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Virginia Backaitis News & Analysis

If Hadoop Disappears, Will the Label on Your Distro Matter?

2014-24-October-Elephant-Family.jpgIn the next year we’ll see Hadoop disappear, so said Cloudera co-founder and chief strategy officer Mike Olson in his keynote at the O’Reilly Strata + Hadoop World conference last week.

Olson has a way of saying things that cause a reaction. Last year it was his introduction of the Enterprise Data Hub that took everyone off guard, and this year it’s the promise that the big data muncher named after an elephant in a storybook will practically vanish from the line of sight of all but a few geeks.

You’d think that if it were invisible and it was all open source then the brand of Hadoop used might not matter so much.

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.

ThoughtSpot Wants to be the Tesla of BI

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BI solutions have been around for decades, but they’ve never really taken root.

Don’t take our word for it. Consider this from Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms report. Speaking of the BI platforms, the authors wrote: “They were never fully embraced by the majority of business users, managers and analysts, primarily because most considered these too difficult to use for many analytical use cases.”

And in a world where the future belongs to those who leverage information best, this is a problem that few companies can afford to live with.

Needless to say, there are a number of BI vendors who are trying to change that. They range from established players like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and SAS to upstarts like Tableau, Birst and Qlik.

And whether they are making any headway or not, less than 25 percent of today’s enterprise workers report that they have access to the information they need, in spite of $100 billion spent by companies on BI software licenses and even more on IT services.

The software and solution provider(s) who can increase BI penetration are destined to make a mint.

That’s one of the reasons that a team of engineers and entrepreneurs from tech leaders like Facebook, Google, IBM Netezza, Nutanix and others have joined force to build a solution that workers will actually embrace.

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.

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.

Will Salesforce's New Analytics Cloud Make Waves? #DF14

2014-15-October-Bolivia-Salt-Flats.jpgData Science is hard. Ditto for Big Data. You can add analytics to that list as well.

But “difficulty” and “complexity,” as they relate to data, aren’t the bogeymen of this day and age. Partly because it’s too expensive to let them play that role when the difference between winning and losing, success and failure, on a macro scale might come down to how well you leverage your data. And partly because a new generation of startups has emerged to put a smart, user friendly face on big data analytics.

Real Bedfellows? Salesforce, Office 365, OneDrive & Power BI #DF14

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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff knew the conversation would be special, so on the opening day of Dreamforce, Salesforce’s user conference in San Francisco this week, he brought Microsoft Windows Vice President Tony Prophet on stage for a fireside chat.

After some genuine, inspirational, heart-to-heart talk about their mutual charitable work at Benioff’s Children’s Hospital at University of California San Francisco (UCSF), among other things, Benioff dropped his jaw.

"A year ago at Dreamforce we would not have thought Microsoft would have been here, on stage,” he said. “It's a shock."

And to him it certainly seemed to be, and for good reason. But are things always what they seem? 

We Weren't Hacked, Dropbox Claims

Forget the headlines you may have seen. Dropbox wasn't hacked. Seven million Dropbox accounts were not compromised.

That’s the word from the cloud-based storage service provider, which, quite frankly, doesn't seem too  worried that customers accounts have been compromised. “We have proactive measures to prevent those kinds of things,” said a company spokesperson. “And when we see suspicious activity, we automatically reset passwords.”

And in this case, the vast majority of the passwords that hackers claimed could be used to log into Dropbox accounts had expired. Any that weren’t are expired now.

Benioff Spills Beans Early: Salesforce Intros Analytics Cloud #DF14

Apparently Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff couldn’t resist. Almost 12 hours before the embargo was scheduled to lift, he announced, via Twitter, that his company is launching Salesforce Analytics Cloud, Wave. 

He clearly wanted the most enthusiastic of his 123,000 followers to check it out in the App Store, and to give reporters a heads-up that he, himself, was breaking the embargo.

The launch of Salesforce’s sixth cloud wasn’t actually a secret, anyways. Benioff had leaked that it was coming, again via Twitter, last month.

Will Cloud Foundry Be Key to Computing's History?

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“The times they are a changin’.” For anyone who’s not a fan of rock music history that quote may not resonate, but it comes from a song that Bob Dylan wrote in the 1960s. It describes a period when the world began to change how it looked at issues like women’s rights, racism, poverty and social policy.

Though the term wasn’t used at the time, "more democratized" fits the bill pretty well. More people had an opportunity to play a role in their own future. And people began to learn that when they worked together they could get more, and often more significant things, done with greater satisfaction.

It’s interesting to note that at around this same period IBM decided to unbundle the way it sold computing to the world. Rather than offer hardware, services and software exclusively in one expensive package, where you had to buy the whole thing or nothing at all, marketers "unbundled" the components and offered them for sale individually.

It was a defining moment in computing’s history that gave birth to the multibillion-dollar software and services industries. If it hadn’t happened, all the software and consulting services in the world would have been sold by three or four vendors who, let’s face it, probably wouldn’t have been able to harness the creativity that the current market provides.

Will SAP HANA + Birst Blow Salesforce and Oracle Analytics Away?

2014-09-October-jet-Pack.jpgSalesforce boss Mark Benioff better have a pretty remarkable rabbit in his hat next week when he makes a much anticipated announcement about how his company will deliver big data analytics in the cloud. If not, Birst and SAP have just partnered to steal his thunder.

Cloudera + Teradata = Big Data Love?

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Hadoop may make many promises, but Teradata delivers solutions that enterprises trust.

We’re not saying this to ruffle any feathers because it isn’t an either or game. Every now and then we see headlines that say things like “Cloudera Declares End Of Data Warehousing Era” or see pictures of tombstones with RDBMS written on them, but the reality is that a good many of Teradata’s  users ignore  them or figure that Teradata will deliver big data capabilities, in a palatable doses, when the time is right.

And that’s essentially what Teradata and Hadoop pioneer Cloudera are banging the drums about this morning as they announce an expanded partnership around technology integration, sales and support. In other words, the two companies will work together to integrate Teradata’s integrated data warehouse and Cloudera’s enterprise data hub so that customers can work with multiple data sources (Cloudera’s Enterprise Data Hub being one of them) through the Teradata Unified Data Architecture (TDA).

This means that not only will Teradata customers be able to “buy” Cloudera’s products and services from Teradata, but that they’ll be tuned to work together and mutually supported.

Syncplicity Defines File Sharing Success [Video]

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How do software vendors measure success? It depends whom you ask. Sales managers will brag about record-breaking quarters. CFOs will extol big bottom lines. Product development managers will rave about functions and features.

Jeetu Patel, general manager of EMC Syncplicity, has an entirely different answer. “Engagement,” he said. “Deep user engagement is our first and our most important metric,” he says. He’s deliberate as he speaks. “Syncplicity is not interested in selling shelfware.”

Why Alteryx Won a Whopping $60M in New Funding

Data is the currency of today’s business world, when it’s leveraged to the hilt it can separate winners from losers when all else is equal. And even when it’s not.

We’re moving into a new world in which how a company uses its information may impact the bottom line as much as the product itself.

The folks at data-blending and analytics startup Alteryx know this, so they’ve built data blending and predictive analytics tools to help their customers leverage their data to a hilt. And you won’t have to be a data scientist or a know-it-all to blow someone like Mad Money’s Jim Kramer away. Alteryx democratizes big data.

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