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Microsoft and Amazon Earning Reports: Two Perspectives of the Cloud

aws-windows azureYesterday, both Amazon and Microsoft beat Wall Street expectations during their quarterly earnings reports. While reading many of the analysts’ reports during the evening, I couldn’t avoid noticing some key differences in the way their cloud services businesses is evolving. If is true that both companies reported very strong numbers in their cloud services business, it’s pretty clear that their current challenges and go to market strategies are quite different.

AWS: It’s Growing but not as Fast as It Was

As expected, Amazon’s AWS business continues to grow strong. For the fourth quarter, the North America Sales “Other” category — which includes AWS — hit $1.17 billion, up 52 percent from $769 million for the year-ago quarter. For the full year, AWS (or other) hit $3.72 billion, up 58 percent from $2.35 billion.

aws-revenue-1q14-3333

An interesting thing to notice is that, while AWS remains the clear market leader in the cloud infrastructure category, the AWS business is not growing as fast as it was a few years ago. The following chart might help to illustrate that point:

aws-revenue-growth-1q14-3333

Some factors that might influence that could be the constant cost reductions in some of the services and the increasing competition from Google, Microsoft, Rackspace and others.

Microsoft: Diversity of Cloud Services Offerings

Microsoft also delivered killer numbers as part of it’s earning reports yesterday beating Wall Street expectations.

microsoft earnings

 

140424MicrosoftQ32014Earnings (1)

One thing to notice in MSFT report is that it’s long term investment in diverse cloud services offerings is starting to pay off. Office365 delivered a 100% growth and is now on a $2.5B. Similarly, Windows Azure revenue increased by 150%. Finally, Bing US market share is up to 18.6%

While these numbers are just based on one quarterly report, it might be an indication of two different strategies moving forward. While AWS needs to figure out new engines of growth to continue its market dominance, Microsoft will continue diversifying its cloud offering to accelerate growth.

Interesting times…

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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2013 for Enterprise Software Startups: A Year of Natural Selection

In the last few weeks of 2012, I received a number of emails referring to a growing preference within the venture capital community for revenue focused enterprise software startups compared to market-share consumer startups. While the argument is way more complex than what can be expressed in the light of this blog post, there is certain true to the fact that the tight economic times and the poor performance of recent consumer-based software IPOs have impacted the consumer VC market.

However, despite this VC love, I think this year is going to be “interesting” to say the least for enterprise software startups. The uncertainty of the world economy, particularly the US markets, fiscal cliffs, the budgets cuts established in most IT departments as well as the large number of startups that raised angel funding and are now competing for a Series A are just some of the factors that, I believe, will make 2013 a challenging year for most enterprise software startups.

Like any other challenging time, this upcoming year offers a unique opportunity for the better companies to solidify their market presence as a lot of the weaker competitors won’t be able to survive some of the phenomenon listed above. Not to sound apocalyptic, but my advice to the enterprise software startup community is to operate as it we were expecting another economic downturn. We certainly already started doing that on our side. Here are a few of the aspects I consider relevant:

Focus on Revenue

If driving revenue wasn’t your immediate goal, now it should be. In 2013, focus on finding and nurturing the revenue producing engines of growth of your company. Discovering the different avenues by which enterprises can acquire your software will provide you with the necessary resources to keep growing during economically uncertain times while building a loyal and committed customer based.

Focus on Organic Growth

These are not the times to foment rapid growth in order to just capture market share. In my opinion, this year, enterprise software startups should focus on growing organically based on revenue and optimize for being extremely efficient operationally.

Target Relevant Markets

These are great times to be in the enterprise software business. With revolutionary technology movements happening in areas such as cloud computing, mobility, big data, gamification, etc the opportunities for building relevant enterprise software companies are tremendous. However, with the uncertainly of the economy, I believe enterprises will invest on the areas that are key to their growth and set everything else aside. In that sense, enterprise software startups that are targeting mission critical areas are likely to receive a lot of attention from customers while the others would have to wait for better times.

Go After the Big Guys Money

Tough economic times can affect the big enterprise software vendors more than any other startup. While the big enterprise guys struggle to convince companies to spend large sums in complex enterprise solutions, leaner, more efficient and technologically superior startups can find an opportunity to capture that customer based with more attractive solutions.

These are some of the key advice I have for enterprise software startups in 2013. I have a lot of ideas about this topic but I will save those for a later post.

What about you?

Any words of wisdom for enterprise software startups in this new year ?

