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Enterprise Cms News & Analysis

Dropbox Just Got Stickier in the Enterprise

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How does it feel to wake up a few days before your company’s IPO to discover your rival just made a smart acquisition? We don’t know, and Box co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie can’t tell us: He's in a quiet period mandated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which prohibits him from making such comments.

But here’s the deal. Early this morning Dropbox announced that it now owns CloudOn, a top 10 workplace productivity app in 120 countries. CloudOn makes it easy for people to edit, create, organize and share docs on any platform.

This should yield big wins for Dropbox (and its 300 million users) for several reasons. First because CloudOn brings with it an attractive mobile UI for content creation and collaboration as well as the team of engineers who built it. And second because the 100,000 companies who use Dropbox for Business will be able to do more of their work in Dropbox without ever having to leave the platform. The win for the enterprise? Productivity.

Making EFSS More Than Just a Bucket for Content

2015-20-January-Jeetu-Patel-2.jpgOver the holidays I had the opportunity to trade some emails with Jeetu Patel on the future of the Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) industry. Patel is general manager of Syncplicity, a business unit of EMC.

Prior to leading Syncplicity, Patel was Chief Strategy Officer of EMC's Information Intelligence Group (IIG). He was responsible for orchestrating and driving cross-category product vision, growth strategy, innovation agenda, cloud computing and big data initiatives. Additionally, he headed Worldwide Marketing for IIG, where he was responsible for product marketing, thought leadership, as well as competitive, vertical and solutions marketing.

Can Egnyte Snuff Box's IPO Fire?

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Egnyte CEO Vineet Jain makes no apologies. He handpicked today to reveal that his company is raising the stakes in Enterprise Sync and Share (EFSS), just a few days before Box’s IPO. The latter is expected to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange at the end of the week -- on Jan. 23.

Jain said Egnyte initially planned to make its announcement on Jan. 27. But he didn’t want to chance Egnyte getting grouped in with Box should its IPO disappoint. “We don’t want to be defined by the way the market reacts to Box,” he said.

Of course Jain, whose company might be seen as a Box competitor (they are both named in the same Gartner MQ report as well as Forrester Wave), made it clear that though both companies provide solutions around file sharing, they are quite different.

“EFSS is table stakes,” he said. Box co-founder and CEO, Aaron Levie has said this too. Ditto for the CEO’s of a dozen other competing vendors.

Tackling the Cloud Skills Shortage

"Cloud-related skills represent virtually all the growth opportunities in IT employment worldwide and demand for cloud-related positions will grow by 26 percent annually through 2015."

Jennifer Warnick, news and feature writer for Microsoft, wrote these words in 2013. Two years later, the demand persists, but a skill shortage looms.

Discussion Point: What Can We Expect from the Cloud in 2015?

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Oracle CEO Mark Hurd doesn't hide his enthusiasm for cloud computing. In a LinkedIn post this week, he said "Cloud computing is triggering a stunning shift in how businesses operate. Modern SaaS applications for marketing, HR and (enterprise resource planning) ERP are allowing companies to accelerate operations and engage more intimately with their customers thanks to heretofore unseen heroes in their ranks."

And he's not the only one who thinks the cloud is revolutionizing the way business is done. A new report from Dublin-based Research and Markets concurs that developments in the field of enterprise mobility and cloud computing has transformed the way enterprises undertake their operations.

It notes that the adoption of hybrid cloud solutions are gaining momentum among enterprises, and that this cloud delivery model will go mainstream in the coming years. Already, with market shares of 13.5 percent, 10.8 percent and 10.4 percent, respectively, the retail, healthcare and government sectors have already invested significantly in cloud computing solutions in recent years.

Even the future of SharePoint is in the cloud.

So what developments, evolutions and innovations can we expect in cloud computing this year?

No Data Butler? Alteryx's Newest Release Can Help

Let’s face it. Most line of business users don’t have a data scientist at their beck and call or even a geek from IT for that matter. So when a marketing manager or finance executive needs to make a decision in short order, he often has to do so based on a small fraction of the available information, go with his gut or miss the opportunity.

“It can take days, weeks or months before IT can provide it,” said Bob Laurent, director of product marketing at Alteryx, a data blending and data analytics platform.

That’s a problem because we live in an increasingly real time world.

That same world, mind you, is rich and overflowing with data — mobile, social, transactional, analytical, Internet of Things … we could go on. And it’s not just that, but today’s consumers don’t respond well to marketers (or anyone else) who misfires. They expect personalization and for the other party to be well informed.

