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Posts Tagged ‘SaaS

In this article in Enterprise Systems Journal I argue that this might very well be the case.

Here’s a quick excerpt:

IT professionals seem to be the most conservative crowd when it comes to the cloud. While we all have been uploading our pictures to Flickr and communicating via Facebook, and our sales reps have been utilizing Salesforce.com and doing Web demos, system administrators have stayed cautious, preferring to keep IT under their control.

Now that software as a service (SaaS) has become more widespread and commonly accepted — and C-level executives are falling under the charm of the cloud — something’s got to give. That’s definitely the expectation of the systems management vendors quickly ramping up their acquisition and development cycles to have SaaS for IT management products ready.

Read the full text here.

Marco Arment from Instapaper thinks that Chrome OS will have limited appeal for consumers, will target businesses and not be well-received there due to lack of proper enterprise support and commitment. Here are a few quotes from Marco:

Google’s targeting of Chrome OS is interesting. Rather than trying to attract consumers, who have demonstrated that they’re not interested in “Net PC”-like browser-only hardware, Google is positioning Chrome OS hardware as inexpensive, low-IT-overhead alternatives for businesses to deploy instead of desk computers.

In last week’s Talk Show, John Gruber and Dan Benjamin discussed why it may finally be a good time for this: a lot of computers today in businesses exist solely to run a web browser. John’s example is almost every computer in a typical bank branch, on which the agents usually just type your information into a series of web-browser forms in order to do their jobs.

Google’s just not in the business of providing long-term support for an unsuccessful product line. It’s part of what allows them to keep releasing new things all the time while geeks declare Microsoft a boring old dinosaur. But IT departments need their platform vendors to behave much more like Microsoft.

I doubt many corporate IT execs are going to take the risk that Chrome OS will be a stable enough long-term platform to deploy to their companies’ workforces. As the saying goes, nobody ever got fired

Interesting enough, I actually agree with the second part of the argument but not with the initial premise.

Yes, getting businesses to commission big desktop refreshes to Google is going to be a challenge and require good field execution to get the early adopters buy into the value proposition (and then serve as a case study to persuade the others). And I think existing Google Apps adoption and progress demonstrates that Google’s execution when pitching to the enterprise is underwhelming. Just think on how much earlier on the market they got compared to Microsoft’s BPOS/Office 365 and how they almost missed this advantage.

However, obviously, even if not that many enterprises adopt Google Apps and Chrome OS – the reality is that these will create a headache for Microsoft because they will be used as a threat buy Microsoft’s enterprise customers when negotiating a better deal on their Microsoft contracts…

The real success of the OS though is likely going to depend on the consumer adoption (iPad was never pitched as an enterprise tool – but companies are increasingly looking to using it as such). So let’s look at the possible consumer play of the technology.

And here, I do not agree that ‘consumers … have demonstrated that they’re not interested in “Net PC”-like browser-only hardware’. Consumers are not interested when you give them a crappy netbook with an impossible to use Linux. There is little doubt about that. However, this does not mean that consumers are attached to Windows fat apps either. Success of iPads is a clear demonstration that consumers can live with total breakage of compatibility with old apps as long as the device is great and the new apps ecosystem is good.

If the application marketplace which Google is launching for Chrome OS is good – it will be just fine with consumers. Especially with supported offline mode and printing. I am using TweetDeck Chrome app in my Chrome browser today and it is just a great application. Much better, faster and easier to maintain than the AIR version I used before. If apps, hardware and pricepoints are there – consumers will come.

And yes, Ray Ozzie is right: applications on any devices are these days becoming a local representation and cache of something server or cloud-side. This is already true for a lot of iPhone and Android applications – so web-based application framework with good access to local resources is fine. Which then makes it a question of whether Google can make the Chrome OS the device operating platform of choice for the range of devices and longer term replacement of Android. And this is a question of competing for the hearts and minds of consumers and developers – and not really a question of a “Net PC” being something that resonates with consumers.

And I have no idea whether or not Chrome OS devices require cheaper hardware than Android devices. I am not sure I see why they would – consumers would probably still want solid-state drives, nice-looking form-factor, touch screens, cameras and other things which make the devices more expensive – so what’s the difference?

The future is in the cloud. Whether this “cloud” means Chrome OS remains to be seen.

