5W – ChatGPT: Conversational AI

Thank you for reading! Please see “Why 5W?”  for context, methodology and disclaimers.

ChatGPT Overview

You’ve heard all about it! You’ve heard it is either the greatest thing ever or will usher in the age of The Terminator. It is either the ultimate Cliff’s Notes or the means for students to rescue homework their dog devoured at the last, life-saving moment. You might hear it is going to eliminate jobs or create a new class of workers. You might even believe it is an all-knowing oracle, preparing to unleash digital doom upon humanity.

It’s not. Or is it?

Some might say it is stunted, relying only on trained data, or data obtained prior to a specific date. They might cite a lack of accuracy or it is unable to apply common sense reasoning. They might say it takes too many prompt attempts to get an acceptable answer or the results are dry, or robot-like. You might hear cries of plagiarism .. a genuine concern, given how ChatGPT is populated and trained.

No argument from me on any of these points. I feel the time is ripe for a healthy discussion about these concerns, capabilities, restrictions, and more. This is the first of a larger document set that will address practices and use cases companies should consider when adopting and rolling the use of ChatGPT within their organization.

By way of overview, ChatGPT wrote the following paragraph with the initial prompt: “Write a paragraph for a blog post about ChatGPT with the following section heading: ChatGPT Overview.”

Introducing ChatGPT, an advanced language model powered by OpenAI’s cutting-edge GPT-3.5 architecture. ChatGPT has revolutionized the field of Conversational AI, enabling human-like interactions and opening up endless possibilities for businesses and individuals alike. In this blog post, we will delve into the various aspects of ChatGPT, exploring its business benefits, capabilities, use cases, providers, audiences, and ultimately, its impact on the world.

Dry, and accurate. It appears that ChatGPT has no lack of ego .. it is quite happy to be writing about itself. To further my statement, it titled the post-to-be: “Unleashing the Power of ChatGPT: Revolutionizing Conversational AI”. I softened it a wee bit.

Ways I think of ChatGPT:

  • It is the smartest ‘friend’ that I have. A friend to whom I can pose any question at any hour of the day or night.
  • This friend listens. Even if I’m not fond of the first response, I can simply clarify without having to retype my entire prompt. I just tell it what I don’t like about it, or to make it funny, or to lengthen or shorten, adding (or removing) the level of detail.
  • It is a resource on which I can rely for step-by-step instructions from PC support, recipes, research tracks, and more.
  • It can replace using a search engine (YMMV, based on the age of the content) .. rather than a list of links, it can provide an article that addresses my request criteria.
  • With an appropriate prompt, it can deliver excellent first-draft content .. this puts me more into editing, rather than writing mode.
  • It has a wicked sense of humor .. something of which I pride myself.

ChatGPT is early stage, but eminently functional. There is a growing ecosystem of companies working with it to extend the functionality to yield real business results, provide guardrails and integrate the capabilities into applications.

Caveat: Be aware of the results. OpenAI does not guarantee the content is fresh or positively accurate. This will improve over time, or when you start to work with released versions.

ChatGPT Business Benefits

Even at an early stage, and without integration, ChatGPT adoption brings numerous potential benefits to businesses by offering a scalable, automated and cost-effective solution across a wide variety of use cases. For the average user, ChatGPT is ‘free’, at least at the moment. An end user need only sign up with OpenAI, confirm their email address and they’re ready to write prompts. Bear in mind, they’ll be working with the ‘default’ version of ChatGPT, as offered at that moment. The good news: you can simply prompt “What version of ChatGPT are you?”, to which I received the response:

I am an AI language model based on the GPT-3.5 architecture developed by OpenAI. My responses and capabilities are derived from the training data and knowledge available up until September 2021. It’s worth noting that I don’t have access to information or updates beyond that point. If there have been any newer versions or updates to ChatGPT released by OpenAI since then, I may not be aware of them or have knowledge about their specific features or improvements.

Once a company starts to integrate ChatGPT into its product offering or into its infrastructure, it’ll need a more formal (read: paying) relationship with OpenAI. This will get the company access to more current language models, enable the ability to train the model, provide API access, and more.

