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Service-Based IT Switches Up Feds' Vendor Relationships
March 28, 2014
Cloud computing has ushered in an emphasis on service-oriented, on-demand information technology in the federal market. The shift from acquiring hard assets, such as computers, servers and even mobile devices, as well as software packages installed on those assets, has been gradual. However, the process has reached a point that it requires more attention from the vendor community.
Microsoft Launches Public Cloud in China
March 27, 2014
Microsoft is now offering general availability of its Azure cloud service in China, becoming the first multinational company to provide public cloud services in the Middle Kingdom. Microsoft is partnering with 21Vianet, a Chinese data center services provider, a marriage that likely helped appease Beijing officials. Until now, all major cloud providers in China have been Chinese.
Complicating the Cloud
March 14, 2014
Although I've been a proponent of the business benefits of migrating to the "cloud" since before the term was popularized by today's market leaders, I have to admit that the cloud industry is doing a great job of making it increasingly difficult for CIOs and other corporate decision makers to feel confident about making the move. Cloud converts aren't sure where to start.
Feds, IT Vendors See Clearer Path to the Cloud
March 13, 2014
Federal agencies have been diligently pursuing the use of cloud-based information technology for the past three years in compliance with a White House directive. As a result, federal spending on cloud-based technologies reached $2.3 billion in fiscal 2013, according to a market assessment by Deltek. That investment level could top $6 billion annually in a few years.
The Increasing Business Risk of Cloud Cyberattacks
March 10, 2014
It is hard to figure out which is growing at a faster pace -- movement to the cloud or cybercrime. Cybercrime is following the data to the cloud, according to reports, to find and steal cloud data of hotel records, credit card information, and maybe even corporate secrets and the client files of lawyers. The concept of managing data for business on a remote computer is actually 50 years old.
The Amazing Promise of HP's Impossible Turnaround
March 10, 2014
HP has made incredible progress over the last few years with Meg Whitman at the helm, which was evident at its annual analyst meeting last week. It has made major progress in the cloud, in devices, and in how the company is run. The result should be an increasingly interesting set of products and services uniquely differentiated in the market. This effort was far from easy.
Red Hat Launches a 3-fer for Enterprise BPM Users
March 04, 2014
Red Hat on Tuesday unveiled Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite 6, an open source business process management suite that combines business process management, business rules management and complex event processing technologies in a single product offering. JBoss BPM Suite 6 includes all the capabilities of the next version of Red Hat's business rules platform, JBoss BRMS 6.
Microsoft Beats the Customer-Centricity Drum at Convergence
March 04, 2014
Microsoft on Tuesday kicked off its Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2014 conference with a keynote address by Executive Vice President Kirill Tatarinov, whose running theme was the need for the companies to be customer-centric to stay competitive. "Technology has changed the social fabric, transforming how we engage, connect and interact with one another," Tatarinov said.
The End of 'Good Enough' Computing
February 26, 2014
During the heyday of the dot-com boom, then-HP CEO Carly Fiorina espoused "good enough" computing. Despite significant performance differences between x86 servers and Unix and other enterprise-class systems, the dramatically lower cost of x86-based products would cause organizations to rethink their computing priorities and adopt, buy and deploy x86 whenever and wherever possible, she maintained.
Investors Drop $350M on Dropbox
February 25, 2014
Dropbox reportedly has secured $350 million in a new round of funding to further its growth. The funding round generated at least $325 million but that figure could swell to as much as $450 million, according to documents filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It appears that $350 million already has been raised. The financing gives Dropbox a $10 billion valuation.
Microsoft Beckons New Consumers to Old Online Services
February 21, 2014
What's in a name? Microsoft is hoping more traffic to two of its online properties. The company has renamed its cloud storage service because of legal entanglements and the website for free versions of its Office productivity apps because of consumer confusion. The name changes, which took effect this week, weren't accompanied by very much in the way of feature changes.
Easing DevOps Snafus in the Cloud Era
February 21, 2014
As developers are pressured to produce mobile and distributed cloud apps ever faster and with more network unknowns, the older methods of software quality control can lack sufficient predictability. And as Agile development means faster iterations and a constant stream of updates, newer means of automated testing of the apps in near-production realism prove increasingly valuable.
Federal Cloud Efforts Bring Pennies From Heaven
February 19, 2014
U.S. government agencies have faced significant obstacles in meeting a federal mandate designed to foster the use of cloud technologies, but those challenges are unlikely to derail federal adoption of the technology, and there are indications that cloud deployments will accelerate at a much faster rate over the next few years. Cost savings have been the primary driver.
Learning the Business Value of SaaS
February 14, 2014
Computer and software companies have been battling for the hearts and minds of students for decades, and now school administrators are becoming the target of smart Software as a Service and cloud computing service providers. The most notorious examples of using classroom marketing tactics to gain a long-term strategic advantage are Apple and Google.
Has Linux Conquered the Cloud?
February 12, 2014
Linux on the desktop may have missed its adoption time line, but Linux in the cloud is a win-win proposition for the post-PC movement. Microsoft's Azure may be the only real threat to Linux cloud dominance -- all other major cloud software platforms are based on Linux and open source software. Some enterprise Linux distros are showing up as cloud-based offerings.
Red Hat and Hortonworks Cozy Up in the Cloud
February 11, 2014
Red Hat and Hortonworks on Monday announced a strategic alliance to integrate their product lines, as well as undertake joint go-to-market initiatives and offer collaborative customer support. By tightly integrating the enterprise Apache Hadoop platform with open hybrid cloud technologies, they aim to enable data-driven applications that help enterprises more quickly draw value from Big Data.
Microsoft Makes BI Power Play
February 11, 2014
Microsoft on Monday released Power BI for Office 365, a business intelligence application for its Office 365 Enterprise subscribers. Power BI packages together several features that help business users access information from such sources as Windows Azure and elsewhere. They can then use that data to generate business intelligence models, graphs, charts and other visualizations.
Google Gives Teleconferencing a Chromebox Sheen
February 07, 2014
Google is moving into a new market with the launch of its teleconferencing system, Chromebox for Business. The system uses the Chrome operating system and is built on Chrome's core tenets of simplicity, speed and security. It marries Google+ Hangouts and Google Apps to allow meeting participants to hold high-definition video meetings with document collaboration options.
The New Wireless Wave: Prices Falling, Cloud Rising
February 06, 2014
I get a kick out of reading the media coverage of news events in the wireless sector. Sometimes reporters understand what is happening -- sometimes they don't. AT&T Mobility just reduced the price of its Mobile Share Value Plan. Many wrote about it, but few really understood the issues involved. This is more about a broad industry shift than a single company's strategy.
New Asus Chromebox Sports Shiny $179 Price
February 05, 2014
Asus on Tuesday announced a new Chromebox device priced at just $179, a full $150 less than the Samsung product that's currently its principal competition. Powered by either a fourth-generation Celeron 2955U chip or an Intel Core i3, the diminutive Chrome OS device offers integrated Intel HD graphics, 2 GB or 4 GB of DDR3 memory, and HDMI and DisplayPort for dual display support.

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