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Entries in Cloud Computing (29)

Monday
Dec312012

Oracle Acquires Eloqua 

Oracle Corp has agreed to buy Eloqua, makers of cloud-based marketing automation software, for about $810 million as it seeks to expand its cloud presence. This attempt by Oracle to stifle competition with Salesforce has sparked a series of acquisitions by companies like IBM Inc's acquisition of Kenexa and SAP AG's purchase of SuccessFactors. Also, Oracle, which came late to cloud computing, purchased RightNow Technologies for $1.5 billion last year. 

"The acquisition of Eloqua will add a leading market automation solution to Oracle's strong Salesforce automation products and the recently acquired RightNow call center automation solution,.." said Nomura Equity Research analysts."...We would expect Oracle to continue to make acquisitions in this space, to bolster its Fusion Applications suite and respond to competitive pressure in the applications market from SAP and Salesforce.com" Nomura said.

It's important to note that Oracle's CEO Larry Ellison mocked cloud computing in 2008 as "complete gibberish".  Knowing Mr. Ellison though, I think he was mocking what marketeers were deeming cloud computing. He is a pretty smart guy in my opinion...

Monday
Dec102012

2013 Predictions On The Data Industry 

It has become a tradition that at the end of each year, predictions of what will happen the following year. I've been thinking about this and would like to share my top 3 predictions in the world of data!

  • Cloud is the New Norm: we’ve all seen how Salesforce.com seems to do no wrong and has absolutely eradicated on-premise/legacy systems in a lot of organizations.  However, the focus has been all but on IT governance.  Because businesses want to leverage IT and don’t want it to slow them down, Cloud has effectively fulfilled their needs. However, a gap in the IT governance has yet to be filled by the Cloud. 2013 will be the year for Salesforce to do just that!
  • “Social Media” Disillusions: Companies have expressed great emphasis on social media given how powerful a tool it has become. However, many companies need to re-evaluate their strategies and learn how to leverage it effectively. Recently, IBM has reported that Twitter has contributed absolutely ZERO of the Black Friday traffic! This all suggests that “social” will be short-lived.
  • The CMO Takes Over the CIO: I realize this is merely a prediction, but there’s no doubt that recent debates have emerged about the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) spending more time and money on Information Technology than the CIO (Chief Information Officer). This should not come as a surprise, IT buyers this decade have become much more intelligent than ever before.

This concludes my predictions for 2013, feel free to share yours in the comments below!

Thursday
Oct182012

"The Cloud Must Go On"

Salesforce and Online Marketing:

During Dreamforce ’12 sessions titled, “How Salesforce does Online Marketing” were held by 3 of the top online marketers in Salesforce. As indicated by most industry watchers, Salesforce doesn’t look for an easy win, but rather their approach is driven by informed decision making and team empowerment. Salesforce’s online marketing team, designed to take advantage of current events, is also swift and lean. When Marc Benioff’s keynote at Oracle Openworld was canceled a day before he was due to go on, Salesforce launched a vicious campaign named, “The Cloud Must Go On." Benioff’s staff scrambled to stage the talk anyway at a hotel across the street from the Oracle Openworld site. Standing on the street handing out flyers advertising the speech, the staff set up a live streaming of the video on Facebook. Within 20 hours of the rejection email, the staff was able to hijack sponsored tweets and hashtags of the OpenWorld event. Google ads were seen covering results related to Oracle searches. They also leveraged LinkedIn and YouTube.

Marc Benioff and Salesforce wanted everybody to know that you can cancel the keynote, but you can’t stop Marc. The result of this nimble marketing campaign was that Salesforce controlled almost half of the conversation around Oracle’s OpenWorld. Nicely played!

Thursday
Jun072012

Major Improvements to DupeCatcher 

You guys know how much I love Symphonic Source's free deduplication tool, DupeCatcher, so it should come as no surprise to learn that I'm really excited about the major imrpovements they've just rolled out! Read more about DupeCatcher's improvements below:

From SFGate.com -


DupeCatcher (real-time duplicate prevention application) just got even better. With latest improvements, DupeCatcher is now more robust.

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) June 06, 2012

Symphonic Source Inc., a leading provider of powerful and affordable salesforce.com data management software, today unveiled some major improvements to DupeCatcher, the company's real-time salesforce.com data deduplication tool.

DupeCatcher has quickly become a favorite for salesforce.com administrators and consultants around the world to flag/block duplicate records at the point-of-entry. DupeCatcher is a preventative deduplication tool that compliments Symphonic Source's main salesforce.com deduplication product Cloudingo (scans/cleans out the entire database).

Symphonic Source tools and services are used by more than 7,600 salesforce.com administrators worldwide to get rid of duplicate records and keep them out of salesforce.com.. Even though DupeCatcher is free, it is still 100% supported by Symphonic Source. Our support team is one of the best in the industry and that shines through in the DupeCatcher user reviews.

