Larry Ellison once said that businesses are made up of three things; people that sell stuff, people that build stuff and overhead. It’s best for your career if you work in the first two areas and not the last! Companies need solutions that improve the speed and outcomes of the sellers and the builders. Now for technology companies, the clear challenge is to build solutions for the first two groups.


Salesforce has established itself as the platform for people who sell stuff and not something for NetApp to build.


So as product owners, how do we get the most out of people that build stuff and in all cases minimize the overhead? I always need Developers and Product Managers.. the people that build stuff. The more of these you have, the more you can build. The challenge in today’s modern cloud environments is not the speed to build but the speed and cost of DEPLOYING.


What does that mean to me, working at a 26-year-old company running a business unit full of builders? I have to find great developers and product managers and make them as productive as I can. I like to think that my team at peak performance is running at ‘battle speed’ (think of the image of the guy hammering the drum on the ships of Ancient Rome to raise the speed of the boat through its oarsmen).


What you want them doing is developing quickly, releasing quickly, innovating, competing.. not administering, installing, back-porting and patching etc. You want them focused on the value add, the uniqueness, the things that make you different.


The public clouds are winning because they empower developers and data scientists to operate independently of the legacy IT infrastructure. The clouds have democratized innovation. The clouds can be consumed by a single developer to the largest Enterprise. So yes, I am a cloud guy. The problem (and a good problem) is that there is more than one. It used to be just AWS, but now Azure and Google are just as awesome! So I want to be on all of them.


When building new things on the public clouds, it’s about microservices. When deploying on clouds, it’s a Kubernetes thing. Kubernetes is the clear winner for cloud deployment of microservices.


So what you can buy you buy, that’s where public clouds come in. I buy because I can and because it saves my developers time and money. The savings I get there I invest in more developers and more product managers.


So what stops them building? Releasing on all the clouds is a major hassle and huge time sync for developers.


So keep going with me.. I had to:

  1. Build multiple services on multiple code lines
  2. Build and deploy the stuff fast and run it as a service
  3. Build and deploy for clouds … plural, not just one
  4. Build microservices and deploy and maintain Kubernetes-based clusters on the clouds (plural).

I have the build part working well. I have Atlassian, Jenkins build servers, GitHub repositories etc. However, we were really struggling with the deploy and manage bit. My teams were burning too many cycles deploying services to multiple clouds and putting together release strategies for each cloud independently of one another.


I am now very much a Kubernetes supporter. Even if I wasn’t, my developers all are! So we need help deploying our containers and nodes across the public and private clouds.


I don’t want them to buy and install expensive software. They also want to stay on Kubernetes and not a proprietary branch. I don’t want to deploy and manage open source software or get charges for support either. I just want a service.. a service for a developer like Salesforce is to a sales guy. Just login, configure it, hit the button and it works. Someone else’s problem is making it work, innovating, upgrading, etc. I always loved that sales guys just talk data to Salesforce. Less IT people running on premise CRM means more sales people selling.


Enter, a SaaS-based platform for deploying, managing and upgrading Kubernetes clusters on the public clouds. One stop shop for the whole deployment, management and upgrade processes, delivered as a service!


My developers love it! Now, they spend more time developing and less time deploying.. so much less time deploying and running the clusters that they build more and release faster. The increased productivity our developers achieve is very impressive. We’ve done the analysis internally, and, on average, we release new software 60% faster, spend 35% more time writing code, and spend 90% less time provisioning and maintaining new clusters. Time spent on common operational tasks, like patching, has also reduced by over 90%. Also, by reducing the patching burden, we found that we are much more likely to quickly apply security remediations.


Because the developers love so much after our testing, I bought the company. It’s just that good.. so good that I want to build it and make it available to everyone! It’s great for one developer or even thousands. It’s pure Kubernetes, deploys on the clouds, has GitHub integration, has all the networking figured out, supports A/B testing, canary and blue-green needs.


We charge a small percentage of what you deploy, plain and simple. No upfront license costs, no multi-month or annual contracts, no installation, no upgrades, no hassle. A true SaaS service. My Salesforce for Kubernetes.


My developers are happy and more productive. That makes me happy because I move faster and can compete more effectively in this digital world. Want to move faster too? Then you should sign up for a free trial of NetApp Kubernetes Service.

Anthony Lye

Throughout his 27-year career, Lye has held a diverse range of senior leadership roles at companies ranging from 10-person firms to large multi-nationals. He has managed all aspects of business operations, including full responsibility for P&L, development and product management, direct and partner sales leadership, with hands-on experience building applications and working with developers skilled in AWS, Azure and His background includes leading teams in both North America and Europe, with extensive international travel to Asia and South America.

Prior to his role as EVP and chief cloud officer at Guidewire Software, he served as president & CEO for HotSchedules, a vertical cloud company building applications for the restaurant, retail and hospitality industries. He was previously the global president of Digital Platforms, Customer Relationship Management and channels at Publicis, the world’s largest digital agency. He was also senior vice president and general manager of Oracle’s CRM and Customer Experience, and earlier in his career, held senior leadership positions at Siebel Systems and Remedy Corporation.

Lye earned a bachelor’s degree in Engineering with honors from the University of Bath in Bath, United Kingdom. He serves on the board of Spoken Communications and is an investor in both startups and venture funds

Add comment