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From the President & CEO of AppZero - The Inventor of the ESB

Greg O'Connor

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Naming the App that Moves the Apps: Contest Confidential

Automatically move enterprise apps to, from, and among clouds without engineering or lock-in

What do you call a tool for moving complex enterprise applications to the cloud? That's what we wanted to know. So we ran a contest, kicking it off at Cloud Expo. (AppZero announces contest to name tool that automates the movement of Windows applications to and from any clouds )

First, we had to simply and clearly describe the tool which we did as follows:

  • AppZero's migration tool automatically moves enterprise applications to, from, and amongst clouds without engineering or lock-in.

Next, we had to put the technology in its market context:

  • "As enterprises embrace the cloud for production applications, application mobility and portability stand as either inhibitors or enablers of [adoption]. AppZero is absolutely in the lead with this automation breakthrough. Let's find a name that captures the reality as well as the excitement."

We'd already seen that people have a hard time understanding that the tool works like this:

  1. This tool is designed to move applications that have been installed and running, perhaps years ago, with or without any documentation.
  2. It automatically moves the application from the source machine to a different target machine.
  3. The tool moves only the application of interest.  It does not move any of the other applications that may also be on the source machine. (... thus making it a perfect extraction and migration tool for Managed Services/Cloud Providers ....)

And we were off to the races. Within a week we had a hundred or so entries; by contest's end we had just over 200. Quality? All over the map. But surprisingly, there were many sound and thoughtful ideas. We asked, not only for a name, but for the reasoning behind it. Here's a sampling, (along with my thoughts). Hint: the winner is in this list. See if you can pick out the name we chose.

The "App"-licants

  • AppMagic -- because if you can pull this off, it's magic (We agree - join our beta and give it a try)
  • AppMove -- because it best represents what the tool does (as did appMover, and all motion variants)
  • Appeeler -- It peels apps from the host :) (‘appeeling' as this one is, we chose another)
  • Apptime -- You save time using this tool. It might bring to memory nap time which is what you will have plenty of if you used the tool (agility= moving an app during lunch time, not days)
  • AppSnap -- Move apps in a snap to (and from) the cloud (and it rhymes)

The Cloud Crowd

  • Cloudwalker -- The app will go from cloud to cloud (light sabre optional)
  • Cloud Hop -- You move from cloud to cloud (... or back to the data center)
  • Cloud Care -- Takes care of uploading to the cloud (well, you do have to point and click)
  • CloudMerge -- Simple and powerful... brings all clouds together in a simple way (the apps can run unchanged on any cloud, but we don't actually change the clouds)

The Lone Wolves

  • App2Cloud -- It's a simple name that fits in with AppZero concept and tells the user what it is & does ( clever -- both app and cloud)
  • Win2cloud -- From Windows to Cloud (Linux beta is coming soon to a cloud near you)
  • zApp -- I think that zApp is a very descriptive name for branding and to stand apart from Microsoft and VMware (zapp - the app is in the cloud ... to zapp = make enterprise apps moveable)
  • Frank -- Frank is a solid name, memorable, catchy and I'd love to hear people talking about "using frank" (What does it say about the folks at AppZero that this entry was on everyone's short list?)
  • SOMO - A soccer mom knows each of her charges; when, where and what they need to bring to perform right (Amen sistah -- I'm married to one)
  • APOWSADA "Ah-POW-Sad-Ah" -- Just made the acronym: Automated Packaging Of Windows Server And Desktop Applications (because the world is just a few acronyms short of perfection....loved the phoenetic guide to pronunciation)
  • WindFlow -- Apps flow easily from the data center to the cloud - just like a summer wind (the concept is right on, but I think we'll save this one for the AppZero/Kardashianperfume project)

All kidding aside, I have always been a big fan of creative crowd sourcing and this experience was no exception. The contest was a lot of fun and very helpful. It also gave me a window into understanding how the real world views our product. I like the view. And I appreciate the interest. Thanks to each one of you who took the time to help us out.

The winning name and commercial release are just around the bend, so stay tuned. Till then, we are actively listening to any ideas, suggestions, or use cases. We are still looking for Beta testers to vet, refine and try this tool (Beta test drive here). To see this tool in action, you can watch a video of moving a somewhat simple Wordpress application from the Amazon AWS cloud to the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise (SCE).

I am always looking for a way to communicate better and cut to the heart of any discussion. So, if you have thoughts on this subject drop me a line at GregO {@} Appzero {dot} com or tweet me @gregoryjoconnor or us @appzero_inc.

Register to attend: "Two steps to boost software vendor win rate and margins," When you sell software for a living, you are always on the lookout for ways to improve your win rate, increase revenue, cut costs and otherwise improve the bottom line. Join Greg O'Connor, AppZero CEO and Giovanni Boschi, AppZero CTO as they clearly and briefly make the case for how we impact your business at each step in the sales cycle from initial demo and PoC through distribution, implementation, and on-going upgrades. Move your applications easily and instantaneously with technology that makes a compelling business case. Join us on Thursday, March 1st @ 1pm EST  Register now>>

More Stories By Greg O'Connor

Greg O'Connor is President & CEO of AppZero. Pioneering the Virtual Application Appliance approach to simplifying application-lifecycle management, he is responsible for translating Appzero's vision into strategic business objectives and financial results.

O'Connor has over 25 years of management and technical experience in the computer industry. He was founder and president of Sonic Software, acquired in 2005 by Progress Software (PRGS). There he grew the company from concept to over $40 million in revenue.

At Sonic, he evangelized and created the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) product category, which is generally accepted today as the foundation for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Follow him on Twitter @gregoryjoconnor.