As with any contract negotiations, it's imperative to urge the simplest deal possible the primary time around, not during a renegotiation. virtualization technology Buyers have little leverage once they've signed up. That said, some companies have had success winning concessions if they comply with an extended contract, consistent with Herbert. Generally, however, it behooves fully SaaS-based vendors to stay to their boilerplate SLAs. We have two flavors, counting on the start line, and that we attempt to stay pretty on the brink of those," said Mini Peiris, vice chairman of product marketing at NetSuite. "As we moved to a public company, we actually strive for a one-year deal at now. Otherwise, you finish up with higher discount rates, and for multi-year revenue recognition, there are financial implications that are not attractive when you're trying to model for the road. We push for the one-year deal, and a multi-year deal is that the exception." Some organizations have done well with on-demand SLA negotiations. When it bought Datamonitor in May, London-based publisher Informa plc discovered that its new acquisition had a way better effect had been ready to get an equivalent "sweetheart deal" for its own implementation.
"They've been very flexible," said Jonathan Earp, Informa's CIO. 2nd Wind's Kelly discovered after an encounter with the CEO of Postini -- the e-mail archiving company acquired by Google -- that he was actually paying quite he should for email service. 2nd Wind got credit for the additional charges. In terms of handling these vendors, it's like all business: you only got to be educated and know what you're stepping into," Kelly said. And, in comparison with negotiating with a number of the massive, premise-based software vendors, SaaS is often a pleasure. cloud technology Informa is additionally an SAP customer. Earp said negotiating with Salesforce.com may be a different experience. I feel less dirty handling Salesforce," he said. "It seems to be easier. it is a much simpler licensing model." Advice for negotiating on-demand SLAs At the outset, companies considering large SaaS implementations should forecast the number of users they're going to increase the system and negotiate agreements if they think they'll get to scale usage up or down, consistent with Forrester. Companies also got to believe quite just price and users in negotiations.
"Where we are running into problems is storage," said David Politis, executive vice-chairman and head of Atlanta-based Vocalocity, a VoIP company. information technology education Vocalocity has 55 Salesforce.com seats. For us, on-demand is vital in everything we do. I personally believe the SaaS model generally," Politis said. "But the quantity of storage that they provide you is ridiculous. you've got to shop for additional storage. That, so far, has been one among their biggest weaknesses for us." Forrester also recommends holding SaaS vendors in charge of data integration by clearly mapping out current and desired processes -- and defining an inventory of ordinary and customer fields that ought to be within the on-demand application. Firms should even be bound to stipulate how they're going to get their data back at the top of the contract, should they plan to end the connection. Dig Deeper on Topics ArchiveSalesforce.com outages put the spotlight on SLAs
A recent series of Salesforce.com outages have put the San Francisco-based company and its Software as a Service (SaaS) model under attack. Salesforce.com, best known for its outspoken and flamboyant CEO, has so far been enjoying positive press coverage and ringing endorsements from its customers and market experts. Naturally, the recent outages have provided much ammunition to hosted CRM competitors wanting to spread the news of Salesforce.com's troubles and tout their own offerings instead But the downtime has also drawn attention to the very fact that Salesforce.com doesn't offer a uniform service-level agreement (SLA), or contract that describes and specifies performance criteria and repair commitments. "The bigger, more influential customers are more ready to negotiate an SLA into their contract," said Liz Herbert, an analyst at Forrester Research who recently penned a search note on the difficulty.
