Engine Yard: Just don't call us a PaaS

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Engine Yard has quietly started calling its offering a "cloud application management platform" rather than a platform as a service.

The point is to try provide customers some clarity around what exactly the company offers given the evolution of the market, said Rob Walters, CTO of Engine Yard.

Image credit: Flickr/avikovacevich

"When you say 'PaaS' or 'platform,' it has to be followed up with 'which one?'" he said.

That's because these days, there are many varieties of PaaS services. I've seen references to iPaaS, mPaaS, xPaas and even bpmPaaS.

"Our observation is that there's a lot of that kind of early market definitional activity going on," Walters said.

So while he figures that Engine Yard is what some people now refer to as an aPaaS, or application PaaS, the company hopes that using the phrase "cloud application management platform" will help better describe the company's offerings.

Donnie Berkholz, an analyst at RedMonk, pointed out the change at Engine Yard via Twitter. "I agree that PaaS sucks and is inside baseball," he noted.

Whatever you call it, Walters added his voice to many I've heard recently talking about a shift toward PaaS functionality coming from larger, more established providers. "There's sort of a general awareness now that PaaS will need to become part of most IT shop strategies in time and also an awareness that you'll be able to buy it from the current incumbent [vendors] at some point," he said.

Instead of "a bunch of agile startups being the only players in the market," the larger service providers are either building their own PaaS features or investing in the startups. For instance, Oracle invested in Engine Yard and Amazon Web Service has added PaaS features to its offerings.

Read more of Nancy Gohring's "To the Cloud" blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @ngohring and on Google+. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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