Google’s Apps Marketplace, its directory of cloud apps that integrate with Google Apps, now features over 750 services. Today, at its Global Partner Summit, Google is expanding this program by creating a formal Technology track in its partner program for vendors who “build complementary business apps and tools.”
The new program, Google says, will run alongside its existing Reseller Program, which currently includes more than 10,000 partners. The Reseller track focuses on the resellers who bring Google Apps to other businesses (ranging from small stores to enterprises).
The new track is meant for partners who have integrated their products with the Google Apps Services APIs. These range from companies that build anything from workflow tools and analytics dashboards to business intelligence and expense management tools. Some of the companies in the Marketplace today include the likes of DocuSign, Uberconference and SmartSheet.
Google says part of the idea behind the program is to reward technology partners for their success in building this ecosystem. As part of this, they will get technical, marketing and sales support from Google. Those companies that make it into Google’s VIP Premier Technology track (which means they need to have an install base of at least 100,000 users) also get a number of extra perks, including premier placement in the Google Apps Marketplace.
Also new in Google’s partnership program today is an expansion of its Cloud Platform partner program, which is meant for companies that extend the functionality of the Cloud Platform (think SendGrid, New Relic, Cloud Sherpas, etc.) and those who provide consulting and implementation services.
This program launched in 2012, but always remained relatively small. Google says it only features 161 companies right now. Starting today, Google is now making it easier for more businesses to participate, however. The company is adding an additional entry-level tier to its offerings. This so-called “Registered Company” tier will sit under the Premier Partner and Authorized Partner tiers and will give companies access to online resources and training.
On a first glance, it wouldn’t be apparent that Tom Kemp, a co-founder and the CEO of Centrify, runs one of the world’s best private enterprise technology companies. Turns out, he’s on his second startup, this one — Centrify — started back in 2004. For the past nine years, Kemp and his team have been hard at work building security and ID management products for the enterprise to better manage how their cloud, data, and app systems are accessed, as well as working under a unified IT infrastructure. After nine years of work, four rounds of financing totaling over $50M, and a workforce over 400, Centrify is now booking $50M in sales and growing, preparing for the public markets, and continuing to reinvent their core business despite all their successes.
In this video, I sit down with Kemp and have a discussion around a bunch of topics — ranging from how Centrify had to transition to a cloud architecture, how this impacted their corporate culture (including managing remote staff overseas), how enterprise IT systems are still a hybrid of cloud and on-prem solutions, and how Kemp is handling transitions at the board level to prepare the company for a potential offering down the road. For any founders working on large-scale enterprise systems, learning from a Kemp’s story is not a bad idea.
Editor’s Note: Michael Abbott is a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, previously Twitter’s VP of Engineering, and a founder himself. Mike also writes a blog called uncapitalized. You can follow him on Twitter @mabb0tt.
See the original post: Centrify’s Tom Kemp On Preparing Technology Companies For The Long Haul
Fortune today released its annual ranking of the world’s most admired companies. Apple topped the charts yet again, but on the lower parts of the list something interesting happened: Microsoft fell from 17th in 2013, to 24th in 2014. The score puts the company far behind its current rivals in the platform wars: Amazon took second place and Google took third.
Why the yawning delta between Microsoft and its foes? It could be that despite several quarters of strong earnings, Microsoft’s long-suffering reputation in the new mobile era has dragged it south.
Here’s Fortune’s entry for Microsoft:
The question of who would inherit Microsoft’s CEO mantle gnawed at the tech giant for a good deal of 2013, but, ultimately, new chief Satya Nadella arrived on the heels of rosy earnings and strong sales of Xbox, tablets, and commercial cloud services. Now it’s up to the 22-year Microsoft veteran to chart a new course for the company through the cloud, mobile, and devices – while predecessors Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer continue to look on from their board seats.
The Fortune list is based on responses from business leaders around the world. So, while the grouping is a yearly business vanity test of sorts, it is also a barometer for market opinion on competing firms: who is going up and who is slipping in the eyes of their potential customers.
And finally, given the current tightness of the labor market in technology, reputation can be a weapon when it comes to sourcing talent. Conversely, a lack of reputation can be a material weakness.
Microsoft was not immediately available for comment.
Continue reading here: Microsoft Slips To 24th On Fortune’s Most Admired List, As Its Rivals Take Spots 1, 2 And 3
The most exciting, and bizarre, of Nokia’s announcements today at the Mobile World Congress belonged to the much-rumored Nokia X handset — and a surprise addition of another two peers, the X+ and XL — all of which run an operating system based on Android.
The devices are targeted at the “affordable smartphone” segment of the market and run the Nokia X OS platform — a forked version of Android that includes the Fastlane UI found on Asha devices.
The Nokia X’s hardware itself is aligned with its ‘affordable’ smartphone tag, offering a 1GHz dual-core processor, 4-inch 800 x 480 pixels IPS display and a 3-megapixel fixed focus camera on the rear. There’s also 4GB of on board storage and 512MB RAM.
