Slack Announces Launch of $ 80Million Venture Capital Fund

The real-time collaborative specialist has partnered with six California investment firms to create a venture capital fund. It aims to finance publishers developing on its platform.

With 2 million daily active users and 570,000 paid accounts, Slack is committed to becoming the company’s cloud collaboration platform. For now, about 150 applications can integrate with its offering to generate update alerts and other notifications.

In an effort to attract more publishers to its environment, San Francisco announces it has partnered with six California investment firms to create an $ 80 million venture capital fund (read the official announcement). ). These are Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, KPCB, Spark, and Social + Capital. Purpose of this fund: to support publishers developing applications on Slack. The start-up says it already finances three companies (Howdy, Awesome and Small Wins.)

With this initiative, Slack wants to give itself every opportunity to win against some competitors (including HipChat Atlassian). The company of Stewart Butterfield knows indeed that its offer can be copied, but that its ecosystem, passed a certain critical mass, will not be able, or in any case, less easily. It remains to be seen whether in the long term its partners will find themselves in terms of economic model.

At the same time, Slack announces the launch of a corporate directory cloud service that will allow its customers to orchestrate access rights to the various applications available on its App store.

3 trends in the European IT market for 2018

Sector-based analytics will ramp up in 2018 to address the common challenges facing individual industries.

1. Analytics invades sectoral clouds

We are witnessing a dramatic increase in new types of data with the integration of connected devices that has intensified over the past year. Businesses are looking for ways to make the most of the information that flows from it. In 2016, instead of building a new data analytics infrastructure, they will increasingly adopt “Sector Clouds” for analysis. These are specific analytics infrastructures hosted in the cloud that can be used by companies to solve some common problems in their industry. This trend is particularly useful for data-rich sectors that use connected devices, such as telecommunications, utilities, transport, and logistics and distribution.

For example, in data analysis, utilities have similar needs. Whether they distribute electricity, gas, or water, these companies must control and process huge amounts of data. A sectoral cloud for analysis allows them to do this at a lower cost and more efficiently. Today, in the transport and logistics sector, most vehicles are equipped with at least one surveillance sensor that produces data. If every engine owned by a company has an additional sensor, tens of thousands of additional data must be processed, which companies are not yet able to do. However,

2. Data for the greatest number 

In 2016, the data analysis will really be democratized for companies. Until now, only “a few select companies” had the resources and skills to fully exploit the data. Now, thanks to technological innovations, all companies can access the data they need.

The distribution sector illustrates this concept of democratization. For example, store employees can now access relevant data that makes their jobs easier, which is essential for front-line employees who have direct contact with in-store customers. The physical representation of this evolution is characterized by more customers in stores with mobile devices such as iPads, which use applications that can provide them with information directly. The process of analysis thus democratized now allows an employee who did not know the customer in front of him to immediately establish a good relationship with him and improve his experience. 

This availability of real-time data for the greatest number also means that businesses can now predict future trends very finely. This level of knowledge in real time will be a real advantage of the data for the greatest number. 

3. “The experience of the relationship” becomes paramount

2016 will mark a change in consumer buying habits. With more and more consistent products and services, consumers will make choices based more than ever on trust and the customer experience. Of course, data security is an important differentiator to build customer loyalty and build trust-based relationships, but soon data theft will no longer be needed to belittle today’s cynical consumers. : their misspelled name or incorrect delivery address will be enough to lose their trust.

According to a study recently conducted in the United Kingdom by YouGov, the main factor that would motivate the loss of consumer confidence vis-à-vis a brand is not the theft of data as such, but a lack of communication after flight. This study also reveals that companies are now forced to win the trust of customers. Transparency on the use of personal information (50%), the application of a confidentiality policy (43%) and the rapid resolution of problems (38%) are the three main measures that companies can take to earn their trust.

In 2016, brands that leverage data to get a 360-degree view of the customer and maximize customer relationship will quickly stand out from the competition. Specific pricing strategies have already been put in place in most industries, but next year companies will focus more on “value-adding” to make these strategies more personalized and supportive for customers .

