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Atos, EMC, VMware Start Cloud Company

The object of the game is to cash in on what is projected to be a $267 billion cloud market by 2020

EMC and VMware are going into the cloud business with Atos, the big, publicly owned, Paris-based global IT services firm, intending to take an equity position in Canopy, an end-to-end cloud company Atos is setting up using EMC and VMware technology.

The companies said Wednesday when Canopy was announced that their shareholder agreement wasn't set in stone yet and wouldn't be until early Q2 but the Americans are talking about kicking in tens of millions of dollars. At least EMC is.

The object of the game is to cash in on what is projected to be a $267 billion cloud market by 2020, up from $59 billion this year.

During a conference call EMC CEO Joe Tucci compared the cloud to a tsunami and said it would be the most radically disruptive transformation in the history of computing, bigger than the move from mainframes to minicomputers, minicomputers to PCs, PCs to client/server.

Atos, which was described as the "principal shareholder," will run Canopy and name a CEO. It will be headquartered in Europe but global in charter offering a one-stop shop for large and upper mid-sized enterprises in select vertical markets as well as government agencies peddling EMC- and VMware-based IaaS, PaaS and SaaS plus consulting.

Third-party software-as-a-service, both horizontal and industry-specific, will move through an online Enterprise Application Store.

Canopy's wares are supposed to be based on open standards, open source, and Java with promises of no vendor lock-in.

The widgetry will take the rest of the year to roll out beginning about the end of the Q2.

Canopy will start with a consulting staff of 100 key people, Atos CEO Thierry Breton, an old friend of Tucci's said. That cadre shouldn't be hard for Atos to pull together. The $11.2 billion-a-year company already has 74,000 employees across 42 countries.

Atos said the PaaS would offer an enterprise Java development environment, incorporating a standard development framework for designing, creating and testing new cloud applications, and Canopy's Private Cloud will provide a pre-configured, standardized, enterprise-grade cloud stack for on-premise and off-premise deployments.

The partners reckon the de facto enterprise model will wind up being a hybrid cloud.

Atos and EMC expect to leverage their common channels. Atos has a lot of juicy accounts, a lot of which may be wary of consigning their data to an American cloud given the Patriot Act and all.

Breton suggested that Canopy might admit a minority equity partner or two but Atos and EMC will own the lions' share.

Tucci indicated that EMC might duplicate the Canopy scheme with a small number of other partners. There's nothing exclusive about Canopy, which will also look to VCE, the Virtual Computing Environment Company, formed by EMC and Cisco with investments from VMware and Intel, for technology.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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