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Microsoft News & Analysis

Game On! Industry Responds to OneDrive for Business

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's vision of “Cloud for everyone, on every device” no doubt includes Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS).

Earlier this week the company put Box, and almost every other vendor in the space, on notice with a blog post, “Thinking outside of the Box.”  

Its author, John Case, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Office Division, had a fairly simple message for the marketplace:

The era of making isolated, single-solution decisions is rapidly coming to a close. Smart businesses are now choosing partners that have a holistic, comprehensive and connected set of cloud offerings and in doing so, creating a 'data culture' in their organization.”

In other words, Microsoft users should look to OneDrive for Business as the way to go for EFSS.

When you take into account that 670 million users use Microsoft Office and Office 365, what Microsoft’s message boils down to is pretty simple: If you’re a point EFSS solution in our world, you’re redundant.

OpenText Expands, More Companies Offer Salesforce Integration

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It’s been a busy few weeks in the document management space. OpenText announced it will be doubling its workforce in Canada in the next seven years and Perceptive released Content 7.

For those using Salesforce.com, SpringCM and Steelbrick have teamed up to provide sales lifecycle management, while Oris4 is connecting SharePoint and Salesforce.com. We also took a look at managing metadata in SharePoint.

Gartner Rates SAP Top BI Vendor, Notes Microsoft's Growth

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Just when you thought IT budgets were recovering, Gartner dumps a bucket of cold water on the notion — particularly in the business intelligence (BI) space. According to new research, spending on BI has stagnated again, and it doesn’t look like the situation will improve in the near future.

Gartner rated SAP as the biggest BI vendor by far, followed by Oracle, IBM, SAS and Microsoft. While Microsoft only ranks fifth, it experienced the most growth in the space in the past 12 months, the survey found.

The report shows that the BI market is increasingly dominated by big vendors who are happy to buy whatever technology they need to give them an edge, as is evidenced by the recent purchase of Jaspersoft, an open source businesses intelligence company, by TIBCO for $185 million. 

Do You Really Need Microsoft Office?

Thumbnail image for SoftWatch Office licenses 28 4 2014.jpgTwo things are made clear in the new benchmark report from SoftWatch: 1. Business users spend a lot less time using their Office applications than might be thought. 2. If an organization did an in-depth analysis of Office usage across the enterprise, they might well find that dumping Office and moving to another, cheaper productivity suite could save them an awful lot of money.

The Holes in the Enterprise Cloud's Silver Lining

2014-25-April-Pop-Quiz.jpgPop quiz time.

Take out your #2 pencil and select the best answer that completes the following sentence.

Cloud services will revolutionize ______________.

  • A. the way software gets delivered.
  • B. the way software is licensed, by becoming a "pay as you go" option.
  • C. the way workers access services.
  • D. IT implementation, support and infrastructure costs.
  • E. the way business gets done, by letting mobile workers access information anytime, anywhere.
  • F. All of the above.

Unless you have been hiding out in a fallout shelter for the last five years, you probably picked “F. All of the above.” And if you did, you would be correct.

6 Ways Metadata Can Help Businesses

Here are six ways businesses can deal with the SharePoint metadata issue. They range from developing information governance strategies to implementing text analytics and improving SharePoint's native search functions of the SharePoint edition they work with.

The projects were identified in recent research by semantic search vendor Concept Searching (CS), which called them key objectives for companies that want to get the best out of their SharePoint deployments. 

4 Things to Know About SharePoint Metadata

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Nearly 30 percent of organizations are still using SharePoint 2007, only 34 percent of organizations have turned to Office 365 and very few organizations have information governance strategies in place around their SharePoint environments. Those are just some of the research findings from semantic search provider Concept Searching.

The focus of the report was on the use or lack of use of metadata in SharePoint data management. But it also highlighted some interesting future projects for SharePoint-centric enterprises, including migration to newer editions of SharePoint and even the deployment of text analytics with SharePoint environments of the future.

