Here's a take on a cloud-based service you might not have considered (something new to attach an "-aaS" to): Suppose you're the producer or manufacturer of a class of device that should have Internet connectivity. One hypothetical possibility: an interactive touch panel for the back seats of taxicabs. Perhaps you've acquired some ARM licenses and you're ready to stamp out the device and put a case on it. But you're not in a position to house the data center or make a deal with broadband carriers to supply the connectivity, or maybe even to write all the back-end software that connectivity would require.
Premiering last February in Europe, a new company called Macheen is assembling a global cloud service that caters to an entirely new market: outsourced back-end support with connectivity built-in. Yesterday, the company went live with broadband service to the U.S. via Sprint, with the goal of endowing classes of portable devices of all sizes with built-in, cloud-based online support and services channels.
"We help with Internet-included devices - things like tablets, laptops, portable gaming devices, e-book readers, helping the device makers and their retailers include Internet capability hot-out-of-the-box, under their own brand and their own go-to-market channels," Macheen CEO Richard Schwartz told reporters at the CTIA 2011 conference last April. Dell has already signed on in Europe, Schwartz added, endowing certain of its laptops with instant connectivity to Dell services through Macheen's support system.
As a Macheen white paper tells prospective customers, "You partner with Macheen for the global rollout of connected devices you manufacture or retail. Devices access service via built-in or external modems, with optional customized client interfaces. Working with us, you define the offering to fit your business model. You market through your existing brand sales channels; we take the service risk and share royalties with you."
Last June in Los Angeles, Schwartz participated in a roundtable discussion hosted by White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, the subject of which could give you a big idea of where Macheen is going with this. The subject was putting broadband networks to use for public safety officials and first responders. As Chopra wrote last June, "The discussion provided helpful input for the proposed R&D portion of the public safety investment, as called for in the President's proposal, with emphasis on opportunities for pre-competitive R&D collaboration to accelerate the pace of innovation in delivering a cost-effective, secure, reliable network that meets public safety-specific requirements."
The U.S. Government has had difficulty of late in working out a communications scheme for first responders to be able to reuse public frequencies recently reclaimed from the UHF television spectrum. A cloud-based, broadband connectivity alternative based on "hot-out-of-the-box" components where the problems of managing communication are already solved, could revolutionize government's entire way of thinking about solving this problem.