Category: AppExchange


On-Demand Services Face Escalating Challenges In Today's Economic Crisis

23rd November

Today’s deepening economic crisis is testing the mettle of IT/business decision-makers, IT solution providers and technology investors alike.

IT and business decision-makers in nearly every industry must make cuts to their capital and operating budgets in order to offset rapid declines in business and tightening credit markets. In many cases, this is forcing them to fundamentally reevaluate the way that they acquire and utilize technology and business applications, and leading them to seriously consider various on-demand service alternatives such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), cloud computing, and managed services.

I have recently suggested in commentaries in Datamation and the Business Technology Roundtable that any IT/business decision-maker who isn’t seriously considering these on-demand alternatives is doing their organization a disservice and could be jeopardizing their jobs.

THINKstrategies’ latest customer survey in conjunction with Cutter Consortium clearly shows that organizations of all sizes are adopting SaaS solutions … Read More »


BT Acquires Ribbit

29th July

In May, I blogged about “Silicon Valley’s first phone company” which was creating a new market opportunity for Software-as-a-Service (Saas) in the voice communications sector.

Today, BT announced its intention to acquire that “Telco 2.0” platform company, Ribbit, for $105 million in cash. Not bad for a company which just closed a “small” B round of funding, according to the company executives I chatted with this afternoon.

This acquisition clearly demonstrates how far SaaS has come.

SaaS is no longer viewed as just a cheaper and easier alternative to traditional, on-premise applications. Instead, SaaS is becoming recognized as a way to fundamentally transform businesses processes and various industries, such as telecommunications.

My roots are in the telecom industry. I helped to launch IDC’s communications industry research program in 1983 at the time of the original AT&T divestiture. I also enjoyed my most satisfying and … Read More »


The Market Implications of Sequoia Capital's Funding of Appirio

Posted by thinkstrategies in Accenture, AppExchange, Appirio, Astadia, Bluewolf, Saaspoint, Salesforce.com, SIIA. Comments Off on The Market Implications of Sequoia Capital's Funding of Appirio

27th July

Last week Appirio announced that it had secured Series B financing of $5.6 million led by Sequoia Capital, the investment firm which has become notorious for also backing Google, Yahoo!, LinkedIn, and PayPal. Sequoia also funded one of my previous employers, International Network Services (INS), one of the high-flyers of the 1990s.

Appirio’s latest round of funding comes on the heals of a Series A investment of $1.1 million which it captured earlier this year from salesforce.com and angel investors. Although there is lots of VC money chasing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud computing opportunities, it is rare to have a start-up collect two rounds of funding in the same year.

What makes this latest round of funding for Appirio of interest to me is the implications which it has for the overall on-demand services market.

As I mentioned, I was a part of … Read More »


Platform Plays

Posted by thinkstrategies in AppExchange, force.com, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SaaS, Salesforce.com, Software-as-a-Service. Comments Off on Platform Plays

21st January

Salesforce.com rolled out its Force.com Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) enablement platform last week after plenty of fanfare at its Dreamforce conference in September. The launch of the platform has sparked a new round of debates regarding the merits of Salesforce.com’s application development toolkit and its service delivery capabilities.

I’ve said many times in this blog and elsewhere, there is no more important or innovative player in the SaaS market than Salesforce.com. Every SaaS user and SaaS provider owes a debt of gratitude to Marc Benioff and Salesforce.com for pioneering the on-demand software services market and setting the standard for enterprise-class SaaS solutions.

While some elements in Salesforce.com’s strategies and solutions can be criticized as self-serving or ineffective, the company’s overall impact on the growth of the SaaS market cannot be denied.

Salesforce.com has set the bar for designing simple yet effective web-based business applications. It … Read More »


Legacy Software Contraction and the Tugboat Strategy

14th October

The consolidation of the legacy software market continued this past week with SAP’s announced plans to acquire Business Objects, followed by Oracle’s announcement that it intends to buy BEA Systems.

These transactions clearly indicate that the traditional, on-premise software market is undergoing fundamental changes. The most obvious driver of the latest announcements is the growing importance of business intelligence (BI) and analytics as a key ingredient in any meaningful enterprise application.

In an ideal world, these acquisitions would mean that customers no longer have to carry the burden of integrating these capabilities into their enterprise software environments. Instead, it would be logical to expect the business intelligence and analytics capabilities to become a ‘plug and play’ component of the SAP and Oracle’s software portfolios. However, it is more likely that these acquisitions will simply make their software solutions even more complex to … Read More »


Bridging the Gap Between the On-Demand and On-Premise Software Worlds

24th July

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 … Read More »


Talking SaaS in Dublin

2nd July

Last week, I had the opportunity to return to Dublin, Ireland, to participate in the second Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Summit which I’ve helped Enterprise Ireland (EI), the country’s economic development agency, organize and moderate in the past nine months.

After a very successful launch of this symposium series in October with the first SaaS Summit, decided to host another round. The goal of our first session in the Fall was to educate Irish companies and entrepreneurs about the opportunities in the SaaS market. Our objective last week was to make them aware of the major challenges and offer steps to success, especially for those local companies seeking to penetrate the U.S. market.

In addition to identifying and recruiting each of the Summit speakers, I also had the privilege of kicking off the day with a keynote presentation summarizing the state of the SaaS … Read More »


Salesforce.com Attacks Corporate Knowledge Management Challenges

Posted by thinkstrategies in Apex, AppExchange, content management, knowledge management, SaaS, Salesforce.com. Comments Off on Salesforce.com Attacks Corporate Knowledge Management Challenges

10th April

Salesforce.com today announced its latest acquisition and newest extension to its Apex platform and on-demand service capabilities aimed at applying Web 2.0 tools and best practices to the age-old issue of knowledge management in corporate environments.

This represents a bold move which will not only expand the population of end-users who can benefit from Salesforce.com’s solutions, but will also raise some new questions for its partners who are trying to determine how to successfully dance with the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry’s 800 pound gorilla.

Today’s announcement unveiled Salesforce.com Apex Content and Salesforce ContentExchange which are intended to help organizations better manage their documents and unstructured data within their existing Salesforce CRM applications.

Salesforce.com is promising that Apex Content will be offer a content management platform for unstructured data sources such as office documents, HTML, video/audio files and email. It will also enable developers to … Read More »





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