Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Eric's day of cloud computing

Will cloud computing dominate the future of the software market?

Eric is the program manager of a small IT company. He begins his workday as usual.


Eric opens his computer at his office. After the linux Ubuntu is started, he opens the Firefox 3 and logins into the company email system and calendar system to check if there is anything to do.

The company does not maintain its own email/calendar/document system, the email, calendar and document services has been put inside into the Google cloud-Google will offer the enterprise services over the internet.


Eric checks the online calendar of the meeting room in the browser and sees that the meeting room at the second floor is available from 9:30 to 11:30.

Since the online calendar is in the cloud, everybody in the company could share the calendar.


Eric schedules the meeting room and meanwhile he also sends all his teammate an invitation in the email to attend the meeting.

Since the online calendar and email system are both in the cloud, the calendar system could trigger an event to send an email to the receiver within the cloud.


Eric checks the online calendar event status, and he sees 6 of the 10 invited person say that they would attend the meeting.

Since the online calendar and email system are both in the cloud, the calendar system could update the status of the user in the cloud.


Eric opens the online presentation slides in the Google docs under this own account. For the teammates that are travelling in another office site, they could share the presentation over Google doc. And attend the meeting over the video conference system.

Google docs could store the word, excel and presentation files in the cloud. People could share those data if they are in the same domain.

Video conference system could move the meeting inside the cloud. Through the cloud, they people could collaborate even if they are in the different ends of the cloud.


Eric and the teammates begin to discuss how to design a CRM system for the FooStorage.Inc.

*FooStorage.Inc is an emerging online store in CA. It is going to open some new warehouses in NY because its customers in the east coast begin to complain about the speed of shipping. However, the company does not want to put too much money on maintaining those servers and software system. It wants to set up an efficient and less expensive CRM system to share/manage the inventory within its growing distributed warehouses.


Eric and its teammate reached a solution.

1. Buy the data storage from a reliable third-party data storage provider. Let this provider manage the data.

2. Buy the CRM components from Salesforce.com and compose the CRM system.

3. Compose the CRM system, and run the system in Salesforce AppExchange Engine.

4. Monitor and measure the system using the Salesforce CRM monitoring and measurement components.

Data could be in the cloud, and the management of the data could be outsourced to a reliable third-party.

Service could be in the cloud, CRM components are services. These services could be rated by provider, quality assurances.

Workflow could be in the cloud. The workflow composed by the CRM components is running inside the cloud. The engine to run the workflow should be rated.

The whole CRM system could be in the cloud- and we call this SAAS.

Testing and measurement of the software could be in the cloud. These data are generated and could be shared over the different roles in distributed sites.


Eric begins to review his teammate in the online employee evaluation system.

Review system is in the cloud.

The review results are shared by all the mangers in the company according to their roles.

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