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Cloud Computing News & Analysis

SharePoint: A 'Formidable Enterprise Collaboration Platform'

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Everyone knows SharePoint has had problems. However, the Radicati Group just released a report that contains words new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella must be more than happy to hear.

According to the Microsoft SharePoint Market Analysis, 2014-2018, edited by Sara Radicati, Microsoft ironed out the wrinkles in the 2013 edition and now offers a powerful enterprise collaboration platform for business users. 

It's unlikely these claims will go unchallenged, particularly in the file sharing and sync space where companies like Dropbox and Box claim to offer easier file sharing and collaboration possibilities than SharePoint does.

Microsoft is No. 1 Software Vendor, Oracle Takes No. 2 from IBM

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With all the talk about Microsoft’s new CEO and the changes he is likely to bring, it is sometimes forgotten that the company is the biggest software vendor in the world. According to new figures from Gartner, Microsoft retained that crown in 2013, while Oracle muscled past IBM to claim the number two spot. 

That is one of the significant points from the Market Share: All Software Markets, Worldwide, 2013 report, which also notes that Salesforce has pushed itself into 10th position from 12th last year. This is the first time that a cloud or SaaS vendor has managed to make it into the top 10 list.

OpenText Wants to Shut the Box

Talk about a roller coaster. The last two weeks have been full of highs and lows for Box co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie.

Last Monday, Box filed its S-1 on its way to an IPO.  Instead of elation, most market watchers reacted with shock — and not the good kind. The Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) company revealed losses of $168 million on revenue of $124 million. Even those who adore Levie called those stats “horrific”.

On Wednesday, Box held its first developers conference boxdev — Levie’s big shot supporters, like former Microsoft Windows’ chief Steven Sinofsky, were there, as well as VC’s  like Jerry Chen of Greylock Partners, Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz, Mamoon Hamid General Partner — The Social+Capital Partnership, and several others. And the developers building solutions on top of Box’s platform were there for the lovefest as well. Levie was clearly king for a day.

But then Friday Box rival, Dropbox, revealed it had just purchased Readmill, a German company whose collaborative and social features could provide Dropbox with the same functionalities as Box’s Box View, which it announced at boxdev.

And then late last night OpenText, one of the top companies in the Enterprise Information Management space, announced it was seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions halting the sale of Box's products in connection with an ongoing patent infringement lawsuit.

The Tipping Point for Cloud First Strategy

Gartner predicts cloud computing will become the bulk of new IT spend by 2016. Yet as the transition to the cloud continues, the importance rests not in simply having the technology, but how we use it to our advantage. Smart companies are now investing their IP in business-driven innovation on top of the cloud computing revolution.

Will Box Developers Make @Levie King?

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You could sense the excitement around Box’s first developers conference before it even began — there was an all-star line-up of venture capitalists, tech executives and, of course, Box’s own CEO, Aaron Levie on the agenda. The night before there was a picture of Levie rehearsing his keynote, in what looked to be peach-colored pants posted on Instagram (they were not Khakis).

A Box employee had put up a tweet that links to a funny, old video of former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer shouting “developers, developers, developers” while sweating. He was taunting Levie that he would be calling Box developers to action in the very same way the following day.

No matter what you could point to, it was clear that yesterday was planned to be a big, potentially pivotal day for Box. A pivot which could move the company beyond its present status as cloud-based file sync and share provider to that of a platform vendor for computing’s next era.

Finally! Office for iPad: Still Want It?

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Let's cut to the chase. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s first press conference since he started 52 days ago was pretty underwhelming.

Yes, he finally announced the launch of Office for iPad, along with the new Enterprise Mobility Suite — surprising just about no one.

But all of those who expected something more from Nadella, like detailed insight about his plans for the company, left disappointed. Aside from discussing his Mobile First, Cloud First strategy and those plans to push all Microsoft customers into the cloud, he didn't say much.

But give him points for being poetic, in person and online. As he noted in a blog post, "As long as human curiosity and ambition drive us to create new things, capture moments and collaborate to get things done, we should expect the world of devices to follow suit."

