Posts Tagged ‘PaaS’

Trends: 10 Trends for #Cloud Computing in 2014 To Dominate #Digital Disruption [Slide Share]

Ten Trends For Cloud Computing In 2014 To Dominate Digital Disruption

Constellation’s cloud computing research falls under the Tech Optimization and Innovation business theme and throughout other areas where applications are applied.  The trends for 2014 cover across the entire cloud stack.

Holger Mueller, VP and Principal Analyst, covers the impact of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) as well as HR Technologies in the Future of Work.  R “Ray” Wang researches the impact of Cloud Computing on business strategy and the application landscape.

Below are the 2014 trends for Cloud Computing.  Join the Constellation experience as we set to help our clients dominate digital disruption.

<iframe src=”http://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/29546510″ width=”600″ height=”400″ frameborder=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” style=”border:1px solid #CCC;border-width:1px 1px 0;margin-bottom:5px” allowfullscreen> </iframe> <div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”https://www.slideshare.net/rwang0/10-trends-for-cloud-computing-in-2014-to-dominate-digital-disruption” title=”10 Trends for #Cloud Computing in 2014 To Dominate Digital Disruption” target=”_blank”>10 Trends for #Cloud Computing in 2014 To Dominate Digital Disruption</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/rwang0″ target=”_blank”>R “Ray” Wang & Holger Mueller</a></strong> </div>

Your POV.

Do you have a cloud strategy?  Can you see how the cloud will help enable digital business disruption?   Add your comments to the blog or reach me via email: R (at) ConstellationR (dot) com or R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) org.

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Disclosure

Although we work closely with many mega software vendors, we want you to trust us. For the full disclosure policy, stay tuned for the full client list on the Constellation Research website.

* Not responsible for any factual errors or omissions.  However, happy to correct any errors upon email receipt.

Copyright © 2001 -2014 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC All rights reserved.
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News Analysis: Oracle’s Cloud Strategy – Revisionist History or Cloud Genius?

This is a joint post with my colleague Holger Mueller who looks at IaaS/PaaS and Future of Work technologies for Constellation Research.

At a press conference on June 24th, 2013 with Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer ,and Oracle’s President Mark Hurd announced a cloud partnership where Azure customers will be able to run Oracle Database (no version mentioned, but Constellation expects this to be 12c), Oracle Weblogic, and Java.

Oracle also announced availability of Oracle Linux for Azure customers. Constellation believes that the deployments of the Oracle 12c, Weblogic and Java stack pieces will be deployed on Oracle’s Linux.  Should this be true, the approach makes sense, as this is a tested and proven hardware and software combination. Further, Microsoft has already begun to run parts of Azure on Linux.

The partnership alliance poses significant implications for both vendors and more importantly customers moving to the cloud for three reasons:

  • Java comes to Azure, a sign of pax in the .NET vs Java wars. For Applications to run on Azure, they needed to be built in C# or compatible languages. Now, with the licensing of Java by Microsoft as part of this partnership, Java applications will run on Azure. This opens doors for Java applications on the Azure cloud, as well as general more portability for Java applications. And Azure becomes a friendly cloud for the 9 million+ Java developers out there. .

    Point Of View:
    Microsoft and Oracle strike a win-win here.  Microsoft gains more language derived potential for expanding Azure and Oracle adds a marquee cloud stack to support Java.  Given the substantial overlap of enterprise customers on both Microsoft and Oracle, customers will benefit from more cross cloud compatibility for Java while supporting Azure for IaaS.
  • Azure will run Oracle Weblogic and the Oracle Database. Microsoft will support Oracle Linux in Azure as the foundation to run the middleware and the database stack.  Though the press release and the press conference did not specify which Oracle database, Constellation speculates this is for Oracle Database 12c. In addition, Oracle announced license mobility for customers who want to run software on Azure and bring Oracle Linux to Azure..

    (POV):
    Interesting enough when Larry Ellison spilled the news for this announcement during the Q4 Oracle earnings call, this was not about the Oracle Database, but very specifically about Oracle 12c. It’s not clear why 12c is not specifically referenced in the press release – but with the ORacle 12c general availability slotted for June 25h, 2013, this moment may not have been the time to steal the thunder.  Of note, it is not only the database, but also the Weblogic application server which will be deployed on Azure. This comes as a surprise at first, but given the work Oracle has done to integrate the former BEA flagship product with 12c and Java – it was a question of taking whole technology building and avoiding too many interfaces. Why run Java apps through Biztalk to an Oracle database?  Constellation views this as a smart move by both companies, as it allows Azure customers to utilize more of the Oracle products, that are more and more entwined due to the Fusion and Exaxxx products.
  • The hypervisor is where Microsoft and Oracle draw a line in the sand. Oracle will support Microsoft’s hypervisor Hyper-V to be the demarcation line between higher level application code and the Oracle products that now run in Azure.  The combined offering will be running on Hyper-V, which creates some headaches for Oracle on the hypervisor level as Constellation predicted, and will be supported by Oracle support as running on Windows Azure. .

