Canadian Hybrid Cloud on Microsoft

gladstoneMicrosoft realizes that cloud presents an amazing opportunity to rethink the role that IT plays in defining winning business strategies and they have come up with Hybrid cloud to help businesses cloud optimize their business.

Gladstone Grant announces this for Canada here.

The Microsoft’s hybrid cloud lets you move the workloads easily from your hosting service provider’s datacenter or enterprise’s datacenter while maintaining a complete view of the entire infrastructure.

It enables you to develop hybrid applications which leverage both cloud and on-premises resources. You can also take advantage of backup, recovery and storage options with enhanced efficiency and significantly reduced cost.

Basically, the hybrid cloud model which blends the elements of private and public cloud, is primarily a private cloud which allows an organization to knock into a public cloud where and when it makes sense.

In general, all cloud models provide security measures to keep apps and data secure. However, if we compare the hybrid cloud model to a public cloud, then it becomes visibly clear that hybrid cloud model offers a much higher level of security for sensitive instances and data.

The major benefits that Hybrid Cloud offers include:

  • It can transform your datacenter while making you capable of unlocking insights on any data

  • It empowers people-centric IT

  • Consistency across clouds with familiar resources and tools

  • Extends your existing datacenter with familiar identity & development solutions and a consistent management toolset.

  • Offers enterprise grade security and performance in both cloud and datacenter

  • Meets rapidly changing business requisites with astonishing flexibility

  • Delivers capacity on demand perfectly

The three platforms on which Microsoft is offering Hybrid cloud services include:

Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows Server 2012 R2 offers a multi-tenant enterprise class datacenter to businesses along with a cloud infrastructure which simplifies the process of deployment of IT services.  On this platform, you can get cost effective multi-node business permanence scenarios with at-scale disaster recovery and high service uptime.

As an web platform and open application, Windows Server 2012 R2 helps you to develop, deploy and scale high density websites and modern applications for the cloud and the datacenter. It also makes IT capable of empowering the users by providing them with flexible policy based resources while efficiently protecting the corporate information.

System Center 2012

Microsoft envisions a new era of IT with a consistent platform for all, data, applications and infrastructure, which they call as Cloud OS. The cloud OS spans your service provider datacenters, data center environment and Wimdows Azure enabling the organizations to easily cloud optimize their businesses at highly affordable prices.

Microsoft’s System Center 2012 R2 delivers agile system administration and unified management for the Microsoft’s Cloud OS by offering unswerving management experiences Windows Azure, service provider and on-premises environments. Some of the exceptional features that Data System 2012 delivers include enterprise class capabilities, cost efficiency, simplicity and a hybrid enabled application focused approach.

Windows Azure

Windows Azure enables you to use cloud along with your existing applications and infrastructure, leveraging common skills, technologies and tools.

It addresses your heterogeneous IT requisites from Microsoft .Net to Java, SQL to Oracle & HADOOP databases, Windows Server to Linux quite efficiently.  Windows Azure seamlessly integrates with your existing infrastructure & IT assets like no other cloud while providing a flexible, open and broad platform backed with reliability and security you can depend on.

hybrid-cancloud4Hybrid Cloud in Canada

Microsoft Canada also promoted three of its latest products  Visual Studio 2013, Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2, by bringing forward the fact that these products will allow you meet the rising demands of both, private and public clouds.

They also promoted that by using our System Center, enterprises can easily manage private, public and standard cloud infrastructures and the Active Directory will enable to maintain a single entity across any infrastructure. It was also mentioned that an European Telecom company Telefonica S.A has deployed Microsoft’s private cloud solution for virtualizing thousands of their servers.

There are several companies who are providing Hybrid Cloud services in Canada as enterprises are taking interest to deploy the same in order to reap the benefits that this new technology has to offer.

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Is now the time to put backup data to the cloud?

All cloud requirements are not created equal

Today, cloud technologies mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. One thing is for sure, the way one organization leverages a cloud technology is unique from others. As long as we’ve had a robust portfolio of cloud storage technologies, the natural decision exists to identify what data would be good for a storage cloud.

Public cloud storage is a great technology, in fact, it’s long overdue and we may be surprised that it has taken this long to arrive. Finding the use cases can be a challenge today and into the future. But cloud storage may have an option that seems too good to be true: offsite storage of backup data.

