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Posts from the ‘SaaS Forecasts’ Category

Cloud Predictive Analytics Most Used To Gain Customer Insight

AnalyticsUsing analytics to better understand customer satisfaction, profitability, retention and churn while increasing cross-sell and up-sell are the most dominant uses of cloud-based analytics today.

Jim Ericson and James Taylor presented the results of Decision Management Solutions’ cloud predictive analytics survey this week in the webinar Predictive Analytics in the Cloud 2013 – Opportunities, Trends and the Impact of Big Data.  The research methodology included 350 survey responses, with a Web-based survey used for data collection.  The survey centered on the areas of pre-packaged cloud-based solutions, cloud-based predictive modeling, and cloud deployment of predictive analytics.  You can see a replay of the webinar at this link.

Key takeaways of the study results released during the webinar include the following:

  • Customer Analytics (72%), followed by supply chain, business optimization, marketing optimization (57%), risk and fraud (52%), and marketing (58%) are the areas in which respondents reported the strongest interest.
  • When the customer analytics responses were analyzed in greater depth they showed most interest in customer satisfaction (50%) followed by customer profitability (34%), customer retention/churn (32%), customer management (30%), and cross-sell/up-sell (26%).
  • Adoption was increasingly widespread and growing, with over 90% of respondents reporting that they expected to deploy one or more type of predictive analytics in the cloud solution.
  • Industries with the most impact from predictive analytics include retail (13% more than average), Financial Services (12%) and hardware/software (4%). Lagging industries include health care delivery (-9%), insurance -11%) and (surprisingly) telecommunications (-33%).  The following graphic illustrates the relative impact of cloud-based predictive analytics applications by industry.

Adoption of Cloud-based Predictive Analytics by Industry

  • The most widespread analytics scenarios include prepackaged solutions (52%), cloud-based analytics modeling (47%) and cloud-based analytic embedding of applications (46%).  Comparing the 2011 and 2013 surveys showed significant gains in all three categories, with the greatest being in the area of cloud-based analytic modeling.  This category increased from 51% in 2011 to 75% in 2013, making it the most likely analytics application respondents are going to implement this year.

Comparison of Analytics Applications Most Likely To Deploy, 2011 versus 2013

  • 63% of respondents report that when predictive analytics are tightly integrated into operations using Decision Management, enterprises have the intelligence they need to transform their businesses.

Impact of Predictive Analytics Integration Across The Enterprise

  • Data security and privacy (61%) followed by regulatory compliance (50%) are the two most significant concerns respondent companies have regarding predictive analytics adoption in their companies.  Compliance has increased as a concern significantly since 2011, probably as more financial services firms are adopting cloud computing for mainstream business strategies.

Concerns of Enterprises Who Are Using Cloud-based Predictive Analytics Today

  • Internal cloud deployments (41%) are the most common approach to implementing central cloud platforms, followed by managed vendor clouds (23% and hybrid clouds (23%). Private and managed clouds continue to grow as preferred platforms for cloud-based analytics, as respondents seek greater security and stability of their applications.  The continued adoption of private and managed clouds are a direct result of respondents’ concerns regarding data security, stability, reliability and redundancy.

Approach To Cloud Deployment

  • The study concludes that structured data is the most prevalent type of data, followed by third party data and unstructured data.
  • While there was no widespread impact on results from Big Data, predictive analytics cloud deployments that have a Big Data component are more likely to contribute to a transformative impact on their organizations’ performance.  Similarly those with more experience deploying predictive analytics in the cloud were more likely to use Big Data.
  • In those predictive analytics cloud deployments already operating or having an impact, social media data from the cloud, voice or other audio data, and image or video data were all much more broadly used as the following graphic illustrates.

Which Data Types Deliver The Most Positive Impact In A Big Data Context

Top Ten Cloud Computing Skills Recruiters Search For

cloud-computing-jobsI recently had the opportunity to speak with Jennifer Bewley and Rachel Ceccarelli of regarding the trends they are seeing in cloud computing recruiters’ searched-for terms on their sites.  They’re seeing exponential growth in cloud computing-related job listings today and provided an analysis of the top ten cloud computing skills recruiters are searching for.

