Thursday, February 25, 2010

VMware's New Cloud Mission - The Bottom up

Ok, I admit it. At first I didn't have a clue what the point of VMware's new "Get it off the Board Agenda" site had to do with promoting cloud adoption. In a nutshell VMware has created a new viral marketing campaign geared toward the idea of keeping executives out of the decision process for buying cloud related services. But why? Doesn't this seem somewhat counter productive, or does it?

First I suppose you need to get into the head of who's buying cloud products and services today. For service providers and telco's this probably means an SVP of some sort has been given the job of defining a revenue generating cloud strategy and service offering, so I'm not sure if this person would be the target for the campaign.

It's probably more likely geared toward the end customers, the customers of my customers if you will. The Google's, Amazons, Salesforce and Microsoft's style clouds and how they're being adopted. The random developer or business unit with a problem to solve. The classic "New York Times" cloud story comes to mind. The story goes something like this, Derek Gottfrid, random NYT programmer had to solve a very hard problem with no time or money. So without prior permission he goes to Amazon Web Services where he leverages the power of EC2 and the free open source Hadoop project. With in a few hours he is able build a cloud application to utilize hundreds of machines concurrently and process a 150 years worth of data in less than 36 hours at next to no cost. Yup, it's called bottom up adoption.

So what is VMware promoting you ask? Bottom up user innovation and frictionless IT procurement policies. Instead of putting up road blocks to innovation VMware is saying empower your employees by giving them self service tools that allow them to do things never possible before. Personally, I think the board room angle may be a little off, but generally I think they are on the right track.
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