Cloud-Oriented Acquisitions and Alliances Accelerate
Years ago, I considered the week leading into Labor Day as the final hurrah of the Summer and tried to preserve it for an end of season vacation to cap off the warm weather months in New England. Then my kids became school age and schools started kicking off before the holiday weekend. (Don’t get me started on this silly practice.)
Now, the tech industry is also making a habit of getting back into stride for the new Fall season before the dog days of August are behind us. One of the important annual venues for kicking off the new season of activity is VMworld.
This year’s event is generating plenty of news, especially regarding cloud-oriented acquisitions and alliances. Here’s a quick sampling:
VMware Acquires Integrien and TriCipher
Verizon and VMware to Launch Enterprise-Class Hybrid Cloud Solution
BlueLock Introduces VMware vCloud Datacenter Service with CloudConnector
EMC Transforms … Read More »
Handicapping HP CEO Candidates
Mark Hurd’s sudden resignation as HP’s CEO has opened a floodgate of speculation regarding who the company will select to succeed him.
Because his departure wasn’t anticipated, there are no clear-cut internal candidates. And, because Hurd himself was a surprise selection for the post in 2006, it is possible that another little-known industry executive may be tapped again for the position this time around.
So, this creates a wonderful opportunity for anyone with a passing interest in HP’s future, and the future of the technology industry as a whole, to throw a few names in the hat.
The HP CEO position is particularly intriguing in part because it has grown to become the largest IT vendor in the industry through a series of acquisitions of Compaq, EDS and others. More importantly, HP like the rest of the IT industry is at a pivotal crossroads … Read More »
Yes – The SaaS 'Experiment' Is Over
For the past two weeks, I’ve been debating whether to respond to a commentary in InfoWorld by Neil McAllister which asked, “Is the SaaS Experiment Finally Over?”
But, I couldn’t hold back any longer when one of the many online publications where I’m a contributor, eBizQ, posed the question in a more provocative fashion, “Is SaaS Dead?”
I couldn’t bring myself to respond to McAllister’s column when it was first published because his argument was so ludicrous. He alluded to a variety of past SaaS and cloud vendor service outages to raise concerns about the overall viability of these rapidly expanding markets. And he used a series of Gartnerisms to warn against developer migration to the SaaS model.
Yet, McAllister ignores the pervasive failures of traditional on-premise software which has inspired organizations of all sizes to explore and increasingly adopt SaaS alternatives to better meet their corporate needs.
The … Read More »
HP Restructuring to Capture Cloud Wave
Yesterday’s announcement by HP that it is cutting 9000 workers and hiring another 6000 as part of a $1 billion multi-year effort to redesign its data center operations and automate its enterprise services is the latest indication of the traumatic impact which today’s cloud computing phenomenon is having on the tech industry.
HP readily admitted in its announcement that its goal is to,
“…Consolidate Enterprise Services’ commercial data centers, management platforms, networks, tools and applications to create a more scalable, modernized and automated IT infrastructure that will better serve its clients’ needs.”
Although the company didn’t specify where its cuts would take place, I suspect that the bulk of the downsizing effort within the Enterprise Services division will involve offloading the legacy data center facilities and staff which came from the EDS acquisition.
My sources within the company have confirmed my original concerns about the acquisition … Read More »
Making IT Management SaaSy
I’ve been suggesting for years that the IT system management (ITSM) market is ripe for a new generation of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, and a widening array of emerging players are finally fulfilling my vision.
Up until recently, IT departments have been plagued by the same frustrations which permeated most large-scale enterprises contending with overly complex, cumbersome and costly business applications.
In the case of the business units, it was trying to implement and maintain enterprise applications, such as CRM or ERP, which drove them crazy and in the direction of SaaS alternatives from companies like Salesforce.com and NetSuite.
Now, IT organizations are starting to migrate away from the ITSM platforms offered by IBM, HP, BMC and CA in favor of SaaS-based alternatives from Service.now and others.
Why are IT departments moving in this direction? For the same reasons as their business unit counterparts,
Frustration with the costs and complexities of traditional, … Read More »
Parallels Aligns Assets Around the Cloud
My travels this week have taken me from Miami to San Francisco, for Parallels Summit and Pacific Crest Securities’ Emerging Technology Summit to hear and see the latest developments in the ‘clouds’.
