VMware and Collaboration: What a Long Strange Trip it’s About to Become

Brad Shimmin
Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • First VMware pulls back from an early file sharing and sync tool; then it sells its email platform to Telligent. So, what’s left for collaboration at VMware?
  • In a unique but potentially risky move, the company has thrown its enterprise social networking offering into the waiting arms of its endpoint management suite, VMware Horizon.

When I arrived at VMworld 2013 in San Francisco last week, I didn’t expect much in the way of razzle-dazzle from VMware’s End User Computing product group. This conference has historically resembled a three ring circus, spinning around the many wonders of workload virtualization. On that, the conference did not disappoint, featuring much ado over both software defined networking and hybrid cloud services. Continue reading “VMware and Collaboration: What a Long Strange Trip it’s About to Become”

The New Analytics: Do Android Devices Dream of Electric Sheep?

Brad Shimmin
Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • We are already living in the midst of some very smart mobile devices which are capable of capturing the physical, situational, operational and even emotional facets of the human machine.
  • So, why not donate this ‘big data’ to better serve ourselves and the greater good?

Being a hopeful believer in synchronicity (or at least a believer in the potential of coincidence), my ears perked up late last week when the third vendor in as many weeks mentioned the coming ‘Internet of Things’ during three seemingly unrelated discussions around analytics, collaboration and business apps.  Obviously, the idea of smart, interconnected devices has reached some sort of significant meme threshold for major firms IBM, SAP and VMware, helped no doubt by some excellent marketing from Cisco. Continue reading “The New Analytics: Do Android Devices Dream of Electric Sheep?”

SMS Texting About to Go the Way of the Dodo Bird

Brad Shimmin
Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Research firm Informa has found that traditional SMS text messaging traffic was eclipsed by chat app traffic for the first time during 2012.
  • Mobile chat apps from BlackBerry, Apple, WhatsApp and others continue to eat into carrier text messaging revenue with freely available chat services, but this emerging cacophony of services may end up costing IT pros as well.

I’m feeling a bit nostalgic today.  As I write this blog post, I think I can actually hear the sound of my old 14.4k modem crackle into life back in 1992 as it jacks into what was then the known online universe, namely CompuServe.  You see, SMS is apparently dead or at least dying.  Like the Princess phone, punch cards and of course CompuServe itself, that 20-year old bastion of sanity, of reliable, ubiquitous and above all ‘simple’ text-based communications has had its day. Continue reading “SMS Texting About to Go the Way of the Dodo Bird”

BYOA and the Enterprise Application Portal: Create Your Own Internal Company Storefront

Joel Stradling
Joel Stradling

Summary Bullets:

  • The concept of ‘consumerization of IT’ is sure to evolve naturally in your organization, as employees want to use applications of their own choosing.
  • Some policy control is essential, and a sanctioned company app store is a good idea.
  • Companies such as Intel give employees an official app store, but users can also freely consume ‘unofficial’ apps from outside this domain.

First, the Chief Information Officer had to deal with the complexities that BYOD brought up; now, there is an increasing momentum to BYOA – in other words ’bring your own application.’  Extending beyond this is the concept of an open storefront for appliances, computing power, storage, OS, databases and so on – in other words, all IT.  Service providers are on board, as evidenced by the launches of several online store initiatives: Interoute launched CloudStore, offering applications, appliances, professional services and more; Belgacom offers Becloud; KPN offers a cloud store; and Orange’s VPN Galerie offers access to many apps developed both by Orange and by independent ISVs.  It is fair to say that the concept is already mature for the SME market place, with Belgacom’s Becloud offerings tailored for the mass SME segment but with more sophistication for larger companies.  Similarly, KPN’s Open Cloud Store gives its reseller partners (ISPs, SIs and other telcos) the opportunity to sell, provision and support cloud services to the diverse Dutch SME market. Continue reading “BYOA and the Enterprise Application Portal: Create Your Own Internal Company Storefront”

Vendor Upheaval Overrated

Jerry Caron
Jerry Caron

Summary Bullets:

  • It is questionable whether vendor difficulties or management upheaval should be a major concern when making an IT buying decision.
  • Due diligence is important, but history suggests that fear-mongering is overrated.

