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Microsoft News & Analysis

Microsoft Adds Predictive Forecasting To Office 365

Microsoft promised to bring analytics to a billion screens last February when it finally launched Power BI for Office 365. Starting this week, Office 365 users will be able to do both data mining and predictive forecasting.

According the blog post announcing the upgrade, users will be able to look into the future behavior of their products and business. And they don’t have to be data scientists either. 

8 Lead Close Race in Content Management

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As content management vendors race with the rapid pace of change in the enterprise workplace, some are pulling ahead.

The front-runners embrace the rising demand for content collaboration, mobile access and better user experiences, but others are showing strength in particular areas.

New research from Nucleus identified eight vendors dominating the market, but noted they aren't the only ones gaining ground.

Google Ups Its Cloud Game With Stackdriver Buy

Google Cloud Platform May 8 2014.jpgIn the latest twist in the ongoing battle for dominance in the cloud space, Google just announced it has bought Stackdriver, a cloud app monitoring service.

According to a statement from Google, Stackdriver’s technology will be pushed onto the Google Cloud platform. It underlines the company's ambitions to develop as a real challenger to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Google has provided little information about the deal, but has said it will start working on integrating Stackdriver’s functionality into the Google Cloud as quickly as possible.

Microsoft Defends Collaboration Suite Against Cisco Charge

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Microsoft responded to Cisco's charges against its enterprise collaboration suite, telling CMSWire that it provides the most "complete, integrated set of social, collaboration, and communication technologies" to allow companies to "transform" the way they work.

Cisco directly called out Microsoft last week on the heels of its partnership announcement with Jive. It told CMSWire that with Jive, Cisco "supports complete communication and collaboration, end-to-end." With Microsoft, Cisco added, "you would need to get bolt-on offerings from other vendors in order to approximate this set of integrated capabilities."

CRM Is More than Cool: It's Profitable

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Last month, Gartner said it right out loud: "Customer Relationship Management is Cool." This month it's following that up with data that shows the global CRM market is worth $20.4 billion.

The research also shows Salesforce is the single biggest player in the space.

However, there is also good news for SAP -- which remains the second biggest player, as well as Microsoft. While Microsoft only accounts for around 7 percent of the market, it grew a staggering 22.8 percent year-over-year and is heading toward a much, much bigger piece of the pie.

What DAM Manager Cares About Text? #DAMNY [Video]

Crowd by Asa Aarons.jpgNot everyone can define Digital Asset Management (DAM). But everyone who uses the web depends on it, in one way or another. As the organizers of the 11th annual DAM NY conference in New York City last week explained, DAM Managers are "firmly in the front line of 'digital first responders.'"

"Digital assets are now central in every aspect of business engagement. From product development to brand assertion to content sales, and investor relations, digital assets are out there delivering knowledge and collecting insights. Managing those digital assets well is vital for organizational success — day in and day out." -- Henry Stewart Events

DAM is all about rich media: digital photographs, animations, videos and music.

So there's no point in wasting time with words. We're going to share the experience of attending the conference on The Art and Practice of Managing Digital Media in the way DAM aficionados understand best — with sound and images.

Cloud Storage, Shadow IT and the Real Question to Ask

The battle for file sharing and storage has been happening for a while, but things started heating up when Microsoft decided to offer OneDrive for Business as a standalone service -- it took a direct hit at Box and Dropbox. The question is, does it really have an advantage?

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.

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