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Virginia Backaitis News & Analysis

Big Data is Here: How About Actionable Insights? [Infographic]

By now everyone from your kid’s baseball coach to the Avon lady representative can give you an earful about how (big) data and analytics lead to better decisions. But if that’s the case, why are so many of us seeing so many lousy offers?

A few years ago we might have been able to argue that retailers, and other marketers, thought that big data was just a bunch of hype that didn’t actually lead to better returns. But we’ve come a long way since then.

Hey NetApp & Syncplicity: Look What EMC and Egnyte are Doing

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Based on what the tech press said, present company included, you’d think every enterprise on the planet is rushing to lob its files into the heavens.

But that’s not the case, said Bart Giordano, Vice President of Business Development at Egnyte, which provides enterprise file sharing solutions built from the cloud down.

Instead, he said, many companies are looking at mixed solutions, meaning that they’ll keep their most private and strategic files behind the firewall, other files in the cloud, and still others will take advantage of hybrid architectures.

Not only that, but enterprises will also be able to leverage their existing storage investments without sacrifice.

What Happens to Documentum If Elliott Mgmt. Breaks-Up EMC?

If you follow EMC investment news, you’ve seen the headlines.

The Wall Street Journal ran with “Activist Investor Pushes EMC to Break Up”. Bloomberg news headlinedwith “EMC Said to Be Targeted for Breakup by Activist Elliott.” Business Insider went with “An Activist Investor Takes Aim At A Multi-Billion Dollar Tech Company.”

We could go on, but the point is already well made. Elliott Management, an activist hedge fund which generates a 14.6 percent net compound annual return for its investors, compared to 10.9 percent for the S&P 500, has loaded up on EMC shares and wants to split the “EMC Federation” (made up of EMC,VMWare and Pivotal) up into parts.

EMC Syncplicity Redefines Work for the Mobile-First Era

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If there’s anything EMC Syncplicity General Manager Jeetu Patel is more passionate about than security and functionality of his company’s Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) solution, it’s Syncplicity’s app.

“Have you seen it?” he asked the last time his team unveiled one.

He was as enthusiastic as a dad whose kid had just hit his first home run.

And though Patel’s passion goes a long way, it’s the app itself that’s the real story. You don’t wish that you were using a hip, consumer solution when you work with it. Instead you wish that the app you use to share photos, files, and messages with your friends and family was more like Syncplicity. And that’s exactly what Patel wants.

Getting Big Data Smart with Nara Logics, Solix, Actian

“Big Data” and “Small Returns” are two labels you won’t find together in marketing literature all that often. But the reality is that’s exactly what many companies are finding as they venture onto the pastures of computing’s third platform.

The role of technology companies -- when they're not innovating -- is to make their clients’ journeys less painful and more valuable. We’re spotlighting three very different companies, Solix, Nara Logics and Actian, that seem to be rising to that challenge.

Big Data Bits: Big Data Empowered

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The analysts say that big data is maturing, that we’re no longer in an investigative mode and that instead we’re getting busy. Big vendors are buying start-ups to extend capabilities to their customers, we’re starting to run Hadoop on the Cloud, we’re using new databases to power activities we wouldn’t have dreamed of in the past, and so on. Want to know more? Read on … 

Pivotal, Hortonworks and a New Hadoop Management Standard?

Gartner analyst Merv Adrian wrote an interesting blog post earlier this year titled “Hadoop is in the Eye of the Beholder.” In it, he posed an interesting question. What is Hadoop?

We’re not going to rehash his argument.  It’s a fine and even funny post. You should read it. But if you don’t, suffice it to say that he concluded that it’s not a question that’s easily answered. As a result, if you’re an enterprise that is “doing Hadoop,” “buying Hadoop,” or “shopping for Hadoop,” what exactly are you talking about?

Microsoft Kicks Oracle's Big Data Butt

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison must be feeling the heat, Forbes reports that the world’s highest paid CEO lost $1.9 billion of his wealth last year.

There, there Larry, no need for crocodile tears, you’ve got your very own Hawaiian island, an America’s Cup winning yacht, a 23 acre estate that is worth $200 million, as well as a dozen other homes in places like Malibu, Calif., Lake Tahoe, Newport, R.I. and Kyoto, Japan. Never mind the fleet of exotic cars and the golf tournament you own.

It’s no wonder that your company isn’t the market-maker it once was. With all those toys and an estimated $49 billion of wealth, who wouldn’t be just a little bit distracted?

