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Cloud computing pricing to focus on innovative features

16/02/2016 by Sharon Shahzad

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As Amazon Web Services (AWS) seals a deal to acquire NICE, experts in the cloud computing industry are suggesting that price is set to shift, moving away from deals and discounts to concentrate on innovative and exclusive features. This shows that the sector continues to evolve and indicates that the era of price-cuts could be due to end, with unique applications luring customers instead.

In the past few years there has been a price war in the cloud computing industry, with leading giants undercutting their rivals as a way to attract business. Many firms have been able to benefit from this, grabbing themselves great cloud computing deals as a result; however, the latest AWS acquisition suggests things could be about to change.

NICE, based in Asti, Italy, is a software and service firm that develops a raft of products for mobile gadgets. The firm aims to support customers in their goals of centralising and optimising visualisation workloads when working on tablets and smartphones. Commenting that its products make cloud and grid infrastructure increasingly user-friendly and usable, NICE offers advanced technology via its Desktop Cloud Visualisation (DCV); meanwhile, its EnginFrame solution provides an efficient intranet or internet connection to grid-enabled infrastructures, meaning that interactive applications, HPC clusters, licences and data can be accessed via any common browser.

With the deal between NICE and AWS set to close during 2016’s first quarter, Jeff Barr, chief evangelist for AWS, said NICE would retain its branding and both the EnginFrame and DCV products would still be supported and developed. This would provide even more tools for AWS customers to benefit from.

The move suggests a potential change for the way in which cloud computing is marketed. AWS has snapped up five software design shops in the past year in addition to NICE: 2lemetry, Elemental Technologies, ClusterK, Annapurna Labs and AppThwack. A Pacific Crest analyst made a research note of this, mentioning the fact that small software companies are increasingly valuable to cloud companies, particularly those offering niche applications and solutions. These would help to differentiate Microsoft Azure, Google Compute and AWS.

“While most of the innovation within these three large cloud platforms has come from internal software development, we argue the tipping point of adoption within large enterprises witnessed in 2015 could spark the next big battle in cloud computing where increasingly the three largest cloud operators begin to wage a war on cloud features,” Pacific Crest explained.

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