I view ChatGPT as a platform, an enabling technology and a means to extend existing offerings in ways we’ve yet to imagine .. hence I’m pressing ‘pause’ on Business Benefits here, as I’ll go more deeply into Use Cases (below) to spark a discussion on how companies can reduce their bottom line, improve their top line and enhance their offerings using ChatGPT.

ChatGPT Capabilities

From ChatGPT with the prompt “Please provide a paragraph describing the capabilities of ChatGPT”:

ChatGPT’s capabilities are truly remarkable. It possesses a vast knowledge base, drawing upon a wide range of topics and domains. It can answer questions, provide explanations, and even generate creative content such as blog posts, articles, and product descriptions. ChatGPT can understand context, maintain conversational coherence, and adapt to different conversational styles, making interactions feel more natural and dynamic.

.. I could barely have described it better myself. The proof is in the Prompt. Here are a few things I’ve asked ChatGPT prior to, and when researching this article .. links (provided by ChatGPT) for each prompt (try these at home!) :

And last: “Write a blog post about ChatGPT with the following section headings: ChatGPT Overview, ChatGPT Business Benefits, ChatGPT Capabilities, ChatGPT Use Cases, ChatGPT Providers, ChatGPT Audiences, Conclusion. Use the context of each section for section content and write at least two paragraphs underneath each section heading.“. This prompt provided the basis for this article. Very, very fun stuff .. again, advancing me into an editor role, versus a writer.

Note the value of specificity, including number of paragraphs, output formatting (tables or step-by-step) and so on.

Nothing formal herein .. just hoping to give you a taste. I’ll release a number of specific use-case articles as we go.

ChatGPT Use Cases

The public version of ChatGPT can satisfy a wide variety of use cases across various industries. Please see my examples, above for general usage. 

For specific company use, i.e., tailored technical support or company-specific processes, ChatGPT will need to be trained on the company background data. Once trained, ChatGPT enables application across numerous use cases.

  • Customer support: answer frequently asked questions, troubleshoot common issues and guide users through self-service processes.
  • Virtual assistant: common tasks like scheduling appointments, making reservations or offering personalized recommendations.
  • Language translation and content creation across internal and external domains.
  • E-Commerce: Act as a virtual sales assistant, guiding customers through their purchasing journey, answering product-related queries, and offering personalized recommendations. With training and connections to E-Commerce systems, the model can understand customer preferences and historical data, enhancing the shopping experience and driving sales.
  • Healthcare: Assist medical professionals with information on symptoms, suggesting potential diagnoses and offering treatment guidelines. Depending on training, It can act as a reliable source of medical knowledge, supporting doctors and nurses in their decision-making processes.
  • Mental health: Engage in empathetic conversations, providing a sense of companionship and offering resources for self-care.

This automation can help companies to handle a larger volume of inquiries efficiently. The instant responses will reduce customer wait times and enhance overall satisfaction.

ChatGPT Providers

Several providers have already integrated ChatGPT into their platforms, making the technology readily accessible to businesses and developers. OpenAI offers an API that allows developers to build their applications and leverage the power of ChatGPT. The API provides easy-to-use integration options that enable businesses to integrate conversational capabilities quickly and seamlessly.

I typically provide a list of partners in this section, but the market is moving so rapidly, I will defer this to a later post. In the interim, I found a very useful article on CRN: 8 Partners Weigh In On The ChatGPT, GPT Generative AI Hype. Published in February 2023, it provides a pragmatic view of various partner use cases.

ChatGPT Audiences

In a word: diverse. Businesses of all sizes and domains can leverage ChatGPT to streamline operations, enhance customer experiences and gain a competitive edge. Individuals can benefit using it as a personal productivity tool, creative writing assistant or, a companion for learning and exploration.

Developers and researchers can utilize the ChatGPT API to build new applications, conduct experiments, and advance the field of Conversational AI.

I will cover specific audiences in future use-case articles.


ChatGPT represents a significant leap forward in Conversational AI, unlocking new possibilities for businesses, individuals and developers. Advanced capabilities, diverse use cases and availability through various providers make it a game-changer in the world of natural language processing. As ChatGPT continues to evolve and improve, we can expect even more exciting applications and opportunities to arise, shaping the future of communication and human-AI interaction.

