It was inevitable.
In our running about at 115% over the last few months (um, maybe years?) an article passed by that indicated Microsoft’s position on “Private Cloud” and what that “truly” is.
Unlike the running shoe company that has a moniker that promotes being active or a no longer Canadian beer company that promotes being Canadian and the trademark associated with those particular companies Microsoft has not taken the step to trade mark “Private Cloud” from what we can see.
Part 2 of the above article:
- Windows Technologies Blog: A Private Cloud Delivers IT as a Service (Virtualization vs. Private Cloud, Part 2)
From Part 2 we find:
We see that Microsoft’s position is that virtualization of resources provides the platform upon which the “Private Cloud” is based but it is _not_ the “Private Cloud” itself.
Ultimately, what we are seeing is a marketing position to present a Microsoft suite of products to provide the ultimate “true” “Private Cloud” experience whether that Cloud is in-house or hosted elsewhere either in the client’s own DC resources or a third party’s DC (Data Centre).
What does “Private Cloud” really mean for SMB?
Realistically, for those of us at the SMB level, and maybe even the smaller side SMEs, a Private Cloud as Microsoft defines it is way beyond what is needed and/or required for a client business to generate revenue efficiently using the IT tools at their disposal.
The Cloud, or an in-house IT Solution for that matter, does make a company _with properly trained users_ a lot more agile and efficient than they were before they dropped the Quill & Papyrus.
However, the Cloud does _not_ make a significant business process/efficiency impact on a SMB/SME company that had a properly implemented and maintained in-house IT Solution with their users being trained up on its use.
Cloud Marketing Folks are promoting that a business that moves from in-house to Cloud will see a better bottom line. That, however, has yet to be proven over time plus there are a lot of additional variables that are not accounted for in this type of marketing fluff.
Newer businesses will always be on the lookout for ways to reduce their initial outlay of cash. Cash flow is King! It used to be leasing for that first in-house IT Solution. Now, that solution is more than likely to be Cloud based.
Having the Cloud as an option is certainly a good thing as the smaller company will then be less likely to encounter a consultant that deploys a poor implementation of hardware and software technologies with Microsoft and others facing the blame. No more black eye for Microsoft and others from the flying-by-the-seat-of-their-pants self-proclaimed expert.
However, the more savvy business owner that has been around the block a number of times with their business will be a lot more mindful of the in-house versus out-house (pun intended) discussion and the value either or a blend of both will have for their business.
There will be no substitute for a properly designed and deployed in-house (possibly with Cloud components) IT Solution that is tailored to the business owner’s company needs.
The Cloud model is a one size fits all solution that cannot be tailored to a business’s specific needs. That is one of the main reasons that we need to be very picky about the Cloud vendors we choose to partner with.
In this case OWN’s hosted Exchange/SharePoint solution (in our case) beats Microsoft’s online solution hands down. We get to be the face behind the service and that counts for a lot despite the all of the contrary marketing fluff.
We are certainly mindful of all of the change going on about us and trying to keep our heads above the Clouds so to speak, we are still investing a lot of time, energy, and equipment into some of the market niches that we see as being coming about as a result of all of the Cloud marketing fluff!
We will continue to do what is in the best interests of our client’s businesses and their business processes to make sure that their IT does what it is supposed to do: Give them the tools they need to make money! It does not matter whether those tools are in-house, Cloud based, or a blend of both.
Fellow MVP Tim Barrett works his way through some of the Microsoft Cloud marketing fluff here:
Some further thoughts on SMB and the Cloud:
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book