Take the tourism sector, for example. Today, technology allows airlines that intelligently use data to strengthen customer relationships to improve their travel experience, including customizing airport check-in and the proposed entertainment and dining service. On board the plane. The data can also promote a number of choices once the customer has moved away from the website. For example, if the data indicates that you are a driver, the airline can offer you a car service for the same price as a parking spot. If the data highlights your favorite brands, it can offer you offers within the terminal. If it is connected to your social networks,

To conclude, according to the service providers, both the markets and the customers, Big Data and therefore the evolution of data should be extended to new business sectors and new businesses, also affecting the general public via personal devices (tablets, laptops …). It is in this context also that new marketing models should emerge, including the question of monetizing data.  

Comparison of corporate social networks in 2018

The 2015 Spectrum Group benchmark on CSR tools is in the bins. The JDN offers you a preview of it.

Spectrum Groupe is preparing to broadcast its 2015 benchmark of corporate social networks (CSR). For the occasion, the French consulting firm indicates to have selected “the best information management platforms of the market (corporate social network, content management solutions and CMS)”. Its experts screened 18 CSR solutions on more than 170 technical and functional criteria.

“Our panel focused, first and foremost, on CSR solutions intended for internal corporate uses and having a native social and collaborative functional coverage (directories, community support, blogs and wikis, discussions, etc.).” says the firm. This 2015 edition includes four newcomers: talkSpirit, Tibbr, Chatter and Zyncro.

For each product analyzed, Spectrum Groupe offers a graph in the form of radar – which we did not use here to make reading easier. In the complete study, all these graphs are available in interactive form .

