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Self-Service, Automated Software Delivery to the Cloud

Exclusive Q&A with Alban Richard, CEO of UShareSoft

"Cloud computing is still in the early stages of adoption and demand will continue to grow," noted Alban Richard, CEO of UShareSoft, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. "Pricing, however, will vary," Richard continued. "Many cloud providers are playing a volume game and will reduce prices for compute, storage and network resources to meet the needs of price-sensitive customers."

Cloud Computing Journal: Just having the enterprise data is good. Extracting meaningful information out of this data is priceless. Agree or disagree?

Alban Richard: Agree. Making sure you collect data is an essential first step, and new technologies including cloud computing make data collection easier than ever. But there is little value inherent in the data itself. You need to be able to extract information that can be used in a concrete way to help set, then achieve your business goals and objectives.

Cloud Computing Journal: Forrester's James Staten: "Not everything will move to the cloud as there are many business processes, data sets and workflows that require specific hardware or proprietary solutions that can't take advantage of cloud economics. For this reason we'll likely still have mainframes 20 years from now." Agree or disagree?

Richard: Agree. The functionality currently provided by mainframe and legacy applications will start moving to the cloud, but it will take time. Technical and business requirements will drive the decision about if and when applications should move to the cloud. However, as cloud computing matures and issues such as security are resolved, we expect to see more and more applications and business IT functionality moving to the cloud.

Cloud Computing Journal: The price of cloud computing will go up - so will the demand. Agree or disagree or....?

Richard: Agree on demand. Cloud computing is still in the early stages of adoption and demand will continue to grow. However, pricing will vary. Many cloud providers are playing a volume game and will reduce prices for compute, storage and network resources to meet the needs of price-sensitive customers. However, as the cost of these resources goes down, opportunities for new, revenue-generating services - such as custom software delivery and on-demand managed services - will open up. Other cloud providers will be looking to differentiate themselves with these services. UShareSoft's platform enables cloud providers to offer self-service, automated software delivery to the cloud, and as such, we're uniquely positioned to help cloud providers take advantage of these new opportunities.

Cloud Computing Journal: Rackspace is reporting an 80% growth from cloud computing, Amazon continues to innovate and make great strides, and Microsoft, Dell and other big players are positioning themselves as big leaders. Are you expecting in the next 18 months to see the bottom fall out and scores of cloud providers failing or getting gobbled up by bigger players? Or what?

Richard: We are already seeing several cloud acquisitions, and there will likely be consolidation among the top ten to 20 providers. However, there is plenty of room for innovation and scores of new players will emerge catering to different market needs: specific verticals, geographies, etc. We anticipate that many of the larger cloud providers will become suppliers to the smaller players. In fact, we're already seeing this among UShareSoft's customer base: large providers are both customers and resellers using our UForge platform for server template management and also offering "multi-label" application marketplace services both directly and through their channel partners or smaller providers.

Cloud Computing Journal: Please name one thing that - despite what we all may have heard or read - you are certain is NOT going to happen in the future, with Cloud and BigData? ;-)

Richard: There won't be mass consolidation in the near future. Thousands of cloud - public, private and hybrid - will proliferate to fit different customer needs.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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