Cloud can make your environment *more* secure. A new cloud service alerts IT pros when specific events happen in their environment. For example, you might want to receive an email when a sensitive resource gets accessed, certain permissions get granted, membership for a privileged group gets changed and so on. This all is now part of the Quest OnDemand Log Management service – just watch this two-minute video to see how it works:

(Full disclosure: I work for Quest Software and participate in our Quest OnDemand efforts.)

What’s best is that this is a cloud service – so no local deployment or additional infrastructure is required. You can just go to the website, sign-up for a free trial, download a small agent, and start getting alerts for the events you care about!

Cloud is good for you! Sign-up for a free trial now and have the cloud help you keep your environment secure.

Cloud-based AD backup and recovery service – Quest OnDemand Recovery – just got updated allowing among other things to easily locate the whole change history for a given account throughout the whole backup history, and roll the object back to any particular moment in time.

The new feature is available right from the main screen. Simply search for the user account:

Select the moment in time for this AD object:

Click Finish and the object will get back to the selected time in the past!

This new feature was introduced earlier this week and is now available to all OnDemand Recovery customers (the beauty of the cloud!).

If you have not tried this service, there is a free 30 day trial available here. (Full disclosure: I work for Quest Software and am involved in the project.)

Ruggero Contu has published a case study which he created after studying Quest Software‘s transition from being a pure software vendor to also a SaaS cloud-based IT management company: “Case Study: Quest Leverages Cloud Services to Introduce SaaS-Based Log Management Product” (registration required to access the page):

Although new business opportunities can justify a SaaS project, implementation of a new cloud-based offering is not a straightforward task. CTOs, development managers, and sales, marketing and service delivery managers should plan for the far-reaching changes needed across the organization to reach a successful implementation.

SaaS-based security products have been gaining popularity and adoption within organizations over the past few years. Although demand for SaaS-based security information event management (SIEM) products is not as high as for other security areas, such as messaging security and remote vulnerability assessment, SaaS-based SIEM is a valuable option for those enterprises that cannot implement security information tools. An on-premises SIEM implementation may not be justified, particularly in those cases where there are limited resources available to be dedicated to deploying and managing SIEM products; the cost of SIEM implementation may be unjustified also in those instances with well-defined but limited technology needs, such as to meet a specific regulatory requirement. As a result, there are interesting market opportunities for SIEM vendors willing to embark on the launch of a SaaS-based log management solution. This Case Study discusses how Quest Software developed and implemented a SaaS-based product offering.

Ruggero goes into the details of why and how Quest went from software to SaaS, what was involved in the transition, and which benefits did this move bring to both the vendor and its customers.

If you work for a software company considering a similar move, or if you are an IT professional considering starting to use SaaS in your environment, I would recommend obtaining and reading the full document here.

Now that our services for IT Pros: OnDemand Recovery for Active Directory and OnDemand Log Management – have been out for a couple of months, got their first customers, and demonstrated (knock on wood) 100% uptime, it seems to be the right time to start collecting feedback and give back some prizes.

This is exactly what we are going to be doing from now till the end of October 2010. All you need to do is:

  1. Start your free trial of either of the services.
  2. When you have enough feedback, fill out a quick evaluation survey.
  3. Get your $50 Amazon certificate and (if you are among the the two users who provide the most detailed feedback) iPad!

Try one of our OnDemand IT management services, complete a survey, and win a prize

The prizes should make evaluation more fun, and the survey results will help us make the services even better.

Go to this page to learn more, sign up for the services, and submit your feedback to get the prize.

Another online service we have just launched for IT professionals is Quest OnDemand Log Management. This is a great service for event log collection, storage and analysis.

1. All you need to do to enable it, is download and install a small event collection agent and select which event logs you want to collect,

2.  The agent then runs, collects, compresses, encrypts and sends the event log data to the OnDemand service in the clouds.

3. Whenever you need to search the event log data, you simply go to the web UI, and have dashboards, reports, and keyword search across all the audit trails collected from all your systems.

And all of this is available for a low $30 per server per month subscription fee.

Check out this video on how the service works:

Read more about the service and start your free 30 day trial here.


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The posts on this blog are provided “as is” with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer Jelastic or anyone else for that matter. All trademarks acknowledged.

© 2008-2012 Dmitry Sotnikov

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