    (POV):
    This poses some engineering work for the Oracle hypervisor teams, but nothing impossible to achieve. And the benefits are tangible, Hyper-V built applications will now be able to run on the Oracle Database (12c, and on Oracle Linux). This will give a lot of performance critical (think Dynamics) applications that were limited by SQL Server scalability before, new breathing room.  Microsoft was able to protect higher level applications of its technology stack with this agreement and at the same time Oracle benefits from a whole ecosystem of Hyper-V compatible applications. The cost of supporting Hyper-V for Oracle, which is tangible, is however dwarfed by this additional market potential. And it gives Mircosoft an important leg up against VMware’s vSphere.  Constellation believes this has significant implications in the cloud stack wars among Amazon, Google, HP, IBM, and VMware.  In unusual candidness for these  Oracle listed the current and future deliverables for the alliance in an blog post here.

Why did this happen?

As previously mentioned, this would have been a very good April Fool’s headline – even back on April 1st 2013. So this alliance comes as a surprise pretty much to all industry observers, at least we have not seen anyone claiming to see this one coming.

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News Analysis: The Implications Of Oracle’s Acquisition Of Taleo

Catch my colleague Yvette Cameron’s point of view here. She covers Future of Work for Constellation Research, Inc.

Oracle Plays Catch Up With Public Cloud Ambitions

On February 9th, Oracle announced its intention to acquire Dublin, CA based Taleo for $1.9B.  Taleo is a cloud based talent management software provider with 5000 customers and 1400 employees.   Key take aways to consider:

  • Moves by SAP and Oracle intend to compete with next generation cloud HCM companies. Taleo provides recruiting and on boarding, performance management and goal setting, compensation, succession, and learning and development.  This complete suite tied to reporting and analytics is designed to streamline human resource operations and employee career management across retail and hospitality, travel, healthcare, media and entertainment, financial services, technology, and energy and mining.  Marquee customers include Starbucks, Starwood, Hyatt, JP Morgan Chase, HP, Dell, Conde’Nast, United, American Airlines, Tesora, Blue Cross blue Shield, and Sutter Health.to customers.

    Point of View (POV):
    Oracle sees advantages in acquiring a leading player in the talent management space .  For years, both Taleo and SuccessFactors ate into Oracle’s existing customer base for talent management.  Consequently, other cloud based HCM and HR Tech vendors such as Ceridian, CornerStone OnDemand, FairSail, Kinexa, UltimateSoftware, and Workday continue to attract line of business customers looking for innovations not being delivered by their core HCM providers (i.e. Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP).  More importantly, cloud computing if properly designed can improve the pace of innovation delivered to customers.
  • Oracle continues to buy its way into a public cloud. Oracle continues to react to buyer sentiment and preference for cloud based solutions with this second major acquisition in what they term the “public cloud” space.  Oracle purchased RightNow for $1.43B on October 24th to address its gaps in customer service solutions.  The Taleo purchase addresses a gap in Talent Management solutions that rival SAP plugged with its recent acquisition of Success Factors for $3.4B .

    Point of View (POV):
    These defensive plays indicate a realization that Cloud delivery emerges as the predominant option for applications. Based on Oracle’s current road map, one can expects Oracle to acquire its way into many other edge applications not listed on its Public Cloud road map (see Figure 1).  Some other applications could include social business solutions, expense management, learning solutions, pricing management, identity management, and mobile device management.   However,  Oracle’s public cloud acquisition strategy so far lacks a key requirement – a choice for multi-tenant architected solutions.  While both RightNow and Taleo have some modules that are multi-tenant, in most instances, these applications have been delivered in single tenancy or in multi-instance. Multi-tenant solutions will provide clients with the most efficient upgrade path and lowest long-term cost structure.  The lack of a public strategy to address this issue remains a significant concern for customers and industry observers.

Figure 1. Oracle’s Vision For A Public Cloud

Source: Oracle Corporation

 

  • Seats matter most in a world of CoIT. Oracle hopes to gain massive cloud scale through Taleo’s 74 million transactions per day and 240 million candidates on Taleo Talent Exchange.  The sheer number of users is massive.

    POV:
    Unlike CRM or ERP, the play for HR is all about acquiring the biggest base of users – employees.  With consumerization of IT (CoIT) in full swing, the goal is to grab as many users upfront and then over time cross-sell them into other edge applications which converge between enterprise and consumer.  Why?  The new strategy among the enterprise apps vendors is land and expand. The largest active user bases will win the war of attrition.