There are many indicators that cloud storage can be an excellent resource for backup data, the first of which is cost. Like storage solutions on-premise, there can always be a storage solution of lesser cost. The same goes for cloud storage, it seems there is a virtual race to free going on right now. Another indicator that cloud technologies are a good candidate for backup data is the simple fact that they are offsite. It sounds simple enough, but there are a lot of hurdles to moving data offsite for some organizations. The steadfast example here is tape, which oddly isn’t well revered yet is still widely used. One last indicator that backup data is a good candidate for a storage cloud is the fundamental unlimited amount of storage available. It’s very difficult to predict storage needs; so the growth capabilities of a public storage cloud can work in favor of uncertainty.

With any cloud decision (and storage decision for that matter), there needs to be solid controls in place. The fundamental unit of control for cloud storage specific to backup data is encryption. Encryption can take on multiple forms for cloud storage. Transfers are usually encrypted via SSL or similar technologies, much like logging into a secure web site over the web; and for some situations that is where it stops. The sophisticated cloud storage solution will put backup data to the cloud encrypted before it leaves (which in that step is encrypted as well). That way, backup data landing on a public storage cloud can be encrypted in a process that is managed and controlled by the owner of that backup data.

Cloud Storage Conceptual View

No two clouds are the same; and the same goes for backup data profiles. Will cloud storage be a viable option for backup data? For some will it serve the exclusive need, for others possibly in addition to other backup data techniques? Share your comments below.

Editor’s note: Rick Vanover works for Veeam Software, a client of Canada Cloud

ZScaler – Enabling business beyond the corporate network

An example of a Cloud service available in Canada is ZScaler.

Based in San Jose the company operates a global network of data centres from which they provide a managed service for implementing Cloud Security best practices.

For an in-depth introduction to this capability, recommended reads are their white paper ZScaler – Why Cloud-based Security: Zscaler why_cloud_delivered_security (18-page PDF), and the corporation presentation: Zscaler Corp Overview 10.02.12 (1) (2o-page PDF).

An example of the type of scenario where this could be applied is described in our Solution Accelerator called ‘Cloud VDI for Healthcare‘. This looks at how the growing trends of BYOD – Bring Your Own Device, will manifest in Healthcare.

ZScaler can be used for key requirements like these, offering Cloud-based security monitoring of the content and applications being delivered to the device.

Local contact is through Sales Manager Doug Smith – Reach out on Linkedin here.

Ping Identity Adds Customers and Jobs in Canada

Image representing Ping Identity Corporation a...

Image via CrunchBase

Company Taps into Canadian Identity Security Market and Finds Talented People to Expand Canadian Operations

VANCOUVER — August 28, 2012 — Ping Identity®, The Cloud Identity Security Leader™, today announced growth in business and employment opportunities in Canada. In the first half of 2012, more than 40 Canadian organizations, including Aldo, CIBC, the City of Calgary, Four Seasons, Pure Energy, RBC, Shaw Communication, TD Bank, TELUS, and Canada’s top two telecommunications companies have selected Ping Identity for single sign-on (SSO) and cloud identity management solutions. In addition, Ping Identity has expanded its operations into five Canadian provinces with offices in Calgary, Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver, and has doubled its Canadian employee-base within the last year.

Ping Identity has emerged as the vendor of choice for Canadian companies looking for standards-based cloud identity management software and solutions, and has tapped into the country’s strong supply of engineering talent to help meet growing demand for identity management solutions.

“Consumerization and mobility has forced us to evolve our IT strategy and find an identity management solution that allows us to securely and conveniently access our cloud applications,” said Zachary Curry, director of information systems and technology at Pure Energy. “Implementing Ping Identity’s technology enables us to provide tighter security and higher-quality identity management solutions than ever before, and we look forward to further developing our relationship.”

Ping Identity’s expansion in Canada mirrors the company’s overall growth and the rich pool of software talent available in the country. The majority of Ping Identity’s engineering and CTO teams are now stationed in Canada and the company plans to fill eight open positions this fall to meet immediate demand.

“Canadian organizations recognize the role identity plays in helping drive mobile, cloud and social networks, and are seeking solutions that provide secure access to these critical business applications,” said Neil McEvoy, CEO of the Cloud Best Practices Network. “Ping Identity is setting the bar in product, customer and employee excellence by hiring some of the best identity security talent in the region, and it’s exciting to see the benefits Canadian enterprises are realizing with cloud identity management solutions.”