It's Not Just the Money, Honey: HP and Hortonworks' $50M Marriage

2014-25-July-Just-Married.jpgHortonworks announced yesterday that it has won a $50 million investment from HP.

But it wasn’t billed that way by either company. Instead the press release read “HP and Hortonworks Deepen Relationship focused on Enterprise Hadoop.”

The reason it was framed that way is pretty simple: HP needs a powerful data engine for HAVEn, its “open” big data architecture that incorporates Hadoop, Autonomy, Vertica, Enterprise security and a number of apps that can be built on the platform. As part of the relationship, Vertica will soon be certified by Hortonworks as YARN-ready. YARN is a key component of Apache Hadoop 2.

Hortonworks, for its part, wants to spread and wed its flavor of completely Open Source Hadoop as widely and as deeply as possible, and being closely integrated into HP’s popular analytics stack, as well as some of its other offerings, is a good way to do that.

But that’s not all.

Dropbox for Business Raises Its Sync and Share Game

Dropbox isn’t particularly interested in what Box, Syncplicity, Citrix or any other of the 100 plus companies who are fighting for their share of the enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) market are up to.

“We’re the market leader, we don’t worry about what others do,” said Ilya Fushman, head of product, Dropbox for Business. Instead, he said, the company looks at the features and functions its customers request and builds and delivers those that the make the most sense.

And with 80,000 companies paying to use Dropbox for Business (Box claims 34,000 in the S-1 it filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission), it’s hard to argue with the strategy. It’s clear some buyers opt for the experience Dropbox has to offer vs. who Gartner rates higher in its Magic Quadrant (MQ).

Who Will Become a Gartner MQ EFSS Challenger in 2015?

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When Gartner released its inaugural Magic Quadrant for the Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) market, it predicted that by 2017 less than 10 percent of today's destination vendors would offer stand-alone products. That means that as many as 80 of those who are offering services today (there are well over 120), will have been absorbed into adjacent markets, such as collaboration, enterprise content management (ECM), mobility and storage.

What it didn’t articulate as clearly, as we see it, is how quickly the vendors mentioned in the study are raising their games, we reported on four different instances of this in the past week alone.

Who will succeed? Who will be acquired? And who will fade away? 

Good Bet or Huge Gamble? Microsoft's Vision for the Future

2014-17-July-Nadella-Speech.jpgSure the Apple IBM partnership is a big deal, but it may not impact your work and your life as much as the vision that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella unveiled at the company’s Worldwide Partners Conference (WPC) yesterday.

You might not have heard much about it, but that’s not because it’s not worthwhile or important -- it’s just that tech news is generally aimed at enterprises, businesses and consumers, not partners (namely, other software companies, systems integrators, product vendors, consulting firms and so on).

But, if you want to know what the future looks like, partners’ conferences are exactly where you get a sneak peek. After all, this is where tech evangelists learn their scripts and where solution providers receive introductions to the kinds of thinking and training they’ll needs to deliver on those promises.

File Sync and Share Vendors Innovate, Businesses Win

Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) vendors keep making news. And regardless of how brilliant some of it is, we can’t devote a single article to each new development that emerges every day. So while we covered Box earlier today, there are other notable developments that we don’t want you to miss.

Box Takes Storage Limits Off the Table

The file storage wars are over, at least for businesses leveraging Box’s Enterprise Content Collaboration platform.

“It’s no longer about how much content you can store, but what you can do with it,” says Aaron Levie, Box’s co-founder and CEO.

Truth be told, it was always about that, but file storage wasn’t always dirt cheap. Now it is. Levie says that the price has dropped by a factor of over 20,000 over the past two decades.
 

About Time! Microsoft Office is Coming to Android Tablets

When Satya Nadella took the reins as Microsoft’s CEO, he set a new vision for the company. Microsoft would now be designing, developing and delivering solutions for a Mobile First, Cloud First world. 

This is a world where there are multiple types of mobile devices that run on multiple operating systems. To succeed in this world, as a software provider, you have to play nicely with all of them and in all of them. Nadella knows this.

July 11 Update: Microsoft will now be adding OneNote to Android devices as well. The company launched the Android beta program today. This falls in line nicely with Nadella’s impassioned memo to employees yesterday (which was really meant to customers and stockholders) which said:

Our passion is to enable people to thrive in this mobile-first and cloud-first world. We have described ourselves as a 'devices and services' company. While the devices and services description was helpful in starting our transformation, we now need to hone in on our unique strategy."

The strategy he’s referring to is one of digital work and life experiences, which would, no doubt, be better with One Note on all your devices.

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