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Virginia Backaitis News & Analysis

On the Eve of Box's IPO, Dropbox Raises Its Enterprise Play

While the battle between BYOD and company issued mobile devices is pretty much over (BYOD takes it all), the competition between Enterprise File Sync & Share providers seems to be getting more and more intense.

It’s a bit unfortunate for Aaron Levie’s once red hot Box which is trying to go public (Quartz reports that this is supposed to happen within weeks) because its competitors, and would be competitors, keep upping their plays, adding appealing end-user facing features as well as safeguards to suit the CIO’s fancy.

Consider that last week Salesforce’s Mark Benioff and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced plansfor a tight integration between their products (including EFSS), and that SAP and OpenText made arrangements to offer TempoBox to certain mutual customers for free.

Add to that Microsoft’s recent announcement that it’s increasing OneDrive for Business storage from 25GB to 1TB per user.  Levie finds himself in a crowded field (Apple may join soon) that includes not only the 100+ existing players (see our recent EFSS update), but also 300 million user Dropbox that seems to be getting serious about the Enterprise.

Hadoop's Holy Moment #hadoopsummit

Thumbnail image for 2014-5-June-hadoop's-holy-moment.jpg.jpgLook, I’ll be the first to admit that the so-called “Hadoop Wars” can be kind of interesting. Who isn’t going to click on a link that says something like “The Hadoop Wars: Cloudera and Hortonworks' Death Match.”

Or read beyond this first sentence:

“Another day, another set of choice words hurled at one Hadoop vendor by another. This time, it’s Hortonworks doing the hurling, claiming that Cloudera’s business model isn’t designed for today’s big data market.”

But sometimes, when we get so busy consuming this kind of content, we fail to remember the other story -- how Hadoop came to be and why, as a technology, it’s been able to evolve so quickly and become one of the major catalysts ushering in computing’s third age.

What's Cooler Than Beats Music Using MapR? #HadoopSummit

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We all know streaming music is a big thing — people no longer get excited about building playlists or hitting shuffle on their iPods only to hear the same tired tunes over and over again.

Today we want to listen to crowd-sourced, curated music that’s selected specifically for us. And services that can provide that need to process and crunch lots of data (demographic, psychographic, mobile, social …), big data and to then apply predictive analytics to determine what might delight us.

While providers like Spotify and Pandora have been doing that for quite some time, Beats Music recently came out of nowhere and disrupted the scene — so much so that Apple bought it (and Beats Electronics) from Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre.

Now we’re not going to tell you that either of those music moguls knows a lot about big data (they could, but we sort of doubt it). But we do know this: Beats Music uses MapR for its big data needs.

Oh My Hadoop! Cloudera Buys Big Data Encryption Specialist Gazzang

Critics who scream that Hadoop platforms lack security can now begin to calm down. Last month Hortonworks bought XA Secure, a data company that provides a comprehensive security suite for Apache Hadoop.

This morning Cloudera announced that it has acquired big data security expert Gazzang to “dramatically” strengthen its security offerings, which already includes Apache Sentry.

Actian to Cloudera: Eat My Dust

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Until now, we thought the Hadoop wars were only between the distro providers. But that’s no longer the case. It seems other ecosystem vendors who provide ancillary solutions are coming after Cloudera as well, claiming to have solutions that outperform it.

One such vendor, Actian, maintains its SQL on Hadoop solution outperforms Cloudera Impala, big time.

Cha-Ching: SAP Introduces SAP Simple Finance #SapphireNow

Simple Finance. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? 

Not according to SAP. They’ve worked hard to make their finance solutions simple to use, real time, SAP HANA-powered and cloud based. 

This morning, SAP CEO Bill McDermott announced his organization's new finance solution during his keynote address at SAPPHIRE NOW, SAP's user conference being held in Orlando, Fla.

Now You Can Now Have SAP Fiori for Free #SapphireNow

customer experience, Hey SAP User, You Can Now Have SAP Fiori for Free

Even Steve Lucas, president of SAP Platform Solutions, admits his company’s traditional user interfaces are ugly — for this day and age — and that the company's user experiences leave a lot to be desired.

Instead of being colorful, “delightful” and productivity-oriented, they come in and act in on something Lucas describes as “a palette of grays”.

And they aren't anywhere as exciting as those 50 shades you may envision.

This isn’t an experience that modern users who expect consumer-like feel and function want. 

SAP has a product, SAP Fiori, that changes all of that. But it has come at a price that many enterprises haven’t been willing or able to pay.

This has caused quite a bit of anger. 

Is Former SAP Visionary Vishal Sikka Headed for Infosys?

