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The cloud is almost an inevitable destination for the enterprise in some way, shape, or form.   A recent 2015 IDC Storage Services survey showed that 55.1% of U.S. enterprises plan to engage in a "datacenter to cloud transformation" project with a storage vendor within the next 12 months, highlighting that the shift towards the cloud continues with reasonable fervor.  In a business shift, enterprise IT has also moved from cost-driven decision making to making more strategic and performance oriented decisions.  A recent European IDC Storage Manager survey highlighted that only 26 percent of respondents cited reducing capex as a top driver for investing in public cloud-based storage services.  Clearly, the desire to embrace new service opportunities from the cloud is the new reality.

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In last week’s blog, I talked about how I feel like Marty McFly in the movie Back to the Future. With recent trends within IT, we are returning to where we have already been—a “one stop” compute environment reminiscent of one that existed 30 years ago. We are evolving to an environment that combines hardware and software into one package but with new technologies. This time, however, I think it’s here to stay and will have a significant impact on Business Apps. 

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According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, “Every business will become a software business, build applications, use advanced analytics and provide SaaS services.” Made at Microsoft’s 2015 Convergence conference, Nadella’s prediction hardly seems far-fetched considering that a modern high-end car features more than 100 million lines of code.

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As a leader in energy supply, logistics, and services in North America, Mansfield Oil delivers more than 3.5 billion gallons of petroleum products, ethanol, biodiesel, and diesel exhaust fluid to customers annually. That’s about one full tanker truckload each minute of every day, and it requires a rock-solid supply chain.

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As the cloud market continues to mature, we’re seeing some shifts in the ways that Service Providers (SPs) are trying to address hosted cloud offerings for your enterprise customers. Over the last several years, SPs have seen their margins continue to shrink as pricing pressures have bumped up against an ever increasing set of feature requirements demanded by tenants that are becoming smarter with their purchasing decisions in a cut-throat market.  Also, with the first generation of cloud offerings, many SPs ended up taking on all of the risk of making everything work.  And in some cases, the lack of tight integration between the various components of the cloud may have even led to system downtime damaging market reputation. This ended up costing significantly more than originally intended, and in many cases caused lengthy timelines for bringing services to market.

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