From just 13 cloud computing-related jobs listed in May, 2008, their site has over 5,000 today.  The following graphic shows the growth in cloud computing job listings on their site over time.


The following are the top ten cloud computing skills searched for on as of today:

  • Linux operating system
  • Chef – The open-source systems management and cloud infrastructure automation framework
  • Puppet – IT automation software that helps system administrators manage infrastructure throughout its lifecycle, from provisioning and configuration to orchestration and reporting
  • Cloud, Legacy System and IT Consulting
  • SaaS Programming – Java is the number one search term on the site and is a common programming language cited in these searches.
  • Python
  • Perl
  • DevOps
  • Shell scripting
  • Ruby on Rails

Getting A 360-Degree View Of Potential Candidates

They also demonstrated Open Web, a unique new web application in beta right now that has the ability to aggregate all social networks, keywords, and published experience of technical professionals.  The accuracy and speed of Open Web is impressive; it’s been in beta since January and responds like a production-ready app.  Jennifer and Rachel mentioned that recruiters using Open Web today are seeing 30% response rates to their queries to in-demand technical professionals.

What’s unique about Open Web is that it provides a 360-degree view of potential candidates, including all social media they participate in, in addition to discussion boards and favorited or liked sites on Facebook. The following is what Open Web looks like today:

Bottom line:  Recruiting analytics and tools online are accelerating quickly, making it possible for companies searching for cloud computing talent to find it quicker than ever before.  For those searching for a job in the field, making every aspect of your online presence reflect cloud computing expertise can make you stand out in recruiter’s searches.

Note: isn’t now and has never been a client. I chose to write this post to serve readers who frequently ask me to research hiring trends in cloud computing.

Predicting Enterprise Cloud Computing Growth

69% of enterprises who have separate budgets for cloud computing are predicting spending increases this year and into 2014.

This is one of several key take-aways from a research study published today by TheInfoPro, a service of 451 Research.  TheInfoPro Wave 5 Cloud Computing Study is based on research completed in the first six months of 2013, and relies on live interviews with IT management and primary decision-makers in midsize and large enterprises in Europe and North America. You can view details of TheInfoPro Cloud Computing Overview Program and methodology here.

Additional key take-aways from the study include the following:

  • The worldwide cloud computing market will grow at a 36% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2016, reaching a market size of $19.5B by 2016.
  • 38% of enterprises surveyed break out cloud computing budgets, while 60% include cloud-related spending as part of their enterprise-wide IT budgets.  TheInfoPro asserts that cloud computing’s benefits of greater business orchestration and reduced time-to-market have led to a change in budgeting approaches.
  • The median enterprise cloud computing budget is $675,000 and the mean enterprise cloud computing budget is $8,234,438.  The study found the largest enterprise cloud computing budget at $125M.  The following graphic provides a distribution of cloud computing budgets by range.


  • Internal Private Cloud (35%), Cloud Provider Assessments/Strategy Planning (33%), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) (31%) and Software-as-a-Service (30%) are the top four cloud computing-related projects enterprises are working on right now.  Cloud Provider Assessments/Strategy Planning have seen the largest increase, attributable to more enterprises looking to better support strategic plans with more agile, efficient IT organizations.


  • 83% of enterprises face significant roadblocks that hold them back from moving beyond cost reduction to faster time-to-market and better orchestration of their businesses. Respondents mentioned that politics, budget, time and staff are the main sources of roadblocks to getting more value out of their cloud computing investments. The majority of these roadblocks are not related to IT.  They include lack of clarity regarding organization and budget (37%), resistance to change (16%) and lack of trust (visibility and reliability) (15%).  The following graphic illustrates the enterprise cloud journey as defined in TheInfoPro Wave 5 Cloud Computing Study.