"The whole idea of SLAs and uptime and its reimbursement is standard in outsourcing and hosting, but Software as a Service [SaaS] -- likely due to the role the business user has taken -- doesn't have that very same standardization."Historically, the IT department was more closely involved in buying decisions and more attention was paid to service levels. But the increase of SaaS and its simple implementation has engaged more business users, and fewer input has come from IT. Some hosted CRM vendors that compete with Salesforce.com do offer standardized agreements. for instance, San Mateo, Calif.-based NetSuite Inc. unveiled a money-back guarantee last year. However, those measures tend to supply more reassurance to wary customers than real insurance for downtime. The agreements typically involve waiving the service charge for a month or reimbursement for just the time that the system was down. Those reparations don't necessarily structure for having a salesforce paralyzed because they can not access customer records and vital account information.declined to debate its SLA policies, citing a quiet period before earnings announcements
Salesforce.com's latest outage came last Monday, keeping some customers on the East Coast from accessing records for several hours, consistent with reports. A Salesforce.com spokesman said only that the system experienced some downtime but was up and running again an equivalent day. Another outage occurred last month, shortly before the vacations. Competitors took the chance to form news for themselves, while still acknowledging that some downtime is inevitable. However, at some point it becomes unacceptable, especially on the last days of the month -- a crunch time for each salesperson," Jonathan Tang, president of Boston-based Salesnet, said during a statement. "Even more unacceptable is [Salesforce.com's] lack of follow-through with informing their customers." Similarly, Bozeman, Mont.-based RightNow Technologies Inc. issued a press release yesterday touting 99.98% uptime in 2005. t shows a shift within the marketplace that companies that when celebrated Salesforce.com's success as a "validation of the on-demand model" are now hoping to unseat the corporate, at an equivalent time that Germany's SAP AG is making its entry into the market.
Salesforce.com is within the midst of a $50 million effort to create mirrored data centers on both coasts to handle exactly this type of problem. And while some vendors do offer SLAs, that does not mean anyone is collecting on them. The last time I checked, [none of the hosted providers] had paid out," Herbert said. "That likely means people aren't really tracking [their SLAs] and therefore the vendors aren't doing it for them," Herbert suggests hosted CRM customers approaching a replacement contract take the chance to barter for extra clauses which will provide some insurance which prospective hosted CRM buyers enforce such clauses from the get-go. Additionally, downtime of applications is some things that are to be expected whether it's being escape site during a vendor's data center or on-premise. The other thing to stay in mind is, it isn't almost uptime," Herbert said. "It's also about performance and reaction time. a number of these solutions are slower to refresh. All the vendors got to focus not only on uptime but also on performance."VMware CTO Steve Herrod talks cloud computing: A Q&AFor a while, VMware Inc.
has been synonymous with virtualization. But now the corporate has worked hard to maneuver beyond this categorization and into cloud computing. News Director Alex Barrett sat down with VMware CTO Steve Herrod to debate the company's new strategic direction, problems with cloud computing, and what happens if cloud computing seems to be a huge flop. ou joined VMware in 2001; how has VMware's strategic direction changed?
Steve Herrod: one of the most important changes to return within the past nine months has been our push into application development. We acquired SpringSource, RabbitMQ, and GemStone, for distributed data management. We also announced joint initiatives with Salesforce.com for VMforce, and with Google to run Spring applications on Google App Engine. At the core of virtualization -- and therefore the reason we've been successful -- is because we take nasty applications and put them during a VM [virtual machine]. My colorful way of claiming it's that we suck the brains out of a server and put it during a VM. But something like 60% of applications that are written is custom apps. We also want to possess a story for when you're writing new applications.
How is that the Google initiative different from the VMforce announcement you made with S.H.: Salesforce may be a trusted company with a robust customer database and an enormous customer base that's looking to increase [this data with custom applications]. Google may be a completely different story -- it's a particularly developer-focused cloud, and it integrates well with Google Docs and identities. Another component of the announcement is mobile devices, with integration to Google Web Toolkit. we would like to run modern Web apps that look good and have an excellent UI [user interface] on a spread of devices. What are VMware's broad goals for cloud computing? S.H.: We're moving from straight virtualization to virtualization as an enabler for cloud computing. we'd like to assist IT to build the private cloud, to make differentiated but compatible public cloud offerings and -- to bridge those two -- by letting IT managers view IT assets that reside on on-premise and off-premise resources.
