UK-based cloud services provider and Google Premier Enterprise Partner Ancoris has completed the acquisition of Bracknell-based Google Cloud development specialist Appogee.
The acquisition brings Google Cloud Platform and Android development, Lotus Domino migration skills and further enterprise project management experience into the Ancoris stable.
Ancoris is developing an ecosystem of products based around the Google Cloud with applications such as Google Apps for Business and through partnerships with other product developers in the Google Marketplace.
This addition will enable Ancoris to build custom applications for specific customer requirements using cloud computing.
Founded in 2010, Appogee was among the first Google Cloud Service Partners in the UK, developing cost effective apps using Google App Engine, Apps Script and BigQuery.
David McLeman, Managing Director of Ancoris said: "Google is opening up its Cloud Platform and this move means that we can now help our customers take full advantage by providing application development, big data query capabilities and cloud storage to meet the increasingly dynamic demands of their businesses."
Appogee has developed several products including Appogee Leave, an absence/holiday management application built entirely on Google App Engine and fully integrated with Google Calendar.
Appogee Leave is now used by hundreds of Google Apps customers worldwide including high profile UK customers such as Trinity Mirror Group. They also have many years of experience with Lotus and expertise in migration of applications from Lotus Notes to the Google platform.
Stuart Keeble, General Manager of Appogee, who becomes CTO at Ancoris said: "Appogee is an excellent fit with Ancoris. We are happy to be able to continue the good work we started at Appogee following our acquisition. With Google covering an ever broader range of enterprise computing capabilities, the Appogee team are excited to be able to introduce new ways of working to our clients both through our products and our custom applications built on Google Cloud Platform."
Mark Hodgson, Head of Global Partner Programs at Google, commented: "The move reflects the pattern of our customers expanding from initial use of our packaged solutions like Google Apps for Business, to developing on our Google Cloud Platform to create innovative, cost-effective and highly scaleable IT applications."
VAR reseller Ancoris has snapped up fellow Google reseller Appogee in the hope of further developing its Google Cloud Platform.
Last month, Ancoris teamed up with software assessment firm SoftWatch in the hope of encouraging businesses away from Microsoft over to its Google Apps offering. The Bracknell-based firm is hoping to lure in even more customers following the acquisition of Appogee, which is also based in the Berkshire town.
Appogee, which was established in 2010, claims to be among the first Google Cloud Service partners in the UK, and develops what it claims are cost-effective applications using Google platforms for its hundreds of customers which include publishing firm Trinity Mirror Group.
Ancoris' managing director David McLeman said the move will mean his business will benefit from Appogee's app development, big data capabilities and cloud storage.
The buyout, which was closed for an undisclosed sum, will see Appogee's former general manager Stuart Keeble become chief technology officer at Ancoris.
Keeble said his firm's acquisition will enhance the company's enterprise computing offerings.
"Appogee is an excellent fit with Ancoris," he added. "With Google covering an ever broader range of enterprise computing capabilities, the Appogee team are excited to be able to introduce new ways of working to our clients both through our products and our custom applications built on Google Cloud Platform."
Mark Hodgson, head of global partner programmes at Google, said he was excited that two of the most experienced Google partners have joined forces in the UK, adding that the move reflects the trend that customers are expanding their Google solutions.
In a bid to persuade more companies to adopt Google cloud applications, cloud services provider Ancoris has partnered with SoftWatch to monitor actual usage of Microsoft Office, via its assessment service.
Ancoris believes that many users of Microsoft Office are only ‘light’ users and as such companies could benefit by switching to Google cloud applications.
Moshe Kozlovski, CEO of SoftWatch, said that a benchmark of over 100,000 Microsoft Office users revealed that actual usage is indeed quite light and by switching to Google Apps organisations could significantly reduce spending on Microsoft licensing.
The assessment service, CloudIT Assessment from Softwatch, will be used by Ancoris to provide users with detailed ROI on Microsoft Office usage.
David McLeman, managing director, Ancoris claims: “Google Apps for Business is already changing the way companies work, but we believe this partnership will provide invaluable data for organisations considering the adoption of cloud based applications and wanting to determine the full potential ROI of a cloud migration”.
The assessment service is designed to reveal the actual extent of Microsoft usage and identify those areas where it is underused. As such, Ancoris, classifies three types of users: heavy users using Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook who probably need to retain full MS Office licenses or need specific training to adopt Google Apps, light users or view only users - who can easily migrate to Google Apps and non-users of MS Office whose Office software can be removed.
Softwatch says its Cloud IT Assessment service is a secure, simple to deploy SaaS service which provides data within days. A six week assessment period provides a comprehensive and inexpensive snapshot of the client’s user base.
Ancoris aims to use the partnership with Softwatch to provide facts about Microsoft Office usage and in the process provide clients with the confidence to make informed decision about the benefits of Google apps.
