PaaS Vendors Swarm Former Coghead Customers - InformationWeek

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2/23/2009
07:08 PM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
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PaaS Vendors Swarm Former Coghead Customers

When Coghead revealed last week that it was going out of business, it left users of applications based on its Platform as a Service products scrambling for a new direction. Not surprisingly, it hasn't taken long for competing PaaS vendors to jump in -- but will once-burned users be twice shy about adopting other PaaS environments?

When Coghead revealed last week that it was going out of business, it left users of applications based on its Platform as a Service products scrambling for a new direction. Not surprisingly, it hasn't taken long for competing PaaS vendors to jump in -- but will once-burned users be twice shy about adopting other PaaS environments?When I wrote last week about the collateral damage from Coghead's implosion, the users I talked to said that time constraints would force them to look to replace Coghead with another PaaS solution.

But InformationWeek's John Foley (Lessons From The Demise Of A Cloud Startup) wonders whether that's such a good idea:

Coghead serves as another example of what can go wrong. IT pros tend to be cautious of doing business with startups, and cloud startups carry the added worry that your data resides on their servers, outside of your reach.

Similarly, the users I talked to predicted a flight to quality -- naming Salesforce.com and QuickBase as the only "really credible PaaS players."

But that's not stopping everyone and his brother from trying to grab a slice of Coghead's business. Since I posted my story on Friday, I've heard from Freddy May,the founder of PerfectForms, claiming that his solution can "replicate the Coghead experience" either in the cloud or on premise.

I also head from Rafic Aslam, customer relations manager for Zoho Creator and Marketplace. Rather than use "techy" terms like PaaS and SaaS, Aslam says Zoho Creator is a Database Application Development Platform with a development ecosystem called Zoho Marketplace, "where developers develop and sell off-the-shelf Business Applications to users. Marketplace also provides an option for users to post their requirement and get it done by the developers."

Intuit, meanwhile, has special offers for Coghead users, partners and employees.

And finally, Sullivan Software Systems offered up an Open Platform as a Service (OPaaS) solution as an alternative where developers aren't locked in to a proprietary language, server, operating system, development tools, etc.

It all sounds good, but I predict many Coghead users are pretty spooked right now and are primarily looking for the safest port in the storm. As InformationWeek's Foley put it:

It's important for prospective cloud users do two things: one, exercise due diligence by checking customer references, meeting company management, asking about funding, and so on; and two, have an exit strategy in case your cloud vendor, like Coghead, closes its doors.

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