Cloud solution provider Appirio is trying out a new method of connecting enterprises with top-tier cloud talent: competition. CloudSpokes, Appirio's new "Open Cross-Cloud Community and Marketplace," is designed to connect cloud ISVs and integrators and let them compete to solve cloud challenges for financial reward. It's a novel approach to spurring SaaS innovation, but will it work?

As the founders, Appirio is pledging $1 million in contest prize money, and is already planning challenges around platforms like, Google Apps, and Amazon Web Services, according to the press release. All the contests will revolve around using public cloud platforms to deliver enterprise-ready products.

The official rules, taken directly from Appirio's press release:

  • Companies who need cloud development work can sponsor a challenge on CloudSpokes, giving developers a way to earn cash rewards, test and prove their skills for badges and other recognition.

  • Challenges appear on a list visible to all developer members, along with the award amount and pre-defined success criteria so all participants are aware of how they’ll be judged.

  • Submissions are scored by a peer review board and awarded to the best submission. Those participating in the challenge can then see other submissions and learn from their peers.

  • The developer members’ public profile is updated to include challenge history, recommendations, and badges to build their profile inside the community and among potential employers.

If you're a cloud ISV, this could be worth a look. Who knows -- you could potentially find your next six-figure customer or channel organization employer.

It's not a bad idea, but TalkinCloud wonders if CloudSpokes will find its cloud gladiators. Keep watching for updates.

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