Monthly ArchivesMarch 2012

Returning to our Roots – Cloud IT as Driver of Enterprise Transformation standard

A common trend over the past decade has been a shift in IT’s focus, from driving innovation in an organization, to managing increasingly complex and expensive systems.  Today one of the most important reasons that companies leverage SIs or VARs to help build, implement and manage technology solutions is that technology is complex and companies need consultants and integrators they trust to help them make effective decisions and run IT (in-house or in the cloud). In spite of this dominant role, it’s ironic to note that many vendors, service and solution providers are currently selling cloud not as trusted advisors but rather as product sales people, e.g., based on price, its inherent technology merits, its “speeds, feeds, features and functionality”, ...

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Cloud-Delivered Data, 21st Century Electricity standard

In some of our earlier Digital Bridge Partners blog posts, we touched on the idea that Electricity as a UTLITY is a great historical and economic metaphor for IT as a UTILITY, aka Cloud Computing. On reflection, it seems that one can take the metaphor even further, with the idea that the energy market is also an antecedent to the market for Cloud-Delivered (and Originated) Data, where Cloud Data creates a key source of differentiation and competitive advantage in many industries. Earlier this year, David Linthicum wrote that “CES 2012 should have been called the Cloud Electronics Show“.  His point is that Cloud-Delivered Data is becoming one of the most important components of the electronics value chain, whether in Cars, TVs, or kitchen ...

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The Cloud Integrator/Broker Model standard

We’ve spent considerable time talking about the importance of the channel for cloud and a provided a big picture view on the services categories that will underlie the channel’s value add around the cloud.  Today, we at Digital Bridge Partners want to lay out a picture of what we think the Cloud Integrator/Broker model is going to look like. To be sure there are some great cloud integrators emerging like GreenPages and INX who are already there or close to rounding out their offerings to be come Cloud Integrator/Brokers, but by and large, most partners still operate their professional and managed services businesses around the in-house data center. (Note that this blog is about IaaS Integrators as there is a separate category ...

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vCloud Integration Manager, ‘connecting’ Services in IaaS standard

In our last Digital Bridge Partners post, we talked about the ‘services’ that make up IaaS arguing that Vendors, Service and Solution Providers need to get clear on how they add value in the Public Cloud. Advancing the cause, VMware announced vCloud Integration Manager, last month which among other things helps Service Provider and Solution Providers work together.  According to VMware’s Mathew Lodge, vCIM allows Serve Providers to “securely delegate provisioning to resellers. In turn, the resellers can directly and immediately provision and de-provision their own customers (via the API or web GUI), without having to open tickets, send emails or make phone calls.” The key to Solution Provider engagement in driving Public Cloud is the confidence that they can sell, ...

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What are the ‘Services’ in IaaS standard

As vendors and channel partners line up their offerings for IaaS, we at Digital Bridge Partners think its foundational that Infrastructure as a Service be segmented as to what the Service component is. What makes this important is not only that the end customer needs to understand what is being purchased but that vendors and providers need clarity on where and how they will focus their GTM efforts. We’ve segmented IaaS Service component as follows with some definitions and indications of typical providers.  If you are a Cloud Management Vendor, Cloud Aggregator/Distributor, or Service or Solution Provider, three things are imperative regarding your GTM efforts: 1) where will you focus, 2) who will you partner with and 3) what makes your offering competitive/differentiated. So, ...

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White Label, channel model, a better way to IaaS standard

We recently chatted with Josh Mariea and Luke Norris, execs at PeakColo about their focus on a white label offering as THE way to incentivize traditional VARs, SIs and MSPs to push Hosted IaaS.  See our Digital Bridge Partners post below on The Channel for IaaS for context. White Label solutions help VARs overcome two of their three big barriers in pushing Hosted IaaS: VARs lose the HW/SW/Services drag if they push hosted cloud over the on-premise data center. VARs lose control of the customer, since the Service Provider (for IaaS) or SaaS provider (Office365) own the account, especially if the hoster bills and offers first line support, which is typical. VARs don’t really have a business model for selling another providers hosted IaaS, ...

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The IaaS Continuum, the journey from Private to Public Clouds standard

PWC published a study last year on the Future of IT Outsourcing and Cloud Computing, we checked it out because we continue to believe that the Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) is the ticket to unlock and tip the market toward IT as a Utility.  See my earlier Digital Bridge Partners blog post here. PWC argues, no surprise that the Cloud will have a profound effect on how Corporate IT from SMB to Enterprises will manage their IT infrastructure.  The graphic below suggests that within 3 years, nearly 2/3rds of all IT infrastructure will run on Private and Public clouds. What’s more interesting is that 39% of all IT infrastructure will be managed by a Service Provider (in either a Private or ...

