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Virginia Backaitis News & Analysis

HP Vertica Makes Hadoop Purr

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Whatever has been said about the way HP runs its business, it’s time to turn the page. CEO Meg Whitman and her team certainly have. Hardware on one side of the street, big data and analytics on the other. There’s no need for one business to stifle the other. Each has the right to think for itself and to act swiftly.

HP’s Vertica team has certainly heard the message, and it hasn’t wasted any time. It's announcing Vertica for SQL on Hadoop today. It’s an analytics platform that enables customers to access and explore data residing in any of the three primary Hadoop distros — Hortonworks, MapR, Cloudera — or any combination thereof.

That’s right, the brand or brands of Hadoop you use doesn’t matter at all. And some fortune 500 companies will find this comforting. Because as one manager at a Fortune 20 company told me last week, "We’re using all three kinds of Hadoop because we don’t know which will be dominant."

What's Going On in the Marketing Suite at Alfresco?

Hats off to Sydney Sloan, who nabbed the top marketing slot at Alfresco Software. The company announced her appointment this morning though, according to her LinkedIn profile, she started her new gig last month.

She is, at least, the third female to land a role in the company’s marketing suite this year. According to their LinkedIn profiles, two of the other executives have parted ways with the company since July.

Sloan joins the open source enterprise content management vendor at an important time in its growth; it’s not only trying to gain market share but to also displace Enterprise Content Management (ECM) incumbents like EMC Documentum, Open Text, and IBM from well entrenched positions at some of the world’s largest companies.

OpenText Reimagines Information Management #OTEW2014

There’s a gap in the kinds information management solutions available to businesses today. On one side there are the heavy-hitting, feature-filled Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions that highly regulated life sciences, energy and financial industries require.

On the other side, there are Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) solutions that typically store content on public clouds. And then there’s Box, which is busily adding social and collaboration features to its EFSS service.

But until today there hasn’t been a vendor that provides a business information management service that sits on a private cloud and offers secure social and collaboration features, without any involvement from IT at all. That’s right, end users can buy OpenText’s new enterprise-grade Information Management solution, OpenText Core, with a credit card and get busy.

“It’s designed for the digital first world. It’s very intuitive, requires no learning and is focused on the business,” said Lubor Ptacek, vice president of strategic marketing, at OpenText.

Box Wraps Enterprise Files in Snazzy iOS Features

Stop the presses. Box built a new user interface (UI) for its enterprise sync and share apps. Perhaps it’s a little rude to say so, but who cares?

Those of us who have been watching the enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) market for a few years know that one vendor innovates and in the next few weeks another catches up or comes up with something compelling of their own.

New features cause us to drop our jaws at first. Then they become ordinary.

Is the Hadoop Market Ready to Go? Hortonworks Filed its IPO

OK Cloudera, you say the world’s only commercial pure Open Source Hadoop distro provider, Hortonworks, doesn’t have a sustainable business model?

Well, let’s see Wall St. thinks.

Today, the company unveiled news that it confidentially filed its S-1 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in August under the auspices of the JOBS Act. Form S-1 is used by companies planning on going public to register their securities with the SEC.

While many think that IPO’s are about founders cashing in on their blood sweat and tears, you can bet that Hortonworks is raising money for one specific reason — namely, to get the capital it needs to become the world’s predominant enterprise Hadoop provider.

Microsoft Offers Office 365 Refunds to Some iPad Users

Microsoft is making good on its promise to be more responsive to users' needs ... just not all of them. 

Last week the company released a preview version of Office for Android tablets, along with Office for iPad upgrades and new iPhone apps. Even better, it made all of the options free. You no longer need an Office 365 subscription to edit documents on mobile devices and store them in the cloud (whether it’s OneDrive or Dropbox).

But what about iPad users who enthusiastically signed up before that announcement — and are already locked in to spending $7 a month for an Office 365 subscription?

Big Data Bits: It's Free, Be Happy Edition

We’re not covering the cloud, containers or the Hadoop wars this week. Instead we’re appealing to your sense of adventure and curiosity by pointing you to some things you might want to check out, in case you missed them. Now you can have fun without spending a dime!

Want Microsoft Office on Your Mobile Devices? It's Free

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Microsoft wants Office to be at your fingertips at all times, regardless of where you are or what device you use. As a result it has been working at a furious rate to build out Office and Office 365, especially for mobile. Since the Office for iPad release last March, though, one of the glaring gaps has been the lack of an Android mobile edition.

Today Microsoft bridges that gap with the release of a preview version of Office for Android tablets, along with Office for iPad upgrades and new iPhone apps.

Will Big Data Analytics Fuel Dell's Renaissance? #DellWorld

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Michael Dell and friends are rocking Austin, Texas this week. The company best known for making “made to order” personal computers and servers has a boatload of well-established customers and the “freedom to be bold,” now that it a private company, said Michael Dell, the company’s founder and CEO.

When we hear the word Dell, the first words that come to mind are probably not big data, advanced analytics, machine learning or hybrid cloud.

But if you’re a business analyst who needs the powers of a data scientist, but doesn’t have immediate access to one …  or an enterprise that wants to leverage big data and advanced analytics to improve customer relationships and such … Dell may be your ticket. We kid you not.

Microsoft Pairs with Dropbox, Is it Game Over for the Rest?

Dropbox has something Microsoft wants — namely 300 million loyal users. That’s why the world’s leading productivity software company just struck a strategic partnership with the world’s leading file sync and share provider to make working with Dropbox and Office a seamless experience from both platforms.

That “seamless experience” already exists between Office and Microsoft One Drive, which has many of Dropbox’s capabilities. But it seems that Microsoft may be a little afraid that if working with Office and Dropbox together is too much of a hassle, users might choose some other productivity app, like Google Docs, for example, to create and edit content.

Monster Partners with Twitter to Crush LinkedIn

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Monster may be the granddaddy of online job search, but that doesn’t mean its technology is archaic or rusty. In fact, leveraging the intellectual property from two acquisitions made earlier this year (Gozaik and TalentBin) and Twitter Ads API, the company is introducing a new social recruiting solution that will leave Linkedin in the dust, or at least that’s the plan.

While Monster’s initial platform was largely about jobseekers posting their resumes and employers using search tools to find them, the company's new social recruiting platform targets workers who are most likely to meet employer criteria whether they’re looking for jobs or not.

Microsoft One-Ups Apple and Gets a Big(ger) Data Game

2014-31-October-Rollerblader.jpgYou have to love Satya Nadella’s Microsoft. He announces a vision and the company delivers, Bada Bing, Bada Band.

Nope, “Band” isn’t a typo -- we’re talking about the Microsoft Band. It went on sale yesterday and, get this, it sold out online almost immediately. A few Microsoft retail stores (that no one knows about) may still have one, at least until the mall rats start telling everyone that a new store just opened.

For now the Band is being branded as a fitness tool (we’ll get to features in a moment) but it’s really about productivity, machine learning, Cortana and data.

This baby is going to have your number(s) and has the potential to run your life.

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.)

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