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Focusing on investment opportunities in the information technology sector

John Gannon

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John Gannon's Blog How do you make money as a datacenter-focused cloud computing company? Aside from the sale of compute capacity (a la Amazon or Rackspace), what are the other revenue opportunities available? Here are some thoughts... 1. Management tools: The cloud hosters like Amazon are providing basic management tools, but we can already see there is a proven market for higher-order management and automation provided by companies like Rightscale and 3Tera. There are also a variety of companies and products who have figured out IT automation in the traditional datacenter (Bladelogic, Opsware, etc). I’m waiting to see when they’ll start moving towards new product development (or rebranding of existing solutions) that will be focused on management of outsourced cloud environments. As their customers move to the cloud, those customers will demand that their tradition... (more)

Maximizing Rewards

Last night I spent a couple of hours going over our personal finances which included me spending some time on the American Express customer portal.  Amex does a good job of letting you on their portal where you could be buying to maximize your membership rewards points.  They will often tell you things like “Buy at FTD.com and earn double points” (I don’t know if FTD.com is actually a partner, I’m just using this as an example).  The airlines do this as well, letting you earn points if you purchase online from certain vendors. I think its great that Amex, the airlines, and whome... (more)

Cloud App Store Hype

With the rise of virtual appliances as a software delivery and deployment model, people are beginning to talk about the idea of cloud computing app stores (a la iTunes) where admins can find virtual appliances and then easily deploy them onto a cloud or a server in their data center. Although this idea sounds cool (”Hey, I can search for apps like I’d search for songs on iTunes and then deploy them almost instantly!”), I’m not convinced it is something that is going to create a dramatic market shift within the enterprise. Why not? First let’s think about why customers would be i... (more)

Say Goodbye To Bad UI Thanks to the Cloud

I don’t think anyone will argue with me that the typical IT management tool user interface (UI) is just plain awful.  There are several reasons for this, but the most obvious one is that an enterprise software product is loaded with hundreds of features, functions, and configurations, all of which need to be accessible to an end user. As cloud computing aggregates formerly disparate functions and resources into logical groups, it stands to reason that  user interfaces will not need as much complexity as is required today, simply because there is more abstraction of the resources... (more)

Social Networking Tip For Programmers – and Everyone Else

Set aside one hour daily for active marketing: Software developers love to spend days and nights coding great stuff. Focusing on marketing, sales and customer activities is not quite as exciting. Put some discipline in place. A good starting point is to devote one hour per day of your time to work exclusively on marketing. And I don’t mean read the Web to learn about SEO. Spend one full, active hour contributing to forums, pitching to people, e-mailing journalists and other key influencers that may be interested in what you do. Does your web site have a success story from a real ... (more)