The lead up to Deploycon included a largely made-up battle over polyglot vs. single framework platform services. I went along with the fun prior to the show, mostly to do my tiny part in promoting one of the first pure PaaS conferences around, agreeing to be on a panel on the topic, but to me the topic is dead. By any reasonable census the top players in the PaaS space have all gone polyglot and Github has become a monster developer platform by following the same principles –a common set of tools for almost any developer using any language will generate the most valuable ecosystem. Anyone who tells you there is a serious debate in this space is likely trying to sell you something.

So while I sat on the polyglot panel in the afternoon all I could really think about was how interesting the morning’s keynote talk from Warner music group was.  

In short it was an overture to the coming era of private PaaS catalyzed by the macro trend of software ‘eating the world’.  While @Adamalthus did call out using a Cloud Foundry partner Tier3 as a primary vendor, and Cloud Foundry as a primary framework, my favorite part of the talk was his passionate clarity on several key philosophical issues.

1) Public only vs. Software

At 24:50 @Adamalthus gives an unequivocal commandment to any vendor who wants to vie for his spending: ‘be available on my private fabric as well as a hosted one.’ While many users will continue to discover new software through hosted services, enterprise demand for software based, private solutions represents a critical new profit-pool for the industry.

2) Who controls the data and ‘black boxes’

Another clear theme of the keynote is their desire to control and regulate the interface to all data on the platform vs. a legacy ‘SAP like black box’ approach. It is essential to the success of platform services that applications make their data readily available in a more standardized way. Some early SaaS players have not followed this rule, and I’ve labeled this larger trend API mercantilism. Is your SaaS partner ready for a PaaS era?

3) Opensource and ecosystems

A platform to re-write and modernize over 350 enterprise applications at the core of a multi-billion dollar business is a big bet. An open source project with a vibrant ecosystem takes some of the risk away and provides choice. Warner is able to start quickly with a hosted solution from Tier3 knowing the code is always available to run privately or with another Cloud Foundry partner.  Unlike a single developer deploying a few applications these enterprise-wide platform bets have different buying criteria, risks, and requirements than the early days of PaaS.

4)How to respond to the increasing importance of software as a competitive weapon

This is one of the top enterprise buying trends to watch in the market right now. Traditional brands are starting to make ‘massive’ investments to modernize their application portfolios to compete with web-native offerings. Unlike previous buying cycles focused on core ERP like workloads this new mega-cycle will be focused on time to market, lower cost of operations, mobile integration and customer engagement. I’ve already seen single purchase orders for open source software bigger than the revenues for several year old hosted only PaaS plays in this app modernization space. Watch for a big pivot to this type of customers once more deals become public.

5) Can paas achieve operational cost savings?

At 12:17 @Adamalthus shares their internal estimates of what operational savings having a common PaaS platform: 50%. Imagine a world where companies realize they can write the new applications to engage with customers significantly faster on a private PaaS and also enjoy operational savings of this magnitude.

One thought on “Incomplete notes from Deploycon.

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