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DISCLAIMER: This is long and the opinions are mine. I’ve written a good bit here about the various ways Microsoft and Citrix overlap in the hypervisor space, ranging from topics like shared code base through competition for the desktop space. To me, these two players have always been the underdogs battling for the right to go head-to-head against VMware in the main enterprise (and now cloud) virtual data center event. I’ve long said here that I think Microsoft is in the best position to make that move, but to be honest, Citrix currently has better technology. In other words, Microsoft has a better strategic play, Citrix a better tactical play. The announcements that came of out Synergy last week prove that. Citrix knows what it’s doing and they know how to build virtualization products to compete with VMware. As has been asked many times before, here and elsewhere:... (more)

If You Talk the Talk, You Better Walk the Walk

Businesses large and small are jumping into a social media presence these days. It’s a great opportunity for real communication with your audience.  If you walk the walk. But what happens when the talk isn’t the walk?  When a customer pushes past the social persona. Do you walk the walk - or do you crash and burn? Two cases in point. CASE ONE: The Social Media Guru Take a certain large corp that's into social media big time. This company is a rare deal - a successful business in an industry that is going down fast. Well, I had a nightmare customer experience with my brand new, high dollar product from this same company.  One of the worst. Trust me, that says a lot. A friend suggested I ping the social media exec with my story - to give him the feedback and let him work his magic. My initial reaction was that my complaining to a big corp wasn't going to matter. I'm ... (more)

The Five Characteristics of Cloud Computing

In the previous article Cloud Equals SaaS, Grid, Utility Computing, Hosting...? I made the following statement: "SaaS is one of the three possible Cloud Computing delivery modes; however, to be considered Cloud Computing, any of those delivery modes must have certain specific characteristics" So, in this article we will look at those specific characteristics that define exactly what is Cloud Computing, so that next time you will be able to evaluate if a specific offer is truly Cloud Computing, or simply a pre-existing offering that has the Cloud label slapped on it. We can state that Cloud Computing allows business to increase IT capacity (or add capabilities) on the fly and in real time (Internet-enabled), without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel or licensing new software, and as a pay-per-use service. However, the above definition is not comple... (more)

Oracle’s Summit with EC Apparently Fails

Oracle co-president Safra Catz met with the European Commission’s antitrust boss Neelie Kroes to try to negotiate Oracle’s way out from under the EC’s investigation into the anti-competitive issues of Oracle acquiring the European-created open source database MySQL if it takes over Sun. Apparently she failed. “Kroes expressed her disappointment that Oracle failed to produce, despite repeated requests, either hard evidence that there were no competition problems or a proposal for a remedy to the competition concerns identified by the commission,” EC spokesman Jonathan Todd said Wednesday according to Bloomberg. “Kroes reiterated to Catz the commission’s willingness to move quickly towards a decision but underlined that a rapid solution lies in Oracle’s hands.” “Either they have to give us the information to prove that our competition concerns are not well founded or... (more)

EMC Reports Third-Quarter 2009 Financial Results

EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC), the world leader in information infrastructure solutions, today reported third-quarter 2009 consolidated revenue that exceeded company expectations for the quarter. The company achieved third-quarter revenue of $3.52 billion, an increase of 8% compared with the second quarter of 2009. The results exceeded previous company outlook of 4% to 5% sequential revenue growth. Third-quarter GAAP net income attributable to EMC reached $298.2 million, an increase of 45% sequentially and GAAP diluted earnings per share were $0.14, an increase of 40% sequentially. Third-quarter 2009 non-GAAP(1) net income attributable to EMC increased 34% sequentially, reaching $480.3 million or $0.23 per diluted share, an increase of 28% sequentially. Third-quarter consolidated revenue of $3.52 billion declined 5% compared with the year-ago period. Third-quarter 20... (more)