It is debatable how much the financial or managerial state of a potential supplier should weigh on the minds of IT buyers as they consider various solutions.  Sure, on the one hand, no buyer wants to get caught out with an investment in products from a company that may not be able to support it for long.  On the other hand, how often does that actually happen? Continue reading “Vendor Upheaval Overrated”

Microsoft Jumps on the Development Fasttrack with SharePoint, but Risks Leaving Some Users Behind

Brad Shimmin
Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • The future of software development lies in the cloud, where rapid release cycles and easy upgrades are possible.
  • The present reality for many premises-centric customers, however, is much slower and more painful.

Prior to last week’s Microsoft SharePoint conference in Las Vegas, I was of the mind that faster was always better. Not just for cars and planes, but software development in particular. I felt that lengthy software development cycles were getting in the way of innovation. The prototypical 18 month product update schedule for on-premises, perpetually licensed software, where bug fixes take precident over the introduction of new features, seemed extremely antiquated when compared to current cloud-based development models capable of rushing new features to market every 90 days or less. Continue reading “Microsoft Jumps on the Development Fasttrack with SharePoint, but Risks Leaving Some Users Behind”

Networks Do Matter – Really!

Jerry Caron
Jerry Caron

Summary Bullets:              

  • Networks and networking suffer from a lack of respect that defies logic.
  • Innovation continues apace, however, the industry often fails to give these advances the attention they deserve.

Networks and the stuff that make them work are suffering from a dearth of respect to which even Rodney Dangerfield would have to defer. Sure, we all know that it is lunacy to dismiss the value of both private and public networks because the quality of experience is utterly dependent on the quality of the network connections. This is a stone-cold fact, whether we are talking about a teenager looking at YouTube videos on a smartphone, or a business running mission-critical applications.

Yet while networks and networking have never been truly glamorous, there is a perceptible downward trend in love for the stuff of connectivity. It has long been the case, for example, that the hottest, most admired Internet businesses take public and private networks for granted and ride roughshod over them with something approaching complete disdain. If Facebook is sluggish, you don’t blame Facebook, do you?. Continue reading “Networks Do Matter – Really!”

Business Video Has Yet to Go Viral

Jerry Caron
Jerry Caron

Summary Bullets:

  • The best, most urgent technologies demand to be controlled, not driven.
  • Business video can deliver enormous benefits both to change business models and to enrich collaboration, but the demand needs to be more obvious.

The use of video in business applications continues to gather momentum, and not only amongst the technology suppliers with a vested interested in promoting them. Indications are that use of room-based and desktop video solutions are increasing slowly but surely. And it’s easy to see why, as the quality, capability and—crucially—application integration are advancing in impressive fashion. Continue reading “Business Video Has Yet to Go Viral”

Enterprise Social Networking No Pie in the Sky Venture for IT Pros

Brad Shimmin
Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Current go-to-market practices within the collaboration platform marketplace call for a highly transformational experience, where the wisdom of crowds can make an organization smarter through lofty ideals such as ideation and expertise location.
  • IT professionals responsible for the purchase of such solutions hope instead for an improvement of existing collaboration tools, most notably e-mail.

In preparing some presentation materials for an upcoming webinar (later this month) on enterprise social networking, I was struck by a singular, unexpected trend – something called pragmatism.  As an industry analyst, I am used to hearing grand visions, the biggest of which is business transformation.  This is the idea that software can literally change the way a company does business, enabling it to reach into new market opportunities or to simply bring business practices back into alignment with its stated business objectives. Continue reading “Enterprise Social Networking No Pie in the Sky Venture for IT Pros”

Device Specialization Portends Further BYOD Frustration

Brad Shimmin
Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Vendors Amazon, Samsung, Google, Apple, and even Microsoft are rushing to either fill or invent gaps remaining within the iPad-dominated tablet marketplace with an array of device sizes, media capabilities and increasingly improved access to enterprise collaborative services.
  • This will leave IT professionals to expand management policies through separate, pure-play mobile management solutions. Thankfully, though collaboration players themselves are seeking to do more than simply support mobile devices.

Like many, I tuned in for a few moments to watch last Thursday’s special news conference put on by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, where the outspoken entrepreneur unveiled a new array of portable media devices, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD family of tablets. I was heartened to see the company directly responded to Google’s recent market bombshell, the Nexus 7 tablet, with a number of device sizes and features tailored to those who prize both high speed (dual-band WiFI and 4G LTE) as well as high (ok improved) audio and video fidelity. This is a good thing specifically for the Android market and broader tablet industry. At least it will make for a very interesting, more competitive holiday season, especially once Apple’s mid-sized device hits the streets. Continue reading “Device Specialization Portends Further BYOD Frustration”