Tech News Recap for the Week of 9/26/2016

Were you busy this week? Here’s a tech news recap of articles you may have missed for the week of 9/26/2016.

Salesforce is trying to block Microsoft’s LinkedIn deal with anti-competition claims. According to a study from CompTIA, most IT departments view cloud computing as a way to cut costs and save money. Microsoft is teaming up with Adobe on digital transformation services. Running a successful IT help desk should be measured based on financial productivity. More information from the Yahoo hack emerges, a new generation of CIO thinking has emerged, Microsoft is leaving the consumer mobile market, and more top news from this week that you may have missed!

Remember, to stay up-to-date on the latest tech news throughout the week, follow @GreenPagesIT on Twitter.

Tech News Recap

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By Ben Stephenson, GreenPages Technology Solutions

Your #BigData Analytics | @BigDataExpo #IoT #M2M #BigData #BI #Analytics

Organizations have key business processes that they are constantly trying to re-engineer. These key business processes – loan approvals, college applications, mortgage underwriting, product and component testing, credit applications, medical reviews, employee hiring, environmental testing, requests for proposals, contract bidding, etc. – go through multiple steps, usually involving multiple people with different skill sets, with a business outcome at the end (accept/reject, bid/no bid, pass/fail, retest, reapply, etc.). And while these processes typically include “analytics” that report on how well the processes worked (process effectiveness), the analytics only provide an “after the fact” view on what happened.

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Google Announces New Strategies for its Cloud Services

Google has announced a slew of strategies in a bid to take on the likes of its competitors – Amazon and Microsoft. These announcements were made at an invitation-only gathering at its cloud computing conference called Horizon, that took place in San Francisco on 29th September, 2016.

Here’s a look at some of the key strategic changes.

“Google Cloud” is the new name

If you’ve been using any cloud platform from Google, you’ll be thrilled to know that it’s going to be called Google Cloud from now on. Though the functionality doesn’t change at this point in time, the new name is definitely more encompassing and relevant.

According to Diane Greene, Senior Vice President, Google Cloud, this new name will be an umbrella term for any Google Cloud Platform, all user facing and productivity applications that use the cloud, machine learning tools, APIs, Android devices that access the cloud, and pretty much anything that is built for the cloud.

Also, G Suite is the new name for productivity apps like Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Maps for Work.  Google also announced that it has introduced artificial intelligence capabilities in G Suite to help employees work more efficiently.

So, why this new name? Well, it’s not a complete surprise as this idea was in the pipeline for some time now. Greene believes this name change will send a positive signal to its customers that Google is serious about its cloud offerings. Also, it is more descriptive and less unwieldy when compared to Google Enterprise or Google for Work.

Launch of BigQuery

Urs Holzle, the Senior Vice-President of Technical Infrastructure at Google, launched a new feature called BigQuery for Enterprise. This feature, available in Google Cloud, will allow users to create a full data warehouse based on their needs. This move is seen as the answer for Microsoft’s SQL Data Warehouse and Amazon’s RedShift cloud data warehouse.

New data centers

Google also took this opportunity to reveal the location of eight new data center regions, and they are: Mumbai, Finland, Frankfurt, London, Singapore, Sydney, Northern Virginia, and Sao Paulo. A new region for its Cloud Platform is expected to be announced within a month. The addition of these new centers reflect the growing might of Google in the public cloud market. Though it is trailing behind Amazon and Microsoft, Google’s revenue increased by 33 percent in the last quarter, and analysts attribute much of it to gains made in the area of cloud computing.

Partnership with Accenture

Google has entered into a partnership with Accenture to bring to market advanced cloud solutions that’ll help customers to improve their business performance and to accelerate their digital transformation. These solutions will be industry-specific to meet the needs of clients in areas such as finance, healthcare, consumer products, energy, and retail. This partnership is also expected to give Google Cloud a wider reach among corporate customers.

With these strategic announcements, Google is all set to close the gap with its competitors. The next few months will give a clearer picture of the impact of these new strategies.

The post Google Announces New Strategies for its Cloud Services appeared first on Cloud News Daily.

Google announces eight new cloud regions and greater customer integration


As night follows day, so one player in the cloud infrastructure space announces something, another has to respond.

Or at least that’s what it feels like. Google has announced eight new locations for its Cloud Platform service, with three in Europe – including the UK – and three in Asia Pacific, shortly after Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced new plans for a data centre zone in France.

The full list of new zones (below) are Finland, Frankfurt, London, Mumbai, Northern Virginia, Sao Paulo, Singapore, and Sydney.

Picture credit: Google

“The public cloud is built on customer trust, and we understand that it’s a significant commitment for a customer to entrust a public cloud vendor with their physical infrastructure,” wrote Brian Stevens, Google Cloud vice president, in a company blog post announcing the changes. “By offering new features to help address customer needs and collaborating with them to usher in the future with tools like machine learning, we intend to accelerate the usability of the public cloud and bring more businesses into the Google Cloud fold.”