Private Clouds: Old Wine in a New Bottle

I recently read a Bank of America Merrill Lynch report about cloud computing, and they described private clouds as "old wine in a new bottle." I think they nailed it! The report points out that a typical private cloud set-up looks much the same as the infrastructure components currently found in a corporate data center, with virtualization added to the mix. While the virtualization provides somewhat better server utilization, the elasticity and efficiency available in the public cloud has private clouds beat by a mile. In short, the term "private cloud" is usually just a buzzword for virtualized internal environments that have been around for years. By replicating existing data center architectures, they also recreate the same cost and maintenance issues that cloud computing aims to alleviate. Despite their limitations, there is still a lot of industry talk about c... (more)

Cisco To Buy Ubiquisys

Go ahead try saying Ubiquisys 10 times fast. Surely that little tongue-twister will disappear now that Cisco has decided to buy the place. Surely $310 million in cash and retention bonuses will fetch it rechristening rights and make the receptionist happy. The mighty switch house said Wednesday that it means to purchase the British company – which doubtless uses an Oxford rather than a Harvard Latin pronunciation when saying its name – to strengthen its hand in mobile. See, Ubiquisys supplies service providers with intelligent 3G and long-term evolution (LTE) small-cell technologies that offer seamless connectivity across heterogeneous mobile networks. Cisco Systems held a very successful "Kickstart-to-Cloud" Workshop at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley in November 2012 Cisco says that offloading the surging Internet traffic to small-cell networks is a cost-effective way to ... (more)

Kofax Acquires Kapow For Its Big Data Integration Software

Irvine, CA-based Kofax plc (LSE: KFX) today announced that it has acquired Kapow Technologies, Inc., the leading provider of data integration software. “As a successful market leader focused on providing smart process applications with the global presence and software assets needed to credibly execute that vision, Kofax is an ideal strategic fit for Kapow,” stated John Yapaola, CEO of Kapow. “With our strengths in big data integration, Kofax customers will achieve competitive advantage faster, and Kapow customers will have access to a broad array of complimentary software and solutions to better address their needs,” Yapaola added. Hundreds of companies, including Astra Zeneca, Audi, Commerzbank, Deutsche Telekom, Fiserv, Thomson Reuters and Zurich Insurance Group use Kapow software on premise or via the cloud to become more integrated, automated and productive enterp... (more)

When to Make the Move to Managed Services

At some level, every business is utilizing outsourced platforms. But where infrastructure as a service is concerned, what are some key indicators that managed services is the next logical step? Most companies are comfortable with outsourcing some portion  of their infrastructure and applications (think about the degree you use AWS, or Salesforce.com). But outsourcing isn’t simply an option for super large businesses who want to consolidate costs or increase agility. For businesses that are looking to grow, at whatever scale, managed services presents a path that can enable greater market impact, performance, and cost benefits than the simple promise of underlying cloud infrastructure. How do you determine when its time to use managed services? Market requirements Depending on the kind of customer your business is targeting, managed services will be more or less benef... (more)

Sprint Nextel Buys IWO Holdings For $427M

Subject to the approval of IWO shareholders and customary regulatory approvals, Sprint Nextel is going to buy Holdings for approximately $427 million, including the assumption of approximately $208 million of net debt. This transaction value represents 10.8x Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization adjusted for the impact of special items (Adjusted EBITDA) for the 12 months ending June 30, 2005 and 8.5x 2006E Adjusted EBITDA. Under the terms of the agreement, Sprint Nextel will acquire all of IWO Holdings' outstanding common shares for $42.50 per share in an all-cash merger. Shareholders with approximately 33% of the outstanding common shares have agreed to vote their shares in favor of the merger. In addition, Sprint Nextel has an option to purchase those shares at $42.50 per share. The acquisition is subject to the approval of IWO shareholders ... (more)

Microsoft is Having Trouble Moving to Cloud Computing: Google CEO

According to a Dow Jones Newswire report, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is bullish about perhaps using M&A to grow Google's cloud computing business - in contrast Schmidt noted that Microsoft was in his view "having trouble moving to cloud computing." According to the report, Schmidt (pictured) expects the move globally from the personal computer era to the age of cloud computing to take the next 10-15 years. Google recently acquired On2 Technologies, and of course famously has in the past bought up giants like DoubleClick and YouTube. It has even been speculated that Eric Schmidt may have coined the term "cloud computing" though opinions differ. ... (more)