Google, Amazon Cut Cloud Prices Again

The battle for cloud supremacy intensified again.  At its Cloud Platform Live event Tuesday, Google slashed the prices for its cloud services lower than Amazon and Microsoft. Amazon responded with similar cuts. No news from Microsoft yet, but one thing is clear.

The big winners are cloud users.

Enterprise Collaboration Tools a 'Must' For Business Success

AIIM lede.jpgMost organizations see collaboration as crucial to their success, but nearly two-thirds of those organizations feel confused about the dovetailing of collaboration and social tools.

And while document and content sharing outside the firewall is considered a necessary evil, many onsite systems have been secured against access to outside systems, forcing business workers to rely on unsecured file sharing systems.

These results and more from recent AIIM research points to a C-Suite that favors collaboration, but puts many obstacles in the way to achieving it.

Execs Stress Plenty of Opportunities #AdobeSummit

Will Adobe become the go-to company for all digital marketing technology? Company executives, speaking at the Adobe Summit in Salt Lake City today, certainly paint that picture. But a dynamic and expanding industry proves there is room for plenty of other players, as digital marketing complexity expands.

Will the Box Bubble Start Deflating Now?

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Everyone seems to love Box, whether they use the cloud sync and storage company’s products or not.

Aaron Levie, the company’s co-founder and CEO, seems to be the perfect front man for a generation of digital natives that refuses to be tethered to their desks, to be told where to keep their “things” or to be asked to tone it down when they know it is their birthright to be bold.

More than eight years ago, Levie and his high school buddies stepped outside of their dorm rooms and committed their brains, their energies and their brawn to build a service that provides companies and individuals with the ability to store and synchronize their documents and other content in the cloud which they can later access from anywhere, at any time, via (almost) any device.

Their timing was perfect — within a few short years mobile devices emerged as our windows to the world and everyone wanted to keep their documents, and other content in the Cloud.

Box quickly became one of the most talked about companies in Silicon Valley.

That hasn’t changed. In fact the chatter just got louder.

Yesterday, via Twitter, Levie announced that Box was filing an initial public offering.

Vendors Fail Regulated Industry Customers with Rush to the Cloud

Judging from the messaging, reviews and conversations that came out of the SharePoint conference earlier this month, the word from Las Vegas could be summed up as, "It's all about the cloud stupid!" 

With Office 365 growth surpassing SharePoint's, Yammer the new focus of social and the newest buzzwords, Office Graph and Oslo, the drum beat you hear is the continued push to the cloud.

Yep, It's Still the Age of the Customer

Still need evidence that Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology is hot? Then take a quick look at recent research from Gartner, which shows CRM spending in Europe remains strong despite continuing economic problems.

Half of the 102 businesses surveyed in 30 countries and 20 industries in the fourth quarter last year plan to increase spending an average of 2.5 percent on CRM projects this year.

Moving to the Cloud, One Process at a Time with Hybrid Clouds

I admit, when I first heard of hybrid clouds I was suspicious of the whole concept. The goal is to move everything you could to the cloud --  liberating IT from routine infrastructure worries and freeing the department to solve business problems for the business, not technical details. The organization benefits greatly when IT is left to focus on governance, process automation and productivity enhancements.

I asked myself, “Why would anyone go with a hybrid model?”

Why add another CMS to the portfolio if you cannot retire an old system or provide a large amount of obvious business value? How does having IT manage systems in the cloud in addition to their existing duties allow them to help the business more?

Maybe Customers Should Choose: Privacy or Free Content

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With all the amazing content available for free on the web, why are customers surprised or upset that companies track your online behavior? Are they seriously "creeped out" that their web searches today drive some of the ads they'll see for the next few weeks? Why?

Does anyone think all that content is pure altruism?

7 Big Problems with the Internet of Things

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Reality is beginning to bite the Internet of Things (IoT). After months of enthusiastic discussion about  the opportunities it will provide and how much it will be worth, many of those looking to play in the IoT space are starting to look at the potential problems, including data management. 

Though everyone knows managing data will be a problem once the IoT is up and running at full scale, few have really considered the potential data storage problems.

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