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Virginia Backaitis News & Analysis

Is Box Too Distracted to Care About Deal with Oracle?

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You’d think that Aaron Levie would find it significant that Oracle has announced the integration of its Marketing Cloud with Box. But we haven’t heard a peep about it from Levie or anyone else at his Los Altos, Calif.-based Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) start-up.

Box didn’t put out a press release about the “expanded” relationship, which it did in the past with other big deals like Samsung and AT&T.

Box responded to our request for comment late today by stressing how excited everyone was about the deal, despite the notable lack of publicity about it.

The company’s communications team added that Niall Wall, senior vice president of business development at Box, had included a supporting quote in Oracle’s press release — which noted that he, too, was "excited to extend our partnership with Oracle.”

Just How Badly Does Microsoft Want Your OneDrive Biz?

While you were out last Friday night -- having drinks, watching your local high school team play football under the lights, dancing or enjoying a quiet dinner with that special someone -- Douglas Pearce was in his office at Microsoft penning a blog post.

Even the he knew the timing was weird.

“While it might seem strange to announce new features on a Friday evening,” Pearce, the group program manager for OneDrive, wrote in the company’s blog, “we’ve been listening to the commentary about storage on the new iPhones released today and we wanted to get you more storage right away.”

Pivotal Revs Its Big Data Play, But There's a Better Story

2014-23-September-Chunyun.jpgWe’ve all heard an earful about the emergence of computing’s third platform, built for a world in which big data, mobile, social, analytics and cloud change the way we live and work. And while, for many of us, the actual impact thus far has been around shopping, dating, getting movie or music suggestions, there are real world examples that are absolute game-changers for large segments of the population.

And Pivotal’s big data platform and Pivotal GemFire, in particular, is powering some of them.

Pivotal GemFire, for anyone who needs a refresher, is a distributed in-memory data management solution for enterprises creating high-scale custom applications.
 

Changes Ahead for EMC's Documentum, Syncplicity, AirWatch?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that EMC is weighing its options for a merger or the possibility of being acquired. Though seemingly serious conversations about an HP/EMC merger have fallen apart, according to the New York Times, some industry-watchers suspect they could be revived.

EMC is also reportedly talking with Dell which might be interested in buying pieces of the storage giant. Analysts have told Market Watch that Cisco or Oracle may be potential suitors as well.

Does Cloudera Need to Cool It?

2014-22-September-Elephant-Fight.jpgA staple gun or roll of masking tape might come in handy today when Amr Awadallah walks in through his company’s doors. The CTO and co-founder of Hadoop platform provider Cloudera mouthed off about the competition to the European press late last week inspiring tweets like “Elephant fight!” The elephant reference, for anyone who may not know, refers to the symbol used for Apache Open Source Hadoop.

Gimme a Break, Larry Ellison's Still Running Oracle

2014-19-September-Larry-Ellison.jpgLarry Ellison got just what he wanted. Instead of everyone criticizing his leadership when Oracle reported that it had missed both its sales and profit estimates yesterday, they’re talking about his heralded career and how he just ceded his CEO position to become the company’s CTO.

Not only is he being called a visionary and one of Technology’s foremost luminaries, but a CEO who has planned well for his succession.

All of this is true, of course, but so is something else.

The only thing that actually has changed at Oracle is a few job titles.

Want proof?

Dirty Data Be Gone, Check Out CrowdFlower

2014-17-September-Dirty-Cat.jpgTalk to one of those high priced data scientists about their data and you’ll see something quite astounding: they really, really care about it. It’s almost as if it was a garden they were tending or a scruffy, homeless kitten they’ve taken in to raise.

While the sentiment might initially sound ridiculous, it isn’t. Data fuels their work (and the insights that inform yours). And if you pair dirty or poorly labeled data with the best trained models and finest algorithms, it’s a waste of time and energy. The knowledge gleaned will be worthless, at best.

Is IBM's Watson Analytics All That?

2014-17-September-Computer-Watson.jpgIf we got a dollar every time someone told us that they’re democratizing big data, we’d have a hundred dollar bills, and that’s just so far this week.

