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Microsoft News & Analysis

Office 365 Promises Greater Data Security, Theft Protection

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Despite the progress Microsoft is making with Office 365, its claim to universality won't stand up until it gains traction with government and public bodies. Microsoft obviously understands this.

While Microsoft the company has given Office 365 for private enterprises a lot of love in the past few months, it hasn’t been neglecting the public sector either. And that makes the thorny issue of regulatory compliance even more critical.

Regulatory compliance is important for the private sector, but it is essential for public agencies. As a result, Microsoft is introducing IRS 1075 compliance to Office 365. The goal here is to prevent anyone from walking away with personal financial information, especially tax related data.

Microsoft Earnings Raised by the Cloud

In the same week that IBM stumbled on its road to the cloud, Microsoft’s journey skyward gave it a lift.

Enterprises are hungry for its heavenly products which include Office 365, Azure and Dynamics CRM. According to the company’s filing for the first fiscal quarter, revenues rose 128 percent year-over-year. Office 365, on the consumer side, by the way, now boasts an impressive 7 million subscribers to its Home and Personal software.

The company’s rapidly growing SQL Server business grew by double digits as did Lync, SharePoint and Exchange, its productivity products.

Microsoft Wants to Own You [Video]

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has a strong record of delivering on his promises and we’re now beginning to see what that looks like. While we’ve already told you a great deal about the company’s recent advances in big data, OneDrive, Office 365, AzurePowerBI, predictive analytics and Cortana + Bing, this week we’re getting a peek at how the company’s productivity apps might work in its mobile-first, cloud-first world.

We predict that they’ll be like spokes on a wheel with the individual in the center, thereby eliminating silos between our professional and personal lives.

After all, the generation of workers that brought Bring Your Own Device (BOYD) into the workplace isn’t going to want to toggle between roles.

Following SAP and Oracle, IBM Latest to Jump to Microsoft Azure

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Microsoft already partnered with SAP and Oracle on its cloud-computing platform. Why not toss in the fourth player in the Big Four?

IBM is the latest partner in Microsoft's enterprise software layer, a deal that includes:

  • IBM and Microsoft making IBM middleware such as WebSphere Liberty, MQ, and DB2 available on Microsoft Azure
  • Windows Server and SQL Server being offered on IBM Cloud
  • IBM and Microsoft working together to deliver a Microsoft .NET runtime for IBM’s Bluemix cloud development platform

Microsoft Azure welcomes the business.

The news announced yesterday comes five months after Microsoft officials said SAP will certify a number of its business applications to run on Microsoft Azure, including SAP Business Suite software, SAP Business All-In-One solution, SAP Mobile Platform, SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise (SAP ASE) and the developer edition of the SAP HANA platform.

And about a year and a half ago, Oracle jumped into the Microsoft Azure cloud. 

Security Today: Dynamic Access, Permissions, Encryption

2014-22-October-Security.jpgContent security is top of mind these days. Every week brings news of yet another data breach, with companies large and small making the news for all the wrong reasons.

Many of these breaches occurred because of a failure to maintain base level security or enterprise data. Although structured databases are a treasure trove of sensitive information, most database systems offer many layers of protection with the advantage that the database itself remains, usually on IT-managed infrastructure.

Security controls are potentially more critical for unstructured content -- because file-based information is insanely portable and moveable with modern devices and always-on connections. It’s important to consider content security in light of the more recent history of enterprise security. For a long time, security has been defined by borders and boxes.

Windows 10 Will Test the Mettle of the 'New' Microsoft

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Everyone who watches Microsoft is watching Windows 10.

More to the point, everyone who is watching Microsoft is watching to see if it can pull it off and do what it promised to do all those months ago when Satya Nadella promised to transform a lumbering juggernaut to a rapid response company.

It’s going to take time before anyone knows whether Microsoft has managed to do this. But last night’s release of the first upgrades to the Windows 10 Technical Preview (TP) could be the first concrete sign that the whole speed thing is more than just tough talk from Nadella.

What to Do When Yammer Adoption Stalls

2014-21-October-Stuck.jpgPlenty of companies have early success with Yammer. And then it stalls. Or they hit growing pains and the early enthusiasm wanes.

This scenario can happen to any enterprise social network (ESN), but it seems most pronounced in Yammer, partly because Yammer has such a large market share, but also because its freemium model means that the usual business-case test criteria (and the useful thinking that goes with it) can get bypassed.

