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Tell Me Why I Should Use Your Cloud

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***Winners Announcement**** 13/03/2013 12:00GMT

A big thank you to all participants. Here are the lucky winners as selected by our each of our three media panellists:

OutSource Magazine Winner, selected by Jamie Liddell, Editor: Charity Engine

For your head: As seen on BBC News, the Charity Engine grid offers 90,000 CPU cores and 30,000 GPUs for approximately 10x less cost than Amazon, Microsoft or Google – as low as one penny per core/hr.

For your heart: Not only is this the world’s cheapest on-demand computing, it’s also one of the most energy-efficient and socially responsible. We only use recycled CPU time from machines that already exist and are switched on anyway, but are mostly idle. Furthermore, half our profits go to nine international charity partners including Oxfam, CARE and MSF.

— 150 Word Pitch from Mark McAndrew, Founder and CEO at Charity Engine

CloudExpo Europe Winner, selected by the Closer Still Media Team: Ventrus Networks

50 shades of cloud? Well, we could potentially come up with 50 good reasons that blow the cloud competition away but here is a quick resume of why Ventrus beats the rest. We work with you to provide a customisable Cloud environment to fit your exact business needs for security, transparency, accountability, reliability and proven expertise and professionalism in the field. Our cloud is fully scalable, providing you with innovative ways to reduce costs and maximise worth. We offer a personable, all-encompassing service assisting you in establishing company readiness to enable a phased or hybrid approach if required. Our cloud is perpetually available, fast and cost–effective. We offer a seamless solution designed to individual business requirements. We guarantee reduction of expenditure, dependable security, improved resource utilisation, scalability, seamless integration, anywhere access, disaster recovery and minimal upfront costs. We really are the silver lining you have been looking for.

— 150 Word Pitch from Sara Ponsford, responsible for Marketing and Social Media at Ventrus

VMUG Winner, selected by Gav Brining: iomart Hosting

Contrary to general marketing puff, the cloud is not some sort of mystical ethereal panacea for all of IT’s problems. It physically exists and it exists in the data centre. And we own seven of them. We foresaw the emergence of the ‘cloud’ over eight years ago, and have invested millions of pounds in building a cloud capability from physical bricks and mortar upwards. We offer high availability cloud services, across multiple DC sites, connected to one fibre network, supported 24×7. The benefits are clear. No legacy operations, practices, cookie cutter services or reliance on third parties. The result of this ‘one throat to choke’ approach is that we are totally accountable to you. No cloudwash. Tell us what you need/want and we’ll tailor a solution to suit you and then back it with industry leading SLA guarantees. We don’t sell ‘cloud this or that’, we sell peace of mind.

— 150 Word Pitch from Phil Worms, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications and the team at iomart Hosting

Congratulations to those companies!

PLEASE NOTE: Whilst the competition is now over, this blog’s comments are still very much open, and we welcome further 150-word submissions. All submissions will be showcased in a forthcoming Compare the Cloud initiative, so it’s well worth telling everyone who you are and what you are about!

Original Post posted on Monday 4th March 2013:

Foreword by Paul Bevan, Practice Leader, IT Services at Bloor Research

Some years ago, at one of those global set piece sales kick off events so beloved of large IT Corporations, I was accosted by a very animated product manager who demanded to know when I was going to get sales to “sell the products we make.” Without batting an eyelid I replied: “when you stop telling us what you have made, and when you start telling us why you made it.”

He certainly didn’t get it then, and – sadly – I am seeing too much evidence that product developers in the IT space still don’t get it. From Convergent Technology to Informix to Betamax, the technology industry is littered with technically superior products that failed to gain widespread adoption in the face of competitors who made the connection to their customers’ needs and aspirations, and there will be plenty more in the burgeoning Cloud Computing market.

The Cloud market is fun. It’s buzzing. New companies and new products are popping up every day. However most haven’t yet reached Geoffrey Moore’s Chasm yet. The developers and techies are talking to the visionaries and innovators. Everyone is excited. This is easy. But in order to become the next Microsoft, Apple or Google they have to achieve mainstream adoption.

That mainstream world is populated with, mostly, hardworking, risk averse managers driven by revenue, margin and cost targets. They may use technology extensively. They may understand how it helps them do their jobs, but they wouldn’t know their IPv6 from their elbow. If your next Big Thing in the Cloud is going to be the one that makes your fame and fortune then you need to be able to articulate its benefits in a way that the business person holding the purse strings will understand.

