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Enterprise Cms News & Analysis

Information Management Will Never Be Easy

2014-14-July-Obstacle-Course.jpgI get the opportunity to speak with hundreds of folks a year about managing information at organizations, and probably the most common requirement I hear is, information management needs to be easy and user friendly -- if users have to do anything more difficult than what they do now, it will fail.

It’s difficult to formulate a response to this request (or even keep a straight face). The idea that somehow you could go from managing corporate information horribly to managing it well and have it be perceived by end users as easy is pretty astounding.

Before all the UI/UX folks out there break out the pitchforks and torches, let me explain what I mean and why.

About Time! Microsoft Office is Coming to Android Tablets

When Satya Nadella took the reins as Microsoft’s CEO, he set a new vision for the company. Microsoft would now be designing, developing and delivering solutions for a Mobile First, Cloud First world. 

This is a world where there are multiple types of mobile devices that run on multiple operating systems. To succeed in this world, as a software provider, you have to play nicely with all of them and in all of them. Nadella knows this.

July 11 Update: Microsoft will now be adding OneNote to Android devices as well. The company launched the Android beta program today. This falls in line nicely with Nadella’s impassioned memo to employees yesterday (which was really meant to customers and stockholders) which said:

Our passion is to enable people to thrive in this mobile-first and cloud-first world. We have described ourselves as a 'devices and services' company. While the devices and services description was helpful in starting our transformation, we now need to hone in on our unique strategy."

The strategy he’s referring to is one of digital work and life experiences, which would, no doubt, be better with One Note on all your devices.

Microsoft Moves to Win Cloud, EFSS and Other Markets

Storing, synching, editing and/or sharing files in the cloud has suddenly become big business. Startups like Box, Dropbox, and Syncplicity (now owned by EMC) sensed this long ago because their founders rightly predicted that the knowledge workers of the future wouldn’t want to be emailing files to themselves and keeping track of various versions any more than they did. Ditto for carrying thumb drives around.

Fast forward a few years and the market cap for enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) services may be as big as a trillion dollars. It’s no wonder giants like Citrix, EMC, Google and Microsoft all want part (or all) of that action. Winning is critical to their ability to gain, or even retain, Enterprise market share.

As we’ve written before, Microsoft isn’t sitting back and watching as Google and Amazon race to the bottom on the price of cost storage. And while part of the reason they are doing this is to sell the Azure platform, the other part is retaining Microsoft Office, Office 365 and SharePoint market share. After all, as Enterprises map their cloud strategies, they’ll likely look at all of their options versus simply lobbing what they have on the ground to the sky.

Meet the Challengers: Gartner's MQ for EFSS

The Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) Market is competitive, to say the least. Last year’s strong performer can become leader of the pack in as little as a year. EMC Syncplicity proved that when it went from a Positive (Vs Strong Positive) in Gartner’s Marketscope last year to a Leader in its EFSS Magic Quadrant this year.

Which “Challenger” will broaden its vision and build out its capabilities quickly enough to make it into the Leader’s Quadrant by 2015?

Let’s take a closer look at what Gartner’s EFSS Challengers (Dropbox, Google, IBM and Microsoft) have to offer and where Gartner said they fall short. If you haven’t read our coverage on Gartner’s overall report and the MQ Leaders, it’s here.

Metrics to Watch When Evaluating Search Performance

2014-08-July-Hide-and-Seek.jpgPeople are dissatisfied with the search applications they are using. This is the result -- without exception -- from surveys of search performance. Search managers charged with improving satisfaction levels face the problem of defining what "satisfaction" actually means. Search performance has to be evaluated on three criteria: technical performance, retrieval performance and impact performance, but it's impossible to bring all three together in some mathematical formula for "satisfaction."

Gartner Rates Enterprise File Sync and Share Vendors

As anyone who reads CMSWire regularly already knows, the Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) market is hotter than hot. The 100+ players within it introduce new features and new releases almost as often as soccer's Tim Howard saves goals.

So it’s no wonder that Gartner, in its newly released Magic Quadrant for EFSS, notes that the market is maturing and that vendors are working hard to differentiate themselves.

IBM's BlueMix Targets the Internet of Things

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Remember IBM’s open cloud development platform BlueMix? Well, IBM has just announced it is now on general release, and there’s all kinds of cloud-centric goodness now available for it.