  • Consistent with many other enterprise cloud computing surveys, security is the biggest pain point and roadblock to cloud computing adoption (30%).  Migration and integration of legacy and on-premise systems with cloud applications (18%) is second, and lack of internal process (18%) is third.  The following graphic shows a rank ordering of cloud computing-related pain points.


Top 12 Sites For Free Cloud Computing & Enterprise Software Research

campusOne of the most common questions I get from students is where they can find free cloud computing and enterprise software research.

Few if any of my students work for companies who have subscriptions with the top analyst firms however.  A small group of students are working on a start-up on the side and want to absorb as much market data as they can.

Many of my former students are also in IT management roles, and when they become interested in a specific cloud computing or enterprise topic over time, they write me and ask if I have any data on their subject of interest.  I keep the following list updated from them too.   To serve all these students I’ve been adding to the list shown below for a number of years. None of these companies are current or past clients and I hold no equity positions in any of them.

The requests are so prevalent in global competitive strategy courses I distribute this list at the beginning of the semester with the following disclaimers.

  • Many of the cloud computing and enterprise software companies pay to have white papers written and research done.  Writing white papers and doing research for an enterprise software vendor client is a very lucrative business for many industry analyst firms.  Ethical industry analysts will often insist that a disclaimer be included in the white paper and on the website stating that they and their firms were hired to write the paper or do the research and publish the report.
  • The reports are intellectual property of the firms publishing them.  Enterprise software vendors often pay tens of thousands of dollars at a minimum for reprint rights and the right to provide them on their websites.  I advise my students to seek out the copyright and quote policies of the research firm of interest if they plan on re-using the graphics in any published materials or in their blog posts.  One for example, the Gartner Copyright and Quote Policy is shown here.
  • Pay attention to the methodologies used in each report and realize they change over time.  This is especially the case with the  Gartner Magic Quadrant and MarketScopes. Gartner has been very active this year in refining the Magic Quadrant methodology for example.

The following are the list of cloud computing and enterprise software vendor sites that offer free downloads of cloud computing and enterprise software research:

  • Amazon Web Services – Amazon has purchased re-print rights to the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service written by Lydia Leong, Douglas Toombs, Bob Gill, Gregor Petri, Tiny Haynes published on August, 19, 2013 in addition to the latest reports from Forrester on enterprise public cloud platforms and enterprise cloud databases. Link:
  • BMC Software – Many free reports from Gartner, Forrester, The 451 Group and other research firms covering advanced performance analytics (APA), cloud computing, IT Service Management and long-term technology trends. Link:
  • Computer Associates – An extensive collection of cloud computing and enterprise software research organized into the following categories: cloud; data management; energy and sustainability management; IT automation; IT security; IT service management; mainframe; project and portfolio management; service assurance and virtual organizations.  CA requires opt-in on the latest research as they use this site as part of their lead generation strategy.  Link:
  • Cisco Systems –  Data Center and Virtualization; includes the latest Current Analysis, Forrester, Gartner, IDC, Lippis and Yankee Group research reports covering Big Data, blade servers, cloud computing, Hadoop, unified data centers and many other topics.  Be sure to click across the Computing, Network, Orchestration/Automation,  and Network Services tabs to find additional research:   Link:
  • Hewlett-Packard – HP has invested primarily in networking-related analyst research including the latest studies and market frameworks from Forrester, Gartner, IDC and Infonetics Research.  Link:
  • Intel – Organized around the topic of designing a data center for the cloud, Intel is providing a series of research studies, reports, white papers and videos that provide insights into virtualization, networking, mobility and Intel-based servers running cloud architectures.  Link:
  • Microsoft – Balancing the need to support their enterprise applications today and create demand for cloud-based initiatives now and in the future, Microsoft’s series of analyst reports reflect their evolving business model.  Microsoft has licensed the latest research from Enterprise Strategy Group (ESDG), Forrester, Gartner, IDC, Ovum, Yankee Group and others listed on this site. Link:
  • Oracle – The most comprehensive collection of industry analyst research online for any enterprise software vendor, Oracle has hundreds of research reports available for viewing under their reprint licenses for free, and also for download.  The reports are organized into corporate, infrastructure, systems, services, solutions, industries, enterprise applications and regions.     Link:
  • Progress Software – Extensive collection of research from Bloor, Forrester, Gartner, IDC, Tabb Group, Ovum and other research firms are available for download from this site. Link:
  • SAS – The most extensive and well-organized online collection of analyst research on analytics and business intelligence (BI) available, SAS makes research available from fifteen analyst firms across six industries on this area of their website.  You can find the SAS Analyst Viewpoints section of their website here:
  • Symantec – Provides downloadable analyst reports in the areas of risk and compliance, endpoint security and management, information and identity protection, messaging security, backup and archiving, storage and availability management, services and emerging trends.  ESG, Info-Tech Research Group, Forrester, Gartner and IDC reports are on this page for download. Link:
  • Teradata – Extensive collection of industry analysis and research organized into the sections of Active Data Warehousing, Active Enterprise Intelligence, Enterprise Data Warehousing, Teradata Analytical Ecosystem and Teradata Integration Analytics.  The latest market frameworks from Gartner, Forrester, IDC and other research firms are available for download.  Link:

451 Research: Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Fastest Growing Area Of Cloud Computing

public-cloud-computing-forecast-2011-2016The majority of cloud computing revenue in 2012 was generated from vendors with sales over $75M (66%) and who are privately held (77%), with Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) projected to attain a 41% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2016.

Market Monitor, a service of 451 Research, is also predicting 36% CAGR in cloud computing, growing from $5.7B in 2012 to $20B by the end of 2016 in their Cloud-as-a-Service overview report. Other research firms including Gartner have much higher forecasts for cloud computing in general and IaaS, PaaS and SaaS specifically.

Market Monitor relies on a bottoms-up forecasting methodology that includes revenue analysis and forecasts from 309 cloud-services providers and technology vendors across 14 sectors. Their taxonomy defining Cloud as a Service is shown in the following graphic:

taxonomy cloud as a service

Here are the key take-aways from the report:

  • The cloud computing market will grow from $5.7B in 2012 to $20B in 2016, attaining a 36% CAGR over the forecast period.  The following graphic from the report shows the breakout of revenue on a yearly basis throughout the forecast period.

forecast breakout

  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) will attain a 41% CAGR through 2016, generating 24% of total cloud revenues.  71% of PaaS revenues will be generated by vendors over $75M in sales according to the study.
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) will attain a 37% CAGR through 2016, generating 51% of cloud revenue.  69% of IaaS revenues will be generated by vendors over $75M in sales according to the study.
  • SaaS will attain a 29% CAGR through 2016 and the distribution of revenue by vendor size shows how fragmented this area of the market is.  The following is a summary table from the report showing distribution of sales by vendor and category.

distribution table

10 Ways Cloud Computing Is Revolutionizing Manufacturing

manufacturing floorThe best manufacturers I’ve visited this year all share a common attribute: they are obsessed with making themselves as easy as possible to work with from a supply chain, distribution and services standpoint.  Many are evaluating cloud-based manufacturing applications including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and several have adopted cloud-based applications across their companies.

With so much interest, there is much confusion as well.  I recently spoke with Cindy Jutras, founder and CEO of MintJutras.  Her firm has recently completed a survey of SaaS adoption in manufacturing, distribution and other industries.  She found the following:

  • 49% of respondents in the manufacturing & distribution industries do not understand the difference between single- and multi-tenant SaaS architectures.  Overall 66% of respondents to the survey did not know.
  • SaaS-based applications are 22% of all manufacturing and distribution software installed today, and will grow to 45% within ten years according to MintJutras.
  • The three most important characteristics of a SaaS solution in manufacturing and distribution include giving customers a measure of control over upgrades, consistent support for global operations and allowing for rapid and frequent upgrades.

