As more vendors enter the enterprise cloud services market, organizations are going to have a wider range of product options. A plethora of choices can result in poor product selection if a company doesn't know what features to look for.
In this Q&A Mark Geene, Cloud Elements' founder and CEO, discussed what his company is doing to stay ahead of competitors in the enterprise cloud services market and offers toolset selection advice.
What were some of the integration problems developers experienced that spurred Cloud Elements to create Messaging Hub?
Mark Geene: It's no secret there is a significant shortage of developers, and one of the biggest challenges with nearly every company I talk to is finding enough qualified developers. We are helping companies let developers spend more time building unique, custom functionality in less time.
Developers are commonly integrating email and SMS (Short Message Service) services and having to write each individual API (application program interface) for those services. Each API is unique and what we were finding from developers is that they wanted faster ways to access services commonly used and wanted to use less code. We essentially cut the amount of code in half needed to integrate both services.
What is the difference between what you do and iPaaS?
Geene: We are a form of integration Platform as a Service [PaaS] service. We are tiered as a developer tool for application-level integration. Most of the integration platforms in the past have really been about data integration. We offer a tool developers can use to integrate services into the applications they are building and make those applications work seamlessly together as opposed to just passing data between applications.
Obviously you are taking a modular approach with your toolset. What is good about that approach?
Geene: There is such a proliferation of services, thousands of cloud services, and SaaS [Software as a Service] services. Part of the challenge is curating these services and understanding what are the best services, what services are available, which other ones are out there that can be used to minimize the amount of custom code so an application can go to market faster.
There is an array of enterprise cloud services. What are some selection criteria you'd suggest?
Geene: I suggest looking to see if they have a good, well-behaved REST API that can do anything from that service through the API that can be done though the user interface for that service. Another criterion is to see if are they committed to the API delivery model as a standard way of doing business or are they adding that on later?
Look at their service-level agreements and their service-level history. More and more vendors are publishing their service levels and being transparent about what their uptime and service levels are. I think you are going to see a trend in that as well, where there will be companies that can provide that type of data over time. I think the vendors that are the most leading edge, you can go on their website and see what their uptime is.
Note: This Q&A has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Maxine Giza is the associate site editor for SearchSOA.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This was first published in August 2013