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Oracle Beats the Street but Still Looks Boring

teamoracle-380x252Oracle reported numbers yesterday and the results were better than expected. Earnings on a per-share basis were 64 cents, three cents above the consensus of 61 cents. Sales were $9.11 billion, beating the consensus estimate of $9.03 billion. The main driver for the outstanding performance was new software license sales, which rose by 17 percent to reach $2.4 billion. License updates grew 7 percent to $4.3 billion. Hardware revenue was $734 million.

And yet, it didn’t matter….

Somehow this remarkable performance couldn’t hide the fact that Oracle is becoming increasingly irrelevant in the modern enterprise software world. Other than current shareholders, Wall Street and the press I don’t think anybody was really interested or excited about Oracle’s earning report.

The enterprise software world is changing and changing fast and you have to wonder whether Oracle can continue buying their way out of irrelevance. In an enterprise software world driven by cloud, mobility, big data and social models, Oracle is still following the same rules that made it a dominant player in enterprise IT in the last three decades. The problem winds of the enterprise software world have shifted in a way that not even Oracle can afford to ignore.

When analyzing the pillars of the new enterprise IT world is hard to think about Oracle as an influential player in any of them.

Enterprise Mobility

As of today, Oracle has no presence or technology in the enterprise mobility space. Despite the increasing investments in the space by longtime rival SAP, Oracle keeps ignoring the enterprise mobility movements. At the moment, none of Oracle platforms have a well-established mobile presence and there is no clear roadmap for it.

Cloud Computing

Despite recent investments in the Oracle Cloud platform, Oracle can hardly be considered a strong player when comes to cloud platforms. In the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) space, Oracle Cloud looses hands downs when compared to competitors like Amazon’s Web Services, RackSpace or Google Compute Engine. In the platform as a service context, technologies such as Heroku, CloudFoundry, Force.com, Windows Azure or OpenShift are miles ahead of Oracle Cloud in terms of capabilities, market presence, developer and partner communities.

SaaS

This is the area where Oracle might have seen the most traction lately with products such as Oracle Fusion CRM Cloud Service and the recent acquisition of Taleo and RoghtNow. However, this space is heavily competitive with large vendors like Salesforce.com and SAP’s Success Factors or exciting new companies like WorkDay.

BigData

Exadata is a great technology but can’t really be considered an influential technology in the big data space. Startups like Cloudera, HorthinWorks, DataStax and many others gaining increasing traction with simple solutions, more agile distribution models and passionate developer communities which highly contrasts with the close and exclusive Exadata partner model.

So what can we conclude from all this?

Oracle earnings report was a great validation that the enterprise IT market remains strong but hardly a reason to be excited about Oracle technology roadmap. There are 2 words that come to mind when I think about Oracle these days in the new enterprise software world: Strong and Irrelevant.

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Upcoming Speaking Engagements

This summer, I took a brief break from speaking engagements to focus on shipping our new software in Tellago Studios and not stress my already hectic travel schedule. However, I’ve accepted a few invites to speak at different conferences during the fall and winter. Here is a brief list of the ones that are already confirmed:

Software Architect Conference (London) http://www.software-architect.co.uk

  • NodeJS for the .Net Developer
  • I am a .NET developer but I have an iPhone and an Android

Oredev (Malmö, Sweden): http://oredev.org/

  • Kinect for Windows Deep Dive

Cloud Computing Expo (Santa Clara, CA) http://cloudcomputingexpo.com/

  • Introducing the Enterprise Mobile Platform as a Service

Cloud & Virtualization Live (Orlando, FL): http://virtlive360.com/Events/2012/Home.aspx

  • Using Windows Azure to Build the Next Generation of Mobile Applications
  • Windows Azure in the Real World: From Idea to Production in a Few Months

I plan to add a few more events to the list in the next few weeks. If you are attending any of these conferences feel free to contact me via this blog so that we can sync up.

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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What’s Up NYC? Speaking At The Cloud Computing Expo Next Week

Next week I will be speaking at the Cloud Computing Expo in New York City. I am particularly excited about this event because I will have the unique opportunity to present about the new concept behind our upcoming enterprise mobility platform: the enterprise mobile platform as a service. I will be talking about how the intersection between cloud computing and enterprise mobility offers a unique model to finally DEMOCRATIZE enterprise mobility and has produced a new set of cloud models such as mobile backend as a service (mBaaS). I am also planning on spending some time discussing some of the most common enterprise mobility patterns and how organizations are leveraging the cloud to enable the next generation of enterprise mobile applications.

The Cloud Computing Expo is one of the top cloud computing conferences in the world. With two editions every year, this conference manages to bring some of the top minds in the cloud technology ecosystem and tackle some of the hottest topics in the industry.