Cindy Jutras Research May 8 2013

Why Manufacturers Are Looking To Cloud Computing  

Manufacturers are under constant pressure to increase accuracy, make process speed a competitive force, and capitalize on their internal intelligence and knowledge to make every supplier, distributor and service interaction count.  The manufacturers spoken and visited with to gain the following insights are in the high tech, industrial and aerospace and defense industries, where rapid product lifecycles and short time-to-market schedules are commonplace.

Cloud-based strategies give these companies the chance to bring their own innate intelligence and knowledge into every sales situation.  While on-premise systems could also do this, cloud-based systems were quicker to roll out, easier to customize and showed potential to increase adoption rates across resellers.

One manufacturing manager explained how during a new product launch the speed and volume of collaboration was so rapid on between suppliers and distributors that an allocation situation was averted.  That he said, made senior management believers.  These epiphanies are happening daily in manufacturing.

Based on my visits with manufacturers, here are the ten ways they are using cloud computing to revolutionize manufacturing:

  • Capturing and applying company-wide intelligence and knowledge through the use of analytics, business intelligence (BI), and rules engines.  For the many manufacturers who rely on build-to-order, configure-to-order and engineer-to-order strategies as a core part of their business models, using cloud-based platforms to capture knowledge and manage rules is accelerating. A key part of this area is mobility support for analytics, BI and rules engine reporting and analysis.
  • Piloting and then moving quickly to full launch of supplier portals and collaboration platforms, complete with quality management dashboards and workflows.  Among the manufacturers visited, those in high tech are the most advanced in this area, often implementing Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) and demand management applications that deliver real-time order status and forecasts.
  • Designing in services is now becoming commonplace, making cloud integration expertise critical for manufacturers.  From simplistic services integration on iPhones to the full implementation of voice-activated controls including emergency assistance in the latest luxury cars, adding in services integrated to the cloud is redefining the competitive landscape of industries today.  Revising a product or launching an new product generation with embedded services can mitigate price wars, which is why many manufacturers are pursing this strategy today.
  •  Accelerating new product development and introduction (NPDI) strategies to attain time-to-market objectives. Using cloud-based platforms in high tech manufacturing is growing today as time-to-market constraints are requiring greater collaboration earlier in design cycles.
  • Managing indirect and direct channel sales from a single cloud platform tracking sales results against quota at the individual, group and divisional level is now commonplace across all manufacturers visited.  Dashboards report back the status by each rep and for sales managers, the profitability of each deal.
  • Using cloud-based marketing automation applications to plan, execute and most important, track results of every campaign.  Marketing is under a microscope in many manufacturers today, as marketing automation applications have promised to deliver exceptional results and many manufacturers are still struggling to align their internal content, strategies and ability to execute with the potential these systems promise.
  • Automating customer service, support and common order status inquiries online, integrating these systems to distributed order management, pricing, and content management platforms.  Manufacturing industries are at varying levels of adoption when it comes to automating self-service.  The cost and time advantages in high tech are the highest levels of adoption I’ve seen in visiting manufacturers however.
  • Increasing reliance on two-tier ERP strategies to gain greater efficiencies in material planning, supplier management and reduce logistics costs.  Manufacturers are also using this strategy to gain greater independence from a single ERP vendor dominating their entire operations.  Several manufacturers remarked that their large, monolithic ERP systems could not, without intensive programming and customization, scale down to the smaller operational needs in distributed geographic regions.  Cloud-based ERP systems are getting the attention of manufacturers pursuing two-tier ERP strategies.  AcumaticaCincomMicrosoftNetSuite and Plex Systems are leaders in this area of ERP systems.
  • Reliance on cloud-based Human Resource Management (HRM) systems to unify all manufacturing locations globally.  This often includes combining  multisite talent management, recruiting, payroll and time tracking.  Contract manufacturer Flextronics uses Workday to optimize workforce allocations across their global manufacturing centers for example.

Bottom Line:  Using cloud-based systems to streamline key areas of their business, manufacturers are freeing up more time to invest in new products and selling more.

2013 CRM Market Share Update: 40% Of CRM Systems Sold Are SaaS-Based

CRM-Market-Share-Analysis-Image-2012Last year, four out of every ten CRM systems sold were SaaS-based, and the trend is accelerating.