By harnessing the power of ChatGPT, we embark on a journey of innovation, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and redefining the way we engage with technology.

Shout out to ChatGPT for this section.

I Wanted to Get ‘Ahead’

I wanted to get ‘ahead’ of an upcoming scalp treatment:

In about two weeks, I’m going to look a lot like this guy:

I’ll keep my camera off for a wee bit.

The Speakeasy

While not exactly my Pride and Joy (reserved for my kids), this is my go-to hideaway when I’m at home.

Completed during COVID, we started with this:

Located behind a hidden door:


The room boasts an amazing sound system, a booth, a piano and a marble bar:


My haunt away from my haunt.

The Conversation Wall

I got tired of virtual backgrounds .. I had a green screen for a while, but given my hair is thin and stiff on top, it appeared I had a green ‘halo’ (undeserved, to be sure). I finally gave up and built a Conversation Wall:

I use this to start and extend conversations. I change out the physical items, depending on my audience, for a delightfully interactive effect.

Let’s have a Teams call!

Why 5W?

5W is my chance to riff off the classic journalistic methodology of the “Five Ws” (‘Who What, When, Where and Why’) to describe a technology offering and potential impact to a business. Note that I’ve re-alliterated, co-opted, abused and reordered these to suit my evil purposes. I drop the commonly-added ‘How’, as I am seeking to provide prescriptive business guidance for technology selection and implementation. Happy to engage in online / offline discussions .. send me a note.


Thank You, OpenTable

It’s not often I can thank a brand for some above-and-beyond thinking .. but it happens.

This a little thing, that on the surface, will save me time deleting unwanted email. However, it also saves me a wee bit of sadness. Mom passed in 2011 and I still miss her every day.

A kudos to OpenTable for:

It’s Been Two Years ..

My name is Michael, and it has been 306 days since my last blog post.

But, here I am. When I left off, I had just received my second shot in “Got my Second! | OpsanBlog“. I got my third in December .. from Costco, of all places.

With that said, so bloody much has changed:

Where to begin / continue? We went remote on March 12, 2020 .. it’s been two years since I:

  • Have been in my office. I fear the two-year-old ham sandwich lurking therein. Our offices are ‘open’ now (with protocols), but they’ve not called us back on a day-to-day basis.
  • Went anywhere without a mask.
    • I keep it with me and still wear it during transitions in the well-ventilated places.
    • I’m less worried about myself (triple-vaccinated), and more about perception / concern from others in the area who may not be as well prepared.
    • I keep it on when at Costco, FedEx, the grocery, etc.
  • Have shaken anyone’s hand, preferring the ‘Ebola Elbow‘, which everyone seems to understand.

We’re coming into Spring .. going outside is good. Vaccines are slowing, but the counts are always increasing. Omicron has proven to be more mild, although the long-term effects are still unknown. There may be another variant (or two) of interest .. likely later in the Fall, so we can enjoy the Summer.

I’m not a hermit .. I go out. I’m selective on the places I visit and protect myself and others when I needed. I suggest you maintain situational awareness and behave appropriately. Watch the news but live your life.

Oh: “I’m not a Doctor” .. please talk with yours.

Got my Second!

Tuesday. Pfizer. I’m a wee bit behind. It’s a non-event, over before you know it.

In anticipation of side effects, I made paella and sangria for dinner .. and sangria for afterwards. I think the morning sangria results masked any side effects. As you know “I’m not a Doctor” .. so talk with yours to see if they approve..

If you’ve not gotten your first shot, talk with your doctor .. I’m confident you’ll get the facts you need and that you trust.

The shots matter. Please get yours straight away. Protect yourself and your community.

We’re so close. We will get through this.

Got your Shot?

I did .. the first one, anyway. Pfizer.

It took until a few weeks ago before I was old enough and could get on the calendar.

Next appointment for me is in early May and I’ll be there right on time. Still wearing a mask, and frankly: I expect to be wearing it through the balance of this year.

The vaccines are a scientific success. Amazing feat, by amazing people. The former administration deserves a massive kudos from all of us. Further, the current administration has done a phenomenal job of distribution, in partnership with The States.

Now, it’s up to us.