Name Main featuresStrengthsweaknesses
Tibbr (Tibco Software)Profiles, shares, conversational, microblogging and communities. Many connectors.Marketplace.Integration and Complementary Apps, Simplicity, Mobility and Analytics, available in both SaaS and on-premise versions.Collaborative writing rather poor, tag management, search, classification of information, and limitation of collaboration objects “out of the box”
TalkspiritActivity feeds, community and individual pages, sharing and conversational functions … Integration and complementary Apps, user profile, badge management, scores and ranking (gamification), event management, double internal and external exchange network.Collaborative writing rather poor, co-publishing, ecosystem integrators and developers to develop further, available only in SaaS
Knowledge PlazaContent categorization, advanced keyword usage, search and navigation logic, and excellent content syndication capabilitiesTag and category management, shareable “search”, rich document construction “storify”, KM orientation and ability to organize large volumes of content, recovery tools of the existing.Strong support necessary, need for reflection upstream (tags, categories …), limitation in the “objects of collaboration” (discussion, questions, etc.), available only in SaaS
Yoolink ProSharing of activity flows, event sharing, question sharing, management of community types, voting function, widgetshop …Simplicity of use and user-friendliness, tagging logic (tags, groups, communities), easy sharing (bookmarking) using a desktop client and a bookmarketLimited capitalization (notes), no search in attachments or short linkage management to content, few changes in 2015, only available in SaaS
SeemyManage communities and their shared content (tags, status, documents, links, ideas, polls, images, sounds and videos) and instant messagingAuto-completion features, simple and intuitive interface, viewing of attached documents in Seemy (integrated viewer), ability to share audio messagesNo search in attachments, no wiki, no default statistics module (although several types of reports can be done via Google Analytics), only available in SaaS
JamespotBusiness process management, Intranet creation, Like, wiki, document database, tasks, calendar, business workflows, ideas box … A marketplace of 70 applications.Social actions, flexibility / scalability of the platform, marketplace that diversifies.Need support to take full advantage of the flexibility of the tool, rather poor analytics function, ergonomic gaps, lack of basic social functions, available only in SaaS
JaliosDigital Workplace (intranet and extranet), document management, CMS, community management. Wide functional coverage, high modularity (digital, web and documentary), SI integration, numerous connectors (Office, Lotus Notes …), available both in SaaS and on-premise versionFunctional complexity, requires support for the modeling of its CSR / Digital Workplace, few functional changes in 2015
ConfluenceWiki, business process, collaboration space and customizable collaborative writing pages, social functions (profile, microblogging, sharing …). Content creation part, flexibility of use – blueprint functions, integration with other tools (Atlassian), technical robustness, active community (more than 500 plugins), available in both SaaS and on-premise versionSocial aspect not sufficiently highlighted, requires settings to adapt to specific needs, need training
JivePages, discussions, blogs, documents, directory and profile sheets. Numerous modules (agora of ideas, questions / answers, video library, task management, social media engagement, etc.)Ergonomics, functional richness, Microsoft integrations (Office, Outlook, Sharepoint), SI with connectors, Streamonce module, process orientation, recommendations, available in both SaaS and on-premise versionAccompaniment of the necessary change with coaching of animators, wiki module quite weak (non-structural pages by tree), price of license (several modules are paying)
Bluekiwi ZEN (Atos)Profile, status sharing, recommendations engine (regarding both people, spaces, and content, community and conversation management, social CRM …Functional wealth, tag management (correction, deletion, suggested tag), profile management and strong integrations with social media (Linkedin), mobile application, Office and Outlook connectors, effective visualization (statistics …)Unable to react in the feed (a lack for a highly conversational platform), wiki / collaborative writing rather poor, few changes in 2014/2015, unclear strategy, only available in SaaS
SharePointSimple social network (“Newsfeed” function), site for managing shared content, task management, SaaS document management (OneDrive), personal dashboard (Delve), numerous plugins … Wide functional coverage (content management, collaborative, portal and web), large community, connectors (ERP, CRM, portals …), very complete “Governance” and “Administration” aspects, framework of lists and webparts, good documentation , SaaS and on-premise versionObligation to use the Microsoft environment (servers , browsers, etc.), social functions not intuitive (duplication, confusion with Yammer, etc.), need for a strong functional and technical support
IBM ConnectionsActivities, blogs, wiki, forum, community management, GED function (based on FileNet) … Solution available in a dozen packages of collaborative offers, according to SaaS vs. on-premise modelRecommendations of people and contents, functional richness, moderation functions of various contents, use of tags / taxonomies, related tools, available in both SaaS and on-premise versionRelative rigidity of the HMI structure, complexity, no business collaboration templates, weak positioning on the “socialization of business processes”
ZyncroCollaborative platform with task management and file sharing.MarketPlace, IS connectivity, task management, integrated translation, available in both SaaS and on-premise versionCollaborative writing rather poor, no question management, information classification, missing recommendation functions
ElggeCommunities, profiles, social dashboard, microblogging, groups, file management, notifications, interface localization etc. Open source tools.Ergonomic despite a fairly neutral design, complete social network, many supported standards (OpenID, Social Open, oAuth, FOAF, XFN, etc.), management of access rights, profile extensibility, available both in SaaS and on-line version. permittedParameters necessary even for a basic use, very basic text editor, limitation of the search function in particular in the profiles, several plugins are not up to date
BuddyPressActivity feed, enriched fully customizable profile, forum to manage discussions, ease of connection between members (messaging, @mention, status).Social extension of WordPress. Wealth of plugins – relies on the WordPress plugin library, inherits the simplicity of WordPress, good performance related to a solid and powerful technical base, available both in SaaS and on-premise versionSeveral paid modules, incompatibility of some third-party modules, few really CSR-oriented topics, need for WordPress technical expertise
Chatter (Salesforce)Profile management, communities, communication and conversations. Social brick of the Salesforce1 platformSimplicity, connectivity with Salesforce, IS integration, mobile useNon-extensible solution, low content sharing, not enough generic, available only in SaaS 
Drupal CommonsComplete open source solution: wiki, blog, discussion spaces, polls, messaging, status, profiles and community groups, but also module of social CRM and statistical analysis …Comprehensive social network, ergonomics, high flexibility and UI adaptation, multiple uses (internal / external / social CRM), available in both SaaS and on-premise versionStrong change support is needed, complex installation and setup
Yammer (Microsoft)Rich status (sharing of text, video, poll, question and answer, idea and any other object), activity flow (with love, badger, comment, share …).Integrated solution for Office 365Ergonomics, ease of implementation and experimentation, speed of sharing and conversational strength, rich base of appsNo statistics module, customization limitations, no on-premise version


Oracle quarterly: cloud up sharply, profit down sharply

The Saas and PaaS have reported nearly half a billion sales to Oracle in the last quarter. However, the company’s net profit decreased by 12%.