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Ever since former SAP visionary and executive board member Vishal Sikka abruptly walked off of his job at the world’s third largest software company last month, industry watchers have been wondering what he’ll do next.

“I’m going to Disney World,” would have been an unlikely answer, as his former employer is holding its user conference, Sapphire Now, in Orlando, Fla. this week.

Teradata's Data Lake has the Ease of a Beach #HadoopSummit

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Teradata users love Teradata.

It’s a relationship that’s rarely found in the world of enterprise technology. And quite frankly, until you talk to enough of Teradata’s customers, it’s hard to believe it exists.

But last year at Teradata’s Partners user conference we witnessed it — not by talking to users the company had hand-picked for us to meet, but from conversations with the guys or gals who stood in front or behind us as we waited in lines for our morning joe, on the many long walks from the hotel to the conference center and at lunch, when we sat to chow-down with strangers. The folks we spoke to, almost without exception, professed their love for Teradata.

And we’re telling you this because it matters. A lot.

SAP Invites Customers, Partners to Dance on its Industry Cloud

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The days of tired, old legacy applications developed by Oracle and loved by few will soon be over. At least that’s what SAP has in mind.

And in the age of cloud, collaboration and app stores, does it make sense for a software company to sit in some ivory tower building solutions that tell you how to do your job? Or would it be smarter for a vendor that has deep industry and development experience to partner with customers and developers to build products and services that delight?

The answer, we think, is plain to anyone; yet it’s not an approach that many software or solution vendors have taken.

At least until now.

SAP Turns the Page, But We've Already Read the Next Chapter

CEOs Larry Ellison and Marc Benioff, of Oracle and Salesforce, respectively, may not be feeling anxious this week. But maybe they should be. After all, there’s a calm that neither being the world’s highest paid CEO nor Satya Nadella’s newest BFF can bring.

Especially when the competition is about to change the game on you. And that’s precisely what will be happening at Sapphire Now, SAP’s user conference in Orlando, Fla. this week.

Granted, the fact that something big is about to happen at SAP shouldn’t come as a surprise. There have been plenty of clues, including the notable departure of visionary Vishal Sikka. And now another senior exec, Peter Graf, announced he has parted ways with the company, too.

Graph Databases Unlock Goldmines, Neo4j is the Key

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If you haven’t yet heard of graph databases, get ready. They’re the next hot ticket in a world consumed by big data, analytics and the Internet of Things.

They do things other databases do not do well, like help us discover insights via relationships —between people, places or things.

They don’t as much crunch data as help the world make sense of data. “It’s an amazing concept,” said Philip Rathle, vice president of products at Neo Technology, the commercial company behind open source graph database, Neo4j.

And he doesn’t seem to be the only one who thinks so. The graph database has the highest rate of growth of any kind of database in the world.

Sync This, Share That: What's Up in EFSS

We know that we don’t have to tell you that the day when every worker at your company stores his content in the cloud isn’t too far away. In fact, at some enterprises, it’s already here.

A study conducted by Forrester Research reveals that 70 percent of employees use some kind of enterprise file sync and sharing (EFSS) service every single day — and that nearly one in five use it hourly.

Needless to say, this presents an unprecedented opportunity for vendors, which might well explain why the market is so dense. According to some estimates there are as many as 1,000 of them vying for our business.

Try as we might, there’s no way we can keep up with even a tenth of them. It seems that every time we write an article about EFSS, we get three to five vendors we’ve never heard of pitch us on stories.

Much as we might like to give you the skinny on each, it’s just not feasible. So what we’re going to do instead is keep you up to date on those that we feel are market makers or are doing something unique and especially interesting.

Syncplicity Challenge: Give Up Your PC and Mac for 30 Days

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Everyone’s talking about the Mobile First, Cloud First world. In fact, shortly after being named CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella announced that from here on out Microsoft would become a Mobile First, Cloud First company.

Want to bet how many people at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash. still spend most of their work time on PC’s?

Rather than count, let’s just say most.

That being said, we do know of a company that has challenged its employees to go Mobile Only for 30 days. And not only did the employees agree to try Syncplicity's Go Lite Challenge: They also achieved their goal.

Hey Mom and Pop: You Can Use Documentum, Too

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OK, maybe we’re exaggerating a bit with the headline. The folks at the corner store aren’t likely to be implementing Documentum anytime soon. But midmarket companies in regulated industries, which have found the Rolls Royce of ECM systems out of reach in the past, may very well be able to afford to reap the its benefits today.

Earlier this month EMC IIG (Information Intelligence Group) introduced two new cloud-based offerings based on their best in class Documentum solutions for energy and engineering and life sciences. They are pre-packaged, preconfigured, cloud-based offerings for the midmarket.

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