The Open Cloud Manifesto

By Tien Tzuo April 2, 2009

by Tien Tzuo

 

We’ve seen a lot of coverage this week about IBM’s Open Cloud Manifesto. IBM’s position is interesting and we certainly support the concept of an open cloud platform.

 

The whole point of cloud computing, and subscription services in general, is that you only pay for what you need. We’ve built Zuora on this premise and our customers are putting the subscription model to work in a variety of businesses and industries. Customers want choice – that’s what subscriptions are all about. Being open is critical to customer happiness. Open is good for consumers and good for the industry overall.

 

The last thing we want to do is return to the vendor lock-in of days past. Who likes being locked into a two-year contract with their wireless vendor? I would guess that most of you, when making a return at a retailer, prefer a refund versus store credit. None of us wants our hands tied.

 

We’ve certainly learned from our past experiences. WebEx and salesforce.com make it easy for customers to switch vendors. Though this approach may seem counterintuitive – why would you make it easy for customers to leave? – it makes a ton of sense. Choice and openness build trust. Trust is the most important thing between customers and vendors.

 

IBM’s step toward an open cloud is an important move for the industry. I look forward to watching this Manifesto emerge and take shape. And, over time, I expect Zuora to participate in the discussion. What do you think? What have you read on this topic that’s particularly insightful? Leave a comment and let me know.