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Get Ready for the "BigData Office"

We're now entering the third generation of office software

First it was just about documents, then about collaboration, now it's all about data. Office software is changing, and changing fast. It's moving to the cloud, and moving to the age of big data.

Data is growing exponentially everywhere. With this relentless data deluge, every enterprise from global Fortune 50 companies down to SMBs, every government agency, and every R&D lab, now needs a "big data office" solution to ensure that everyone in the organization has instant access to all the information they require, at all times.

We're now entering the third generation of office software.

The first generation was all about documents - emails, calendars, word processing, presentations, spreadsheets - with products such as Microsoft Office, Google Docs, OpenOffice, Apple iWork, Zoho and others. The second generation was primarily focussed on collaboration - enterprise social networks, document sharing, file sharing - with products like SharePoint, DocVerse, Jive, Yammer, Chatter, Dropbox.

The third wave of innovation in office software will be all around data, and in particular around big data. Third generation office software will complement the previous two generations by providing data stores and app stores that support all kinds of data sharing, analytics and app sharing. Think of it like a "Dropbox for big data analytics" where anyone can easily store, share, explore and analyse the exponentially growing volumes of data in their work and in their life. Big data analytics meets the consumer web.

Unlike traditional analytics tools like SQL and Hadoop, these new office platforms will be highly interactive and realtime, and will be for everyone - business users, data scientists, app developers, individuals. Anyone, or any organization, that needs a simpler way to handle today’s explosively growing data volumes.

Within large organizations, the growth of big data office software will be viral, just like Dropbox or Skype. Sharing data and apps will create powerful network effects, unleashing data-driven creativity and innovation everywhere.

The key technological challenge in building big data office software is how to deliver the extreme simplicity, speed and scale required. How do we enable business users and other non-programmers to easily and quickly build fast, scalable big data apps?

At Cloudscale we recently cracked the code on this problem, and we've now developed the first big data office platform. Easy-to-use, super-fast and super-scalable, Cloudscale can be used in any application area - business, web, finance, government, healthcare, science. It's available as a public cloud service or as in-house private cloud software.

More Stories By Bill McColl

Bill McColl left Oxford University to found Cloudscale. At Oxford he was Professor of Computer Science, Head of the Parallel Computing Research Center, and Chairman of the Computer Science Faculty. Along with Les Valiant of Harvard, he developed the BSP approach to parallel programming. He has led research, product, and business teams, in a number of areas: massively parallel algorithms and architectures, parallel programming languages and tools, datacenter virtualization, realtime stream processing, big data analytics, and cloud computing. He lives in Palo Alto, CA.

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