The discussion about cloud, cloud services and PLM cloud availability remains hot in the industry. The number of PLM vendors supporting ‘cloud’ model is growing. The same needs to be said with regards to the different approaches used by cloud PLM. Vendors are trying to bring the cloud in PLM game with different forms of technologies, business and product configurations.The variety of cloud approaches is going from very IT oriented IaaS option to very business oriented cloud services / SaaS.
When established PLM vendors and different startup companies are innovating with business and technologies, the competition between infrastructure providers in the cloud business is also heating up. HP is one of the companies that demostrated their interest in cloud business. As a newcomer in “cloud business”, HP is trying to challnge existing players like Amazon, Google and others. I had a chance to read GigaOM article – What HP cloud chief wants you to know about HP cloud? Read the article and make your conclusion. HP is trying to challenge public cloud platform providers by attacking some of their weaknesses in the business cloud space – reliability, services, SLA, etc. This is my favorite passage:
It’s true that it’s still early days for enterprise cloud and HP contends that big companies want more reliability and service than is available now in any public cloud. They also want “raw” service level agreements (SLAs) in which we’ll guarantee you this much performance or will pay you for it,” Singh said. “We think our SLAs will emerge as a differentiator for any cloud vendor,” Singh said.
HP says its SLAs for object storage and CDN offer 99.95 percent availability compared to 99.90 percent for Amazon storage and CDN. HP recognizes one failed instance as “unavailable” while AWS says all running instances have to be without external connectivity to be categorized as such.
HP will go after enterprise workloads — traditional mission-critical jobs as well as newer “mobile stuff.” And enterprise customers have been unwilling to commit mission critical loads to cloud yet, in his view. There are “many customers that won’t commit to the VMware or the IBM stack yet,” he said. Many of HP’s current enterprise customers want an HP cloud, he said.
Good enough vs. IT driven
GigaOM article made me think one fundamental difference between consumer and enterprise space. In the consumer space, software services vendors are approaching “end users”. It means, actual services consumers are involved into the decision making. In the enterprise (and PLM), software service providers are selling to IT agents. In my view, the decision models of “end-users” and “agents” are fundamentally different. I can see end-users more focused on how service can help them to “get a job done”. For many end users, the criteria to decide can be summarized as “good enough service”. At the same time, agent-sales includes much more politics and going trough many levels of compicated decision making focused on internal company processes and policies.
What is my conclusion? Will PLM wait for HP cloud? IMHO, I don’t believe so. I can see the point of proposing valuable advantages to simplify IT-driven decision about PLM. At the same time, IT is one of the organization that potentially can be disrupted by cloud -services. My hunch – there is a conflict here. The process of IT-driven cloud decision making will be long and painful. The cost of “debating with IT” will be huge for cloud providers like HP. Amazon and Google are less interested in these discussions. What about end users? Many manufacturing companies that looking for solution “today” will not be able to wait and will proceed with “good enough” decision. Just my thoughts…