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Eim News & Analysis

Making EFSS More Than Just a Bucket for Content

2015-20-January-Jeetu-Patel-2.jpgOver the holidays I had the opportunity to trade some emails with Jeetu Patel on the future of the Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) industry. Patel is general manager of Syncplicity, a business unit of EMC.

Prior to leading Syncplicity, Patel was Chief Strategy Officer of EMC's Information Intelligence Group (IIG). He was responsible for orchestrating and driving cross-category product vision, growth strategy, innovation agenda, cloud computing and big data initiatives. Additionally, he headed Worldwide Marketing for IIG, where he was responsible for product marketing, thought leadership, as well as competitive, vertical and solutions marketing.

Can Egnyte Snuff Box's IPO Fire?

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Egnyte CEO Vineet Jain makes no apologies. He handpicked today to reveal that his company is raising the stakes in Enterprise Sync and Share (EFSS), just a few days before Box’s IPO. The latter is expected to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange at the end of the week -- on Jan. 23.

Jain said Egnyte initially planned to make its announcement on Jan. 27. But he didn’t want to chance Egnyte getting grouped in with Box should its IPO disappoint. “We don’t want to be defined by the way the market reacts to Box,” he said.

Of course Jain, whose company might be seen as a Box competitor (they are both named in the same Gartner MQ report as well as Forrester Wave), made it clear that though both companies provide solutions around file sharing, they are quite different.

“EFSS is table stakes,” he said. Box co-founder and CEO, Aaron Levie has said this too. Ditto for the CEO’s of a dozen other competing vendors.

Tackling the Cloud Skills Shortage

"Cloud-related skills represent virtually all the growth opportunities in IT employment worldwide and demand for cloud-related positions will grow by 26 percent annually through 2015."

Jennifer Warnick, news and feature writer for Microsoft, wrote these words in 2013. Two years later, the demand persists, but a skill shortage looms.

Discussion Point: What Can We Expect from the Cloud in 2015?

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Oracle CEO Mark Hurd doesn't hide his enthusiasm for cloud computing. In a LinkedIn post this week, he said "Cloud computing is triggering a stunning shift in how businesses operate. Modern SaaS applications for marketing, HR and (enterprise resource planning) ERP are allowing companies to accelerate operations and engage more intimately with their customers thanks to heretofore unseen heroes in their ranks."

And he's not the only one who thinks the cloud is revolutionizing the way business is done. A new report from Dublin-based Research and Markets concurs that developments in the field of enterprise mobility and cloud computing has transformed the way enterprises undertake their operations.

It notes that the adoption of hybrid cloud solutions are gaining momentum among enterprises, and that this cloud delivery model will go mainstream in the coming years. Already, with market shares of 13.5 percent, 10.8 percent and 10.4 percent, respectively, the retail, healthcare and government sectors have already invested significantly in cloud computing solutions in recent years.

Even the future of SharePoint is in the cloud.

So what developments, evolutions and innovations can we expect in cloud computing this year?

No Data Butler? Alteryx's Newest Release Can Help

Let’s face it. Most line of business users don’t have a data scientist at their beck and call or even a geek from IT for that matter. So when a marketing manager or finance executive needs to make a decision in short order, he often has to do so based on a small fraction of the available information, go with his gut or miss the opportunity.

“It can take days, weeks or months before IT can provide it,” said Bob Laurent, director of product marketing at Alteryx, a data blending and data analytics platform.

That’s a problem because we live in an increasingly real time world.

That same world, mind you, is rich and overflowing with data — mobile, social, transactional, analytical, Internet of Things … we could go on. And it’s not just that, but today’s consumers don’t respond well to marketers (or anyone else) who misfires. They expect personalization and for the other party to be well informed.

Unravelling Enterprise Federated Search

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Enterprise search helps employees find the information they need, confident in the knowledge that all potential repositories have been indexed. In an ideal world, queries could be entered in a single search box to generate all relevant results from across all information resources of the organization. These results would be presented in a visually consistent ranked order through a federated search application.

But we don't live in an ideal world. If federated search was easy, why would Google offer Google Scholar? Federated search presents a number of challenges and there are a few ways to approach the challenges. Let's look at a few of them.

Sigh: Email Isn't Going Anywhere

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Guess what? Email isn't going away. Guess what else? According to Pew Research, email is far more popular than social media and texting. The research also shows email is more important to office workers than the broader Internet itself.

The findings also show that email and the Internet are the most important communications and information tools. Among all online workers surveyed, 61 percent rated email as very important to their jobs and 54 percent said the same of the Internet.

