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A small reflection

10-18-2009, 12:18 PM

Just to complete this little discussion and a conclusion

To summarise in 4 lines. We notice 2 large movements: manufacturers who can no longer rely only on the integrators to sell material. And those who see the Cloud as a solution to offer services in addition to selling equipment. The software publishers who can not only run / sell their software locally but will also rent / run on platforms online.

For the hardware, we have imagined the GS (Global Solution) with a small startup at http://www.ovh-gs.com The objective was to test and address this market there, large accounts, companies that need a personal relationship with their suppliers, who needs a human, to shake hands and talk in person. We have some good leads for this idea and we will now test them on the future HG 2010G. If this model works, the aim will be to propose this in a mixed bay, the hardware, the network and the support. We have in fact quite good regional contacts with the big groups in the North (as I see it), but the gap between our 2 worlds is too large for us to work together. We try to imagine the offers that may call into question the actual functioning of a sweeter method. In this context, we also work on ovh.biz which should become a platform for skill you can offer / use for your projects. Because we think it's the software vendors who choose the hosting platform for the software they offer to large groups. Only after the question arises will we see if it is an internal or external solution that must be deployed.

For the software, we think there is 4 strategies:
- a software publisher who bought a host to complete its services and continue to offer its software. what Adobe has done.
- a software publisher that creates hosting to offer its software. Examples include Microsoft.
- a host who buys a software vendor to progress its software.
- a host that creates the business of a software company and offers this freeware version online.

OVH is now considering the 4th strategy. Historically, offering web hosting, we first had to build our own servers, and our own data centers with a network that functions well. In terms of software, it could be used free and then we started to move towards charging. But, what is the difference between Exchange 2007 or roundcube, webmail or Atmail at OVH or another competitor? Similarly for all other services that can be used today (for free or for a fee)? We must therefore develop Web 2.0 applications to offer something that does not exist elsewhere and which will, hopefully, be more suited to your needs. OVH is indeed a company just like any other and our needs are not so different from our customers, both in terms of web, email or telephone or developing subsidiaries throughout Europe ... in contrast, we can apply our software experience by supplementing it with feedback from our customers. Basically, what we have always done, but go even further than in the past.

An internal PoC is taking place concerning development. The purpose is to arrange the tools for quick development of man/machine interface and to offer services conceived and developed by our teams in 2 ways: online (compiled in hosting for IE/Firefox/chrome) or/and local (compiled in Windows/mac/Linux). A webmail, a blog, a forum, a virtual shop, a payment system, billing, accountancy are part of a project that we want to develop internally and you propose (in addition to all the software that we already offer, atmail, roundcube, oscommerce, etc). In contrast make no more than one development for all kinds of systems.

Not forgetting of course that OVH is primarily a host in the soul and therefore we would like to propose larger hosting today. Any sort of framework, software, and application will be hosted at OVH. Always cheap hosting, in the "Package" model, all included, and not only LAMP (php & mysql) but also the other software/platforms. Another internal PoC is underway to determine the existing development environments in the market (Pay or Free) and to propose the hosting compatibilities with these environments (much like Dreamweaver is to OVH).

There it is. It is our 2010 strategy. We have started the internal movement with a reorganisation in order to provide all these projects with a small team of 220/230 people speaking 11 languages in 14 locations.

All the best,

10-07-2009, 09:58 PM

1 to 2 months ago, we launched several PoC's (Proof Of Concept) on several subjects. We launched our ideas and we have your feedback on various issues.

We were EXTREMELY surprised by what we read. We took the time to digest your feedback in order to translate it into different projects but also to try to find a strategy and OVH will now try to apply this. This will be the main theme of 2010.

How do we simply explain our findings from your feedback?

It can be summarised in 2 sentences:

Yesterday it was shareware. Tomorrow, we will have it all in websites.

Hmm .. whats this? ... be a little more specific. It has been on your PC for 10 years, you ran a software one .exe. This software replies with a specific function. For example, a software to edit your
photos. Photoshop. To have another function, such as an album creator, you need to run other software. For 10 years things have been evolving. Now, you have websites where you can show
your photo album(s) and soon you'll have to rework your site for your photos online, the same way you were doing locally. Ok?

Yes, but this means that your PC is moving towards implementing a local and a single program with your browser. In this browser (Firefox, IE, safari, chrome) you will run all this software. And you have done a little already. Because a website is software. It is written in a language like PHP, Perl, C, C++ or Java, JavaScript a sort of HTML tag, that eventually does almost the same thing that your software would have done long ago locally. Windows that appear, buttons to click and the fields to fill. Beyond that, nothing is really stored locally on your PC, but stored on servers in a datacentre.

We think this will be the main issue in 2010 and in years to come. Because the stakes are enormous: the browser becomes the equivalent of an operating system. Your Firefox that runs under Windows, Linux or Mac, displays the same software: your site or your software. So, you expand your "software", not only for Windows, Linux or Mac, but for a new OS type: Firefox, IE, Safari or Chrome. It is
the new execution platform for all software.

Until now, I haven’t said anything interesting. It's just a quick summary of what's developing before our eyes. It’s just that OVH wants to intervene in this process and wants to become an indispensable player. This new software industry is taking shape before our eyes. The role of OVH in the years ahead will be to adapt to this natural evolution of engineering development within the software industry. The software may develop the same way that QT, C++ Builder or VBasic or perhaps not, but they are compiled with HTML/PHP/javascript and hosted on storage platforms and implementing software(s) that will be in huge Internet datacenters. This is our job. There will also be new development software that allows to develop a website, no actually a new software in a few hours and then thanks to Hosters like OVH, this new software can be used by thousands of people. The challenge is to accompany these developers who will naturally shift from "selling software once,
then the next version is a new sale "of the model" aka SaaS service access to a website to use the software with online payment / login where you always have the latest software "or “Cloud model , aka I pay as much as I really use the application, so if I store photos, I can pay for the GB of storage". Therefore the storage platforms and enforcement of such software requires the payment for the rent of applications which must be an alias software applications for the Web bills and simplify the accounting for this new generation of developers. They, the developers will need to develop. And our role is to accompany and help in every way that they will need to run their software.

And this is how OVH puts together our packages at this time. We have changed and continue to change the internal organisation to generate internal resources for providing fast beta frameworks. The goal is to provide hosting(s) for all sorts of developments. You can do whatever you want with the MMI, whatever the software development, whatever the language development whoever the buyer of these applications. OVH is now known for LAMP (PHP / MySQL) but there are already other languages. Ruby? Java? Google Web Toolkit? jQuery? Modori? Dojo? Rico? Pyjamas? We want to support all of them, any offer and in this way to support this new generation of software companies who rely on the Web (not a shareware executed locally).

Feel free to give us your feedback on this little reflection.

We love it when questions arise here oles@ovh.net