Oracle has just released the financial results of its second quarter, completed in late November. They reveal a turnover of 8.9 billion dollars, down 6%. The net profit also fell, but even more frankly (-12%), to reach 2.19 billion dollars. The strong dollar is partly responsible, said the California supplier. However, this decline in earnings did not prevent Oracle’s share price from gaining a bit and then 2% following the publication of these results.

The company founded by Larry Ellison also unveiled the revenue generated by its cloud activities. In all, these activities brought in $ 649 million, which is as much as 26% more than last year for the same period. In detail SaaS and PaaS generated 484 million (+ 34%), which leaves 165 million (+ 7%) for the IaaS. But today, the cloud represents only 5% of the turnover of Oracle, the software on premise (license and support) weighing them 71%.

In parallel with these results, Oracle also announced that it has appointed Renée James, former Intel number 2, to its board of directors.

Quote-to-cash: Salesforce in talks to buy SteelBrick $600 million

The Information says that the CRM’s tenor is looking for a fast growing partner, specializing in quotes and pricing.

Salesforce is in discussions to buy SteelBrick, a “quote-to-cash” specialist, which is the solutions used to manage pricing and quotes, says The Information. According to this Californian source, the amount of the transaction discussed reached $ 600 million. Nothing has yet been officially confirmed.

Like Apttus, another well-known US share-price player, SteelBrick built its offer on Salesforce. Its solutions are provided from the Salesforce 1 platform.

In October, SteelBrick announced that it had raised $ 48 million (Series C), bringing the total amount raised in the last 18 months to $ 78 million. The publisher, also based in California, had announced “explosive growth”, which had allowed him to increase its number of customers by 200%, and to triple its workforce during the past year. SteelBrick claimed 350 customers, including Cloudera, Hootsuite, Marketo, and the French Supersonic Imagine.

OneDrive for Business: unlimited storage arrives!

Microsoft has put an end to unlimited storage in OneDrive for Office 365 Family, Personal and University subscribers. On the other hand, subscribers to certain company packages of the suite will be able to access them.

In October, Microsoft ended the unlimited storage option it offered to OneDrive for Office 365 Home  , Home Office and University subscribers . Faced with the outcry of users, the publisher announced a few days ago arrangements for these customers (read the article End of unlimited storage in OneDrive for the general public: Microsoft responds to the grumbling of users ). The Office 365 roadmap, on the other hand, always indicated that this possibility would be proposed as part of OneDrive for Business. Microsoft has just updated it to detail its intentions.

For more than 5 TB, it will be necessary to contact the support

The US group specifies that this possibility of unlimited storage will be reserved for Office 365 customers who have subscribed to one of the Enterprise, Government or Education premium packages of the suite, and this, for more than 5 users. The packages eligible for this unlimited offer are: Office 365 Enterprise E3, E4 and E5, Office 365 Government E3, E4 and E5, Office 365 Education, as well as OneDrive for Business Plan 2 and SharePoint Online Plan 2. 

“We will start increasing storage capacity for these customers by the end of the month, starting with increasing capacity from 1TB to 5TB per user,” Microsoft announces. “We expect to complete this launch by the end of March 2016. From that point on, customers who wish to increase storage beyond this capacity will be able to request it by contacting Microsoft support. “

SecureWorks, Dell’s subsidiary will go public

Dell is seeking to finance its acquisition of EMC, and to introduce a subsidiary on the stock market will help it. The official SecureWorks pre-IPO document is now public.

Dell has to buy EMC for $ 67 billion, but funding for this massive operation has yet to be clarified. According to the Wall Street Journal , Dell would still seek to raise $ 10 billion. The sale of Perrot Systems for $ 5 billion is a track explored, such as that of Quest Software, SonicWall, and AppAssure. The IPO of a subsidiary would also allow Dell to obtain funds, and that seems to be the case with SecureWork. The official pre-IPO document of this subsidiary, filed with the SEC, is no longer confidential, which means that the road show in front of investors can officially begin within three weeks.

