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Former Member
"Something changed this week in the enterprise software world. In an industry known for ruthless competition, a number of players – Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce and NetSuite – introduced partnerships that portend a very different future."
Thursday, June 27th, 2013

The Rise of the Cloud Stack

The New Cloud Stack
In the on-premise era, integrating enterprise solutions entailed vast amounts of complexity for every new solution implemented. Getting your CRM to work with your ERP or HRM from varied vendors was a near-impossible task and led to overdrawn budgets, delayed projects, and incomplete systems.
But with the cloud, a customer can light up any application near instantly – a user of Workday no longer has to worry about the servers, storage, networking or middleware that goes into delivering a world-class HCM system. It all comes for ‘free’. And given the low friction, thousands of enterprises are now running their businesses through a mix of best-of-breed technologies: HCM on Workday, CRM on Salesforce, ERP on Netsuite, Support on Zendesk, Social on Jive, Business Intelligence on GoodData, and so on. Instead of relying on a single vendor to do all their jobs, customers get the best products in each category to solve their problems.
CIOs who’ve embraced this approach simply don’t need one-stop shops for all their technology needs anymore. The cost and time burden to implement new solutions and integrate them becomes incremental (as opposed to exponential), and with emerging identity and integration solutions like Okta, Ping, and SnapLogic the burden is reduced even further.
And integration in the cloud era has become as simple as an API connection. Most cloud services have created a web of interlocking parts: an update in Salesforce prompts an action in Zendesk; a new record in SAP shoots off an update to Yammer; a document in Box can be accessible from Jive. This is the direction the world is moving. From this diversity of systems, customers will get choice, and with this choice we’ll see better applications and solutions emerge. At a lower cost, and at a higher quality.
Previous to this week, the industry was faced with two competing paradigms: a war between the ‘fully integrated’ suites and the best-of-breed cloud stacks. Customers were left to make a philosophical decision, risking going down a path unsupported by some portion of vendors. With this week’s encouraging moves from both Oracle – the leader of monolith era – and Microsoft, a single paradigm of open solutions may fully win out. It’s an acknowledgement that enterprise software is no longer zero-sum; with expanding markets and an internet population of billions, there’s more opportunity than ever before.
A new cloud stack is rising. And this is good for everyone.