One of the most interesting and intriguing companies that are quickly gaining enterprise customers is Box.net.
In speaking with friends who are directors of IT and a few CIOs, the buzz on Box.net has grown so fast that they are looking at enterprise licensing for it. They’re also saying it is becoming the portal of choice for highly distributed teams that have already logged hundreds of hours using it globally.
In the following video clip CEO and Co-Founder Aaron Levie explains how his company has been able to out-innovate larger competitors in the enterprise market by relying on what appears to be Agile-based development methods and the SaaS platform to launch applications faster than entrenched competitors. His insights into competing on speed using the SaaS platform while outflanking larger, and slower moving competitors is worth listening to.
The following presentation from Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Jinesh Varia includes an update on the Alexa GrepTheWeb Service and an excellent overview of AWS components. There is also an update on the AWS cloud architecture and definition of the Compute (EC2), messaging (SQS) and Storage (S3, Simple DB, and EC2-EBS) component integration.
Finally there are an interesting series of slides explaining courses at University of California, Santa Barbara and Stanford University on how AWS is being used to teach data mining and related topics.
This presentation also provides insights into how configurations of AWS can be customized for data mining and content management.
Disclaimer: Amazon and AWS are not clients of mine by the way. When I write about vendors who are, I will be sure to mention it.
Stanford’s Center for Professional Development does an outstanding job with its programs, I have attended them in the past and they are excellent. Be sure to check out Dr. Tim Chou’s book on cloud computing. It is free and is a fast, highly informative read about cloud computing.
On May 12, Marc Andreessen presented on the topic A Panorama of Venture Capital and Beyond (61 min). During that discussion, he made several points about how entrepreneurs who seek out his venture fund, Andreessen Horowitz, rely heavily on Cloud Computing to alleviate infrastructure and hardware start-up costs. He mentions that 96% of firms seeking funding are running on Amazon Web Services and just a few on RackSpace. He also mentions that few are running Google AppsEngine or Microsoft Azure now.
Bottom line: Most refreshing about this book is that Mr. Chou is striving to explain each of the seven business models with an unbiased analysis supported with company examples. He is on Twitter (@timothychou) and back in January asked for feedback on this book. If you have a passion for this area you might want to follow him on Twitter and see about helping out with the next edition.
For many enterprise software companies this is a very difficult subject as the control of the sales cycle is tantamount. Opponents argue that free software trials potentially derail sales cycles and give them less control.
Bottom line: The goal of these webinars is often to recruit students for certificate and degree programs, so the content often over-the-top in terms of quality. It’s definitely worth checking out if you are interested in cloud computing.