|By Marty Gauvin||
|April 15, 2010 05:30 AM EDT||
Virtual Ark General Session at Cloud Expo
Cloud Expo General SessionSpeaker Marty Gauvin believes that 3G-SaaS – the combined effect of Cloud Computing and outsourcing with application management – will drive the use of IT for a significant period of time. "The capacity for well-executed 3G-SaaS to revolutionize IT sourcing is profound," he writes. Here he sets out the Virtual Ark vision in detail.
Outsourcing is entering its third generation with the advent of the Cloud.
The first iteration of outsourcing was “your mess for less”, followed by second generation strategic or selective sourcing, which included hosting and early Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings.
The adoption of these second generation SaaS services was constrained by their high fixed costs and rigid contract terms. So much of what customers and vendors take for granted in their sourcing frameworks has its roots in the assumption that infrastructure is expensive and fixed.
It is extraordinary how far and how fast things can change when these constraints are removed!
Due to the emergence of Cloud Computing, Third Generation Outsourcing stands to materially revolutionize and challenge traditional outsourcing models in a way that no previous models have.
Third Generation Software-as-a-Service (3G-SaaS) uses the on-demand flexibility of Cloud infrastructure services from companies such as Amazon, Rackspace and Microsoft to deliver existing enterprise applications more flexibly and more affordably than ever before. Widely used by smaller businesses, the 3G-SaaS model offers substantial competitive advantages to enterprises through a “pay-as-you-use” system that reduces fixed costs for IT and increases flexibility for rapidly responding to market demands.
To date, there has been a significant gap between the Cloud vendors such as Amazon, Rackspace or Microsoft and the customer, such as an enterprise prepared to SaaS-enable a core business application or an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) seeking to deploy its application in the Cloud.
This provides opportunity for value-added service providers as Cloud technology has reached a point of maturity where objections to its use by enterprise organizations are more perceptual than actual.
Virtual Ark is evidence of that fact.
Rather than being a “cloud vendor”, Virtual Ark is a Cloud and Application Management expert that already uses Cloud services on behalf of enterprise customers to deliver core business applications utilizing a 3G-SaaS model with consumption-based pricing similar to that delivered on Public Clouds.
Virtual Ark commenced operation in July 2009. The company is backed by private shareholding and the investment bank, Baron Partners. Its key shareholders and management team – which has worked together for a decade – sold their previous company to the Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group for US$64m. Current Virtual Ark partners include Grid Dynamics, Ingres, TechnologyOne, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Rackspace. As a result, customers can choose their preferred application as a 3G-SaaS solution. Because of our expertise and use of Public Cloud infrastructure services, Virtual Ark has virtually instant international reach, enabling customers to use their applications globally, quickly and easily.
The name Virtual Ark draws on the concept that the ‘ark’ is the place where a civilization secures its most precious resources. The ‘virtual ark’ is the ideal metaphor for how enterprises must view their information and its migration to this new generation of services. The Virtual Ark platform supports a range of existing enterprise applications including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Financial, Web, Content Management Systems and line-of-business applications across a wide range of industries.
When I started putting Virtual Ark together with a team that had worked firstly in ‘conventional’ IT outsourcing and then in the selective sourcing world of the past 10 years, I recognized that the capacity for well-executed 3G-SaaS to revolutionize IT sourcing is profound.
The Public Cloud infrastructure that enables enterprises to benefit from the 3G-SaaS opportunity is already widely available in North America and Europe. Also, Amazon, Rackspace and Microsoft Azure all plan to build out their Asian Cloud presence during 2010.
While Virtual Ark’s initial focus is on North America and Europe, it is actively engaging with partners in other regions, including Asia. Some applications will perform acceptably in Asia today, so we are already working with ISVs in this region.
Because most Cloud vendors are focused on the small to medium enterprise market, this sector is hotly contested for commoditized SaaS and Cloud services.
By contrast, the top end of the enterprise market has been slow to adopt SaaS and Public Clouds. This is primarily because it is a much more complex market and thus more difficult to address. Likewise, Independent Software Vendors have been slow to bring SaaS versions of their products to this market because of the perceived cost and complexity of doing so. Virtual Ark works with ISV partners to SaaS-enable their applications. There is typically very little coding required by our ISV partners of their original applications and Virtual Ark does almost all of the work necessary to SaaS-enable these applications. Significantly for the enterprise, multi-tenancy is not a requirement in order for Virtual Ark to SaaS-enable core business applications.
The opportunity for Virtual Ark is to enable these large enterprise customers to continue using applications they are comfortable with while gaining the benefits of the Cloud. Virtual Ark removes almost all of the barriers I’ve outlined! As such, we expect to be at the forefront of 3G-SaaS and Cloud take-up by the top end of the enterprise market. Virtual Ark challenges traditional views of outsourcing, Cloud security, SaaS and the likely adoption of Public Cloud services by large enterprise customers globally.
Although major enterprises have been reluctant to run core business applications in the Cloud due to concerns about security, these questions are now answered by Virtual Ark. Of course, enterprises require a risk analysis process to systematically identify and assess the relevant aspects of their chosen computing model or service. This equips them to analyze risk by examining the technical and process dimensions of a specific implementation rather than trying to second-guess the security needs of a generic service identified as “Cloud Computing”.
