Google and Salesforce.com executives stressed the benefits of cloud computing Thursday at a Silicon Valley technology event, with a Google executive going so far as to state that cloud deployments are now necessary for a business to stay competitive.
Executives from the two cloud service providers appeared at a "Cloud Clinic" event at the PlugandPlayTechCenter in Sunnyvale, Calif., hailing the cloud concept and their companies' respective cloud offerings.
The old, complex model of computing requires that users buy an operating system, security servers, and other components, then hire a "small army" of people to support their systems, said Paul Slakey, Google director of enterprise channels. The cloud, however, offers massive scalability and economies of scale, he said.
Salesforce.com had the right idea about companies having no software themselves, he said. "Companies that don't adopt this [model] are very quickly going to find their costs of doing business are non-competitive," Slakey said.
The cloud offers lower total cost of ownership, said Steve Lucas, Salesforce.com senior vice president. He cited the current down economy as offering an opportunity to examine the cloud.
"There's very few things to love about a massive economic downturn," Lucas said. "But one of the things you can love about a massive economic downturn is it forces people to rethink things."
"When you're building your applications in a cloud computing environment, it will change your life." Cloud computing changes how quickly companies can get their application to market, he stressed.
Google and Salesforce.com have partnered on cloud computing. "Salesforce and Google are really good friends," said Slakey. "We're all benefitting from the vision that Salesforce.com has had and it was spot on."
Cloud Clinic also featured other vendors that are using cloud computing. "The thing about the cloud economy that's amazing, even in these times, is it that it's on the offensive," said Eric Berridge, co-founder at Bluewolf, which provides on-demand software services.
"We have hundreds of people around the world deploying cloud-based solutions at enterprises right now," Berridge said.
Salesforce.com has 55,000 customers using its applications, with most of them using the company's CRM application, Lucas said. There are more than 100,000 applications built by customers and deployed on the Salesforce.com Force.com cloud, he said.
Slakey noted the Google App Engine Web hosting platform now accommodates Java development. "You can think of this as kind of marrying Google's infrastructure with the Java platform," said Slakey.