Citiwide Change Bank Model Hits the Cloud
Intrinsec Security Technologies
Background: Citiwide Change Bank was a skit on Saturday Night Live back in 1988. Here is the transcript:
[ SUPER: "When you do only one thing, you do it better" ]
Customer #1: I needed to take the bus, but all I had was a five-dollar bill. I stopped by First Citiwide, and they were able to give me four singles and four quarters.
[ SUPER: "At First Citiwide Change Bank, We just make change" ]
Paul McElroy: We will work with the customer to give that customer the change that he or she needs. If you come to us with a twenty-dollar bill, we can give you two tens, we can give you four fives - we can give you a ten and two fives. We will work with you.
Customer #2: I went to my First Citiwide branch to change a fifty. I guess I was in kind of a hurry, and I asked for a twenty, a ten, and two fives. Their computers picked up my mistake right away, and I got the correct change.
[ SUPER: "Correct Change" ]
Paul McElroy: We have been in this business a long time. With our experience, we're gonna have ideas for change combinations that probably haven't occurred to you. If you have a fifty-dollar bill, we can give you fifty singles. [ SUPER: "We can give you fifty singles" ] We can give you forty-nine singles and ten dimes. We can give you twenty-five twos. Come talk to us. [ SUPER: "We can give you twenty-five twos" ] We are not going to give you change that you don't want. If you come to us with a hundred-dollar bill, we're not going to give you two-thousand nickels.. [ SUPER: "We're not going to give you two thousand nickels" ] - unless that meets your particular change needs. We will give you.. the change.. equal to.. the amount of money.. that you want change for!
[ SUPER: "At First Citiwide Change Bank, Our business is making change" ]
Bank Representative: That's what we do. How do we make money? We make it up on volume.
Strangely enough, there have been TWO cloud service announcements today that have jumped on the Citiwide Change Bank model.
1) First, we have Symform. Now obviously, I have no idea of their business plan. However, it seems almost crazy to me to compete with proven players that are offering 2GB of free space (dropbox) with giving away 100GB of free storage. I’m sure they will make up all of the infrastructure and maintenance costs via the sheer volume of free accounts they will generate.
2) Secondly, we have Windstream. They have announced they are entering the Cloud fray via an acquisition of a hosting provider. Why the Citiwide comparison? They promise “We are much more a high-touch collaborative company” and refuse to follow the lead of established players such as Amazon and Rackspace. Either these guys haven’t realized the economics of the cloud lies in the automation (orchestration) of having the customer doing all the work, or they are marketing hosted service as a cloud service.
Again, I am not privy to business models, executive teams, etc, but I cannot imagine it ending well. Suffice it to say…These two examples demonstrate exactly why you need to plan cloud adoption, including how to exit the scene when the company starts to show financial difficulties. You can learn all about avoiding vendor lock-in and exit strategies by taking our Cloud Security Alliance training. More information, including CSA guidance documentation can be found at http://www.intrinsec.ca/cloud-security-alliance-training.html.
Thanks For Reading,