I’d not heard from Ghalimi for a couple of years, since the 2008 Office 2.0 conference (an event which is, sadly, no longer). Now this would be an impressive lineup from a Microsoft, an IBM or an Amazon, but this comes from a privately held company with only 100 employees. On the PaaS level, Intalio has been built using the same structure as Salesforce’s AppExchange. Anyway – looking more generally, Intalio’s play reminded me somewhat of what Zoho is doing. With a caveat that, in his understanding, Zoho is available for private cloud “if the organization is big enough”. It’s an eminently logical approach – tie all levels of the stack into one offering and give customers the options in terms of delivery. To have competitive edge and sustain in the cloud market place, cloud service providers are flexible in terms of their services, price plans or pricing structure which introduced the concept of Pay Per Use (PPU).
In addition to the usage based pricing parameters such as storage space, bandwidth consumption, computing cycles, number of users, modules, services, instances, downloads, alerts, hours etc, every cloud service provider has its own vertical specific usage based pricing charges e.g. For KT (Korea Telecome), action seoul built new Service Identity for the new business cloud computing service following the design guideline of the company. Intalio has been around for a number of years but has been something of a quiet performer – Ghalimi wishes to change this with the new Intalio product range. Our products can be deployed on premises for maximum security and control, or on public clouds such as AWS.

He’s always had a very holistic vision for office 2.0 and was excited to say that the latest offering from Intalio realizes that vision. I talked to Ghalimi about the massive challenges he’s facing when explaining his offering – sometimes breadth is a much more difficult thing to articulate than a point solution. Much like Windows, it needs to provide some core services (compute, storage, database) and development tools. Becuase of this, AppExchange applications can be run on Intalio using whatever delivery method the customer likes – private, public or virtual cloud and single or multi tenant.
They too have a very broad product offering – covering all of the SaaS applications with a fair dose of PaaS to go with that. Intalio is entirely agnostic in terms of delivery method – it can be run on public, private or hybrid clouds and has the ability to be either single or multi-tenanted to meet the demands of all use cases. The vast difference between salesforce and Intalio is that the former is a billion dollar business with thousands of employees and significant traction in the enterprise. It is however hard to see how a small player like Intalio can pull it off, and it’s unlikely that Intalio would be much of an acquisition target, there’s very few vendors out there who don’t have a serious product overlap with Intalio. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. Marketing team is coming up with innovative price plans, Sales is aggressive in acquiring customers, Technical team is provisioning services, Customer is availing every option of service extensively but end of the month, usage metering , calculation and invoicing !…..How do we do this? But, one must not ignore the pains of a cloud service provider in tracking, collating and calculating the usage of each and every customer, applying respective rate plan, and generating a bill.

However usage tracking process would become a challenging and painful process for the service providers with Large customer base. And without a killer application (Office for Windows, CRM for us), it would be kinda useless, or at the very least much harder to use. Alerting and allowing a customer on the usage limit (threshold) is again one such crucial business process. Hence cloud service provider should automate its usage tracking process and keep a weather eye on the individual customer’s usage consumption. This will collect data that is in logfiles, databases or can run scripts written in Java to collect data. Intalio, by contrast, despite having been around for years is very much still in startup mode and, despite some impressive customer names on the front page of their site (Zimbra, Finnair and Facebook among others) are something of an unknown. Cloud service provider follow a manual process or they have a tool in house developed to track such things. The Metering component in eVapt allows collections of multiple usage type and accurate processing of the same. That is until you realize that this isn’t an ecosystem diagram, rather this is a diagram of the breadth of offering available from Intalio themselves.

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