Infinite I/O

Delivering SaaS value with on-premises software (Part 2)

Posted by Sheryl Koenigsberg on Mar 20, 2015

codeimageRecently, I talked with our Technical Director of Software Delivery, Gavin Gray, to better understand how he thinks about our internal opportunities around software delivery.  In this part of our discussion, Gavin shares some more specific ideas about bringing continuous value to our Infinio Accelerator product.

SK: Last time, we spoke about all the things that have to fall in place to shift toward the benefits realized in a SaaS-based product. What characteristics did you see at Infinio that made you think it was a good candidate for this?

GG: Infinio lends itself naturally to continuous deployment.  It's simple and non-disruptive to install; it requires no downtime in your infrastructure, and you can continue to use your familiar tools and reporting. Similarly, if Infinio isn’t right for you, then it’s simple and non-disruptive to remove it. These market-differentiating deployment capabilities are already part of our current product.  

With only a bit more effort, we can continuously deploy non-disruptive updates to our customers as soon as they’re ready. What’s even more exciting about Infinio is that its current deployment paradigm builds trust with enterprise customers. I’d argue that lack of trust is one of the key reasons why rigorous change control processes exist in many enterprise operations organizations. By building trust in an otherwise distrustful customer base, we're not only well-positioned to deliver innovative software, but also to innovate the way in which the software is delivered.
SK: Is Infinio also well-suited for continuous deployment due to our licensing model?  That is, customers licensing in annual increments in contrast to a perpetual model where they buy a permanent copy?
GG: Exactly. To me, a perpetual software license is a lot like a MacBook Pro.  I love the product, but it’s expensive.  In fact, I’d be willing to wait several months until Apple’s annual MBP refresh before I invest in a new one. Sometimes the hardware isn’t even updated and I’ll still wind up buying a new MBP, albeit many months after I initially decided to do so.  Worst case, I don’t like the updates Apple has made and they lose my business.  
The same thing goes for perpetually-licensed software.  Suppose I’m looking to buy a very expensive perpetual software license for a product that was last released eight months ago.  If the software vendor typically ships on an annual cadence, I may be inclined to wait in order to understand the new version’s value before purchasing anything.  There’s a lot that can happen over the course of several months that might adversely influence my decision to purchase. This delay could ultimately result in a lost opportunity for the software vendor.
It turns out that subscription-based licensing like ours reinforces the need for continuous value. The shorter the renewal cycle, the more often the product must be delivered so that the customer recognizes its benefits and continues to invest.

SK: Anything else planned for software delivery from Infinio in the near future?

GG: I love to talk about continuous value, but what’s more important is illustrating how it can be done. We’re currently making improvements to our software delivery strategy within Infinio in order to ship the latest code into our own production infrastructure. In the interim, we’ve deployed the latest version of Infinio into our production infrastructure.  We’re seeing great initial performance gains, and look forward to sharing the results publicly.  

SK: Sounds great, thanks Gavin.


For more ideas like this, follow Gavin on Twitter at @BitwiseKaizen. Can't get enough? Attend Gavin's talk at DevOps Conference West.

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