Kanban2go — How to build a cloud-based offering

February 27, 2012

Dell corporate strategist by day, entrepreneur by night, Prabhakar Gopalan recently launched a SaaS offering called kanban2go that helps you manage and share your task list in the cloud.  Prabhakar’s endeavor provides a quick overview of what it means to launch a cloud-based app today.  Take a listen as he talks about the process and what he learned:

Some of the ground Prabhakar covers:

  • Where he got the idea
  • From laptop to github to Rackspace
  • Desktop and mobile HTML5 version
  • Finding the right tools
  • Lessons learned

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Cloud Expo: Talking to Rick Nucci, Boomi CTO

June 6, 2011

Today, day one of the Cloud Computing Expo kicked off here at the Javits center in New York city.  The event began with a keynote delivered by Steve Schuckenbrock, president of Dell Services.  Dell is the Diamond sponsor at the event and Steve talked about finding the real business value in cloud computing and the business of “Yes, now“.

Another of today’s speaker was the founder and CTO of Boomi, Rick Nucci.  Boomi provides a SaaS-based cloud integration offering and was acquired by Dell about six months ago.  After Rick finished his session I grabbed some time with him to learn more Boomi.

Some of the ground Rick covers:

  • What Boomi is and how it got started in the integration space back in 2000.
  • [01:05] How Boomi’s integration offering evolved from a traditional middleware approach to cloud-based.
  • [02:51] How being acquired by Dell has changed how Boomi run’s its business and serves its customers.

Pau for now…


Dell’s Billion Dollar Baby

April 7, 2011

Today Dell is announcing that it is continuing to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to its transformation into a solutions provider, this time to the tune of $1 Billion.  The goal of this investment, which is being made this year, is to provide customers with a complete set of resources and services to enable business agility, efficiencies and competitive advantage.

Specifically Dell is announcing:

  • Cloud Data Centers:  The building of multiple cloud data centers around the world that will allow customers to take advantage of such offerings as Infrastructure as a Service, Desktop as a Service, Storage as a Service and IT outsourcing.
  • Global Solutions Centers:  The creation of a network of global solutions centers to help customers architect, validate and build the efficient enterprise from the data center to the edge of the network.
  • New Solutions: New open, capable and affordable solutions for data management, client virtualization and data center virtualization:
    • Dell vStart: a single unit infrastructure solution that runs 100 to 200 vm’s and comes racked and cabled from the Dell factory.
    • Dell|Microsoft management and virtualization solutions partnership  to deliver integrated management solutions made up of Dell’s Virtual Integrated System, our Advanced Infrastructure Manager and Microsoft’s System Center.
    • Dell Email and File Archive Solutions
    • Dell Desktop Virtualization Solutions

A little more detail:

Next generation cloud data centers

Over the next 24 months Dell is building out a host of cloud data centers around the world.  Rather than old-school, giant raised-floor data centers these cloud data centers will be much smaller (approximately 10,000 square feet), more efficient and designed to take advantage of modular, hyper-scale and high-density principles.  Dell’s modular strategy will let the company quickly expand capabilities as demand grows.

These data centers will feature private, public and hybrid cloud options.  They will provide the foundation for Dell’s next generation services and solutions and offer IaaS, and SaaS capabilities as well as IT outsourcing for customers.

Global solutions center network

This year Dell will open 12 Global Solutions centers and is planning ten more over the next 18 months.  These centers are customer facing facilities that will act as a “living lab” providing an environment and the support for customers to architect, build and test proof of concepts involving Dell products, services and solutions.  The centers will also support solution integration, technical briefings and validation and ISV certification to meet regional requirements.

Starting with the upgrading of the existing Austin, Limerick and Frankfurt centers, further facilities will be opened this year in the Americas (Washington DC, Chicago, Northern California and Brazil), APJ (Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and Sydney) and EMEA (Paris).

With today’s announcement Dell his taken its evolution into a services and solutions company and kicked it up a notch.  In the “Virtual Era” technology is rapidly changing and it along with new delivery models such as cloud are changing the way businesses operate and create advantage.   Through its cloud and solution centers and new solution offerings Dell is bringing new ways to help customers harness and leverage these changes.

Pau for now…


Cloud Pioneer, Salesforce.com

April 29, 2010

Last month when I was out in the Bay Area for our launch, I stopped by the offices of salesforce.com.  I visited with some folks that I used to work with in a past life and then grabbed some time with Salesforce’s VP of product marketing, Sean Whiteley.