The movement is launched, even if all the details are not yet known, such as the sum that can lift Dell through the operation. Michael Dell’s company has in any case bought SecureWorks 612 million dollars, in 2011. Today, this security tool provider would be worth 2 billion, even if its net result indicates a loss of nearly 60 million dollars in the first nine months of 2015. Its growth is indeed dynamic, rising in one year from a turnover of 191 million to 245 million dollars, still in the first nine months of 2015.

Big Data: Microsoft buys Metanautix to enrich Cortana

The publisher puts a hand on a technology designed to perform processing on structured or unstructured data regardless of their location.

Microsoft strengthens its technology portfolio in the field of data processing. He buys Metanautix. Based in Palo Alto, this small company of a few employees, founded in 2012, publishes a solution to query, via a SQL engine, structured or unstructured data regardless of the source system – cloud or internalized. It can be SQL servers , NoSQL, or business applications (like Salesforce).

The amount of the transaction has not been communicated (read the official post of this announcement ).

“Metanautix’s approach is to make a wide variety of queryable data available in SQL, the most widely used query language, and quickly with the ability to handle large volumes,” said Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president of the business. Microsoft data. Metanautix’s technology needs to be integrated with the Cortana Analytics Suite (Cortana) and the  SQL Server database . “We will share in the coming months more details on these integrations,” says Joseph Sirosh.

Clouds comparison in December 2018

Google remains in first place in the CloudScreener / Cedexis / JDN comparison. Moving up four positions, IBM ranks just behind.

On November 2015, Google remains at the top of the CloudScreener / Cedexis Cloud Cloud monthly comparison for the JDN. A position that the American group still owes, in particular, to its number one position in terms of tariff offer. Progressing four positions compared to October, IBM  Softlayer ranks just behind. IBM’s cloud is benefiting from a significantly improved level of performance, but also from an increased level of service.

Other progress this month, Microsoft goes from 9th to 7th place, and this in particular new instances (Dv2) more powerful than the family previously taken into account (D / DS). “This range of virtual machines in the Azure North Europe data center , which is cheaper than Western Europe, is the most interesting choice in the Microsoft range for French users,” said Anthony Sollinger. , co-founder and president of CloudScreener. Azure is near Amazon Web Services in the overall standings. 

OVH, whose cloud offering was launched in final version this summer, is still being integrated in the ranking. It should appear soon.

General classification

RankingProviderIndex
1Google Compute Engine  84   
2IBM SoftLayer  74   
3aruba  73.1   
4Cloudwatt  72.6   
5Numergy  68   
6ikoula  66   
7Microsoft Azure  65   
8Amazon Web Services  64.4   
9Rackspace  64.1   
10Joyent  56   

Cloud: Comparative Service Levels

IBM’s cloud is gaining momentum in terms of certification in November. Softlayer has won SOC1 and ISO 27018. “He now has all SOC and ISO certifications,” notes Anthony Sollinger. A level of standardization that allows him to see his index of service levels increased by 10 points. In the end, Softlayer moves from the third to the second position in the category. “IBM has also posted a self-assessment of its Softlayer services to the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), which is the first significant step before CSA certification,” notes Anthony Sollinger.

Microsoft, too, manages to advance its service level index (it increases by no less than 6 points). A rise that the publisher owes to the launch of its G instances, now available in Western Europe, and the resulting expansion in terms of VM range within its offering. This gain allows him to follow IBM in this category.

Ranking ProviderService Index
1Amazon Web Services  88   
2IBM SoftLayer  86   
3Microsoft Azure  85   
4Google Compute Engine  71   
5Rackspace  67   
6Joyent  54   
7aruba  47.6   
7ikoula  47.6   
9Numergy  45   
10Cloudwatt  41   

Click on the table to enlarge


Cloud services comparison.  © CloudScreener

Notes: SoftLayer offers up to 16-core (non-vCPU) VMs and 64 GB RAM, and bare metal solutions up to 40 cores and 512 GB RAM. It displays a 100% availability commitment on the administration portal and the network, with customer credit for any interruption beyond 30 consecutive minutes (ie 99.93%). But it does not offer a commitment on the compute part (VM), but a 2-hour recovery guarantee on the underlying hardware (99.73% mensupas el, ignoring the restoration of the upper layers) . Numergy offers a commitment of 99.9% uptime and 99.99% through its reseller partners.