In the recent Gartner report  Market Share Analysis: Customer Relationship Management Software, Worldwide, 2012 published April 18, 2013 the authors provide insights into why the worldwide CRM market experienced 12% growth in 2012, three times the average of all enterprise software categories.  Gartner cites demand they are seeing from their enterprise clients for CRM systems that can help acquire customers, analyze and act on customer behaviors, and increase all-channel management performance.  Big data inquiries are also increasing in CRM, driven by the interest enterprise clients have in getting more value from social network data and interactions.

Key take-aways from the report include the following:

  • The CRM worldwide market grew from $16B to $18B attaining a 12.5% growth rate from 2011 to 2012.
  • 80% of all CRM software in 2012 was sold in North America and Western Europe.    North America CRM sales grew 16.6% from 2011 to 2012.  The highest growth regions of CRM sales between 2011 to 2012 included Greater China (26.9%) and Latin America (24.3%).
  • is the world’s leading CRM software vendor with 14% market share in 2012 ($2.5B in sales), surpassing SAP (12.9%, $2.3B in sales), Oracle (11.1%, 2.01B in sales), Microsoft (6.3%, $1.1B in sales), IBM (3.6%, $649M in sales) and all others.  The top ten vendors worldwide generated $10.9B in sales alone in 2012.


  • Worldwide CRM software spending by subsegment shows Customer Service and Support leading all categories with 36.8% of all spending in 2012 ($6.6B), followed by CRM Sales (26.3%, $4.7B), Marketing (includes marketing automation) (20%, $3.6B) and e-commerce (16.9%, $3B).   The following chart shows the distribution of revenue by category:


  • 40% of all CRM software sold in 2012 worldwide was SaaS-based.  Gartner states that they are seeing their enterprise clients seek out easier-to-deploy CRM systems compared to on-premise alternatives.  The report states that many enterprises are now replacing their legacy systems with SaaS-based CRM systems as well.  Enterprise clients also report that SaaS-based CRM systems are delivering net-new applications that deliver complementary functionality not possible with legacy and previous-generation CRM platforms.
  • Ten fastest growing CRM vendors as measured in revenue Annual Growth Rate (AGR) in 2012 include Zoho (81.2%), Hybris (78.6%), Teradata (70.4%), Bazaarvoice (56.2%), Marketo (54.3%), Kana (44.2%), Demandware (43.9%), IBM (39.4%), Technology One (37.1%) and Neolane (36%).
  • Communications, media and IT services were the biggest spenders on CRM in 2012 due to their call center requirements.  Manufacturing including Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) was second, and banking & securities were third.

Why Cloud Computing is Accelerating in the Enterprise

Cloud computing gaining in the enterprise Translating time into dollars matters far more to many CEOs I’ve spoken with versus what platform their applications are running on.

What matters most is getting all they can out of every hour their business is operating.  They are all focused on getting beyond the constraints that held their growth back in the past – everyone wants a growth accelerator today.  For manufacturers especially, this includes applications with depth of functionality that can be quickly deployed regionally, and in more cases than ever, globally as well.  Line-of-business leaders want applications that make an immediate impact on their entire value chain.

Just having a cloud strategy is not enough for any enterprise software company anymore. Owning the pain prospects and customers go through daily to get work done is all that matters.  Every application and platform component needs to contribute to the goal of reducing customer’s challenges of doing business.  In studying companies who excel at this, I’ve often used stock market indices to see how they compare to market averages and their competitors.

Charting Progress Using the Cloud Computing Stock Index

Creating and using stock indices to track the performance of specific industry and market sectors is a great way to cut through hype.  I’ve been using these for over a decade to track industries and markets of interest, and have built the Cloud Computing Stock Index. You can download the latest summary here.  If there are companies you think need to be included please let me know.  I deliberately left out IBM, Google, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP as a prerequisite is that a firm derive at least 50% or greater revenue from cloud-based applications and services.

The graph below shows all-time performance of the Cloud Computing Index relative to Microsoft, NetSuite and Workday.

