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Christopher Keene

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Vendors Will Have To Climb Higher To Reach Clouds

Hard on the heels of the VMWare/SpringSource acquisition, VMWare entered into a grand alliance with Cisco and EMC (although technically, VMWare announcing an alliance with EMC is like Buick announcing an alliance with GM).

Once the data center is fully virtualized, resilient and automated, it becomes the proverbial black box. As long as it is secure and performant, where it is located or what the hardware layer looks like is unimportant.

Any company whose value proposition is centered around feeds and speeds is going to have to scramble higher up the stack. If your target customer is hardcore data center guys, you are going to find fewer and fewer of those folks to talk to.

As customer IT shifts from hardware to solutions, vendors will have to climb higher up the value chain to keep engaged with their customers. With its Unified Computing System , network vendors like Cisco are becoming data center solution vendors. With Spring, virtualization vendors like VMWare are becoming development solution vendors.

At the top of the cloud stack is Platform as a Service (PaaS), which manages both how applications are developed and how they can be customized by end users. At WaveMaker, we see PaaS as the primary lever for delivering value from the cloud.

As IT vendors climb higher to deliver more complete solutions to their customers, PaaS will emerge as the heart of the cloud ecosystem.

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More Stories By Christopher Keene

Christopher Keene is Chairman and CEO of WaveMaker (formerly ActiveGrid). He was the founder, in 1991, of Persistence Software, a San Mateo, CA-based company that created a new approach for managing data in high-transaction banking and communications systems. Persistence Software investors included Cisco, Intel, Reuters and Sun Microsystems. The company went public in 1999 on the NASDAQ exchange and was sold in 2004 to Progress software.

After leaving Persistence Software in 2005, Chris spent a year in France as chairman of Reportive Software, a Paris-based maker of business-intelligence tools, and as an adjunct professor and entrepreneur-in-residence at INSEAD, a leading graduate business school.