Cloud
Commentary
2/27/2009
04:54 PM
John Foley
John Foley
Commentary
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

A Cloud User Switches Clouds

Less than two weeks after platform-as-a-service vendor Coghead disclosed that it's going out of business, competitor Caspio has migrated one of Coghead's abandoned customers to its platform.

Less than two weeks after platform-as-a-service vendor Coghead disclosed that it's going out of business, competitor Caspio has migrated one of Coghead's abandoned customers to its platform.Mountain View, Calif.-based Caspio announced a customer transition program within hours of Coghead's Feb. 18 death notice, and today Caspio revealed that it has switched over its first account as a result. Quality Behavior Outcomes, a behavior health agency in Hawaii, has moved several Web applications originally developed on Coghead over to Caspio Bridge, the vendor's app-hosting service. The process took a few days.

Caspio and Coghead present an interesting study in contrasts. Founded in 2007, Coghead is (or was) the newer company, and it had an impressive lineup of financial backers, including venture capital firms and SAP. Privately held Caspio, on the other hand, has been slowly building up its PaaS business since it was founded in 2000.

How is that significant? Caspio CEO Frank Zamani is convinced that some businesses chose Coghead over Caspio because of Coghead's financial backers. "I guarantee some of the customers who signed up were relying on the fact that SAP was supporting the company," Zamani says.

As it happens, SAP did provide a safety net of sorts to Coghead in acquiring its technology and hiring its employees. However, SAP didn't keep Coghead's service running or pick up its customers, who are scrambling to re-host their apps before an April 30 deadline. "SAP in a way betrayed these customers," says Zamani. "I don't think you would see that in an independent, privately held company."

I asked Zamani about the issue of cloud vendor lock-in and what, if anything, Caspio does to ensure that its own customers can switch to another service provider if and when the time comes. He said Caspio provides an "export button" that provides a metadata definition of applications, which can be used for that purpose. However, not many customers actually do that. The PaaS model is too new for a lot of customer movement, he says.

Caspio has "thousands" of business customers, which tend to use its platform for database-driven applications such as restaurant guides, real estate listings, and job openings. I asked Zamani how the cloud business is going, and he said that while there's a "nice uptick" in companies trying cloud services for the first time, it's somewhat offset by existing customers (think real estate or finance) that are canceling service in the face of declining business.

The brutal economy has set up an unanticipated dichotomy: The same financial pressures fueling demand for cloud services are undermining the market as vendors and users cut back or, worse, go out of business. As a result, expect to see more companies switching clouds in the months ahead.

Want to hear more about security and cloud computing? Internet Evolution is hosting a Webcast on this topic on March 5. Find out more. (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2014 Next-Gen WAN Survey
2014 Next-Gen WAN Survey
While 68% say demand for WAN bandwidth will increase, just 15% are in the process of bringing new services or more capacity online now. For 26%, cost is the problem. Enter vendors from Aryaka to Cisco to Pertino, all looking to use cloud to transform how IT delivers wide-area connectivity.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.