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Shouldn't PaaS for Enterprises Be More than DevOps?

'Technology convergence' creating perfect storm PaaS

This is Part 2 in my series on the topic of PaaS (Platform as a Service) and in this post I cover why PaaS for enterprises is more than just DevOps and a larger "technology convergence" in the core "Software Engineering" area is leading this perfect storm called PaaS. The first part is: What is PaaS all about? - Part 1: It's about Abstraction

Before I go deep into this topic, I want to clarify "technology convergence" from "programming environment optimization" primarily in the context of this post. The programming environment optimization is more commonly referred as "DevOps". This picture from Wikipedia describes the problem space of "DevOps". (Check out this post on: What is this DevOps thing, anyway?)

To deliver agile projects with continuous integration approach significant coordination is required between Software Engineering, QA and Release management teams. DevOps tries to eliminate a good portion of manual activities through technology. In the absence of DevOps prior to cloud, these teams use/used disparate tools and technologies that are not integrated/don't talk to each other. Many of the inter-team touch points are managed through processes outside and filled through manual work. Naturally there is good possibility for quite a few things to fall through the crack. DevOps's promise is to fix issues around this area. Without a cloud based Dev/Test/Deploy model (read as pre-cloud era) it is even hard to visualize a solution for those issues. While DevOps is a form of "Technology Convergence" at a lower level of operation/software production, it is not the same kind of "technology convergence" that I wanted to cover in this post. Most of the general purpose PaaS (gPaaS) providers like Google App Engine, Microsoft AzureHeroku and others cover a portion of the DevOps capability. That is one reason why OrangeScape is different and why we complement and not compete with GAE and Azure. BTW, take a look at this presentation: Five Cultural Hurdles to DevOps

"Technology Convergence" - I am talking about is in the area of "Software Engineering" for building businessapplications especially the enterprise ones. For an enterprise class business applications there are a number of puzzle pieces that need to come together. Often times in large enterprise projects different products, each specializing in their own area, are brought together by software system integrators likeTCS, Accenture, InfosysCognizantWipro and the likes. For workflow / business process management (BPM) they choose between Savvion, Lombardi, Intalio and the likes. For Business Rule engines the choose among the likes of Fair Issac, iLog, Pega (now positioning themselves more broadly). For data model/persistence the choices are Hibernate (for Java), N-Hiberator (for .NET), Oracle's Toplink. For web services/integration capabilities libraries like Apache Axis have to be integrated. For the presentation layer, your choices are various MVC frameworks between JSF, IBM's XPages, ASP. NET MVC Framework, JFace and the list is long. In large end-user companies like Pfizer, Unilever, Coco-Cola there is a very big "Enterprise Architecture" group whose job is to make sure all these pieces carefully hand-picked to create an enterprise standard and keep the enterprise standard continuously updated as the technology world changes by theyear. Yes - I see what you are thinking, large enterprise applications are one mega gluing projects. Leave alone the technology integration challenges - you have to deal with tonnes of political and pushing-the-ball-to-others-court issues all the time.

Luckily, there are PaaS vendors who go beyond just DevOps and solve the more meaty - Software Engineering issues to help enterprises build sophisticated applications with much less challenges. Obviously, OrangeScape is clearly in that list of PaaS vendors who solve this problem very elegantly and I will let you figure out where our competitors stand on this!

More Stories By Suresh Sambandam

After an initial entrepreneurial stint for three years at the age of 19, Suresh Sambandam went on to work at Hewlett-Packard. Later, Suresh joined Selectica and rose to senior position, as Director of e-Insurance product division in a short-span. The e-Insurance division and its products were later acquired by Accenture. Suresh is a technocrat specializing in product engineering with expertise in software architecture for complex enterprise applications, inference engines, configuration engines, rule-based computing and enterprise middleware. He has applied for multiple patents. Suresh is passionate about entrepreneurship, technology startups and spends a significant amount of personal time in the start-up ecosystem in Chennai. Suresh is a member of the National Council for Emerging Companies Forum and also a core committee member of Product Forum at NASSCOM. He also does mentoring for budding entrepreneurs at IIT Bombay, E-Cell. Suresh is a regular speaker at various industry forums & academic institutions.

Suresh is the Founder & CEO of OrangeScape. OrangeScape is a platform (PaaS - Platform as a Service) to develop process oriented business applications that can be deployed "On Cloud" and "On Premise". OrangeScape supports platforms like Google App Engine and Microsoft Azure as cloud deployment option and Microsoft .Net and J2EE as on-premise deployment options. OrangeScape has 50+ customers including global brands like Unilever, Citibank, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Fullterton, etc. OrangeScape in the only Indian company has been featured in the PaaS research reports of Forrester and Gartner. OrangeScape has been featured as 'India's Rising Tech Stars' by Forbes(US) magazine. OrangeScape was showcased as one of the 3 emerging product companies in India by Nasscom and was also awarded 'Top IT Innovations' for 2 consecutive years.

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