It’s easy for those of us who consider themselves cloud evangelists to overstate the current impact of cloud computing – every piece of literature I read that tries to analyze the market size for cloud, is always super-confident about the future potential, but somewhat subdued about current adoption.
I’m always happy to hear of industry players putting competitive differences behind them and connecting for the sake of the industry. It’s a connection suited to a term my fellow-commentator and leading light in the SaaS world, Phil Wainewright, coined – “The Loosely Coupled Web”.
I’m right behind industry initiatives like this and am part of the group putting together CloudCamp Christchurch. Coming out of the CloudCamp we’re hoping to form a regional industry group of “cloudy” companies in our area – it’s a nascent idea, but one with real merit on so many levels….
Given this background then it’s hardly surprising that I was excited to hear from Phil himself that he’s part of a group setting up Eurocloud. EuroCloud is a;
European network of local SaaS and cloud computing communities from Denmark, UK, Belgium, Finland, Luxembourg, France and Spain, including vendors and industry experts. It is aiming at developing the next generation of added value applications. EuroCloud plans to create further local communities in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden, and will set up its headquarters in Brussels. Through its diverse membership, EuroCloud will promote cloud computing in Europe, including current state of the markets and future innovations, and will become a critical exchange platform across the different continents.
EuroCloud is led by Pierre-José Billotte, President and Founder of the French ASP Forum, with a team of SaaS & cloud computing players from the UK, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Spain, EuroCloud gathers together leading SaaS vendors, enablers, integrators and industry experts to share best practice and expand their businesses across the continent.
They’re calling for participation and inviting cloud players to create a regional communities. Candidates can create a new local organization under the EuroCloud brand. EuroCloud’s launch is already supported by major companies in Europe and in the US. Including: Amazon Web Services, Cloudberry Associates, Cloudmore, Compubase, Dassault Systèmes, E-Kenz, Emailvision, Esker, Huddle, INES, Ipsca, McAfee, Microsoft Corporation, Mimecast, MrTed, NTRglobal, Odyssee Mobile, Oodrive, OpSource, Panda Software, Procullux Ventures, Qualys, RunMyProcess, Saas-it Consult, salesforce.com, Servoy, STS Group, SuccessFactors and Twinfield.
Some commentators have questioned the need for yet another industry grouping, contending that it’s both a busy space already, and one which puts vendor interests before customer ones. While I understand the perspective, and the risks involved in being vendor-centric, I’m also aware that there is a vast market out there that, for the most part, has no knowledge of, or exposure to, “the Cloud”. As such a body which seeks to both educate and negotiate some shared standard cannot be a bad thing.
While there could be a risk if the EuroCloud members use the organization as a front to avoid actually having to be transparent and define common standards, I’m optimistic that the grouping will be used for the right reasons – to iron out the chinks that need to be sorted before cloud goes mainstream. I’ll be watching EuroCloud progress with interest.