Security in the Cloud isn’t bad, it’s just different. It is essential to take a measured, careful approach to security issues. This approach should apply whether you protect a person, a physical asset or your data. What changes are the risks and threats to which you respond.
In the case of Cloud-enabled applications, techniques such as encryption and overlay tools are available to achieve significant security accreditation when implemented correctly. Against that evaluated risk are the substantial competitive advantages offered by 3G-SaaS – managed application services in the Cloud – which include the significant reduction of fixed IT costs by enabling “pay-as-you-go” usage.
With no underlying fixed cost of infrastructure, Virtual Ark 3G-SaaS applications in the Cloud offer very flexible billing models. While billing may vary between applications, all are aligned as closely as possible to a sensible consumption-based pricing model. Some use “number of users per hour”; others use “by transaction”. This flexibility is in stark contrast to traditional 2G SaaS options, such as Salesforce.com, which are typically billed on a minimum number of user licenses over contract terms of two years or more.
By leveraging existing Cloud service providers, the pay-as-you-go model of 3G-SaaS enables ISVs to align licensing as closely as possible to how the customer consumes the application. This is the central tenet of Virtual Ark’s approach to delivering 3G-SaaS because it equips our ISV partners with a strategic advantage over their competitors.
Customers can choose to have no minimum contract term obligation. This could apply where a customer converts an existing on-premise solution to our 3G-SaaS model. Customers can license the Virtual Ark Platform in the Cloud and simply “take over the keys” to drive the application themselves without any migration. The flexibility of 3G-SaaS means customers are free to leave at any time. But they won’t!
If the application is new to the customer, implementation service costs will depend on their specific needs. However, implementation timetables are massively reduced by using Virtual Ark’s templated solutions and because our 3G-SaaS software can be deployed instantly. Accordingly, at Virtual Ark, we “eat our own dog food” by maintaining all our business systems in the Cloud. That gives us both the flexibility and the focus to meet our customers’ emerging needs for SaaS-enabled applications in the Cloud.
Another enterprise concern about utilizing the Cloud has arisen from the SME Cloud vendor emphasis on the primacy of multi-tenancy applications. That concern is no longer valid. In our view, the security, integration and performance requirements of large enterprise customers are ill-suited to multi-tenant solutions. This is a key reason why SaaS has not been taken up more strongly by this market segment and why many ISVs have not modified their applications to be multi-tenant.
Today, the Virtual Ark 3G-SaaS Application Management Platform can manage dedicated instances of the application for specific customer needs as if they were “one” application instance.
Virtual Ark sees this as an important differentiator in its value proposition. The powerful business driver for enterprise adoption of the Cloud for core business applications is the need to build flexibility into an organization, so it can rapidly respond to both opportunities and threats. The Global Financial Crisis has demonstrated to businesses globally that we face an unpredictable future with a greater rate of change. In that environment, winners will be those that can best adapt to new circumstances.
Virtual Ark believes that 3G-SaaS – the combined effect of Cloud Computing and outsourcing with application management – will drive the use of IT for a significant period of time. Enterprise customers will depend upon successfully leveraging this confluence of trends to secure their business operations, IP, data and future.
Cloud Expo, Cloud Expo East, Cloud Expo West, Cloud Expo Silicon Valley, Cloud Expo Europe, Cloud Expo Tokyo, Cloud Expo Prague, Cloud Expo Hong Kong, Cloud Expo Sao Paolo are trademarks and /or registered trademarks (USPTO serial number 85009040) of Cloud Expo, Inc.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu, a leading provider of cloud hosting solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to foc...
May. 24, 2016 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,063
SYS-CON Events announced today the How to Create Angular 2 Clients for the Cloud Workshop, being held June 7, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified. Now it’s a component-based well-performing framework. The immersive one-day workshop led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and...
May. 24, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,826
Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for companies, and it’s imperative that brands seamlessly connect the customer journey across all platforms. With the continued explosion of IoT, join us for a look at how to build a winning digital foundation in the connected era – today and in the future. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Nguyen, Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how to successfully leverage mobile, rapidly deploy content, capture real-time d...
May. 24, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,344
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? How do you coordinate the diverse moving parts that must come together when developing your IoT product? What are the key challenges addressed by Data as a Service? How does cloud computing underlie and connect the notions of Digital and DevOps What is the impact of the API economy? What is the business imperative for Cognitive Computing? Get all these questions and hundreds more like them answered at the 18th Cloud Expo...
May. 24, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,038
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
May. 24, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,725
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
May. 24, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 961
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
May. 24, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 666
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
May. 24, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 846
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
May. 24, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 684
SYS-CON Events announced today that 24Notion has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. 24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to con...
May. 24, 2016 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,673
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
May. 24, 2016 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,947
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT's direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...
May. 24, 2016 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,034
SYS-CON Events announced today BZ Media LLC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and Commercial Drone markets.
May. 24, 2016 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,376
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
May. 24, 2016 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,392
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
May. 24, 2016 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,004
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
May. 23, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,619
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit y...
May. 23, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,824
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
May. 23, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,668
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will discuss the vast to...
May. 23, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,338
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
May. 23, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,798