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Who has the biggest IaaS business? standard

It’s conventional wisdom that Amazon EC2 is the 800 pound gorilla in the IaaS Business right? Ironically, I think they have about $800 million worth of annual revenues. Well, guess what, that’s not right. In fact it’s VMware add its ecosystem of the cloud Service Providers, who all told have well over $1 billion of annual revenue in IaaS that is the real “biggie” in this market. Okay, I get it, VMware is not really a Service Provider, but it is their hybrid cloud strategy and the vCloud reference architecture that has brought big players like Savvis, Colt, Softbank and a whole host of niche Service Providers like PeakColo, ILand, Bluelock and Tier3 to rally around the vCloud standard. Imagine ...

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Channel Services for the (IaaS) Cloud standard

In our last Digital Bridge Partners post, we argued that the creation of channel partners (aka VARs, SIs, MSPs, consultants) focused uniquely on the cloud is a key ingredient to driving the cloud tipping point for companies and the industry.  For purposes of discussion, let’s call this category of channel partners “Cloud Integrators.” This post will focus on IaaS, although SaaS and PaaS Cloud silos will each have their own group of cloud-based services that will require pairing Cloud Integrators with Cloud Service Providers.  Cloud Integrators will help turn cloud offerings/products that fit the need of a group of users (work load) into cloud solutions that meet the IT requirements of whole businesses. Even though there are already $Bs spent on ...

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The Channel for Cloud standard

In the endless sea of pontification about the cloud and its impending dominance as the central force driving IT transformation, one CRITICAL thing is forgotten and that is the role of the channel. Some people say you don’t need a channel, even Bessemer Venture Partners, revered as ‘writing the business model book’ on the cloud misses the point in its LAW #4 when it says, “(software channels)… aren’t much help to Cloud businesses.”  They go onto to say that some cloud companies might achieve some benefits leveraging business services channels and emerging players like Appirio, but the message is you don’t really NEED a channel if you fully leverage the internet. At Digital Bridge Partners, we believe that the emergence of a ...

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How VPC Advances the ‘Tipping Point” to IT as a Utility standard

We at Digital Bridge Partners think one of the best examples for how Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) will advance the tipping point to pure Public Cloud and away from in-house data centers is CSC’s BizCloud. CSC is certainly not the only game in town for VPC.  Amazon, Rackspace, AT&T and others offer a VPC.  But CSC is perhaps the most robust, at least according to Gartner CSC does a great job of contrasting Private and Virtual Private Clouds.  CSC is built on VMware’s vCloud reference architecture which means that the seamless private-hybrid-public feature set is in place. It’s a simple story, for garnering all the advantages of the ‘Utility’ of Public cloud: Off-load capital Load Balancing to avoid over or under capacity Lower cost ‘as a service’ makes IT ...

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“Virtual” Private Cloud (VPC), going beyond the conventional view standard

An IBM analyst wrote this good, but conventional, article about the Private Cloud and how its the next ‘new’ thing in IT. Here was our Digital Bridge Partners reply: I agree with most of your comments Marcus, but one angle that I think you are missing is the notion of how a ‘Virtual’ private cloud eliminates the need for much if any IT in-house. Once enterprise companies digest that there is an opex alternative to in-house data centers and that the VPC gives them the control that they want, we predict a massive migration away from owning an IT plant, exactly as companies dumped their in-house electrical generating plants 100 years ago once the Public Utility model achieved its economies of centralized ...

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The dominance of IT as a UTILITY, history part 2 standard

Has anyone heard of a guy named Charles S Bradley? He filed a patent in 1888 for the rotary converter that basically lead to the creation of a Hybrid Cloud and ultimately the dominance of a Public Cloud in formation of the Electrical UTILITY business. You are probably asking, what does this have to do with the IT Cloud (aka IT as a UTILITY)?  Well, its an example of how a Network Technology (Economics term not IT Term) accelerated the Economies of Centralized Supply in my GENESIS post from March 7th. Hang in there, this is cool and worth considering even if its a bit esoteric and ‘historical.’  We can learn a lot about where the IT Cloud UTILITY is ...

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Genesis standard

Here at Digital Bridge Partners, we are taking a look back at the history of cloud computing, but first at an understanding of how to put cloud computing into context. Its easy to lose the forest for the trees by considering how Cloud Computing evolved from timesharing and outsourcing and utility and grid computing before understanding what Cloud Computing really is. Then, what is Cloud Computing?  We believe that it is the confluence of Economic and Technological forces built around the creation of “Economies of Centralized Supply.”  It;s about the development of IT as a “UTILITY,” to use the economics term.  Special thanks to Nicholas Carr and his book the Big Switch from which the following logic is a summary: So,  what does it mean ...

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