Cloud: comparative performance

Despite a decline in its disk and RAM performance, Ikoula remains at the top of the Cloud performance comparison. Among the great advances in this category, Microsoft Azure records an index up nearly 20 points, It takes advantage of the introduction of Dv2 instances. “Their performance is in the order of 30 to 40% higher than that of the D / DS family,” it is estimated at CloudScreener. For its part, Rackspace moved from eighth to sixth place (with an index up 20 points) thanks to the improvement of its indicators in terms of disk and RAM.

In seventh place in October, Softlayer took fourth place in November in this category of performances (+15 points). It benefits from a much better performance in RAM. 

Cedexis 
Measures ** CloudScreener Measures

Definitions:

  • Response time: median response time in milliseconds (measured by Cedexis for all ISPs from France)
  • Availability rate: median percentage availability rate (measured by Cedexis for all ISPs from France)
  • IOPS: average number of input-output operations per second (100% random write 4KB test)
  • Bandwidth: average bandwidth in megabytes per second (100% 1MB sequential write test)
  • CPU / Events / sec: average number of events processed per second (from 32 processes started every 60 seconds with the SysBench tool)
  • RAM / Transfer Speed: average transfer rate in megabytes per second

Cloud: price comparison

The Azure instances of the Microsoft North European Data Center are now included in this Cloud Cloud Comparison Cloud / Cedexis / JDN. They are about 13% cheaper than those of the Western Europe data center of the American group. This change allows Microsoft to advance two positions in the price category of the ranking, and move ahead of IBM and Amazon in this area.

“The euro-dollar exchange rate is slightly penalizing suppliers whose price grid is in dollars only,” adds Anthony Sollinger at CloudScreener.

suppliersPrice indexLinux “M type” instanceWindows “M” InstanceCase No. 1Case No. 2Case No. 3
1-  Google Compute Engine  87    € 28 $ 55 $ 168 $ 569 $ 326
2-  Aruba  87    40 € 40 € $ 120 $ 493 $ 369
3-  Cloudwatt  85    € 36 $ 55 $ 166 $ 443 $ 342
4-  Numergy 64    40 € € 56 $ 168 $ 988 $ 392
5-  Ikoula  55    € 44 $ 76 $ 228 688 € $ 397
6-  Microsoft Azure  47    50 € $ 88 $ 265 $ 749 420 €
7-  IBM  SoftLayer  46    € 61 $ 73 $ 231 $ 776 $ 542
8-  Amazon Web Services  46    $ 51 90 € $ 271 800 € $ 448
9-  Rackspace  35    $ 73 $ 93 $ 282 $ 1,108 $ 651
10-  Joyent  25    € 81 $ 128 $ 385 $ 1,243 686 €

The prices and performances indicated for Numergy are those of the Numergy Cloud version of VMware.

Methodology  : The CloudScreener / Cedexis / JDN ranking is developed using a CloudScreener Performance / Price / Service Level monitoring platform and Cedexis’ network monitoring infrastructure.

The price indexes on which the ranking is based are calculated from several indicators: the price of standard instances, and cloudconfigurations adapted to three business project perimeters. As for the performance indices, they include performance indicators (IOPS, RAM, CPU …), derived from the CloudScreener supervision system, and Cedexis network performance indicators.


Android: A new Microsoft App Store in the Play Store

Microsoft wants to beef up its presence on Android by offering its own application store, bringing together its many home apps available for the Google system.

Microsoft is once again strengthening its presence in the Android Play Store. The publisher of Redmond already offers many applications on the Google system, the most prominent probably being those of the Office suite, which were, for a time, reserved for Windows, before Microsoft adopts another strategy.

Today, Redmond continues its conquest of Android with an app on the Play Store which is actually … a shop of its mobile applications available on Android. A way to better highlight the richness of its catalog on this platform, and perhaps the way too, to push its current users to install more home products … The app has already been evaluated 330 times per hour. write these lines, and get a score of 4/5 despite several written opinions not understanding what the application is for. 

This new app soberly called Microsoft Apps is in any case launched while the project Astoria, which was to allow Android apps to be easily ported to Windows 10 and the Windows Phone is stalled or even abandoned according to some reliable sources .