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Whole Foods Gives Amazon a new Digital Edge

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While much of the focus on Amazon’s massive acquisition of Whole Foods Markets has been on what many believe is a move intobroader retail footprint and itsongoing attack on consumer margins, the reality is that this acquisition is about locality and Amazon extending its Digital Edge.
First off, what is the Digital Edge? It’s a shift nearly every business is going through to better embrace its customer base where they live and how they want things. Started in the dawn of the web era, reaching a broad market of geographically dispersed customers was not well accomplished simply by being on the Internet. To deliver a strong customer experience you needed to get your content as close to your customer as possible, as quickly as possible. And this was only achieved, at the time, via a content delivery network, like Akamai.

As we shifted to mobile applications and continue to shift to more real-time interactions with clients, caching static content at the edge isn’t good enough. What you nee…

Solving for Hybrid App Customer Experience

The future of application design is not serverless, containers, microservices, bots or something completely new. It’s the integration of these new capabilities with your company’s existing assets, applications and cloud services. But these amalgams won’t add a lot of value if their connections to these existing assets degrade the customer experience.  Sadly, this is the reality for many companies today. They are pushing these new capabilities to the edge, but still using old-school integration practices to link these apps to the above assets. Two approaches are all too common: Trust the Internet - it's everywhere, it's open and it's fast. If only this were true. With internet traffic growing at exponential rates trusting that your connection will be low latency is very high risk. And we all know how “open” aligns to secure. :)Bring it all home - if you can’t trust the internet, then the simple answer is to use secure, private connections, such as MPLS lines to connect thes…

Apps are No Longer Apps

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There’s been significant debate over the last couple years about where the future of application design will land - serverless, containers, microservices, bots or something completely new. The real answer - none of the above. The future of application design, and frankly the reality today, is hybrid.  Apps aren’t self-contained code anymore. Apps today are really workflows that integrate multiple components to deliver a defined customer experience, address a business need or enable a product or service capability. These workflows often involve a mobile app talking to a SaaS service, connected to an on-premise data or a legacy tool. For example, look at the architecture of GE Predix. It’s inherently hybrid, bringing together data from on-premise resources and field locations to empowering remote workers and smart devices through the CloudFoundry microservices platform. While Predix is a platform, your use of it is what creates your hybrid app.  This isn’t to say that the emerging app …

Why Equinix? Multicloud Is Everyone's Reality

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I’ve had lots of people ask me why I would leave a high profile job as Chief Strategist for Microsoft’s Cloud+Enterprise division. The answer stems from the over 400 customer engagements I had during that time, where nearly every enterprise told me they were connected to at least four cloud services. Where IT would bring in Azure, OktaOffice 365 and IBM Watson, the line of business would bring in SalesforceDemandbaseAmazon Web ServicesBox and many others. And none were going all-in on cloud. Thus the key challenge nearly all these companies expressed was a need for better integration between these services. And that’s exactly what Equinix excels at. As Gartner analyst Bob Gill puts it, in his July 28, 2016 report, "Digital business is enabled and enhanced through high-speed, secure, low-latency communication among enterprise assets, cloud resources, and an ecosystem of service providers and peers. Architects and IT leaders must consider carrier-neutral data center interco…