One of those businesses is note-taking app provider Evernote, which earlier this month confirmed it was ditching its own servers and networks to move its operations to Google’s cloud. The key aspect to Evernote picking the search giant, as the company confirmed in the press details, was Google’s interests in machine learning and data analytics.

Google said that Cloud Platform now serves over one billion end users, and with this in mind has also launched Customer Reliability Engineering (CRE), which is comprised of Google engineers who integrate with a customer’s operations team to share responsibilities for cloud applications. “This integration represents a new model in which we share and apply our nearly two decades of expertise in cloud computing as an embedded part of a customer’s organisation,” added Stevens, who promised there would be more updates soon.

Microsoft and Adobe Partner Together to Deliver Next-generation Personalized Services

Microsoft and Adobe Systems took their partnership to new levels, with the decision to promote the use of each other’s cloud computing tools. Announced during Microsoft’s annual conference, Ignite, this decision is likely to be highly beneficial for both the companies, as well as their respective customers.


Under this agreement, Adobe will make Microsoft’s Azure its preferred cloud platform to run its web-based digital media, business, and marketing tools such as Adobe Document Cloud, Adobe Marketing Cloud, and Adobe Creative Cloud. Specifically, Adobe will use SQL Server and Microsoft Cortana Intelligence Suite to provide new insights about customer behavior.

In return, Microsoft will make Adobe’s Marketing Cloud as the preferred marketing service for its Dynamic 365 Enterprise Software, that provides business planning and sales capabilities to end-customers. Further, both the companies are planning to collaborate on data integration that will allow customers to work seamlessly across each other’s software.

This agreement is expected to give Microsoft an edge in an increasingly competitive public cloud computing race, and could help to expand the reach of Azure cloud platform. For Adobe, this partnership has opened new possibilities to leverage the power of cloud for its digital marketing services. Currently, Adobe is the leader in the $5.6 billion digital marketing market, followed by companies like IBM, Salesforce, and SAP. This deal with Microsoft can give Adobe a leap ahead of its competitors, thereby increasing the gap with its rivals. In addition to these benefits for both the companies, this partnership is also seen as a joint effort to leapfrog the cloud services of Amazon, Alphabet Inc, and

This announcement comes on the heels of an agreement signed in 2015 to link some of Adobe’s products with Microsoft’s CRM tools. The success of this partnership, and the mutual benefit that both the companies gained from it, led to a more strategic agreement between the two technology giants.

So, what does this new partnership mean for customers?

The last few years has seen an increasing emphasis on personalized marketing. The days of organic website traffic growth is coming to an end, as Internet traffic due to paid advertising tactics is reaching its saturation levels. To drive more traffic, advertising campaigns need to offer a holistic experience that is best achieved through personalization. In other words, digital marketers should create a personalized experience, that leverages mobility and at the same time, supports the customers’ journey.

Such personalized marketing campaigns work best when it is backed by intelligent cloud platforms that have the potential to digitally transform marketing efforts, and provide opportunities to engage with customers in new ways. This partnership between Microsoft and Adobe is expected to provide these opportunities, as it harnesses the power of cloud computing and advanced predictive analysis to help digital marketers design and deliver exciting digital experiences.

With this partnership, the future sure looks interesting, not just for Microsoft and Adobe, but also for the many customers who use a wide range of digital tools to provide meaningful experiences for their end-clients.

The post Microsoft and Adobe Partner Together to Deliver Next-generation Personalized Services appeared first on Cloud News Daily.

Security as an Advantage | @CloudExpo #BigData #IoT #M2M #API #InfoSec

Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.

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How Business Networks Fuel Innovation and Transformation | @CloudExpo #Cloud #DigitalTransformation

Procurement demands an integrated, end-to-end approach built on deep insights and intelligence to drive informed source-to-pay decisions.
Far beyond just automating tasks and transactions, procurement today is a strategic function that demands an integrated, end-to-end approach built on deep insights and intelligence to drive informed source-to-pay decisions and actions that enable businesses to adopt a true business ecosystem-wide digital strategy.

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Why it’s okay for MSPs to help customers stop wasting money on cloud resources


Gartner recently reported that by 2020, the “cloud shift” will affect more than $1 trillion in IT spending. The shift comes from the confluence of IT spending on enterprise software, data center systems, and IT services all moving to the cloud.

With this enormous shift and change of practices comes a financial risk that is very real: organisations are spending money on services they are not actually using. In other words, wasting money.

The size of waste

How much is actually being wasted? Let’s take a look at the cloud market as a whole. According to the Gartner study, the size of the cloud market is about $734 billion. Of that, $203.9 billion is spent on public cloud. Public cloud spend is spread across a variety of application services, management and security services, and more – all of which have their own sources of waste.