Why Hortonworks' Hadoop Pitch May Be Perfect

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Hortonworks business strategy certainly has its naysayers. They claim the venture capital backed company won’t be able to generate the kind of revenues Wall Street investors expect without selling proprietary software that compliments or extends open source Apache Hadoop or any other open source software, for that matter.

This sort of talk falls on deaf ears at Hortonworks.

“Our strategy is to build out (Hadoop and Hortonworks Data Platform aka HDP) in open source so that it resonates and deeply increases value for our partners, our customers and for us,“ said Shaun Connolly, vice president of Corporate Strategy at Hortonworks.

Microsoft Pushes Analytics, Collaboration Into Office 'Mix'

Microsoft is on a roll with a fast and steady stream of upgrades and offerings for its Office suite. In the latest announcement yesterday, it offered a limited preview of its new PowerPoint ‘Mix.’

PowerPoint is unlikely to set anyone’s world on fire — but the enhancements may at least gain your attention if we told you this one includes basic analytics and interactive tools like video recording and document sharing. Oh, and one more thing. The upgrades are free of charge.

SharePoint Users Routinely Breach Security Policies

Research by Cryptzone shows at least 36 percent of SharePoint users are breaching security policies — and another 9 percent admit they have no idea how to prevent sensitive information from being uploaded.

The study, conducted among attendees at Microsoft’s SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas in March, is a warning to organizations that it is essential to develop adequate information security policies. It further underscores how lack of such policies are putting business critical information at risk. 

Earlier this month, Cryptzone, a provider of encryption solutions and identity and access management (IAM), was acquired by Medina Capital, an equity investment firm focused on the IT infrastructure sector.

7 Vendors Top the Forrester Wave for Customer Service Solutions

At a time when seven out of 10 online shoppers complain of unsatisfactory experiences, which vendors stand out as offering possible solutions? The authors of the latest Forrester Wave Customer Service Solutions for Enterprise Customers Q2 2014 (registration required) rated customer service vendors against 83 criteria and identified seven leaders.

According to the report, the vendors with the best strategy pursued excellence in a limited number of areas and avoided over diversified, Jack-of-All-Trade scenarios.

Your Crib Sheet for Microsoft's World of Data

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When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and his data team took the stage in San Francisco on Wednesday to talk about the company’s strategy, they used a few terms that are not yet in the vernacular. But they soon will be.

And while you’re certainly welcome to figure out what they are and, more importantly, what they mean once you hear them, we figure that, at least some of readers, will want to be among the first to use them.

Google's New Terms of Service Raise Privacy Concerns

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Google has more rights to the personal content users share than most people may have realized.

In its recently updated terms of service, the company acknowledges that it not only scans email, but retains the right to use personal content for marketing and internal development purposes.

If that's not enough to make you jittery, consider this: There could be even less privacy down the line. Google has significant mobile ambitions, including its modular smartphone dubbed Project Ara. Google previewed the phone, now in the earliest stages of development, at a developer event in Santa Clara, Calif. this week.

Cell phones pose multiple privacy problems, including lack of anonymity, location tracking and easy interception.

Make the Customer the Focus of Online Experiences

Nearly seven in 10 customers have had an unsatisfactory e-commerce experience in the past year, according to a new Forrester Wave on customer service solutions. That's a disturbing and eye-opening statistic, noted Kate Leggett, primary author of The Forrester Wave Customer Service Solutions For Enterprise Organizations Q2 2014 (registration required).

Leggett and co-authors Stephen Powers, Michael Facemire and Victoria Boutan identified the 11 most significant customer service solutions, but also warned that not all vendors are making the grade.

Why Microsoft's Reign Will Continue

Leave it to Box CEO and chief Microsoft critic Aaron Levie to spread the word, check out his tweet yesterday:

Obviously Levie was tuned into the same Microsoft Customer data event as we were, and we agree with his conclusion -- Microsoft has an impressive (data) play.

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