The Rise Of The Collaborative Cloud

Salesforce.com announces Service Cloud 2

 

On 9/9/09 Salesforce.com announced the launch of Service Cloud 2, a new set of three collaborative offerings: Salesforce Knowledge, Salesforce Answers and Salesforce for Twitter.

 

With Salesforce Knowledge companies can share data in the Service Cloud, Salesforce Answers enables companies to create communities to capture knowledge and Salesforce for Twitter allows companies to screen and participate in the 45mio user Twitter community directly from the service cloud.

 

·         Think this is just another Cloud? – It’s Not!

Traditionally cloud computing is all about sharing resources in order to reduce cost. A simple principle – to avoid expensive CAPEX, resources such as infrastructure or software are shared with other users and ‘consumed’ as a service, paid by usage. The typical resources that are offered in cloud computing are:

 

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

 

However, there is zero collaboration between different cloud customers even if they are sharing the same resources from the same service provider in the same cloud – the multi tenancy architecture of cloud resources carefully separates the business of different customers, and that’s good for obvious security reasons. However, it neglects the immense potential the cloud can offer if users are not only sharing computing resources but data, processes and knowledge.

 

·         Collaboration untaps the full Cloud potential.

In a new world where companies are not only sharing computing resources in order to reduce capital and operational costs but to innovate their business processes via closer collaboration with their business partners the new stack of cloud computing can look like this:

 

Business Process-as-a-Service (BaaS)

Knowledge-as-a-Service (KaaS)

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

 

The two new levels of cloud resources Knowledge-as-a-Service and Business Process-as-a-Service or ‘KaaS’ and ‘BaaS’ if we want to follow the typical cloud nomenclature, are very different from the below three layers.

 

With Service Cloud 2 Salesforce.com has taken an important step into Knowledge-as-a-Service to increase collaboration based on shared information around e.g. products, markets and customers. However, knowledge sharing can go much deeper. In a collaborative KaaS environment business partners access the same data, a single version of the truth. For example business partners could directly share relevant production, inventory and logistic information to eliminate data reconciliation which today consumes millions of dollars per year.

 

In the next level of cloud collaboration, Business Process-as-a-Service, business partners could directly share the same business process. Why create a sales- and a buy-contract for a typical process between business partners in different systems if a single contract in a shared environment is possible? Of course there are many challenges to such scenarios but the true potential in cloud computing is not the saving of capital and operational costs by resource sharing but the innovation of business via collaboration on knowledge and processes.

 

Salesforce.com has taken an important step into the Collaborative Cloud, who is doing the next?

 

Please leave a comment or contact me directly.

 

Kind regards,

Holger

 

Comments

re: The Rise Of The Collaborative Cloud

Dear Holger, I do agree with your blog that Collaboration, rather correct collaboration between businesses, services, softwares will be the key for next generation internet business. However there are many players like Cisco, HP and Sun coming in this space of collaboration, where Cisco is leading it.