Oracle's tricky transition to cloud

Posted by Ron Miller on Jan 26, 2017 1:02:17 PM

It's no secret that Oracle was one of the most successful software companies in the client-server era, raking in billions in software license and support revenue. But, as the world has begun to shift to the cloud, it has been forced to make a full-on transformation to become a cloud company.

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Topics: Cloud Trends

Latest Azure pricing puts Cloud Service Providers front and center

Posted by Ron Miller on Jan 20, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Microsoft recently published a somewhat confusing blog post outlining its new Azure pricing model. While the content was difficult to parse, one thing jumped out from the post that's worth exploring further: Microsoft wants Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) to play a bigger role in helping SMBs manage their presence in the Microsoft cloud.

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Topics: Cloud Trends

How the iPhone helped drive cloud computing

Posted by Ron Miller on Jan 12, 2017 12:18:59 PM

I think it’s safe to say, without a hint of irony, that 10 years ago this week, Steve Jobs walked on stage and made an announcement that changed the world when he introduced the iPhone on January 9, 2007.

It was June before we saw the first phones enter the market, and another year still until the debut of the App Store — an idea that was also revolutionary at the time, but that touch screen phone with built-in storage and internet connectivity was about to change our lives in ways we couldn't possibly imagine.

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Topics: Cloud Trends

Dell Technologies goes all in on data centers

Posted by Ron Miller on Jan 4, 2017 9:21:53 AM

When Dell finalized the massive $67 billion deal to buy EMC last fall, it marked the biggest tech deal in history and included $57 billion in debt. Why would Dell make such a deal? According to an article published in Fortune this week, The Gamblers Behind Tech’s Biggest Deal Ever, Dell believes that by getting bigger, it can capture the lion's share of the data center market.

While it could be right, there could also be a couple of potential flaws in that thinking. First of all, being big comes with its own set of problems. It makes it difficult to shift in a highly volatile marketplace. Further, combining two companies the size of Dell and EMC means combining systems, laying off redundant workers and bringing together two vastly different company cultures with all the inherent politics associated with that.

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Topics: Cloud Trends

APIs could become the cloud platform differentiator

Posted by Ron Miller on Dec 22, 2016 9:40:25 AM

We hear a lot of about Software as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service, and by now these concepts are fairly understood. What we still don't quite get is the Platform as a Service piece. But that is about to change.

The platform provides tools — APIs— for developers to build stuff on top of these other pieces. Salesforce brought the concept into vogue for SaaS vendors when it launched Force.com in 2007. Instead of simply offering its own services, Salesforce was providing a tool set for developers to build applications on top of Salesforce. Developers could fill in missing pieces, customize Salesforce for their needs or even start entirely new businesses, taking advantage of the pieces already built into the Salesforce platform.

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Topics: Cloud Trends

The cloud's time has finally come in 2016

Posted by Ron Miller on Dec 15, 2016 3:30:49 PM

I remember sitting in a session on cloud computing at the CeBIT technology conference in 2011, listening to skeptical questions, and wondering why the cloud was being treated like a separate kind of computing. Five years later, I think we've finally reached the point where cloud has been accepted as a mainstream, first line of computing.

Think about that for a moment, as recently as five years ago, people still  doubted cloud computing — and I was waiting for the day when it reached wider acceptance. As I wrote at the time:
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Topics: Cloud Trends

Agility remains a major cloud selling point

Posted by Ron Miller on Dec 7, 2016 4:37:11 PM

Last week at the AWS re:Invent conference during an almost 3-hour keynote address, CEO Andy Jassy made one key point about the cloud when he said, "the number one reason to move to the cloud is agility and speed."

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Topics: Cloud Trends

AWS set to flex its muscles at re:Invent conference

Posted by Ron Miller on Nov 29, 2016 1:31:32 PM

AWS is about to embark on its biggest user conference ever as it hosts the re:Invent conference this week in Las Vegas. What started just five years ago as an intimate gathering of 6,000 users, has grown to over 32,000 attendees. It illustrates the rapid growth of the Infrastructure as a Service behemoth.

In just a decade, AWS has transformed the way we think of computing, growing from a minor part of the Amazon empire to a business that is currently on an $11.5 billion run rate — and it's accelerating quickly. Companies like Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle who came late to the IaaS game, are trailing badly, even as the market grows at a rapid rate.

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Topics: Cloud Trends

Alibaba continues Quixotic quest to take on AWS

Posted by Ron Miller on Nov 22, 2016 11:55:00 AM

Alibaba announced an ambitious plan to expand its worldwide data center presence today. The company wants to have local presence across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia. It hopes that having a more extensive worldwide presence can help it take on AWS, Microsoft, IBM, and Google (and even Oracle) in the cloud infrastructure game.

While it's a sensible move to try and expand its data center footprint, the reality is that Alibaba came very late to the cloud computing game. A decade into the Infrastructure as a Service market, there are clear market leaders. While the revenue pie is expanding, the idea that Alibaba can make a significant dent in the market outside of China is a longshot, at best. (Although it's worth noting the Chinese market itself could be by its sheer size significant.)

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Topics: Cloud Trends

Salesforce steamrolls toward $10 billion revenue goal

Posted by Ron Miller on Nov 18, 2016 1:24:39 PM

Salesforce reported its earnings on Thursday, and on almost every level, it has to be considered a success. The world's most successful SaaS vendor continued to march toward $10 billion in annual revenue, with CEO Marc Benioff boldly predicting in the earnings call, the company would reach that lofty height in the 2018 fiscal year (next year).

Before we look at the significance of an almost $10 billion SaaS vendor, let's look at the numbers. The company generated 2.14 billion in revenue for the 2017 third quarter. That's up from $1.71 billion for the same period last year.

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Topics: Cloud Trends

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