Dancing in the Clouds With the Elephants
The recent flurry of major vendor announcements regarding their new Cloud Computing initiatives, latest acquisitions and offerings clearly shows that the “Cloud Rush” is in high gear.
Here’s a quick list of the announcements which have caught my attention over the past few weeks in chronological order since HP unveiled its Cloud ‘vision’ last month, and my views regarding their significance,
- Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire newScale, 03/29/11 – Cisco Systems has been pushing into the ‘new data center’ environment for a while with its Unified Computing solutions. It acquired newScale to improve its provisioning capabilities to make it a more viable Cloud vendor for enterprise customers and service provider partners.
- Salesforce.com to Acquire Radian6, 03/30/11 – Now that Salesforce.com has succeeded in popularizing its Chatter social networking capabilities, it wants to give its customers the necessary tools to monitor, manage and measure the effectiveness of these new features.
- Intuit, Salesforce.com Announce Strategic Alliance, 04/01/11 – Despite its investment in FinancialForce.com and support of numerous integration tools vendors that link salesforce.com’s CRM solution with QuickBooks, salesforce.com is seeking to strengthen its position in the SMB/SME market by building a closer working relationship with Intuit which is also working with Microsoft. Intuit is also trying to reinforce its position within the SaaS/Cloud ecosystem.
- SugarCRM Acquires iExtensions, the Market-Leading CRM for Lotus Notes, 04/05/11 – SugarCRM’s growth is further proof of the growing acceptance of Open Source solutions in the market. Its acquisition of iExtensions strengthens its ties with Lotus Notes which is a pivotal part of IBM’s SaaS/Cloud efforts. And, its growing relationship with IBM illustrates how SugarCRM hopes will gain an even greater foothold in mainstream businesses. Don’t be surprised if this alliance evolves into an acquisition in the months to come.
- SITA Launches Dedicated Air Transport Industry (ATI) Cloud, 04/06/11 – I’ve been saying for the past year that the SaaS/Cloud market is entering a third stage in its evolution, moving from broadly focused horizontal business and IT management apps to a new generation of industry-specific SaaS/Cloud solutions. This new stage is a clear indication that the SaaS/Cloud movement is gaining acceptance across nearly every industry and is now viewed as an important mechanism for reengineering the fundamental business processes within various sectors. SITA has been supporting the operating needs of the airline industry since 1949, and is among the latest industry-specific providers to launch a strategic initiative aimed at Cloud Computing.
- IBM Joins Forces With Over 45 Organizations to Launch Cloud Standards Customer Council for Open Cloud Computing, 04/07/11 – IBM has been aggressively pursuing Cloud opportunities since the concept first gained attention. It made an initial effort to spearhead the Cloud standards process which caused a lot of controversy because many people were suscipious of IBM’s motives at the time. Today’s announcement will generate a more positive response because it is supported by an impressive cross-section of enterprise organizations and Cloud vendors. It also recognizes and endorses the existing Cloud inititives of various standards bodies, the most recent of which was announced by the IEEE on Monday. IBM also rolled out another wave of Cloud products and services today that further expands its portfolio of hardware, software and service offerings, and puts additional pressure on its competitors.
- Dell Invests $1 Billion in Technology Solutions and Services to Help Customers Drive Business Results Today and in the Future, 04/07/11 – Dell is not about to let IBM, HP or Oracle outpace its own Cloud initiatives. The company tried to demonstrate today the magnitude of its efforts to develop and deliver Cloud solutions and services aimed at enterprises and end-users. Dell can tell a good Cloud story because of its long history of delivering automated systems and offering Ecommerce services. It has also done a surprisingly good job leveraging its Perot Systems professional services and systems integration services to create vertical market solutions. Click here to read my initial vision of Dell’s Cloud capabilities two years ago.
These announcements and initiatives illustrate the significance of the Cloud Computing phenomenon. They also show the scalability of the market opportunities, extending from SMBs/SMEs to major industries. And, they demonstrate how the Cloud is fundamentally changing the competitive landscape and customer expectations.