Ping Identity is further expanding its presence in Canada by aligning with strategic partners and resellers across the country. The company recently partnered with CSC and works with other integrators like Sheepdog Inc. to reinforce its investment in Canada by helping provide thousands of users with Ping Identity’s identity management solutions.

“Businesses in Canada are increasingly looking for identity management solutions that provide top-quality security while remaining user-friendly and easy to install,” said Gary Compagnon, director of sales and marketing atSheepdog, Inc. “We are excited to work with Ping Identity to help expand their success in Canada and continue to offer its cloud identity security solutions to our customers.”

Ping Identity will also attend and exhibit at several top-tier security events in Canada this fall, including two iTech Summits and the SecTor Conference. The company will also host its first Cloud Identity Summit event in Canada, held on November 7 in Toronto.

“More and more Canadian organizations are realizing the role standards-based cloud identity management solutions play in helping to ensure not just the integrity of vital information, but enabling security as well,” said Doug French, Canadian regional manager, Ping Identity. “We’re excited with the momentum generated over the past 12 months and look forward to growing our Canadian footprint substantially in 2012 and beyond.”

About Ping Identity | The Cloud Identity Security Leader
Ping Identity provides cloud identity security solutions to more than 800 of the world’s largest companies, government organizations and cloud businesses. With a 99% customer satisfaction rating, Ping Identity empowers45 of the Fortune 100 to secure hundreds of millions of employees, customers, consumers and partners using secure, open standards like SAML, OpenID and OAuth. Businesses that depend on the Cloud rely on Ping Identity to deliver simple, proven and secure cloud identity management through single sign-on, federated identity management, mobile identity security, API security, social media integration, and centralized access control. Visit pingidentity.com for more information.

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Ping Identity Contacts

Jil Backstrom
Ping Identity Corporation
303.468.2884 (Direct) – 303.913.1650 (Mobile)
jbackstrom@pingidentity.com
Follow Us on Twitter: @PingIdentity
Join our LinkedIn Group: Ping Identity Cloud
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel: PingIdentityTV
Like Us on Facebook: PingIdentityPage

Whitney Parker
fama PR
617-986-5011 (Direct)
pingidentity@famapr.com

Reducing Risk with Encryption for Multi-Tenant Environments

English: Amazon Virtual Private Cloud diagram

One of the biggest hurdles to cloud adoption is undeniably security. In particular, public cloud services are often under scrutiny as to whether a multi-tenant environment is actually secure. Let’s face it, production virtualized environments are a newer trend, which means that security was never really an issue.

As more business critical resources become virtualized, there is an increasing need to ensure the right security controls are in place. Until recently, multi-tenant encryption solutions weren’t particularly effective. Key management being one of the key reasons for the avoidance, as the portability of VMs across multiple physical servers meant advanced encryption key requirements.

AFORE Solutions Inc., a Cloud Security and Solution Provider, recently announced the release of their CloudLink™ 2.0 with Secure Virtual Storage Appliance, the first solution that enables cloud-based DR solutions to meet key regulatory and compliance requirements . This appliance provides a storage repository that can be accessed by VMs hosted in the cloud. Most encryption is currently applied through storage gateway methods which means it is only encrypted as it is sent to the cloud. CloudLink™ Secure VSA encrypts and protects data at all times, which is particularly important in highly regulated industries. The keys are managed by the enterprise and encryption keys can be controlled through Active integration.

CloudLink™ Secure VSA has already proven itself in Amazon VPC™ (Virtual Private Cloud), VMware vCloud™ Director environments and CA AppLogic based clouds. The main reason for the success is that organizations want to take advantage of the many benefits of the cloud model. If a provider can offer compliant environments, there is an immediate advantage.

Disk encryption is one of the key security controls used in enterprises to reduce the threat of data loss. The same methodology applies to cloud environments where you need to reduce the risk of unauthorized access as much as possible. Having the ability to encrypt individual VMs means an additional (and significant) layer of security to help protect your business critical resources.

Microsoft Aggressive in the Cloud at Toronto Partner Conference

Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner said yesterday that the company would “respect everyone but fear no one” in going after competitors.

Microsoft will be competitively active in cloud computing, virtualization, security, mobile, workplace software and operating systems.

