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Summary:

Much has already been written about this week’s VMforce announcement, but my biggest question still hasn’t been answered: Who’s the biggest winner in this partnership -– Salesforce.com or VMware? And who’s the biggest loser?

Much has already been written about this week’s VMforce announcement, but my biggest question still hasn’t been answered: Who’s the biggest winner in this partnership -– Salesforce.com or VMware? I’m also interested in who the biggest loser is, as Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and the entire SaaS-based CRM community all seem to have taken hits.

A Big Winner: Salesforce.com

As I wrote last week, the combination of SaaS and PaaS could prove to be powerful, and Salesforce.com was poised to capitalize on this if it only expanded its Force.com user base. Enter VMforce. Now, Salesforce.com can bring in a new — and much, much larger — developer community to build applications atop Force.com. Once they’re in, the hope is that the hooks into Salesforce.com’s various collaboration, support and SaaS tools will make them want to stay, and maybe even expand into Salesforce.com’s other services.

The Biggest Winner: VMware

I suspect VMforce represents a mere seed from which will sprout a vast PaaS empire. If VMware expands its PaaS partnerships beyond Salesforce.com – in the manner it has grown its vCloud ecosystem -– users will be able to port both VMs and code from on-premise environments into the cloud, and then across a variety of cloud providers’ services. The one piece that makes all this flexibility possible: VMware. VMware also is facing an all-out assault on the virtualization front, and rather than battling simultaneously with Microsoft, Citrix, Oracle and Red Hat, it’s changing the nature of the conflict. If it were a matter of comparing apples to apples, customers would face a difficult choice, but VMware is trying to show them they can have an entire fruit basket.

The Biggest Loser: Oracle

Compared with Oracle, Salesforce.com now looks even more appealing as a SaaS option, and VMware looks more appealing as both a virtualization and Java platform option. IBM hasn’t gone anywhere either, and is pushing its cloud offerings hard. Even Microsoft enables Java development on Windows Azure, as does Google on App Engine. Oracle said it won’t be pursuing Sun’s cloud ambitions, but it might be time to rethink those plans, at least in terms of a PaaS offering.

Read the full article here, and be sure to attend Structure 2010 in June, where we’ll certainly here more about VMforce from keynote speakers Paul Maritz and Marc Benioff.

By Derrick Harris

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    The steps that Vmware and Salesforce.com took was only a logical business move. Think about how many developers write develop their API’s and other software using JAVA and JAVAScript, millions. I think that one should look at Vmforce from a business perspective. Why? Well, millions of developers all over the globe using JAVA and JAVAScript and Enterprise Businesses hiring these developers based on many parts of their skill-set, but mainly based on their ability to wirte good, sound apps in JAVA and JAVAScript. This means that Salesforce.com and Vmware have taken potentially a large part of the developer community and enabled them to continue to wirte in JAVA and or JAVAScript in a Cloud Computing Development enviornment.

    Clearly and logically, other Cloud Service Providers – CSP’s will follow suite in time, and I am certain, they already are planning to role out their own versions of the Vmforce platform and or enhance their current platform with the same capablities as Vmforce.

    Windows Azure for example locks a developer into the .NET and C# languages with just a bit of flexablity with Java, but since Vmforce was introduced and after some time, Microsoft will develop and or adapt the Windows Azure Platform to be more, shall we say, “Java and JavaScript developer” user friendly.

    As far as Oracle is concered, one has to remember that the APEX programming language that Salesforce.com uses is very close the APEX programming language that Oracle uses. Although, Oracle’s CEO and Co-Founder bashed Cloud Computing sometime ago, Oracle entered the Cloud Computing Industry any way: http://www.oracle.com/technology/tech/cloud/index.html and this was do in large part to business projections. Oracle’s Executive Managers, Investors, and Bord of Directors couldn’t go against an industry shift towards Cloud Computing, to do so would mean a great reduction in their profit margin, and as we all know, investors want to see and ever increasing profit margin per “quarter”.

    Therefore, Oracle will also follow suite in time, it is only logical and smart business. But, we all have to remember that most Cloud Service Providers – CSP’s are continuing with the notion of locking in their customers, in other words, they offer a platform that when an application is developed on it, said application cannot be or is extremly difficult to migrate to another Cloud Service Provider’s – CSP’s platform.

    I think the better question would be, which CSP will start to make it eaiser to port applications developed on it to other CSP’s platform?

    Kind regards,

    Von’Victor Valentino Rosenchild

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