Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cloud as Disruptive Technology

In 2008, Gartner identified Cloud Computing as one of top 10 most disruptive innovations through 2012. In 2010, the prediction seems reasonable, and it may be possible at this point to suggest some of the winners and losers that may be created by the increasing adoption of Cloud Computing. While there is still a lot of water upstream of the bridge, let's consider a few examples:

Clear winners: Storage companies. The demand for storage, both in internal and external clouds continues to grow at a breakneck pace. Companies that supply storage arrays, and the software to provision, manage and protect the data they contain, should thrive in the Cloud.
SaaS Providers. As one of the enabling technologies in the Cloud, the companies who have mastered this approach will reap the benefits as demand for both custom and standardizes apps grows.
Managed Service Providers: Many former VARS are morphing into this type of service provider, and the value proposition for the SMB is real and compelling. A major shakeout is probably in the offing, but there will be a number of clear winners.

This is just a start - Virtualization providers, networking providers, and green technologies are also likely beneficiaries of the Cloud. What do you thnk?

Probable Losers: White Box Suppliers: The predominant paradigm has moved to virtualized blades for datacenter and cloud supplier. The concentration of demand - focused in larger datacenters and in the cloud suppliers themselves will likely move demand to the largest players in this market - the clone wars may be over.
Traditional hardware distributors: These players have adapted to changing conditions over many tech cycles and will need to do so again. Professional services and online software need to occupy their offerings.
System admins: One of the mantras of virtualization and SaaS is the reduced need for administrative resources. Going forward, there will be lower demand for the traditional sysadmin, although other skillsets may provide career options.

This is just a first look - please add your ideas.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Snapshot of the Internet Marketing Industry

After attending SMX (Search Marketing Expo) West, it inspired me to delve further into the Internet Marketing Industry and this is what I have so far. In 2008 the Internet Marketing Industry was valued at $23.4 billion, according to It is clear that the industry is growing and Google is proof of that. Larry Page and Sergey Brin share the number 11 spot on the Forbes 400 richest Americans list. Google AdWords brings in 97% of Google’s revenue, according to Let’s take a closer look into their PPC madness. Google AdWords is a text based advertising strategy that is easily integrated into site search results, mobile webpages, feeds, videos, online games, and TV inventory. It has also found its way into social gaming sites such as Zynga, Playfish, and

What does this mean? This gives companies the ability to target their advertising to the places customers live on the web, pretty exciting stuff. According to this blog post Google has the clear majority of market share at 81%. As long as Google has 81% of the market they can taylor their Google AdWords revenue based on how much they promised they were going to report to Wall Street.

Yahoo! converted their company Overature to Yahoo! Search Marketing (SM), which as of right now doesn’t stand a chance to Google. Now for my thought, since I am not using these techniques or in the Industry for that matter, I see Google being the clear winner. Google Adwords is very well known and it is easy to start an account.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Marketing and the Cloud – II Using Social Media

Using social media as a marketing tool is growing rapidly in virtually all segments of the market today. Marketing teams dream of coming up with a strategy to engage large numbers of potential customers with compelling messaging – the YouTube video that “goes viral”; the Twitter superstar who attracts an instant following; or a Facebook page that creates “fan-demonium”. If you are looking for the magic formula here, please move on to the next post. However, I do think that there are three principles that are emerging, that, not surprisingly, echo some of the key learning from internet marketing, and even from good old-fashioned direct marketing, and that make success more likely.

First, let’s be clear. Social media marketing is not “free”, nor is it “easy”. The basic tenets of marketing still apply. Know your audience. Know what you want to say to them. Know what you want your audience to do next. And know what you want to do next. That said, here are three things to consider.

1) Content is king. What you say is important. If what you say is important to your audience, they will follow along. If it looks like a commercial, they will skip it. So, it is critical to create interesting, relevant, and timely content. The goal is to get potential customers to hear your message.

2) Follow-through is the name of the game. Most marketing teams know what to do with someone who responds to an ad, offer, or invitation. Social media contacts are no less important. Deciding how to reinforce the messages that attract fans and followers is one thing. But keeping the interest of the fans and followers is a time-intensive and thought-intensive process. Let them drift away at your peril.

3) Fans and followers don’t just happen. And, they are not permanent. From a business perspective, they follow because there’s something of value for them. Attracting them takes time, as does finding the right content to keep them around. Once you start the process, the worst thing you can do is let it get stale.

As always, comments are welcome, encouraged, solicited, and hoped for.