As Merlin Mann, the San Francisco-based writer, speaker and broadcaster, has noted, "Email is such a funny thing."

Do You Know What Data Your Employees Are Sharing?

You hear a lot about Shadow IT these days. And we'll probably continue to hear more, according to Cameron Coles, senior product marketing manager for Skyhigh Networks, a cloud security company.

Shadow IT happens when departments or individual employees use technologies that aren’t sanctioned by IT — something that has been increasingly easy to do since cloud-based services arrived.

As CMSWire writer Steven Pogrebivsky noted last year, employees who use a lot of consumer-based apps tend to expect the same ease of use in the workplace. "Personal and work have collided in such a big way that employees often expect that one service will support both needs. In a perfect world that would be fine. But this isn’t a perfect world: information gets leaked, gets lost, gets stolen," he noted.  

While senior management may be away of the risks of cloud-based services, employees are often less cautious and unwittingly create a hefty problem for many organizations, Coles said.

8 Companies Leading ECM Into 2015

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The enterprise content management (ECM) market looks set to change again. According to new research form Boston-based Nucleus Research, enterprises are taking to the idea of storing content on external servers.

ECM vendors have moved into agile mode and are now focusing on the development and simplification of their systems as well as automation and integration of new capabilities to generate value propositions for customers.

Kofax Simplifies E-Signature Capture, Processing

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Kofax has kicked off the New Year with the launch of a family of e-signature products that the company claims will enable organizations of all sizes to improve digital transaction management.

The new products from the Irvine, Calif.-based financial technology company include Kofax SignDoc Standard and Kofax SignDoc Enterprise, as well as integration with the Kofax TotalAgility process automation suite. What’s more, Kofax boasts it is offering the new products at prices that will make them universally accessible and disrupt the status of a very competitive market.

Could Cloud Apps Make the Enterprise Sick?

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Yes, we know, the word “cloud” has become a cliché — so much so, that CIOs are sick of hearing it. Not only that, but the CIO Journal suggests that everything has been cloud-washed to the extent that no one even knows what “cloud” means anymore.

But it’s not the word “cloud” that the information overlords ought to be worried about. God knows that John in Marketing, Sue in HR and Al in Accounting aren’t thinking “cloud” when they sign up for and log in to prosumer Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions. All they want to do is to get their jobs done with the best and easiest to use solution. And there are plenty to choose from.

Microsoft Explains How It Will Fix OneDrive

If you’re using Microsoft OneDrive and thinking about moving to Dropbox so you can sync shared folders or sync selected files across your platforms, then you might want to hang on for a while. Microsoft announced in its roadmap for OneDrive that all users will have this functionality by the end of the year.

It has also promised both OneDrive, its consumer file sharing application, and OneDrive for Business will work off a single sync engine in an attempt to dispel the confusion over two products with the same name but different back ends and audiences.

Top 10 Tech Trends from Nucleus Research

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We work on a technology landscape built around cloud computing, social applications, big data and mobile computing, according to Framingham, Mass.-based International Data Corporation (IDC). It's the basis for the development of new solutions for the next 20 years, IDC researchers told us as they discussed the top technology trends for 2015 and beyond.

They're not the only ones with a tech vision. Boston-based Nucleus Research has a different take on how things are shaping up in tech:

"Increased transparency and the ability of every business user to increase their influence and impact on IT priorities will shape changes in the way vendors interact with their clients beyond the sale," researchers wrote in their 2015 analysis released this week. "These trends will impact the core application pillars that support the management of people, customers, production and financial management."

Here's how Nucleus sees the 2015 tech scene shaking up.

That Elusive Data Scientist Might be Right Under Your Nose

Comb through the findings of any recent industry survey on the state of big data and big data analytics projects, and you’ll undoubtedly encounter commentary about the struggle to find a so-called data scientist. Despite being one of the most talked about and sought after roles in IT, and despite increasing desire among new and existing members of the IT workforce to develop into data scientists, there remains a dearth of individuals capable of filling this critical role.

It’s a problem that’s not going away any time soon. Given the growing C-level focus on deriving revenue-generating insights from data and information, the need for that elusive data scientist will only intensify in the year ahead. But the demand far outpaces supply, meaning that but for the fortunate, deep-pocketed few, hiring a data scientist from the outside won't be a viable option any time in the near future.

Reading the Office 365 Tea Leaves

Every year around this time “experts” sit around and make predictions about all sorts of things. In some spaces like world politics, this is truly a guessing game. When it comes to Microsoft, it involves more of trying “to read the tea leaves.” Even with the breathtaking pace of change, there are still pretty good signs of where the technology is going.

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