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Eim News & Analysis

Hadoop's Future Might Take a Cloud Foundry-Like Route

Maybe it’s not yet a pattern, but we wouldn’t call it coincidence either. Pivotal, a spinoff from VMware and EMC, has a way of upstaging everyone else in the world of big data by making market-shifting announcements just one day before everyone else makes theirs at major big data (3rd platform) conferences.

It did it on February 25, 2013 whenthey announced Pivotal HD, stealing the spotlight from Cloudera, MapR, Intel, Wandisco and otherswho broke their news at O’Reilly’s Strata Conference the next day. It did it again on November 12, 2013 when they announced the launch oftheir multi-cloud enterprise Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)just ahead of AWS’ annual conference.

So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that it’ll be up to it again next week on February 17 when it has scheduled awebcastto update the world on its “New Approach to Big Data.” This is just one day before their competitors, collaborators and those who fall somewhere in between are slated to make their own big data announcements atO’Reilly’s Strata+ Hadoop World Conferencein San Jose, Calif.

How Did Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Do in Year 1?

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Happy Anniversary Satya Nadella.

You became the CEO of Microsoft this time last year, and what a year it has been.

The house that Gates built (and Ballmer almost wrecked) has gone from being perceived as “old and tired” to being called “cool." And that’s largely because you haven’t taken your customers for granted and have understood that every day and in every way you must earn their trust and love.

After all, if Microsoft fails to delight, there’s an app or web service that can replace it. You understand this in a way that your predecessor, Steve Ballmer, did not.

For that, we commend you.

Google, EU on Collision Course Over So-Called Right to Forget

A Google advisory panel has concluded that people have the right to be forgotten — or, more accurately, a right not to be mentioned in search anymore. But it contends that right should only apply in the European Union, not across Google's wider global search.

The report is latest in an ongoing debate between Google and the European Union (EU) over an individual's right to remove or delist certain information. Last May, the European Court of Justice Ruling ordered Google to remove links to personal information from search results leading to personal information on an individual in Spain.

The ruling has been widely, albeit inaccurately, referred to as creating a “Right to be Forgotten."

In the aftermath of the ruling, Google convened an independent panel to advise it on performing "the balancing act between an individual’s right to privacy and the public’s interest in access to information." The findings are based in part on a series of public consultations across Europe.

Neuralytix Finds Users Split on Salesforce Analytics Cloud

Analytics is one of the biggest buzzwords in the business world today — the cornerstone of corporate insights and actions.

Bernard Marr, a United Kingdom-based authority on analytics, said, "Advances in information technology and a complete datafication of our world now mean we have (or will have very soon) data and insights on everything."In fact, he boasted, analytics has the power to transform any industry, including business, sports, healthcare and government. So how broad is industry adoption?

Neuralytix, an IT market research and consulting firm based in Mountain View, Calif., recently surveyed members of the Salesforce Power Users Group about their projected use of one anaytics platform to find out. When asked about their projected use of the Salesforce Analytics Cloud in the next 12 months, 55 percent of those surveyed said they had no plans to use it.

But 42.5 percent said they were planning to start and about 3 percent of users said they were already using it.

Dropbox Says Open Sesame with Its New Button

Dropbox just gave its 300 million users another reason never to leave. While some Sync and Share providers would brag about a release like today's, Dropbox doesn't -- that's not its style.

What it does instead is ever so quietly say “Hey, by the way, look what we’ve done now that will make your life easier.” Its motive is to simply delight you, but how it plays out has another effect. It makes the experience on some of the other file sharing services kind of suck in comparison.

Massive Health Insurance Hack Exposes 80M Customer Records

The second largest health insurer in the US admitted last night it was the target of a massive hack that resulted in as many as 80 million customer and employee records being compromised.

According to a statement from Joseph R. Swedish, CEO of Indianapolis-based Anthem Inc.,the attack came to light last week. Cyberthieves stole large amounts of personal data of past and present customers — including names, birthdays, medical ID and social security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data.

But Swedish, apparently trying to look at the bright side, added that no credit card or medical records, including claims, test results and diagnostic codes, were targeted compromised ... at least from what investigators can determine right now.

The 2 Irresistible Forces of Enterprise Mobility

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“What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?”I was a teenager when I first heard this question. It was an interesting thought exercise at the time, but the practical application in business is more about two forces that go in different directions. For an example, look no farther than when an IT leader sees things differently than a business leader.

Did SAP Just Change the Game for Enterprise IT?

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Let’s face it. Most of the line of business applications that managers use to run today’s enterprises are pretty clunky.

Kind of like your grandfather’s rusted out, gas-guzzling Cadillac that was his pride and joy more than 20 years ago. Sure, it will still get you from here to there as it putters along, but try to get somewhere quick, to drive in the snow, on ice or off-road, and forget about it.

