Customers Getting Creative in the Clouds

I’m sitting in the Hong Kong airport reflecting back on this week’s APAC Partner Conference in Phuket Thailand.  It was an awesome experience (of course the beautiful setting had nothing to do with it…) and between this trip and one last month to Kuala Lumpur I’ve learned a ton about the implications of the cloud in the Asia Pacific region speaking with Interactive employees and partners as well as key analysts and consultants in this part of the world.

Andrew Milroy of Frost and Sullivan shared that the cloud is projected to be the number one priority for IT in the region in 2012, with Australia, New Zealand and Japan leading the cloud contact center charge and with impressive growth expected across other Asian countries over the next few years. That said, everyone I spoke with also agrees that premise deployments aren’t going away anytime soon and we’ll likely find ourselves in a perpetual hybrid world to ensure that customer requirements, preferences and financial needs are met.

While it’s fun to talk cloud, nothing gets me more excited than learning about and discussing how customers are leveraging the model in new ways to solve specific business problems. One example that seemed to light up the room during a breakout session in Phuket was how customers are leveraging the cloud for premise deployments. Huh? Let me explain…

Companies purchasing premise-based contact center solutions are choosing to use the public cloud to get up and running quickly and make progress while infrastructure is built out, resources are trained, and existing platforms fully depreciate. In essence, phase one of their premise deployment is to turn up applications in the public cloud and then, when the time is right, migrate them to their own data center to be managed internally –a private cloud deployment.

Seems like common sense, right? Well, I have to admit this is not something I ever thought of or expected. Most folks I speak with confess the same which is why it makes for such an interesting discussion. It gets you thinking, “What else is possible?”

For those interested in knowing how customers are able to use the cloud this way, the answer lies within three important technical and architectural advancements:

To put it simply, a streamlined application deployed on a virtual server as part of a hybrid cloud deployment can be migrated from a public cloud provider’s data center to a customer’s private data center relatively easily and cost effectively. Of course, this assumes the application provider supports both public and private cloud deployments.

Kudos to customers for getting creative in the clouds!

Are you leveraging the cloud in unique and non-traditional ways? If so, please comment and share! If not, I challenge you to get your team together and brainstorm how you might do so. Don’t settle for the status quo, continue to push the envelope and help drive the pace of innovation.

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Jason Alley (@jasonalley4c)

Jason Alley

Jason Alley

Jason Alley is a senior solutions marketing manager for Interactive Intelligence. Since his employment in 2010, Jason has helped Interactive Intelligence develop market requirements and go-to-market strategies for contact center, customer experience, and cloud solutions. Prior to Interactive, he spent ten years consulting with large enterprise contact centers and suppliers for Vanguard Communications, and a company he later founded, SmartContact Consulting. Jason spent the first seven years of his career in sales, marketing, and product management roles working for Aspect, Hipbone, Nortel, and others. Jason received his bachelor’s degree in business economics from UCLA.