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Eim News & Analysis

Game On! Industry Responds to OneDrive for Business

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's vision of “Cloud for everyone, on every device” no doubt includes Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS).

Earlier this week the company put Box, and almost every other vendor in the space, on notice with a blog post, “Thinking outside of the Box.”  

Its author, John Case, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Office Division, had a fairly simple message for the marketplace:

The era of making isolated, single-solution decisions is rapidly coming to a close. Smart businesses are now choosing partners that have a holistic, comprehensive and connected set of cloud offerings and in doing so, creating a 'data culture' in their organization.”

In other words, Microsoft users should look to OneDrive for Business as the way to go for EFSS.

When you take into account that 670 million users use Microsoft Office and Office 365, what Microsoft’s message boils down to is pretty simple: If you’re a point EFSS solution in our world, you’re redundant.

Microsoft's OneDrive for Business is No Slam Dunk

There’s no place like Microsoft, and there’s no need to leave.

That’s what the world’s largest software company hopes you’ll believe when you get a look at OneDrive for Business, its Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) service.

While there’s nothing wrong with the idea — being everything to everyone isn’t a bad business strategy, if the community appreciates it and you can pull it off. And Microsoft thinks it’s off to good start. It owns the desktop, after all. Most of us have grown up using and are now raising kids who also use Word, Excel, PowerPoint …

So, earlier this week, when John Case, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Office Division, announced the company would be increasing the default storage on its EFSS offering from 25GB to 1 TB, it seemed like a sweet deal. In fact, it still does. Ditto for granting the same allotment to Office 365 ProPlus subscribers.

But is giving away extra storage the winning ticket in the EFSS space?

Probably not.

OpenText Expands, More Companies Offer Salesforce Integration

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It’s been a busy few weeks in the document management space. OpenText announced it will be doubling its workforce in Canada in the next seven years and Perceptive released Content 7.

For those using Salesforce.com, SpringCM and Steelbrick have teamed up to provide sales lifecycle management, while Oris4 is connecting SharePoint and Salesforce.com. We also took a look at managing metadata in SharePoint.

Missing the Boat on IT and Technology

2014-29-April-Ship-Launch.jpgWhen you look at surveys of CEOs, such as the one by PwC in 2014, McKinsey in 2013 and IBM in 2012, they reflect what we should all know: that the innovative use of technology is one of, if not the primary, enabler of business innovation these days.

Whether it’s connecting with the customer (as referenced by IBM), obtaining market insights (through analytics including big data analytics -- see this discussion of a McKinsey report), or simply finding new ways to deliver products and services to customers, technology is a critical driver of business success.

Gartner Rates SAP Top BI Vendor, Notes Microsoft's Growth

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Just when you thought IT budgets were recovering, Gartner dumps a bucket of cold water on the notion — particularly in the business intelligence (BI) space. According to new research, spending on BI has stagnated again, and it doesn’t look like the situation will improve in the near future.

Gartner rated SAP as the biggest BI vendor by far, followed by Oracle, IBM, SAS and Microsoft. While Microsoft only ranks fifth, it experienced the most growth in the space in the past 12 months, the survey found.

The report shows that the BI market is increasingly dominated by big vendors who are happy to buy whatever technology they need to give them an edge, as is evidenced by the recent purchase of Jaspersoft, an open source businesses intelligence company, by TIBCO for $185 million. 

Is the Big Data Backlash Real?

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Earth be still.  Big data has lost its luster.

Could it be that analyzing terabytes, exabytes and zettabytes of information won’t make us smarter … or, even worse, could it make us wrong?

We’re beginning to see headlines like “Google and the flu: how big data will help us make gigantic mistakes” in the Guardian, “Eight (No, Nine!) Problems With Big Data” in the New York Times and “Big Data: Are we making a big mistake?” on author and Financial Times columnist’s Tim Harford’s site.

If you believe what you read, then big data isn’t the ticket that we once thought it was.

Or, maybe it still is, say a whole host of others. They’ll likely point out that “big data” is simply resting in Gartner’s “trough of disillusionment” at the moment, because, as with most new technologies, the number of failures outweigh the number of successes early on.

So, if you buy Gartner’s theory, we’ll slowly but surely, learn to do big data better, climb out of the trough and onto the Slope of Enlightenment where it will become more and more embraced by the mainstream.

Big data will present us with tremendous new insights, just not quite yet.