If you are in the NYC area next week and are interested to talk about cloud, mobility, big data or technology in general feel free tweet me at https://twitter.com/#!/jrdothoughts or stop by my session and say hi. I promise to keep it fun ;)

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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It’s Now or Never for Enterprise Software

A few months ago I wrote a small article detailing some of the big challenges of enterprise software. For years, enterprise software has been synonymous with complexity, big spending and hard to maintain. However, we are starting to see clear signs that times are changing for enterprise software. From the massive acquisitions of SaaS vendors RightNow and SucessFactors to the fairly successful IPO of the not-yet profitable Jive Software, we are entering a renaissance of enterprise software which, somewhat shockingly, is not being led by the traditional big boys: Microsoft, IBM, Oracle or SAP.

This wave of change in the enterprise software space is a direct consequence of the fact that we are living in what can arguably be considered the most exciting time in the history of the software industry. These days we are having the privilege to witness the convergence of some the most amazing technology revolutions in the last two decades of computer science.  These technology movements have already disrupted the consumer software space and are starting to make serious inroads in the enterprise.

In addition to the technology momentum, it’s important to realize that IT organizations are ready and even eager to embrace change. The experience of interacting with hundreds customers adopting Moesion convinced me that IT professionals are ready to embrace enterprise software that is innovative, simple to use and manage, and that solves real business problems using the newest technology trends.

If you are in the enterprise software space, whether you are a software vendor or an IT organization, you have a unique opportunity to influence change. Some of the following technology movements should help you to accomplish that.

Cloud

Cloud computing models are actively disrupting traditional enterprise application models. While Software as a Service (SaaS) packages are leading the way as the predominant mechanism for delivering traditional line of business applications such as CRM, HR or ERP systems, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) models are becoming increasingly popular models for achieving elastic computing and storage. Finally, Platform as a Service (PaaS) infrastructures are streamlining the cloud application development lifecycle.

Mobility

Mobility is arguably the biggest trend in today’s enterprise software horizon. With the number of connected devices moving from desktops to smartphones and tablets, the ability to consume traditional line of business functionalities from mobile devices sits high on the priority list of IT executives.

Social

Social mechanics a la Facebook or Twitter are slowly becoming an important element of enterprise software packages. Techniques such as tagging, commenting or lightweight messaging are helping to enhance the communication and interactions between people within your business.

Big Data

Slowly but steadily big data technologies are gaining space within the enterprise. The need to effectively leverage and analyze the increasingly growing volume of information processed by an organization is a key element towards achieving competitive advantage in the modern enterprise.

Gamification

Games are not only super cool but a great mechanism to engage audiences. With the explosion of games in the social space, companies are looking to leverage social gaming mechanics to more effectively interact with customers and partners.

It’s important to notice that these technology revolutions are not only changing software but the economics of it. Technologies such as cloud, mobility or social computing are leveling the playing field for new and innovative technology companies that want to make enterprise software sexy again. With all these technology revolutions happening at the same time, and consumer technology setting up a high bar for innovation, it’s hard to imagine a better time to disrupt enterprise software.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Latest Speaking Engagements

I’ve been so busy lately with the activities around Moesion that I haven’t had time to blog about a couple of great conferences I had the opportunity to speak at in the last two months.

Software Architect Conference, UK (http://www.software-architect.co.uk/)

This conference is becoming one of my favorite events of the year. As always Nick Payne and his team did a remarkable job lining up an all-star group of speakers that covered some of the hottest topics in today’s software industry.

The first day of the conference I had the opportunity to speak about NOSQL databases from a .NET developer perspective to a very enthusiastic crowd that packed the room and bombarded me with tons of smart questions. You can find the slide deck below.

After that, I presented a session about WCF tips and tricks that covered a lot of the lessons we have learned when working on large SOA solutions with customers as well as during the development of SO-Aware.

Cloud Computing Expo, CA(http://cloudcomputingexpo.com)

The Cloud Computing Expo is slowly becoming the most important cloud computing conference of the year. This edition hosted speakers from the most important cloud computing vendors in the current market. I had the opportunity of presenting a session about one of my favorite topics these days: Enterprise Mobility. Without exaggerating, I can rate this session as one of my best experiences speaking at a conference.

The room was packed and people were literally standing during the entire hour. The audience was completely engaged on the topic and they literally stayed for another 45 mins after the session asking questions and participating in the discussions. I was extremely exhausted that evening after haven’t flown 6 hrs from Miami, presented a Moesion webinar ,  met partners,  customers, etc but the  audience made a complete difference in my experience. I would really like to thank to anybody who attended that session. Below you can find the slide deck of that presentation.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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