June 18, 2014 | Written by: Kevin Allen
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SoftLayer CEO Lance Crosby spoke on Wednesday at Gigaom Structure, where he addressed IBM’s vision for the future of cloud.
In an interview with Gigaom’s Barb Darrow, Crosby addressed cloud pricing, what drew him to IBM in the first place, and how the internet of things will take cloud to its next level.
Here are a few takeaways from the interview:
On the cloud price wars: “We’re not as hyperfocused on price as some of our competitors. We’re more aligned with giving the best value for the best price. We have a different strategy—we’re about security and enterprise and compliance and regulatory (issues) and data residency … We have a different audience that’s not so much price-focused. They’re more feature-focused.”
On what drew him to IBM: “When I first met with IBM 12 months ago … I went in and saw that they had 150 SaaS properties and all this middleware they were bringing to cloud, and I didn’t really (realize) that. The genesis now is to take all those different pieces, put them on top of SoftLayer, offer them across 40 data centers worldwide, and then sell those services.”
On what sets SoftLayer apart: “Our focus on security, control and transparency is much different than Amazon, Google and Microsoft. It’s not that ours is right or wrong, it’s just a different strategy. Enterprises and governments of the world love the added feature sets that we have and our competitors have been trying to keep up and put things on top of their platforms as they evolve.”
On the challenge for CIOs: “[CIOs] think that taking what they’re doing on-premise and putting it into the cloud is cloud. That’s part of it. What we’ve done at the IaaS and PaaS level is we’ve teed up the ingredients—and then what can customers build with those ingredients? Some of the largest properties in the world have built on top of SoftLayer. When I go in and talk to these CIOs, I tell them, ‘You need to learn how to use cloud to build from these ingredients to create your own disruptive technology.'”
On the evolution of cloud: “In the last few years, we went from big data solutions to analytics to wearables—and now I’m seeing enterprise software. I’m seeing all of these things being built on the platforms that are much better than anything that has ever existed—and I think that’s going to continue.”