The Bottom Line for Customers: Goodbye On-Premises, Hello Cloud World!

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Research Summary: Market Overview – The Market For SAP Optimization Options

Forward And Commentary

This market overview provides a starting point to SAP customers seeking optimization solutions.  The document delivers actionable advice and insights into a proven collection of software solutions.  As part of the full series, best practices documents will follow with in- depth case studies and a critical product evaluation of this growing market of SAP optimization solutions. 

A. Introduction

With the average Global 2000 ERP deployment nearing 11.5 years in service, ERP customers face a significant challenge with updating their existing investments. Installed pre-Y2K, users have attempted to work around the best practices of the ‘90s while seeking innovation and application agility. Subsequently, SAP users face three main challenges:

  1. Higher cost of ownership that reduces overall ROI.
  2. An aging and brittle infrastructure that hampers innovation.
  3. Increasing complexity that hampers greater adoption.

B. Research Findings

As SAP customers choose their go- forward apps strategy, interviews from 100′s of clients show that four paths emerge (see Figure 1):
  1. Stay with status quo;
  2. Move to shiny new SAP.;
  3. Stabilize SAP and augment; and
  4. Modernize SAP and surround with best-of-breed.
Figure 1. The Four Paths Of SAP Optimization

 

Consequently, an $80.1 billion third-party SAP ecosystem has emerged to address nine key areas (details on each vendor in the official report):

Monday’s Musings: Thoughts On How Indian Infotech Companies Can Lead Instead Of Follow

Disruptive Technologies Remain Top Of Mind Among Business Technology Leaders

It’s always a privilege and a pleasure to reach out to clients and prospects around the world.  For those tracking my location, I’ve been in London, San Francisco, and Mumbai over the past 9 days.  The conversations have ranged from social business and enterprise 2.0 tools while speaking at the Tibco tibbr launch; to CRM and social CRM strategies while keynoting at the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 San Francisco launch event.  Despite the range of topics, a few themes keep emerging among buyers:

  • Can you help me figure out what’s hype and what’s real among the disruptive technologies?
  • What technologies will support my new business models?
  • How do I pay for all this “stuff” if I want to go forward?

The good news – pent up demand signals new interest to spend among business technology leaders.  In fact, I’ve spoken with at least a dozen companies investing more into <gasp>… ERP!  The bad news – technology is moving so fast that many organizations can’t keep up with what’s new.  Most organizations can barely keep the lights on.   On my way to Mumbai, the conversations among buyers shared similar themes with one exception – the rise of India in global tech.

Conversations On The Way To Nasscom Focus On India And Its Role In The Global Tech Economy

Now, as many of you know, the trip to India takes almost 24 hours from San Francisco.  By the tenth hour, you and your fellow passengers have watched every movie you can see, poorly slept, eaten 2 meals, and more than happy to strike an intellectual conversation.  For me, trips to India, Brazil, China, and the UAE always provide good data points on disruptive and emerging technology adoption in fast growing economies.   This trip proved no differently.  Surrounded by techies, from the IT and bio tech world, we dove into heated discussions ranging from India’s place in the global tech economy; to inspiring innovation in Indian companies; to China vs India; to the future of outsourcing.

All in all, these conversations reflected the top of mind items in the tech community and mirrored many of the Nasscom agenda items.   Among the NRI’s, a lot of attention discussed the rebalancing of power from the United States to India and China in the tech community.  Among us outsiders, we expressed a respect and recognition for how much India has accomplished.  In fact, most infotech firms have made a shift from provider to catalyst (see Figure 1).  A few market leaders such as Infosys, HCL, TCS, and Wipro remained within striking distance of achieving advisor status in some industries.  Western firms such as Accenture, IBM, and Deloitte seek to move from advisor to innovator status.

Figure 1. Software Insider Stages Of Service Firm Maturity

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Research Report: Constellation’s Research Outlook For 2011

Organizations Seek Measurable Results In Disruptive Tech, Next Gen Business, And Legacy Optimization Projects For 2011

Credits: Hugh MacLeod

Enterprise leaders seek pragmatic, creative, and disruptive solutions that achieve both profitability and market differentiation.  Cutting through the hype and buzz of the latest consumer tech innovations and disruptive technologies, Constellation Research expects business value to reemerge as the common operating principle that resonates among leading marketing, technology, operations, human resource, and finance executives.  As a result, Constellation expects organizations to face three main challenges: (see Figure 1.):