So when an IBM representative sent a note saying that it was making Watson Analytics available to everyday business users to let them ask questions in plain language and get big data informed answers back in short order, our hearts didn’t patter too much. Even when they said we could try it for free.

After all, we’ve sat side by side, live and in person, with vendors who make big, big data analytics promises. And when we’ve said “Show me, turn me into a data scientist, big data analyst, heck, even novice user,” they haven’t been able to do it.

And maybe it’s us, but more than likely, here’s the deal -- in most cases, these vendors don’t include people like us (non-data workers) as citizens of their democratic, big data republics. And that’s fine, as long as we define that from the start.

Which Matters More: Content Storage or Access?

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Remember when we thought that the leading Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) providers were going to obliterate each other in order to dominate the sector?

It may not look like that anymore. They might become frenemies — or at least coexist within the enterprise instead.

This morning Palo Alto, Calif.-based Accellion, which Gartner places in the EFSS leader’s quadrant, announces that it has built integrations with its competitors Box and Dropbox.

Is Box Writing Enterprise Content Management's Obituary?

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By now it should be clear that Box doesn’t see itself as a simple Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) service. “We certainly do that,” Whitney Bouck, Box’s SVP of Global Marketing told an audience of the faithful at BoxWorks, the company’s annual user conference earlier this month.

“But that’s not where the value is,” she added. “That’s table stakes.”

So while most EFSS vendors aim to provide the best, most secure, relevant and user-friendly file-sharing experience on the planet, that’s where Box says its journey begins rather than ends.

Microsoft Ups Its OneDrive Play

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Microsoft wants be the place for everything in your life, so it's offering you “larger, faster, easier-to-use” features, just as quickly as it possibly can.

Late yesterday Justin Moore, Microsoft’s  group manager for OneDrive, announced that OneDrive now supports uploads of files of up to 10 GB using the desktop apps for Windows and Mac, all of the mobile apps, and the OneDrive website.

“It’s the number one featured request,” wrote Moore in the announcement. And, almost needless to say, the hope is that OneDrive users won’t stray if they know they’re being heard and getting (almost) everything that they want in short order.

Alteryx and Tableau Redefine Analytics #data14

Yesterday’s BI tools just don’t cut it. In today’s world the margin of time between data and decision needs to be instantaneous, or as close to that as we can get. The longer it takes to process information and glean insight from it, the more you can lose.

Data can do more than help companies win sales. It can also save lives.

But it can only do this effectively if a data scientist or data analyst can process all of the information, gather all of the necessary data and make it useful, or present it to decision makers visually so that a viz can speak for the data, tell the story and make decision making easier.

Is Tableau a Canvas for Innovation? #data14

2014-10-September-Tableau.jpgUnleash creativity and the world will never be the same.

The words could belong to Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Pablo Picasso -- but they were coined by the CEO of Tableau, a fast growing software company. It trades on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol DATA.

Addressing a sold out audience at Tableau’s user conference being held in Seattle this week, CEO Christian Chabot proclaimed that the next wave of computing will be less about automating the routine and more about discovering and leveraging “the tremendous creative potential of our minds.”

Why Dell Just Unveiled the Dell Business Phone

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It’s not April and this isn’t a joke. Dell introduced the Dell Business Phone just minutes ago.

It’s interesting news to begin with, but the fact that it comes on the same day that VMWare’s AirWatch makes its Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) announcements, at its annual user conference, makes it even more so.

Never mind the fact that Apple is expected to be unveiling its new iPhones later today. We doubt that those will have an immediate enterprise twist, especially because the IBM + Apple news around mobility in the enterprise was made last July.

Is Dell’s timing a coincidence? We think so. It’s hard to imagine why it would want to risk its vitally important news to get lost in the crowd. So what card is it playing?

DataStax Gets Cash to Leave Oracle in the Dust

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Ask DataStax co-founders Jonathan Ellis and Matt Pfeil who their competition is and they won’t put a single NoSQL database provider on their list.

“It’s Oracle,” said Ellis. “We are displacing it as fast as we can,” adds Pfeil.

The pair is sure that the database that Larry Ellison helped build 37 years ago can’t handle today’s workloads. It can take Oracle five to seven minutes to execute the same query that DataStax’s enterprise version of Cassandra can answer in milliseconds, according to the pair.

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