How good are the Salesforce opportunities in Europe

What AWS, Microsoft & Co. are planning to do in Germany

Salesforce.com: arrived in Europe

The name Salesforce.com often falls a little under the table when it comes to cloud service providers. The company from the USA is one of the pioneers in this area with its CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solutions. Salesforce.com now offers a wide range of cloud-based public cloud services. These include the Sales Cloud sales platform and the Salesforce1 Platform, which companies can use to develop and provide applications and services. With the Service Cloud based on Salesforce1, for example, companies have the option of processing customer inquiries.

But Salesforce.com also has to reach for the ceiling. Because Amazon and above all Microsoft are going in the same direction, keyword applications and app stores via cloud. Salesforce.com countered with Superpod, a private cloud infrastructure based on the converged infrastructure systems from HP. Salesforce wants to address companies that want to retain control over the IT systems from which they obtain cloud services. These include companies from the financial sector and the health sector.

CRM - yes, but also other cloud services

Paradoxically, one of the problems Salesforce is confronted with is its success in the CRM area: the company is primarily associated with this by many potential customers, rather than with a comprehensive cloud offering. That's why Salesforce is now going on the offensive, i.e. moving closer to the customer. In October, the company opened its first data center in Europe in the UK. In France, Salesforce is cooperating with the data center operator Interxion.

A data center is due to open in Germany in 2015. Salesforce wants to make it easier for companies to entrust their business data to a US cloud service provider. These "trust-building measures" are all the more important as Salesforce increasingly wants to offer cloud services that offer (existing) customers added value. This includes, for example, Wave Analytics for the analysis and visualization of business data.

Google: Still too far from the market?

Actually, Google is well positioned for public cloud services in the area of ​​Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The company has high-performance data centers all over the world with excellent network connections. In addition, Google, like Microsoft, has relevant experience with cloud services for private and business customers, see Google Docs, as well as infrastructure and PaaS services based on its Google Cloud Platform. Compute Engine is the company's IaaS service that delivers virtual machines on demand.

The App Engine is aimed at application developers. There are also cloud services for storing data, the Cloud Datastore (a NoSQL database) and the SQL database solution Cloud SQL based on the open source software MySQL. However, Frank Heuer from the Experton Group criticizes the "lack of proximity to German corporate users". The lack of awareness of Google's cloud solutions remains behind that of their counterparts from AWS and Microsoft.

Thus, Google is apparently currently suffering from a problem that a number of high-tech companies are confronted with: They have good products, but nobody knows. In the case of Google, this may be related to the fact that cloud computing is not - yet - part of its core business. The company is currently also facing increasing pressure from Facebook, so it must use its resources to defend its position in the online advertising business.

HP: Focus on infrastructure

Helion is the magic word at HP. In May 2014, the company presented its reorganized cloud portfolio under this name. Helion consists of the Professional Services and the Helion Managed Virtual Private Cloud. In addition, the manufacturer has provided well-known product lines such as HP CloudSystems and Cloud Service Automation with the Helion label. The Infrastructure-as-a-Service level is provided by Helion OpenStack. HP expanded its strong position in the OpenStack area at the end of September 2014 by taking over the open source provider Eucalyptus. For HP, the takeover, which is rumored to cost "less than $ 100 million", has another advantage: Eucalyptus has focused in the past on building private cloud environments that are interoperable with Amazon's cloud services.

This enables HP users to set up private cloud environments in which they can save and edit business-critical data. At the same time, they have the option of using inexpensive and scalable cloud services provided by public cloud service providers such as Amazon, if required.

With its commitment to an open source solution for the "orchestration" of clouds, HP stands out from providers such as Microsoft or VMware, who rely on manufacturer-specific approaches. However, thanks to Azure's strong market position, Microsoft in particular can also afford such a policy.

Study: OpenStack on the rise

According to a study by Crisp Research on the topic of OpenStack, the technology is in use in 19 percent of companies. Another 56 percent plan to do so. Among the distributions, 42 percent of those surveyed prefer HP's Helion OpenStack. The solution from Red Hat follows in second place (14 percent). The market researchers also assume that IaaS cloud services based on OpenStack will establish themselves in the coming years. This would confirm HP's strategy and improve the company's chances of establishing itself in Infrastructure-as-a-Service offerings that are offered via public clouds.