In Miami, I witnessed the emergence of a key new player in the rapidly evolving cloud computing industry. Parallels is not a new company, but it has recently realigned its various corporate capabilities into a singular focus on cloud computing enablement.
The company is specifically targeting the vast community of service providers — hosting companies, VARs and telcos — that are supporting the IT needs of small businesses with limited or no IT staff.
In short, Parallels is seeking to help these service providers replicate the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the mainstream small business marketplace.
Although AWS has found a very receptive audience among start-ups and enterprise developers, it hasn’t generated much interest with mainstream small businesses which lack … Read More »
Microsoft-Intuit PaaS Marriage in the Clouds
This week’s announcement that Microsoft and Intuit are linking their respective Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) capabilities has attracted lots of attention and generated plenty of speculation. It is also the latest escalation of the PaaS wars I predicted would take center-stage this year.
Although Salesforce.com’s Force.com PaaS has gained the lion’s share of industry attention because of the company’s unparalleled marketing machine, I’ve felt that Intuit’s Partner Platform (IPP) represented a dark-horse in the PaaS race because of the vast installed base of small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) using Intuit’s QuickBooks and QuickBase, along with its powerful channel relationships.
I’ve also believed that Microsoft would make considerable progress in penetrating the cloud computing market this year, not because of the technical capabilities of its Azure PaaS, but because of its historical prowess in building a vast partner network of ISVs and developers.
With those thoughts in mind, here’s … Read More »
Escalating SaaS IT Service Management War
Back to back announcements this week have brought renewed attention to the IT service management (ITSM) market as a key battleground for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) competition.
On January 19, BMC announced its latest Remedy ITSM Suite On Demand solution, a SaaS-based offering which promises to integrate with BMC’s Atrium Configuration Management Database (CMDB) and Business Service Management (BSM) platform.
That same day, Service-now.com announced that PepsiAmericas had selected its SaaS-based ITSM solution. In Service-now.com’s announcement, PepsiAmericas’ IT Customer Service Manager, Amy Irwin said, “Our old tool couldn’t meet our needs so we went shopping for a tool that could. We quickly determined SaaS would best fit our tool requirements.”
IT acceptance of SaaS-based solutions isn’t new. THINKstrategies first identified this trend in our 2007 customer survey in conjunction with Cutter Consortium.
However, SaaS vendor focus on this segment of the market has intensified over the past two … Read More »
Key Competitive Battlefields in the Clouds in 2010
As the new year and decade get underway, here are a few of the areas of the cloud computing market which I think will be important competitive battlefields for established and emerging players:
Collaboration Wars: Collaboration is the ‘killer app’ in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) segment of the cloud computing market. The rapid adoption of Google Apps has demonstrated the latent demand for these web-based solutions. Now, IBM is promoting the enterprise-class qualities of its LotusLive offering to win a share of the market. Cisco Systems is also intensifying its efforts to promote its collaboration solutions built around WebEx and Telepresence. I also think Microsoft will accept a greater level of cannibalization of its Office products to win a bigger share of the collaboration market with OfficeLive.
Business-Oriented Social Networks: These are closely linked to collaboration and have gained a tremendous amount of attention because of the explosive growth … Read More »
Dell Becomes Salesforce.com Channel Partner
I’ve been suggesting for years that PC vendors could be great channel partners for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendors, and Dell now has an opportunity to prove me right.
Today, Dell and saleforce.com announced that Dell will offer salesforce.com’s SaaS solutions to its small- and mid-size business (SMB) customers via its website.
This is a natural combination. Dell has been a prominent customer of salesforce.com’s on-demand CRM solutions. Salesforce.com uses Dell’s computers in its data centers. This week, the companies’ CEOs will be on stage together at Oracle’s Open World conference.
Selling software to its customers isn’t new for Dell. It has been offering Microsoft Office, Symantec Anti-Virus and other applications for a while. Adding salesforce.com’s on-demand solutions enables Dell to position itself as a fuller, ‘one-stop shop’ for SMBs.
This gives salesforce.com a strong new channel to market and builds on Dell’s core competency as a direct sales company, … Read More »