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Eim News & Analysis

Dropbox + Office = Sticky

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Hey CIO -- you know your employees are using Dropbox at work. And, yes, they know you don’t want them to, and that there are other tools available and all of that … but here’s the deal: they just want Dropbox. Anything else is like getting hot fudge covered chix stix when you want chicken fingers …interesting, maybe, but every day, no thanks.

Microsoft Soups Up Office Online with Contextual Search

2014-11-December-Tall-Bicycle.jpgNo one likes dumb anything, least of all technology companies. In a move to smarten-up Hangouts, Google added "smart" suggestions yesterday. Microsoft is on the case as well, making its Office Online app a lot smarter with the addition of contextualized Bing search into documents.

If that sounds complicated, it’s not. The new feature, called Insights for Office, lets users search for information from an inline search box inside a document. The answers include information scraped from Bing Snapshot, Bing Image Search and Wikipedia, among others.

EMC Syncplicity Flexes Brains, Brawn and Enterprise Freemium

2014-10-December-Boxer-Training.jpgIf you’ve checked out EMC Syncplicity’s Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) app you know it’s pretty snazzy. Gartner calls its UI “engaging” in its most recent Magic Quadrant for EFSS. Analyst firm Ovum says its mobility features are amongst the best in class and Forrester, in its most recent Wave, cites Syncplicity’s security, deployment flexibility and extensive viewer support for common file types as standouts.

But an immersive UI, an app that caters to the modern worker, and an iron-clad back end aren’t enough to win the overcrowded (100 plus vendors according to Gartner) EFSS marketplace. Not only are there mega-vendors like Microsoft and Google to contend with, but also smart well-funded start-ups like Dropbox (for Business) and Box who created the space to begin with.

While all of that may (and likely will) cause some EFSS providers to reexamine their plays, pitch themselves to other vendors or just plain throw in the towel, EMC’s Syncplicity just keeps improving on an already good offering, differentiating itself from its competitors via its hybrid model and raising its game. 

And today it's got a new rabbit in its hat, plus a few carrots. 

A Future for Commercial Search

2014-10-December-Monopoly.jpgMany business managers -- mostly in IT -- try to develop an investment case for enterprise search. This is impossible. Search is only one element in the decision-making chain. The question to ask is whether all relevant information has been found to ensure that the decision (based partially or totally on this information) is in the best interests of the organization.

There's another aspect of ROI. 2014 has been marked by a significant level of financial investment in open source search. Venture funds are not charities, they expect a good return on their investment. While some of the businesses they back will not make an acceptable return, this means that others in the portfolio have to over-deliver to ensure that the investments pay off.

Will Microsoft Land the Federal Market with Azure Government?

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Remember when Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced his Cloud First Mobile First strategy? He really wasn’t joking.

On Monday, he announced a new hybrid cloud initiative with Accenture. Last night, he announced that Microsoft’s Azure Government cloud is now generally available, and that Dynamics CRM Online for government will be available next month.

This follows hot on the heels of the recent announcement that Office 365 for Government has been awarded some major security certifications and that the Feds are now happy to work with it.  

Why Your Videos Belong in SharePoint

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Do you find yourself watching more video at work these days? If not, you will soon. And integrating that video into your content management system (CMS) will be essential to helping your audience use it productively.

The ins and outs of enterprise videos were examined yesterday in a CMSWire webinar entitled: "Making Video Communication Easier with SharePoint." The session, which was sponsored by RAMP, can be watched here or at the end of this story.

RAMP Product Manager Brian Prigge, the company's SharePoint architect, explained the rapid rise of video in the enterprise, and in particular, its transition from a big production effort by the marketing department to an off-the-cuff effort by ordinary employees.

Box Has a Problem and a New Trust Initiative

2014-09-December-Polka-Dot-Socks.jpgFirst off, let’s get one thing straight: Box is not in the Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) business.

“We certainly do that,” says Box executive Whitney Bouck, every time I ask her if Box is an EFSS provider. “But that’s not where the value is,” she always adds “that’s table stakes.”

So what does Box do? According to its SEC S-1 registration it is “a cloud-based, mobile-optimized Enterprise Content Collaboration platform that enables organizations of all sizes to easily and securely manage their content and collaborate internally and externally.”

How’s that for an elevator pitch?

Not too good. But, to be fair, it probably wasn’t crafted to be one.
 

