Salesforce extends both cloud app scope and reach

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 15, 2015 12:02:07 PM

With the Dreamforce 2015 conference now in full swing this week, it’s clear that Salesforce is moving quickly to expand the scope and reach of its Software-as-a-Service application portfolio. Not only is Salesforce, for example, adding advanced relational intelligence software to its customer relationship management (CRM) software, but the SaaS application pioneer is making an aggressive push into the realm of the Internet of Things (IoT).

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Topics: IT Services Trends, Cloud Industry and Technology

Millions of websites still using Windows Server 2003 after end of life

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 18, 2015 11:30:00 AM

Even though the deadline for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 end of life has firmly passed, a new survey from NetCraft, a provider of Internet security services, finds that more than 600,000 web-facing systems, which host millions of websites, are still running Windows Server 2003.

Clearly, all those servers represent a continuing opportunity for IT service providers, but migration might not happen in large numbers until that first big security breach involving Windows Server 2003 actually gets discovered.

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Topics: IT Services Trends, Cloud Industry and Technology, Cyber Security

Why one MSP decided to live (almost) off the grid

Posted by Achmad Chadran on Jul 10, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Among the many great partner conversations I had at the recent ChannelNEXT Central event in Niagara Falls, Ontario, one stood out. Jeff Bawl is a technology consultant at Advanced Office Solutions, an MSP whose portfolio ranges from managed IT, print, and mobile services to business telephony and business process optimization (BPO) services. The solution provider is headquartered in Grimsby, Ontario, and runs three satellite offices, running from Brant to Niagara along the western edge of the lake.

As we talked, Jeff dropped a hint about a lifestyle choice he made long ago; he traded Web connectivity in exchange for The Tranquil Life. I knew then and there that I wanted to share Jeff’s story with our readers, and he agreed to let me follow up with him after the show. Here are the highlights of our conversation:

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Topics: Innovation and Ideas, Cloud Industry and Technology, Cloud Trends

Making the case for a network-centric cloud

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 16, 2015 2:34:04 PM

Leading cloud computing service providers predict that in the future they will be at the center of massively distributed computing that will span the globe. But network service providers predict a very different future for cloud computing.

Cisco’s approach to hybrid cloud computing

Case in point is Cisco, which has now extended its Intercloud approach to integrating cloud services from hundreds of providers around the globe to include 35 independent software vendors. Instead of thinking hierarchically, Cisco views each cloud service provider as equal. The size of the cloud service doesn’t matter. What matters is that each cloud runs an instance of the same core set of networking services that make each cloud a natural distributed extension of the other.

In effect, Cisco is enabling a highly distributed approach to hybrid cloud computing that makes it possible for its partners to aggregate those services. The end result allows customers to run application workloads anywhere they choose based on the infrastructure attributes of the cloud service provider. Most significantly for IT services providers, Cisco sees the services that make up this ecosystem being sold primarily by channel partners that represent Cisco as well as multiple cloud providers.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology, Cloud Trends

3 Reasons cloud solutions for small business just make sense

Posted by Ron Miller on Jun 8, 2015 1:30:00 PM

Small business owners are busy people. Running your own business takes a ton of effort, and you probably don't want any of that energy being diverted to worrying about the software you use to run your business. That's where the cloud comes in and why cloud solutions for small business make so much sense.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

The cloud is the glue that keeps us connected

Posted by Ron Miller on May 22, 2015 12:08:07 PM

Even though the cloud remains a somewhat nebulous term to the population at large, nearly everyone has a sense that it allows us to keep our digital lives in order and access content from any device, anywhere, anytime (as long as there is an Internet connection—and even sometimes when there's not).

At a simple level, it's how you can save your photos or documents and access them from anywhere. But the cloud is really the connective tissue for so much more, and it's allowed mobile to take off on several levels.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology, Cloud Trends

Focus on open source software changes IT services dynamic

Posted by Mike Vizard on May 19, 2015 11:13:24 AM

Regardless of whether it makes financial sense or not, IT organizations of all sizes have adopted an open source first mantra. Rather than spend their money on commercial software, they’ve made it clear they would prefer to throw labor at their enterprise software challenges. After all, not paying for commercial software enables those organizations to keep more IT staff on the payroll.

That’s not necessarily the wrong decision. By investing in labor, those organizations get to retain  software expertise at a time when every company is becoming a software company to one degree or another.

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Topics: IT Services Trends, Cloud Industry and Technology

Deployment of Windows Server on AWS spikes

Posted by Mike Vizard on May 5, 2015 1:14:02 PM

In the recent revelations about how large the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud has become, many people overlooked just how many of the applications hosted on AWS are running in production environments compared to application development and testing projects.

Amazon disclosed that in the most recent quarter AWS posted an operating income of $265 million on revenues of $1.57 billion. That's a roughly 17 percent gross margin on what is on track to become a $5 billion business this year. But to get a little more insight into what is actually happening inside the AWS cloud, it’s worth taking a look at the AWS Scorecard published each quarter by 2nd Watch, a provider of managed IT services for AWS.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology, Cloud Trends

Four challenges issued to IT service providers at ChannelNEXT East

Posted by Achmad Chadran on May 1, 2015 4:22:00 PM

The scenic mountain town of Saint-Sauveur, Quebec, provided a refreshing backdrop to this year’s ChannelNEXT East, and the opening panel discussion, “VAR MasterMind,” set the tone for the event. The program billed the panel discussion as an exploration of challenges facing VARs and MSPs, but I felt the focus was more on solutions than on challenges. Julian Lee, president of ChannelNEXT organizer TechnoPlanet Productions, held court with three other eloquent professionals on vital topics facing IT service providers: social media, CRM, and the becoming better business owners.

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Topics: Business Development, Cloud Industry and Technology, Events and Webinars

AWS market share still bigger than all rivals combined

Posted by Ron Miller on Apr 30, 2015 3:18:00 PM

The latest quarterly report on the cloud market from Synergy Research Group shows that Amazon Web Services is bigger than all its rivals combined. While the market continues to grow and each member of the pack has its special strengths, it's an AWS market share world, and everyone else is just playing along right now.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

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