In the virtualization space, Turner shared IDC research showing that Microsoft’s virtualization software based on its Hyper-V hypervisor gained market share in the x86 segment in the first quarter of 2012.  Understand though that VMware still has double the share of Microsoft.

Microsoft is particularly targeting Google and Salesforce with its Microsoft’s Office 365 the cloud version of Office. Microsoft Dynamics customer relationship management (CRM) software in the cloud and Office 365 CRM now are presented as having more features and a lower per-seat cost than Salesforce.

Wrapping up his talk, Turner told partners to pitch the cloud agressively.  “I don’t want 1 thousand a month, I want 10,000, I want 30,000, I want 50,000 partners a month coming to the cloud,” said Turner. “Many of you haven’t made the shift. You gotta get on the cloud, if you’re not, because it is the future. It’s where the customer is going.”

For more insight on the show see: Microsoft prepares Windows Server 2012 for cloud. The article reports on how Microsoft has released a new set of technologies for hosting Azure-like cloud services.

Microsoft’s aggressive push this week will help accelerate cloud adoption rates.  A good thing for us all….

Boardsuite – Pioneering Canadian-secured BPaaS model

Oscar Jofre, Founder and CEO of Boardsuite, tells a very compelling story for the global potential of this Canadian Cloud Venture.

First and foremost it brings up the most common Cloud topic – Patriot Act fears, and repeats again the opportunity this presents for the Canadian Cloud industry.

Imagine if the data you were concerned about being accessible to that act was your corporate boardroom documents: Directors pay, upcoming stock market releases, .. etc.

Yeah exactly, so Boardsuite offers a SaaS option for securely storing these documents, and because they host in a SAS-70-approved data centre in Canada, they can offer a unique type of peace of mind and security, a higher class of information security that deserves its own official rank of Canadian Cloud Security ; or at least, a marketing branding campaign to this effect.

As the name suggests BoardSuite is for the executive team, the most powerful folks in the organization, and it’s VIP documents. All public firms must go through these workflows and the execs are liable for any related issues with big fines and jail time involved for if it goes wrong.

So the app clearly scratches a market itch, with the key point to highlight being how the Canadian brand adds more impact to this value. With expertise in key topics like Cloud Privacy, Canada has the opportunity to be the “Switzerland of the Cloud”, a safe location for Cloud vaulting any highly secure data.

BPaaS Innovation

BoardSuite isn’t interesting just for this aspect. What is even more exciting is their innovative use of the lesser known “BPaaS” Cloud model.

Where SaaS is software and IaaS is infrastructure-as-a-service, BPaaS is Business Process-as-a-Service. This is ultimately where the market will head, and in BoardSuite’s case it works through the fact they provide the SaaS for free. That’s right, you can go online and get an entirely free boardroom app.

Once you need to start filing various compliance-required documents, you”ll need to fork out various admin costs to do so, and in many cases people hire lawyers and others to do this for then. So why not simply file it automatically as you’re managing the workflow itself, via BoardSuite? It’s cheaper, faster and more convenient anyway.

So BoardSuite is BPaaS because you’re not even renting software, as a service, any more because you’re actually renting the business process, the ‘File a Tax Return’ process for $150 a time or whatever. They’re charging you per process conducted, not by users accessing software.

The simplicity and sales-enabling nature of this model is why it will take off so quickly once it settles and grows into various niche markets like this.

Anatomy of a Canadian Cloud Venture, Part 2 – Futurestate IT

When I set out to start profiling ‘Canadian Cloud Ventures’ I didn’t expect to get quite so lucky.

The first was Connect 2 Fans, and the second is Futurestate IT, and I’ve been lucky for a couple of reasons that entirely fulfill the exact purpose of this Canada Cloud initiative.

The objective is to showcase innovations in the Canadian Cloud Computing industry, and in particular shine a spotlight on start-up ventures who are leveraging the technology as the catalyst for their innovation. C2F is based on the Microsoft Azure Cloud and Futurestate IT on Amazon, so the first benefit is a comparative review of the two main ‘tier 1’ IaaS providers.

Gazelles and High-Growth Entrepreneurs

Most importantly both are examples of what a recent report calls ‘Gazelles’.

Like many other reports focused on the ‘Innovation Gap’ issue that Canada wrestles with, it concludes with simple but critical points about the fundamentals of Canada’s innovation ecosystem, most notably a shortage of these firms that the OECD classifies as ‘Gazelles’.

