Bridging the Gap Between the On-Demand and On-Premise Software Worlds
Callidus Software Inc. announced todaythat it has been certified to offer its TrueComp® Suite on Salesforce.com’s AppExchange.
This announcement isn’t likely to generate bold headlines in the business or industry trade press. But, I believe it is a significant bellweather for the software industry and good news for organizations who have been worried that they’d have to make an either/or decision when selecting on-demand versus on-premise software solutions.
Until recently, the rapid rise of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) as a radical movement to displace legacy applications. As a consequence, SaaS was seen as a fundamental threat to the long-term viability of the independent, or as I prefer to say, “incumbent” software vendors (ISVs).
While on-demand, SaaS solutions represent a real challenge for legacy software vendors, it is no longer a simple battle of good (on-demand) versus evil (on-premise). Instead, both parties are recognizing that they must co-exist in order to survive.
Therefore, companies like Callidus are responding to competitive pressures from on-demand challengers, such as Centive and Xactly, by adding on-demand options to their traditional on-premise software solutions. Similarly, Business Objects has been fighting back the on-demand challenges of companies like LucidERA with its own set of on-demand solutions.
As the 800 pound gorilla of the on-demand world, Salesforce.com has built the most vibrant ‘ecosystem’ of multivendor SaaS solutions, the AppExchange. This online clearinghouse has become a magnet for a widening array of third-party vendors aiming to capitalize on Salesforce.com’s deepening penetration of the market.
The Callidus officials who briefed me about their AppExchange certification prior to today’s announcement admitted that their decision to team with Salesforce.com was driven by escalating interest in SaaS and the growing presence of Salesforce.com among their enterprise customers.
So, Callidus’ rollout of an on-demand solution and certification on Salesforce.com’s AppExchange represents another important endorsement and validation of the SaaS movement. I’ll let Callidus’ on-demand competitors–Centive and Xactly–argue whether the company’s SaaS solutions match their net-native capabilities.
More importantly from a market perspective, it is clear that Salesforce.com’s aggressive efforts to permeate the enterprise sector now includes teaming with established players, like Callidus and Business Objects, rather than simply bashing the old-guard as obsolete relics of the past.
Salesforce.com recognizes that most enterprises want to augment rather than replace their legacy applications and established ISVs with on-demand, SaaS alternatives for the time being. Therefore, it makes sense for Salesforce.com to encourage the established players to join the AppExchange and create integration links which make it that much easier for Salesforce.com to penetrate enterprise accounts.
The good news for IT and business decision-makers is that they don’t have to make a fundamental choice between on-demand or on-premise software alternatives. Instead, they can now seek the option which offers the best application features and third-party integration to meet their needs.