Posts Tagged 'IaaS'

Gartner Integration, B2B and Cloud Services Brokerage Predictions

Gartner’s Benoit Lheureux has posted two Strategic Planning Assumption Predictions for Integration, B2B and Cloud Services Brokerage on his blog:

  • By 2014, the CSB vendor landscape will have grown from dozens to hundreds of providers.
  • By 2015, 50% of “Integration as a Service” (IaaS) will be consumed as an embedded feature of other IT offerings.

While I think that the IaaS acronym is accepted by most to mean Infrastructure as a Service (Public and Private Cloud), I do agree with the embedded nature of cloud integration. D&B360 is a great example. I like how Tom Carlock puts it in this Informatica Cloud video:

2011 Predictions: Hybrid Cloud Integration Platforms, Private Cloud Confusion

This photo belongs to s_kessler's photostream on flickrI posted my 2011 cloud integration predictions on the Informatica Perspectives blog today. They are:

  1. Cloud Adoption Drives Two-Tier Cloud Integration Strategies
  2. LOB-Driven Cloud Integration Projects Lead to Strategic Master Data Management (MDM) Initiatives
  3. The Rise of the Cloud Integration Platform
  4. Enterprise Adoption
  5. Private Cloud Confusion Continues

Full post:  2011 Cloud Integration Predictions: Hybrid Platform Adoption, Private Cloud Confusion

Press Panel at All About the Cloud SIIA Conference

I attended the press panel at this week’s All About the Cloud SIIA Conference in San Francisco.  While there was some general negativity towards cloud computing hype, there was consensus on the inevitability of the market shift to the model.

Kara Swisher from the Wall Street Journal was particularly outspoken (and entertaining). I would definitely attend any panel that includes her as a participant in the future! You can check out the #AATC tag to find some of the musings. I jotted a few quotes down as well. To paraphrase from the panelists..

“CIOs are notoriously obstructive to anything that’s innovative.”

“Cloud will be led by CEOs.”

“It’s not that I’m optimistic about the cloud, it’s that it’s inevitable.”

“The cloud is like penicillin. This is what you’re going to be using now. “

“Who buys CDs, other than some old dude in my neighborhood?”

“It’s like a horse and buggy clinging to dirt roads.”
Agree? Disagree?

Cloud Integration Benefits Highlighted

Earlier in the week I shared some examples of Cloud Integration Customer Success. Today Jeff Kelly wrote about the experiences of Rob Adams, CIO at Bay and Bay Transportation, with Informatica Cloud Services for data integration. Some of his quotes:

  • “It was so easy for us to get up and running at a very reasonable cost with no real risk on our side.”
  • “The ramp-up and configuration was so easy. I didn’t have to write [any code]. Informatica took care of everything.”
  • We don’t even have a development environment here. We’ve got canned packages. We had to look outside for sort of a quick win that could get us up and going quickly.”
  • “This is fantastic for us, thinking we’re going to grow pretty fast. We don’t have to worry about requisitioning servers and all the infrastructure testing that you need to put in place. That’s just part of the offering from Informatica.”

But the article also highlighted potential negatives of the cloud model when it comes to data integration. You can read the full article here and learn more about Informatica Cloud Services here.

Data Replication as a Cloud Integration Service

Last week the Informatica Cloud monthly webinar focused on Data Replication as a Service. The discussion was centered around the growing importance of data replication as part of a cloud application strategy and summarized three critical steps:

  1. Determine your use case. Potential data replication as a service use cases include compliance, archiving, reporting and analysis, and enterprise data warehousing.
  2. Identify specific objects and columns. Instead of replicating all objects and columns, can you take advantage of incremental loads, changed data capture, eliminate deletions, etc.
  3. Establish a replication schedule. While batch data movement is critical for backup, an operational reporting use case may require near real time.

Many of the questions were about on-premise to on-premise use cases:

  • Can you move data from an Oracle database to a file (and vice versa)? Yes!
  • Does the use case have to be focused on a Cloud application like No!

You can view the presentation here and download a best practice data integration as a service for whitepaper here.