These are start-ups that punch well above their weight, driving more jobs and growth pound for pound than any other organization and hence why they are so important to economic success overall.

This important factor is reported here on Action Canada and also covered in the media, like Globe and Mail and the Financial Post, and also on the NCA, and the report concludes that Canada is falling short of producing enough of them.

Hence why it’s such a find to be able to profile two of them, and critically highlight how the common factor is that the key enabling foundation is Cloud Computing. That`s such an important point it needs repeating :-

It`s the Cloud that is enabling these start-ups to act as Gazelles, and this commodization of IT makes this principle more accessible to others too. It is a panacea for Canada`s innovation woes.

To explain this we can see that the main characteristics of Gazelles are defined as:

  • Young firms who are pioneering disruptive business models, with the potential to “transform industries through novel technologies or business models”.
  • A strong ability and focus on rapid prototyping and breakthrough product innovations, quickly bringing these disruptive services to high-growth markets.

They also describe global growth ambitions as another factor but highlight the lack of these big ambitions from Canadian entrepreneurs, with few aspiring to grow beyond the local Canadian market, and that:

“If Canada is to increase its global competitiveness, its economy will need to move up the global value chain intohigher levels of innovation-based production.”

Platform for Global Expansion

This is exactly one of the defining properties of what the Cloud does for these new entrepreneurs.

Leveraging the power of the Cloud, Futurestate IT has created AppRx, an innovative application management solution that can be used to support the core functions of “evergreening” an IT estate by organizations worldwide. You can test apps to see if they are out of date, and if they are, migrate them and keep them current going forward.

AppRx provides automated testing of applications for migration to Windows 7, Server 2008, IE 8/9 or virtualization platforms.

Alex Topitsch, CEO, has been involved in this field for a number of years and he explained that before the Cloud, the work was so labor intensive that it was challenging to expand even beyond Toronto, let alone internationally.

The Cloud has literally globalized their service. One of the key benefits of Amazon is the different geo-specific services they offer, so that Futurestate can offer their clients hosting services from a number of locations throughout the world, relevant to their preferences.

American hosting for USA customers and other locations, like Ireland, for those with Patriot Act type concerns.

Cloud Product Innovation

It’s also about far more than just global app hosting, which has been around for years, but more importantly the new product-enabling role that Cloud plays in these innovative IT services.

Cyril Monpellier, Director of Development, explained that the key factor about Amazon is how it enables programmatic access to their resources. In short Futurestate can write Microsoft .net software in such a way that it can directly call on the full suite of Amazon Cloud Services, from S3 Storage through compute and more, so that their own product is dynamic and hugely scalable.

This includes keeping applications running smoothly on a daily basis in the face of a continuous barrage of fixes, patches, feature enhancements and upgrades issued by software vendors, so this is an essential backbone of the enabling role that the Cloud plays.

Also with an eye back to the Patriot Act type fears that are still common to the Cloud conversation security is also a critical success factor, and this is also an area where Amazon is especially strong. They offer various advanced features for ensuring clients apps and data are entirely secured throughout the process.

Read more in this Amazon white paper (24 page PDF) to learn more about the details of these Amazon security features.

Disruptive innovation

The benefits don’t stop there. Indeed you would be forgiven for thinking that Futurestate IT should pay more than what they used to for this enhanced level of IT platform and how it helps their business.

Incredibly it`s the opposite – Not only is it hugely superior but it`s also massively cheaper! Alex quantified this by breaking down the costs to a per user level, with a before and after looking like this:

  • Traditional IT: $500+/user per year
  • Amazon: $18/user per year

Mind-blowing eh. And of course the key point is that Futurestate can pass on this cost efficiency to their clients, baked into their on demand service.

Given that Gartner predict that 250 million desktops will need to migrate to Windows 7 before April 2014 due to Microsoft ceasing support for Windows XP desktop and Windows 2008 server, there are clearly some large market needs that Futurestate will enable resellers, integrators and Cloud hosting providers to tap into.

A globalized platform that offers a step-change level of cost-efficiency for doing so is clearly capable of the industry transformation that the Gazelle report calls for.

Canadian Hybrid SaaS Project Using the Alberta SuperNet

The Alberta SuperNet is a perfect model for secure “Hybrid SaaS” for government.  The key is a complete layer 2 network is in place to reach 4000 Government locations.