Cloud provider teams up with SoftWatch to assess users' licensing needs in hope of encouraging Google Apps migration
In its new partnership, the duo plans to monitor customers' use of Microsoft software in the hope of showing them they could reduce their desktop licensing costs by up to 80 per cent through Google Apps.
The Google Apps reseller has teamed up with SoftWatch from this week and the pair aims to carry out its six-week assessment in order for customers to make what it claims is a more informed decision on their licensing needs.
SoftWatch's assessment service works by profiling Microsoft Office users' activities and patterns, meaning the firm can advise customers on whether or not a customer is getting the best value from the software and where they could benefit from Google Docs and Drive instead.
The firm categorises customers' usage into heavy, light or non-user status, which helps determine the level of migration to Google Apps that could be achieved.
SoftWatch's chief executive Moshe Kozlovski said about 80 per cent of users are classed as "light" Microsoft users, meaning a migration to Google Apps could "significantly reduce Microsoft licensing spending".
Ancoris' managing director David McLeman added that Google Apps is changing the way companies work.
"We believe this partnership will provide invaluable data for organisations considering the adoption of cloud-based applications and wanting to determine the full potential return on investment of a cloud migration," he said.
Ancoris is pleased to announce a partnership with SoftWatch to provide their CloudIT Assessment service in the UK to monitor actual usage of Microsoft Office by user or department.
The joint offering will help Ancoris deliver the facts needed for potential Google Apps customers to make more informed, more confident transition decisions about the move to Google cloud applications.
Ancoris AppsEvolve service, combining SoftWatch transition monitoring with training and change management services also helps existing Google Apps customers, which may have moved primarily for email, to identify user groups to migrate from Microsoft Office to Google Docs.
The SoftWatch CloudIT Assessment service profiles Microsoft Office users’ working activities and patterns, including the frequency and amount of time the applications are used. This helps identify groups for transition to Google Docs and Drive, remove unused Microsoft software and reduce future licensing costs, as well as measure the adoption of Google Apps during the deployment phase.
Most companies can measure MS Office licenses deployed, but this service allows companies to see real usage and identify:
- Heavy users and editors using Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook - who may need to retain full MS Office licenses or need specific training to adopt Google Apps.
- Light users or view only users - who can easily migrate to Google Apps
- Non-users of MS Office - whose Office software can be removed
Outputs include classification of usage by users and departments and calculation of potential license optimisation opportunities - identifying the potential savings on MS licensing.
“CloudIT allows corporations to uncover Microsoft Office actual usage”, says Moshe Kozlovski, CEO of SoftWatch. “Our benchmark of over 100,000 users shows that over 80% of them are light users, enabling organisations to make an effective decision to migrate to Google Apps and significantly reduce Microsoft licensing spending.”
David McLeman, Managing Director at Ancoris explains: “Google Apps for Business is already changing the way companies work, but we believe this partnership will provide invaluable data for organisations considering the adoption of cloud based applications and wanting to determine the full potential ROI of a cloud migration”.
The SoftWatch CloudIT service is secure, simple to deploy, SaaS service and provides data within days. A six week Assessment period provides a comprehensive and inexpensive snapshot of the clients user base.
OneLogin claims its technology is a good base point from which resellers can build a cloud business.
Cloud-based identity and access management (IAM) vendor OneLogin is on a mission to make resellers relevant to the cloud era after touching down in the UK.
Founded in 2010, US-based OneLogin has 650 customers worldwide – including UK clients such as News Corp and Reed Recruitment – and has taken on channel veteran Dan Power to help build up its business on this side of the pond.
Talking to CRN, OneLogin chief executive Thomas Pederson said the need for IAM is on the rise as more data moves into the cloud and is therefore not protected by a firewall.
"People can go straight to Salesforce, Box or Google Apps and sign in, and IT has no visibility of that," he said. "Once they put our product in place, they can centralise access control, enforce strong authentication and have an audit trail of all the cloud activity that goes on. We are a true cloud application – you can get us enabled in a matter of minutes."
OneLogin will be channel focused in the UK and Pederson said partners should have a degree of understanding of the cloud, perhaps specialising in cloud applications such as Google Apps, Salesforce, Netsuite, Workday or ServiceNow.
But Power, who has previously worked for Dell KACE and Landesk, suggested that OneLogin's technology could also provide a foot in the door for resellers that have so far found themselves out in the cold on cloud.
"As a reseller, you may find that your customers already have Dropbox, Zendesk or Salesforce – or whatever – but you've been cut out of the loop," he said.
"What you can do now is come back in and help your customer implement best practice with regards to the provisioning and deprovisioning of applications and so forth. Our technology helps IT maintain control over those applications."
