In recent years, we haven’t thought of Microsoft for their bleeding-edge technology leadership, but few can argue that when they enter a specific market or technology, their influence and credibility is substantial. Memos and public statements from Microsoft leadership form a timeline that one can connect to substantial investments and changes in the industry. In 1983, the commitment to graphical user interface led to Windows and a host of supporting applications. In 1995, their “Internet Tidal Wave” memo was penned, becoming well-known not only for its tenets, but also an above-average level of attention from the U.S. Justice Department.
If you trust your olfactory senses, the March 2010 public statements by Steve Ballmer smell like another such event. The topic this time?…The Cloud, and Microsoft’s commitment to it. To be fair, this isn’t Mr. Ballmer’s sudden epiphany. Some of the industry’s most gifted architects (namely Ray Ozzie) have been designing Microsoft’s cloud strategy for several years.
There are three major elements: SaaS (Software as a Service) with components like HotMail, Dynamics CRM Online, and Office Online; PaaS (Platform as a Service) with Azure and SQL Azure provisioning online application platforms; and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) provisioning on- and off-premise physical technologies and associated security and service levels. Although SaaS offerings are quite mature at this point, PaaS and IaaS are still in their infancy. Many companies are chasing the promise of cloud computing and what it will mean to their future revenue stream, and of those left standing after an initial market culling, Microsoft , Google and Amazon will likely be present.
Why do these technical details matter to database marketing and customer engagement professionals? Time to market and solution scalability. Sales and marketing departments need access to digital application technologies without delay or complications of scaling. The maturity of cloud computing in the next few years will bring maturity and commoditization to the application delivery market, and save meaningful amounts of time and money that can be reinvested in demand generation strategies.
About the Author:
Chris Dewey is the CIO at SIGMA Marketing Group. Connect with Chris on , or follow him on .