Archive for the ‘enterprise’ tag
I need to lighten things up a bit with all this Oracle brouhaha.
Oracle acquired Xsigo recently. I wrote about the acquisition and how Oracle will lose as IT gets virtualized. Oracle’s Bob Evans came back with his own special brand of attack. Yesterday I responded with my post: Open? Yeah, Sure. Sorry Oracle, You’re Still Full Of It.
Last night, Michael Krigsman said in the comments to my post something I take to heart. Here’s what he said:
These kind of backs and forths are a bit silly, but of course there are multiple perspectives here. Still, I like the human drama because that’s what makes enterprise software interesting and accessible to a broader audience. For many people, this stuff is highly arcane, so the human dimension is beneficial even if the substance is a bit… well, like catcalling.
Despite the differences in position, I urge the parties to remain friendly and not resort to personal attacks and innuendo of any kind.
Right on, Mike!
But oh my word, we need some more of this excitement in the enterprise world. And so for that, I thank Bob for busting things out a bit. He said I made baseless claims about the Oracle cloud. I called him the king’s blogger. But Oracle is not the only one doing things that I question. Yes, they’re the worst of the crowd but not the only ones who do things that have me thinking WTF?
The big enterprise guys need more accountability. It is my job to call things out. So, with that in mind, here we go – The Friday WTF Awards:
- SAP – can you please make HANA something the makers of the world can use? You’re a contender to be one of the enterprise giants that leap frogs over the rest. Let’s see some something beautiful that any maker can create with all that data.
- OpenStack — let’s be real. You’re an industry coalition. You have lots of developers and they make lots of contributions. They need a bigger voice. Transparency is an issue. We need more light into the workings of the organization.
- Stop the madness, IBM. Your PureSystems technology is not a platform as a service. Focus on the real issues your tech solves. Cloudwashing doesn’t look good.
- Citrix — where is Cloudstack? Hello? Anyone home?
- Amazon Web Services — when will you start talking with the community about your APIs? You could release them under Creative Commons. That would allow for standardization. You blessed Eucalyptus because it is only enterprise focussed but not CloudStack. How come? Is it because they also support service providers who could be AWS competitors?
- VMware — lots of rhetoric about the Amazon cloud. No more FUD, please.
- EMC — building out a data center with your big storage machines is not cloud. Call it hybrid, label it private – all that is fine. But in the end — you’re selling your customers new storage systems. They’re not elastic. They’re not multi-tenant. It’s just shiny new hardware for the data center.
- Microsoft and the curious case of Office 365. Why not open more APIs?
- CA — their FUD about the cloud is deafening.
- Infosys – Charges of visa abuse? What’s up with that?
- In the spirit of Spinal Tap, this list goes to 11. Cloud Analysts: we need more analysis, not marketing. Let’s see it.
Have a good weekend, folks.
(Image courtesy of WTF with Marc Maron)
RIM is wounded, and predators are starting to pick up the scent.
RIM has attracted the attention of IBM, which may be interested in buying RIM’s Enterprise Services unit, a pair of sources told Bloomberg.
Enterprise Services is RIM’s bread-and-butter. The link between BlackBerry devices and the software that manages them, the unit generated at least $4.1 billion in revenue last year. It would take a pretty compelling offer from IBM for RIM to part with the unit — which is why the sale seems so unlikely.
(And if you doubt the importance of that $4.1 billion number, consider that it’s almost the exact value of RIM’s recent market cap estimates. So, yeah — Enterprise Services is pretty important.)
RIM, naturally, isn’t saying much about the report. ”We don’t comment on rumors and speculation,” Nick Manning, a company spokesman, told VentureBeat this morning. IBM also gave a “no comment” on the rumors.
While there’s very little to go on in the report, we do know that RIM CEO Thorstein Heins is extremely unlikely to go for the deal like this — at least at this point. Right now RIM is more interested in seeing how well its BlackBerry 10 devices do next year, so don’t expect any high-profile sells anytime soon.
Photo: Shutterstock/Joanne Weston
Filed under: mobile
With the consumerization of enterprise and BYOD in full swing, big companies are being pressed into finding better ways to give their customers (and their employees) access to a robust yet user-friendly mobile experience — across mobile platforms. Looking to bring a little fresh air to the enterprise mobile market, former SAP, Oracle and Siebel Systems execs teamed up to launch AnyPresence in March, a cloud-based platform that enables businesses to build, customize and deploy their own HTML5, iOS and Android mobile apps without the high costs and additional manpower.
With its foundation in place, AnyPresence is now turning its attention to beefing up its backend services. To do that, the startup has closed a $5.5 million series B financing round — led by Grotech Ventures (the lead investors in LivingSocial), with contribution from existing investor Kinetic Ventures. The new capital brings the startup’s total investment to $7.5 million.