According to IDC, the identity management as a service market will account for 25 per cent of all new IAM sales by the end of 2014, up from five per cent in 2012.
"There are only a few players that focus exclusively on web and we are one of them," said Pederson, who namechecked Ping Identity and Symplified as competitors.
David McLeman, managing director at Google Apps partner Ancoris, said Google Apps for Business already offers automated provisioning from Active Directory, as well as authentication and two-factor enforcement, limiting the need for any external single sign-on solution.
But he added: "The OneLogin proposition does become more relevant as customers embrace cloud applications more widely and wish to have a single source of authentication and control for all their SaaS applications.
Growth, digital and mobile marvels are on the cards in the New Year
The Mayans are wrong! We’re alive!
With 2013 safely open for us to enjoy, how are businesses feeling about it?
Many are going all out for growth and pursuing opportunities. 2013 is set to be the “year of innovation” for business, according to Alma Consulting Group’s marketing director Martin Hook.
“Trail-blazing businesses will need to ensure they are maximising the value they are getting out of the new schemes and may need to find specialist support to do this,” he advises.
But again and again it’s a question of economic growth. As TranslateMedia MD Patrick Eve says, “the biggest issue is growth”.
Ben Dowd, business director at mobile giant O2 UK, is positively evangelical about the rise of social media and cloud computing for firms.
“Cloud and mobile services will become more important than ever in enabling the enterprise workforce. As businesses evolve their flexible working strategies and seek new tools to empower staff to work remotely, we expect to see a big increase in business mobile apps, as developers cater to a growing enterprise audience who use an array of connected devices some of which are funded by the Business but many which have been purchased by the individuals themselves.
“Social channels are an opportunity for staff to engage in conversation and represent your brand or business amongst growing numbers of online communities – representing new ways to connect with customers. In 2013, businesses should be actively looking at news ways to embrace this new online world.”
David McLeman, managing director at Ancoris, enterprise partner to Google, is just as evangelical about the importance of cloud computing.
He predicts that it’ll be precipitated by mean ol’ Microsoft leaving businesses hanging.
“With a significant number of companies being forced off Exchange 2003 implementations as Microsoft ends support, we expect to see a third of them migrate to Google Apps rather than stay with Microsoft. Gartner’s confirmation that Google Apps is a viable alternative to Microsoft Office for most users will make businesses question the value of renewing Microsoft Enterprise Agreements that lock them into paying for licences and software they may not use.
“Just as 2012 saw IT directors wake up to the dangers of staff using consumer systems to collaborate when corporate IT fails to meet their needs, 2013 will see them respond to employees’ growing use of consumer cloud storage and document sharing solutions like Dropbox and Box.net to get their work done. Enterprises will start to regain control of their data – and address security and compliance issues – by rolling out integrated and controlled cloud solutions such as Google Drive as part of their corporate solutions,” he says.
In 2012, the more forward thinking enterprises forged ahead with cloud computing strategies, BYOD and the consumerisation of IT continued apace and the government push in cloud computing gained momentum. As we cast an eye on the future, here are what we believe will be the top 5 trends and technologies for 2013.
During 2012, increasing numbers of organisations adopted "bring your own device” strategies or provided staff with company-owned iPads, Android tablets and Chromebooks as they moved applications into the cloud. In 2013, as the move to cloud computing continues, corporate IT departments will no longer automatically refresh ageing user technology with the latest generation of Windows-based systems, but instead evaluate numerous platforms to see which best fits their needs.
With a significant number of companies being forced off Exchange 2003 implementations as Microsoft ends support, we expect to see a third of them migrate to Google Apps rather than stay with Microsoft. Gartner's confirmation that Google Apps is a viable alternative to Microsoft Office for most users will make businesses question the value of renewing Microsoft Enterprise Agreements that lock them into paying for licenses and software they may not use.
Just as 2012 saw IT directors wake up to the dangers of staff using consumer systems to collaborate when corporate IT fails to meet their needs, 2013 will see them respond to employees' growing use of consumer cloud storage and document sharing solutions like Dropbox and Box.net to get their work done. Enterprises will start to regain control of their data – and address security and compliance issues – by rolling out integrated and controlled cloud solutions such as Google Drive as part of their corporate solutions.
Many businesses introduced a range of communication and presence tools – such as browser-based chat and video-conferencing or enterprise social networking in the form of solutions like Google+ -- as by-product of moving to cloud computing for email and document collaboration. In 2013, we'll see younger staff – who typically prefer to use social computing tools in their personal lives -- drive wider adoption of social computing within the enterprise by making these tools their first choice for collaboration with colleagues.
