• Zuora and Azure Hook Up to Bill the Cloud


    And here was me thinking the cloud was all about altruism – no folks, it’s about money, pure and simple. Saving it at the buy-side, making it at the sell-side. News today from Zuora (see disclosure) that they will join the Microsoft Windows Azure Technology Adoption Program (TAP) as the first on-demand billing and subscription […]

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  • Box Takes on Desktop Sync, the Space Gets Ever More Crowded


    I’ve written before about a number of desktop sync products I use – these products help me to keep my life organized across multiple devices (see my Syncplicity posts for example). The fact is that, for me at least, I live on three different laptops, a desktop from time-to-time and one or two mobile devices […]

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  • Microsoft’s Private Cloud Is #NotACloud?


    While talking about Private Clouds on Twitter, Sam Johnston (who is currently with Google and involved in OCCI , Cloud Audit, etc.) used to refer to them as #notacloud. His argument is that the so called Private Clouds are nothing but virtualization wi…

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  • On Bootstrapping. And Big Bucks. And Organic Growth


    Recently there have been a few posts about growth through funding and growth through organic means. Tony Hsieh from Zappos told his tale of woe about the expectations of VC’s in terms of good exits. On the other hand, Sridhar Vembu, Founder of Zoho (disclosure – Zoho is exclusive sponsor of CloudAve) wrote an excellent […]

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  • Integration is Good… When You Actually Do It (Part Two)


    A month or so ago I wrote a post critical of the integration one vendor had made with the Google apps marketplace. Yesterday I was perusing Twitter when I came across this tweet: I’m actually a user of Xero…

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  • A Tale of Two Generations – Sage Languishes while Financial Force Innovates


    Software is undergoing a generational change – I thought I’d pull out an example to show what the old generation is doiing and contrast that to what the “cool kids” are doing. I was interested to read Dennis Howlett’s…

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  • Suite vs Best of Breed – Let the Battle Begin (Yet Again)


    A month or so ago I sat in a room with a small group of bloggers discussing the enterprise software space with NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson and one sentence he said stuck in my mind: The same was is…

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  • On Google’s Analytics Gallery, Terms and Conditions, Software Ownership and Responsiveness


    This starts out as a chastisement for Google and ends up congratulatory. Read on for details. So Google launched an app gallery for Google Analytics – how interesting can that be you ask? Well quite interesting from a “who…

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  • There’s a Reason It’s Free – Get Over It…


    I’ve been mulling this post around in my head for quite some time now – an eight hour flight across the great Australian Desert seemed as good a time as any to finally put pen to paper (fingers to keys?) and write this post.

    We’ve been hearing much lately about privacy concerns with free services – hardly a day goes by that we’re not regaled with tales of the dastardly deeds of Facebook, Magnolia, Blippy or some other service that is free-to-customers.

    It seems people are carefully avoiding making the only distinction that makes any sense to me: that of paid vs free services. While I know it’s seriously uncool to question the cool kids who build applications with no idea of how monetization will occur, but I can’t resist. Yes, building an application in the cloud is cheaper/easier than in the old days. Yes, scaling an application is quick and easy. Yes, pre configured “building blocks” can be bought off the shelf.

    But having said all of that – this stuff still costs money. Quite simply – an application that is scaling in terms of users or load, and that has no source of dollar, is facing a complete disconnect. Sometimes some things are either purposely or accidentally omitted in that case.

    Some cases in point…

    People are surprised when Google (via Buzz) or Facebook socialize information about us that we didn’t think would be socialized. Go figure? Both these services have a business model that (at least in part) is fueled by the aggregation and dissemination of bulk information about users. While particular cases can be written off as mistakes – fundamentally these guys are about making information pervasive – don’t believe that YOUR information is excluded from this aim.

    Blippy, the somewhat bizarre site where people can link their purchases via credit card. Recently Blippy had a privacy issue where some people’s credit card became searchable and turned up on Google. It gives an interesting twist to the view of one of the founders of Blippy, Philip Kaplan who says:

    We think that many things used to be private only because there was no way to share them

    Interestingly enough in the Blippy case, recently as reported in the NY Times:

    Amazon actively blocked people from linking their Amazon accounts to the Blippy site, citing security concerns. Blippy recently offered a workaround, asking users to link their Gmail accounts, so it can skim their inboxes for Amazon receipts. Amazingly, Blippy says that thousands of users took this step.

    Don’t mistake – their is fundamentally a difference between a paid, and an unpaid application. There is fundamentally a difference between an application targeted for business users and one for the consumer market. Forget this differentiation at your peril.




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  • Banking 2.0, The Cloud and Safety in Numbers


    A while ago, Alex Williams posted about a consortium made up of three banks – Bank of America, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Deutsche Bank – that was specifically set up as a buying alliance to source cloud infrastructure.…

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