Within the $22.4 billion spent on infrastructure as a service (IaaS), about 2/3 of spending is on compute resources (rather than database or storage). But roughly half of these compute resources are used for non-production purposes: development, staging, testing, QA, and other behind the scenes work. The majority of servers used for these functions do not need to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In fact, they’re generally only needed for a 40-hour work week at most (even this assumes maximum efficiency with developers accessing these servers during their entire workdays).

Since most compute infrastructure is sold by the hour, this means that for the other 128 hours of the week, companies are paying for time they’re not using.

Should managed service providers (MSPs) help in reducing this waste? If so, how?

Cost reduction as an element of total value

The concept of an MSP helping customers save money on cloud services is a tricky one. If customers purchase cloud services through the MSP, won’t reducing the amount the customer spends also reduce the MSP’s revenue?  Besides, is “saving money” really an outcome customers seek from their service providers?

I’ve been grappling with some of these questions lately as I’ve considered potential partnerships with MSPs and cloud consulting firms. When I talk to them, I ask questions about their clients’ key priorities and how they seek to deliver additional value.

I pay particular attention to how they prioritise helping their customers save money. It appears that while cost reduction for clients is seen as important, it is often framed as a way for users to get more bang for the buck – not as a reduction in total spend. MSPs report that their clients typically have annual budgets that can be spent across all cloud or IT services. Therefore, staying within budget across all services is the primary goal. But any dollar saved on cloud compute services can then be put to work in other areas of the business. This keeps the end user satisfied by giving them more value per dollar. The MSPs are satisfied by providing more, and stickier, services to their customers.

In addition to cost savings, MSPs want to deliver productivity gains to clients. This can be done by directly implementing solutions on clients’ behalf. Increasingly, however, MSPs prefer to put tools in place that their clients can then use to optimise their own cloud infrastructure. Many small businesses don’t have the technical expertise necessary to migrate their technology infrastructure to the cloud, though once they are up and running, they are often able to self-manage parts of their own infrastructure.

As one MSP recently told me, “we could probably write custom scripts for our customer to turn things on and off, but that really doesn’t scale. To be honest, I think they would prefer controlling their own environment.”

The key to MSP success in the cloud

As the role of the traditional MSP continues to evolve, the most successful providers increasingly seem to understand the following:

  • Helping customers optimise their cloud spend is very important
  • Providing customers with self-service tools to better self-manage their own cloud environments is key to sticky customers.

Although there will be many goals against which MSPs and cloud consultants are measured, it seems clear that reducing/optimising cloud spend and empowering customers with the right tools to manage cloud are two side of the same coin and a real key for MSPs to succeed.

Serverless Security | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #LowCode #Serverless

In case you haven’t heard, the new hotness in app architectures is serverless. Mainly restricted to cloud environments (Amazon Lambda, Google Cloud Functions, Microsoft Azure Functions) the general concept is that you don’t have to worry about anything but the small snippets of code (functions) you write to do something when something happens. That’s an event-driven model, by the way, that should be very familiar to anyone who has taken advantage of a programmable proxy to do app or API routing and rewriting or executed inspection of requests or responses for malicious content.

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AWS announces Paris data centre region plans


Cloud infrastructure giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced plans to launch a data centre region in Paris, making it the fourth zone after the UK, Ireland and Germany.

It’s worth noting here that AWS’ UK plans are just that at the moment, with the company confirming at a recent event that the UK data centres were going ahead despite the Brexit referendum vote. Yet according to Werner Vogels, Amazon CTO, writing in a blog post, the company’s expansion in France, as well as the growth in AWS in general, has led to this move.

“Over the past 10 years, we have seen tremendous growth at AWS,” Vogels wrote. “We have announced several additional regions in Canada, China, Ohio, and the United Kingdom all expected in the coming months. We don’t plan to slow down or stop there. We are actively working to open new regions in the locations our customers need them most.”

Among the customers AWS bundled into the press materials – the company named Schneider Electric, Lafarge, and Dassault Systemes as key customers in France – was Veolia Water France, which is aiming to adopt an industrial Internet of Things (IoT) project with the help of AWS. “By moving a large part of our IT system from our old IBM mainframe to AWS, we have adopted a cloud first strategy, boosting our power of innovation,” said Benito Diz, CIO of Veolia Water France. “We couldn’t have launched this industrial IoT project without the AWS flexibility.”

Earlier this month, AWS announced it had signed a criminal justice information services (CJIS) agreement with the State of Oregon, while plenty of other vendors are expanding their European operations. Microsoft recently launched its UK data centre with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on board as first customer, as well as expanding its German operations, while IBM and Interoute launched Norwegian and Swedish data centre zones respectively.

AWS was seen as a particular target by Oracle at its OpenWorld event in San Francisco, with the release of the software giant’s next generation data centres prompting CTO Larry Ellison to exclaim that Amazon’s lead was “over” in the IaaS space.

You can read Vogels’ blog in full here.