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When news of a shakeup over at Citrix’s cloud organization broke last week, some said that, when it comes to open-source cloud technology, OpenStack has sucked the air out of the room, leaving CloudStack and its most prominent corporate backer (Citrix), at sea.
But CloudStack partisans say that is simply not so, that equating [company]Citrix[/company]-based commercial CloudStack aka Citrix CloudPlatform with the broader Apache CloudStack project is simply wrong. Citrix, once an OpenStack backer came to CloudStack honestly, by acquiring Cloud.com three years go and turning the effort over to Apache Foundation two years ago for governance.
As one CloudStack contributor noted via email:
I am looking at code contributions for the last 12 months from inside Citrix and outside Citrix and though CloudStack is perceived as a Citrix project the contribution from outside over the last year is pretty close to parity when you look at core code, add-ons and documentation. That’s a good sign of a healthy open source project considering just over three years ago the code was virtually all from Cloud.com.
Assessing Google in the enterprise
When [company]Google[/company] officially rebranded its Google Enterprise product stable as Google for Work, I surmised one reason was that the old-school [company]Microsoft[/company] Office-and-Exchange franchise retains a firm grasp on traditional “enterprise” shops and that Google’s new branding suits up-and-coming startups and SMBs that are far more likely to use Google Apps for Business etc.
Analysis done by Dan Frommer over at Quartz last month that backs up that contention. Looking at the email servers used by 150 companies across the start-up-to- enterprise spectrum, he found that Microsoft retains its stranglehold on Fortune 50 accounts — for now. He wrote:
Among the Fortune 50, only one company—Google—had its mail records pointed at Google’s servers. Among the mid-size companies, almost 60% host their email with Google, including corporations like Twitter, Dropbox, Box, Airbnb, Square, Uber, and Etsy. And among the Y Combinator startups—mostly very small companies with some funding, but often tight budgets—92% host their email with Google.
Given that small companies that succeed tend to grow and that young employees are now more likely to know Gmail rather than Exchange, that bodes well for Google and badly for Microsoft down the road. And, Google, by offering mail and apps for a small fraction of the price Microsoft used to command for Office and Exchange has forced Redmond to offer cheaper SaaS options, you could argue that Google has been calling the shots lately.
Also, any Fortune 50 CFO who does not use the prospect of a Google migration to wring price concessions out of Microsoft probably should be fired.
In summary: Even though any of the biggest corporate accounts tend to cling to Office and Exchange — change is hard after all — many future Fortune 500 companies have seen other options and may bring Google for Work with them as they grow.
Structure Show; Why Zapier thinks you need to zap your apps
Speaking of Office and product suites, many small companies came of age using a dozen or more SaaS tools to run their businesses. And many would like those apps to be better integrated with each other so accounts receivable, for example, doesn’t have to cut and paste order information from SaaS-based ERP into SaaS-based CRM. That’s the problem [company]Zapier[/company] is attacking — providing easy integrations or “Zaps” between a couple hundred applications.
Check out Zapier co-founder Bryan Helmig’s take on why this work of maintaining API linkages between apps is rewarding — but also sort of a pain. He starts at about minute 18.