  • Navigating disruptive technologies. Innovative leaders must quickly assess which disruptive technologies show promise for their organizations.  The link back to business strategy will drive what to adopt, when to adopt, why to adopt, and how to adopt.  Expect leading organizations to reinvest in research budgets and internal processes that inform, disseminate, and prepare their organizations for an increasing pace in technology adoption.
  • Designing next generation business models. Disruptive technologies on their own will not provide the market leading advantages required for success. Leaders must identify where these technologies can create differentiation through new business models, grow new profit pools via new experiences, and deliver market efficiencies that save money and time.  Organizations will also have to learn how to fail fast, and move on to the next set of emerging ideas.
  • Funding innovation through legacy optimization. Leaders can expect budgets to remain from flat to incremental growth in 2011. As a result, much of the disruptive technology and next generation business models must be funded through optimizing existing investments. Leaders not only must reduce the cost of existing investments, but also, leverage existing infrastructure to achieve the greatest amount of business value.

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News Analysis: Salesforce.com Buys Heroku For $212M – Shows Commitment To Next Gen Apps

Acquisition of Heroku In Line With Platform Future of Salesforce.com

At Marc Benioff’s keynote, the CEO reiterated his commitment to 6 clouds: Sales, Service, Data (Jigsaw), Collaboration (Chatter), Cloud Platform (Force.com), and Database (database.com).  As Salesforce.com continues to diversify its portfolio into adjacent markets, the platform as a service (PaaS) component remains a key area of emphasis.  Without a strong developer ecosystem, the Cloud pioneer would relegate itself to a one-trick pony.  Consequently, the recent VMforce announcement targeted the Java community.  Now Salesforce.com seeks to win the hearts and minds of the Ruby ecosystem.  This platform as a service (PaaS) acquisition is significant because Heroku:

  • Delivers the full Ruby platform. As a multi-tenant platform and hosting environment, Heroku keeps it simple and hides the complexity of servers, infrastructure, slices and clusters from users.  Application code dynamically scales using a technology called the Dyno Grid.  Using compiled slugs, a self-contained and read only version of code, Heroku addresses scalability and high availability for developers in a contained and self-managed system..

    Point of View (POV):
    Next generation apps developers seek the simplicity of not having to manage servers and installs.  PaaS options accelerate time to market for new solution.  Cloud2 will require ultra fast elasticity and Heroku has proven this model out.
  • Serves the hot mobile and social apps market. With over 105,000 mobile and social cloud applications built on Heroku, Salesforce.com intends to provide the leading platform for next gen apps development.   Heroku delivers the backbone behind many of the new consumer tech innovations.

    POV:
    Future apps development and developers align more with the consumer tech world. Salesforce.com’s acquisition thrusts the cloud vendor into a new world of mobile and social apps.  If successful, Salesforce.com will attract the next generation of developers.
  • Aligns with the database.com acquisition. Heroku’s pricing model is based on dynos, a single web process running code and responding to http requests.  The more dynos used the more concurrency achieved.  As users consume code, they increase database usage through a portfolio of options (see Figure 1.).

    POV:
    database.com can fit neatly into the PaaS stack for Heroku users.  The pricing model could prove complimentary for database.com and other Salesforce.com users.

Figure 1. Heroku Offers A Wide Range Of Database Options

Source: Heroku

The Bottom Line: Salesforce.com Intent On Paving Its Future
Already in the Cloud, Salesforce.com sees its future aligned with mobile and social.  This move provides the significant infrastructure to win the hearts and minds of the next gen apps developer.  Unlike many of its enterprise software competitors, Salesforce.com realizes that the platform is key to its future and success.  If successful, this move will also help Salesforce.com extend its reach into the consumer tech side of applications.  While there are many benefits of PaaS, customers moving to Heroku should seek provisions in The Customer Bill of Rights: SaaS.

Your POV.

Do you think Salesforce.com can transform into a full PaaS?  Have the failures in APEX taught Salesforce.com the lessons learned for success in this new platform?  Please post or send on to rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwareinsider dot org and we’ll keep your anonymity.

Related Resources And Links
20101207 PR Newswire – Salesforce.com Signs Definitive Agreement To Buy Heroku

20100429 SoftwareInsider – R “Ray” Wang “News Analysis: Salesforce.com and VMware Up The Ante In The Cloud Wars With VMforce”

Reprints

Reprints can be purchased through the Software Insider brand or Constellation Research, Inc.  To request official reprints in PDF format, please contact r@softwareinsider.org.

Disclosure

Although we work closely with many mega software vendors, we want you to trust us.  A full disclosure listing will be provided soon on the Constellation Research site.

Copyright © 2010 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.

Event Report: Oracle Open World 2010 – Beyond The Day 1 Hype

(Photo: Copyright © 2010 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.)

