Who'd of thought that a company that sells books in the late 90's would become a Cloud services power-house in the last 5 years. But that's exactly what Amazon has done.

I used to work for a small company called Triptych Systems, who sold book systems to bookshops in the UK. I remember Amazon buying Bookpages.co.uk from Triptych. It was clear then, that Amazon had an eye on a much bigger picture and wanted a single consolidated platform. Through a number of acquisitions, they quickly learnt the value of economies of scale and the AWS book platform was born.  

They later extended this platform into a complete self-service retail platform and then took the platform, commoditised it and branded it Amazon Web Services (AWS).   

AWS architecture
Click for larger image

The same business challenges that Amazon faced are exactly the same challenges that an internal IT or commercial service provider has to now solve for their business partners or clients:

  • Lot's of silo's to manage / consolidate.
  • Wanting economies of scales to improve profitability / efficiency
  • Consistent interface to make it easy to use and improve quality, driving more revenue opportunities.
  • Automation to remove the need to expensive manual labour.

Welcome to the birth of Cloud Computing. The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing

So what's next? Well I think it's really simple. Businesses are keen to eat more of the Cloud, to provide them with agility, to provide cost transparency, scalability and on a per user per month basis.  

Imagine taking the core productivity platform that touches every employee in a business and placing that into the Cloud. With the same model as Amazon:

Enter Microsoft Office 365. There is no question that this platform is going to take-off in the next 3 years and here in Australia there is a lot of buzz from clients around the technology. It provides exactly what it says on the tin, in 4 unique flavours, E1, E2, E3, E4.  

So far E3 seems to be the most popular for large corporations. But what if you wish to customise your Office experience and combine with other cloud services that are not part of Office 365? Say you want to have most of your Email (Exchange) and Unified Comms (Lync) in the O365, but want to run custom Sharepoint Apps in the cloud, deploy a cloud-based PC Device and Virtual Desktop service, but run your own Enterprise Mobility service on-premise. All this wrapped up in a mature offering ready for employees of medium to large corporations to consume:

Enter CSC MyWorkStyle. As the Chief Architect on this exciting offering, I've been involved architecting and designing the offering, over the past 12 months. We're now in the closing stages of deploying our production platform here in Australia, so hopefully that explains why I haven't blogged for over a year now!  

Let me paint the picture here:

  • End-to-End Corporate Productivity Services: from the cloud for employees, designed to work with corporations who have 1000, 10,000 or 100,000 employees plus.
  • Tiered Services: 13 Offerings covering a range of MIcrosoft and Citrix technologies in standard and premium flavours:
    • Enterprise Email Standard and Premium (Exchange)
    • Social Business & Collaboration Standard and Premium (Sharepoint)
    • Unified Communications Standard and Premium (Lync)
    • Virtual Desktop Standard and Premium (XenDesktop)
    • PC Devices Standard and Premium (System Centre Configuration Manager)
    • Enterprise Mobility Standard and Premium (XenMobile)
  • Flexible Delivery Model: Integrated and federated with Microsoft O365 and Azure Active Directory.
  • Evergreen: We'll take care of all the product upgrades and the service lifecycle,so that you stay current with latest Microsoft and Citrix features, with minimal or no downtime for employees.
  • Enterprise-Grade Support: Contractually binding service level agreements of 99.95% availability or higher with full application, software and hardware support across the platform. Includes data recovery and flexible disaster recovery options.
  • As a Service: Complete with self-service portal and integrated App store for Virtual Desktop, PC, Tablet and Mobile devices.
  • Enterprise Security: Provides full security, including intrusion prevention / detection, anti-malware, vulnerability detection / correction, encryption with best practice security controls in place to safeguard client data.
  • OPEX Model: Pay per user per month, with no up-front costs (conditions apply).
  • Automated: As we constantly improve on our processes behind the scenes, we continue to automate the platform to reduce delivery timeframes, improve solution quality and aim to respond to requests within hours rather than days or weeks.

Did I mention that we're deploying to our first client later this year, in addition to a global deployment within CSC itself?

It's a very exciting time for all corporates, both big and small and we will be showcasing the platform at the upcoming Gartner IT Expo on the Gold Coast in Queensland.  

I'm very lucky to also be presenting at Gartner this year. I'm doing a really cool thought-innovation piece around how activity trackers are changing our lifes, making us fitter, healthier and more aware of our exercise and dietary needs. Using my Fitbit, some very simple free apps running on my iPad and Android devices and something that everyone can try themselves at home.

In addition, Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple) will be giving the Mastermind conversation keynote, which all goes to make these events that much more exciting. Maybe that can be the content for the next blog.

I look forward to seeing some of you at the conference. Just come and say 'hi'.  :-)

About the author

Paul Colmer is a Fellow of the BCS and Fellow of the London College of Music, State Emergency Service Volunteer and a Music Composer based in Brisbane, Australia. His areas of expertise and passion include cloud systems, big data / analytics, meterology, music composition / orchestration and storm damage operations.