Accessible in open beta since February, the Cloud Foundry based suite now has more than 50 services and is being adopted at a rate that places it among the largest Cloud Foundry deployments in the world, IBM claims. It has also been released with an eye on the emerging Internet of Things (IoT).

Databricks' Spark Could Light SAP's Fire

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SAP HANA seems to have taken a bit of a public beating lately, namely because its creator, Vishal Sikka, and several other notable executives left the company.

And while some might speculate the Guinness World Record setting in-memory database has had its best days, there are very few facts to support that contention. In fact, we say the best may be yet to come.

After all, SAP HANA hasn’t yet infiltrated most Enterprises and SAP, as a whole, has become no holds barred, cloud-bound only lately.

Will Dropbox's New Feature Be Enough?

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Dropbox wants legitimacy in the Enterprise, and it’s racing to get all the boxes (no pun intended) checked that will win it official entry through company doors. 

To be fair, according to Dropbox for Business product manager Anand Subramani, they already have 4 million users in businesses. We haven’t called any of them to ask if they’re spending a dime on the service; in fact, it would be interesting to know how many of them are personal accounts or shadow IT.

But as we’ve asked workers at large enterprises to try to create accounts on the enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) service, the most common response we get is “it’s blocked.”

Microsoft Tightens Email Security

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Edward Snowden has done more for electronic security than anyone else. Singlehandedly, he has forced some of the biggest IT vendors to take a close look at data, data transfer, and how it is stored.

This follows the revelation that security agencies across the world were systematically scanning emails.

In response, Google has made much of its email encryption practices and its efforts to secure the contents of the email itself.

Last night, Microsoft, in turn announced that it has upgraded its encryption standards across all its networks.

The Greatness of Information Governance

I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.” -- Abraham Lincoln

Governance is good -- in fact, it is great. Governance, and specifically IT Governance, is defined as, “putting structure around how organizations align IT strategy with business strategy, ensuring that companies stay on track to achieve their strategies and goals, and implementing good ways to measure IT’s performance. It makes sure that all stakeholders’ interests are taken into account and that processes provide measurable results.”

Records Management in Law Firms: Face the Future

Records and Information Governance are perhaps the most important staff side functions in the modern day law firm. Yet many Records and Information Governance professionals think we are one step away from obscurity and irrelevance.

Why the divergent views?

Is Google's Drive for Work Too Little, Too Late? #io14

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Every time Google or Microsoft makes an announcement about lowering the price of storage, someone asks us why anyone would pay more for a service like Dropbox, Box, Syncplicity, Egnyte, Accellion … you get the picture.

So yesterday, at its I/O Conference, when Google announced Google Drive for Work (a combination of Google apps and Google Drive with added security and reporting features that comes with unlimited storage for $10 per user per month), we were slammed with inquiries. Has Google had just entered — and, all at once, won — the file sync and share market in the Enterprise?

No Application Should Be An Island

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Applications cannot thrive alone in today's hyper-connected world. Nearly every modern business process requires information from multiple sources. If a company’s applications are not working together the business loses enormous opportunities for synergy and automation. Instead of finding streamlined and efficient new ways to automate business processes, the company becomes mired in manual and redundant tasks, with multiple versions of the same data being created across the organization.

The days when CIOs could hope to standardize across a single platform or vendor and expect applications to automatically work together are now just a memory.

NetSuite Mixes CRM With ERP

The term customer relationship management (CRM) isn’t always viewed properly, according to Zach Nelson, CEO of NetSuite, a provider of cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. 

At the Sanford C. Bernstein Strategic Decision Conference in late May, Nelson said most people see CRM simply as a sales force automation tool used for prospect management.  With a CRM solution, salespeople have the opportunity to generate forecasts based on leads in the pipeline.

But Nelson believes the big problem with most CRM solutions these days is they don’t include customer records. And in order to do CRM really well, Nelson argues there must be customer orders, which just happen to sit in the ERP system.

In fact, ERP systems contain a lot of important data on customers—such as where they bought, what they bought, when the item(s) shipped and if returns were made. By offering a single system to connect the front and back offices, Nelson says NetSuite is seeing more and more customers deploying its solutions in conjunction with e-commerce.

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