Oracle Day 1 Focused On Showcasing Both Software And Hardware Prowess

The Day 1 keynote kick-off from Oracle’s CEO, Larry Ellison, touched on the wide spectrum of Oracle’s broad software and hardware portfolio.  Despite an over-emphasis on hardware and appliances, Oracle also pre-announced the launch of Fusion Applications.  A closer analysis of the announcements show:

  • Fusion Apps unveiled and announced for GA in Q1 2011. Joking about the length of time its taken since the halfway to fusion event on January 19, 2006, Larry Ellison finally announced the availability of Fusion Apps.  The seven products include Financial Management, Procurement and Sourcing, Human Capital Management (HCM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC), and Project and Portfolio Management (PPM).  Oracle’s engineering team built 20,000 objects, 10,000 business processes, and 100 modules from scratch (see Figure 1).  Fusion Applications meet 8 of the 10 criteria for next generation social enterprise applications. Oracle intends to target the best of breed SaaS products such as Concur, Salesforce.com, Success Factors, Taleo, and Workday.  At this point, no pricing information has been provided but Oracle has promised like to like upgrade parity for existing customers.

    Point of View (POV):
    Fusion Apps highlight a new level of design.  The apps infuse Web 2.0 paradigms with enterprise class sensibilities.  Role based screens present relevant tasks, alerts, and analytics.  Adoption will depend on the customer’s existing landscape.  Oracle customers generally fall into 3 categories: Die Hard Red Stack Believers, Best of Breed Customers By Accident, and Net New Greenfield.  Expect Net New Greenfields to consider the full Fusion App suites as they compare existing Apps Unlimited products and SAP.  Best of Breed Customers By Accident will most likely be drawn to the 100 modules to be delivered on demand and on premises.  Die Hard Red Stackers most likely have upgraded to the latest Fusion Middleware and will consider product replacements and module adoption.  Fusion Apps remains fairly horizontal and those customers with rich and stable vertical capabilities will most likely hold off for future releases.  Customers should keep an eye on the middleware pricing associated with Fusion Apps.

Figure 1.  Scenes From Oracle Open World And Screen Shots Of Fusion Apps

(Photo: Copyright © 2010 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.)

Research Report: How SaaS Adoption Trends Show New Shifts In Technology Purchasing Power

SaaS Adoption Surveys Often Overlook Audience Composition

Over the past year, analyst firms, tech media, and even mainstream business media have happily showcased positive news about SaaS adoption.  The common theme remains clear – SaaS adoption moves beyond the tipping point in 2010.  Cloud adoption will reach a tipping point in the next 12 months.  All this bodes well for customers and SaaS providers as organizations now embrace SaaS as an acceptable deployment option in their apps strategy.  Unfortunately, recent SaaS/Cloud adoption surveys continue to provide confusing and sometimes contradictory data about adoption.  Close examination of these surveys reveal that not all adoption surveys are equally created.  The unspoken question, who’s answering the surveys?

SaaS Decision Making Firmly In The Hands Of The Business Buyer

Anecdotally, business users drive SaaS decisions, while IT leaders remain skeptical.  To validate this hypothesis, Software Insider conducted a quick survey of 100 Global 2000 organizations.  Starting with the most senior IT leaders, the question was posed, “Are you using SaaS in your organization for major business processes?” (see Figure 1).  Of the 46 organizations who responded, the procurement leaders were then asked the same question (see Figure 2).  After comparing survey results, the following conclusions emerged:

  • IT leaders aware but hesitant on SaaS adoption. A little under a quarter of IT leaders (23.91% or 11/46) responded that they were using SaaS applications.  Key applications deployed include CRM, strategic HCM, expense management and project based solutions (PBS).  Delving deeper into these verbal and in-person interviews highlighted a desire to learn more about SaaS.  As one CIO at a major food and beverage concern stated, “The business heads keep showing up with these SaaS apps and then want us to integrate them.  We need to get a handle on all this!”  Key concerns included, “I don’t know if we can integrate all this in the future”, responded the CIO of a large Fortune 500 retailer and “I think we need better governance and security”, remarked the Director of Enterprise Apps for a Top 25 banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) entity.
  • Procurement leaders reveal surprising adoption by business leaders en masse for SaaS solutions. Conversations with the procurement managers highlight how business users have taken matters into their own hands.  Every one of the surveyed organizations (100% or 46/46) had an existing SaaS contract, contradicting the IT leaders who did not respond that they ran SaaS solutions.  In fact – these contracts ranged from five seat deals to 2000 seats at one organization.  As the procurement head at a large professional services firm indicated, “The teams will buy whatever they need now.  IT has no clue!”.  “Business has to go around IT because they are too busy keeping the lights on”, retorted a procurement manager at a global 10 pharma.  A procurement manager for a large multi-national manufacturer stated, “Our main issue with SaaS is finding enough solutions that will support our needs.”
  • Business leaders take charge but fail to communicate with IT leaders.  The key finding – lack of coordination among business, IT, and procurement.   Amazingly, the 35 IT leaders who stated they did not run SaaS apps for major business processes still may not know about the CRM, HCM, Project Based Solutions, and Finances deployments in their organization.  When some of them were shown the results, these leaders expressed amazement and surprise.  Organizations should be alarmed but not surprised by this lack of coordination between business and IT.

