Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Embarcadero brings self-service app store model to enterprises to target PCs and their universe of software

Embarcadero Technologies, a provider of database and application development software, recently announced AppWave, a free platform that provides self-service, one-click access to PC software within organizations for business PCs and even personal employee laptops.

Available via a free download, the AppWave platform gives users access to more than 250 free PC productivity apps for general business, marketing, design, data management, and development including OpenOffice, Adobe Acrobat Reader, 7Zip, FileZilla, and more.

AppWave users also can add internally developed and commercial software titles, such as Adobe Creative Suite products and Microsoft Visio, for on-demand access, control, and visibility into software titles they already own. [Disclosure: Embaradero Technologies is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

The so-called app store model, pioneered by Apple, is rapidly gaining admiring adopters thanks to its promise of reducing cost of distribution and of updates -- and also of creating whole new revenue streams and even deeper user relationships.

As mobile uses rapidly change the way the world accesses applications, data and services, the app store model is changing expectations and behaviors. And this is a good lesson for enterprises.

App stores work well for both users and providers, internal or external. The users are really quite happy with ordering what they need on the spot, as long as that process is quick, seamless, and convenient.

As with SOA registries, it now makes sense to explore how such "stores" can be created quickly and efficiently to distribute, manage, and govern how PC software is distributed inside of corporations.

The AppWave platform provides business users ways to quickly build productivity, and speed-to-value benefits for PC-based apps. Such approaches form an important advance as organizations pursue more efficient ways to track, manage, and deliver their worker applications, and bill for them based on actual usage.

Easily consumed

The AppWave platform converts valued, but often cumbersome business software into easily consumed and acquired "apps," so business users don't have to wait in line for IT to order, install, and approve the work tools that they really need without delay.

With AppWave, companies have a consumer-like app experience with the software they commonly use. With rapid, self-service access to apps, and real-time tracking and reporting of software utilization, the end result is a boost in productivity and lowering of software costs. Pricing to enable commercial and custom software applications to run as AppWave apps starts at $10 to $400 per app.

With rapid, self-service access to apps, and real-time tracking and reporting of software utilization, the end result is a boost in productivity and lowering of software costs.

Increasing demand for consumer-like technology experiences at work has forced enterprises to face some inconvenient truths about traditional application delivery models. Rather than wait many months for dated applications that take too long to install manually on request, business managers and end users alike are seeking self-provisioning alternatives akin to the consumer models they know from their mobile activities.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

HP hybrid cloud news shows emphasis on enabling the telcos and service providers first

HP at the Discover 2011 Conference in Vienna last week announced a wide range of new Cloud Solutions designed to advance deployment of private, public and hybrid clouds for enterprises, service providers, and governments. Based on HP Converged Infrastructure, the new and updated HP Cloud Solutions provide the hardware, software, services and programs rapidly and securely deliver IT as a service.

I found these announcements a clearer indicator of HP's latest cloud strategy, with an emphasis on enabling a global, verticalized and marketplace-driven tier of cloud providers. I've been asked plenty about HP's public cloud roadmap, which has been murky. This now tells me that HP is going first to its key service provider customers for data center and infrastructure enablement for their clouds.

This makes a lot of sense. The next generation of clouds -- and I'd venture the larger opportunity once the market settles -- will be specialized clouds. Not that Amazon Web Services, Google, and Rackspace are going away. But one-size fits all approaches will inevitably give way to specialization and localization. Telecos are in a great position to step up and offer these value-add clouds and services to their business customers. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

And HP is better off providing the picks and shovels to them in spades, than to come to market in catch-up mode with plain vanilla public cloud services under its own brand. It the classic clone strategy that worked for PCs, right? Partnerships and ecosystem alliances are the better way. A good example is the partnership announced last week with Savvis.

HP’s new offerings address the key areas of client needs – building differentiated cloud offerings, consuming cloud services from the public domain, and managing, governing and securing the entire environment. This again makes sense. No need for channel conflict on cloud services between this class of nascent cloud providers and the infrastructure providers themselves.

Expanding the ecosystem

Among the announcements was an expansion of the cloud ecosystem with new partners, offerings and programs:
  • New HP CloudSystem integrations with Alcatel-Lucent will enable communications services providers to deliver high-value cloud services using carrier-class network and IT by automating the provisioning and management of cloud resources.

  • HP CloudAgile Service Provider Program offers service providers expanded sales reach, an enhanced services portfolio and an accelerated sales cycle through direct access to HP’s global sales force. HP has expanded the program with its first European partners and with new certified hosting options that enable service providers to deliver reliable, secure private hosted clouds based on HP CloudSystem.

    Clients want to understand, plan, build and source for cloud computing in a way that allows them to gain agility, reduce risk, maintain control and ensure security.

  • HP CloudSystem Matrix 7.0, the core operating environment that powers HP CloudSystem, enables clients to build hybrid clouds with push-button access to externally sourced cloud-based IT resources with out-of-the-box “bursting capability.” This solution also includes automatic, on-demand provisioning of HP 3PAR storage to reduce errors and speed deployment of new services to just minutes.

  • The HP Cloud Protection Program spans people, process, policies and technologies to deliver a comparable level of security for a hybrid cloud as a private internet-enabled IT environment would receive. The program is supported by a Cloud Protection Center of Excellence that enables clients to test HP solutions as well as partner and third-party products that support cloud and virtualization protection.
Enterprise-class services

New and enhanced HP services that provide a cloud infrastructure as a service to address rapid and secure sourcing of compute services include:
Guidance and training

HP has also announced guidance and training to transform legacy data centers for cloud computing:
  • Three HP ExpertONE certifications – HP ASE Cloud Architect, HP ASE Cloud Integrator and HP ASE Master Cloud Integrator, which encompass business and technical content.

  • Expanded HP ExpertONE program that includes five of the industry’s largest independent commercial training organizations that deliver HP learning solutions anywhere in the world. The HP Institute delivers an academic program for developing HP certified experts through traditional two- and four-year institutions, while HP Press has expanded self-directed learning options for clients.

  • HP Cloud Curriculum from HP Education Services offers course materials in multiple languages covering cloud strategies. Learning is flexible, with online virtual labs, self study, classroom, virtual classroom and onsite training options offered through more than 90 HP education centers worldwide.

    The new offerings are the culmination of HP’s experience in delivering innovative technology solutions, as well as providing the services and skills needed to drive this evolution.

  • Driven by HP Financial Services, HP Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Cloud Roundtables help CFOs understand the benefits and risks associated with the cloud, while aligning their organizations’ technology and financial roadmaps.

  • HP Storage Consulting Services for Cloud, encompassing modernization and design, enable clients to understand their storage requirements for private cloud computing as well as develop an architecture that meets their needs.

  • HP Cloud Applications Services for Windows Azure accelerate the development or migration of applications to the Microsoft Windows Azure platform-as-a-service offering.
A recording of the HP Discover Vienna press conference and additional information about HP’s announcements at its premier client event is available at

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