Microsoft Lync Can Spy on Enterprise BYOD Use

Microsoft claims it has a solution to some of the most common bring your own device (BYOD) concerns: A way to spy on enterprise workers. Through its Lync app, it's giving enterprises a way to monitor what devices workers are using to communicate.

Smaller Firms Nip at the Big Dogs in Gartner's Portal MQ

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Gartner cited six trends in its Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals, including a convergence of portal and Web Content Management (Web CMS) needs across enterprises. In addition, long-time traditional, portal vendors and their bloated, unwieldy architectures are losing ground to smaller, lighter portal vendors.

As evidence of both trends, just look at the companies who made it into this year's MQ: Ektron, Jahia, Sitecore, Squiz and WordPress.

Cloudera + Microsoft's Snuggle in the Cloud Causes Confusion

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Anyone that Hortonworks gets into bed with, Cloudera snuggles up to next.

This, of course, is not a proven theorem. But it sure seems to be the case lately.

Earlier this month Hadoop enterprise data hub provider Cloudera announced a deeper integration with long time Hortonworks partner Teradata. Hortonworks’ 100 percent open source Hadoop distribution (HDP) powers many of Teradata’s big data offerings, including the Teradata Appliance for Hadoop.

Yesterday, at a Microsoft press event, Mike Olson, Cloudera’s Chief Strategy Officer, shared the stage with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and corporate vice president Scott Guthrie to announce his company’s intention to become Microsoft Azure Certified.

Take a Seat Google, Amazon: Microsoft's Cloud Wins the Day

Though the new mobile-first, cloud-first Microsoft is more open and plays nice with everyone, it also wants to knock the socks, shirt and hat off of the competition. And, if CEO Satya Nadella is right, it has everything it needs to do so.

While mobile, as Microsoft now defines it, is “not about the device” whether it’s a sensor, small screen or large screen, but about “powering mobility with intelligence,” the productivity and collaboration tools are all Microsoft (Office 365 and Dynamics).

And when it comes to the cloud, Microsoft may have one few others can match. We’re not talking only about a super-charged, hyper-scale cloud in the heavens, but also about a new Azure-like appliance that Enterprises can deploy in their own data centers. It has been designed specifically to handle big data workloads (32 cores, 450 gigabytes of RAM and 6.5 terabytes of local solid-state drive storage). Officially named the Microsoft Cloud Platform System (CPS), powered by Dell it is, in essence, an “Azure consistent cloud in a box” with pre-integrated hardware from Dell and software from Microsoft.

Faking Big Data #strataconf

Sorry folks, but this shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise. Anytime a new technology or field emerges, so does a group of posers. They’re typically software vendors, consulting firms and “experts” who claim to be able to help you cross the chasm between where you are and where you need to go to remain viable in the future.

These aren’t, for the most part, evil companies, snake oil salesman or under educated individuals. Vendors iterate products as quickly as they can and push them out too early, they take shortcuts and rationalize them and sometimes they simply don’t know that they don’t know what they’re doing.

Big data is still an emerging field.

Microsoft Ignites 'One' Enterprise Strategy

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It’s still only October, but already some companies are starting to talk about what they plan to do next year. Unfortunately, the word from most tends to be pretty vague this far in advance.

Microsoft is no exception.

However, one thing Microsoft has given some very concrete details about is its conference line-up for 2015. 

For the first time ever, Microsoft is bring all its enterprise business applications together in a new conference called Ignite.

6 Trends Dominate the Portal Space, Gartner Claims

In recent weeks we have spent a lot of time talking about data search and discovery. While there are many ways of finding content, access through portals is still one of the major pathways. This week, Gartner has published what it believes are the top horizontal portal vendors in a market that is changing rapidly.

While there are many trends in play, one of the most notable, Gartner noted, is convergence of Web Content Management (WCM) demands through lean portals that are also incorporating social technologies in the enterprise.

Office Graph From a Partner's Perspective

2014-17-October-Sidecar.jpgWhen Microsoft showcased the power of Office Graph through Project Oslo, the Microsoft partner community collectively wondered about extensibility and API access. But as with many Microsoft products, it will take the greater partner community to push Office Graph into the mainstream.

To explore this dynamic, I spoke with Yaacov Cohen, CEO of Harmon.ie, to discuss the Microsoft Office Graph reveal and how it will impact the Silicon Valley-based software developer and its product line.

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