Shifting to SaaS: The Keys to Success for On-Premise ISVs

Loraine Lawson at ITBusinessEdge wrote an interesting post this week:  Analyst Says On-Premise Vendors Struggling with Shift to SaaS.  I added a comment, which I thought I’d post here for feedback:

Hi Loraine, I enjoy your blog and agree with most of your points about the challenge for on-premise vendors attempting (or not attempting) to move to the cloud. Having worked for pure-play SaaS application vendors (Salesforce and LucidEra) and enterprise software vendors (Business Objects and now Informatica) I’ve experienced the religion on both sides of the fence. My belief is that it is possible to be successful in both camps (to mix my metaphors) but the following ingredients/steps are necessary:
  1. There must be executive level commitment to developing a SaaS/cloud business.
  2. There must be a recognition that SaaS requires both a business model shift (in terms of sales, marketing, pricing, packaging, etc.) and a significant product shift (must be multitenant, must be easy to implement and use, etc.).
  3. There must be a focus on the right metrics (ACV, TCV,  and MRR as well as sales and marketing metrics.).
  4. The right compensation model must be in place if you expect your traditional sales team to sell the SaaS solution. And if you’re selling to a different buyer or market segment, a different sales team (typically inside) is required.
  5. There must be a laser focus on customer success. A multitenant SaaS offering allows you to monitor usage, deliver frequent releases, and get to know your users in a way that’s never been possible with on-premise software. And subscription pricing requires you to ensure that adoption and ROI is high. has published a great whitepaper called “7 Habits of Highly Successful SaaS Companies” and people like Phil Wainewright have written quite a bit on this topic. The fact is, while it’s easy for the pure-play small vendors to take shots at the big (and profitable) players, there are a few who have followed the steps I mentioned and continue to execute.
When I was at a pureplay SaaS application company founded by people who lived through some of this at Siebel we delivered a presentation that hit a few of these points. I’ve linked to it below.

Questions to Ask On-Premise Software Vendors About the Cloud

I enjoyed this post from Brian Sommer on the ZDNet blog today:  The Expanding Gap Between On-Premise and SaaS Solutions. While I don’t agree with all of his points, he does stress the importance of integration to SaaS success and concludes with some key points to look for when you’re digging into the cloud strategy of an on-premise vendor. He recommends:

“Ask the tough questions to see if:

  • the on-premise vendor can get to the cloud anytime soon
  • the speed of innovation emanating from this vendor matches or exceeds that of SaaS vendors
  • your on-premise solution can actually catch up to the capabilities in newer SaaS products
  • your on-premise vendor’s true core competency is ‘spinning’ a story around SaaS instead of actually ‘delivering’ a true, multi-tenant SaaS product complete with a PaaS and IaaS toolset.”

Cloud Purchasing Hit List

I checked the CloudWorld Conference today in San Francisco. (It’s actually three events rolled into one:  Cloud + Open Source + Next Generation Data Centers.)  A couple of take-aways from a fantastic panel moderated by Jeff Kaplan from ThinkStrategies:

  1. We need to get beyond the hype. “For some vendors, no matter what the question is the answer is cloud computing.”
  2. The hybrid model is real. “Enterprise data centers aren’t going away.”

Because there is so much confusion (and hype) surrounding the topic of  software, platform, and infrastructure as a service (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS), I found the session from the head of engineering and operations at to be particularly useful. Here is her Cloud Purchasing Hit List:

What to look for:

  1. Ease of Use
  2. No/Limited IT Involvement
  3. Track Record of Quality
  4. Self-Service Provisioning
  5. Interoperability
  6. Single Instance, Mulltitenant Architecture (“You aren’t a true cloud vendor if you’re just a hosted enterprise application.”)

What to watch out for:

  1. Complex/Costly Set-Up and Customization
  2. Extended Time to Value
  3. Security (check out this excellent ZDNet post on cloud security)
  4. Availability
  5. Scalability, Performance
  6. Single Tenant Architecture (“Very difficult for vendors to manage; costs get passed on to the customer.”)

There was also a great deal of emphasis put on the importance of vendor viability when considering a SaaS / Cloud vendor in this economy. Even so, the point that was most heavily emphasized was what refers to as their “multitenant kernel.”  The benefits of multitenancy have been proven over the years for both software vendors and customers (self-provisioning, costs, upgrades, frequent releases, etc.), but many ISVs continue to try to market and sell around the fact they they’re delivering a single tenant solution – or in some cases an on-premise applicance!

The bottom line of the session: do your due diligence and be sure that you’re investing in real SaaS/PaaS/IaaS…dare I say “on-demand” solutions. The conference continues on Thursday with some pretty meaty topics. More details here.

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