While the market is already brimming with DIY mobile platforms, be they open mobile frameworks, SMB platforms or enterprise mobile platforms. AnyPresence wants to remove the friction traditionally associated with solutions that fall into the latter category, like high cost and technical expertise, while offering the best of enterprise-grade features, like integration into source systems, extensibility, cloud data management, and so on. Then combine that with the ease of use and consume feel native to SMB-focused mobile platforms.
At the outset, the co-founders aimed to target customers like utilities providers, second-tier telecoms and regional banks — the types of businesses that need robust app-building and management solutions but don’t have the time or the budget for enterprise-grade platforms.
Co-founder and CMO Richard Mendis tells us that, so far, they’ve seen promising adoption from clients and, a bit surprising for them (but perhaps not given the macro picture), more interest for those producing slightly more consumer-facing apps, signing up clients in healthcare, communications and services industries. The CMO tells us that, as a result, the company has already exceeded its revenue projections for the year and hitting these benchmarks was the validation it needed to close its new series B round.
Mendis said that the company has been pleased to find that there’s plenty of demand for mid-sized enterprise DIY mobile platforms, as companies are eager to adopt solutions that offer the kind of cool features Parse and StackMob offer for mobile backends — but that many end up shying away from because they’re multitenant, with limited database and on-premise deployment options.
The other part of the AnyPresence approach that differentiates them from others in the market is that it doesn’t require users to install any software of SDKs to get started — even if they want 100 percent native iOS or Android apps. They also give enterprise customers the ability to publish to the cloud or host on-premise if needed, take advantage of pre-built mobile templates to create industry-specific apps that connect to their IT environment and enable further customization of the app outside of the AnyPresence platform.
The startup plans to use its new funding to beef up its product development, sales and development teams, with particular focus on the latter, as it plans to add an enterprise backend-as-a-service (MBaaS?) piece to its platform in Q4 of this year. The co-founder said that, so far, this has been one of the most popular features — the ability to customize the front or backend code of the app that was generated by AnyPresence — while other solutions tend to lock customers in rather than enable this kind of customization.
Companies will be able to build entire mobile apps in AnyPresence, or use its backend services while custom-building the app’s interface in another tool while using its SDKs. This will be similar in concept to Parse, he says, but with added enterprise features like a dedicated server stack and the option to deploy the run-time server on-premise. And, while the startup currently generates the backend mobile app server in Ruby On Rails, based on demand, it plans to support a Java version by the end of the year.
Data scientists are like the supermodels or football players of the enterprise world: highly in-demand and earning sky-high salaries in their prime, but insecure about their future prospects.
Business Intelligence provider SiSense found that 59 percent of data scientists move on after less than six years in the industry. About half of them reported they were seriously concerned about their job security, despite an escalating salary.
The survey found that the annual earnings of a data professional can range from an average of $55,000 for a data analyst to an average of $132,000 for a vice president of analytics. Almost 80 percent reported that they expected a salary increase in 2013.
Data scientists have been touted as the elite group that are posed to capitalize on the hype surrounding Big Data. A recent report by consulting firm, McKinsey & Co, found that there is a major, global shortage of data scientists. Those with the skills to take a large data-set, model it and glean insights, are proving impossibly difficult to recruit.
Still, the glamour and mystique that surrounds the data scientist is relatively recent, and it’s easy to understand their misgivings about the future. As Irfan Khan, Sybase’s CTO explains in ITWorld, the newly-minted data scientist’s role will be jeopardy if companies don’t hire the right management team.
The study also found that data scientists tend to work in groups of 5 or more. This is a practice that is routinely encouraged by Silicon Valley’s tech companies: LinkedIn is known for its team, formerly head up by D.J. Patil (featured above), that developed features like “People You May Know” and “Jobs You May be Interested in.” Facebook’s pack of 12 researchers is led by “in-house sociologist” Cameron Marlow.
The survey results are based on responses from over 400 data scientists and analysts from around the world, collected online in July 2012.
Top image via Joi
Filed under: enterprise
You hear this debate a lot about what services people prefer inside the enterprise world. Consumer services are competing with more enterprise focused apps. Dropbox is wildly popular for its simple, elegant capability to easily move files from your desktop or through third-party services. Box is enjoying increasing popularity for its collaboration features. Evernote has legions of users who depend on it as a way to keep notes that can be tagged and synced with your smartphone.
Teambox calls its service a collaboration dashboard and the term seems to fit. Here’s a look at the variety of third-party services that work on its platform:
Teambox has project management apps such as a Gantt chart and time tracking. Today it has added a new service called Teambox Notes that is designed for large groups. It has a drag and drop interface to take note and collaborate outside of the email inbox.
