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Eim News & Analysis

How Big Data - and Critical Thinking - Lead to Business Value

2014-13-October-Magnified-Image.jpgThere is irony behind a discussion of the business value and metrics related to big data analytics, since a lot of people in the business world still don’t understand much about big data, including those who think they have a handle on it. Business analysts, IT, Marketing, Business Intelligence, Data Scientists, Upper Management -- each of these roles can have a meaningful stake in big data analytics -- and it’s likely that each role has a different idea about the impact it can have.

Will Cloud Foundry Be Key to Computing's History?

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“The times they are a changin’.” For anyone who’s not a fan of rock music history that quote may not resonate, but it comes from a song that Bob Dylan wrote in the 1960s. It describes a period when the world began to change how it looked at issues like women’s rights, racism, poverty and social policy.

Though the term wasn’t used at the time, "more democratized" fits the bill pretty well. More people had an opportunity to play a role in their own future. And people began to learn that when they worked together they could get more, and often more significant things, done with greater satisfaction.

It’s interesting to note that at around this same period IBM decided to unbundle the way it sold computing to the world. Rather than offer hardware, services and software exclusively in one expensive package, where you had to buy the whole thing or nothing at all, marketers "unbundled" the components and offered them for sale individually.

It was a defining moment in computing’s history that gave birth to the multibillion-dollar software and services industries. If it hadn’t happened, all the software and consulting services in the world would have been sold by three or four vendors who, let’s face it, probably wouldn’t have been able to harness the creativity that the current market provides.

Thanks Google, I Can Manage My Own Bills - and Privacy

Google releases some pretty cool apps on a regular basis. But, it just doesn’t seem to get the whole privacy thing. This week, it announced that it is extending its Google Now personal assistant technology to enable it read your bills — and tell you when they’re overdue.

The first thing that will strike most people is that they don’t really need anyone to tell me when they owe money. It's a sure bet that they are painfully aware of that themselves.

The second thing is privacy. Google has already admitted that it snoops on your emails to produce personalized advertising. Why would it want to look at your bills?

Microsoft Sweetens Office 365 Collaboration Options

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Think collaboration and you think Google. Maybe. Or Box or Dropbox. You don’t think Office 365 really, even though its enterprise collaboration abilities have greatly improved in the past two years. However, that could change. Microsoft has just made it a lot easier to collaborate using Outlook Web App (OWA).

It is doing that by making it easier to share files using OneDrive for Business. Specifically, it is targeting email attachments and email threads that can lead to all kinds of unpleasant problems around versioning.

Was Amazon Web Services the Winner in Xen Cloud Reboot?

information management, Was Amazon Web Services the Winner in Xen Cloud Reboot?

A cloud portfolio management provider has done some Monday-morning quarterbacking through cloud hosting customers affected by the recent Xen hypervisor problem and reboot for major cloud players. 

The winner?

If you go by Rightscale's numbers released today -- they surveyed about 449 customers of Amazon Web Services, Rackspace and SoftLayer -- Amazon seems to come out on top as the hosting companies worked to patch and reboot the potential issue announced Oct. 1.

Rightscale reported that of the 349 Amazon Web Services customers responding to Rightscale's Oct. 2-3 survey, 51 percent reported no application downtime as a result of the reboot, and another 21 percent reporting less than five minutes of downtime.

Of the 66 Rackspace Public Cloud users, 27 percent escaped with no downtime. Of the 42 SoftLayer Virtual Server respondents, 26 percent reported zero downtime. 

Meanwhile, 5 percent of AWS users reported more than one hour of downtime, while 13 percent for Rackspace and 17 percent for SoftLayer said the same.

(Rightscale also received 74 responses from organizations that used Xen in their internal data centers. Some respondents use multiple clouds, hence the total of more than 449).

Will SAP HANA + Birst Blow Salesforce and Oracle Analytics Away?

2014-09-October-jet-Pack.jpgSalesforce boss Mark Benioff better have a pretty remarkable rabbit in his hat next week when he makes a much anticipated announcement about how his company will deliver big data analytics in the cloud. If not, Birst and SAP have just partnered to steal his thunder.

Embracing SharePoint and OneDrive in Hybrid Clouds

Last month, a colleague and I were recalling a conversation we had at a SharePoint conference a few years ago. At the time we were debating whether Office 365 would have more success than its predecessor, the Business Productivity Online Standard Suite (BPOS).