You’ve heard all of this .. it’s a race between the variants COVID-19 out there, and while the vaccines seem to be handling them, it’s important to note: the longer the virus stays in the wild .. In the reservoir represented by people who can catch it and grow it, the more the virus will mutate. Darwin tells us (conceptually): ‘survival of the fittest‘ (the actual quote came from Herbert Spencer). The virus variants that bypass the immune response and the vaccine will be stronger and continue to replicate.

Vaccine hesitancy in this country is certainly prevalent, and in some cases, understandable. Please don’t hesitate because of politics .. please look at the science. Talk to your doctor, your pastor, your vaccinated friends.

I agree: the J&J vaccine pause because of very rare blood clots didn’t help with vaccine confidence. However, the FDA and CDC lifted this pause on Friday, issuing appropriate warnings for some audiences. Please read up on this.

Blood clots are bad .. but if you’re a fan of numbers, here’s a few regarding the risk of getting them:

  • 1 in 1,200,000 from the J&J vaccine.
  • 147,000 in 1,000,000 from COVID .. almost 120,000 times greater risk of getting the J&J vaccine.

Note the J&J vaccine manages COVID differently than Pfizer and Moderna .. given the choice or if you’re in the risk group, please take one of those instead.

Be smart. Be an adult. Do the right thing. Get the vaccine when it is your turn. Once vaccinated, protect yourself and your community.

We’re so close. We will get through this.

5W – Edge Computing

Thank you for reading! Please see “Why 5W?”  for context, methodology and disclaimers.

Edge Computing Overview

Edge Computing (EC) is a distributed computing paradigm where highly-scalable and efficient computing resources are made available closer (physically or through optimized network enhancements) to an end user, providing a superior application experience. EC offloads processing that would otherwise make round trips to a primary datacenter / cloud resource, thereby reducing latency and improving application / workload performance. Applications that can benefit from Edge Computing include mobile, web or thick client (locally installed on workstation).

The concept of ‘edge’ (in earlier days was known as ‘content delivery network‘ (CDN) as early as the 1990s. Companies like Akamai recognized a business model in providing improved end-user performance by serving static binary assets (images, videos and files) from geographically-dispersed data centers, closer to the end user than the central data center. Content and website owners uploaded large (videos, binary / file-based content) and a plethora of smaller, oft-used images (icons and web page graphics) to these servers to help the end-user avoid the latency of downloading these assets from central servers. Before the cloud, these servers were originally positioned in major data centers in the cardinal regions (AM, APAC, EMEA), but soon expanded into even more geographically-dispersed edge sites to improve end-user performance.

As you may surmise, companies who deployed assets on CDNs demanded policy-based content management (availability, expiry, etc.), unified upload / addressing for application access and consumption (storage, bandwidth) cost optimization from the CDN vendors. The winners in this early space sorted this through lookups, automation and dynamic addressing, methods deployed to this day.

Also to be expected, functional capability requirements evolved well beyond managing static content to include distributed interim storage, processing and expanded integration capabilities to third-party systems from the decentralized site, hence EC emerged. Early EC implementations were IoT-focused, especially for location-bound services that required increased computing performance to manage the output from sensors, machines and other monitorable / controllable assets.

The EC use case landscape is quite broad. Early deployments supported near-line collection and processing, enhancing data collected from IoT devices. These data were aggregated and correlated to provide a broader picture of the captured data. Next-stage deployments required highly-customized efforts by offering owners (i.e., a lot of code) to integrate these data. As with other emerging technologies, vendors stepped into the gap, providing platforms that reduce the level of effort (and code) enabling offering owners to engage in the new paradigm. Please see some of these in ‘Technology Providers’, below.

EC can be part of, and benefit from, a robust SD-WAN implementation, where devices, on-premises assets and cloud resource connections are managed and optimized centrally through policy. Most importantly, the benefits of an Edge Computing implementation can be measured by improved end-user / customer experience (CXM).

Edge Computing Business Benefits

Before modern browser-based and mobile-enabled capabilities, many applications were delivered to users in a client-server model, leveraging fast bandwidth and the computing capabilities of a local PC to do last-moment processing, dynamic presentation (sorting, graphics generation, etc.), in addition to relying on local temporary storage.