It can’t compete with today’s automobiles that automatically adjust for weather conditions and the terrain, help you hug curves like a racecar driver, and warn you before you back into something.

It’s prime time for something to change where line of business applications are concerned. And that’s precisely the vision that SAP unveiled for the world of business yesterday before a crowd at the New York Stock Exchange.

“It’s maybe the biggest innovation in enterprise IT in history, not only for SAP, but for the industry,” said Steve Lucas, president of SAP global solutions, during an interview following the presentation. “We’re ushering in a new wave of productivity unlike anything the world has seen before.”

Thycotic Releases Secret Server 8.8 for Enterprise Account Management

People are still choosing poor passwords. According to SplashData, which compiles a yearly report on the worst passwords, the word “password” itself was only second to the even more egregious 123456 in 2013.

Although many people expect passwords in the enterprise to be better, they aren't — not even the biggest names in tech have top-notch network security, as Sony may have taught everyone just a few months ago.

That's why Thycotic, a provider of enterprise password management software to the global SMB and enterprise space, just released Secret Server 8.8, its flagship solution for account management. Secret Server 8.8 includes improved support for Secure Shell (SSH) keys, allowing customers with large Linux or UNIX environments or network equipment to more easily manage all of their organization's secrets regardless of the platform each user is running. That's a potential benefit for companies with extremely complex networking requirements.

4 Directions For SharePoint and Office 365 in 2015

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It’s going to be a big year for SharePoint, but details about what to expect are fuzzy.

Microsoft has promised a new on-premise version will be released later this year. However, it has been less forthcoming about SharePoint Online in Office 365.

Microsoft upgrades Office 365 on a regular basis and has given some indication as to where it would like to go with SharePoint Online. But a lot of questions remained unanswered.

What's Really Going on at EMC's Content Group?

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Shock and awe can be a good thing, especially if you’re introducing achange that’s long been desired. That’s why EMC’s Information Intelligence Group (IIG), which holds Documentum, Captiva, Syncplicity, among other product lines, waited until its annual partner pep rally last week to announce that it was changing its name to Enterprise Content Division — ECD is its acronym.

“We wanted to create some excitement around it,” said Rohit Ghai, EMC ECD’s new president. He knew that almost no one showed affinity for the old name, Information Intelligence Group (IIG) as it has been called for too many years.

“No one knew what that meant,” an EMC partner who asked not to be identified told us.

And while that kind of feedback matters a great deal to Ghai, there were three primary drivers behind the renaming: legitimacy, heritage and evolution.

Embrace and Embody Risk Management

If a CEO wants his organization to realize the opportunity presented by risk management to deliver better decisions and, through them, improved performance, he needs to do more than “walk the talk.”

I have come up with the phrase “embrace and embody” risk management. (Feel free to borrow it.)

AI in the Enterprise: A Sign of Things to Come?

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Smartphones will be in the hands of a quarter of the world population by 2017, according to forecasts from the likes of eMarketer. As a result, businesses of all sizes will have growing needs for mobile applications, including solutions that automate tasks such as managing calendars.

Lowdownapp is one such app for the enterprise market: It promises to organize your smartphone calendar based on your individual needs using artificial intelligence (AI).

Bug Bounty Programs Help Companies Track Vulnerabilities

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Companies release new software and products to corporate users and consumers, hoping final product releases are stable and free of bugs.

But it's much easier said than done to release a secure and polished product. While companies try to work diligently to prevent vulnerabilities, they can only be partly successful with sometimes limited organizational capability by their respective internal teams.

That's where bug bounty programs come in.

During a recent Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) conference, a hosted bug bounty contest found more than 80 vulnerabilities for the companies that participated. These types of contests and hosted programs are becoming more popular, taking place at other major computer and technology conferences across the United States.

Once discovered by third-party coders, companies move rapidly to analyze reports and fix legitimate vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.

The Yammer vs. SharePoint Governance Taste Test

2015-02-February-Coffee-Coffee.jpgDo you remember the Folgers Crystals instant coffee commercials from the 1980s? In these 30-second advertisements, a surreptitious survey is taken of diners in a fancy and presumably expensive restaurant. Served after-dinner coffee, they inevitably describe for the camera how fantastic it tastes and smells. Just as inevitably, the shock of the coffee drinkers when they discovered they’d actually been served Folgers Crystals -- instant coffee, not the freshly-brewed European blends they’d been expecting -- gave their snobbish expectations the lie.

In many ways the governance of Yammer vis--vis the high-powered governance features of SharePoint is similar to that cup of Folgers coffee versus flavor expected of the freshly-brewed premium blends.

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