I am getting settled in at the ranch after returning from a great trip to Denver that saw me visit four Gartner clients on Monday and attend the Glue conference Tuesday and Wednesday.
As usual, my client meetings got hot and heavy on Cloud computing real quick. What’s interesting to me is that three out of the four discussions turned into discussions around “how can we become aPaaS providers ourselves?” I also ran into a number of these conversations at the Glue conference. As an aside, it strikes me that there are a large number of very smart people trying to solve the aPaaS problem, which I will frame here:
1. Deliver the elastic, scalable, pay-as-you-go general purpose computing platform, and accompanying programming environment, that will offer the most value to businesses;
I believe the answer is one part product, and one part marketing. Most of the people I spoke with are focused on the product, which is a non-trivial issue by itself. Assuming you can get over that hurdle – if you build it, will they come? It remains to be seen exactly what comes out of all of the companies getting into the aPaaS game. I am sure many will go the way of Coghead, while others will rise to the top of the “next generation” of service providers. In the meantime, Salesforce’s Force.com and Google’s App Engine are informing the market – but will they end up owning it?
Part Deux: Glue
Glue is a smaller event (I would guess around 250-300 people were in attendance, tops) packed with interesting people from around the Web industry. Held in Denver, Glue leans heavily toward exposing the local talent in the Denver/Boulder technology corridor, although companies (mostly technology) from around the country sent representatives to the meeting. The small venue and generally high quality of content made this a very interesting conference for my Web & Cloud Application Development agenda, and I took the opportunity to meet with some brilliant folks that are advancing the technology.
There’s no way I can do justice to the talent on display at Glue in a single blog post, so I will just try to hit a few of the highlights that I think are worth talking about in my next blog post.