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Eim News & Analysis

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.

Corralling Non-Microsoft Content in the Cloud

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Ten years ago, Yahoo and Google offered rapid creation of free file sharing and collaboration spaces -- perfect for group papers, sports teams, families -- in short, any group of people who needed to see a common, centralized set of files.

There's no shortage of Web hosted business-oriented file services in today's cloud era: OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, Box, Google, Dropbox, Salesforce Chatter, among others.

Most recently, Amazon announced its new enterprise cloud file sharing service, Zocalo. Zocalo will offer simple document feedback, centralized repositories, offline sync to laptops, phones and tablets, security and directory integration. As with many of these services, the costs are minimal to none, allowing users to stand up a new repository in minutes for a project with a credit card.

These services pose a real challenges for the Microsoft enterprise.

Confronting the New (and Not So New) World of DAM

DAM, 2014-18-August-Rose-Reading-Room.jpgAlthough digital asset management has arguably been around since at least the 1990s, the virtual explosion of multimedia has catapulted it near the top of the stack for many organizations. Despite its middle age, DAM is often presented like a new answer to the growing reliance on multimedia digital content and delivery.

There is a debate between: a. Those who see DAM as sufficiently different from other content management challenges and their solutions that it needs new strategies and new computer systems designed specifically with DAM in mind. And b. Others who see DAM as just a unique form of enterprise content management (ECM) for which today’s ECM systems, with a little tweaking, can do just fine.

Teradata Offers Retailers New Advanced Analytic Reporting

Data warehouse giant Teradata has updated its existing demand chain management  (DCM) forecasting and replenishment solution with advanced analytic reporting for retailers in the area of supply chain analytics.

"The Teradata DCM solution is uniquely architected to calculate all forecasts and orders at the lowest level of product, location, day and week with our proprietary algorithms and processes," Mardie Noble, DCM solution partner at Toronto-based Teradata, told CMSWire. 

Google Kicks the Productivity Stool From Under Microsoft

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It’s been an interesting couple of weeks in the document management space, made all the more interesting by the ongoing competition between Microsoft and Google around their productivity suites.

We also saw recently that most enterprises are still struggling with document management while both Metalogix and Accellion have released new products to help overcome this.

EMC Syncplicity Cuts Prices and Raises Storage Caps

EMC Syncplicity wants to own the Enterprise Sync and Share market and they don’t want price or storage limits to be barriers to adoption.

“This is a mass market with hundreds of millions of users to whom our service is applicable” said Jeetu Patel, the company’s general manager.

And since both Forrester and Gartner rate Syncplicity as a best-in-class offering, the company doesn’t want other factors to keep companies from embracing all that it has to offer.

“Our singular goal is active user engagement and we don’t want storage limits to get in the way of that,” said Patel.

IT Should be Gardeners, Not Gatekeepers

Information Management, 2014-14-August-Deluge.jpgIt’s a deluge, you’ve been told. It’s a flood of biblical proportions. Data on your customers is more abundant than ever and the internet of things is only going to make it sky rocket. From terabytes to petabytes in 60 seconds!

You’ve probably also read that big data analytics tools and next generation customer information management systems mean that you, the competent but non-expert marketing analyst, can analyze these gigantic and mind-bogglingly complex datasets at the drop of a hat.

But then you look around your own company and see that customer data isn't standardized and has legacy issues, the analytics tools your company employs are beyond your comprehension and your IT department is cautious about allowing you to purchase tools for your own department.

It’s a common set of frustrations and it means that business users in departments like marketing, sales and operations have begun to take things into their own hands and are independently downloading user-friendly, efficient tools that get the job done.

Enterprise Search Doesn't Fit in a 2-D Box

2014-14-August-Magic.jpgGartner's been getting a bit of attention lately. The Gartner Enterprise Search Magic Quadrant released in July resulted in criticism from Miles Kehoe, Stephen Arnold and Charlie Hull. Nuix heavily criticized the MQ on e-Discovery and Scott Liewehr has reservations about the Forrester Wave on Digital Experience Delivery Platforms. And now the lawsuit.

