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Inside Cloud (Mar 13th, 2018)

Salesforce launched new sales and customer service software on Tuesday tailored specifically for small businesses. Called ‘Essentials’, the apps are simplified versions of Salesforce’s Sales and Service Cloud products. These products aim to be tailored specifically for smaller companies who historically have struggled to use Salesforce products, complaining the software was too complex and expensive. Essentials is priced at $25 per user per month for teams of up to 10 people, which is $50 less per user than the professional versions of Salesforce products. -REUTERS

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Google and Ubisoft announced a new project that provides an open source alternative to managing and hosting multiplayer game servers. Called Agones, the project uses the Google-incubated Kubernetes container project as it core tool for orchestrating and scaling a fleet of multiplayer game servers. Agones essentially extends Kubernetes with the kind of tools necessary to run a game server. These include a custom Kubernetes Controller and custom resource definitions for the game server. Today’s release, though, is just the beginning as a v2 roadmap is already in the works. –TECH CRUNCH

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CyberArk has acquired parts of the cloud security firm Vaultive. CyberArk secured the deal to boost its cloud-based privileged account security solutions portfolio. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Vaultive’s technology attempts to mitigate risk by making sure customers hold on to their encryption keys, used to secure cloud accounts, and this lowers the possibility of compromise which could give the control of accounts with high permission levels to threat actors. -ZDNET

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Microsoft will launch its Tenerife ERP service for small and midsize business on April 2. The service will be called Dynamics 365 Business Central as Microsoft typically prefers not to use ERP/CRM monikers in describing its Dynamics product line. Business Central has its roots in the Dynamics NAV ERP platform. Back in 2016, Microsoft officials talked up "Project Madiera," describing it as a new software as a service offering built on the NAV platform. Business Central, at its simplest, is NAV in the cloud, hosted by Microsoft and sold by partners. Microsoft rolled out its latest on-premises NAV release Dynamics NAV 2018, starting in December. -ZDNET

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Former Docker CEO Ben Golub has been named the CEO of Storj Labs, a cloud storage startup using blockchain technology to build a decentralized storage network. This will be Golub’s seventh startup and the third he has served as CEO. Storj Labs has raised over $30 million through token sales, as blockchain hype soars to unprecedented levels. The idea behind the company is be an intermediary between people with spare digital storage capacity (it calls them “farmers”) and people looking for cheap but secure storage. The software behind the operation, an open-source project called Storj, encrypts customer data and breaks it up into lots of smaller pieces. –GEEK WIRE

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