In fact, Nokia told TNW that only three APIs have been changed, so if a developer isn’t making use of these, no changes are needed at all.
However, as the Nokia X is not an ‘Android’ device in the truest sense — it doesn’t have Google Play certification — apps need to be loaded onto the device from Nokia’s own app store, which will have a special section for apps that run on devices in the Nokia X family.
The word ‘family’ there is a telling one – this won’t be the only device to ship under the Nokia X branding and running the custom OS, despite the fact that Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s device business is expected to close by the end of this quarter.
“X signifies the cross over between three worlds: Android apps, Nokia design heritage and Microsoft services. It’s a family of affordable smartphones…today we’re talking about the first one, but there will be more [in 2014].”
In addition to providing largely unfettered access to Android apps, there are also a few exclusive apps like Mix Radio and Here Maps pre-installed on the device.
Other than loading apps via Nokia’s app store, users will also be able to download them from third-party app stores like Yandex or side-load an APK directly onto the device from a computer.
While it’s aimed primarily at developing markets, Nokia confirmed to TNW that the Nokia X will be a global handset, but with some omissions, namely: North America, Korea and Japan. So, there’s a chance you could see it land in the UK and Europe at some point, but if you live in North America and are interested, it looks like you’re not in luck for now.
“In North America we’re remain extremely focused on Lumia and generally speaking, Lumia remains our primary smartphone strategy.”
For other markets, the phone is due to go on sale next month, priced from €89 ($122) before taxes.
Nokia told us that launching an Android-derived phone fits neatly with Microsoft’s ambitions to break into emerging markets and bring the next one billion users online.
“The essential reason in Microsoft being interested in Nokia mobile phones and not just Lumia is that they are also [looking to] connecting the next one billion [people] to the cloud; to their cloud services like Skype and Outlook and such.
Our strategies are very much aligned, what we bring to the table is a very wide reach into these growth markets, to price points and consumers that typically know the Microsoft brand but might not have personal experience of it simply because they could not afford a product or service before.”
So, although the idea of Microsoft supporting devices that run an Android-based OS might seem a bit unusual at first, when considered in the context of locking one billion people into using its cloud services, it makes a little more sense.
Visit our MWC 2014 page for more coverage
Read the original here: Nokia’s X family of Android-forked devices targets price-conscious customers in growth markets
At its core the device is a very simple cased or uncased e-ink reader. It consist of a very simple, waterproof device with an e-ink screen and allows programmers to build HTML5-based applications that can be pushed directly to the platform. Built as less of a dev kit than a thin client system, you use the Visionect screen as sort of a dumb terminal for your web projects although the system does allow for complex app development.
It should cost about 240 Euro when it launches. The Slovenian Team added a 120Mhz processor which powers the very basic terminal features of the device. Most of the heavy lifting, then, is done on the Visionect servers and pushed to the devices as needed.
It’s an interesting strategy – cheap hardware and a focus on cloud services – and I suspect it could catch on in situations where an e-ink interface would be ideal due to environmental concerns. In other words, don’t think of this as a denuded Kindle but instead a Star-Trek-esque flat control panel that is weatherproof and won’t be overpowered in sunlight.
The stealthy business security company Apprity, launched by two former Oracle employees, has raised $8 million in its first institutional financing.
For its first venture round, Apprity turned to seasoned security technology investors Promod Haque, a senior managing partner at Norwest Venture Partners, and Gaurav Garg, a founding partner of Wing Ventures.
The last time these two investors came together on a deal, the result was the tech security darling FireEye, which held its initial public offering in September 2013, nine years after its launch.
“The reality is most traditional approaches involve a perimeter-centric mindset, whether it is proxy-based or server-based,” said Apprity’s Chief Executive Rohit Gupta, who previously worked as VP of Products in the identity management and security group at Oracle.
With the new funding, Apprity is going to make a huge hiring push around its engineering and research and development teams, Gupta said. “Close to 98 percent of our projected spend is in core engineering and research.”
For NVP’s Haque, the decision to back Apprity’s vision was a function of the previous experience of the two founders. “With the many years of experience that these gentlemen have, it gives them a very interesting vantage point to assess the weaknesses of other systems and build something different.”
What that different product is, neither Haque nor Gupta would say, but Gupta did say that the research the company is doing “centers on the ability to go into much deeper and finer levels of granularity researching threat patterns in the cloud.”
Businesses want to trust but verify when they move to the cloud, according to Gupta. Whatever tools Apprity is developing must be designed to handle the verify component, because as billions of dollars worth of cloud-based software subscriptions show, companies are already putting a lot of their trust in the cloud.
Photo via Flickr user CarbonNYC.
Cloud security startup CloudLock will launch new encryption product to make it easier for service-as-a-service and cloud platforms to protect sensitive data. Called CloudLock Selective Encryption, the product’s launch comes a few weeks after CloudLock announced that it had raised $16.5 million in Series C funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners, bringing its total funding to $28.2 million. It will make its public debut next week at the 2014 RSA Conference in San Francisco.
