Welcome!

Recurring Revenue Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski, Xenia von Wedel

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Computing Expo - Cloud Spotting

Microsoft's forecast - and its margin implications - is nothing to sneeze at

Since Microsoft’s forecast – and its margin implications – is nothing to sneeze at, we asked industry analyst and cloud spotter Amy Wohl what she has been seeing.

 

 

“The first thing to keep in mind is that we have some semantic confusion, as is usual at this stage of a new market, around just what is a cloud. We are now pretty sure that what we used to call grids and what we now call clouds is the same thing. But we also have things called “platforms” that seem to be very much like a kind of cloud (and are sometimes called clouds) and then there is SaaS itself which looks very much like a cloud with some application software (and some SaaS vendors describe their offering just that way). I’d say we can agree that a cloud is managed computing power, often with applications, accessed across the Internet. And I’ll agree that a company can have its own cloud, if it wants one.

 

 

 

“IBM has finally enunciated a vision for its cloud computing that makes sense for IBM and its customers. It offers a very high-end version of cloud computing (virtually unlimited amounts of power, up to and including mainframe systems, backed by its Tivoli system management. These clouds can be used as part of a large shared infrastructure, where the customer has access to a large pool of computing resources to handle peak activity but doesn’t need to pay for all of this infrastructure all of the time. Some customers (the governments in China and Vietnam, for example) are buying and implementing their own Blue Clouds, which they will use to support particular projects such as university research or computing for high-tech start-ups. And, of course, IBM can create a Blue Cloud for an individual Very Large Enterprise, managed by IBM outside the firewall or by IBM or the customer inside the firewall. The choices are broad.

 

 

 

“IBM actually offers even more choices that may be less obvious. IBM provides a platform to ISVs who want to offer SaaS applications. In that it is very much like other platform vendors like Salesforce.com, eBay, Google or Amazon. A major difference here is whether the platform owner is also an application provider (like Salesforce.com), whose ISVs are related to his application offering or whether the platform provider is simply offering managed computing, perhaps with some technical assistance and/or some marketing oomph. (IBM offers both.)

 

 

 

“It was reported last week that Microsoft is moving to the cloud. In this case, Microsoft means it is going to offer at least one of its applications, Exchange, as a hosted application (SaaS) from its own cloud. Microsoft intends to continue on the road of “software-plus-service,” meaning that you to use a PC on your desk with Office to make use of the Internet-based services that Microsoft also provides. What seems to be moving to Microsoft Clouds are not personal productivity apps (a la Google or Yahoo’s Zimbra), but shared services (mail, collaboration, customer relationship management). Microsoft has been quick to note that this is a big initiative and that in five years they would expect half their customers to use Exchange as a service. This is not just something for smaller customers, either. Microsoft already has some large enterprise like Coke, with 75,000 seats.

 

 

 

“Microsoft has other online (perhaps cloud) services such as its Live services and new Live Mesh service for synchronizing devices of every kind. It is also testing a consumer version of Office that will combine a basic version of desktop Office with an array of online services.

 

 

 

“Last Friday, I spoke with Workday, a SaaS ERP company I’ve been tracking since its start. It’s stirred up quite a bit of attention, boldly claiming last April that its feature set would be at parity with SAP by next fall. So far, it’s on schedule with its product plans, with hefty HR offerings, including payroll and expenses, and a substantial portion of its financial offerings. Look at its latest Workday 4.0 offering at its web site. More interesting is the fact that although it didn’t expect to move beyond the mid-market into the enterprise until more of its product was completed, it already has a number of large enterprises and more in their pipeline.

 

 

 

“Recently I attended a Digital Transformation Forum at Penn State. Clouds and SaaS were definitely subjects of discussion. There was a lot of lively commentary on whether SaaS was for big companies and whether it could provide the customization and security they needed (SAP was an attendee). I believe companies like Workday and Salesforce.com are going to prove that SaaS is about what the application does (the solution) and not the size of the customer. But I think we shall see – and soon.

 

 

 

“Think of it this way:

 

  • “You can access a cloud as pure computing power, a place to load an application that needs lots of computing or requires cyclical peaks
  • “You can find a cloud that provides a platform with APIs to support an ecosystem of ISVs who provide software that you find appealing
  • “You can choose a cloud whose platform includes an application (Salesforce.com) that attracts other ISVs to surround it
  • “You can simply find a SaaS vendor whose application is appealing – you don’t care about the cloud behind it, just the application
  • “You can build your own cloud, managed by a vendor or your own IT staff for some large-scale purpose

 

 

“And no doubt, someone, somewhere, is dreaming up some other things to do with clouds.

 

 

 

“I sense several likely outcomes:

 

  • “A messy period with many clouds, many of them not interoperable because they’re not build to the same standards
  • “An interim period of standardization
  • “A period of consolidation because we really want to buy our applications in a way that they can be aware of each other and use them in a common environment. The easiest way to do this is for each of several vendors to provide a cloud with all of the applications you need and some level of integration. Remember that nothing keeps a cloud/platform vendor from being one of several vendors who offers a popular application if the ISV agrees
  • “A higher level of standardization where (just as we do on the Internet today) any application can be used with any other application on the platform and through the portal of your choice.”

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...