Yesterday I attended CloudStorm in Paris. The idea behind this series of events is to give solution providers in the Cloud Computing space the possibility to present their products in front of potential customers and establish contacts with potential partners and customers.
My expectations of the event were to get an impression of the state of the art in the cloud computing space: what kind of companies are migrating to the cloud? What are they looking for? What are the major obstacles of adoption? What business models are valid and popular? Which role do security concerns play in the adoption of cloud computing? What problems are still not solved?
My impressions were the following: The solution range went from SaaS providers (collaboration, project management, enterprise communication, and catalogue production) over infrastructure software and service providers (targeting service integration, cloud storage systems, or private cloud creation) to a service provider actually using cloud technology to implement his service offer. The only large global player represented was Sun Microsystems.
While this multiplicity of players represent very well the actual confusion around the term Cloud Computing, I am not convinced if it really helped the solution providers to talk to people particularly interested in their problem space.
The event also included three panels targeting three different topics. The panel “Creating a Startup” discussed the challenges of being entrepreneur in the software domain (not really specific to cloud computing). The panel “Scalability Aspects” concluded that scaling a business is at least as difficult as to scale a web-application. The panel “Selling Cloud Solutions” stated that the simplicity of the business model makes applications based on utility computing easier to sell than traditional software and allows to gain better feedback on the customer’s problems and thus solve them faster. While the panels had interesting topics and consisted of competent people, time was simply too short to provide deeper insights.
I would be interested to know how the solution providers perceived the event and hear their opinion on the helpfulness and impact of the Cloudstorm format.