Historically, Lexalytics has been very focused on the enterprise software market by building products that are easy to install, configure and get running. (Don't worry, we're not abandoning that model.) However, over the last 6 months or so we've been focused on the idea of building out a number of web based services aimed at extending our reach. In doing so, we made the decision to use Amazon's cloud services (EC2 and S3). The power and cost efficiency of these services has allowed us to build not just one, but two new services that will open up our abilities to a whole new group of users. But this post isn't about our new services (we'll share more about that in the coming week), it's really about the cloud. I'm a big-time convert to cloud computing and believe Larry Ellison got this one wrong. For businesses, deploying new web based services just got a whole lot easier, and a whole lot less expensive. For example, we will roll out a web API to our core Salience Engine soon and we've been able to do it without having to fight the "co-lo wars". In addition, we saved by not adding IT staff to the payroll to make sure the machines are up, configured and maintained. Wrapping up Salience for Amazon's cloud and rolling it out took less than a month and has cost us very little. What this means for prospective clients is that they can access our API through the web at a price that will be very attractive, particularly to smaller companies that aren't trying to "boil the ocean" of data. Simply put, this quick turnaround was all possible because Amazon is handling all the complicated machine maintenance and has offered machine cycles and storage at a very appealing price. Now that I'm a cloud convert, I expect us to roll out more cloud based products in the next year. What experiences have you had with the cloud? I'd love to hear your feedback on how it has worked, or hasn't worked, for your business.