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Virginia Backaitis News & Analysis

Bah Humbug: Could Your Holiday Emails Be Hurting You?

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Skip me if you’re sending out holiday emails, especially if we’ve never met. What you consider to be Seasons Greetings, I consider to be SPAM. And I have 512 such pieces in my inbox. I could have a part-time holiday job just opening them all.

And when I do open some of them and try to extend greetings of the season to you in return (it’s the least I can do, isn’t it?), the “To” box auto-fills itself with things like “customerservice@xxx.com”, no-reply@xxx.com, info@xxx.com and so on. It makes me feel so special, I can’t tell you.  What were you hoping to achieve?

Is Teradata Buying its Way into Big Data Leadership?

Teradata is serious about big data. In fact, when it comes to Hadoop, it wants to be the one-stop shop for its large customer base. Aside from making its existing products more powerful and more capable, it recently strengthened its support partnerships with independent Hadoop distro providers MapR and Cloudera, and signaled a continued commitment to Hortonworks, which in now publicly traded as Nasdaq:HDP.

Today the company announced that it has purchase RainStor, a provider of patented Enterprise archiving solutions around Hadoop.

Huddle Gets $51M to Prove Its Value is Collaboration, Not Files

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Huddle founders Andy McLoughlin and Alastair Mitchell have something that Box CEO Aaron Levie badly wants. And it’s not the $51 million in new funding they announced yesterday, a car with a steering wheel on the right side or even a British accent.

It’s having his company recognized as an Enterprise Content Collaboration platform provider or, in other words, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that goes beyond file sharing and not only gets the right information to the right people but also gives them the tools they need to achieve their goals, all in one place.

Levie didn’t tell us this, of course.  But Box, in its S-1, which was updated this week, calls itself an “a cloud-based, mobile-optimized Enterprise Content Collaboration platform that enables organizations of all sizes to easily and securely manage their content and collaborate internally and externally”. Ask the modern worker what Box is, and if they’re familiar with it, they’ll tell you it’s the Dropbox for business, which may be a whole other problem.

Adobe Buys Fotolia to Build One Stop Shop for Creatives

If you want to know how to keep a secret, bury it in a quarterly earnings report. That’s how much of the world learned that Adobe has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Fotolia, a leading marketplace for stock content, for approximately $800 million. 

Hortonworks IPO: Why It Has to Happen Tomorrow

2014-11-December-Wall-Street.jpgYou can bet that the folks at Hortonworks’ won’t sleep much tonight, instead they’ll likely be replaying and rethinking every move they’ve made as a private company and every aspect of their strategy. As the youngest of the three primary, independent, commercial Hadoop distribution providers, they’ve gone from saying that they wouldn’t be talking about an IPO anytime soon, to suggesting that it might happen in 2015, to secretly filing in August, to unveiling the filing last month, to setting the date for the actual offering -- it’s tomorrow.

What’s the sudden hurry?

As Gartner analyst Merv Adrian puts it, “There might not be a better time.”

And, at least in the near term, he may have a point. Unless it’s possible to go back in time, that is.

OpenText Buys Actuate: Beginning of a New Era for ECM?

When content management was introduced in the 1980s, it was cutting-edge, even bleeding edge and promised to transform the ways in which we work and do business. Getting “the right information, to the right people at the right time” was its promise. Much of that its promise has been realized, at least in terms of what we thought of as “information.”

But the world, back then, wasn’t digitized the way it is today. Data was far more static and when we heard “tsunami,” we thought of a dangerous wave of water rather than a wave of information that held the potential for tremendous opportunity. How times have changed.

And for content management vendors, today’s world of big data, small data and analytics opens the door for transformation. By harnessing their existing offerings and leveraging 3rd platform tools, enterprises will be able to engage with their customers and employees in more valuable ways — whether they ‘re pushing the right offerings to customers more intelligently, learning more about which products and services to put to market, becoming alert to customer problems before they become big problems and working more intelligently and more collaboratively with employees and business partners.

Pantheon Hires a Heavy Hitter to Lead Its Marketing

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Tectonic plates are shifting in the CMS market and at Pantheon, a start-up that came to market just over two years ago and is actively positioning itself to be the leader. And in the increasingly open source area of the web content management, you can’t to do that without a heavy hitter who knows both marketing and how to engage with developers.

That’s why Matt Stodolnic, a Pivotal, VMWare and SpringSource vet, is a perfect fit for Panthoen. He has joined the company as its senior vice president of marketing and alliances.

Hortonworks IPO: 9 Days and Counting

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Wow, that was fast.