Figure 1 stock index

Key Take Aways

  • NetSuite posted a 62.6% increase in stock performance, followed by Workday (+20.57%), Salesforce (+4.23%) and the Cloud Computing Index (+4%) with Microsoft seeing a 8.18% decline in share price during the period.
  • NetSuite, Salesforce and Workday continue to gain new customers in the mid-tier and enterprise areas of the market based on depth of functionality, rapid application development (RAD), and increasing success creating alliances with system integration, selling and technology partners.
  • Workday’s expertise in Human Capital Management is accentuated by the depth of analytics and trend analysis and expertise in cloud-based integrations.  Their depth of functional expertise in these areas is leading to rapid growth.
  •  NetSuite is succeeding with its two-tier ERP selling strategy against long-standing ERP vendors including Oracle, SAP and others.

Bottom line:  Salesforce, NetSuite and Workday show how developing cloud-based applications designed for ease of use and speed of deployment are winning new customers in the enterprise – and driving up their stock price as a result.

Specifics on the Cloud Computing Stock Index

I used The Cloud Times 100 as the basis of the index, and included the 23 following companies, all of which are publically traded.  These include:

  • Akamai Technologies.
  •, Inc.
  • ARM Holdings plc
  • CA, Inc.
  • Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Citrix Systems, Inc.
  • EMC Corporation
  • F5 Networks, Inc.
  • Fusion-IO, Inc.
  • Intuit
  • Juniper Networks, Inc.
  • Keynote Systems, Inc.
  • NetSuite Inc
  • Qualys Inc
  • Rackspace Hosting, Inc.
  • Red Hat, Inc.
  • Riverbed Technology…
  •, inc.
  • Symantec Corporation
  • Trend Micro Incorporated
  • VMware, Inc.
  • Websense Inc.
  • Workday Inc

 Note: I do not hold equity positions or work for any of the companies mentioned in this blog post or included in the Cloud Computing Stock Index.  

Microsoft’s Cloud Computing Strategy and Roadmap Evident at Convergence 2013

cloud-multi-tenancyKirill Tatarinov’s keynote this morning at Microsoft’s Convergence 2013 marks a subtle, yet very significant shift in how this technology leader is marketing itself to partners and the outside world.  They are humanizing their marketing, messaging and products.

Gone is the Spock-like precision of presentations packed with roadmaps, mind-numbing metrics and intricate feature analysis.  The Nick Brophy Band made the keynote complete by delivering excellent sets.

Microsoft is learning that telling a good story trumps terabytes of metrics. They delivered a strong keynote today starting out showing how attendees reached out to the local community and helped Habitat for Humanity.  Kirill then based the majority of his keynote on four customer success stories taken from the Microsoft Customer Excellence Award winners. Chobani, Shock Doctor, Revlon and Weight Watchers shared how they were able to better connect with customers and run more efficient businesses using Microsoft Dynamics.

The only aspect of these award winner’s stories that fell short was how the complexity of back office system integration was glossed over.  No mention of third party or legacy system integration was made, which could have shown how far Microsoft and its partners have progressed on this point, especially with the help of integration partners like Scribe Software.

Microsoft’s Cloud-First Strategy Playing Well With Partners

For Microsoft to succeed with Windows Dynamics and Azure, they are going to need each partner and reseller to believe in the vision of a cloud-first strategy, then translate their unique expertise into sales.  That’s going to be a challenge that Microsoft will have to deal with daily as it looks to further strengthen its partner and reseller base.  The recent Azure outage caused by an expired SSL certificate is on the minds of many partners and resellers here too.  Microsoft is promoting their Windows Azure Service Dashboard heavily here as a result.

Despite that recent outage, Microsoft’s ecosystem on Dynamics is flourishing , as is evidenced by the attendance and participation in this show.  The cloud-first strategy has infused a sense of hope and anticipation in many partners and resellers.  Walking the floor yesterday and today, nearly eight of every ten partners offered up how they are planning on the cloud without being asked about it.