The latest improvements to DupeCatcher are centered around optimization with respect to large record sets inside Salesforce. In addition, the DupeCatcher team has made enhancements to error handling and reporting. We continue to get such great feedback from our users that we continue make improvements.

DupeCatcher focuses on the preventative aspect of duplicate data. This is one of the of the most important aspects of any data quality management plan. Cloudingo then works in conjunction with DupeCatcher to actually analyze and clean out the "dirty data" that already exists in the system. This allows system administrators and or marketing managers to not only understand their data but plan and set goals for the future.

"So much of what we do here at Symphonic Source is focused on the best practices of data quality management. We've taken our years of experience and created software to automate the steps that facilitate success and growth within a data-driven culture. Our team has a passion for data and we believe that corporate data is an organizational asset. Our customers share that passion. Anything we can do to both protect and enrich data will help our customers see and plan for the road ahead."

-Lars Nielsen, CEO, Symphonic Source.

About Symphonic Source
Symphonic Source provides powerful and affordable salesforce.com data management software to customers worldwide -- from Fortune 500 enterprises to small businesses and non-profits. We work extremely hard to stay as close to our customers as possible. Our customers are direct participants in shaping the future of our development efforts. As a company, our focus has always been on creating easy-to-use products.

Cloudingo and DupeCatcher are trademarks or registered trademarks of Symphonic Source, Inc.. Salesforce and AppExchange are registered trademarks of salesforce.com, Inc.. All other company and product names mentioned are used only for identification purposes and may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

 

 

Friday
Mar302012

Should you use multiple cloud providers?

 

 The task of choosing one cloud provider can seem daunting enough with the options growing exponentially. So why would you want to make the process more difficult by using multiple cloud providers? Well, there are a few reasons that I thought I'd explore today. In fact, diversifying your cloud providers may actually turn out to be very beneficial. 

 

  • The first and probably most important reason you would want to use multiple providers is if your business has international relationships. Sometimes information cannot cross borders so it's best to have international providers to compensate for situations like these. 
  • It can be beneficial to have a public and private cloud in special circumstances. For instance, if an important customer requires the extra security that may be provided by a private cloud.
  • If you're a growing company, chances are you will be expanding and need space to host a growing amount of information. It's much easier to have a back up provider to tap into when extra space is necessary then have to scramble for one last minute. I've often seen people that start out with one, expand to a second and then find that the second was better. They then switch and the original becomes their backup site.
  • And finally, different suppliers just offer different things. Each one has their own strengths and weaknesses and thus using multiple allows for the most cohesive and well-rounded experience. 

 

In short, using multiple cloud providers can be beneficial to many businesses. 

Friday
Mar092012

Public vs. Private Cloud 

Choices, choices, choices. As more and more people move their business into the cloud, they find that they are faced with numerous decisions. One of the biggest choices facing those looking to move their business into the cloud is whether to use a public or private cloud provider. Each one has its own pros and cons and is better suited to different business environments. Choosing a cloud provider isn't a simple decision so today I thought I'd break down the basics of each and what kind of business might benefit from each.

 

What are the public and private clouds?

Before we delve into the benefits of each type of cloud let's first examine what we even mean by public and private cloud. The public cloud, as the name suggests, offer applications, storage and other services to the general public by a service provider. Many of these services are free or have a pay-pre-usage model. Microsoft and Google are probably the biggest examples of the public clouds. 

The private cloud, in contrast to its public counterpart, isn't available to the public but is built specifically for a single organization to fit its needs. It may be managed internally or by a third-party and be hosted internally or externally. 

So, public or private?

Well, it depends. Let's examine the benefits of each type of provider. 

Pros of Private Cloud 

 

  • Security: The security risks associated with the private cloud tend to be less prominent than those of the public cloud. The location of the data is available to the service owner unlike with the public cloud.
  • Costs: The initial costs of the private cloud tend to be higher than the public cloud but decline as the time of usage increases. 
  • Data Storage: Larger amounts of data can be stored in the private cloud for a lower cost. 

 

Pros of Public Cloud

 

  • Costs: The initial costs of the public cloud are lower but tend to go up over time.
  • Data Storage: Many different types of data can be stored in the public cloud however large amounts stored for long periods tend to get pricey. 
  • Accessibility: The public cloud can be accessed from a number of location and a number of ways unlike the private which can only be reached from one source.
  • Availability: The public cloud has so far proven to be more reliable and available thus drawing many users. 

 

I think that this quote summarizes the benefits of each type of cloud very succinctly. 

 

In two statements on public as well as private cloud architecture, Vanessa Alvarez, a Frost & Sullivan analyst on cloud computing said that: “Private clouds will make the most money and drive the most revenue,” whereas “Public clouds can offer some level of security and reliability, but private gives you that comfy feeling.”