Figure 1.  IT Leader Responses Show Muted Adoption

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News Analysis: Salesforce.com and VMware Up The Ante In The Cloud Wars With VMforce

VMWare and Salesforce.com Battle For The Hearts And Minds Of Cloud-Oriented Java Developers

On April 27th, 2010, Salesforce.com, [NYSE: CRM] and VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) formed VMforce, a strategic alliance to create a deployment environment for Java based apps in the cloud.  The Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering builds on Java, Spring, VMware vSphere, and Force.com.  Key themes in this announcement:

  • Growing the developer ecosystem. VMware and Salesforce.com realize that the key to growth will be their appeal to developers.  The VMforce offering courts 6 million enterprise Java developers and over 2 million using SpringSource’s Spring framework with an opportunity to build Cloud 2 applications.  VMware brings application management and orchestration tools via VMware vSphere.  Salesforce.com opens up its applications, Force.com database, Chatter collaboration, search, workflow, analytics and mobile platforms.

    Point of View (POV):
    By betting on Java and the Spring framework for this Cloud2 PaaS, both vendors gain immediate access to one of the largest developer communities in the world.  Salesforce.com developers no longer have to use the highly flexible, but very proprietary APEX code base to create Cloud2 apps.   Java developers can now reach the large base of Salesforce.com customers and use the Salesforce.com apps and Force.com.
  • Creating cloud efficiencies for Java development. VMforce brings global infrastructure, virtualization platform, orchestration and management technology, relational cloud database, development platform and collaboration services, application run time, development framework, and tooling to the cloud.  Organizations can build code in Java and integrate with apps in Salesforce.com without having to retrain existing resources.  Environments can scale as needed and take advantage of the massive economies of scale in the cloud.

    POV:
    As with all PaaS offerings, cost and time savings include not dealing with hardware procurement, pesky systems management software, configuration and tuning, and multiple dev, test, and production environment set up.  Developers can focus on business value not infrastructure.  What will they do with their free time not scaling up databases and app servers?

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Tuesday’s Tip: Understanding The Many Flavors of Cloud Computing and SaaS

Confusion Continues With Cloud Computing And SaaS Definitions

Coincidence or just brilliance must be in the air as three esteemed industry colleagues, Phil Wainewright, Michael Cote, and James Governor, have both decided to clarify definitions on SaaS and Cloud within a few days of each other.  In fact, this couldn’t be more timely as SaaS and Cloud enter into mainstream discussion with next gen CIO’s evaluating their apps strategies.  A few common misconceptions often include:

  • “That hosting thing is like SaaS”
  • “Cloud, SaaS, all the same, we don’t own anything”
  • “OnDemand is Cloud Computing”
  • “ASP, Hosting, SaaS seems all the same”
  • “It all costs the same so what does it matter to me?”
  • “Why should I care if its multi-tenant or not?
  • “What’s this private cloud versus public cloud?”

Cloud Computing Represents The New Delivery Model For Internet Based IT services

Traditional and Cloud based delivery models share 4 key parts (see Figure 1):

  1. Consumption – how users consume the apps and business processes
  2. Creation – what’s required to build apps and business processes
  3. Orchestration – how parts are integrated or pulled from an app server
  4. Infrastructure – where the core guts such as servers, storage, and networks reside

As the über category, Cloud Computing comprises of

  • Business Services and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – The traditional apps layer in the cloud includes software as a service apps, business services, and business processes on the server side.
  • Development-as-a-Service (DaaS) – Development tools take shape in the cloud as shared community tools, web based dev tools, and mashup based services.
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) – Middleware manifests in the cloud with app platforms, database, integration, and process orchestration.
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) – The physical world goes virtual with servers, networks, storage, and systems management in the cloud.