These applications were typically deployed in on-premises environments and connected to the central application server via a Local Area Network (LAN). Application developers / product owners relied on local PC capabilities to enhance the end-user experience for improved data navigation and management. When applications moved to browser-based implementation (with no access to local system resources), extended to mobile devices (multiple operating systems, introducing separate mobile-only code lines) or engaged with ‘dumb’ devices (devices lacking local processing, like sensors or cameras) the need for data aggregation and processing shifted back to the server. This introduced latency as entire data sets had to be transported over a slower connection for heretofore simple operations like sorting or graphics manipulation. As you may surmise, user experience suffered and bandwidth costs increased.

EC enables many of the same types of user experience enhancements through pre-processing content to thin-client implementations (web browsers, mobile devices, thin PCs and embedded endpoints), all without the need to write native client software for each of these devices. EC processing enhancements and close proximity avoid round trips to the central application server, leveraging capacity much closer to the end user, reducing latency and improving functionality. Further, EC enables call-outs to external services without the need to route them through the central application server, enabling application owners to leverage external services far more efficiently.

An EC DIY effort isn’t as easy or as seamless as an organization might hope. Establishing an edge infrastructure is beyond the typical product organization as it requires securing computing capacity close to your end users. Modern cloud vendors have enabled this capability by offering remote capacity in a pay-as-you-go model (please see ‘Technology Providers’, below). The short bit: aligning with an Edge provider with a platform is a far safer path.

Companies with existing applications encountered challenges getting to the edge as well, as, in short, many older applications were built with a single source server in mind. Companies discovered that off-loading tasks to remote computing capacity required refactoring application code or extra infrastructure into the new paradigm. While significant value can be achieved from this effort, companies had to balance the value against the investment. Again, modern cloud vendors and direct-to-edge platforms streamlined prompting application owners to review their existing applications to make them more edge-friendly / cloud-native applications.

EC is still early enough that many clear standards and verified strategies have yet to emerge. At a high level, there are some (emergent and hyper-simplified) EC offering methodologies:

  • Edge Capacity: IaaS-like computing resources enhanced with the means to perform automated deployments. Code must be written to be deployed across central and Edge servers, as with a distributed application.
  • Edge Platform: A PaaS-like platform that reduces manual deployments and code refactoring by enabling developers to ‘write to the platform’. This makes deployments simpler, but requires developers to refactor their code to Edge-Native standards.
  • Microservices: This option typically requires a significant re-write of application code, including provisioning services that enable standardized access to back-end resources. This is not for the faint of heart, nor those who do not have access to significantly-capable technical resources within their organization.

The first enables lift-and-shift code deployments, but at the cost of increased, remote management efforts. The second provides a far more robust and scalable implementation, but potentially creates vendor lock-in for the end customer. The third requires a code rewrite, all the way from the UI to the backend services. Note that in practice, an implementation may include any of these three, all combined into the final product.

As of this writing, there is a notable lack of codified EC standards and practices, with companies deploying workarounds to accommodate dated application standards and ‘not-quite-right’ edge toolsets. EC concepts are solid .. expect other paradigms to emerge as EC matures. The larger technology companies are the most mature, most notably, Akamai, IBM and Amazon.

Edge Computing Capabilities

The EC Platform paradigm solves significant application operability and performance use cases by enabling offering owners to get computing power closer to the end user. This is especially important when aiming to provide a thick-client user experience to cloud-hosted applications or aggregate and process data from thousands of IoT devices. While EC deployments will reduce latency, they will introduce levels of complexity in application design. As yet early, capable EC offerings may include:

  • EC as a Service: the edge platform is offered via provider-owned and operated assets, requiring little to no edge infrastructure on the part of the customer. This can be IaaS or PaaS. If the latter, will likely have one or more software platform components to which the application owner must comply.
  • Hardware Abstraction and Vendor-Independent Architectures: enables ‘Write Once / Deploy Broadly’ capabilities for developers to write code to a platform that can be deployed through automation, governed by policy.
  • Cloud Independence: EC intermediary systems can provide an abstraction layer to work with multiple clouds simultaneously or switch between clouds if  business needs / opportunities warrant.

