Yesterday’s Cloud Computing model, crafted by the likes of Amazon, Google and eBay is already passe. Say hello to Cloud #2, which is all about real-time – often mobile – collaboration, suggests Polly Sumner, Chief Adoption Officer with SalesForce.com. She is too polite to remind you that SalesForce was the mother of all cloud based services and has been around even before anyone thought to define Internet-based sharing of software and computing resources as Cloud Computing.
She calls the Second Coming of the Cloud the “Facebook imperative” -- with feeds replacing tabs, push edging out pull; mobile smartphones and tablets taking over from static desktops … and iconic social networking sites like Facebook, stepping into the space occupied by Amazon.com.
With nearly 83,000 customers world-wide, SalesForce has something of a head start in the cloud business – but this is like the race that Alice ran Behind the Looking Glass: to retain your place you have to keep running; to get ahead you have to run twice as fast. Which is why SalesForce has recently launched Chatter 2 its enterprise social collaboration tool – with extensions for mobile platforms like iPad and iPod; Android and Blackberry.
“There are at least five distinct clouds”, Sumner says, “ Sales, services, collaboration, a do-it-yourself cloud like Force.com -- and a Jigsaw cloud for data”.
In Bangalore this week to deliver a keynote at the NASSCOM Innovation Summit, Sumner spoke to IndiaTechOnline.com on what she sees as the fundamental shifts in cloud computing today. “There are significant opportunities for Indian companies to build cloud apps” she feels, pointing at innovative companies like Wipro, Accenture, BodhTree, SaasForce…. The applications have to be mobile, real time and social to remain compelling.
According to Zinnov Management Consulting, India’s cloud computing market will be around $1 billion in the next five years. Ernst & Young adds: “Over 72 per cent of Indian IT infrastructure firms will adopt cloud computing in a big way over the next two to three years”. Which may explain why the NASSCOM event had a distinctly cloudy outlook ( no pun!), every which way you turned. We will be reporting on some of the other innovations on show at the conference, is separate reports.
Anand Parthasarathy, in Bangalore, November 11 2010