We asked 451 Research, the CEO of ThinkGrid and Director at Colt Ceano, part of Colt Technology Services and Founder of Flexiant about what the cloud service provider needs to succeed. Visit our Mission to Mars webpage where we offer you the questions and answers from this session.
One question asked was ‘Why is speed to market important?’ Here are the responses from Michael Coté, Research Director, Infrastructure Software at 451 Research, previously of Dell and Tony Lucas at Flexiant.
Tony: It absolutely is important, but it’s important for reasons beyond the obvious one because the classic answer people might say is well of course he will say that because you are a vendor. The reality is until you actually have something, a toe in the water, you do not know what is going to work for you and what is not going to work. In the same way that people talk about software development versus agile development, it’s the same when you are developing a cloud service. You cannot spend 18 months developing it, not just because it takes 18 months to develop it, but because you might not be developing the right thing, you might not actually be bringing a service to market that customers want.
Around five years ago, when cloud computing, as a means of providing self-service computing, data and network capacity delivered over the Internet, became all but mainstream, a heated debate broke-out:
Would the do-it-yourself approach to enterprise IT and business applications make service providers and outsourcing partners dinosaurs walking, on the verge of extinction?
Looking back, this was a rather naïve exchange overpowered by the also overused, but eye-catching ‘utility metaphor’.
The prospect was compelling, contract computing capacity and SaaS business applications at your fingertips. All you needed to do was type-in your credit card and turn the switch-on. Just pay the bills later, Voilà!
The reality of the business world, beyond the hype, turned out to be just slightly more complex, similar to life itself. The cloud is bringing undeniable advantages, measured in real dollars, but it is also adding some layers of complexity. Companies have to manage external and often diverse unintegrated cloud providers while implementing their own internal cloud-delivered systems, and running older legacy applications in between. Add governance, attribution, security and assurance to the recipe and you have a perfect business case for system integration.
Many service providers and hosting companies are experiencing the challenge of keeping their cost per virtual server as competitive as possible while at the same time being able to maintain quality and availability of service. In an industry first, Flexiant and Parallels have today announced the general availability of our unique solution, which enables them to do just that.
Service providers wanting to take advantage of containers (instances of operating system virtualization) can use Parallels Cloud Server with Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator to achieve two to three times the density of hypervisor virtualization by moving to an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) delivery model.
This enables service providers to offer several times as many virtual servers on the same node than traditional hypervisor-based virtualization, offering a far lower cost per virtual server.
Service Providers can no longer rely on the traditional growth that they have previously seen based solely on the strength of their offerings. Ever increasing competition has made it imperative to stand out from the competition and engage in a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Jim Foley, SVP of Market Development at Flexiant and Sara Pfitzinger at 3Q Digital will present Discover Programmatic Buying and Other Marketing Techniques Hosting Companies Need to Exploit at HostingCon 2014 in Florida on Tuesday June 17, 2014.
This post was inspired by an article by David S. Linthicum
“Get big, get niche or get out” is a popular saying in the IT industry, and this is at least as true in the cloud computing market as in any other.
Many service providers know that trying to compete head on with cloud industry giants like Amazon, Microsoft et al, with the economies of scale that they enjoy and the resulting aggressiveness of their pricing, is pointless. Trying to match or beat these prices on a like for like basis while maintaining profitability doesn’t work either – the math simply don’t add up.
If you can’t differentiate on price alone however, you can still differentiate by specialization: