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Larry Carvalho

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Solving Cloud Computing Challenges with Fun and Games

Leveraging social networking for teaming

Cloud computing solutions require a diverse set of technologies (networking, server management, virtualization, etc.) and skills (integration, multi-tenant application development, etc.) working together in harmony to bring optimum solutions for customers. Necessity of multiple technologies working together challenges large technology companies with profitable on-premise products to integrate efforts in the conceptualization, development, selling and delivery of cloud computing solutions. Multiple billion-dollar brands, successful in their own right, tend to work independently while selling a cloud computing solution portfolio. These individual solutions often compete with other internal brands. Customers end up getting perplexed in trying to understand the direction they should take.

During interactions with large technology companies, I am connected with employees representing different brands from these companies. Quite often they do not convey one message about their solution portfolio. Performance measurements from business units do not encourage promoting the overall portfolio.

Use of social networking internally can be effectively used to connect employees from multiple brands with the overall corporate portfolio. Gamification can bring fun into this process while healthy competition among employees promotes teaming. Monetary compensation expected for teaming but adding a sense of accomplishment through peer recognition can often overcome that obstacle. Gamification in consumer-facing environments has seen some examples of success and when exploited correctly in an employee-facing environment, it can bring profits with fun and games.

FourSquare and Zynga are well known in the consumer space. I have just seen one company, Rypple, in the enterprise space who mention Cisco as one of their customers. Chatter from SalesForce and Yammer are likely to add similar capabilities to their products. Time will tell how fast this will grow among large technology vendors.

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Larry Carvalho runs Robust Cloud LLC, an advisory services company helping various ecosystem players develop a strategy to take advantage of cloud computing. As the 2010-12 Instructor of Cloud Expo's popular Cloud Computing Bootcamp, he has already led the bootcamp in New York, Silicon Valley, and Prague, receiving strong positive feedback from attendees about the value gained at these events. Carvalho has facilitated all-day sessions at customer locations to set a clear roadmap and gain consensus among attendees on strategy and product direction. He has participated in multiple discussion panels focused on cloud computing trends at information technology events, and he has delivered all-day cloud computing training to customers in conjunction with CloudCamps. To date, his role has taken him to clients in three continents.