co-founder predicts what the cloud market will look like co-founder Parker Harris discusses key product growth areas for the company, the challenges of innovating, the future of development and flexible infrastructure, and what the cloud market itself will look like years from now.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Page 7
Page 7 of 9

You don’t install summer. Summer just comes. If I were a customer I’d ask: ‘How do I get ongoing value from you and not have it be frozen in time at the point that I bought from you and implemented you?’ Then it’s this huge expense. At EMC I watched as they converted from Oracle Financials to SAP. This sea of cubicles of consultants and employees, and what are they all doing? They’re moving to SAP. It’s a big project. It was because of years of customization, years of not moving to an update cycle. It was a really hard problem. The customer should be asking: ‘How are you going to make me successful?’ Not: ‘Why is your technology better?’

Shift the conversation from technology to the customer’s success and see what they say. Maybe they have answers for how they solve that with traditional products, on-premise, maybe they’re in the cloud. I used to go with on-premise software. It’s not that any company is bad. I just think there’s no way to solve that in a great way. I don’t know what you do with it, I don’t know how you’re running it. I don’t know where you installed it.

Then when you have a problem or you want to upgrade it, I can’t really help you. I can send consultants but I’m the head tech person. But if I’m running it for you I could put my CTO on it and if you have area that you’re concerned about, let me get that architect to work with you.

I can’t afford in an on-premise world to fly the architect to every customer. They do that for their top, top customers but even then [it’s difficult] for that architect to understand what’s going on here and how to help you. We’re proactively doing that. We have data scientists that are saying: ‘I think they’re going to have a problem. Let me get the architect to go look at that.’ Then I call up Herve [Coureil, CIO] at Schneider and say: ‘You know what? We just fixed something for you. You were headed towards this problem. Let’s talk about how to configure things going forward so you won’t hit that again.’

Talk about how you see the platform market evolving. A lot of this competitive battle in the future centers on who owns the platform and who controls development. How do you see this shaking out? We’re also seeing blending of that where even the Infrastructure-as-a-Service guys are getting some PaaS.

Harris: I’d like to see more openness. It’s kind of funny. I’ve been watching Pivotal as an offering and each vendor who’s adopting it trying to put in their own proprietary stuff so that their version has good stuff, but then you’ll be locked into that. That’s not really focused on the customers. It’s an old-school way of doing it.

I’m a big admirer of Amazon. I think they’ve done a fabulous job. I think Microsoft is catching up. I think Microsoft has a better enterprise view of the world in terms of serving their customer base. It’s also getting commoditized so I don’t think there is any vendor who is going to come in and say they’ve got a better AWS. Maybe I’ll want to choose a different service. You’re seeing things like OpenStack out there that you can run internally. You see Microsoft doing the public/private kind of thing. I think that’s kind of a given now, that you should be running your service on some layer that’s abstracted, virtualized, automated.

People are still holding onto their physical computers and they think that that gives them control and security. It’s a false promise so there’s still vendors and success there, but I think everything eventually will be running on some substrate, probably multiple. I don’t think there’s any one solution out there. The APIs for running on these services are more and more standardized, Amazon being kind of the leader. So we’ll have that layer and then I think there are solutions on top of that. We’re providing a solution for CRM and a platform for CRM and all the things that surround that. That makes us very successful because we’re not trying to build and serve up a generic platform.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Page 7
Page 7 of 9
The 10 most powerful companies in enterprise networking 2022