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Whether you call it Software as a Service (SaaS), Managed Service Provider (MSP) or On-Demand Services, your organization uses the service running “in the cloud”. This blog will discuss these services, their benefits, drawbacks and operations. Are we biased? Yes. We believe that some services make sense for most organizations. Email security is one of those. However as Mark Twain said, “All generalizations are false, even this one.” Each Tuesday we will post information and questions about Software as a Service. Occasionally, we will have a "Guest Post" from either a consultant or vendor posting her/his thoughts on Managed Services generally as well as some degree of specificity based on her/his unique perspective. We encourage your insights, comments and feedback. Welcome.


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Thinking Out Cloud

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By Ian Moyse, Eurocloud UK Board Member and Cloud Industry Forum Governance Board Member

With so much hype, Cloud is being pushed as the pervasive answer to everything! Rightly or wrongly! As more and more cloud solutions come to market and are campaigned to customers the blurring of differentiation between them is making the customer choice harder. It is increasingly easy for vendors to ‘cloud wash’ old technologies and re-market them as a full cloud solution, but not all will be successful and not all will deliver on the overpromised benefits that are often being made. Many of these solutions it could be argued are not truly cloud solutions and have large installs on customer sites with little of the true power coming from the internet. A large PC based application simply getting automatic updates from the cloud or calling on the cloud for its web interface for administration can be argued to not really be a cloud application and yet vendors are hanging their hats on these concepts in an effort to cash in on the cloud hype! We are also seeing large vendors in their times of cloud exploration getting it wrong and having to adjust strategies.

For example Cisco pulled its hosted mail platform from the market in early 2011 (http://www.talkincloud.com/cisco-kills-hosted-e-mail-service) and Iron Mountain has also recently announced the death tool on its Public Cloud Storage Business (http://www.talkincloud.com/iron-mountain-kills-its-public-cloud-storage-business). Webroot also in early 2012 announced the closing of its email cloud business (http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/198882-1326749222-infosec-technologies-launches-webroot-endoflife-advice-line.html) and the selling off of its cloud archiving business (http://www.crn.com/news/security/232500166/sonian-buys-webroot-e-mail-archiving-business.htm)

We are seeing trends of new cloud certifications, new cloud vendors, existing vendors cloud-washing old products and increasing volumes of articles touting the good, bad and the ugly of cloud solutions. Customers and the various channels to market have a need and responsibility to themselves to self educate and better understand cloud technologies that can benefit or challenge their business models moving forwards.



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