I was once told memorably, by someone from IBM, that if, in the 1970s, you had put IBM marketing with Burroughs engineers, the rest of the IT world could have packed up and gone home. Does anyone under the age of 50 remember Burroughs?…I rest my case M’lud.

So, let me introduce this challenge:

Contribute your 150 word pitch to this Blog’s comments section!

Compare the Cloud has enlisted the help of media partners Outsource Magazine, the Virtual Machine User Group and CloudExpo Europe to help promote this blog and to provide expert commentary.

Outsource Magazine will be keeping an eye on all the 150 word pitch submissions and to the cloud services provider it deems to have delivered the most entertaining and/or enlightening pitch will receive an email MPU banner broadcast to 18,000 end-users and a free single page in the imminent spring issue. The judge from Outsource will be Outsource Editor, Jamie Liddell. (Outsource terms: no cash alternative, we will confirm the date, judge’s decision is final and cannot be appealed).

The Virtual Machine User Group will be looking for the 150 words that provide the best clarity to end-users. The winning contributing service provider will be invited to guest speak at a VMUG conference in the UK. The judge from the VMUG is Gav Brining.

CloudExpo Europe: “The show goes on!” Cloud Expo Europe are providing this blog with email exposure and promotion across the @cloudexpoeurope twitter stream. Cloud Expo Europe team will also be looking for their own “winning pitch” and the winning contributor will win a 6 month banner on Cloud News – an e-newsletter distributed to over 40,000 IT decision makers monthly!

And – to cap it off – ALL cloud service providers submitting their 150 word pitch in the comments section below will be offered the chance for it to be featured and enshrined permanently in Compare the Cloud’s forthcoming “hall of fame”!

Rules? Well, you need to stick to 150 words! Your entry needs to be posted by 17:00 GMT on Friday 8th March 2013. One entry per company will count. Blog comments and general fair play will be policed by Compare the Cloud.

To get everyone started here are several pitches from a selection of Compare the Cloud partners and sponsors:

At IBM we see cloud as a ‘how’, not a ‘what’; it necessitates a flexible approach. Where the customer starts its journey depends on business need. IBM works with clients to determine that business need as well as achieve better, more agile IT and apply the transformative power of cloud computing to reinvent the way clients do business. IBM offers a comprehensive set of capabilities, providing the foundations of building and deploying private or hybrid clouds, delivering platform and infrastructure capabilities as a service, and supplying our suite of software capabilities available on the cloud; ranging from collaboration to business process management and web analytics. We integrate our ecosystem partners, incorporating technologies to bring the benefits of cloud to clients. Our work with partners is the reason why 80% of Fortune 500 companies use IBM cloud capability. IBM’s cloud solutions are engineered to Open Standards, allowing a more collaborative approach to providing solutions. Simon Porter, Vice President – Mid Market Sales, Europe, IBM

Why Digital Realty? As the largest wholesale owner, operator and investor in outsourced Data Centre facilities in the world – we are simply unmatched in the experience, stability and reach to provide or build a secure home to your public, private or managed Cloud. 1. Flexible solutions. A comprehensive suite of flexible solutions that can help you save time, reduce costs, minimise risk and better align your data centres with your business. 2. Financial strength. Our substantial financial resources make us a stable, reliable, long-term partner. 3. Expertise that gives you an edge. Our data centres are designed, built and operated by professionals with decades of experience in site selection, design & construction. 4. Locations worldwide. With more than 100 properties (over 20 million square feet of space) in over 30 markets around the world (and counting), we have data centres where you need them. 5. A smarter supply chain. Our global relationships with major contractors and suppliers can dramatically improve efficiencies and significantly reduce your time to market. Omer Wilson, Marketing Director | Europe, Digital Realty

“You want to buy IT like a consumer, you want a PAYG product that’s easy to buy, easy to deploy, easy to cancel. But you don’t want to rely on open source, insecure, low performance, web-hosting-dressed-up-as-cloud: you want a grown up product, an enterprise grade, secure, high performance platform. That’s what we at FireHost provide: the private cloud made public and the best of the public cloud made private.” Daniel Beazer, Director of Strategy, Firehost

It’s counterintuitive for security officers, who have been responsible for protecting an organisation’s data and intellectual property, to give up control of infrastructure and data to a third party. So CSPs must become best-in-class security experts if they are to earn an organisation’s trust. Trend Micro’s products, services and CSP programs assist CSPs to deliver best in class security performance. Supporting your customer’s own policies, Trend Micro manages security across the enterprise/cloud boundary and protects their data wherever it may be. We ensure that your customers’ data regulations and confidentiality are held sacrosanct. And we deliver our services from the cloud, with uptime SLAs that follow your charging policies and simplify your billing. Optimal digital threat protection is best implemented using both the power of the cloud and from on-premise installations. When you’re looking for a comprehensive and custom-defense system for your customers’ digital assets, think of Trend Micro. Tim Ayling, Channel Director, Trend Micro