Teambox roots as a task management system is evident in its chat feature, which allows end users to quickly create conversations between teams to assign tasks and due dates to projects enabling real-time collaboration.
But what I find most compelling is the combination of a collaboration platform with the capability to pull in Salesforce.com and any variety of outside apps.
It’s this open platform that I find sorely missing from Microsoft Office 365. Microsoft does have some limited integrations but for the most part it serves as a Microsoft ecosystem more than anything else.
The Teambox service is proving to have its own appeal. The company has 900 paying customers and more than 300,000 users. It is one of the top rated apps in the Google Apps Marketplace.
I like Teambox but at first glance I think the trick will be convincing the market that at its core it has world-class collaboration capabilities with the added benefit of pulling in tools like Evernote, Box and Dropbox.
Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: Getting Dev Team Mindshare For Your SEO Projects Getting in the development schedule in an enterprise environment can be one of the most challenging parts of the…
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Getting in the development schedule in an enterprise environment can be one of the most challenging parts of the job for an SEO professional. The dev team has so many different people coming at them with projects to do, and prioritizing those projects can be a mess. Add to that the frustrating…
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
The growing BYOD (“bring your own device”) trend, that’s seeing ever more businesspeople use their iPhones and iPads for work, has left IT managers scrambling to address the resulting security and support issues. But with Microsoft getting ready to launch Windows 8, the OS that will power Windows-based tablets such as Microsoft’s own Surface, that could soon change.
BYOD is an IT challenge that had its origin in RIM’s inability to develop a credible enterprise class alternative to the iPhone. As company executives began adopting iPhones for their personal use, the legacy nature of the Blackberry became intolerable, and they began to demand that IT make the iPhone an option in the corporate environment. Apple cooperated by providing its email clients with the ability to natively interface to Microsoft’s Exchange email server, IT required that the employee surrender some control of their device, and equilibrium was reestablished.
The initial introduction of the iPad did not disrupt the equilibrium. Based on the same software as the iPhone, corporate email connectivity came with the device out of the box. It was the growing pool of iPad applications and the accompanying user experience that changed the game.
Business executives, smitten with the almost sublime nature of the user experience associated with a well written iPad application, began to contemplate how this device could be used to enhance their business. And this is where IT’s challenge really ramped up. Line of business applications that could expose internal data through a relatively unmanaged device brought the full basket of normal IT concerns to the stage. Security, manageability, governance, and support are not in the genes of a consumer device. And even if they were, there is still the need to build parallel infrastructure to address these requirements, as the traditional IT players like Microsoft, IBM, and HP were not ready to incorporate these devices into their existing management products.
The ideal solution for IT is the ability to deploy devices with an equivalent user experience to the iPad that is natively manageable and can leverage existing development skills to build these newly envisioned line of business applications. And that’s exactly where Windows-based tablets come in.
Microsoft’s enterprise pedigree positions it perfectly to offer an enterprise-ready alternative to the opportunity the iPad has opened up. The company has spent over 15 years learning the enterprise. Servers on the backend. Clients on the desktop. Management and deployment servers around them. And an entire ecosystem that fills in the gaps between their products. Windows 8 running on tablets, bringing the full updated — and some say improved — user experience that, if secure and managed, will give IT everything it needs and business leadership everything it wants.
The company’s heavy investment in the form of Windows RT for economical tablets, Windows 8 for consumer PCs, and an application store that can also be leveraged by IT to deploy internal applications further strengthens its position.
Business leaders have one core concern: Will investing in this technology improve our financial performance? The original decision to let the iPhone into the enterprise was driven by the productivity gap between existing smartphones and the iPhone. The iPad’s position today is rooted in its status as the best user experience that money can buy. With Windows 8 and its Metro-driven user experience stepping onto the stage accompanied by the ability to support all existing applications and ITs ability to manage it, Apple is finally facing a real competitor.
Mark Eisenberg is director at Fino, a business technology and consulting firm that provides cloud and mobile application design and development services to Fortune 1000 organizations. The company is headquartered in New York City.
[Top image credit: Vasilchenko Nikita/Shutterstock]
Yammer, the enterprise social networking company that was recently bought by Microsoft for $1.2 billion, is getting ready to add a new instant messaging feature called Online Now to its main service, enabling users to chat to each other in real time. Online Now will sit alongside existing services that let users post status updates and media as well as send private messages.
The feature was spotted earlier today by TNW, and we have now confirmed exactly what is happening with Yammer itself, including the name: “We will be announcing the chat feature through a press release in a couple of weeks as part of our summer release,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch.
