Fake Cloud Vs. Real Cloud – Don’t Be Fooled By Phonies

Blog Author

Written by Kevin Fiske, Sage – Kevin Fiske is a guest writer with extensive experience in industrial correspondence and high-tech PR consultancy. He co-founded the Sage Partnership in 1989 where he now serves as Director.

Legacy ETRM and CTRM vendors are hemorrhaging market share to cloud providers whose solutions do things faster, less expensively and much more flexibly.

In an effort to slow the loss of customers, the old guard is taking liberties with the term cloud, deliberately blurring the distinction between their own on-premises model and that used by true cloud solutions – and hoping no-one notices.

The general strategy is to sell a subscription to on-premises software that is hosted either by the vendor themselves or by a third-party service provider. As the software and the servers are no longer on (your) premises, it must be ‘cloud’, right?

The answer is no.

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The challenge facing legacy vendors that seek to pull this stunt is that their software was designed from the ground up for the on-premises environment. To put it bluntly, they have been cold cocked. They’ve made a decade or more investment in designing solutions around a delivery architecture that now looks very limiting. Worse still, their products cannot be quickly or affordably re-engineered to compete with new offerings built for the cloud from the ground up.

Their only possible response in the interim is to resort to smoke and mirrors. The trouble is that the ‘it’s cloud’ claim doesn’t withstand even cursory examination. Hosted legacy on-premises CTRM is fake cloud – the only sweeteners being that the cost is shifted from capex to opex, and that the supporting infrastructure is someone else’s problem. Underneath, it’s still the same clunky software, unable to match cloud standards of security, robustness, availability, and functionality. It is also more expensive.

Taking the last point first, true cloud is far less costly for users because it can be. The multi-tenant model at the heart of true-cloud – essentially all users access the same single software image – means the vendor has lower deployment costs to recover, lower maintenance costs, and lower upgrade and bug fix costs. Vendors can socialize these savings across their entire customer bases, resulting in a cost of use or ownership way less expensive than the traditional on-premises model or that of fake cloud.

In functional terms too, true cloud beats fake cloud and standard on-premises CTRM hands down. This is because with only one software image to maintain vendors of multi-tenanted CTRM can culture lightening-fast reflexes to user inputs, market sector and regulatory changes – developing appropriate new coding and then deploying it to all users simultaneously. Updates are not manual, resource, or time dependent. All tenants are always and automatically on the latest version of the software, and updates are engineered to ensure that local customizations do not need to be re-applied.

This naturally helps ensure a quality of service that comes as a refreshing change to those more used to wildly variable on-premises standards availability. But so too does the fact that CTRM built expressly for the cloud is engineered to fully leverage the Web with all the native mobility that it enables. Users can access the application from anywhere with a desktop or mobile device Web browser. Deployments can happen in weeks, rather than months or years.

Challenged on these points, fake-cloud vendors default to slinging mud about security. But the suggestion that true cloud is insecure compared to in-premises is misleading in the extreme. In fact it turns reality on its head.

The on-premises vendors have grown up in an environment wherein security was anybody’s problem but theirs; their solutions built on the assumption that user organizations would have in place properly maintained security measures.

In contrast, true cloud vendors shoulder the security burden and make it an implicit and independently tested and verified element of their overall offer, fully aware that they need to regard the costly investment in properly resourced security as an investment that helps ensure enduring customer relationships.

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