Does Apple want to be a managed service provider? In some ways, yes. But so far those efforts aren't going too well. The company's MobileMe service -- a cloud-based system designed to manage your contacts and calendars across a range of devices -- is taking a beating from critics. Even The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg, typically an Apple advocate, is telling readers that MobileMe is filled with problems.
From Apple's MobileMe to Amazon.com's Simple Storage Service (S3), we are seeing multiple examples of consumer-oriented companies stumbling a bit as they introduce managed services, software as a service (SaaS) and cloud-based solutions.
At this point, Apple' setbacks with MobileMe are well-documented across the web. And in today's Wall Street Journal, Walt Mossberg says MobileMe has "far too many flaws to keep its promises." If you want to learn more about Apple's MobileMe mistakes to date, check out this recap from ZDnet.
Ironically, I still plan to use MobileMe at some point in the future -- if Apple irons out the bugs. I'm looking for an effective way to coordinate all of my email and calendaring across Windows and Mac OS desktops, and my iPhone.
Amazon's ChallengesElsewhere, Amazon.com continues to polish its S3 service, but that system has suffered two significant outages in recent months.
Still, more and more MSP platform providers are devising ways to tap into Amazon S3. Linking on-premise storage with managed storage and S3 will be a major theme over the next few months, as MSPs seek low-cost ways to bolster their business continuity strategies.
But those efforts will yield mixed results over the short term. Amazon S3 going dark twice this year reminds all of us that life in the cloud remains a work in progress.