Less than a month after Hortonworks unveiled the news that it confidentially filed its S-1 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, it has set its expected IPO date for Dec. 12, according to Nasdaq. The offer amount is $96.6 million, with prices for individual shares set at $12 to $14. A total of six million shares will be made available.

Hortonworks is the first independent, commercial Hadoop provider to go public. Some believe that its IPO will be a bellwether for the $50.2 billion data-related segments (data management and data storage) of the enterprise software market.

Psst, Microsoft: Look What Gmail Users Can Do Now

Google and Microsoft are duking it out over the cloud and they’re both pretty sure that providing services around content is key. And while some may think that it’s a foregone conclusion that the Redmond, Wash. Software giant will dominate  because  of its Office franchise, CEO Satya Nadella certainly isn’t acting like it’s a done deal.

Consider all that he’s done to drive traffic to Office 365 and One Drive of late, including its recent acquisition of mobile email app Acompli.

It’s not just that, but Microsoft also seems to want steer crowds away from Google which is probably why it struck a deal with Dropbox for file storage in the cloud. And Dropbox, for its part, isn’t making things any easier for Google Drive product managers. Earlier today it officially opened up its Dropbox for Business API, a move that will make it simple for app developers to build solutions that businesses want on its platform.

Does Enterprise Communication Need Yet Another Player?

We need to change the way we communicate and collaborate around work. Email is dead. Ditto for never-ending meetings and conference calls that force you to be in a particular place and at a particular time for way too long.

The future of work is mobile, social, open, collaborative and agile. How many times have we heard that said? And how many products claim that they can deliver on that?

Look Who Just Became the Dropbox for Business

Every Enterprise File Sync and Share vendor that is trying to be Dropbox for Business can now take a seat because the actual Dropbox for Business has you beat.

With more than 300 million individual users, Dropbox has become pervasive in our lives, and we’re no more likely to refrain from using it on the job than we are to leave our mobile devices at home when we go to work.

We’d like to do this with our employer’s blessing, of course, and come tomorrow we’ll be one step closer to being able to do so. That’s because Dropbox is opening its API to developers to create enterprise applications and apps on top of the Dropbox for Business platform.

451 Research's Scoop on Enterprise File Sync and Share

Surprise.

That’s what you’ll find in 451 Research’s latest survey on the Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) market.

“The research presented in this and subsequent reports will be divisive -- welcomed and indeed lauded by some, but very uncomfortable reading for others,” writes analyst Alan Pelz-Sharpe, author of the study. 

Box Cops to Bad IPO Timing, It's Time to Unbox

Aaron Levie finally admits it -- the timing for Box’s IPO filing was bad.

“What is obvious is that we should not have filed when we did,” he told Bloomberg West’s Emily Chang. And though he points to the “bit of market correction” that was happening with SaaS and other high growth tech stocks at the time as the reason, he seems to have sobered up a bit about his company’s “horrid financials” and the fact that he’s had to “deal with a lot of distraction because of the filing.”

Hats off to Levie for stepping up to the plate and dealing with the market on the market’s terms. It’s one of the first times we’ve seen him put aside his charm and sense of humor to show that he can trudge a rocky path and not just a yellow brick road.

MapR, Teradata Ink Deal, Bad Timing for Hortonworks?

Teradata now has a flavor of Hadoop for everyone.

This morning Hadoop distro provider MapR and Teradata, the big data analytics and marketing applications company, announced that they have expanded their partnership. What it comes down to, in the simplest possible terms, is that the companies will work together to integrate and co-develop their joint products and to create a unified go to market strategy,

Teradata will also be able to resell MapR software, professional services, and provide customer support.

In other words, Teradata will be the face of MapR to enterprises who use, or want to use, both technologies.

Citrix Snowden-Proofs Enterprise Files in The Cloud

Some Enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) vendors don’t do much to appease IT managers who are so nervous about putting Enterprise information in the cloud that they simply don’t do it. Never mind that their potential customers have good reason to do the opposite, given the high operating expenses and substandard user experiences that on premises solutions provide.

The cloud-only vendors figure that the advantages of SaaS solutions, time and the emergence of the mobile-first, cloud-first world will eventually appease the fears of would-be customers who have been spooked by the likes of NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden and the cold, hard proof that governments can (and do) tap into service provider data—triggering questions and conversations about data privacy, service provider trust, metadata, blind subpoenas, the NSA and the US Patriot Act.

Citrix isn’t one of those kinds of EFSS providers; instead, they take their reluctant customer concerns very seriously and work day and night to develop solutions that will make enterprise managers confident about storing, sharing and collaborating on files in the cloud.

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