Welcome!

Artificial Intelligence Authors: Stackify Blog, William Schmarzo, Pat Romanski, Rostyslav Demush, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Artificial Intelligence, Government Cloud

@CloudExpo: Article

The Sweet Science of Cloud Computing

The Purse, the Belt, the Glory - Welcome to Fight Night

One sure sign that a new technology market is approaching critical mass is when people start fighting over it.  I'm not talking about abstract arguments and dialectical debates about meanings and means.  I'm talkin' fisticuffs, mano a mano, the sweet science!  And with cloud computing, it's on now, Baby.

OK, maybe it was more like one-sided trash talking at the weigh-in before a title bout, but this week we heard plenty of it, in two weight classes, no less.

In the middle-weight division, we saw the young and scrappy contender NetSuite mixing it up with aging titlist SAP and at the same time Microsoft got in fellow heavyweight Google's face, big time.  Here's how it went down.

The Undercard

It should come as no surprise to anybody that NetSuite would have it in for SAP, in general.  NetSuite's majority shareholder is Oracle's CEO Larry Ellison and its senior executives are mostly former Ellison lieutenants and acolytes, so, invectives for SAP probably comes pretty naturally to the lot.

In addition to that and more to the point, though, the two companies play in many of the same software categories - ERP, CRM, Financials and others.  Until recently, though, they did so in separate universes, with NetSuite subscribed in the cloud and SAP licensed in the data center.  But, then came SAP's Business ByDesign, a messy cloud capitulation now on its second or third re-launch.  Although BBD is unlikely to stop or even slow NetSuite's cocky cakewalk, SAP has enough bucks and bile - albeit less of the former and more of the latter since Oracle's very recent $1.3b court victory against them - to harsh NetSuite's buzz.

So, either to kick SAP while they are down or just to keep Business ByDesign from getting any traction, in a very Ellisonesque way, NetSuite has gone on the full offensive, and not in that "best defense" kind of way, either.  (In the Tao of Chairman Larry, defense is for losers; it's all offense all the time.)

In a press release and a more elaborate blog entry, both titled, "SAP Brings Stone-Age Software Economics to Cloud Computing", NetSuite has aggressively called SAP out with a scathing side-by-side TCO comparison.  The ostensibly empirical results show that SAP will cost over a half a million dollars to seat ten users for five years while NetSuite can do the same job for a mere $187K.

The NetSuite press release also takes a couple of other mild shots at SAP for BBDs lagging functionality and the company's awkward advance on the cloud, saying:

"By providing an under-powered product with an extremely high total cost of ownership, SAP has fallen into the trap of every stone-age software provider that has tried to make the transition to the cloud and not cannibalize its installed base."

But, the most vigorous vituperation is reserved for the blog entry:

"By trying to make the same kind of money they made in the good old on-premise days with their new "cloud' solutions, they're carrying their on-premise ERP bloated TCO habits over to the world of the cloud. They want to inflict the heinous on-premise costs of last two decades on you, as you try and move your business forward into the next decade. [...] In a nutshell, SAP Business ByDesign costs way more money, for way less functionality. So it's no surprise that ‘SAP struggles to find takers for its Business ByDesign SaaS offering'!"

Word!

The Main Event

But, as sharp as those words may seem, they are but reedy screed beside the bellicose bluster of the behemoth Microsoft going after Google.

This time, the designated pugilist is Tom Rizzo, Microsoft's Senior Director of Online Services.  A few days ago he showed up in a freewheeling Computerworld interview wherein he excoriated the search giant for their maneuvers in cloud computing.  In it, he dings Google for their SLA, sticky-fingered data practices, looseness about privacy, and general failure in the enterprise space, and then says how he really feels in this Q&A:

"Are you saying that Google is failing? I would say that they're failing, yes. I would say that the results have not shown that they're successful in the space. We've had customers who've gone to Google and have come back to Microsoft."

Then, the day after that interview ran, Google was quick to trumpet their triumph over incumbent IBM/Lotus and contender Microsoft in winning 17,000 seats at the General Services Administration for their government edition of Google Apps.  At a mere $6.7m, it's a small deal, but you'd never know that from Google's crowing.

"GSA is leading the way in embracing the federal government's "cloud first" policy, under which agencies should opt for hosted applications when secure, reliable, cost-effective options are available. We are thrilled that GSA has chosen to move to the cloud with Google and look forward to expanding our productive partnership with them."

That was all Rizzo needed to hear to make him launch a snarky riposte on the Why Microsoft TechNet blog.