The State of Information and Cyber Security

2014-09-December-Guard.jpgThe ways in which criminals are attacking us are changing constantly, in a cycle of new method -- defense -- new method -- defense, and so on. If an organization is not able to adapt at speed, it is (at speed) becoming vulnerable and an easy target.

Similarly, an organization needs to be able to detect attacks, especially attacks using a new method, if it is to respond, limit the damage and harden its defenses.

Few organizations can do all of this with only internal resources. Every sane organization should partner with specialized organizations that have the ability to monitor what new attacks are being used now or will be soon, and then help the company respond with new defenses. 

Accenture, Microsoft Team Up to Take Enterprises to the Hybrid Cloud

Enterprises are increasingly willing to weigh the commercial advantages of cloud computing against potential security issues, yet many are still uncomfortable with making the leap.

To help them get over any lingering reluctance, Accenture and Microsoft have extended their existing partnership with the introduction of Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure. The hybrid cloud solution enables enterprises to manage applications between private and public clouds.

Keeping Up with Evolving Business Processes

Thumbnail image for 2014-08-December-OfficeBeverlyGoodwin.jpgAbout a dozen years ago, many companies adopted rolling budgets as a way to update their financial outlook constantly instead of waiting for the end of the quarter or year. Essentially, they viewed each new month as the start of a new year, allowing them to adjust to the future based on trends of the recent past.

Ah, the good old days. Today things move much faster, not just with budget planning but with virtually every business process in almost every large company.

John Burton, CEO of Nintex, argues that this evolution in business processes stems largely from the explosion in unstructured data that allows teams of employees to react to new data, the needs of mobile workers, price changes, social media or other factors that come into play.

CMSWire asked him to share his point of view from the helm of a company that creates workflows for about 5,000 clients.

IDC: 10 Predictions For Emerging Technologies In 2015

Thumbnail image for 2014-08-December-Passing-Platform.jpgWhether you realize it or not, every day you work on what International Data Corporation (IDC) describes as the third platform. By the end of next year, you will be doing a lot more work on it and using its technologies.

The rise and expansion of the third platform has reached a tipping point according to IDC, and with the growth of investments in the Internet of Things, big data, data centers, mobile and social computing, there is, in effect, no way of avoiding it.

Stop Pulling Teeth: A Better Way to Classify Documents

2014-08-December-Dentist.jpgThere are really only two ways to get your content classified: You require manual tagging by setting fields as required, or you use automation and stop fighting your users.

People hate to upload a document only to find that there's a half dozen fields to fill in before they can finish the upload process. This approach may seem easy, but often times it creates a love/hate relationship with SharePoint -- users see it as a limitation of SharePoint and will turn to a file share or Dropbox instead.

Alternately, they take the easy way out and fill the fields with the first entry in the drop-down, resulting in metadata that is populated, but wrong. Required manual tagging becomes yet another thing users have to do to get their work done.

3 Takes on the Future of Document Management

When you're choosing document management software (DMS) you have to look to the future. Whichever platform you select will impact the way you do business for the next five to 10 years at least -- so don't  be shortsighted when making your decision.

Enterprise content resides on all web environments and so integrations between DMSs and Web CMSs are becoming crucial. So the importance of “future-proofing” document management was top of mind for me when I attended Amplexor’s Future of Document Management event in Belgium last week. Amplexor designs, builds and runs DMS projects for enterprises. With over a decade of experience in the Enterprise Content Management field, it knows who the visionaries in the field are. On Nov. 20 it got them all in one room.

Spanning Expands Cloud Data Protection to Office 365

2014-05-December-Copies.jpg"What if?" This question plagues companies who have made the move to the cloud. In spite of reassurances of data security and efforts by providers to back data up, the worst case scenario is never far from mind. Spanning, just over a month after its acquisition by EMC, is offering Office 365 users a solution to help manage that "what if" scenario.

The new cloud-to-cloud backup solution is designed from the ground up to work with desktops, tablets and mobile devices and offers access to all enterprise data wherever employees are working and through their preferred device.

Here's a Way to Pull Your Project Data Together in Office 365

Although Microsoft has been developing Office 365 at a ferocious rate recently, it still remains a suite of individual applications designed to accomplish specific tasks. To enhance user navigation, harmon.ie has developed a single screen view of those applications and what’s happening in them.

This week, it took that a step further with the launch of its new Project Management Solution, an extension of its harmon.ie email that enables users to pull together all the information that is passing through Office 365, OneDrive, Lync and Yammer on a given project for easy access on either mobile or desktop.

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