How Platform-as-a-Service Turns Business Ideas into Business Innovation

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My latest article for download: How Platform-as-a-Service Turns Business Ideas into Business Innovation

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In Wine Making and Cloud Computing Choose the Right Service Levels To Achieve Your Goals

Cross posted from my blog at the SAP Community Network.

I’m one of the few people in the cloud marketing team at SAP who’s been involved in supporting nearly all categories of SAP’s cloud offerings in the last couple of years: from virtualization and public cloud support to the software service offerings to our platform service offerings. These different offerings can help you migrate your on premise SAP software into cloud environments, deliver configured software as a service via the web, and develop and deliver custom software in the cloud. Which you might choose boils down to whether you want to retrofit what you have, take new capabilities via the Web, or need to build your own solution. I’ve commented on these as components of a cloud program extensively in my blog series “Turning Cloudy Chaos into an IT Strategy – Part I.”  Part II, and Part III. For an excellent discussion of IT as a Service, see SAP Mentor Sina Moatamed’s blog “The Era of Demand Supply IT Begins”.

If Wine Making Were Like IT

If you read my recent Blog It Forward blog, you’ll know that I’m an amateur wine maker. I’m also a user of Wine making as a Service (WMaaS) offerings.  Ok, that sounds really geeky, but I do find an analogy in how I engage in my hobby and how customers use the various cloud services I’m in charge of marketing at SAP  – we marketing people think in analogies all the time.

When I first started wine making I did it in house. In the analogy, this would be the equivalent to writing my own software and deploying it to servers I manage in a server room. I literally implemented my own winery in my garage with hardware I purchased and leased – fermented the grapes in a primary fermenter, pressed them, racked the wine into 5 gallon glass storage containers, and let them bulk age in storage in my garage until it was time to bottle some number of months later.

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My former garage winery – table is the winery lab, to the right are 5 gallon glass jars of chardonnay and petite syrah in bulk aging.  [Source – © Greg Chase, under creative commons license, use w/ attribution]

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Interesting Feedback from SAP Customers About Hybrid Cloud in Recent Webinar

Cross posted from my blog at SAP Community Network

Yesterday I had the pleasure to speak at an SAP webinar covering IT strategy for cloud computing and how customers are evolving a hybrid approach. This is a topic I’ve been working on since SAPPHIRE NOW Orlando this May, and I am gratified to find there is still a lot of interest in the subject. Since you can watch the recording of the webinar yourself I won’t repeat too much here.  However, the attendees were very generous with their participation by asking several good questions and sharing their opinions in two interesting polls.

Adoption of Cloud Computing

In the first poll we asked attendees a multiple answer question about which ways their company has adopted cloud computing. As a result, some responders answered in more than one category, so each answer is a % of total respondents clicking that category, and percentages to the question will add up to more than 100%. To my surprise almost 30% of respondents said their company is not leveraging cloud computing. That seems very high for me, even for the most conservative SAP customers. I suspect if the IT department did an audit of the different systems their lines of business used, they’d find at least a few software services – and this doesn’t include services brought in virally by employees on their own. Also interesting is that 15% of attendees reported that they are already supporting their developers through a platform as a service. This isn’t far off from a recent IBM survey that finds 16% of their respondents use PaaS and see strategic potential, while an additional 33% use PaaS incidentally. Not included in either poll is any indication as to what each respondent considers to be the definition of “platform as a service.”

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