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Blogs > The Norfolk Punt

Cloud computing - is it a billing thing?
David Norfolk By: David Norfolk, Practice Leader - Development, Bloor Research
Published: 11th July 2013
Copyright Bloor Research © 2013
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I was interested to read today about Actian's plans to use what it is acquired with ParAccel, Pervasive Software and Versant Corporation, to offer two new platforms, the Actian DataCloud and ParAccel Big Data Analytics Platforms.

"The unprecedented explosion in data complexity and volumes, along with fast-growing demand for sophisticated analytics, present both opportunities and threats for today's business leaders," according to Ray Wang, chief executive officer and principal analyst at Constellation Research. "As social, mobile and cloud converge in the enterprise, organisations can innovate and expand, or be displaced by those that do. The data-driven world demands that organisations adopt a modern, purpose-built big data analytics infrastructure that can mean the difference between market success and failure."

That's OK, as far as it goes; but we think that innovative billing services might an essential enabler for the services model implied by all this. The old licensing model - where you often pay for shelfware that no-one uses, because you are frightened of the vendor's licencing compliance lawyers - is well past its sell-by date. Although this is IT - once something is dead it takes about half a century to finally die, and I remember a 'cloud in the box' vendor telling me that they licenced their cloud box, so you were locked in even if you decided you didn't like it - which doesn't sound very cloud-like to me.

Pervasive, before its acquisition, had an interesting billling technology that allows ISVs to 'SaaS-ify' their existing applications (using MySQL) at low cost - see my Usage-based billing as a database platform service report. I wonder if Actian is thinking of extending this service on its cloud platform, and to its other databases? "Useage-based billing as a service" sounds like a neat cloud platform value-add, to me...

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