Hatsize has found a unique niche in the still-evolving cloud computing space: The company is practically a veteran of using cloud-based platforms, even though it started doing so long before anyone was categorizing the practice using the term “cloud.” And given that experience, Hatsize can not only now reap the benefits of the current cloud wave, it also can demonstrate to enterprises how useful and reliable cloud-based services can be.
“Essentially we were doing what we would now call cloud from the beginning,” said Guy Hummel, the company’s founder and president, who started Hatsize in 2000.
What Hatsize has been doing the past 11 years is delivering hands-on demo and training sessions for technology companies using its software-as-a-service platform. Companies like IBM, Juniper and Sun Microsystems use the platform to change how they sell and deliver their technology, leveraging Hatsize’s system to reduce their sales cycle times, cut costs with virtual showcases of their platforms and ultimately offer remote training to their customers once they buy.
“When someone is trying to sell a complex piece of equipment or software, you ultimately get to the point where a customer wants to try the equipment out,” said Sue Miller, CEO of Hatsize. Hatsize’s software makes that possible without costly shipping and early commitments, she said. According to research the company conducted, 74 percent of businesses said they need cloud demos and training to grow. “It’s one of the areas of cloud where there is real money being spent,” Miller said.
And from a broader cloud perspective, Hatsize offers even more than that. Using the company’s platform also demonstrates to IT professionals who may be considering a migration to the cloud for other functions exactly how it all works and gives them an opportunity to experience it firsthand.
“There are some processes and services that are so well-suited to the cloud,” Miller said. “It’s one of the best ways for IT executives to become familiar with what the cloud can do for them.”
Hummel—who worked as an IT manager before founding Hatsize and thus saw both sides of the problem for technology sellers and technology buyers—concurred, saying that since the pre-cloud days of hosted applications a lot of technologies have come together to make cloud-based service delivery much more viable. Virtualization has made it easier to scale in the cloud, and falling bandwidth prices have made it much more affordable to acquire the capacity needed to utilize the cloud.
“I saw back then that the most logical way to do this is over the Internet,” he said. “The market has finally caught up to us.”