The launch of the Government's first G-Cloud catalogue in early 2012 might have helped the public sector become more comfortable with the idea of cloud services, but procurement and budgeting processes meant few were able to take immediate advantage of cloud services. With the advent of the new financial year in April 2013, the launch of a third version of the G-Cloud catalogue, and the increased buzz around cloud generated by high-profile projects such as NHSmail 2, we expect to see far greater numbers of public sector organisations rolling out cloud-based IT in 2013.
With major financial institutions like Spanish banking giant BBVA moving to Google Apps, it’s clear that Google’s cloud is the right choice for even the most security-minded organisations as they are forced to move away from Exchange 2003 before Microsoft ends its support for the product in 2014.
Of course, cloud computing and collaboration bring their own set of security risks, which is why security is built into the DNA of Google Apps: the security measures that protect your data and keep it safe, secure and in your control were developed alongside the technologies that allow users to share and work with it.
Google Apps also stores all data in the cloud, meaning all your information is subject to the strict security and backup provided by Google. In the case of a hybrid cloud, such as Office 365, some data is stored in the data centre but some is still kept on users’ local machines. That puts it at much greater risk of being lost, stolen or corrupted. With Google Apps you won’t lose data if a user’s computer crashes, is stolen or is damaged in a fire or flood.
There are many other ways in which Google Apps takes good care of your data. For example, all information is always encrypted as it travels from your web browser to Google’s servers and data is fragmented and stored in multiple locations to increase security and prevent data loss. Google also offers two-step authentication at no extra cost: users can be required to enter a random code sent by text or voice message or through a smartphone app when signing in. Adhering to these stringent security standards has allowed Google to earn the internationally recognised ISO270001 accreditation for its systems, technology, processes and data centers. Most other cloud suppliers are ISO27001 accredited only for their data centres, but Google’s accreditation covers a much wider scope.
To complement this security-by-design, Google employs a cybersecurity team of more than 300 staff who regularly practice drills in response to simulated security incidents — something few in-house security teams perform. The cybersecurity team will also notify customers when their accounts come under suspected attack from hackers. In addition, Google pulls on the wider security community in its user base: the Google Vulnerability Reward Program pays a reward to anyone who successfully identifies security flaws in Google’s system and reports it privately to the company.
On top of that, Google Partners bring their own expertise, gained across multiple cloud computing implementations, to ensure security issues are addressed when integrating Google Apps with your company’s own infrastructure. In short Google and its partners continue to strive to deliver cloud services that are the most secure in the marketplace, designed from the ground up with security in mind. That makes Google Apps the smart choice for businesses moving away from Exchange 2003.
You can learn more about why you should choose Google Apps for Business when migrating from Microsoft Exchange in our recently launched white paper Migrating from Exchange 2003 to the cloud: Six Reasons why Google Apps is the smart choice.
Agility and flexibility are critical success factors for companies facing uncertain economic times. Businesses need to be able to react quickly to new opportunities or pull their horns in just as rapidly when the market takes a downturn. They need to be able to adapt staff numbers and locations to match changing operational needs and support users who are becoming increasingly mobile and demanding more choice in how and where they work. That means companies need office and other IT solutions that are just as flexible and responsive.
As businesses are forced to move away from Exchange 2003 before Microsoft ends its support for the product in 2014, they need to choose a new collaboration and email solution that won't hamstring them with complicated and inflexible licensing agreements. They should also beware of solutions that won't allow them to integrate easily with complementary tools that let them tailor their cloud service to meet their specific needs.
Google Apps is designed to offer customers as much flexibility as possible when it comes to licences. With Google Apps, you will usually commit to pay for a fixed number of accounts for the coming year, but you can quickly and easily add more accounts if you need them. You’ll pay a pro-rata fee for those extra accounts which is based on the proportion of the year left until your annual renewal date. When you reach your annual renewal date, you can change the number of accounts you commit to paying for - down as well as up - with no penalty. Not only, do you get lots of flexibility on the number of licences you buy, but also on how they’re used: there are no restrictions on how many different devices your users can use to access all the features of Google Apps.
Google Apps is also part of a rich ecosystem of applications which allow you to easily add best-of-breed solutions to extend its capabilities. These partner solutions meet needs as diverse as unified communications, single sign-on, enhanced access control and audit, remote access to legacy applications, and employee management, all of which can be tightly integrated with Google Apps to give your staff a seamless experience.
Don’t forget that Google has also committed to making it just as easy for users to move away from Google Apps to another solution as it is to migrate across to Google Apps. Google provides a range of data portability tools that allow users to get email, calendar, contacts and documents out and into other systems — yet another example of how Google Apps offers you a level of flexibility and agility. All this makes Google Apps the right choice for businesses that need responsive IT systems.
You can learn more about why you should choose Google Apps for Business when migrating from Microsoft Exchange in our recently launched white paper Migrating from Exchange 2003 to the cloud: Six Reasons why Google Apps is the smart choice.
Google Apps for Business - Applications
call 0845 2626 747