Oh Canada, Our Home and Native Apps

June 8, 2010

2 minute read

Microsoft wants software vendors to get their heads in the clouds…

That was the key message last week at the 3rd annual Independent Software Vendors (ISV) Leadership Summit at the headquarters of Microsoft Canada, the event that hosts the annual BlueSky ISV Innovation Excellence Award. (We recently became a Microsoft Gold Certified ISV Partner.)

The emphasis at the event was on the opportunity that the cloud presents for software vendors. Microsoft is “all in” with cloud computing and want us to join them.

About 200 ISVs from across Canada spent the day learning about new Microsoft technologies and strategies for ISV partners. It also gave us the opportunity to interact with Microsoft employees. I don’t know if it was intentional or mandated, but it was easy to spot them in the room because they were uniformly dressed in charcoal suits, black shoes, light shirt, no tie.

Eric Gales, the president of Microsoft Canada, has predicted the rapid adoption of the cloud – figuring that by 2014, cloud computing will account for:

  • Over 40% of IT spend
  • Over 45% of new enterprise IT workloads
  • Over 24% of all enterprise IT workloads

Business advantages of using the cloud are:

1. New Economics

  • Pay for use
  • OPEX vs CAPEX (operating expense vs capital expense)
  • Lower and predictable costs

2. Reduced Management

  • Faster deployment
  • Patch management automatic
  • Security
  • Reliability

3. Increased Productivity

  • Latest software is always available
  • International access to online services

Gladstone Grant, VP of Developer and Platform Evangelism delivered the technical keynote, providing an overview Microsoft’s “cumulous” offerings. It is important to understand the different categories of cloud products, otherwise it is too easy to get confused by the terminology.

Microsoft Online Services

Also known as BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite), these are SAAS (Software As A Service) products available on a subscription bases. They include:

  • SharePoint Online
  • Exchange Online
  • Office Communications Online
  • Office Live Meeting

Windows Azure Platform

These are the Platform As A Service (PAAS) products, and include:

  • Windows Azure
  • Microsoft SQL Azure

If you are not a software developer or ISV, Windows Azure will be of little interest to you because it is a platform on which to build an application. Once an application is built on Azure, it can be made available to end users as a SAAS product. One way to remember the difference is this:

SAAS – Consume it

PAAS – Build on it

It is clear that consumers and businesses are getting faster at adopting new technologies. Once businesses get over one of the major hurdles of using cloud resources, trusting that their data is secure, I believe we will see a race towards this technology.

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