OrangeScape Using aPaaS To Battle The Force.com
Visual Development Platform Offers to "Write Once, Cloud Anywhere"
By: Roger Strukhoff
Sep. 9, 2011 03:40 AM
"We see PaaS as the key to competitive advantage, while IaaS and SaaS are really commodities," says Ashish Bhagwat, Vice President of Chennai-based OrangeScape.
Within this context, the company has outlined a strategy of "metadata" Application PaaS - the company formally calls it Visual aPaas - to compete with Force.com for the minds, hearts, and budgets of enterprises worldwide.
OrangeScape has already won some big customers in India - including Citibank, Unilever, AstraZenica and Pfizer - and is now focusing on expanding its activities to other markets, primarily in the Americas and Europe. It recently won an order for 7,000 user subscriptions from a major food company in the UK.
The idea of aPaas is not entirely new, having been defined and outlined by Gartner a couple of years ago. Within the world of Platform-as-a-Service, it stands in contrast to Integration PaaS (or iPaaS), a field characterized by enterprise application integration (EAI) and companies such as MuleSoft, Boomi, and CastIron.
OrangeScape's focus on metadata that's interpreted at runtime distinguishes it from framework software (such as Salesforce's Heroku and the Google App Engine), and from "instance" aPaaS, a province of Microsoft Azure and Amazon's Elastic Beanstalk.
Visual PaaS Sees the Way
Ashish adds that the company thinks of citizen developers as "white-collar" developers who are part of the line-of-business (LOB) organization, whereas the coders are "blue-collar" developers who live within the IT organization. "By addressing these two extremes of capability requirements through a unified platform," he says, "we can help enterprise IT leaders transform information technology into business technology."
To me, this is a fascinating concept, and I'll be following up with OrangeScape in an additional interview later.
This IT Matters
SaaS - as epitomized by Salesforce.com - on the other hand offers the same, essentially commoditized capability to anyone who uses it, in Orangescape's worldview.
The same can be said for companies taking advantage of IaaS from, say, Amazon, IBM, or Google - although the flexibility of these services allows smaller companies to think big and act big in a way that clearly differentiates them from competitors who don't use it or aren't as aggressive in using it.
In any case, with PaaS, companies are able to create their dreams on someone else's hardware - the only theoretical limit is on their own creativity. PaaS is really not so much a service as it is a set of tools that comes with a big, unseen foundry in the sky.
Write Once, Cloud Anywhere
He also touts OrangeScape's ability to deliver applications in a "cross-cloud" environment that allows the apps to run within different infrastructures - or "write once, cloud anywhere," as the company says in a clever update of the famous "write once, run anywhere" mantra of the Java programming language.
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