Given the diversity of platforms and to-be-defined Edge standards, ISVs and SIs are filling the gap more so than Enterprises .. in short, organizations don’t really want to ‘roll their own’. This will shift as Edge-Native development paradigms become the norm for various application patterns. Open-Source platforms are clearly ahead of Edge development, albeit in a less-cohesive fashion. At the least, Edge-interested companies can cobble together an implementation from an impressive set of tools that will reduce their overall code and deployment challenges.

When defining EC capabilities, certain realities will come into play that will drive vendor selection and application considerations for organizations. In no particular order, these may include:

  • n-layer / n-tier, rather than flat, application architectures will lend themselves well to EC, especially if some of the layers / tiers are already defined as services-oriented implementations.
  • Services-oriented architectures (alluded to, above) enable broad application distribution, whereby services can be located and referenced to avoid duplication of code, capacity and effort.
  • Microservices architectures with policy-based deployment and connectivity models.
  • Configurable Process Orchestration.
  • Dynamic workload placement agility.
  • Aggregation and processing layers placed closer to data collection assets creating simplified inline real-time feedback to local monitoring assets.
  • Centralized processing tiers aggregating content for historical reporting.
  • Always-available connectivity, including 5G networks to ensure data can flow between tiers.

EC makes it possible to collect, process, augment and deliver data and content to end users. Besides improved user experience, EC enables thousands of real-time use cases that were simply infeasible before. Please see Use Cases below for examples of use cases that can benefit from EC.

Edge Computing Use Cases

EC lends itself to a wide variety of use cases, typically described as stories when engaging prospects. A few described below for reference.

Mapping and Directions:

  • An end user makes a request from a mapping application to obtain directions to their destination.
  • The request is authenticated by the main site, providing a processing token and redirection to the nearest edge site.
  • The token validates the request between the user device and the edge site and allows access.
  • The edge site processes the request independently, adding additional (and hyper-local) ephemeral assets like maps, weather, specific driving directions and more, sending the response to the mobile device.
  • The edge site performs lazy updates to the main site to update user history while the trip is in progress.
  • The end user receives the directions from the edge site, monitoring their progress locally via their mobile device.
  • While navigating, the mobile application updates the edge site and receives localized updates on traffic, weather or other local travel factors.
  • The user arrives at their destination and the edge site lazy updates user history on the main site.

To summarize: the main site offloaded parts of the services delivery to the edge site based on user location. The edge site performed localized outreach to manage changing conditions, informing the end user. The edge site updated the main site in the background during, finalizing user history at the end of the trip.

Image Acquisition / Manipulation  for Social Media upload:

  • An end user snaps a picture on their mobile device with the intent to upload it to their favorite social media site.
  • The request is authenticated by the main site, providing a token and redirection to the nearest edge site. The token validates the request between the user device and the edge site and allows access.
  • The mobile device opens the raw image file in the social media application, which is uploaded to the edge site. The main site is notified of the activity in the background, however the raw image is not uploaded to the main site just yet.
  • The user edits the image in the social media application (cropping, filters, enhancements, etc.). The mobile application prepares to send the delta of these changes (not the image file itself) to the edge site.
  • The user confirms their changes and when satisfied, commits them on the mobile device.
  • The edge site dynamically allocates computing capacity to manipulate the image to user specifications.
  • The edge site uses computing capacity to finalize the image, notifying the user when complete.
  • The edge site lazy writes the final version to the central server for permanent storage.

The main site offloaded processor-intensive image manipulation tasks to the edge site. Note the image was only uploaded once, and only to the edge site. Only after the end user approved changes did the final optimized image be uploaded to the main site for permanent storage.

Other use cases can be discussed:

  • Location-based Interactive Gaming like Ingress and Pokemon Go.
  • TMS: Vehicle Monitoring and Management through processing telematics. 5G enablement opportunity.
  • Manufacturing: ‘Smarter’ Sensors for Monitoring and Management.
  • “Smart Buildings” Monitoring and Management through embedded systems.

EC use cases number in the thousands. No customer buys ‘Edge Computing’ by itself .. they will have at least one (and likely several) use case goals in mind. It is the seller / SME task to understand the target use case proposals to the point where we can suggest appropriate solutions from our client offerings. Note that while adopting a platform can satisfy a priority use case, the same platform can be used for additional use cases to achieve more ROI from an end-customer investment.