The funny thing is that neither of us could remember which conference it was. So I looked it up and it was way back in 2011 in Anaheim, California.

iThe debate is old news today. Microsoft announced that Office 365 is a $2.5 billion dollar business at its World Partner Conference in July.

Google Counters Office 365 Price Cuts With New Partnership

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Google has responded to Microsoft's price cuts of Office 365 for SMBs by launching a new partnership with Rackspace.

Rackspace is offering US customers fully managed IT services for the Google Apps for Work suite, which includes Gmail, Drive and Hangouts. It will also offer Rackspace's migration, deployment and account management services. 

Alfresco Connects ECMs To SharePoint

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Alfresco just reaffirmed its good-guy enterprise content management (ECM) credentials.  It's contributing an open source integration called Chemistry Pars to the Apache Software Foundation.

Using Chemistry Parts, enterprises will be able to connect Microsoft SharePoint to just about any major ECM system on the market — including Alfresco, obviously — using the open standard Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS).

Gartner ECM MQ's Challengers, Niche Players and Visionaries

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What’s the difference between a Gartner Magic Quadrant (MQ) Leader and Challenger? A Challenger and a Niche Player? A Leader and a Visionary?

These may sound like trick questions or something for which you have to do homework.  But relax … Gartner did the research and we’ve got the answers. So if you’re interested in how enterprise content management (ECM) vendors rate in this year’s MQ, and what that might mean, read on.

Why CEOs and Other Top Execs Need CIOs - and the IT Team

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As a customer-focused business leader, you may not like IT. You may even think everyone in the IT department is socially awkward because they spend more time interacting with computers than people.

But whether you like it or not, if you want to close sales you’re going to have to invite IT to your business meetings.

Perish the thought that anyone from IT will sit in on a sales call. However, it's important to sit down with your IT team and listen to what each person has to say about the state of your technology. Otherwise, there’s a pretty good chance you won’t have to worry about sales calls.

There won’t be too many of them.

What Skills You Need to Extract Business Value from Big Data

Enterprises have been collecting data for decades. Now advanced storage and network technologies offer the ability to capture more data than ever.

No two companies are the same, nor do they need big data to solve the same problems. More data on clicks, likes, locations and other types of information are being collected than ever before. But without the right skills to integrate and analyze this information, big data is useless.

IT professionals need specific skills to manage, monitor and operate Hadoop clusters and they need specific expertise to extract real business value from big data. The IT team must train or obtain resources with these big data engineering and analysis skills as well as business talents.

Syncplicity Defines File Sharing Success [Video]

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How do software vendors measure success? It depends whom you ask. Sales managers will brag about record-breaking quarters. CFOs will extol big bottom lines. Product development managers will rave about functions and features.

Jeetu Patel, general manager of EMC Syncplicity, has an entirely different answer. “Engagement,” he said. “Deep user engagement is our first and our most important metric,” he says. He’s deliberate as he speaks. “Syncplicity is not interested in selling shelfware.”

Hackers Want Your CRM Data: Here's What To Do

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The cyberattack on JPMorgan Chase has affected 76 million household accounts, a far larger number than originally expected. The inroads hackers made into the bank has rattled the tech and financial community, to say nothing of Capitol Hill, where legislators are looking anew at cybersecurity legislation.

The reason for their nervousness is clear: JPMorgan Chase is probably one of the most protected institutions in the world. If hackers can successfully breach its security, what chance do other companies stand?

It's a sobering question and there is no pat response other than to treat the event as a wake up call: if a company or industry is perceived to have a rich treasure trove of data within its systems, know that it's fair game to hackers.

And what contains more rich, personalized data than customer relationship management (CRM) systems?

Why Alteryx Won a Whopping $60M in New Funding

Data is the currency of today’s business world, when it’s leveraged to the hilt it can separate winners from losers when all else is equal. And even when it’s not.

We’re moving into a new world in which how a company uses its information may impact the bottom line as much as the product itself.

The folks at data-blending and analytics startup Alteryx know this, so they’ve built data blending and predictive analytics tools to help their customers leverage their data to a hilt. And you won’t have to be a data scientist or a know-it-all to blow someone like Mad Money’s Jim Kramer away. Alteryx democratizes big data.

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