View from Roubaix-4 datacentre, OVH announce apps and IoT academies (Source OVH)
Magnificent view of the sunset from the roof of the Roubaix-4 datacentre.

Hosting giant OVH has announced that it wants your Apps and IoT as it looks to rapidly expand its partner network by building both a SaaS and an IoT academy.

Both of these moves were announced by Octave Klaba, Chief Technology Officer, OVH. With OVH planning an aggressive expansion of its cloud data centres by announcing another 12 to be built as soon as possible, it will be hoping that both of these generate enough revenue to help offset some of the costs it is likely to incur. It is not doing all of this on its own. It is hoping that it can enlist as many partners as possible in helping it create its SaaS academy while Intel and Cisco will be part of the IoT expansion.

Building a SaaS Academy

This first move will interest many of OVH’s existing partners but they will have to work out how they will come together to make it happen. The goal is to provide a pipeline for customers to start developing and delivering their applications on the OVH network and then selling them to customers.

Ideally, the applications would be distributed in a Docker container which would make it easy for OVH to then offer the applications through its own self service app store. For the developers, they would then be able to control usage by tracking the Docker containers and be able to constantly update the master Docker image with patches and new features. The whole idea is to make this as smooth as a mobile app store which should raise revenue for both OVH and its partners.

However, there is a long way for OVH to go before then. Look around the Internet and OVH draws a lot of criticism for its developer and customer support. Some customers talk about tickets being open for weeks before they get a resolution. Developers will not be attracted to an environment where they have that sort of problem to deal with.

One surprise is that OVH is not looking to play matchmaker between its partners. Klaba admitted that while it has a wide range of developers, system integrators and sales partners listed on its website it did not see its roll as bringing them together into specific forums to help build out the SaaS academy.

For many of the smaller developers they will require assistance in understanding how to commoditise their current applications. It is not uncommon for small developers to start with a single sample app that they sell to customers. By the time it is deployed, however, it has been heavily customised. Turning that into a single commodity product that can be delivered in Docker is no small challenge.

As well as rationalising their code base they will need to understand how to simplify their documentation and installation instructions. Apps will also have to be readily customisable but not in a way that would cause them to break if the software vendor added new features or bug fixes.

Overall, this is a bold move by OVH but it now has to show leadership and not leave the SaaS academy to chance.

(Next: Building an IoT Academy)



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