CloudLock Selective Encryption will protect data on the two platforms, Salesforce.com and Google Apps, that CloudLock currently covers, as well as new cloud service providers the startup signs up as it expands.
Cloud traffic is expected to reach a total of 7.7 zettabytes, or two-thirds of global data center traffic, by 2017. For SaaS and cloud platforms, rapid growth also presents a significant security challenge because certain types of information have to protected in specific ways to meet compliance laws and regulations. This data includes personal information; credit card data; medical records protected under the HIPAA privacy law; and intellectual property.
By making it easier for customers to provide higher levels of security for just the data that requires it, CloudLock Selective Encryption can help cloud service companies scale up more efficiently while complying with security regulations.
CloudLock Selective Encryption looks for sensitive data and then automatically encrypts it to meet compliance laws without affecting the app’s performance. The product can be used for either end-user and corporate-governed encryption, and it protects data that is being uploaded to the cloud, as well data that is already in storage.
In a statement, CloudLock CTO and co-founder Ron Zalkind said: “We’ve heard from hundreds of our customers that the gateway-based and reverse-proxy solutions out there require heavy deployments, are highly prone to breaking cloud apps, and are often unavailable from mobile apps. CloudLock is provisioned completely in the cloud, in minutes.”
Image by picjumbo
See original here: CloudLock Launches A Fully Cloud-Based Selective Encryption Product
The handiwork of Deezer co-founder Jonathan Benassaya, StreamNation launched to the world in July last year, serving as a platform for users to stream and share videos and photos directly from the cloud. Then back in November, the company rolled out an interesting new feature that lets you lend movies and TV shows to friends – from the cloud too.
Now the company has unveiled the next stage in its plans, which is to unify all your photos and videos from everywhere – this covers Instagram, Facebook, iPhoto, Google Drive, Google+, Flickr, Lightroom, Aperture, Picasa, Dropbox and OneDrive.
StreamNation is essentially trying to become the ultimate cloud-based media hub, covering storage, streaming and displaying. Indeed, with the latest update, the platform now also displays photos and videos on a timeline, irrespective of what account or device it was garnered from.
Users get up to 20GB of storage for free, with premium plans kicking in at $4 a month for 100GB, $9 a month for 500GB and $19 a month for unlimited.
Capillary Technologies, the social CRM startup based in Bangalore, has raised additional funding of around $4 million from American Express Ventures. The startup plans to expand into the U.S., Middle East, China and Australia with this fresh funding, which takes the total capital raised so far to around $20 million.
Norwest Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital and Qualcomm Ventures are among other existing investors in the startup.
The funding from American Express Ventures follows a marketing alliance with the bank signed by Capillary last month, which will offer the startup’s SaaS-based CRM to small and medium businesses in the U.S. Amex and Capillary did a similar pilot in Singapore over past one year.
Capillary is among a small, but promising breed of Indian software product firms that are beginning to make a mark globally. Capillary for instance, has around 100 million customers on its cloud CRM for over 150 brands, and across 10,000 stores globally. The startup still gets nearly half of its revenues from India market, which could change with growth in other markets as more customers from the U.S. and Europe adopt Capillary’s simpler solution.
The startup competes with bigger enterprise vendors such as Oracle, Salesforce and SAP on one hand, and smaller, niche startups including Mobiquest, Swiply and Punchd at the other end. Its product — InTouch — gathers real time customer data, applies predictive analysis, and helps retailers such as Nike, Puma, Marks & Spencer and Nokia contact potential customers with personalized offers on-the-go.
“We would want to be best Retail Customer Engagement solution targetting mid sized retailers ($500m in revenues) developed markets like US, UK, Europe and be leaders across retailer sizes in developing markets like Asia and Africa – in one line we want to the Salesforce.com for retail CRM’s,” Aneesh Reddy, one of the co-founders told me. Reddy, along with his IIT batch mates Krishna Mehra and Ajay Modani, launched Caoillary with a round $3,500 in seed funding from their college.
Since then, the startup has come a long way, now being seen as one of the truly India-made enterprise products.
“We are not yet profitable thanks to the investments being made in the newer markets. We should be cash positive and continue to grow at a 100%+ CAGR in the next 12 months,” Reddy added.
Capillary’s story is of an emerging market solution built for SMS environment and low-cost cloud networks, which is now beginning to make sense globally. In one such early customer example, Indian clothing retailer Raymond, used Capillary’s product to build a mobile-first loyalty program for 1.6 million of its customers. Now, it’s gaining adoption among several high-end, retailers selling products in some of the developed markets. This HBR Blog captures Capillary’s journey and why it’s among the startups to watch out for.
Read more from the original source: With $4M In Fresh Funding From Amex Ventures, Capillary Wants to be Salesforce Of Social CRM