neo4j is the Key

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If you haven’t yet heard of graph databases, get ready. They’re the next hot ticket in a world consumed by big data, analytics and the Internet of Things.

They do things other databases do not do well, like help us discover insights via relationships —between people, places or things.

They don’t as much crunch data as help the world make sense of data. “It’s an amazing concept,” said Philip Rathle, vice president of products at Neo Technology, the commercial company behind open source graph database, Neo4j.

And he doesn’t seem to be the only one who thinks so. The graph database has the highest rate of growth of any kind of database in the world.

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