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ZumoDrive Brings Cloud Storage And Syncing Application To Android And Palm Devices March 17, 2010

Posted by hruf in Internet & Communities, Mobile & Gadgets.
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File syncing and storage startup Zumodrive is expanding its mobile offerings today with free applications for Android and Palm phones. While there are a plethora of syncing and storage services available to users, ZumoDrive, which spawned from Y Combinator startup Zecter, has a different take on file syncing. Similar to other services, Zumodrive creates a drive on your device that is synced to the cloud. But service includes a slightly different twist-ZumoDrive tricks the file system into thinking those cloud-stored files are local, and streams them from the cloud when you open or access them.

The startup launched an iPhone app last year, which let users sync their content to their phone without having to deal with local storage capacity issues. The Android and Palm apps include much of the same functionality. The apps allows users to sync their entire iTunes library on their phones even though the songs are not locally saved. Plus, ZumoDrive allows you to import your files. photos albums and videos onto your Android and Palm phones.

Additional features include video streaming from ZumoDrive directly to devices in MP4, H.264 format, music organized by artist, albums, and even playlists created on other devices, the ability to stream music in the background and listen to music over both 3G or EDGE networks.
Additionally you can access and view Microsoft Office documents and PDF files.

ZumoDrive has been gaining traction over the past year. Fresh off of a $1.5 million funding round, the startup scored a deal with HP in January to to power the backend of the technology giant’s CloudDrive on all HP Mini netbooks.

Last year, ZumoDrive released a new version of its system that wirelessly syncs playlists between devices, auto-detects content, and lets users link file folders on their devices to ZumoDrive only once so that changes in that folder will always be linked to ZumoDrive. The service was also upgraded to integrate well with media applications, like iTunes, so users can play entire music libraries saved in ZumoDrive on multiple devices without manually syncing content. We initially reviewed Zumodrive here.

Zecter previously launched a product called Versionate, an office-wiki product, that we first covered in July 2007. We wrote about them again a year ago. ZumoDrive faces competition from Dropbox, SugarSync, and Box.net.

via ZumoDrive Brings Cloud Storage And Syncing Application To Android And Palm Devices.

Official Google Blog: Open for business: the Google Apps Marketplace March 11, 2010

Posted by hruf in Enterprise 2.0, Internet & Communities.
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Every day, thousands of businesses choose the cloud. More than 2 million businesses have adopted Google Apps over the last three years, eliminating the hassles associated with purchasing, installing and maintaining hardware and software themselves.

We’ve found that when businesses begin to experience the benefits of cloud computing, they want more. We’re often asked when we’ll offer a wider variety of business applications — from accounting and project management to travel planning and human resources management. But we certainly can’t and won’t do it all, and there are hundreds of business applications for which we have no particular expertise.

In recent years, many talented software providers have embraced the cloud and delivered a diverse set of features capable of powering almost any business. But too often, customers who adopt applications from multiple vendors end up with a fractured experience, where each particular application exists in its own silo. Users are often forced to create and remember multiple passwords, cut and paste data between applications, and jump between multiple interfaces just to complete a simple task.

Today, we’re making it easier for these users and software providers to do business in the cloud with a new online store for integrated business applications. The Google Apps Marketplace allows Google Apps customers to easily discover, deploy and manage cloud applications that integrate with Google Apps. More than 50 companies are now selling applications across a range of businesses, including:

  • Intuit Online Payroll: A small business application that offers business owners a new way to efficiently run payroll, pay taxes and let employees check paystubs all within one integrated online office environment.
  • Manymoon: The company’s free work and project management application for Google Apps makes it simple for businesses and teams to organize and share information including tasks, projects, documents, status updates and links with co-workers, customers and partners.
  • Professional Services Connect (PS Connect): This new cloud-based offering coming soon from Appirio, pulls contextually relevant information on people, projects, customers and transactions from a user’s domain and surfaces it directly inside a Gmail message so services professionals can make more informed, real-time decisions.
  • JIRA Studio: A hosted software development suite from Atlassian enables software developers to flow naturally between Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and other design and development tools in order to better track and manage project issues and workflow.

Once installed to a company’s domain, these third-party applications work like native Google applications. With administrator approval, they may interact with calendar, email, document and/or contact data to increase productivity. Administrators can manage the applications from the familiar Google Apps control panel, and employees can open them from within Google Apps. With OpenID integration, Google Apps users can access the other applications without signing in separately to each. The Google Apps Marketplace eliminates the worry about software updates, keeping track of different passwords and manual syncing and sharing of data, thereby increasing business productivity and lessening frustrations for users and IT administrators alike. That’s the power of the cloud.

