For many end users and a good number of solution providers, the most difficult thing about using the cloud is picking the right one to use.
With an ever-increasing number of service providers and a jumble of complex options and pricing schedules, the process alone of choosing a cloud can be daunting for the uninitiated.
XOcur, a software vendor based in Dallas, offers a cloud-based service that aims to empower users to choose cloud-based services.
"We're all about making the cloud decision-making process simple, straightforward and informed," Jason Monden, the company's president, told CRN.
A lot of businesses are interested in taking the plunge into the cloud, Monden said, "but there's too much choice, complexity and confusion. We saw an increasing number of people either paralyzed on the sidelines, or saying I'm not sure what to go with, so they just pick something and get a really bad experience, either with performance or cost."
What those potential cloud consumers need is information to help them make an informed decision of what their requirements are from an application perspective. But many business customers don't have the resources to think through such a technology investment.
XOcur seeks to simplify that process with a product called CloudSphere -- a SaaS platform for empowering decision makers by listing side-by-side important decision-making factors.
In addition to comparing and contrasting price and performance, CloudSphere assesses other criteria, like security, customer service and regional availability. XOcur also created a scoring system for those criteria that measures experiences through a social media community of cloud users, collectively functioning as an information service.
And after the customer deploys the most suitable cloud, CloudSphere continues monitoring utilization, configurations and market conditions. The service will alert users to better deals should they come to market.
"Our platform knows what all the services are capable of. So if AWS comes out with a new instance type, it can save customers lots of money," Monden told CRN.
XOcur has been reaching out to VARs and systems integrators that have two choices for how to leverage the technology to boost their businesses.
"We designed it to be inexpensive. Some folks are looking to resell to customers, others using it as a tool," Monden said.
Andy Lewis, CIO at Kovarus, a Silicon Valley-based systems integrator, told CRN that the information XOcur provides Kovarus facilitates a fact-based approach to substantiating the right options for its customers.
"It provides peace of mind for us and our customers, not only knowing they are getting the optimal price point, but a solution that meets the needs of their business applications. Providing a confident, dependable operating model to our customers allows them to focus on moving their business forward rather than fixing issues related to resolving false cloud expectations," Lewis said.
Lewis told CRN that whether it's Kovarus' own consultants, or the company's customers that use the XOcur software, the objective is always to understand IT's "cost-to-serve" and consider several private and public cloud options.
"Our customers are overwhelmed with thousands of cloud possibilities that have different attributes that may or may not be relevant to their IT workloads. XOcur's software normalizes the business requirements and each cloud offering to make recommendations that are fit-for-purpose.
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