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Treff LaPlante

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Oracle Founder Right About

The Cloud Defined

The Oracle founder isn't afraid to say and do what he wants. Sometimes it takes a guy like him to say what needs to be said.

Ellison famously lambasted - which offers customer relationship management software and enterprise cloud computing - in a video a year ago. He pointed out with no small sense of bombast that there is a big difference between inventing new technology and simply adopting a new name that makes it seem like you've invented technology. In Salesforce's case, it took its software-as-a-service and began calling it cloud computing, seemingly ignoring the other critical elements of the cloud.

Nothing about Salesforce's technology, its delivery or its customers' experience changed. The only thing that changed at Salesforce was its website. And it wasn't the only company. It's startling to consider the range of products now referred to as "cloud computing" because that's what is trendy in today's technology industry.

That so many providers are willing to so significantly change their brand image points to the fact that the industry isn't stable. And the reason it's not stable is because customers aren't being satisfied. I see this dissatisfaction every day when talking to potential customers, and I also see it when I speak with the IT channel. I see it when I talk to Salesforce customers quite frequently.

Particularly with small- and mid-sized businesses, technology remains a half-hearted and often broken offering.

True cloud computing is addressing this problem. Businesses adopting cloud solutions are enjoying remarkable productivity gains, cost savings, revenue increases - all on a budget they can afford. And IT product and service providers delivering cloud solutions are enjoying not just happy customers but sizable profit margins.

You've got to hand it to Ellison because he isn't one to let things go. Today, he's touting Oracle's latest cloud innovations. And even as he does so, he continues to lambaste the pseudo-cloud providers.

"We believe cloud computing is a platform," Ellison said. "It must be elastic and it must include hardware and software; not just applications on the Net like"

In time, the market is going to realize this, and for those offenders, I believe there will be backlash.

This was originally posted on the Central Penn Business Journal Gadget Cube.




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Treff LaPlante has been involved with technology for nearly 20 years. At WorkXpress, he passionately drives the vision of making customized enterprise software easy, fast, and affordable.

Prior to joining WorkXpress, Treff was director of operations for eBay's HomesDirect. While there, he created strategic relationships with Fortune 500 companies and national broker networks and began his foray into the development of flexible workflow software technologies. He served on the management team that sold HomesDirect to eBay.

During his time at Vivendi-Universal Interactive, Treff was director of strategy. In addition to M&A activities, Treff broadly applied quantitative management principles to sales, marketing, and product line functions. Treff served as the point person for the management team that sold Cendant Software to Vivendi-Universal. Earlier positions included product management and national sales trainer for Energy Design Systems, an engineering software company. Treff began his professional career as a metals trader for Randall Trading Corp, a commodities firm that specialized in bartering and transporting various metals and coal from the then-dissolving Soviet Union.

Treff received his MBA from Pepperdine University and a BS in chemical engineering from The Pennsylvania State University.