Do You Really Need Microsoft Office?

Thumbnail image for SoftWatch Office licenses 28 4 2014.jpgTwo things are made clear in the new benchmark report from SoftWatch: 1. Business users spend a lot less time using their Office applications than might be thought. 2. If an organization did an in-depth analysis of Office usage across the enterprise, they might well find that dumping Office and moving to another, cheaper productivity suite could save them an awful lot of money.

IBM Opens Marketplace for Cloud Apps

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IBM's cloud marketplace finally went live this morning, giving users the ability to buy cloud offerings and third-party products that work on the SoftLayer platform with the swish of a credit card.

While the site has only been live for a few hours, it already has a few hundred hosted IBM applications as well as a range of middleware products from its BlueMix platform. About a quarter of those applications can be purchased by credit card directly from the online store.

The Holes in the Enterprise Cloud's Silver Lining

2014-25-April-Pop-Quiz.jpgPop quiz time.

Take out your #2 pencil and select the best answer that completes the following sentence.

Cloud services will revolutionize ______________.

  • A. the way software gets delivered.
  • B. the way software is licensed, by becoming a "pay as you go" option.
  • C. the way workers access services.
  • D. IT implementation, support and infrastructure costs.
  • E. the way business gets done, by letting mobile workers access information anytime, anywhere.
  • F. All of the above.

Unless you have been hiding out in a fallout shelter for the last five years, you probably picked “F. All of the above.” And if you did, you would be correct.

6 Ways Metadata Can Help Businesses

Here are six ways businesses can deal with the SharePoint metadata issue. They range from developing information governance strategies to implementing text analytics and improving SharePoint's native search functions of the SharePoint edition they work with.

The projects were identified in recent research by semantic search vendor Concept Searching (CS), which called them key objectives for companies that want to get the best out of their SharePoint deployments. 

Time Out: You Can Quit Looking for Data Scientists

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Data scientists are hard to find and expensive to keep, but that doesn’t mean that big data insights are beyond your reach.

And, no, we’re not suggesting that you outsource your most important work to a team of analysts in a distant land.

After all, there’s a new generation of advanced, self-service, analytics tools that promise to help business and data analysts discover the same keen insights in short order.

Alteryx, which Gartner calls a Visionary in its most recent Advanced Analytics report, provides a data blending and analytics platform that helps end users glean important, actionable insights without the help of a PhD or even a programmer.

IT as a Business: Now We Have New Tools

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IT should be run as a business, so says Gaurav Rewari, founder and CEO of Numerify, a cloud-based analytical applications company that comes out of stealth today.

And IT is a business that is badly in need of management, especially as on-premise applications move to the cloud.

“We’re in the midst of a great migration,” said Rewari. He compares it to zebras crossing the savanna. Only this migration isn’t as orderly. (Not that the zebras are.)

Why Hortonworks' Hadoop Pitch May Be Perfect

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Hortonworks business strategy certainly has its naysayers. They claim the venture capital backed company won’t be able to generate the kind of revenues Wall Street investors expect without selling proprietary software that compliments or extends open source Apache Hadoop or any other open source software, for that matter.

This sort of talk falls on deaf ears at Hortonworks.

“Our strategy is to build out (Hadoop and Hortonworks Data Platform aka HDP) in open source so that it resonates and deeply increases value for our partners, our customers and for us,“ said Shaun Connolly, vice president of Corporate Strategy at Hortonworks.

Be Pragmatic to Succeed in Information Governance

If I had to encapsulate in one phrase everything I’ve learned about doing information governance (IG) and related disciplines over the last 20 odd years, it’s that you should be pragmatic. Being pragmatic does not mean being shoddy, either by solving the problem at hand in a way that hinders other initiatives or the “big picture,” or by neglecting compliance obligations, or by accepting too much risk. Being pragmatic means being creative and rigorous in how you develop and assess your options to achieve your IG objectives.

Microsoft Pushes Analytics, Collaboration Into Office 'Mix'

Microsoft is on a roll with a fast and steady stream of upgrades and offerings for its Office suite. In the latest announcement yesterday, it offered a limited preview of its new PowerPoint ‘Mix.’

PowerPoint is unlikely to set anyone’s world on fire — but the enhancements may at least gain your attention if we told you this one includes basic analytics and interactive tools like video recording and document sharing. Oh, and one more thing. The upgrades are free of charge.

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