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Summary:

European hosting companies and service providers are hurting their cause by offering the same old services but with the word “cloud” attached, according to Flexiant founder Tony Lucas.

Tony Lucas is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it any more. Cloudwashing that is. Lucas, the founder of Flexiant a cloud orchestration vendor, founder says traditional hosting companies and service providers are doing themselves harm by offering the same services they have for a decade or more,  but advertising them as  “cloud” offerings.

In the mean time, their customers are flocking to Amazon for the real deal, he said at GigaOM’s Structure Europe Tuesday morning.

These companies say they’re standing pat because customers aren’t asking for  cloud. That’s short-sighted, in his view. “They should be focusing on what’ s coming instead of what’s happening now.” The implication being that if they don’t, it will soon be too late.

Lucas comments contradict views expressed by OnApp CEO Ditlev Brehdahl earlier in the day. Brehdahl said in Europe at least, he sees a reluctance to use the “c word” because it spooks risk-averse customers.

Check out the rest of our Structure Europe 2012 live coverage here, and a video recording of the session follows below.

  1. I hope you had a lot of hosting and service providers in the room listen to this.

    For customers my point is that cloudwashing really doesn’t matter, if you know what you’re doing (by own knowledge or by trusted advisor knowledge). It might be a problem if you get locked in using old techniques. It’s not bad for the cloud market either. It’s, as Lucas say, bad for the service provider. The problem is the lack of innovation, development and strategy vs proudness of a, maybe, working service. There’s no point in the “cloud-add” on a non-cloud service. If it works well as an i.e. traditional SaaS call it SaaS – be proud of it. If it isn’t NIST cloud compatible don’t call it cloud. Lucas is taking some sort of mentor/big brother role in this but it’s important service providers start looking one step further and set up a good strategy to better meet future behaviors customer needs. Call things for what it is, if the thing is out of date or soon will be; start thinking “what to do”. SP’s will 1st; start losing control and 2nd; losing customers and soon be out of business if they don’t plan well enough. You don’t have to be a CSP but you have to know how your services can work with cloud services, techniques and tools.

    On Newvem and my blog InMaxmind I’ve posted a couple of posts about cloudwashing and lock in’s. Feel free to browse them or contact me on twitter.

    Max (@maxbuchler), MMind

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  2. Great example – GoDaddy killing off their “cloud” business[1]. It was never a real cloud product, just old stuff repackaged. Definitely agree with Tony on this; the term is often applied incorrectly.

    [1] http://gigaom.com/cloud/scoop-godaddy-quietly-kills-its-cloud-computing-business/

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