Jul
26
2018
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GitHub and Google reaffirm partnership with Cloud Build CI/CD tool integration

When Microsoft acquired GitHub for $7.5 billion smackeroos in June, it sent some shock waves through the developer community as it is a key code repository. Google certainly took notice, but the two companies continue to work closely together. Today at Google Next, they announced an expansion of their partnership around Google’s new CI/CD tool, Cloud Build, which was unveiled this week at the conference.

Politics aside, the purpose of the integration is to make life easier for developers by reducing the need to switch between tools. If GitHub recognizes a Docker file without a corresponding CI/CD tool, the developer will be prompted to grab one from the GitHub Marketplace with Google Cloud Build offered prominently as one of the suggested tools.

Photo: GitHub

Should the developer choose to install Cloud Build, that’s where the tight integration comes into play. Developers can run Cloud Build against their code directly from GitHub, and the results will appear directly in the GitHub interface. They won’t have to switch applications to make this work together, and that should go a long way toward saving developer time and effort.

Google Cloud Build. Photo: Google

This is part of GitHub’s new “Smart Recommendations,” which will be rolling out to users in the coming months.

Melody Meckfessel, VP of Engineering for Google Cloud says that the two companies have a history and a context and they have always worked extremely well together on an engineer-to-engineer level. “We have been working together from an engineering standpoint for so many years. We both believe in doing the right thing for developers. We believe that success as it relates to cloud adoption comes from collaborating in the ecosystem,” she said.

Given that close relationship, it had to be disappointing on some level when Microsoft acquired GitHub. In fact, Google Cloud head, Diane Greene expressed sadness about the deal in an interview with CNBC earlier this week, but GitHub’s SVP of Technology Jason Warner believes that Microsoft will be a good steward and that the relationship with Google will remain strong.

Warner says the company’s founding principles were about not getting locked in to any particularly platform and he doesn’t see that changing after the acquisition is finalized. “One of the things that was critical in any discussion about an acquisition was that GitHub shall remain an open platform,” Warner explained.

He indicated that today’s announcement is just a starting point, and the two companies intend to build on this integration moving forward. “We worked pretty closely on this together. This announcement is a nod to some of the future oriented partnerships that we will be announcing later in the year,” he said. And that partnership should continue unabated, even after the Microsoft acquisition is finalized later this year.

Jul
23
2018
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Google Cloud’s partnership network begins paying dividends

When Google Cloud brought Diane Greene on board at the end of 2015, one of her goals was to expand the division’s partnership network, an approach she found worked quite well when she was running VMware in the early 2000s. It appears to be working at Google too.

This week at Google Next, the company’s annual cloud conference, they announced the partner program had grown significantly since the beginning of last year. “Since the start of 2017, we’ve increased the number of technology partners by 10x and we’ve more than doubled our team supporting these partners,” Google’s Nan Boden and Nina Harding wrote in a blog post on partner program progress.

Google is partnering with a variety of large enterprise vendors from Cisco to SAP to NetApp to Diane Greene’s old company, VMware. In addition, they are also working with the traditional systems integrators like Accenture, Deloitte, KPMG and others.

All of this is enabling Google Cloud customers to work through familiar channels while helping Google to build out its cloud business and gain more traction in the enterprise. Partners in general help customers work with a platform like Google Cloud more easily by providing integrations that might not otherwise exist.

One thing Google has going for it, especially on the G Suite side of the house, which includes Gmail, Docs, Drive and Calendar, is sheer numbers with millions of users. It benefits the partner to work with a company like Google Cloud to help all their common users, and perhaps attract new ones, and it benefits Google because it makes their cloud services all the more valuable to the customer.

The company sees Software as a Service in particular as a key area for growth and they announced out a new partnership program this week with access to more Google personnel and marketing funding to help encourage more interaction with SaaS partners on the platform. They already have multiple agreements in place with popular SaaS vendors including Salesforce, Box, MongoDB, Zenoss, Elastic, RedisLabs, JFrog, BetterCloud, DialPad, and many others

Cloud computing has always been different from traditional enterprise computing because cooperation has always been the watch word. Even companies like Salesforce and DialPad and Cisco and SAP that could be competing with Google on some levels see the benefits of working with them (and other cloud providers). It’s what their customers want, and cooperation when it makes sense, benefits all parties involved.

Jul
12
2018
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Snowflake expands beyond Amazon to Azure cloud

Snowflake, the cloud data warehouse, announced a partnership with Microsoft today to expand their offering to the Azure cloud. The new product is still in Preview for now.

Given that Snowflake CEO Bob Muglia worked at Microsoft for more than 20 years, it’s certainly not surprising that Microsoft is the company’s second partner after working with only Amazon since its inception. But Muglia says it was really about seeing customer demand in the marketplace more than any nostalgia or connections at Microsoft. In fact, he says the company is on boarding one to two new Azure customers a day right now.

The plan is to open up a private preview today, then become generally available some time in the fall when they work out all of the kinks involved with porting their service to another provider.

The partnership didn’t happen overnight. It’s been developing for over a year and that’s because Muglia says Azure isn’t quite as mature as Amazon in some ways and it required some engineering cooperation to make it all work.

“We had to work with Microsoft on some of the things that we needed to make [our product] work [on their platform], particularly around the way we work with Azure Blob Storage that we really had to do a little differently on Azure. So there are changes we needed to make internally in our product to make it work,” he explained.

