Portals, Content, and Collab in the Cloud

So cloud has different meanings for different people. Not surprisingly, consumers have a different perspective than IT.
What is driving the cloud?  It’s all coming out of web 2.0.  Web 2.o continues to improve and mature.  Technology like REST and Ajax help it.  The user or community based paradigms get better.

Portal and the Cloud

  • The portal is aggregation friendly. Good for the cloud.
  • It includes cloud capabilities.  Consuming web services is easy for them for example.
  • It embraces WOA/REST.  You see this in RESTful services, widget support, mashups, etc.
  • It supports MyPortal
  • Social Software functions are critical and integrating these things.

Vendor Cloud Offerings

There are a number of major offerings by key vendors in the marketplace.


  • Office Live
  • Windows Live
  • XBOX Live
  • Exchange Online
  • Sharepoint Online
  • Office Communications Online
  • Office Live Meeting
  • Windows Azure – just launched 5 weeks ago.
  • BPOS

There are a lot of moving parts and a lot of pieces. It’s hard to put it all together.  With MSFT, you have low level services like Azure up to middle and top tiers like Sharepoint Online.  This is a very broad strategy.   You can deploy most of this on premises, have MSFT deploy them for you in a hosted model, and then have the actual shared model like BPOS.


IBM has a number of offerings.

  • Web Conferencing in Lotus Live
  • Collaboration with Engage and connections
  • Amazon EC2 to spin up portal, content, etc.
  • He went through this really fast.  IBM offers a little more than he mentioned.


Google calls it GAPE or Google Apps Premier Edition.  They want to make money with this offering. It comes from the consumer side. They want to make people use the web more and thus use MSFT less and less. Google makes more money when people are online.

  • Gmail and Google Calendar
  • Google Docs and Google Sites
  • Google Video
  • 25 GB account for mail. 10 gb + 500 mb for storage
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee

Is it ready for prime time?  Gartner asks if the enterprise is ready for Google with it’s quick and nimble approach.  However, Google continues to enhance it’s product offerings:

  • Postini acquisition for mail security and archive capability
  • Migration support
  • however, they had multiple outages last year.
  • Not a huge amount are taking the plunge.
  • iGoogle and Sites are out there. (Sites is the old Jotspot)
  • Google Wave is interesting.   It’s not integrated with existing products though.  Gartner considers it a good proof of concept


They are really one of the only ones who are pure play cloud.  They focus on a couple key industries.  They have horizontal offerings as well.


Their key asset is their client site internet technologies like Flash, Flex, and PDF.  They are starting to offer cloud based services like acrobat and  Jim Murphy sees them fleshing out collaboration and leveraging the analytics firm Omniture  to help the whole user experience.  (Note: Omniture isin my hometown of Orem Utah)

Models in the cloud

  1. Cloud Friendly: I consume cloud services
  2. Cloud based portal as a service: Portal in the cloud either hosted or like BPOS from MSFT or LotusLive from IBM
  3. Public Cloud Deployable: this is spin up portal on Amazon EC2
  4. Private Cloud for internal use: Create your own private cloud and spin it up.
  5. Private Cloud for external use: Same thing but different constituents.

Life Beyond the Titans

It’s not just IBM and Microsoft

  • Cisco is entering
  • Jive has been here a while
  • Oracle has some offerings
  • Amazon
  • AT&T
  • Yahoo!
  • Facebook
  • and a bunch more

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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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