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Microsoft News & Analysis

Big Data Bits: MongoDB Edition + There's a Prize Inside

2014-03-July-Prize-Inside.jpgSmall pieces loosely joined in a non-zero sum world.

Write that phrase down and wrap your brain around it because that’s how the vendors who are shaping computing’s next platform are thinking. It’s not about “I win, you lose,” but about how well we can play and build something together.

And though that idea was verbalized by Cloudera founder Mike Olson (who borrowed from David Weinbereger’s book "Small Pieces Loosely Joined") at MongoDB World this week, we got an idea of how it might play out in computing’s third era as we watched MongoDB’s customers talk about game-changing solutions they built leveraging the world’s leading NoSQL database and other leading and emerging technologies.

Microsoft Transforms Customers to Beta Testers

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Two weeks ago Microsoft promised a whole new approach to roadmaps and future releases when it announced that it would be posting regular, publicly accessible updates to the Office 365 roadmap. Transparency is the new black at Microsoft, it seems.

Today it has taken one step further and has made a public call for beta testers of it is new Office products. Not exactly what you want to be doing over the summer, you might think, but there is a couple of interesting new products in the offing that you could end up testing.

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.

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?

Google Makes it Easier to Dump Microsoft Office #io14

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If you’re one of the top cats in the Microsoft business division, the Google I/O conference must be one of the most irritating things of the year.

At I/O, Google always seems to find a way to squeeze the fun from Microsoft’s master plan to rule the business world. This year, the ‘something’ comes in the ability to edit Microsoft Office documents in Google Docs.

At face value, it doesn’t seem too serious. But when you stand back and look at it, it takes on far more significance than first impressions convey.
 

TIBCO's tibbr Integrates with SharePoint, Microsoft Outlook

social business, TIBCO's tibbr Integrates with SharePoint, Microsoft Outlook

In the world of social software integration, officials at TIBCO Software Inc. say it’s a neutral country.

"We’ve always been seen as the Switzerland of technology,” Leandro Perez, director of product marketing at Palo Alto-based TIBCO, told CMSWire.

Why? Because officials at TIBCO are confident their platform integrates with any other.

And their latest integration comes with SharePoint, whose users can leverage TIBCO’s tibbr plug-in social software collaboration platform directly within SharePoint. TIBCO officials also announced integration with Microsoft Outlook software.

“Users of SharePoint use it as a document repository,” said Srini Vennakota, director of product management at TIBCO. “And it’s very important to be able to navigate those documents and be able to share comments and see context behind those documents.”

Microsoft, Google Yield to Pressure to Improve Phone Security

Microsoft and Google will incorporate a kill switch into the next version of Windows-based and Android smartphones. The feature, which is already featured on Apple's iPhone 5, allows users to remotely wipe all data and information on the device in the event of theft.

At a press conference yesterday, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced they had reached agreements with both companies to include the feature in the next iteration of their respective operating systems.

Shocking Truths About SharePoint Disaster Recovery

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Disasters happen. Networks fail. Databases can be corrupted. Content gets deleted. And then IT steps in. Before you know it, everything is up and running once more.

Except that’s not the reality for most.

During a recent industry event, we asked a small group of SharePoint administrators about their disaster recovery plans and the tests they perform to ensure they are prepared for the worst.

The reality was shocking. Just one in four companies test their SharePoint recovery plans. Of those, 75 percent report their recovery tests failed. While few companies would ever publicly admit that level of failure, extrapolate the data. If 75 percent of tests failed for 25 percent of all users, imagine the impact of a real-life disaster.

Microsoft Releases Office 365 Roadmap For Business

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If you were one of those churlish people who replied “yeah, right ... when pigs fly” when Microsoft announced a few weeks ago that it was going to be more transparent about its release cycle for Office 365, then eat your words.

Last night and out of the blue, Microsoft published a public roadmap for business for the development of Office 365 over the coming months. While, the company admitted only some of the details of its plans are included, the level of detail it provides is impressive. It has also announced the availability of an early release program called First Release.

Why It's Intelligent for Birst to Sit on HANA

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Many things spring to mind when you think SAP HANA. You may think depth and speed. You may also think user difficulty or even lengthy deployment times.

One thing you don’t think is agility. Cloud-based business intelligence (BI) vendor Birst aims to change that with this week’s announcement that it is now possible to integrate Birst with HANA.

Microsoft Fiddles With SharePoint Pricing

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It’s hard to see the justification, but Microsoft just announced it will cut back four of its payment plans for SharePoint Online and Office Online once the plans expire at the end of June.

While Microsoft certainly can cut back on plans whenever it wants, especially when those plans expire, the lack of an explanation could leave a bad taste in the mouths of enterprise customers facing higher prices in replacement plans.

In fairness to Microsoft, it does go into some detail about how the new plans are going to operate, and also says that it will be offering “one-time price discounts for EA [Enterprise Agreement] customers to cover the additional cost associated with transitioning to the higher priced plans." 

Can Microsoft's Newest Azure Service Help Change the Future?

2014-16-June-Zoltar.jpgNo, Microsoft’s new boss, Satya Nadella, hasn’t gone loopy on you.

But today the world’s largest software provider unveils a cloud-based, big data/analytics solution to help enterprises predict the future and to react to it -- ahead of schedule -- thereby increasing the odds of achieving a desired result.

“It’s been cooking for a while,” said Eron Kelly, general manager of the company’s data platform division. 

“It,” to be more precise, is a Microsoft Azure Machine Learning service, AzureML, that helps enterprises apply advanced analytics to big data to forecast and take action on what is yet to come.

Microsoft and CXM: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

2014-12-June-Swings.jpgThere’s nothing quite so surprising in life as the about-face. You know how it is: someone or something spends years building up a certain set of expectations, and then -- seemingly out of the blue -- pivots almost completely away from those expectations to behave in a totally different manner. It’s the Beatles releasing Sergeant Pepper, Vince Vaughn playing a role other than “Vince Vaughn” or the English national team lining up in something other than a 4-4-2 (yes, that’s my timely World Cup reference for this column).

When it comes to a Customer Experience and digital marketing platform for internet sites, that’s exactly what Microsoft has done over the course of the last year. 

Why These 6 Enterprise Social Platforms Lead the Way

There are some new kids in town. And some old ones still on top.

Forrester released its first Wave for Enterprise Social Platforms in three years this month. In its second quarter  2014 report, it named IBM, Zimbra and Jive as leaders for the second time, and tossed Salesforce, Microsoft and Tibco in the top for the first time. Zimbra was formerly known as Telligent.

 IBM Connections, Salesforce Chatter and Communities, Microsoft Office 365, Zimbra Communities and Tibco tibbr were cited as leaders in the space.

Gartner had a similar take on leaders of social software.

Yammer Expands Support to 28 Languages

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Social business is only as good as the ability to communicate in the local language. 

To tackle that, Yammer is offering localized versions. The web client now supports 28 languages. In addition, its mobile apps come in 12 languages and both the iOS and Android apps have a message translator.

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