Zuora, the Marc Benioff-backed on-demand billing and payments start-up, has
announced what it calls the Z-Commerce Platform, a development platform
dedicated to monetizing cloud computing services.
Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo describes the widgetry as the start-up’s most important
product announcement to date, “a big step towards our vision of being the
de facto commerce engine for the cloud.”
With Z-Billing, Z-Payments, and Z-Force, its existing products, the
company’s supposed to have a suite of business cloud solutions focused on
driving revenue from cloud computing.
It figures there’s huge market potential for a provider of cloud-based
commerce capabilities such as subscription billing and payments given
predictions like Merrill Lynch’s that puts the addressable market for cloud
computing at $160 billion, including $95 billion in business and productivity
Since Microsoft’s forecast – and its margin implications – is nothing
to sneeze at, we asked industry analyst and cloud spotter Amy Wohl what she
has been seeing.
“The first thing to keep in mind is that we have some semantic confusion,
as is usual at this stage of a new market, around just what is a cloud. We
are now pretty sure that what we used to call grids and what we now call
clouds is the same thing. But we also have things called “platforms” that
seem to be very much like a kind of cloud (and are sometimes called clouds)
and then there is SaaS itself which looks ve... (more)
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Read another Maureen O'Gara story from the same day: IBM Dreams of Pushing
Microsoft Off the Desktop and Stomping its Clinging Fingers
SCO CEO Darl McBride, the most hated man in the computer industry, says he's
reached for an analogy to describe SCO's experience since suing IBM. "This is
like...," he's said to himself, groping for an elucidating comparison, only
to conclude, "Nothing...Nothing compares to what's happened in the last
What happened in the last few days proves his point.
Paul Maritz, the charming ex-head of development at Microsoft, a position
that in those days put him a heartbeat or two from the top, has turned up at
EMC running a new Cloud Infrastructure and Service Division that will include
the four-year-old start-up EMC just agreed to buy off of him.
EMC is paying cash for the Seattle-based Pi Corporation and its 100
engineers. EMC didn’t say how much but Pi was founded using
Warburg-Pincus ($$$) money and EMC says the acquisition will likely dilute
its EPS this year by a penny. Pi, which is short for Personal Information, is
still in... (more)
With Microsoft mandarin Kevin Johnson bolting to Jupiter, leaving Microsoft
to lick its wounds over Yahoo and reorganize, CEO Steve Ballmer sent out an
all-hands e-mail to Microsoft folk encapsulating the message he delivered to
financial analysts gathering in Redmond Thursday.
Ballmer highlighted software-plus-service, associating it with a “platform
in the cloud and delivering applications across PCs, phones, TVs, and other
devices, at work and in the home” (Microsoft’s Mesh widgetry) and
promised “more about our cloud platform initiatives and the next versions
of our Live and ... (more)