Overall though the two company’s engineers have worked together to solve those issues and Muglia says that when the Azure version becomes generally available in the Fall, it should basically be the same product they offer on Amazon, although there are still some features they are trying to make work on in the Preview. “Our goal is to have literally the same product on Azure as on Amazon, and we are very confident we’ll get there with Microsoft,” he said.

For Snowflake of course, it represents a substantial market expansion because now they can sell to companies working on Azure and Amazon and that has opened up a whole new pipeline of customers. Azure is the number two cloud provider behind Amazon.

The interesting aspect of all this is that Amazon and Microsoft compete in the cloud of course, but Snowflake is also competing with each cloud provider too with their own product. Yet this kind of partnership has become standard in the cloud. You have to work across platforms, then compete where it makes sense.

“Almost all of the relationships that we have in the industry, we have some element of competition with them, and so this is a normal mode of operation,” he said.

Mar
09
2018
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Dropbox announces deeper integration with Salesforce ahead of IPO

Dropbox is not messing around. Two weeks ago it announced its IPO. Just last week it announced a big partnership with Google and today comes news that it is integrating more deeply with Salesforce.

Dropbox and Salesforce have danced a bit in the past as cloud companies tend to do, but today’s announcement is a bit broader. It involves having Dropbox folders embedded in Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud giving them a kind of light-weight digital asset management solution.

For example, a company’s creative agency could create photos and other assets for a marketing campaign and store them in Salesforce’s marketing cloud. The folder is fully integrated so that if the agency changes one of the assets, which isn’t unusual, and updates their Dropbox folder, the integrated folder in Salesforce updates automatically.

This kind of integration saves the Salesforce user steps. Instead of having to open Dropbox, navigate to the folder, find the updated asset and manually move it into Salesforce, it all happens in one place.

The companies also announced that there would be deeper integration with Quip, the word processing/collaboration tool Salesforce acquired in 2016 for $750 million. Here, much like the Google G Suite integration announced last week, the companies are trying to make it easier for end users to access their content wherever they want to work.

In this case, there will be two-way integration. They will provide the ability to embed Dropbox folders inside Quip, just as you will be able to do in Marketing and Commerce Clouds, but you will also be able to access and work with Quip documents inside of Dropbox. Again, this is about letting users decide the tools they want to use and where they prefer to access them.

While these kinds of partnerships may seem counter-intuitive, Quentin Clark, SVP of Engineering, Product and Design at Dropbox told TechCrunch last week during the G Suite integration announcement, it’s about giving the people what they want.

“It is enabling best of breed and recognizing that you are going to hire your product to do a certain job and may be hiring other products to do other jobs, and you have to be at peace with that,” he said.

The two companies plan to take it a step further with Salesforce using Dropbox and Dropbox using Salesforce internally for whatever that’s worth. We have seen similar announcements from Salesforce in the past regarding G Suite integration and Office 365 too — so take it as you will.

Although Dropbox would no doubt say these announcements have absolutely nothing to do with the IPO, they probably have everything to do with it. It was clear in the S-1 filing that Dropbox garners the vast majority of its revenue from the consumer side of the business. It seems to be desperately trying to beef up its enterprise street cred ahead of the upcoming IPO. While these partnership announcements could help, the numbers suggest otherwise.

Much like the G Suite integration partnership announced last week, this an announcement and not a launch. That is expected to happen sometime in the second half of this year.

Mar
01
2018
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Dropbox to add native G Suite integration in new partnership with Google

 It’s been an eventful week for Dropbox coming off its announcement last Friday that it was finally going public, but that doesn’t mean the business stops. The company announced plans to partner with Google today to bring native G Suite integration to Dropbox storage. The fact is that more than 50 percent of Dropbox users have a G Suite account — which includes GMail along… Read More

Jan
18
2018
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Okta teams up with ServiceNow to bring identity layer to breach containment

 Okta and fellow cloud company ServiceNow got together to build an app that helps ServiceNow customers using their security operations tools find security issues related to identity and take action immediately.
The company launched the Okta Identity Cloud for Security Operations app today. It’s available in the ServiceNow app store and has been designed for customers who are using both… Read More

Nov
14
2017
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Microsoft’s period of congenial cooperation could be over

 A couple of years ago while a guest of Marc Benioff onstage at Salesforce’s Dreamforce customer conference, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said something that seemed to signal a new period of amicable cooperation for his company. Several pieces of evidence seem to suggest that the period of friendly cooperation that was in full bloom in 2015 could be over, and not just with Salesforce. Read More

Nov
14
2017
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Dropbox partners with Autodesk to help users collaborate on large design files

 Dropbox announced a couple of products today to make it easier for Autodesk users to access and share large design files. The products include an integrated desktop app for opening and saving Autodesk files stored in Dropbox and an app for viewing design files without the need for owning Autodesk. These products are long overdue given that Dropbox’s Ross Piper, who is head of ecosystem… Read More

Nov
06
2017
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Salesforce and Google are the latest pals in the cloud

 Salesforce and Google inked a deal today that could provide easier integration between Salesforce tools and Google’s G Suite and Google Analytics. It also named Google as a preferred cloud provider for its core services as part of its international infrastructure expansion. Read More

Nov
03
2017
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Adobe and Microsoft expand partnership with Adobe Experience Manager and Dynamics 365 integration

adobe Adobe and Microsoft expanded their continuing partnership today when they announced that they are making it easy to share data between Adobe Experience Manager, a website marketing tool and Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s CRM tool.
For a sales person that means seeing the latest sales activity and customer interactions from the company website right in the customer record. From a customer… Read More

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