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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
Life in a Startup: Getting Above the Noise
Update: AppZero Named to “10 Hot Cloud Startups to Watch” #cloudcomputing

Update: When I wrote this post three weeks ago, Appzero had just been selected as one of the 25 Hot Cloud Startups by Startup 50, published by Jeff Vance. The list was published on February 9, 2013 as a prelude to his upcoming story "10 Hot Cloud Startups to Watch" for  Among several factors determining who made the final cut, including viability of product, competitive advantages and management team's pedigree, there was a voting process.  Well, it looks like we did pretty well in the vote, because we made the top 10 list out this week on  In fact, in the article Jeff says we won the vote!

We appreciate the show of support for AppZero and our application migration technology that helped us make the top 10.  There's going to be a final round of voting on to rank the companies on the top 10 list.  Please help us by voting for AppZero here. One of the biggest challenges in a startup is that there are so many things you have to do. In the very beginning, the company must progress from idea to product.  Then the original product idea for some reason does not make grade (not compelling enough, too competitive a market, etc.) and the company has to pivot from the original premise.

The other foundational ingredient needed to create a great company is the team. The team is critical -- they test, scrutinize and kick around the original idea, which more often than not, pivots or morphs into a better one.  Only a tight-knit team can distill the benefits and core value lurking underneath the surface of an immature prototype while dealing with time pressures. Running out of cash, proving the viability of the product, acquiring customers and closing financing are just a few of the time pressures that can tear a team apart.

Once the use cases have been narrowed and external trials begin to yield positive results, the operational focus moves to scaling the business. The “go to market”; Sales 2.0, viral marketing, social media, and generally “the task of becoming known” are the critical steps in the evolution of a startup.  When I was CEO of Sonic Software back in the early 2000s, there were contests for the best Java product. A great deal of our energy went into winning the awards for best Java Messaging System (JMS) and first, best and only Enterprise Service Bus (ESB).

Today at AppZero, we are fortunate enough to have been selected as one of the 25 Hot Cloud Startups by Startup 50, published by Jeff Vance. The list was published on February 9, 2013 as a prelude to his upcoming story “10 Hot Cloud Startups to Watch” for CIO. The top ten vote getters from the list of 25 will make it into that story.

Please help us make the cut by voting for AppZero here.

AppZero has now gone through the pivot, been scrutinized in long proofs of concepts (POCs) for months at a time, by many of the largest cloud providers (7 out of  the top 10 by my count) and software companies in the world.  The good news is that the product is getting the job done.

Our product does something that is very simple at 10,000 feet. We pick up applications that are in production and move them to another machine. This is cool because migrating existing applications to the cloud is hard.

AppZero can move applications over lunch -- other approaches take days. The newest capability allows you to move applications “Up-level OS versions.” This is interesting because Windows Server 2003 is coming to end of life (EOL) and will no longer be supported by Microsoft. All of those machines and applications need to be upgraded to WS2008 or WS2012. Modernizing by upgrading your hardware and OS is really painful and IT hates doing it.

These two use cases; moving to the cloud and moving to a new version of an OS can be combined to achieve modernization (OS up level) and transformation (moving to the cloud) all at once – fast.

Most readers will never have heard of AppZero or our ability to move apps to the cloud. If you like the idea, please vote for AppZero to make the Top 10 here at Startup 50. Thanks in advance for your support.

I am always looking for a way to communicate better and cut to the heart of any discussion. So, if you have thoughts on this subject drop me a line at GregO {@} Appzero {dot} com or tweet me at @gregoryjoconnor.

About Greg O'Connor
Greg O'Connor is President & CEO of AppZero. Pioneering the Virtual Application Appliance approach to simplifying application-lifecycle management, he is responsible for translating Appzero's vision into strategic business objectives and financial results.

O'Connor has over 25 years of management and technical experience in the computer industry. He was founder and president of Sonic Software, acquired in 2005 by Progress Software (PRGS). There he grew the company from concept to over $40 million in revenue.

At Sonic, he evangelized and created the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) product category, which is generally accepted today as the foundation for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Follow him on Twitter @gregoryjoconnor.

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