Avanade Posts Microsoft ERP to Cloud

Fresh off Microsoft's announcement last week that the next version of its Dynamics AX enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite will be available as a hosted cloud service, systems integrator Avanade said it will do the same -- but customers don't have to wait.

Avanade, 80 percent of which is held by IT outsourcing firm Accenture with the remaining stake held by Microsoft, launched Cloud ERP at the annual Convergence conference that took place in Atlanta last week. Cloud ERP will work with the forthcoming version, Dynamics AX 2012, as well as the current release. More

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/19/2011 at 1:14 PM0 comments


Iron Mountain Exits Public Cloud Storage

Iron Mountain is shutting down its public cloud storage services Virtual File Store and Archive Service Platform, market researcher Gartner reported in a research note last week, making it the third company to make an exit over the past year.

Startup Vaultscape shut down last year, and EMC's Atmos Online also went offline last year, Gartner noted. "To date, public cloud storage IaaS has had a modest level of adoption," according to the research note. "Not incidentally, all three service providers' go-to-market strategies focused purely on cloud storage unaccompanied by any cloud compute services." More

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/13/2011 at 1:14 PM0 comments


Microsoft Adds New Azure Features

At the MIX 11 conference in Las Vegas this week, Microsoft revealed a number of new features in its Windows Azure service, as well as several new offers to those testing the company's cloud service.

The new features are targeted at developers to help them build apps faster, while accelerating the performance of applications and providing access to those apps via popular identity providers, including Microsoft's Active Directory, Windows Live ID, Google, Yahoo! and Facebook. More

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/13/2011 at 1:14 PM0 comments


Nimbula Releases Director for Hybrid Clouds

A high-profile startup run by key founders of Amazon Web Services EC2 cloud service is shipping its first product.

Nimbula last week officially released Director 1.0, a cloud operating system that enterprise customers and service providers can install on their own servers. The software provides an EC2-like experience, according to the Mountain View, Calif.-based company. More

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/12/2011 at 1:14 PM0 comments


NYSE Plans To Roll Out Cloud

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) plans to roll out a community cloud that will let its member firms acquire compute, storage and network capacity as well as Software as a Service.

Scheduled for an official launch in the coming months, under construction is a private cloud that would make it easier for firms to acquire capacity without having to incur capital expenditures, said Stanley Young, CEO of NYSE Technologies, which provides IT services for NYSE Euronext, the parent company of NYSE. More

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/06/2011 at 1:14 PM0 comments


Start-Up Exoprise Assesses Cloud Readiness

Start-up Exoprise Systems has come out of stealth mode. Its first product is aimed at helping customers determine whether they should move off Microsoft Exchange to a cloud-based alternative.

CloudReady Insight is a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering that monitors an Exchange implementation with the aim of determining whether an organization should remain with the premises-based version or move to an alternative, such as Google Apps for Business or a hosted version of Exchange. More

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/06/2011 at 1:14 PM0 comments


HP Launches Cloud Partner Program

Now that it has a cloud strategy that it launched in January, Hewlett-Packard Co. wants its partners to start selling its solutions. The company this week launched the CloudSystem Partner Program, which aims to enable solution providers to build cloud computing expertise.

Kicked off at the HP Americas Partner Conference in Las Vegas, the new CloudSystem Partner program is very much focused on helping partners sell HP's CloudSystem portfolio, which consists of the company's Cloud Service Automation software, Cloud Maps configuration templates and its related BladeSystem Matrix hardware.

The program emphasizes helping partners sell internal private cloud solutions to customers, said Frank Rauch, VP of channel sales for HP's enterprise servers, storage and networking business. "That's where we're seeing a lot of the activity," Rauch said.

To that end, HP has launched its Cloud Enablement Program, which offers training, certification and financial incentives including leasing options for acquiring HP's "Converged Infrastructure" of servers, networking and storage solutions, along with the CloudSystem software portfolio, Rauch explained.