My own views on the Gartner Search MQ were a little less forthright. However the Search MQ raises issues which are much wider than whether the companies in the top right hand quadrant (Leaders) deserve to be there.

Microsoft Secures Azure Data with Enhanced Encryption

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Microsoft — like Google — is beating the drum on security. It is enhancing the encryption of data transfers between users and the Azure cloud guest operating systems. 

The encryption improvements, which apply to Microsoft Azure cipher solution for hosted guest virtual machines, gives users better and more secure connections during the transmission of data.

According to a Microsoft blog post the new enhancements apply to the Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Socket Layer (SSL), which makes it harder to decrypt connections and information going across such connections.

This follows  recent moves by Google to secure and encrypt emails. In the coming weeks, it announced that it will publishing a list of best practices in the coming weeks to make Transport Layer Security (TLS) adoption easier and to avoid common mistakes.

Sync and Share Providers Change Their Games

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Take a good look at the leaders in Gartner’s quadrant for Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) and you’ll see some big differentiators. Box, for example, is a purely a public cloud play. Accellion’s kiteworks, at least up until now, has insisted that private cloud or on premise is the best way to go if you want to keep your information secure.

But things change.

This morning Accellion announced content connectors for Google Drive for Work and for Microsoft’s One Drive for Business. “It shouldn’t matter where you store your content, IT can track and manage it from anywhere,” said Paula Skokowski, Accellion’s Chief Marketing Officer.

While we might have seen this as an “about face” or even somewhat sacrilegious a few months ago, Skokowski insists that it has been in the works for some time.  “It’s an important next chapter for us,” she explains. With connectors to Google Drive and OneDrive, kiteworks can provide EFSS capabilities outside of the firewall. “Users need access to content regardless of where it is stored,” she added.

IBM Focuses on Security Again With Lighthouse Buy

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Hot on the heels of the CrossIdeas acquisition two weeks ago, IBM plans to buy the business operations of Lighthouse Security Group (LSG), again for an undisclosed sum.

LSG and CrossIdeas will be integrated with IBM’s existing identity and access management offering to provide a full suite of software that will protect and manage users’ identity.

Microsoft Plans to Axe IE 8 Support

It’s been in the air for some time now, but it’s finally happened.

Microsoft has announced it will stop supporting old versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) in January 2016, including IE 8 Users who want security fixes and updates after that will have to use the most current version for their particular system.

What this means is that those using IE 8 will be completely out of the loop in terms of support, while the number of people that will be able to use IE 9 and IE 10 will be drastically reduced.

Think Dropbox Isn't Serious About the Enterprise? Think Again

2014-11-August-Jogging.jpgWe’ve all been there: Someone sends us a document that we need to review, edit or approve and the only device we have handy is a mobile phone. Sure, there are some who schlepp around phones, iPads and laptops for this, but there’s no way I’m going to do that on a 10 mile run, while running out for coffee or at lunch with my husband or boss. And an iWatch -- even if it comes out next month -- isn’t likely to be of any help.

And though many EFSS solutions provide document previews that are accessible via a mobile device, they can still be hard to work with.

Dropbox knew this, that’s why today it's releasing a new Android app that the company says will make the “Dropbox mobile app experience as fast, seamless and efficient as possible.” That way you can get your work done on the spot, wherever you happen to be.

Why You Should Never Upgrade SharePoint

Information Management, 2014-11-August-Monkey-Tools.jpgClients often tell me that they want to "upgrade their SharePoint" without understanding what it is that they are requesting. "Upgrade" makes the process sound much easier than it actually is.

When you upgrade Microsoft Office, you can open all of your old documents in the new version after a simple install. If your previous version of Office was really old, the software might prompt you upon opening each document to convert it to the latest version -- a one-time task that runs automatically.

People tend to think that a SharePoint "upgrade" is as simple as installing the latest version of SharePoint on the server, and then the content and documents will automatically port over. This could not be further from the truth!

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