Edge Computing Providers

As use cases vary far and wide, these are all ‘some assembly required’ .. where these companies provide the hardware and / or software platforms requiring connecting and orchestrating systems and services. It is highly unlikely widely-accepted standards will emerge across all platforms. 

AkamaiEdge Computing PlatformA mature Edge platform with server-less code execution, deployed on the Akamai global CDN network. “Edge Computing” is the new Akamai marketing tagline. Offers a free trial.
IoT GreenGrass
A feature of Amazon CloudFront, Lambda enables serverless code execution closer to the end user. On-demand capacity, AWS does not charge the customer when the code is not running.   IoT-specific use cases for connectivity and management.
CiscoEdge Computing SolutionsRouter-reliant with a small footprint.
Dell EMCProject Frontier Hardware-centric offering. VMware is a partner. 
Ericcson Edge Computing Telecom-centric EC platform. 
HPEEdgeline Converged Edge Systems
HPE Greenlake Edge
Hardware-centric offering.      Includes locally-deployed resources on a PAYG basis.   Edge Computing Resource Library.
IBMCloud at the Edge A bit of marketing oatmeal .. repurposing a combination of IBM Cloud Services and Middleware. Despite the marketing goo, IBM can definitely do Edge. 
IntelEdge Technology Includes Intel Market-Ready Solutions, pre-built IoT kits with Edge capabilities. 
MicrosoftAzure IoT Edge    Azure Stack EdgeA fully-managed service built on Azure IoT Hub.    Locally-deployed Azure component, extending to the Azure cloud.   Article: What is Edge Computing
openstackopenstack Edge ComputingOwned by IBM.
StackPathBuild your EdgeSecure Edge Platform for Developers, which enables the deployment of Edge-Distributed applications.

ED: As Article Publish dates are frozen in time, it is quite possible reviewed vendors and their capabilities may have advanced beyond those presented herein. Please accept my apologies for my shortcomings. A note to vendors: please reach out to advise your current offering capabilities and I will update.

Edge Computing Audiences

Most IT audiences will recognize Edge by name .. but all will have different definitions and a wide variety of understanding and expectations for Edge use in their organization. Ditto for Executive audiences. The majority of these audiences will need to be engaged through education on the performance and cost savings aspects of EC, tailored to their role in an organization. IT can be engaged through potential cost savings where an offering can be decentralized, shifting processing to remote locations, saving processing and bandwidth.

Surprisingly, Product Owners (POs), who are typically hungry for new features to improve their products are not seen as primary audiences for EC as of yet .. the PO audience must also be educated, relying on ‘what if’ scenarios and stories that will improve their offering. Given virtually infinite use cases, engaging POs through discovery is an important part of an engagement. A seller can approach prospective POs by describing the value of EC to add new features and enhance performance to end-customer audiences. This will require sellers to take a close look at the company offering, understanding the use cases the offering enables and extrapolating offering enhancements they can present to the PO. Not all ideas will land with POs .. this engagement will require thick-skinned ‘idea hamsters‘ working with outreach agents to ensure a credible impression in an initial contact.

EC is not a technical sale at the outset. It is creative and educational, relying on sellers identifying, researching and offering use cases that align to prospect roles within the target organization.

A company should consider EC for:

  • Adding new features to their offering that can be optimized via the end-user location.
  • Enhancing the performance of their offering.
  • Cost savings through application optimization (smaller centralized footprint, reduced bandwidth, etc.).
  • Improving end-customer experience with new features and better performance.
  • Localizing customer experiences.

A seller needs the ability to recognize, expand and document end-customer use cases / need states that enable them to secure a solid prospect.

An EC sale will cross multiple audiences, engaging PO, IT, Operations, Developers and Executive audiences.


Edge Computing is a storytelling campaign. It may not begin with a prospect who has an enhancement story already in mind. As noted above, no company will buy ‘edge’ .. they will consider new features, better customer experience, faster performance, application stability, cost savings and so on. Edge Computing is a paradigm shift .. engagements will involve several technical and business audiences, as well as reaching from developer audiences to the executive suite of an organization. Product Owners and Developers will present as useful influencers, but the ultimate decisions must be recognized across the organization.

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