"We're seeing a number of partners who want to build out their own cloud offerings," he said. "Whether it's public, hybrid or whatever, we've put together a set of programs that utilize market development funds, hardware incentives, financing, engineering help, to be able to help them build out their own clouds."

HP will allow partners to sell its new Cloud Discovery Workshop, a service by which HP consultants meet with a customer to assess requirements and develop a cloud strategy. Right now, partners can sell the Cloud Discovery Workshop and sit in on the sessions, but they can't deliver the services. Over time, that will change, Rauch said.

"We want to be able to make it scale out," Rauch said. "So we want to make it as pervasive or ubiquitous as we can, and the way to do that truly is through letting the partners to be able to deliver it, because then you enable scale that we don't have right now."

HP also said it is extending the number of Cloud Centers of Excellence, which are demonstration locations set up by partners who have already invested in the CloudSystem portfolio. With 20 now up and running in the United States, Rauch said 18 more are on the way. Among those that have set up these demo centers are AdvizeX Technologies, Forsythe Technology and Presidio Networked Solutions. GTSI, Melillo Consulting, Nth Generation Computing and Works Computing are slated to open new demo centers.

Rauch admits that some of HP's largest partners are hosting the demo centers now but over time he sees solution providers serving SMBs coming on board. "It's a substantial bet on their part," he said. "I don't know how many will be able to participate but believe me, it's not just open to large partners. We have a number of SMB VARs that are extremely interested in this right now. To be honest with you, we're starting out with some of the big names, but we think it will scale over time."

Still, questions remain. For example, what about that public cloud service CEO Leo Apotheker announced earlier this month? "That's to be determined," Rauch said. "I can tell you though, there's extremely strong commitment from the top down, to be able to channelize what we do."

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/31/2011 at 1:14 PM0 comments


Microsoft Survey Finds Cloud Usage by SMBs Will Rise

Small and medium businesses are strong candidates to extend their use of cloud computing services over the next three years, according to a study released last week by Microsoft.

Based on a survey conducted by Edge Strategies for Microsoft of 3,258 companies employing 250 or fewer people, 39 percent of SMBs plan to use paid cloud services, up from 29 percent today, suggesting a 34 percent increase. More

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/30/2011 at 1:14 PM0 comments


MSPAlliance Releases New Audit Standards

The MSPAlliance has instituted a new certification standard for cloud and managed service providers that aims to provide more transparency to customers.

The MSPA's Unified Certification Standard, or UCS, provides an auditing framework by which MSPs and cloud providers can offer more public-facing information about how their operations are run and safeguarded. More

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/30/2011 at 1:14 PM0 comments


Salesforce Extends Social Media Push with Radian6 Buy

Salesforce.com has agreed to acquire Raidian6, which provides a service that monitors multiple social networking sites, for $326 million in cash and stock.

The deal furthers Salesforce.com's push into bringing social media tools to its enterprise customers. Salesforce.com already has its own social media service dubbed Chatter, which provides a Facebook-like environment for enterprise employees. More

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/30/2011 at 1:14 PM0 comments


Microsoft Talks Up Private Clouds at MMS

With the release of its System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 (SCVMM 2012), Microsoft is aiming to help its customers move from creating virtualized infrastructures to building and managing private clouds. Set for release later this year, Microsoft issued a beta of SCVMM at the Microsoft Management Summit, taking place this week in Las Vegas.

Explaining how SCVMM will enable private clouds, Brad Anderson, corporate VP of Microsoft's management and security division, said in a blog post Tuesday: More

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/24/2011 at 1:14 PM0 comments


Unisys Rolls Out New Hybrid Cloud Services Framework

Unisys wants customers to start thinking about their cloud deployments more holistically. The company has rolled out a new framework by which it delivers its cloud services as an integrated part of the entire IT portfolio.

The goal is to keep various cloud efforts from falling into their own silos. In support of that model, Unisys is launching what it calls its CloudBuild Services, aimed at helping IT design, plan and implement cloud services within a complete enterprise environment. More

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/23/2011 at 1:14 PM0 comments


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