 

 

Saturday
Feb182012

Tech giants accept cloud!

Sometime later this year, technology giants Apple and Microsoft are planning to unleash new operating systems on the world. Exciting news! As a MacBook user, I know a great deal more about Apple's newest OS X upgrade, Mountain Lion, then Microsoft's latest offering, Windows 8. Really, the only thing I know about Windows 8 is that Microsoft is planning to do away with the Start button, an iconic element of Windows. 

Apple's latest release plans to bring many elements of iOS, its mobile operating system, to its computers and bring a larger focus to the cloud. So today I thought I'd educate myself about Windows 8 and also compare how each company is planning on integrating and capitalizing on the cloud in their latest offerings. 

OS X Mountain Lion

Mountain Lion seems like a merging of the existing OS X and iOS even though Apple representatives deny that they are attempting to merge the two. Mountain Lion will include a number of features present on iOS currently such as: the Launchpad, the App Store, full-screen mode, AirPlay, Messages, Notes, Reminders and many more. At the same time Apple is leaving many elements alone. The Dock, menu bar, windows and desktop remain largely the same. 

One interesting feature of Mountain Lion is the prominence of the cloud. iCloud is being placed in a central position in the new operating system. Upon initially starting Mountain Lion, a user is asked to input his or her iCloud credentials and if he or she doesn't have them, the option to create an account is offered. With the role of iCloud becoming greater in OS X the need for applications previously only available for iOS compatible systems also arises. And Apple is certainly going to provide them. 

Overall, Apple isn't making drastic change just merely merging its two highly successful operating systems together for personal computers. The changes Apple is undertaking show that the company understands the greater emphasis being placed on the personal cloud. 

Windows 8

Maybe Apple isn't making any radical changes but Windows certainly is. The company has used the same interface for its operating system since 1995 when the world was introduced to key elements (such as the Start menu) that have defined Windows. Windows 7 was a slight step away from the existing UI. While Apple created an entirely new OS for its mobile devices, Microsoft simple fused the already existing elements of some of its programs to create Metro, the UI of its mobile devices. Windows 8 will include the Metro interface, a photo of which can be seen below.

The approaches taken by both businesses are so different it's almost hard to compare the two operating systems directly. While they are both becomingly increasingly mobilized, they are taking very different steps to get there. This is why I wanted to compare both systems on their cloud capabilities. Apple's giving a greater role to iCloud but what is Microsoft doing? 

With this update, Microsoft seems to be bettering the functionailty of SkyDrive, the company's free online storage and file-sharing service, and integrating it into Windows 8. The new SkyDrive will give users the ability to share individual documents, do drag-and-drop uploads and manage their files more efficiently. The Windows 8 integration will allow users to sync files much more easily. 

In conclusion, the cloud is growing. Maybe it's not growing as quickly as mobile technology but the fact that these tech giants are integrating the cloud into their latest offerings suggests that its certainly only going to get bigger from here. 

 


Friday
Feb172012

Public vs. Private Cloud

If you're moving over to the cloud, you might have a hard time deciding whether to invest in the public or private cloud. Well, this infographic from The Cloud Inforgraphic describes the differences between both better than I ever could. Hopefully you'll find it useful!

Sunday
Jan222012

So, what's up with "Big Data?"

I throw around a lot of terms on this blog and was thinking that it might be a good idea to define and discuss their relevance more in-depth. Since I talked about one of the most used concept last time (and essentially let Salesforce define it for me), cloud computing, I thought I'd focus on another buzzword today. "Big Data." What is it exactly, what does it refer to and what is its significance?

What is it?

As its name suggests, the term refers to large amounts of data. I've read somewhere before that we create something like 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. It's big, certainly. The majority of this data was created in just the last few years thus giving rise to a phrase to describe it. 

What does it mean today?

Well, that's a tough one. The term has encountered many evolutions since being originally defined and it's hard to pin point just one succinct definition. Beyond its fairly literal meaning, the phrase has also come to describe the tools and process a company uses to manage very large amounts of data. This includes terabytes, petabytes or even numbers beyond in some cases. Big data has become important not just due to the large amounts of data customers produce but also as a way to comply with government regulations in certain cases. As digital data gains more importance in legal matters thus arises the need to save all digital data, emails, documents and other forms of electronic communication, in case a firm faces any kind of litigation. 

Why does it matter? 

Well that answer's not so simple. It'll take more than a paragraph to describe why Big Data is important to a business and what can be gained from it. As I was writing this article I was thinking that it might be more fitting to discuss how a business can successfully leverage Big Data in its own blogpost. Now that you have a basic understanding of what Big Data is exactly, we can examine what do with it.