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Archive for the ‘Cloud Computing’ Category

All we can do is speculate at this point, but this looks like it could be very interesting…more thoughts as they come.

More thoughts as promised…

We are likely looking at something along the lines of Amazon’s EC2 offer. Interesting, but not exactly earthshattering. Pre-announcing now has served to generate a lot of interest – lets hope that there is something more at play.

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Microsoft announced the Kin One and Kin Two yesterday. The phones will be only found on the Verizon (US) network to begin, and then making its way to Vodaphone networks in Spain, the UK, Germany and Italy. It is worth remembering that Vodaphone has a healthy interest in Verizon Wireless. Nothing in Canada at present, which is fairly typical as far as wireless product introduction goes (the Canadian iPhone launched a year after the US). Bell and Microsoft have had a very good relationship in the past, so Bell Mobility would seem as likely a candidate as any to offer the devices in the future.

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Read this. It is good to see that the Canadian federal government seems committed to the cloud. The fact that they seem to have moved beyond strategizing and roadmaps to actual deployment of cloud based services is a good thing, and ought to bode well as they move forward. The government’s existing IT infrastructure would seem to resemble a tangled nightmare and a move to cloud based computing should result in significant cost savings and productivity increases across the board. If they get it right…

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Google announced the Apps Marketplace yesterday.

The upshot is that Google Apps subscribers will have access to a number of applications that can integrate with existing Google Apps (gmail, calendar etc). Applications are delivered by a network of over 50 partners and include applications like payroll, project management, web conferencing and efax. What’s interesting is the fact that Google is moving beyond productivity (Google Docs, email, search) and is introducing applications that can drive efficiency across the business. Applications like Intuit Payroll, ZohoCRM and myERP.com (I have no idea how well these apps work, I am  just giving examples) present powerful examples of what is possible.

While it is obviously too early to tell, my suspicion is that the App Marketplace will find a home across all segments of the market. Business efficiency applications will likely see more adoption in the SMB market, but tools like project management and workflows will not be out of place in the enterprise (not that they will be adopted from the top and pushed down. More likely that these applications start in a team environment and potentially move outward).

A key challenge will be managing the partner ecosystem. Google will have little control over how partners manage service delivery, particularly when you extend this to management of trouble tickets and the like. As an example, issues with payroll tend not to be well tolerated by customers, while issues with eFax are likely to be tolerated. Unless a strict SLA regime is part of the partner relationship, Google will have little control beyond ensuring that customer feedback is front and centre. I am sure a lot of adoption decisions will be made after examining the number of stars an application has.

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Steve Ballmer has never been short on hyperbole. Why should the cloud be any different? http://bit.ly/b2ImUw

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Read this http://blogs.idc.com/ie/?p=543. The CAGR works out to over 26%. This represents significant growth to say the least. The hype machine keeps on hyping. When I read numbers like this, I am pushed back in time to consider other markets and forecasts. Unified communications, which the Yankee Group dubbed ‘the 0 billion dollar market’, stands out as a good example. Plenty of promise, but a market that seemed to have trouble getting traction. The cloud may well be different, but there is always a danger with forecasts like this…

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Larry Digan at ZDNet has blogged on Rackspace and its cloud strategy. In essence Rackspace foresees a hybrid solution approach that sees customers switching between  hosted and cloud environments. Digan also points to some Forrester Research work that  states that “only 5 percent of large enterprises have either implemented cloud computing or plan to in the next 12 months.” I think Digan got the next bit wrong though. The blog says “Simply put, a hybrid approach is likely to be the norm for a while.” I agree on the hybrid approach part, but disagree on the ‘a while’ comment. I think the market is likely to stay in permanent hybrid mode.

Like I have written in previous posts, while cloud computing represents significant innovation, it does not represent a solution that will meet the needs of the entire market. It is important to consider these needs beyond satisfying the IT department and to reflect on the organization at large. Some companies will continue to use hosted and in-house solutions because the cloud does not mesh well with the strategic imperative of the company. While exploration of a cloud solution for certain applications may make sense (think about Salesforce.com, HR and Payroll), applications that are deemed core to the business will likely remain closer and will never make it to the cloud. At least to an external cloud…

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