Microsoft 2013 Roadmap Embracing the Cloud, Devices and Services    

Kirill Tatarinov’s keynote underscored how committed Microsoft is to becoming as cloud, devices and services company.  He cited the statistic that there are more devices connected to the Internet today than there are human beings on the planet.

Through several examples he also showed how Microsoft is moving full speed into being a devices and services business.  Microsoft Windows Azure is the foundational component to this strategy.  While Kirill did not specifically say that, it is clear from an architectural standpoint Windows Azure will be the foundational element of their devices and services strategy.  Microsoft is already competing with market leader Amazon Web Services, Google, Rackspace and many others.  For more information on the competitive landscape of this market, please see my previous post, Demystifying Cloud Vendors.

From a roadmap perspective this will also force Microsoft to support many more mobile operating systems and environments than they ever have before.  For their device and services strategy to succeed for example, they will have to support Google Android and Apple iOS device interfaces capable of integrating with SQL Server, at a minimum.

The following table showing recently announced updates to the 2013 Microsoft Product Roadmap first appeared on the Redmond Channel Partner website on march 18th.

Microsoft roadmap analysis

Source: Redmond Channel Partner Magazine  

Microsoft reports that Office365 will go to an accelerated release cycle, further capitalizing on the nature of a cloud-based architecture.  Resellers at this conference like the  Office 365 Open licensing program because it allows them to direct-bill customers for use of the suite, in addition to paying for the bundle of their services. Windows Azure-hosted versions of Dynamics NAV and Dynamics GP will arrive in mid-2013 according to the article as well.

For the cloud, device and services strategy to succeed Microsoft must also succeed in convincing enterprise accounts to migrate their applications to Windows Azure.  This is one of the most critical areas for the future of their cloud strategy in the enterprise, so expect to see customer stories and ongoing messaging on this point.

Bottom line: Microsoft is transitioning to a more humanized approach to marketing while embracing a cloud, device and services strategy. It will be the partner ecosystem that transforms that vision into a profitable reality.

Roundup of Cloud Computing & Enterprise Software Market Estimates and Forecasts, 2013

157989221When the CEO of a rust-belt manufacturer speaks of cloud computing as critical to his company’s business strategies for competing globally, it’s clear a fundamental shift is underway.

Nearly every manufacturing company I’ve spoken with in the last ninety days has a mobility roadmap and is also challenged to integrate existing ERP, pricing and fulfillment systems into next-generation selling platforms.

One of the most driven CEOs I’ve met in manufacturing implemented a cloud-based channel management, pricing, quoting and CRM system to manage direct sales and a large distributor network across several countries.  Manufacturers are bringing an entirely new level of pragmatism to cloud computing, quickly deflating its hype by pushing for results on the shop floor.

There’s also been an entirely new series of enterprise software and cloud computing forecasts and market estimates published.  I’ve summarized the key take-aways below:

  • Enterprise sales of ERP systems will grow to $32.9B in 2016, attaining a 6.7% CAGR in the forecast period of 2011 to 2016.   CRM is projected to be an $18.6B global market by 2016, attaining a CAGR of 9.1% from 2011 to 2016.   The fastest growing category of enterprise software will be Web Conferencing and Team, growing at a 12.4% CAGR through the forecast period.  The following graphic compares 2011 actual sales and the latest forecast for 2016 by enterprise software product category.  Source:  Gartner’s Forecast Analysis: Enterprise Application Software, Worldwide, 2011-2016, 4Q12 Update Published: 31 January 2013

Figure 1 enteprise spending

Figure 2

figure 3 cloud computing

 public cloud forecast

Forrester Wave

  • IDC is predicting Cloud Services and enablement spending will hit $60 billion, growing at 26% through the year and that over 80% of new apps will be distributed and deployed on cloud platforms.  Their predictions also are saying that 2.5% of legacy packaged enterprise apps will start migrating to clouds.  Source: Top 10 Predictions, IDC Predictions 2012: Competing for 2020 by Frank Gens. You can download a copy of the IDC Predictions here:

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