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May 07, 2012

The Amazon Effect: Zuora, Citrix and the Acceleration of the Cloud Economy

When Amazon started making their infrastructure and IT processes available outside the company firewall in 2006 it was a tipping point of sorts for business consumerization of the cloud.  Companies of all sizes leveraged a variety of Amazon Web Services to store data, stream video, run online stores and a ton of other things. And now today consumers and businesses alike are adjusting quite nicely to life in the clouds.

IDC projects worldwide revenues from public IT cloud services to reach approximately $73 billion in 2015.  So now that the cloud (in all its many faces) is front and center, more technology vendors are exposing their internal IT architectures and capacity via cloud-based services to “feed the need”.  But one thing that could slow down the roll out is the provisioning, billing and metering services that have to be in place in order to manage these offerings. 

Having to build this functionality from scratch is not the core part of business for most vendors, and would extend the rollout time for services ready for consumption in the cloud economy.  Which is what makes today’s announcement that Zuora is partnering with Citrix to power the meter, price and bill capabilities for Citrix CloudPortal Services Manager.  According to the press release, “Z-Commerce for the Cloud solution will integrate seamlessly with CloudPortal Services Manager to provide a powerful billing and payment platform that allows cloud service providers to quickly monetize and grow their cloud services.”

It will be interesting to see how many of these kinds of partnerships will arise as more companies push to cloud-enable their offerings.  Services like Zuora’s would seem to be in a great position to accelerate the move to the cloud of technology providers by taking care of an essential part of the offering not central to the core business.   And that should accelerate the march to the cloud Amazon put into overdrive a few years ago. 



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