Consuming and integrating programmatic cloud services — such as software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), cloud storage and business information services — requires substantial technology, skills and resources. This is because it is necessary to understand and master things such as cloud APIs, integration, security and governance, and then to apply these skills to implement and manage cloud projects over time. This has created a new role for various IT services providers — cloud services brokerage (CSB) — in which IT providers function as intermediaries between providers of cloud services and the companies that consume them.
Brokering a full cloud ecosystem with marketplaces and catalogs for sets of cloud services is a critical necessity for cloud growth and the generation of long-term revenue. Doing this while also enabling a platform for service enablement, integration and unification of services from enterprises, partners and cloud providers increases the value proposition.
Jamcracker has long been a player as an application service provider and SaaS enabler, but now provides a deeper, richer opportunity for cloud brokerage. It delivers a service network that enables providers, partners and enterprises to interact and deliver robust cloud services. The Jamcracker Services Network provides a channel delivery mechanism, a marketplace of services and an enabling framework for integration brokerage in the cloud. The platform underlying it offers service integration, provisioning, billing, authentication, help desk ticketing, and service/user life cycle management and deployment capabilities to unify the efforts of multiple customers and partners. This is a rare approach, as the network and platform provide a significant ability to build a cloud ecosystem where all parties can monetize information and services. Jamcracker enables service cataloging in the enterprise, and this takes the form of a marketplace for services in the public arena.
The emergence of app stores as a means of delivering cloud applications comes in many forms. In the case of Jamcracker, it is not just an app store, but also a service center. The delivery of services is only one part of the equation, as the ecosystem must provide ways for partner providers to add value to each other's services, deliver joint services, integrate existing services and build a unified billing, metering and chargeback financial model for how those services will generate revenue, and to whom. Jamcracker offers white labeling of services from one provider through another. The Jamcracker platform, therefore, is just an enabling mechanism for the brokerage that happens in the ecosystem.
As an early CSB, Jamcracker is attacking one of the more-critical, but less-often-pursued, courses. The marketplace of services gets little attention, as integration projects and system integration projects get the first look. However, as a provider of integration capability and customization of services, Jamcracker is involved in multiple brokerage-enabling functions.
Enterprises, service providers and cloud providers can all find something of value in Jamcracker's offerings. An enabling platform for service management and integration, combined with the ability to unify services from private cloud through public cloud and value- added services for an ecosystem, is a long-term brokerage opportunity. Customers can simplify a complex situation with a single-service network approach from Jamcracker.
*Analysis by Daryl Plummer, Chief Analyst, Gartner, "Cool Vendors in Cloud Services Brokerages, 2011."