When your business needs electricity, you don’t need to build and manage a power station. When your business needs information technology, you don’t need to build, manage and maintain hardware and software. This is the heart of the Cloud approach to IT – pick the right business solution to run your organisation, but let the experts take the pain of creating and managing the underlying technology. This is our approach at D2C – think business, not technology. We are Dedicated 2 Cloud, and Dedicated 2 Customers. We provide Cloud business solutions, practical business advice and proven experience of making things work. Our solutions include social media, accounting, CRM and ERP. We build social websites that work: web communities that connect and engage your customers, suppliers, partners, and employees. Whether you are a company needing a solution, or an IT provider making the transition to the Cloud, we can help. Dave Terrar, CEO, D2C

Abiquo delivers an award-winning, purpose built Cloud Management solution that helps customers to build, operate and deliver their virtual data center and public cloud, integrated with existing technology, quickly and ready to monetise. Well, how can this benefit my business you ask? In essence, we don’t care what you chose from a technology perspective, we provide a technology agnostic solution that you can integrate and deliver in a matter of days. This unique feature to our software sets us apart from our competitors; in this day and age technology should not be a barrier and we at Abiquo advocate just that and aim to prevent the detrimental effects of vendor lock-in. Our easy to understand interface means that our software is simple to use, not just for you but also for your customers. We currently work with a number of leading MSP’s and many Global enterprises who have benefited immensely from our Cloud Management solution. Jim Darragh, CEO, Abiquo

Information Security is one of the big three items on any cloud customer’s shopping list, when looking to procure cloud services. “The First Rule of Business: Protect your investment”. All your customers are looking to protect their investment, so why wouldn’t you provide the best possible, all-encompassing secure solution possible in order to compete in this overloaded market? What differentiates your cloud services from that of your competitor? Why not let security be that differentiator? Razor Thorn Security are the premier providers for information security within the EU and it’s our job to assist you in providing the most secure solutions from a business, technological and physical viewpoint. We advise some of the largest and most successful organisations in the world, including some of the largest and most successful cloud companies in the market today. Why wouldn’t you get the best information security advice possible? Ours… James Rees, Managing Director, Razorthorn Security

Nimble is the world’s first Social Relationship Manager. It easily connects all of your Contacts, Calendars, Direct Communications plus Social Listening and Engagement into a simple, affordable web based platform for individuals and teams. Nimble integrates LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter & Google contacts with all of your digital communications and activities into one seamless environment. Nimble empowers small businesses in today’s socially connected world to collaborate more efficiently, to listen and engage with their community in order to attract and retain the right customers. Richard Young, EMEA Director, Nimble

No enterprise is predicting internal IT growth, instead enterprises are turning to service providers to provide private, hybrid and public cloud based IT. With a $30 billion market opportunity, and exponential growth predicted, we firmly believe this is the decade of the cloud service provider as enterprises turn to them to provide their cloud infrastructure. The challenge here is that many service providers have not yet created their cloud business. Instead, many have dressed up their existing infrastructure to appear as cloud. Our software helps these service providers to build their cloud services business by providing on-demand, fully automated provisioning. But it does more than that; it provides capabilities beyond those normally available including multi-currency billing, multi-level reseller support and extraordinary levels of customisation. These cloud management capabilities are necessary for any company building a commercial cloud service to secure, support and grow cloud customers. Jim Foley, SVP Market Development, Flexiant

Ultra Secure? The rate of change of the IT landscape has never been faster or provided more opportunity for business transformation. Cloud computing and web based applications give us the possibility of access 24/7. Social tools allow everyone to get involved. Mobile devices and mobile networks mean we can do all of this on the move and from anywhere. The back office is combining with the front office and collaborating with customers, partners and stakeholders has never been easier. It’s a huge opportunity for business agility, but it comes with an even bigger threat. You have to consider the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your data and systems with more precision than ever. Security can’t be an add-on, it has to be considered at all levels and designed in from the start. You have to think Ultra Secure. Graham Spivey Sales and Marketing Director, The Bunker

PLEASE NOTE: Whilst the competition is now over, this blog’s comments are still very much open, and we welcome further 150-word submissions. All submissions will be showcased in a forthcoming Compare the Cloud initiative, so it’s well worth telling everyone who you are and what you are about!

Post date: 2013-03-13 12:00:07