Here is what Sean had to say:

Some of the topics Sean tackles.

  • The idea behind salesforce.com (SFDC):  In 1999 founders Marc Benioff and Parker Harris looked at Amazon and wondered why businesses couldn’t manage and get insight into their customers with the same ease as they interact with their favorite website.
  • Given that SFDC is built on a model of “multitenancy” how do they address security concerns when they are brought up.
  • Force.com: what it is and how it came about.  Also the advent of AppExchange, where you can shop for applications that let you extend the cloud applications that you use to run your business.
  • What salesforce.com and Dell are doing together to address small and medium businesses:  providing a business in a box, helping organizations focus on their core business rather than IT.

Pau for now…


Cast Iron: Integrating Cloud & on-premise Apps

January 30, 2010

One of the trickiest parts for SMB’s (or organizations of any size) who are utilizing cloud-based applications is integrating these apps with exisiting on-premise applications.   That’s where Cast Iron Systems, comes in.

Last month Chandar Pattabhiram, VP of Product & Channel marketing at Cast Iron visited Dell.  I met up with him to chat about the company and learn what they are up to.

Some of the topics Chandar tackles:

  • Cast Iron is the leader in connecting cloud-based applications with on premise enterprise apps (eg Oracle, SAP).
  • The company began by offering a pre-configured integration appliance.  They have since expand and now also offer a virtual integration appliance as well as the Cast Iron Cloud (integration as a service).
  • While their focus is on SaaS, they are partnering with leaders in each layer of the cloud to integrate cloud offerings with on premise apps:
    • SaaS: SalesForce, ADP
    • PaaS: Google, Force.com, Azure
    • IaaS: Dell
  • Cast Iron’s goal is to evolve to be the enterprise cloud integration platform, bridging the world of public, private and on premise applications.
  • Cast Iron provides the software underpinning Dell Integration Services.  These services allow SalesForce.com customers to extract data that has been locked in on premise apps and provides centralized visibility within SalesForce.com.

Pau for now…


Dell & the Cloud: Where we’ve been, Where we’re going

December 18, 2009

They say turn around is fair play.  Kevin Hazard of the Planet recently took this literally.  No sooner had I finished interviewing him at the Cloud Expo in Santa Clara then he turned around and pointed his camera at me.  He got me talking about the cloud and what the heck Dell’s doing in it.

Some of the topics I tackle:

  • What I do as Dell’s Cloud Evangelist.
  • Where Dell plays in the cloud:
    • Cloud based services providing IT management as a service.
    • Building these capabilities through the acquisition of four companies over the last two years:  MessageOne, ASAP, Everdream and Silverback.
    • Creating custom servers as well as providing data center design and implementation for some of the world’s largest “hyper-scale” customers e.g. Microsoft’s Azure and three out of the top five search engines in the U.S.
  • What’s next:  building on this experience to offer integrated cloud solutions for setting up private and public clouds.  Combining Dell hardware and services with best of breed software — all coming from/supported by Dell.
  • My thoughts on Public vs. Private clouds and how we will end up with a mix of computing models.

Extra Credit Reading

Pau for now…


What is ATT up to in the cloud?

December 9, 2009

A couple of weeks ago I was in New York to visit customers and attend the co-located Interop and Web 2.0 events.  One of the attendees/participants I got to know there was Joe Weinman, VP of ATT’s Business Solutions.  Joe has been focusing a lot on the cloud lately so I thought I’d put down for posterity his thoughts and explanation of what ATT is up to in this space.

Some of the topics that Joe tackles:

  • ATT’s evolving strategy involves mix of managed endpoints and a variety of network services as well as a variety of services in the cloud.
  • ATT’s services range from infrastructure services like “Synaptic hosting,” storage as a service and compute as a service thru a variety of SaaS apps like unified comms and collaboration,  SAP,  Oracle ebiz suite, Seybold and JD Edwards.
  • They have a large platform as a service offering that is used by tens of thousands developers creating at mobile enterprise apps.
  • They target a wide variety of endpoints e.g.  iphones,windows mobile devices,  netbooks, black berries  all the way thru tele-presence rooms.
  • How ATT delivers on both front end and back end architectures.

Pau for now…


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