Last Week in the Cloud: Consolidation in the Cloud

Nebulous by name, the cloud remains the next big digital frontier. In the past couple of years we’ve seen a slew of both SaaS and PaaS providers populate the cloud – grabbing “land” without exploring potential overlap and collaboration. The result? It’s kind of a like the Wild Wild West out there.

However, things are staring to change as evidenced by last week’s buzzword in the cloud: Consolidation.

There’s a New Sheriff in Town – Cloud Vendors Brokering the Cloud

In a recent article for E-Commerce Times, Jeffrey Kaplan described how the traditional network of “cloud brokers” – SIs, VARs and distributors – is being extended with the addition of some new players. These companies are cloud vendors themselves but are working to aggregate the vast SaaS and PaaS cloud ecosystem to offer integrated solutions to ease customers’ adoption of cloud-based apps and platforms.

SaaS Consolidation

With cloud vendors beginning to group services together, the fragmented cloud frontier is starting to consolidate. We’re seeing this happen more directly through M&A too.

For example: Citrix’s acquisition last week of the document storage and collaboration service provider ShareFile Citrix is a cloud vendor that offers a raft of different SaaS services, including the popular GoToMeeting application. The ShareFile acquisition expands Citrix’s cloud-based offerings, and consolidates the app-like ShareFile into a larger ecosystem.

ITBusinessEdge’s Michael Vizard picked up on the Citrix news as part of this larger trend:

"Longer term, IT organizations should expect to see any number of distinct SaaS application services start to converge, especially when you consider how many of these services are, in reality, just features of a larger application."

As new applications and technologies continue to proliferate, the space will need to organize itself like this more and more rapidly. As the Citrix/ShareFile acquisition indicates, there’s strength in this kind of consolidation.