Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Sematext Blog, Bill Vorhies, PagerDuty Blog

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA

Cloud Expo: Article

Private Cloud Application Platforms

Deploying internal SaaS strategies to improve IT service delivery

The main characteristic that Cloud computing is known for is IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), referring to providers like Amazon who offer storage, bandwidth, computing capacity and other resources so you can run your applications in a high performance environment without buying all that kit yourself.

However it also refers to SaaS (Software as a Service), where applications like CRM are available this same way, and furthermore, that it can also be applied within the enterprise too, aka "private Cloud".

This means an IT organization can also use it to plan and deliver their overall software estate, achieving better application integration as well as more streamlined use of utility infrastructure.

Modular solution assembly
Principally this can be used to adopt a more modular approach to IT solution delivery, rather than the one-off "big bang" purchase of a major enterprise application.

Not only does this approach tend to be slower, with large RFP purchase processes running for months if not years, but it's also notorious for high failure rates. This is principally due to this size, ie. it's the whole elephant, and this is further compounded by how single categories of application aren't always quite the right fit for business needs.

For example if an organization decides it needs to improve the Sales operation to grow revenues, the most common option is to purchase a CRM system to better manage customer data and automate selling processes. However if you examine any one particular business process you will see a 'swim lane' that not only cuts across different types of applications (CRM, ERP, ECM etc.), it also cuts across different organizations and even modes of work (document collaboration, CRM records updates etc).

In the case of sales automation it might be that the sales team needs faster proposal collaboration and better workflows for contract signings to make the most impact in their work, but these are functions from other applications rather than CRM. Typically this entire mix of apps is needed, but just a little from each at a time so to speak.

Therefore what they actually need is what Microsoft calls an "Application Platform", where a number of different applications are combined to offer a suite, that is then used in a more modular fashion, and which can be further tailored for vertical industries. For example their Citizen Service Platform packages a number of their enterprise applications (Dynamics, Sharepoint, Unified Communications etc.) towards this end for the public sector.

This is more of a "blended application" approach that is already common in the SaaS world, like Salesforce.com which offers a modular plug and play approach to building software solutions, extending a core CRM application through numerous add-in components. For example Cloud9 specializes in high-performance collaborative selling tools, and can pop right in to Salesforce as this diagram demonstrates.

Applying this same principle to the Microsoft suite and leveraging their 'xRM' development engine is very effectively discussed in this series of white papers from the Dynamics team at Microsoft.

In the 'Relational Productivity Applications' paper (19-page PDF) they introduce this new form of software being the blend of the structured and unstructured capabilities of Dynamics and Sharepoint combined. This fuses together the transactional data (e.g. the customer contact data) with the knowledge worker tools that salespeople use the most, and that better facilitates collaboration with their team mates.

It also describes xRM being combined in this mix. As a model-driven, business application framework it can enable developers to create and reuse these software services as modular components, further accelerating how quickly new apps can be created and deployed.

Cloud Ventures Network
Join in! our Linkedin industry networking group is @ http://cloud-ventures.net

More Stories By Cloud Best Practices Network

The Cloud Best Practices Network is an expert community of leading Cloud pioneers. Follow our best practice blogs at http://CloudBestPractices.net

@CloudExpo Stories
Fundamentally, SDN is still mostly about network plumbing. While plumbing may be useful to tinker with, what you can do with your plumbing is far more intriguing. A rigid interpretation of SDN confines it to Layers 2 and 3, and that's reasonable. But SDN opens opportunities for novel constructions in Layers 4 to 7 that solve real operational problems in data centers. "Data center," in fact, might become anachronistic - data is everywhere, constantly on the move, seemingly always overflowing. Net...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's

The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at ...
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
Mobile commerce traffic is surpassing desktop, yet less than 20% of sales in the U.S. are mobile commerce sales. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dan Franklin, Segment Manager, Commerce, at Verizon Digital Media Services, defined mobile devices and discussed how next generation means simplification. It means taking your digital content and turning it into instantly gratifying experiences.
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use c...
NuoDB just introduced the Swifts 2.1 Release. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Seth Proctor, CTO of NuoDB, Inc., discussed why scaling databases in the cloud is challenging, why building your application on top of the infrastructure that is designed with this in mind makes a difference, and what you can do with NuoDB that simplifies your programming model, your operations model.
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps,...
“The year of the cloud – we have no idea when it's really happening but we think it's happening now. For those technology providers like Zentera that are helping enterprises move to the cloud - it's been fun to watch," noted Mike Loftus, VP Product Management and Marketing at Zentera Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. Acco...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session a...
“We are a managed services company. We have taken the key aspects of the cloud and the purposed data center and merged the two together and launched the Purposed Cloud about 18–24 months ago," explained Chetan Patwardhan, CEO of Stratogent, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Application monitoring and intelligence can smooth the path in a DevOps environment. In a DevOps environment you see constant change. If you are trying to monitor things in a constantly changing environment, you're going to spend a lot of your job fixing your monitoring," explained Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Desktop as a Service is emerging as a very big trend. One of the big influencers of this – for Esri – is that we have a large user base that uses virtualization and they are looking at Desktop as a Service right now," explained John Meza, Product Engineer at Esri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
What do a firewall and a fortress have in common? They are no longer strong enough to protect the valuables housed inside. Like the walls of an old fortress, the cracks in the firewall are allowing the bad guys to slip in - unannounced and unnoticed. By the time these thieves get in, the damage is already done and the network is already compromised. Intellectual property is easily slipped out the back door leaving no trace of forced entry. If we want to reign in on these cybercriminals, it's hig...
“We are strong believers in the DevOps movement and our staff has been doing DevOps for large enterprise environments for a number of years. The solution that we build is intended to allow DevOps teams to do security at the speed of DevOps," explained Justin Lundy, Founder & CTO of Evident.io, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"SAP had made a big transition into the cloud as we believe it has significant value for our customers, drives innovation and is easy to consume. When you look at the SAP portfolio, SAP HANA is the underlying platform and it powers all of our platforms and all of our analytics," explained Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...