Cloud Alliance slammed by standards group

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Cloud Alliance slammed by standards group

Simon Quicke

The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) has slammed moves by Star Internet to establish a Cloud Alliance warning that the development will not be a positive one for the channel.

A group of around 17 firms have flocked to announce they have joined the Cloud Alliance since it was announced yesterday and the broad line it is taking is that it can provide an aggregation of services as a one-stop-shop which means customers will not have to turn to any other suppliers.

As would be expected the alliance has been seen as an attempt for some friendly vendors and channel players to sew up the market and its suggestions that it can meet the needs of SMEs attacked.

"The fact that Star also seems to infer that the IT channel, that has supported the UK SMB market for many years through its expert and trusted relationships, has no more value and is also wholly incorrect," said Andy Burton, chairman of the Cloud Industry Forum.

Burton also criticised the Alliance for its lack of openness pointing out the CIF had worked hard to establish a Code of Conduct for cloud suppliers.

"As such, and until this is rectified, users should clearly see this Alliance as nothing more than a collaborative commercial working agreement between a private group of companies who believe they have nothing to lose and something to gain from working together," he said.

The Alliance, which was launched yesterday, aims to serve the SME market providing a range of cloud services underpinned by the Star private cloud platform.

Speaking about the launch, and before the CIF criticism, Ricky Hudson, CEO of Star, said that it was looking to build relationships with small and medium-sized customers and was not "looking to take on the world".

"It's a bit like the cloud club, and whilst any customer is welcome to join we find that usually we tend to work with the most innovative businesses that are forward thinking, especially in their attitude towards technology," he said.

A source close to the Alliance reacted to the CIF attack describing it as a "storm in a teacup" and dismissed the idea that a closed shop was developing pointing out customers could choose to buy from various different suppliers as well as the Alliance.

"Cloud services are cloud services and they could buy them by other ways but if you want to buy from someone you trust then the Alliance meets that need," he said.
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