We also got to address security. One thing you hear CIOs say is "My data must stay in one state" for compliance reasons. I feel we'll see the emergence of various sorts of public clouds: the New Jersey cloud, the hydroelectric cloud, a budget cloud, the secure cloud, etc. a method we do this is by working with partners. We currently have 2,000 cloud partners -- that's up from zero one and a half years ago -- and every one features a different angle about why they matter, and who they appeal to. VMware has put such a lot of effort into cloud computing. If cloud fails -- as other hyped outsourcing trends have -- is it a risk for VMware? S.H.: If you think that about cloud the way it had been perceived previously -- together giant übercloud -- then yes. But people are beginning to recognize that there are core components of cloud computing that [apply to compute as a whole]. For one, cloud computing implies levels of efficiency that are different than what you've got today in terms of hardware and other people . and there is no argument that we've to urge better there.
Also, the notion of self-service is vital. All folks in our consumer life recognize that we shouldn't need 12 signatures for something to happen. We're beginning to see that with developers, who are voting with their feet and leaving [the confines of internal IT]. If you ask a CIO if they're using cloud computing, they'll say no. But if you ask the developers, you will find that they've skipped past IT and gone around them. But if cloud computing goes to be viable, it's getting to need to have an answer for state regulation, which we're only getting to get more of. If cloud computing hasn't been viable thus far, it's due to the "I haven't any idea where my data is" issue. How does one solve the cloud's geographic problem?
One way is by building private clouds, which provides companies complete control, as they need today. Another is to make groups of public clouds, where each features a trait assigned thereto . for instance, within the education sector, we're beginning to see universities and state-education departments join together to supply shared cloud resources -- what we're calling "clouds.
" It's kind of a cloud coop; with each contributing a bit, you are able to expand quite you'd wear your own. Google launches cloud storage; competes with Amazon S3Google launches cloud storage, competes with Amazon S3 Google Storage for Developers offers 100 GB of space for storing and 300 GB per month in data-transfer bandwidth for free; the offering competes directly with Amazon's cloud storage service Simple Storage Service (or S3).
Other features include the following: Secure Sockets Layer support Multiple authentication methods Access controls for sharing with individuals and groups Read-after-write data consistency support Web-based interface for storage management
Presently, the service is out there only by invitation. additionally, to initial fees, Google will reportedly charge through a utility-computing model -- that's, the more you employ, the more you pay. HP LoadRunner brings application performance testing to EC2
Hewlett-Packard Co. has brought performance testing to the cloud with HP LoadRunner within the Cloud, an application performance testing offering available via Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).
HP LoadRunner within the Cloud enables businesses to try to to the following: protect the integrity of applications and website performance through more ubiquitous testing;
increase agility for quicker response to unplanned, unplanned situations with an on-demand, preinstalled performance testing application; take advantage of affordable, hourly rates
HP also offers Software as a Service (or SaaS) testing services, including the following:\HP Elastic Test enables IT organizations to require advantage of cloud elasticity by instantly expanding testing capacity cost-effectively. Specifically designed for spike-load testing, HP Elastic Test provides the power to proportion to very large loads during a utility-based fashion.HP Cloud Assure takes advantage of the speed, flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness of cloud services, testing and measuring security, performance, availability and price control. Google and VMware: Unlikely bedfellows? SAN FRANCISCO -- Google and VMware jumped into bed in the week, outlining a partnership which will allow Java developers to create applications on Google App EngineThe news,
unveiled during a keynote at Google's I/O conference, piqued the interest of some developers attending but many others couldn't wait to go away for the free snacks and soda. The collaboration will allow Java developers to create and run Spring-based Java applications on Google App Engine. Perhaps it had been the selection of demo material -- the 2 companies built an expense reporting app on stage -- that sent developers to call at droves. What a snoozer!