For more information on the benefits of the Google Apps Marketplace to businesses, check out our Enterprise Blog post. Developers interested in learning how to integrate with Google Apps can check out our post on the Google Code Blog. Or, you can explore the Google Apps Marketplace directly at http://google.com/appsmarketplace.

Finally, we’ll be diving deeper into application development for the enterprise at Google I/O on May 19-20. We hope to see you there!

via Official Google Blog: Open for business: the Google Apps Marketplace.

Google Docs gets a web clipboard | VentureBeat February 28, 2010

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Google has made life a bit better for hardcore Google Docs users. Today, the company unveiled a new web clipboard feature for the Docs suite. It allows users to copy items to a cloud-based clipboard from any Docs application, and then paste them into another Docs app with proper formatting.

Users can copy items to the web clipboard using the new clipboard menu shown below:

They can then use the same menu in another Docs document to paste in the copied content:

As you can see, there are several options available when pasting the web clipboard content. Since the example started out by copying content from spreadsheet, there is a “table” option, alongside the usual HTML and plain text.

After pasting the spreadsheet tables into a new presentation, we get a properly formatted result:

The new web clipboard won’t change the way copying and pasting already works in Google Docs via your operating system, but it is a useful alternative. You can copy multiple items to the web clipboard, and being cloud-based, the clipboard items are accessible across different browsers, platforms, and sessions. The items will remain in the clipboard for thirty days, or you can choose to clear them out manually.

Google says that this is just the first step for the web clipboard, so we can likely expect new features and functionality soon. Perhaps a way to send other content outside of Docs to the web clipboard as well?

via Google Docs gets a web clipboard | VentureBeat.

Say Hello to the Google Tablet December 19, 2009

Posted by pannet in Mobile & Gadgets.
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There’s a hot web tablet coming next year, perhaps you’ve heard rumors about it? The tablet will be a simple slate that is designed to do one thing well, surf the web. It will be thin and light, and the 10-inch screen will sit in a package that is a no-frills design. It will be a simple slate device, comfortable to use in the hands for hours of tapping into the Internet.

The tablet will not run a “full” OS, that would be overkill. It will be designed from the ground up to work with the web. It will not be expected to replace full compute functionality for everyone, it will just do the web. It will do the web flawlessly, however, as that will be the entire purpose of this web tablet. It will leverage all web technology well, from Flash to HTML5, and that will open up a magical web experience. This tablet will not be coming from Apple as you might have thought, it will be coming from Google.

This new device will not run Intel processors, that would be overkill. It will rather be based on ARM technology, as that will provide all of the oomph needed to run the web stuff. It will have Wi-Fi and integrated 3G, as that will allow it to stay connected to the web all the time, using the fastest pipe available. It will be connected to the Google cloud, and the guts of the tablet, which are basically the same as that in smartphones, will mean it will be getting email and other pushed information even when sitting to the side.

The connection is important, as a good web tablet is a cloud computer through and through. All data will reside in the cloud, all apps will be web apps. Local storage will be kept at a minimum as it won’t be needed. The interface will be designed around working with the web, and it will be optimized for touch. It will not be a smartphone interface blown up to fit the bigger screen, it will be designed from the ground up to fit the display.

The slate will provide a great window into all of the major social networks that are popular. It will be able to visit any web site and deliver a great browsing experience. The philosophy behind the design will center around the understanding that most of the user’s needs for the tablet will center around the web, and it will do that as well as any computer can.

If this sounds like the Google Chrome OS that is coming next year, then you catch on quickly. Google is going to set the mobile world on fire next year with the introduction of Chrome, and a tablet is the perfect vehicle to showcase its strengths. I believe the smart folks at Google will single-handedly bring credibility to the smartbook genre, as Chrome netbooks will be smartbooks by their very design. They won’t be called smartbooks, they will simply be Google Computers. Google won’t be content to stay with the notebook form factor, as it is a simple jump to a tablet form.

A slate makes sense on so many levels that I believe Google is already thinking about one. The constant buzz about an Apple tablet, and with the strange situation surrounding the CrunchPad/ JooJoo, demonstrates the interest in a web tablet. Google already has everything in place to produce one based on the Chrome OS, and produce one better than anyone else. Such a Google ChromePad would be aimed at distributing through phone carriers with data plans, and could be produced cheaply enough to make them virtually free with typical subsidies.

The Google Tablet would be sold in major retail outlets, in addition to carrier distribution. Imagine how many tablets would be moved in a very short time if consumers could walk in Walmart and pick one up for free, or nearly free, and be online in just a few minutes. It won’t take long for most people to realize that most everything they do outside the work environment is now centered around the web, making a Google Tablet the most useful thing they own.

