Web Services Invade Hosting. I was asked to write a short article about the impact of web services on the web-hosting industry for Internet World. It should appear in the hardcopy edition in 2-3 weeks. I called executives at a number of colo vendors, MSPs and CDNs to hear what they had to say on the topic. Overall, the responses were what you might expect: MSPs are waiting until it’s a tried-and-true technology, colos are using web services internally, and CDNs are working quickly to provide web services at the edge.
But the most interesting conversation was today with Dev Mukherjee, IBM Global Services’ VP for Strategy for E-Business Hosting. Beyond the original topic of web services and the hosting business, our conversation got me thinking about the entire picture for web-services deployment and which vendors are positioned to exploit the opportunities. Long-time readers know that I think Microsoft is remarkably well positioned, particularly in the small-to-medium business (SMB) market. But who else, and how will it play out? Here’s one scenario.
We all know what happened to the ASP model. It died a death that we all understand with hindsight. Let’s see, I’m going to pay a company of questionable experience and financial stability to manage an application they didn’t develop and probably know less about that my in-house staff. No, I don’t think so.
So how is this different from IBM’s vision for E-Business on Demand? First, it’s IBM, not some fly-by-night ASP. Second, they’re the only vendor I can think of with extensive experience in all four required areas: (1) Internet infrastructure [~175 data centers], (2) managed services, (3) web-service aware professional services, and (4) access to the developer community via web-services toolkits. Even Microsoft only has #4. The top MSPs only have #1 and #2. I’ve got a lot more head scratching to do on this, and I’m sure I’ll hear some dissenting opinions from you (don’t be shy), but after a few hours of thinking about it, I believe IBM is in a uniquely strong position.
Posted Thursday, June 13, 2002 6:46:38 PM