After curtly acknowledging the loss, he takes pains to make it clear that while Google got the internal email business from the GSA, Microsoft "will continue to serve its productivity needs through the familiar experience of Microsoft Office."

He gets a little passive-aggressive about why Microsoft lost the deal.  Perhaps intimating poor judgment on the government's part, he sniffs, "we look forward to understanding more about GSA's selection criteria - especially around security and architecture. "

And he wraps up his opening gambit by reminding everyone, "We are also gratified so many state and local governments continue to choose Microsoft.   There are clear reasons behind these choices."

He follows up the opening with the first of two headlines:  "Adding Random Functionality is not Really Adding Functionality", setting up the point that Google is consumer-focused and this makes them a bad choice for business.

"While it's not clear to us how useful business customers will find applications such as Picasa Web Albums, Google Voice and Adwords, some of our customers don't seem to be impressed with the value they receive from Google."

OK, Picasa, sure.  But, Voice and Adwords?  Really?  I can think of plenty of businesses who are probably plenty impressed with Google Voice, a service that lets smartphone users make voice calls to any number in the US for free.  And, as for Adwords, he is actually referring to a recent change by Google that allows access to Adwords administration from within Google Apps, rather than an individual Google account.  Again, that seems like a something a business using Google Apps and Google Adwords would indeed find very useful.

Then, it's this tortured second headline: "You have to meet the Height Requirement to Ride in the Enterprise".  I can't think of a single enterprise that would be gratified by being characterized as an amusement park ride for software vendors.  Plus, 24 point type doesn't make it a separate point.  We get it!  Rizzo and Microsoft don't think that Google gets the enterprise.  But he soldiers on, following the headline with this equally painful (to watch) paragraph and a few more like it.

"There's no doubt that businesses are talking to Google, and hearing their pitch, but despite all the talk, Google can't avoid the fact that often times they cannot meet basic requirements. For instance, in California, the state determined that Google couldn't meet many of their basic requirements around functionality and security."

As you will see if you read Rizzo's full Raging Bull soliloquy, it prompted a lively stream of comments by numerous readers, some friendly, others not, and many just pitying.  One in particular nailed it pretty well:

"Sorry, but this is just the *wrong* type of messaging for someone supposedly in a superior position.  Good prize-fighters 'cuss the opposition before the fight by way of taunts and insults, then afterwards nod in admiration and move on.  This does neither, Microsoft see the world as its enemy and then ticks it off afterwards.  So it will be with Office and Linux in the coming 2 years.

All signs of an organization akin to a limping animal, wounded and dangerous.

Good luck."

Ouch!

To that reader's point, it is interesting to contrast Rizzo's rueful remonstrations with the way Google talks about Microsoft.  Last spring, Computerworld interviewed Dave  Girouard, president of Google's Enterprise Division and here is how he answered the question, "Who do you see as your biggest competitors?"

"There's Microsoft and then there's Microsoft. Obviously, there are multiple competitors, but the one we see the most and talk about the most is Microsoft because they're the gorilla in the market. They tend to have competitive products to what we have. Cisco is kind of getting into this game. And IBM is in there. I would certainly characterize those as far less directly competitive."

But then when the interviewer pressed him on that point, saying, "Microsoft has a big head start on you. How will you deal with that?" Girouard said this:

"We don't have enough time for me to list [all our advantages]. To use Microsoft and do some form of cloud-based editing, it is ugly and complex. To get the new Google Apps, what do you have to do? Refresh your browser. That fundamental difference is what will make Google successful against Microsoft."

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.  Google looks like Muhammad Ali next to Microsoft's Jake Lamotta.

The preliminary bout of NetSuite vs. SAP and the Microsoft vs. Google main event make up the card for just the first cloud fight night, with many more to come.  There will probably be some surprises as we go along, but it is already clear who two of the champeens might be.

More Stories By Tim Negris

Tim Negris is SVP, Marketing & Sales at Yottamine Analytics, a pioneering Big Data machine learning software company. He occasionally authors software industry news analysis and insights on Ulitzer.com, is a 25-year technology industry veteran with expertise in software development, database, networking, social media, cloud computing, mobile apps, analytics, and other enabling technologies.

He is recognized for ability to rapidly translate complex technical information and concepts into compelling, actionable knowledge. He is also widely credited with coining the term and co-developing the concept of the “Thin Client” computing model while working for Larry Ellison in the early days of Oracle.

Tim has also held a variety of executive and consulting roles in a numerous start-ups, and several established companies, including Sybase, Oracle, HP, Dell, and IBM. He is a frequent contributor to a number of publications and sites, focusing on technologies and their applications, and has written a number of advanced software applications for social media, video streaming, and music education.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...