Article: Will Cloud-based Multi-Enterprise Information Systems Replace Extranets?

| by Jean-Jacques Dubray Follow 3 Followers on Jan 03, 2009. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

In this latest article, Matthieu Hug, CEO of the BPM-as-a-Service startup, provides his views on Cloud Computing, focusing on the Platform-as-a-Service layer.

He explains that for the most part:

[…] Cloud Computing is about making usually “painful” problems someone else’s problems

In addition, Cloud-based development platforms enable a new Development paradigm:

One of the core innovations behind PaaS is the emergence of a Dev 2.0 paradigm with the utilization of Web 2.0 technologies for developer tools, agile methodologies and massive use of domain specific languages (DSL) rather than multi-purpose programming languages. Dev 2.0 makes developers a lot more productive and enables non-developers to participate in the definition and validation of key elements of the business logic, such as a business process, a business rule or a form definition.

These characteristics are disruptive enough. Yet he sees another emerging disruption in partner relationship management. He explains how Cloud Computing Development Platform can be used to deliver a new kind of Enterprise Information systems: the Multi-Enterprise Information Systems (MEIS).

Up until today, multi-enterprise information systems have often been implemented using a portal hosted by one of the parties collaborating on particular activities, be it, for instance, an OEM portal for suppliers, or a distributor portal for retailers.

The problem is:

This approach has lead to significant inefficiencies, risks and inflexibilities as one of the parties is bearing all the costs of building, maintaining and operating the portal.

PaaS, and in particular BPM-as-a-Service can:

[…] deliver Multi-Enterprise Information Systems where each party can contribute to the development of the system, in essence mutualizing the development costs while offering superior integration capabilities with any party’s legacy systems and web based intranets applications.

In this new type of information system architecture, services exposed by the different parties become key elements of the new multi-enterprise solution.

He concludes:

"Cloud computing" takes its entire dimension when SaaS is also read as "Services-as-a-Software". Multi-Enterprise Information Systems is about making these services useful and valuable to any business, big or small.

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buzzwords, falacies and typos by Ronald Miura

Cloud Computing, SaaS, PaaS, BPM-as-a-Service, Dev 2.0, Web 2.0, DSL, MEIS... a lot of buzzwords!

The best falacy was
Cloud Computing is about making usually “painful” problems someone else’s problems

... as if this "someone else's problems" were not your problems too when things go wrong in your project. Unless you are just looking for someone else to blame when it fails, of course.

SaaS is also read as "Services-as-a-Software"

... was also funny. I hope it was a typo :)

Re: buzzwords, falacies and typos by Jean-Jacques Dubray


thanks for your comment. Matthieu's intent was to express that Cloud Computing enables a new kind of thinking in the enterprise, and that SaaS could "also" be read "Services-as-a-Software" (this is not a typo).

As I understand it, Cloud Computing can help you package and deliver your (physical) services with a software interface (as opposed to say a Call Center interface). Multi-Enterprise Information Systems offer new ways to consume these services, making them that much more attractive to publish.

I am not sure MEIS are just another Buzzword, people like Jack Greenfield (Microsoft) and Dave Frankel (SAP) have started to write and build stuff in this area. 10 years ago, people like Bob Haugen already had a similar vision. The problem then was where to deploy them? It seems that this problem is no longer a road block.

Was the headline question anwered? by Karsten Klein

I was reading the article with a general interest and attracted by the headline question. However I see that this article lines up with all the other articles I found so far in the web. These articles use (as the other comments complain about) all buzzwords in the area.

However this is not my point. My question is whether the headline question was answered or not?

I can see a lot opportunities in the *aaS space. However one has also to understand that every *aaS provider has is own definition of *aaS. Furthermore I already understand from what I read about this topic so far that there is a whole pandoras' box of new issues and problems to be solved. Here I see a gray to dark bubble of information lack. I'm also interested what these 'Advanced Dev 2.0 tools' look like and who develops/will develop them?

As more as I read, I get more and more questions. Where is the one who can answer these questions? Are there some good blogs?


Re: Was the headline question anwered? by Karsten Klein

Asking the question about a blog, I tried to answer it myself. This one looks very promising:
In general I found the information on quite substantial.

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