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Virginia Backaitis News & Analysis

EMC Should Sell Documentum, HP Should Buy It

EMC made big news yesterday when it announced its hybrid cloud play. Headlines raced across the wires saying things like “EMC Frantically Pivots Toward the Cloud” and “EMC Moves Fast To Retain Relevance And to Survive - More Acquisitions Announced.” This isn’t us making the drama. The eye-grabbers come from TechCrunch and Forbes respectively.

Not one of the articles mentioned Documentum. In fact, it doesn’t seem to play a role in EMC’s survival. And this isn’t just what the lack of media attention to EMC’s Enterprise Content Management play suggests. In EMC’s quarterly call with investors last week, neither EMC CEO Joe Tucci nor his lieutenants (David Goulden, CEO of EMC Information Infrastructure and CFO Zane Rowe) uttered the name of its spawn at all.

EMC Gets a Hybrid Cloud Play, Will Anyone Buy?

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EMC has been blasting its trumpets about the cloud for at least four years. It might even be longer, as anyone who has been to an EMC World from 2010 onward can testify. And frankly, even most Las Vegas locals probably equate EMC with cloud because banners have been plastered around the airport, the Sands Convention Center and even the strip for a week each May since 2011, when the company holds its annual user conference.

And while all that’s fine and good, ask the average IT pro what EMC does and they’ll tell you it’s a storage company.

Guess the Winner of the Enterprise File Sync and Share Game

Who will win the enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) game? It’s certainly not going to be the vendor who offers the most amount of free storage.

Just today, Microsoft took storage caps off the table for Office 365 Home, Personal and University customers. And that unlimited OneDrive storage will be listed on the Office 365 for Business roadmap in the next few days. (They can’t offer unlimited storage right away because they have promised to give their corporate clients a heads-up before making any policy changes.)

What it Takes to Become Google's No. 2 Exec

2014-27_15-0ctober-two-llamas.jpgHow does it feel to be Google’s second most powerful executive?

We’ll give Sundar Pichai a few weeks before we ask him that question, after all, Google CEO Larry Page only handed him keys to the company’s product empire late Friday afternoon. This according to Liz Gannes and Kara Swisher of Re/code.

Pichai, whom many of us don’t yet know much about, was already in charge of Android, Chrome and Google Apps. With the promotion Search, Maps, Google Plus, Commerce, Ad Products and Infrastructure fall under his purview as well.

It’s a big job, much of which Google CEO Larry Page was handling until now. But because Page now needs to focus on the company’s “bigger picture,” he’s counting on the ten year Google vet to run the operations of the business.
 

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.

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