Monday, April 25, 2011

Cloud Computing: Nothing really new here

Here's an example of how acquisitions can kill a company's innovation culture.

Back in 1974 an innovative company known as Telenet, Inc. was established by BBN.  Telenet offered a cloud based packet switching network.  Customers connected their computers to the cloud.  Their users would dial into the cloud and connect to their host's network address.  This saved customers from having to design, install, maintain, upgrade and manage their own private networks.  It also enabled employees to work remotely and and globally and for customers and vendors to "connect", which created efficiencies and a competitive advantage.

In the early days Telenet's customers were primarily the early adopters who saw the benefits and were willing to "make it happen" for their companies.  As they proved the benefits of cloud computing, the mass market pragmatists jumped on board.  This set the stage for AOL and other Internet communities that hit the scene in the 1980s.

Then, in the late '80s, Telenet continued its innovative product line strategy by offering cloud based email and EDI services to customers who had gained confidence in using its cloud based dial-up network services.

Unfortunately, when it was acquired by Sprint, Telenet's product innovation came to a halt as Sprint milked Telenet as a cash cow and force fitted Telenet into its telecom carrier services culture.

If this acquisition hadn't happened, cloud computing services would have been available many years ago and what we're reading about today wouldn't be such big news.

No comments:

Post a Comment