We may see a tablet from Apple, if the constant rumors pan out. But an Apple tablet will be expensive, making it a niche product. Google can make deals with anyone they want to build their tablet, and cheaper is better than expensive. The Chrome OS core will straddle the smartphone/ computer fence, providing a richer user experience than an iPhone OS tablet from Apple. Google has everything in place to do this, and do it right. I think they’ll take advantage of that situation.

via Say Hello to the Google Tablet.

// More info why Google should make a tablet to be found here at gizmodo

Gartner Says Worldwide SaaS Revenue to Grow 18 Percent in 2009 November 11, 2009

Posted by hruf in Enterprise 2.0.
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Worldwide software as a service (SaaS) revenue is forecast to reach $7.5 billion in 2009, a 17.7 percent increase from 2008 revenue of $6.4 billion, according to Gartner, Inc. The market will show consistent growth through 2013 when worldwide SaaS revenue will total over $14 billion for the enterprise application markets.

“The adoption of SaaS continues to grow and evolve within the enterprise application markets,” said Sharon Mertz, research director at Gartner. “The composition of the worldwide SaaS landscape is evolving as vendors continue to extend regionally, increase penetration within existing accounts and ‘greenfield’ opportunities, and offer more-vertical-specific solutions as part of their service portfolio or through partners.”[…]

Table 1
Worldwide Software Revenue for SaaS Delivery Within the Enterprise Application Software Markets
(Millions of Dollars)

 

2009 2008
Content, Communications and Collaboration (CCC) 2,573 2,143
Office Suites 68 56
Digital Content Creation (DCC) 62 44
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 2,281 1,872
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) 1,239 1,176
Supply Chain Management (SCM) 826 710
Other Application Software 472 387
Total Enterprise Software 7,521 6,388

Source: Gartner (November 2009)

via Gartner Says Worldwide SaaS Revenue to Grow 18 Percent in 2009.

Meet Zong+, A Mobile Payments Platform On Steroids And Potential PayPal Killer November 1, 2009

Posted by hruf in Internet & Communities, Mobile & Gadgets.
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Zong has seen tremendous growth over the past year from when the company debuted its mobile payments service from the TechCrunch50 demo pit. Zong’s model of billing micropayments to your cell phone bill caught our eye and sure enough, less than one year later, the startup is picking up serious traction, including a partnership with Facebook to power the purchase of the social network’s new currency. And in 2009 alone, Zong has processed mobile payments for over 10 million unique users worldwide. Today, Zong is launching a new feature that not only expands its payment services, but could make a lasting impact on the micropayments field.

via Meet Zong+, A Mobile Payments Platform On Steroids And Potential PayPal Killer.

Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2010 October 20, 2009

Posted by hruf in Enterprise 2.0.
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Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.[…]

The top 10 strategic technologies for 2010 include:

Cloud Computing. Cloud computing is a style of computing that characterizes a model in which providers deliver a variety of IT-enabled capabilities to consumers. Cloud-based services can be exploited in a variety of ways to develop an application or a solution.[…]

Advanced Analytics. Optimization and simulation is using analytical tools and models to maximize business process and decision effectiveness by examining alternative outcomes and scenarios, before, during and after process implementation and execution. This can be viewed as a third step in supporting operational business decisions. […]

Client Computing. Virtualization is bringing new ways of packaging client computing applications and capabilities. As a result, the choice of a particular PC hardware platform, and eventually the OS platform, becomes less critical. Enterprises should proactively build a five to eight year strategic client computing roadmap outlining an approach to device standards, ownership and support; operating system and application selection, deployment and update; and management and security plans to manage diversity.

IT for Green. IT can enable many green initiatives. The use of IT, particularly among the white collar staff, can greatly enhance an enterprise’s green credentials. Common green initiatives include the use of e-documents, reducing travel and teleworking. […]

Reshaping the Data Center. In the past, design principles for data centers were simple: Figure out what you have, estimate growth for 15 to 20 years, then build to suit. Newly-built data centers often opened with huge areas of white floor space, fully powered and backed by a uninterruptible power supply (UPS), water-and air-cooled and mostly empty. However, costs are actually lower if enterprises adopt a pod-based approach to data center construction and expansion. […]

Social Computing. Workers do not want two distinct environments to support their work – one for their own work products (whether personal or group) and another for accessing “external” information. Enterprises must focus both on use of social software and social media in the enterprise and participation and integration with externally facing enterprise-sponsored and public communities. Do not ignore the role of the social profile to bring communities together.

