Fortissimo Marketplace makes access to advanced computing services easier for SMEs
New cloud-based marketplace offers small manufacturing businesses fast and convenient access to supercomputing services.
Fortissimo Marketplace brings together key providers and SMEs:
- New platform simplifies access to high-performance computer simulations for small and medium sized enterprises
- Partners already actively providing services, sign-up is free for users
- Matches service providers to users’ requirements, handling set up, project management and billing
The Fortissimo Marketplace is a new platform for brokering high performance computing (HPC) services. It will simplify access to high-end simulation services, helping companies improve productivity and significantly reduce costs. The Fortissimo Marketplace is a new company, emerging from a successful EU-funded Fortissimo project.
“We know that companies that use high-performance computing and high-performance data analytics really seek clear economic and business benefits from doing so. However, we also know that far too few companies actually use these technologies.” Prof. Mark Parsons, project coordinator for the Fortissimo project
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have often struggled to take advantage of high-performance simulation and modelling, due to its intrinsic complexity and price. The Fortissimo Marketplace, as a tailor-made self-service platform, aims to overcome those barriers by providing on-demand access to hardware, software, and the necessary expertise to run advanced simulations.
Service providers joining the platform benefit from a targeted sales channel, expert matching with user requirements, and a fulfilment service for end-user accounting and billing.
Proven business advantages delivered through simulation and modelling
Using simulation and modelling on high-performance computing systems is widely seen as an effective but very expensive design and development tool, only accessible to the largest and most financially powerful companies. Analysts IDC have estimated  that each dollar invested in HPC returned, on average, US$356 in revenue and US$38 in profits or cost savings. However, the supercomputers and software required to run large-scale, highly sophisticated simulations, plus the expertise of skilled professionals to handle the simulation tasks, requires substantial capital investments. This means the initial cost for setup and operation can be forbidding for potential adopters.
Affordable access to computer simulations for all
The Fortissimo Marketplace takes the complexity out of the process of procuring high performance simulation and modelling, and markedly reduces costs. Through either configured packages or Fortissimo’s matching service, SMEs from a broad range of vertical markets (including automotive, aviation, medical engineering, manufacturing, and the energy and environmental sectors) can gain cost-effective access to advanced simulation and modelling services operating on a cloud infrastructure of HPC resources, coupled to software applications, expertise, and tools. Larger enterprises or academic institutions can also join and benefit from advanced simulation and modelling services as well. Clients can immediately access and purchase services after registering on the platform. Registering is free of charge.
Portal of choice for HPC service providers
Fortissimo Marketplace is open to any service provider and offers flexible terms for pricing, payment and service presentation. It is the goal of the Fortissimo Marketplace to create value and opportunities for all parties in the design process. This includes independent software vendors (ISVs) looking for a reliable partner to implement their software-as-a-service strategy, as well as service providers wishing to provide expertise or resources. The platform provides a pre-pay or pay-per-use, one-stop shop for hardware, visualisation, software and expertise that can be accessed as “tools”. Through its streamlined and well thought out approach, the Fortissimo Marketplace aims to become the portal of choice for advanced computer simulations and service provision delivered by Europe’s major HPC technology providers.
Two types of membership are offered:
- Gold membership enables ISVs, solution providers, integrators and selected HPC Centres to advertise and promote their services via the Fortissimo Marketplace.
- Platinum membership additionally gives service providers the ability to promote and sell services directly via the Marketplace, and an integrated sales platform providing a fulfilment service including end–user accounting and billing.
EPCC, Fortissimo and the Fortissimo Marketplace
The Fortissimo Marketplace was established following work in the Fortissimo collaborative project funded by the EC under its Framework 7 programme. EPCC led the development of the Marketplace and a company (Fortissimo Marketplace Ltd) has been set up to oversee its future development and operation. EPCC Director Prof. Mark Parsons is the CEO of the company.
The Fortissimo project enables European SMEs to be more competitive globally through the use of simulation services running on a high performance computing (HPC) cloud infrastructure. The project is coordinated by EPCC and involves over 100 partners including manufacturing companies, application developers, domain experts, IT solution providers and HPC cloud service providers from 14 countries. These partners are involved in experiments that aim to solve real business problems driven by end-users by simulating industrial processes using cloud-based HPC.
Following the success of the original Fortissimo project, a follow-on project Fortissimo 2 started in November 2015. This second project is funded under the EC’s Horizon 2020 programme for a period of three years and is also led by EPCC.
 Steve Conway, IDC research vice president for HPC, IDC study “HPC: ROI You Can’t Ignore!”, Nov. 2013