Through multiple Gbps links from RackForce’s cloud and VLANS we can deliver access to cloud infrastructure and services behind the customer’s firewall from our Kelowna, Calgary and Toronto cloud centers.

We have chosen VMware’s vCloud as our cloud delivery technology. VMware’s virtualization technology is present in most data centers so the customer can move partially or fully to the cloud with relative ease and high confidence.

With vCloud Director and vCloud Connector the Customer now has the ability to manage virtual data centers at any vCloud Powered Provider data center and/or on their own site(s).

Now what is really cool about vCloud and vCloud Providers (like RackForce) is you now have a standardized cloud model in which you have the ability to setup your own catalog of application templates (called vApps) that are relevant to your orgnaization plus have the ability to access a huge App Store of applications that are pre-templated by the vendors and certified by VMware. The licenses either come from the customer or come from the vCloud provider. Essentially you can now turn any application into a SaaS delivered model even if it is an old Line of Business Application.

As far as Ontario and the rest of Canada goes the layer 2 network has to come from the carriers so instead minutes to deliver (in RackForce/SuperNet’s case) it usually takes a number of weeks as there is negotiation involved and sometimes construction. In our cloud model RackForce usually contracts with the carriers and manages the network as we can leverage our cross country backbone and buying power to keep costs way down. As of late we have been adding on Tier 1 Internet at 1/2th the cost as we are connected to Seattle and Toronto Internet exchanges and this is a cloud enabler for us.

It’s a little bit challenging to explain this in words alone but I hope this brings across how straight forward Hybrid SaaS can be now. There are still a few road bumps to work through but it is very doable and cloud innovators (cloud service providers, cloud solution providers and cloud customers) are seeing great success with this model.

Bell Canada pioneers Cloud Service Brokerage

Earlier today I interviewed hot Cloud venture AppDirect, a company that offers a white label platform for implementing ‘Cloud Service Brokering’.

This is one of the headline R&I focus areas for our road map.

On the back of a $3.25m VC deal last year, Appdirect is one of a number of pioneers in this super hot Cloud field, signing clients like Bell Canada, Deutsche Telecom, Sasktel and others, and as such has been suitably recognized by Gartner.

Check out the uber-cool Bell app marketplace here, and for Sasktel theirs is here.

Cloud Service Brokers

Brokering is one of the oldest fundamental models of business and so it’s logical it can be applied to Cloud too. Like any broker they aggregate services from multiple suppliers, in this case SaaS (Software as a Service) apps, like Salesforce.com for CRM or Constant Contact for email marketing, and help companies manage the complexities of increasing use of many of these different tools.

This includes features like single sign-on (eliminating the need to have duplicated username & password process for each one), as well as associated administration and billing. For example if a user leaves the company it’s a pain to have to go through each one and remove them. An AppDirect market builds in this kind of process automation.

The stats they told me about blew my mind and also explain the size of the problem statement they are addressing:

  • The number of SaaS apps they’re counting grew from 20 odds in 2009, to 100 in 2011 to 3,000+ in 2012
  • Gartner predicts an overall Cloud market of $177 billion by 2015, of which 20% will be delivered through CSBs

In addition to the volume of apps growth they’re also seeing an increase in the types of apps available via SaaS as well as also growth in the number of SaaS apps that small businesses are starting to use.

Given this dynamic telcos are the ideal candidates to act as the broker. They already provide small businesses with the building blocks of broadband and telephony services, so adding apps to the mix is a natural evolution, and this is the strategy Bell and others are pursuing.

As one of the first customers of AppDirect Bell are demonstrating global leadership in the Cloud field. Btw the AppDirect team themselves are Canadians but sadly shining a light back on the innovation gap issue again, they like others have moved to the USA to be able to drive this kind of tech innovation.

Cloud Innovation Platform

What was particularly interesting was that the CSB platform can also be used by the telco to automate provisioning and billing of their own existing products too, right through to core telephony. It can also be used by ISVs to enable innovative software marketplaces for extending their product too, integrating other apps and modules.

Think communities like the Apple apps store and you’re touching on where this could go. Appdirect customers in this area include Appcelerator, demonstrating just how much of an innovation-enabler this type of platform is… hint hint RIM.

Other key areas where there will be big growth in this trend include within the enterprise, as IT departments start to give up hugging servers and instead become internal ITaaS providers, and like we will be covering on our upcoming GovCloud 2.0 webinar, government agencies selling to other agencies.