If you are one of Yammer’s five million users and haven’t spotted an option to chat already, that’s because the chat that is coming out now is part of Yammer’s testing process. Yammer says that it has been implementing different versions of the upcoming User Interface (UI) and randomly displaying them to our users to test it.
“Analytics will then show how users are adopting the various feature versions and we will make the decision based on those results so we can then roll out the best possible product to our customers,” the spokesperson said.
The addition of a new chat feature demonstrates that Yammer is wasting no time sitting on its $1.2 billion laurels post acquisition by Microsoft. But nor is it rolling out products that point to it integrating with its new parent and its sister divisions so quickly, either.
“This is a Yammer developed feature. You will be able to use it within your normal Yammer environment,” the spokesperson said. Meaning: no Skype integration, no Sharepoint integration, and if anything a wider enhancement of Yammer’s own functionality and feature set.
One possibility for how Online Now will work — although, again, this may change before the final product comes out — is that it will feature as an additional tab in the lower right hand corner of the main Yammer communication screen, not unlike Facebook’s own instant messaging feature.
Cindy Alvarez, director of user experience at Yammer, posted a picture earlier this month on Yammer’s customer forums showing what the service looked like in testing mode:
Now all we need is some auto-refreshing action on the main feed and we might just be in business.
Dropbox, the fast-growing private company that lets you share documents easily online, continues to experience significant security breaches in its service — announcing this time that some user usernames and passwords had been stolen, and their accounts accessed.
It also said that an account of one of its employees had been broken into, and that it believes the username and passwords were stolen from a document accessed from that account.
The news follows two other high-profile instances of security problems at the company. A year ago, Dropbox disclosed that all of its users’ files were publicly accessible for nearly four hours due to a bug in the company’s authentication mechanism. During that time, anyone could access a Dropbox account without using the correct password. And in April, a security hole was discovered in Dropbox’s iOS app, which allowed anyone with physical access to your phone to copy your login credentials — because it stored user login information in unencrypted text files.
It’s a shame, because Dropbox has had amazing momentum, in an increasingly competitive space. Dropbox boasts more than 50 million users, double what it had last year, but reports like this could slow it down.
Larger, more conservative companies are more likely to say no to adopting it. Even before the breach last year, the company had announced that it was dedicated to security, so it’s getting hard to take the company seriously. With this third breach, Dropbox has become a problem child among chief information officers. Already, at our CloudBeat 2011 event last year, Dropbox’s big security snafu in June of that year was one of the most cited examples of the security risks in moving to the cloud. These CIOs are busy scrutinizing cloud services, to make sure they are safe for adoption. And by and large, CIOs are giving the greenlight to applications that are served online, especially if they play safely, and behind the firewall.
To be sure, Dropbox has been pretty clear that it intends to remain focused on viral adoption by consumers, and that it isn’t focused on the enterprise. At the same time, though, it’s also obvious that many users are adopting Dropbox for use in the workplace (we use Dropbox at VentureBeat, among several other products, including the more enterprise-focused Box, for example). And there’s also probably a trojan-horse strategy by Dropbox, to want to sneak into the enterprise by way of avid users who lobby their employers to be able to use it.
Regarding the latest breach, the company said someone had stolen usernames and passwords and used them to sign in to a “small number of Dropbox accounts.” The company said it has contacted these users and helped them to secure their accounts. The company had launched investigations into the accounts because of reports about spam being received by some of these users. The company said it has put “additional controls in place to help make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Here’s the full statement:
A couple weeks ago, we started getting emails from some users about spam they were receiving at email addresses used only for Dropbox. We’ve been working hard to get to the bottom of this, and want to give you an update.
Our investigation found that usernames and passwords recently stolen from other websites were used to sign in to a small number of Dropbox accounts. We’ve contacted these users and have helped them protect their accounts.
A stolen password was also used to access an employee Dropbox account containing a project document with user email addresses. We believe this improper access is what led to the spam. We’re sorry about this, and have put additional controls in place to help make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Keeping Dropbox secure is at the heart of what we do, and we’re taking steps to improve the safety of your Dropbox even if your password is stolen, including:
- Two-factor authentication, a way to optionally require two proofs of identity (such as your password and a temporary code sent to your phone) when signing in. (Coming in a few weeks)
- New automated mechanisms to help identify suspicious activity. We’ll continue to add more of these over time.
- A new page that lets you examine all active logins to your account.
- In some cases, we may require you to change your password. (For example, if it’s commonly used or hasn’t been changed in a long time)
At the same time, we strongly recommend you improve your online safety by setting a unique password for each website you use. Though it’s easy to reuse the same password on different websites, this means if any one site is compromised, all your accounts are at risk. Tools like 1Password can help you manage strong passwords across multiple sites.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re committed to keeping your Dropbox safe and will continue to monitor this situation carefully.