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Interviews

“Automating IaaS takes a lot of vision.”- Dave Jilk,Standing Cloud

“Automating IaaS takes a lot of vision.”- Dave Jilk,Standing Cloud

Very recently, we covered the news of Standing Cloud providing a platform to Cloud Provider BV for launching hosted cloud applications, and SingleHop launching Hosted Cloud Apps built on their platform, and SetSeed CMS launching a new hosted cloud solution built on their platform AND Blue River partnering with them to develop MuraCloud , AND Liferay expanding cloud hosting options with them! Phew! Yes, the company has been on fire lately. What makes all these developments in a short span of time more exciting is the fact that Standing Cloud is only a 3 year old company; with mere 20 employees. 2o employees who make this company stand out from the rest.

So without further ado, over to Mr. Dave Jilk, CEO and founder, Standing Cloud, as he talks about IT Singularity, the recent developments in the company, throws light on upcoming features in 2013, and finally, wraps off the interview in a cliff-hanger.

The fact that we work with both ISVs providing software, and cloud providers offering infrastructure, is mutually beneficial – cloud providers get a bigger catalog of applications, and ISVs get broader distribution.

– Dave Jilk, CEO and founder, Standing Cloud.

Q: What is your name and position with Standing Cloud?

A: Dave Jilk, CEO and founder.

Q : Please tell our readers in brief about Standing Cloud.

A: Standing Cloud provides an online service that enables a private-label application storefront and management console for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud providers. The idea is that some customers want an application (think WordPress, Drupal, or SugarCRM) rather than a plain, unconfigured server. Customers who start with an application want to manage it as an application – for example, they don’t want to download an upgrade and install it, they want to click a button and have the upgrade performed. We automate that and a lot more.

Q: Standing Cloud was started in 2009. It’s a pretty young company. What will you attribute your company success to?

A: Point of view is everything – as a startup guy, I see that as a long time! We were actually early to this market, but that turned out to be a good thing. It allowed us a lot of time to build out the technology and learn all the “gotchas.” As you can imagine, automating IT services, especially involving a new capability like IaaS, takes a lot of vision and hard work. And that’s where I’d attribute our success to date and in the future – a great vision that I call the “IT Singularity” (lights-out operation) along with a really hard-working team that takes our service quality seriously.

Q: 20 people make Standing Cloud stand apart from its competitors. We are anxious to know, how does this company manage to launch new useful solutions for users with such a small team?

A: I’d say two things make this possible: first, the team is smart and dedicated. There is no substitute for people with both the ability and the desire to get things done. Second, our VP of Product & Ops, Leslie Osborne, has put a huge amount of effort into refining our development team process. We have vast matrices of masking tape and post-it notes all over the walls of the office tracking every single thing that is happening, from major feature components to service issues with a cloud provider, we have scrums and sub-scrums, and we have two week sprints that we try to stick very closely to. And it’s not a static process, it’s constantly evolving. So far, we have never missed a commitment date for our customers.

Q: You’ve been in the news a lot lately. SetSeed, Blue River & LifeRay recently launched solutions back to back on Standing Cloud platform. Can you tell more about these partnerships?

A: We’re excited about all these new customer relationships. Even more pertinent to your audience is that we just announced availability of Hosted Cloud Apps for SingleHop and for Cloud Provider BV. The confluence of these announcements is a kind of “sonic boom” of projects that began at various times in Q4 and are coincidentally launching all at once. But I think it does signal increasing readiness of the market to adopt marketplaces for the infrastructure cloud. The fact that we work with both ISVs providing software, and cloud providers offering infrastructure, is mutually beneficial – cloud providers get a bigger catalog of applications, and ISVs get broader distribution.

Q: What are the other new services you plan to launch in 2013? Any exclusive offers?

A: I can tell you a few features we are working on:

  • We’ve built capabilities for “add-ons” in our service and marketplace. Add-ons are third party software tools and services that complement applications. The first two add-ons, SendGrid and New Relic, are available today, and we plan to add a variety of add-on categories (e.g., security, database services, log analysis, etc.) throughout the year. It’s effectively another “dimension” of the marketplace, and it’s a nice illustration of why “virtual appliances” (known as AMIs on Amazon) are not a sustainable way to deploy applications.
  • We will be adding a lot of cool management features to our multi-server / multi-tier deployments.
  • You’ll see a new application packaging approach that makes it easy for both Standing Cloud and ISVs to make their applications available within our platform. Applications that are already packaged using one of the existing standards will be easy to port.

Finally, a little foreshadowing – we’ll soon be announcing an agreement with a large software company that will change the way enterprises view the public cloud and the kinds of software they can run there.

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