Unravelling Enterprise Federated Search

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Enterprise search helps employees find the information they need, confident in the knowledge that all potential repositories have been indexed. In an ideal world, queries could be entered in a single search box to generate all relevant results from across all information resources of the organization. These results would be presented in a visually consistent ranked order through a federated search application.

But we don't live in an ideal world. If federated search was easy, why would Google offer Google Scholar? Federated search presents a number of challenges and there are a few ways to approach the challenges. Let's look at a few of them.

Do You Know What Data Your Employees Are Sharing?

You hear a lot about Shadow IT these days. And we'll probably continue to hear more, according to Cameron Coles, senior product marketing manager for Skyhigh Networks, a cloud security company.

Shadow IT happens when departments or individual employees use technologies that aren’t sanctioned by IT — something that has been increasingly easy to do since cloud-based services arrived.

As CMSWire writer Steven Pogrebivsky noted last year, employees who use a lot of consumer-based apps tend to expect the same ease of use in the workplace. "Personal and work have collided in such a big way that employees often expect that one service will support both needs. In a perfect world that would be fine. But this isn’t a perfect world: information gets leaked, gets lost, gets stolen," he noted.  

While senior management may be away of the risks of cloud-based services, employees are often less cautious and unwittingly create a hefty problem for many organizations, Coles said.

Could Cloud Apps Make the Enterprise Sick?

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Yes, we know, the word “cloud” has become a cliché — so much so, that CIOs are sick of hearing it. Not only that, but the CIO Journal suggests that everything has been cloud-washed to the extent that no one even knows what “cloud” means anymore.

But it’s not the word “cloud” that the information overlords ought to be worried about. God knows that John in Marketing, Sue in HR and Al in Accounting aren’t thinking “cloud” when they sign up for and log in to prosumer Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions. All they want to do is to get their jobs done with the best and easiest to use solution. And there are plenty to choose from.

Reading the Office 365 Tea Leaves

Every year around this time “experts” sit around and make predictions about all sorts of things. In some spaces like world politics, this is truly a guessing game. When it comes to Microsoft, it involves more of trying “to read the tea leaves.” Even with the breathtaking pace of change, there are still pretty good signs of where the technology is going.

What to Expect in E-Discovery and Information Governance in 2015

The e-discovery market continued its maturation in 2014, with last year’s hot trends like predictive coding and early case assessment becoming more mainstream and new initiatives around information governance, big data and BYOD/social media emerging as important issues. Electronic information disciplines, such as records management, cyber security and corporate compliance, continued to become more intertwined in the e-discovery process, and the group of stakeholders touching e-discovery has begun to transform its focus into the broader Information Governance (IG) spectrum.

But the transformation remains challenging. Many organizations are only just beginning to treat e-discovery as a standard business process that can be leveraged in larger IG practices.

Office 365 & SharePoint Online Just Became Irresistible

Forget Google Docs, Box and any productivity tool that anyone else has to offer. Microsoft is committing its brains and its brawn to one thing —being your “go to” for your digital life, at work and at home.

It plans to do this by providing a window to the digital world that feels “more personal and natural,” to use CEO Satya Nadella’s words, via innovations in touch, speech, vision, inking and much more. They will all come together with intelligent agent (can you say machine learning, analytics, PowerBI, Office Graph) and shell technologies.

Push for Strategic Governance in Information Management

In the middle of last year I moved roles from the corporate intranet team to my current role as Director of Technology Strategy and KM for Legal, Corporate and Compliance Group.

Though the roles are quite different, there's one word that links the two together -- governance. 

No Ticket Needed for the Office for Android Tablet Preview

There’s not going to be a device on the planet on which you can’t use Microsoft productivity tools. OK, maybe that’s pushing it a little too far. But that seems to be CEO Satya Nadella’s strategy and he’s executing on it one quick step after another.

Microsoft  just announced that the Office for Android tablet preview is generally available. Anyone can go to Google Play and download the Word, Excel and PowerPoint preview apps. There’s “No wait list. No requesting access. Just go and download the apps!” states the Office 365 blog.

Good Cloud, Bad Cloud. Why Cloud?

Confused about the cloud? You're not alone.

Adoption is projected to grow at double digits despite plentiful guidance on why we should fear the cloud. Pundits tell us, “If your organization is not implementing the cloud, you’re already behind.” Yet it is easy to feel the cloud is just beyond our grasp. To quote Jason Segel, as Jay in the comedy Sex Tape -- Nobody understands the cloud. It’s a [expletive deleted] mystery.

So let's kick off 2015 with a look at some real-life use cases from sectors that are leading the way in enterprise adoption of the cloud.

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