A constant thread throughout all of my discussions with our Application Partners in the past year has been a combination of amazement and awareness that the Cloud is, in effect, still in its infancy. And yet it is already changing how software companies and enterprises large and small do business, find business and build business, because it is fundamentally changing how technologies are delivered and used.
With the Cloud, entirely new businesses are being developed and built, stimulating more innovative ways of doing business and creating new opportunities for traditional and new types of providers. We are clearly in the midst of a revolutionary change. However, the only way we will be able to meet end-user expectations is to have access to infinite scale that is affordable and available to all. The other key to success will be the ability to integrate with existing ways of doing business, while also being able to address the new ways of working and interacting: namely the current influences of social networking and mobile.
The emergence of social networking has taken many organizations by surprise. And yet, we should not be surprised at all since nothing else links more users, more apps and more devices than social networking. Mobile is the access medium within and between these apps, but social is what is shaping how and what we communicate. For our Application Partners, the challenge they tell me is most difficult is how their applications can satisfy the requirements to interact with other apps, data sources and device types, in this fast pace world we live in today.
Flexibility is the key. Tools and platforms will need to be flexible and easily maintained, as new combinations and context emerge. Many of our Application Partners recognize that their own expertise lies elsewhere, yet social will be crucial to their applications in the future. Our Application Partners’ solutions will not only need to be aware of social and mobile, but will need to be designed to maximize the value exchanged across these platforms in a range of business context. That is where the Cloud can be most helpful. Cloud is not just about technology, but more about innovation in the use of technology that enables new and better ways of doing business.
The greatest success that I have seen with our Application Partners that are using OpenEdge and Arcade in the Cloud is the innovation and development of new solutions. These new cloud-based solutions have been designed to maximize and exploit the power to integrate social interactions into their applications and enable end-users to consume that data on mobile devices. The Cloud for them has become less about “outsourcing of IT” and more about optimizing and innovating the use of data and workloads.
Colleen Smith is Vice President, Customer Advocacy at Progress. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring customer focus and accountability for improving the company’s relationship with its customers and partners, as it relates to the use of Progress core products. Smith joined the company in 2005 with 20 years of enterprise software marketing, sales and product strategy experience, and has helped transform software companies into industry leaders, built strategic partnerships, designed acquisition strategies and moved companies through aggressive growth stages.
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