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2/20/2009
08:38 PM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
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Coghead's Collapse: Memo From The Trenches

The demise of platform-as-a-service vendor Coghead is being described as a "debacle" and a "disaster" for the small and midsize companies who were using applications built on Coghead's cloud-based platform. Here's the story from the trenches.

The demise of platform-as-a-service vendor Coghead is being described as a "debacle" and a "disaster" for the small and midsize companies who were using applications built on Coghead's cloud-based platform. Here's the story from the trenches.John Foley has weighed in on the lessons to be learned from the Coghead collapse, but what about the actual impact on the companies using the Coghead platform?

To find out, I turned to MCF Technology Solutions, a Cleveland-based software company that used the platform to develop "custom" apps for its SMB customers. I met the MCF folks last year when they were a prime source for a bMighty story called "What PaaS Means For Growing Companies."

For the full account of what MCF had to say, check out my post on bMighty, but here's the Reader's Digest version (wait, does anybody still read Reader's Digest?).

In the short term, "it's a debacle, a disaster," says MCF honcho Don Larson, forcing him to start moving his customers from Coghead to an alternative PaaS technology. "There's no time to develop a new client/server application," he explains. The first step is to export the data, which Larson says shouldn't be a problem. "From a continuity of data standpoint, I don't anticipate a problem." But moving to a new platorm inevitably means "redeveloping the application," Larson says. There is no way to migrate the apps.

In the midterm, Coghead's failure is "likely to create a little bit of conservatism in the market," adds MCF solutions designer Govind Davis. "There is a real risk and people have to be aware of that... The value proposition is still huge, but people will be more wary."

In the long run, though, Larson sees a silver lining in SAP's involvement. "I find it extremely encouraging that someone as big as SAP is getting into this space," he says. It shows that the technology is "going mainstream."

NOTE: For the full story, read The Demise Of Coghead: Collateral Damage When The Cloud Goes Poof, at bMighty.com.

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