May 23 was the day we were all waiting for–ownCloud celebrated the launch of the latest enterprise edition of its file sync and share solution, ownCloud 10.0.2, at the KOMED event center in Cologne. As of now, ownCloud X is fully available to enterprise customers. In addition to exciting lectures on the new major version, the focus was mainly on safety topics, use cases, and partner contributions.
Extended Security, Extended Productivity, Extended Performace and an Extended Marketplace – those are the key improvements offered by the major new version of ownCloud, which has been fully available to enterprise users since May 23.
During the well-attended event, which attracted more than 80 visitors from a variety of different industries, attendees could learn more about the EFSS solution covered by numerous user reports, best practices and add-ons from partners such as BW-Tech, ACP, NetKnights, and IBM.
A New Generation of Software with a Focus on the End User
In their inaugural speech, Tobias Gerlinger (CEO) and Harald Weimer (CSO) paid tribute to the developmental history of the major new version. The new nomenclature with the large « X » represents a paradigm shift. « For us, ownCloud X is launching a new software generation at ownCloud, since the users‘ wishes have been a key component during the development, » said Tobias Gerlinger as part of his lecture. Gerlinger thanked the sponsors IBM, ACP, NetKnights and BW-Tech for their contributions, which made a simple product launch a successful industry event.
« Functionalities in which ownCloud is especially powerful (TechTarget-Survey) are exactly the same as the users‘ request in general, » added Harald Weimer. « Compared to vendors such as Dropbox, we do a very different thing– security is a much higher priority at ownCloud. »
The managing directors also explicitly referred to the fork last year. According to them, the nextcloud spin-off represents a fundamental motivation for Gerlinger to deliver a better product. « Competition stimulates the business. If for example, there was no Linux fork, we would not have such a good product with Red Hat today. »
Success Stories Live on Stage
A big portion of the agenda were the concrete case studies of ownCloud customers. Holger Angenent presented a particularly successful case with sciebo. The sciebo sync and share solution connects up to 500,000 potential users; students of the universities in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
sciebo put a main focus during the development–complete control over all data must be guaranteed at all times. This factor, according to Angenent, very quickly led to their partnership with ownCloud. « The arguments simply fit. We have put safety in the center for years, even before the Snowden revelations. With ownCloud, we always have access to our data and can back up with the on-premise storage solution at any time. »
Angenent concluded his speech with the announcement that sciebo would soon be upgraded to ownCloud X. « The Custom Groups are the absolute killer feature for us, and we are looking forward to it. So we will not wait too long to upgrade. »
The introduction to ownCloud X was taken over by ownCloud COO & Managing Director, Holger Dyroff, and Product Manager, Patrick Maier. One of the developers‘ main concerns was to keep the user in focus. « For us, the self-service idea was very important, » emphasized Dyroff.
A special focus was also on the new Custom Groups feature, which allows all ownCloud users to create individual groups to exchange files that remain visible to the administrator. The new app, Guests, allows for the quick and easy creation and sharing with guests by entering an e-mail address. Another major concern was an increase in auditor-ability and compliance, which is particularly important for authorities, ministries, or even banks and insurance companies. Another new feature is the generation of checksums to ensure data integrity and much more.
The opening event of the afternoon was the presentation from the ownCloud Foundation, focusing on the organization and membership structure in particular. Christian Schmitz moderated the keynote and panel discussion, in which Dr. Lamana from CERN discussed the importance of intelligent collaboration in science using the solution based on ownCloud, CERNbox.
Frank Böttcher, Managing Director of ownCloud sponsor and partner, BW-Tech, introduced the Outlook plug-in for ownCloud, which enables the secure e-mail transmission without size limitations from Outlook via ownCloud.
Background Story: Almost every company works with Outlook and encounters the same problems when sharing files—files are too large or the wrong formats. This problem can be easily solved with the ownCloud plug-in. The functionality was presented by Böttcher live– With an additional tab, Outlook can be easily connected to the desktop client. Security is guaranteed by optional password protection. The Guest app also allows each user to generate their own key.
A Hybrid World
The keynote presentation from Aleksandar Francuz was eagerly anticipated. The Cloud Platform Leader of Germany, Austria and Switzerland from IBM presented the company’s cloud offer as part of his session « Welcome to the future – the cognitive cloud from Frankfurt. » IBM relies on cognitive and / or IoT services offered on the Bluemix platform from the Cloud Center in Frankfurt.
His conclusion–« The world is hybrid. » The cloud revolution allows companies to think of completely new business models. Therefore, business models from companies such as from Uber or Airbnb could only become truly revolutionary by the cloud. Cloud is disruption; in every industry. Three-quarters of all companies will have to deal with the issue in the next three years.
The live demonstration of the cognitive cloud from IBM, which can be linked to individual Watson services, provided some of the effects. In addition, Francuz made it clear that the Bluemix platform is the only solution that is hosted in Germany.
Furthermore, Cornelius Kölbel of NetKnights lectured on multi-factor authentication; livened up with many comparisons to the world of science fiction.
Udo Meisen, the final presenter, also addressed the subject of security with his lecture, « Data in the Cloud – Data Protection in Spite of the Cloud. »
In between each lecture, the visitors had the opportunity to fortify themselves at the buffet and to visit the sponsors‘ stands in the open atmosphere of the KOMED event center, as well as to devote themselves to networking. The successful conclusion was the release party following the event in the Osman 30 in the neighboring Kölnturm. On the 30th floor, above the rooftops of Cologne, ownCloud X was ceremoniously welcomed.