Figure 1.  Traditional Delivery Compared To Cloud Based Delivery

screen-shot-2010-03-22-at-105927-pm

The Apps Layer In The Cloud Represents Many Flavors From Hosted To True SaaS

SaaS purists often challenge vendors on delivery models in the cloud at the apps layer (see Figure 2).  Often classified as OnDemand, there are 3 common approaches:

  1. Single Instance – (a.k.a. “On Demand”). Think traditional apps deployed one cusotmer per app or per server. Many vendors provide hosting capabilities. Customers don’t worry about the IT infrastructure and retain the flexibility to modify, customize, and in most cases choose when they want to change the code. All customers can use different versions of the software
  2. Multi Instance – (a.k.a. “Server Virtualized”). Think “VMware” like. Apps deployed into a shared-web hosting environment. A single instance copy of the app is configured and deployed into a web directory for each customer. Vendor benefit from easier to manage multi-instance environments. Customers don’t worry about the IT infrastructure and retain the flexibility to modify, customize, and in most cases choose when they want to change the code. All customers can use different versions of the software.
  3. Multi-tenant – (a.k.a. “True SaaS”). Apps in a multi-tenant deployments provide a single operating environment shared by multiple customers. Config files are created and deployed each time a customer request services. Customers don’t worry about the IT infrastructure and retain the flexibility to modify, configure but NOT customize the code. Customers usually receive upgrades at the same time. Everyone shares the same code.

Figure 2.  Different Strokes Of OnDemand For Different Folks

screen-shot-2010-03-22-at-112728-pm

The Bottom Line – Different Models Bring Varying Degrees Of Trade Offs In Cost Versus Flexibility

Keep in mind there are cases where one deployment option is more favorable than another. Just because you are multi-tenant SaaS doesn’t mean you are better. On the other hand, when vendors tout OnDemand as a SaaS offering, then the SaaS bigotry begins. Be on the look out as more vendor provide mix-mode offerings to support disconnected modes, SaaS and On-premise, Public and Private clouds, as well as other improvements in integration with stronger client side ESB’s. Expect many vendors to put their offerings into the Cloud as Cloud/SaaS moves beyond the mainstream for apps strategy.  Let’s take a look at a two decision criteria:

Scenario 1: From least expensive to most expensive to run for a vendor:

  1. True SaaS
  2. Server Virtualized
  3. Hosting

Why is this important? Let’s see, you choose a Hosted solution and the vendor’s costs to run the app goes up with each new customer as it has to manage the different environments. No matter how hard the vendor will try to “fit” everyone to standard configurations and deployments, that’s not always possible. Flexibility has a cost. In a “True Saas” solution, the cost to add an additional customer is minimal and each customer reduces the overall cost for everyone. Ultimately, a True SaaS deployment will have the lowest cost/user/month fee. What will you do 5 years into an Hosting scenario when you are locked in?

Scenario 2: From most customizable to least customizable for a customer:

  1. Hosting
  2. Server Virtualized
  3. True SaaS

Why is this important? Your may have specific needs in an area where the SaaS vendor has not provided the deepest level of configurations. You can’t just go in and modify the code unless everyone else wants it or the vendor’s has it on the roadmap. The cost of comformity is the lack of flexibility. What will you do 5 years into a True SaaS scenario when you are locked in and the vendor won’t add the feature or functionality you need?

Your POV

What’s your view on SaaS vs Cloud?  Does this help clarify the definitions?  Are you looking at private, public, or hybrid cloud options?  Add your comments to the discussion or send on to rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwaresinsider dot org and we’ll keep your anonymity.

Please let us know if you need help with your SaaS/Cloud strategies.  Here’s how we can help:

  • Crafting your next gen apps strategy
  • Short listing and vendor selection
  • Contract negotiations support
  • Market evaluation

Related resources and links

Take the new and improved survey on 3rd party maintenance

20100322 Monkchips – James Governor “Defining Cloud is Simple. Get Over It. The Burger”

20100319 ZD Net: Software as Services – Phil Wainewright “Is SaaS the Same as Cloud”

Copyright © 2010 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.

Tuesday’s Tip: 10 Cloud and SaaS Apps Strategies For 2010

Keep In Mind Basic Rules Still Apply Regardless Of Deployment Option

The proliferation of SaaS solutions provides organizations with a myriad of sorely needed point and disruptive solutions.  Good news – business users can rapidly procure and deploy, while innovating with minimal budget and IT team constraints.  Bad news – users must depend more on their SLA guarantees and deal with a potential integration nightmare of hundreds if not thousands of potential SaaS apps.  Though the 7 key benefits of SaaS outweigh most downside risks, organizations must design their SaaS apps strategies with the same rigor as any apps strategy.  Just because deployment options have changed, this does not mean basic apps strategy is thrown out the window.  Concepts such as SOA, business process orchestration, and enterprise architecture will be more important than ever.  Here are 10 strategies to consider as organizations take SaaS mainstream:

  1. Begin with the business process and desired business value. Understand the desired business value and outcome.  Map back the key performance indicators (KPI’s) to the business processes. Identify what processes will be covered by the SaaS solution.  Determine overlaps and hand-offs between on-premise and SaaS to SaaS that are required to measure the desired KPI’s.
  2. Engage stakeholders early and often. Today’s apps strategies must constantly evolve. Change is happening so fast that line of business leads and IT leaders must collaborate in real time.  The result – an ever changing list of requirements.  While SaaS allows business leaders to make go-it-alone decisions, success will require close collaboration on short term and long term requirements, dependencies, and strategy.
  3. Bet on future suites, SaaS platforms or PaaS (Platform-as-a-service). Winners and losers will emerge in this wave of Cloud computing.  Vendors such as Netsuite, Workday, Zoho, Epicor, and SAP have built or will be building suites.  They provide safe bets as more and more functionality will be rolled into their offerings. Concurrently, organizations should also choose vendors who bring a vibrant and rich ecosystem to the table because those vendors will win in the market.  Salesforce.com and NetSuite already provide users with a platform to build on apps.  Other vendors such as as Google Apps Engine, Microsoft Azure, IBM, and Zoho provide rich developer communities.  Partner and customers will drive innovation which is why platform adoption (i.e. today’s middleware) makes a difference.
  4. Augment with best of breeds, but avoid best of breed hell. No one platform can provide every solution, but choose wisely.  Best of breeds provide deep vertical capabilities and rich last mile solutions.  However, no one wants to manage hundreds of vendor relationships.  Create frameworks that allow business users to work with vendors which support open standards, integrate well with your existing integration strategies, and follow the bill of rights.   Reduction in the number of vendors will become a priority in 2010 going on into 2011.
  5. Assume hybrid will be the rule not the exception. Prepare for hybrid deployments throughout the decade.  Despite the benefits of SaaS and broad adoption in 2010, legacy apps will not go away.  Just count the number of mainframe and client-server apps still in use today.  Many on-premise apps will take time to migrate to SaaS. In some cases, legal requirements will prevent data from being stored off-site.  Software plus services offerings from companies such as Infor, Lawson, Microsoft Dynamics, and SAP may become the norm in 2010 as companies seek private and public cloud solutions.
  6. Design with good architecture. Keep your enterprise architects (EA’s) or hire some more.  Inevitably, more and more SaaS solutions will enter the organization.  EA’s will proactively plan for new scenarios and account for future business requirements.  Organizations should keep some rigor in terms of standards for solution adoption while accounting for the need to rapidly innovate.  Business leaders will need some frameworks on which solutions to adopt.
  7. Choose the right integration strategy for the right time. SaaS integration strategies will evolve based on the organization’s SaaS adoption maturity.  The first set of solutions will probably require point to point integration of data.  Over time, users often migrate to centralized integration services that account for process.  Some will go full enterprise service bus (ESB) and look at business process orchestration as well.  Consider solutions from CastIron, Boomi, Pervasive Software, Informatica, and SnapLogic.  Going forward customer data integration and master data management will be more important than ever.
  8. Minimize long-term storage costs with archiving. Storage represents a significant long term SaaS cost.  Savvy clients can reduce the cost of SaaS storage with a myriad of technologies such as EMC, IBM Optim, and RainStor.  By archiving, organizations will experience faster transaction times, maintain compliance, and reduce storage fees.
  9. Hedge risk with SaaS escrows. Most SaaS vendors will require 5 to 7 years to achieve profitability.  End users often demand software escrows in the on-premise world when they are concerned about vendor viability, takeover threats, and other related breaches to performance or service level agreements.  Software escrows vendors serve as the trusted third party independent organization which holds a copy of the software code.  This often includes user data, source code, documentation and any application executables. SaaS escrows work in a similar way.  Vendors such as EscrowTech, InnovaSafe, Iron Mountain, NCC Group. and OpSource can provide such services.
  10. Protect your rights. Client – vendor relationships in SaaS are perpetual.  Organizations have one shot to get the contract right and begin the relationship with the right tenor.  Apply best practices from The Customer Bill of Rights: SaaS. Work with vendors to find the right balance in approach.

The Bottom Line For Customers – Build Frameworks That Support Easy Line Of Business Adoption

The broad adoption and trajectory of SaaS solutions requires organizations to rapidly replace edicts and 5 year plans with guidelines and policy frameworks.  The goal – enable anyone in the organization to procure a SaaS solution that meets key guidelines and standards.  The result – flexibility, security, and scalability that allows solutions to be used on-demand and in concert with existing applications.

Your POV.

As you work out your SaaS apps strategies, drop us a line and let us know how you are deploying, what challenges you’ve faced, and what successes have you achieved.  We’re happy to weigh in.  Feel free to post your comments here or send me an email at rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwareinsider dot org.

Copyright © 2009 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.