Appistry and 3Tera Under the REPAMA Microscope

MicroscopeI’ve just uploaded the first draft of my latest Cloud Computing REPAMA Segment Analysis Study.

This time I’ve looked at a couple of vendors in the Cloud Software / Cloud Management / Application Services Management segment (using the Lustratus REPAMA Cloud Computing market taxonomy / segmentation model). Specifically I’ve reverse-engineered the key go-to-market strategies of 3Tera and Appistry. I will add another couple of vendors to the study as time goes on but for the moment I thought these would be two good candidates to start with. They are very different companies with very different product approaches to solving similar, if not quite the same problems. I wanted to spend a little time here highliting some of the interesting findings.

Differentiation

I’ve already blogged on my concern that Cloud Computing vendors/ providers are currently differentiating themselves against previous paradigms as opposed to creating differentiation strategies versus their real competitors – i.e. other cloud computing solutions. So it’s no surprise to see that this trend continues in this study with 3Tera. Looking at where 3Tera fires its competitive differentiation fire power in the UNLIKE element of the positioning statement we can see that the focus is:

traditional dedicated infrastructure

To be honest this is an implied competitor/alternative because whilst 3Tera is very clear on its value proposition and target audience, it doesn’t appear to engage in traditional competitive differentiation. Nowhere does 3Tera clearly define what type of solution they feel they are a better alternative to. There is an obvious implied competitor / alternative which is the traditional ways of doing things. But this is never called out explicitly by 3Tera.

Appistry is clearer on its competitive situation. It believes that its competitive differentiation lies versus:

infrastructure approaches to cloud computing

The implication here is that Appistry focuses on the application and not the infrastructure which they believe yields many benefits.

Existing Applications

One area of strong correlation between the vendors in this study is that they both stress their ability to work with existing applications. This correlation suggests that this is a key customer requirement in this particular market segment. As shown in the chart below:

Cloud Software - Application Services Management - REPAMA Segment Analysis Study (0.90) Primary Feature Benefit

As you can see from the dashed pink line on the chart above (which represents the market mean – the average marketing strategy for this segment) there is strong support for existing applications in addition to the somewhat obvious “table stakes” feature of automated application deployment and management.

Value Proposition

Another strong area of correlation is in the value proposition. The first chart below shows the raw claims made by each vendor for the value they ascribe to their product offer.

Cloud Software - Application Services Management - REPAMA Segment Analysis Study (0.90) Primary Value Proposition

Much of these categories of benefit/value are fairly generic and are all very similar to the the value propositions I would expect to see for a cloud computing product. When these value propositions are interpreted against our MITICOR value proposition classification, we can see a very strong correlation between the products of the different vendors as the chart below shows.

Cloud Software - Application Services Management - REPAMA Segment Analysis Study (0.90) Interpreted Value Proposition

The value proposition for both of these products boils down to operational improvement and cost saving which again is very much as I would expect for a cloud computing technology in this segment.

Positioning Statements

I’m not completely 100% happy with either of these positioning statements as both of these companies appear to aim everywhere and focus nowhere. This lack of focus is important to note in itself as it is common in immature markets, but it does make nailing down a semi-accurate reverse-engineered positioning statement a little tricky. But here they are:

3Tera AppLogic Positioning Statement

FOR organisations looking to deploy successful online services to millions of users WHO are struggling to manage the complexity of the infrastructure required to serve online services to online users OUR AppLogic IS A grid operating system for web applications THAT PROVIDES the ability to assemble existing software into portable applications that run on any grid and scale from a fraction of a server to hundreds of servers with a single command UNLIKE traditional dedicated infrastructure OUR PRODUCT makes it extremely easy to deploy scalable web applications without dedicated IT resources and personnel

Appistry CloudIQ Platform Positioning Statement

FOR enterprises seeking to take advantage of cloud computing WHO need to migrate existing applications to the cloud and virtualized environments OUR CloudIQ Platform IS A Cloud application platform THAT PROVIDES enterprises with the ability to move multiple existing applications to the cloud and manage them across multiple cloud environments UNLIKE infrastructure-focussed approaches to cloud computing OUR PRODUCT allows existing applications to be packaged and deployed to a cloud without re-architecture

Both statements are weak in the target customer and their respective pain, need or desire reflecting the lack of clarity in their outbound marketing.

Slides

I’ve placed a slide deck which expands upon this research on Slideshare.net and this is embedded below. If you’d like more information on this study or a copy of the slides, please contact me. Details of  how to interpret REPAMA studies can be found in the Lustratus REPAMA Guide here.

[slideshare id=2493636&doc=cloudsoftware-applicationservicesmanagement-repamasegmentanalysisstudy0-90-091113100411-phpapp02]

Danny Goodall

Posted in All Blog Categories, Competition and Competitive Intelligence, differentiation, marketing, positioning and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

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