The cloud is expanding and gathering together a band of services that extend well beyond traditional cloud computing. Amazon Connect is just one example of how large scale cloud providers are offering more and more business services.
AWS Connect is a contact center service that is cloud-based. AWS provided connect so enterprises would have an easier to use and a faster to deploy call center system. Connect works like Amazon’s customer service system, and it incorporates its Lex AI technology to provide natural language processing like Alexa. This service is designed to allow users the ability to configure customer interaction processes dynamically, and it integrates with AWS’s IaaS cloud.
Amazon Connect is a service on the rise because it is more profitable for vendors. Customers generally stick with them longer than they do with infrastructure services since it is easier to change a server than an entire software system.
Although some would consider Connect to be SaaS, it is a hybrid of SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. You can expect to see more hybrid solutions being brought out by not only AWS but Google, Apple, and Microsoft.
Apple presents another twist on SaaS. Technically, iCloud is a SaaS application because it represents itself as a software product that delivers over the internet.
- Synchronize photographs, music, and iWork files across multiple devices such as iPads, iPhones, and personal computers •Remotely access iTunes or music files by matching them against iCloud’s online collection.
- Resume working where they left work on one device, upon opening a different one.
- Synchronize user settings such as passwords and browser settings across all devices.
- Enjoy free email, calendars, and online storage. •Leverage pushed updates to applications across all devices.
When you look at all of these services, they represent a disruptive technology. This technology has the power to transform user relationships to personal computers in a way that the SaaS term fails to capture accurately. Traditionally, cloud computing acts either as a (1) platform for software development (IaaS or Paas); or (2) a mechanism for software delivery (Saas). iCloud promises to use cloud computing to create an infrastructure for personal productivity across PCs, Macs, iPads, and iPhones. As Apple CEO Steve Jobs remarked in his keynote address at the 2011 WWDC conference, “We’re going to demote the PC and Mac to being a device.
We’re going to move the digital hub into the cloud.” Apple’s iCloud features all of the benefits that enterprises obtain from cloud computing as well as additional functionality that is specific to personal users. For example, enterprises often use cloud computing to harmonize updates across an ecosystem of machines, while iCloud serves the same purpose of keeping devices in sync. iCloud transforms the role of the personal computer from a platform for personal productivity to an access point into a virtual environment for personal productivity.
The personal computer becomes one point of access among many, to an online space in which personal productivity performs. The iCloud platform promises to turn a cloud-based virtual environment, where the fundamental plane is used for accessing music, pictures, writing, spreadsheets, and more. In these terms, iCloud is less SaaS than an online space from which multiple SaaS applications originate and interact with a constellation of machines.
It is another excellent example of how the cloud is changing and morphing beyond infrastructure and DevOps to more and more hybrid types of services.