Security – Activity Monitoring. Traditionally, security has focused on putting up a perimeter fence to keep others out, but it has evolved to monitoring activities and identifying patterns that would have been missed before. Information security professionals face the challenge of detecting malicious activity in a constant stream of discrete events that are usually associated with an authorized user and are generated from multiple network, system and application sources. At the same time, security departments are facing increasing demands for ever-greater log analysis and reporting to support audit requirements. […]

Flash Memory. Flash memory is not new, but it is moving up to a new tier in the storage echelon. Flash memory is a semiconductor memory device, familiar from its use in USB memory sticks and digital camera cards. It is much faster than rotating disk, but considerably more expensive, however this differential is shrinking. At the rate of price declines, the technology will enjoy more than a 100 percent compound annual growth rate during the new few years and become strategic in many IT areas including consumer devices, entertainment equipment and other embedded IT systems. In addition, it offers a new layer of the storage hierarchy in servers and client computers that has key advantages including space, heat, performance and ruggedness.

Virtualization for Availability. Virtualization has been on the list of top strategic technologies in previous years. It is on the list this year because Gartner emphases new elements such as live migration for availability that have longer term implications. Live migration is the movement of a running virtual machine (VM), while its operating system and other software continue to execute as if they remained on the original physical server. […]

Mobile Applications. By year-end 2010, 1.2 billion people will carry handsets capable of rich, mobile commerce providing a rich environment for the convergence of mobility and the Web. There are already many thousands of applications for platforms such as the Apple iPhone, in spite of the limited market and need for unique coding. It may take a newer version that is designed to flexibly operate on both full PC and miniature systems, but if the operating system interface and processor architecture were identical, that enabling factor would create a huge turn upwards in mobile application availability.

via Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2010.

Pogoplug & Dave’s Cloud Realignment – Zatz Not Funny October 20, 2009

Posted by pannet in Internet & Communities, Multimedia.
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I’ve recently spent time with a loaner Pogoplug ($99), a device I first encountered pre-release at CES. Combined with your own USB storage (stick or drive), Pogoplug places your content on the ‘net for local or remote access. I was astounded by the ease of setup, compared with say the network gymnastics (port forwarding) often required to punch a Slingbox feed through one’s home router. Files can be accessed via browser, local drive, or iPhone app. Additionally, files or entire directories can be selectively shared with friends or family. And new file uploads can automatically be tweeted. (But why?) However, to fulfill my personal cloud vision, I’d like to see less reliance on the mother ship. I’m also a bit surprised Pogoplug doesn’t offer more NAS-based services given its in-home location. The good news is that, with a little hackery, the Pogoplug can be modded to stream iTunes – and I hope to see more of this going forward, whether community developed or provided directly by Cloud Engines. If you’re thinking of joining in, I suggest looking at Seagate’s more practical hardware implementation of the Pogoplug experience.

Given recent changes in the various environments I find myself and an imminent computing hardware realignment, I’ve begun leaning more heavily on the cloud. I’m possibly giving up some security and privacy in exchange for convenience. First, I’ve reactivated Xmarks (formerly Foxmarks) to keep my bookmarks in sync across various platforms and browsers. I’m now also following in Dale’s footsteps by using Evernote to write and clip all sorts of content which can be accessed just about anywhere. And when NetNewsWire recently dropped their RSS feed sync service, I took the opportunity to move back onto Google Reader – I wish there was more visual contrast between read/unread items and I’m still awaiting Snow Leopard Gears support, but the iPhone web implementation is outstanding. Speaking of Google, I expect to lean more heavily on Google Docs to keep documents accessible (and editable, obviously). For larger files, while I’ve minimally accessed their service over the last year, I expect Dropbox will see more usage from me. However, as a former subscriber of MobileMe, SugarSync, Mozy, and others, it’s safe to say all of this is subject to change as service offerings and my needs evolve. And I haven’t entirely given up on Windows Home Server as a comprehensive solution. Give it headless Media Center capabilities, and I’ll revisit WHS in a heartbeat.

via Pogoplug & Dave’s Cloud Realignment.

Microsoft’s Future, Beyond Windows 7 and the PC October 18, 2009

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A quite interesting article about the future of MS could be found at the following side: Microsoft’s Future, Beyond Windows 7 and the PC – NYTimes.com.

Too much to completely post it here 😉

AG Customer Bill of Rights – SaaS – Live October 14, 2009

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Purpose And Intent

This document is intended to serve as a reference, checklist, and point of discussion with SaaS vendors for prospects and clients who have made the decision to begin a SaaS deployment. Though your SaaS vendor may not provide all these rights today, these represent the best practices in over 250 SaaS contracts and the general spirit and intent of most SaaS vendor’s executive management teams.

View this document on Scribd

How to use the Software As A Service Bill of Rights

  • If you’re a buyer of any of these markets, use this document as a checklist to ensure your rights are being met.
  • Have a dialog with your vendors, asking them where they fall within these bill of rights and where they differentiate.
  • Encourage your existing vendors to follow these rights as you negotiate your next renewal.

via AG Customer Bill of Rights – SaaS – Live.
via Altimeter Report: Customer Bill of Rights – Software-as-a Service