Category: cloud computing

Offering A Hybrid SaaS Model To Give Customers Choice

19th October

One of the topics which leading Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendors and industry analysts are most vehement about is that software vendors cannot survive and succeed supporting a ‘hybrid’ model.

This issue arises every time an incumbent software vendor–my definition of a “ISV”–rolls out a SaaS solution while also trying to sustain its legacy, on-premise application. There are plenty of impediments to success in this balancing act across the entire lifecycle of a product extending from software development and delivery to sales and support. These technological and organizational challenges are major obstacles to success for ISVs trying to keep pace with the SaaS movement.

However, despite growing interest and adoption of SaaS as well as other ‘cloud’ computing alternatives among organizations of all sizes, many IT and business decision-makers continue to feel that they must make an ‘either/or’ judgement when it comes to on-premise … Read More »

Another Reason Why Gartner Is A Lagging Indicator Of Today's Market Trends

Posted by thinkstrategies in cloud computing, Gartner, SaaS, Software-as-a-Service. 2 comments

17th October

Once again Gartner has demonstrated why it is viewed as a lagging indicator of meaningful market trends. Check out a new article in CIO Magazine entitled, “Gartner: Four Disruptions That Will Transform the Software Industry.”

In this article, Gartner analyst Yvonne Genovese identifies the following “disruptive” software industry trends that will take shape by 2010-2015,

Rise in New Technologies and Convergence of Existing Technologies
Change in Software User and Support Demographics
Revolutionary Changes in Software and How it is Consumed
Software Market Moves to Megavendors Supporting Large Ecosystems

To call any of these trends potentially disruptive in 2010 or 2015 is to ignore the significant impact each of them is already having on the software industry today.

Web mash-ups became the play things of the Facebook crowd over a year ago and are already being used by a wide array of companies of all sizes today.

That same … Read More »

Will 2009 Be The Year Of The Channel?

12th October

If 2008 is remembered as the year that a new generation of on-demand services, including Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud computing, gained widespread acceptance and accelerated adoption, then I think 2009 will be the time when winning channel partners will become more critical to the on-demand service providers.

Until now, SaaS and cloud computing vendors have been focusing on building reliable and scalable service solutions and demonstrating the viability of their on-demand alternatives to customers.

Now, that they have generally achieved this objective, their next challenge is to build an effective indirect go-to-market strategy and set of strong channel relationships, so they can rapidly and profitably extend their market reach and satisfy the needs of specific market segments.

The need to build a successful channel strategy has become even more essential as a result of the current economic crisis which is placing greater financial … Read More »

Messaging and Security Continue To Drive On-Demand Services

9th October

Although the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business applications and cloud computing development environments are getting the lion’s share of the attention in the press today, the most prevalent form of on-demand services continues to be hosted email and security services.

Email and security management are escalating challenges for IT and business decision-makers facing greater demands for real-time communications from their end-users, coupled with growing concerns about viruses, hackers, compliance and litigation.

As a result, an increasing proportion of companies and non-profit institutions are choosing to ‘out-task’ their email and security management to third-party hosting companies and managed service providers (MSPs).

However, enterprises and on-demand service providers alike are also recognizing that email, security, storage, archival, e-discovery, business continuity and disaster recovery are all intertwined. Therefore, IT/business decision-makers are seeking providers who can service as a strategic source for these services and providers are seeking to … Read More »

SaaS Goes Mainstream Via Mad Money

Posted by thinkstrategies in cloud computing, CNBC, Jim Cramer, SaaS, Software-as-a-Service. Comments Off on SaaS Goes Mainstream Via Mad Money

8th October

I’ve been saying for months that the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) movement will gain momentum as the threat of a recession intensifies.

Now that the prospect of a recession has turned into a full-fledged financial crisis and escalating fuel costs are fanning the flames further, the economic justification for adopting SaaS has become even clearer to a broader cross-section of business decision-makers.

The latest reinforcement of this point came yesterday from one of the most visible personalities in the business press today–Jim Cramer, the host of CNBC’s “Mad Money”.

Love him or hate him, Cramer has become one of the most influential stock market commentators in the U.S., if not worldwide. And while many can criticize his ability to pick stocks or ridicule his crazy antics, Cramer does deserve credit for helping to educate people on Main Street about the nuances of Wall Street. And … Read More »

The Three Es That Will Drive On-Demand Services

22nd September

The financial crisis which came to a head last week may only be the latest chapter of an ongoing saga, but it is certainly going to be another driver that will push the on-demand services movement to a new level of market acceptance and growth.

In December 2007, I predicted that the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market would not only survive a deepening recession but would grow because of it.

My prediction was based on the premise that financial uncertainty would compel organizations of all sizes to adopt procurement policies which would favor the more flexible pricing model and more rapid deployment capabilities of SaaS, rather than continue to make significant capital investments in traditional on-premise software and systems with long deployment cycles and limited odds for success.

Ten months later and the economic climate has only gotten worse. Spiralling gas prices have compounded the … Read More »

The Maturation Process of SaaS Support

14th September

The proliferation of on-demand services has been driven by the promise that these Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and ‘cloud computing’ alternatives to traditional on-premise software products will be faster to deploy, easier to use and quicker to produce tangible value.

While this is generally true, it doesn’t mean that these web-based applications are entirely fool-proof or without their challenges. Sometimes there are technical nuances which have to be overcome. Other times there are integration, customization or optimization issues which have to be addressed. And like any application, sometimes on-demand solutions encounter service disruptions which need to be resolved.

Until recently, SaaS support services were taken for granted. Many SaaS vendors bundled support services into the price of their SaaS solutions, and offered ad hoc support to quickly respond to specific questions or problems. Much of this support was delivered via online services or email, … Read More »

Cloudonomics and Calculating the Risk and Return of SaaS

10th September

The recent debate about the viability and value of cloud computing has generated at least one outstanding analysis from a friend at AT&T, that’s right AT&T!

Joe Weinman is the VP of Strategic Solutions Sales at AT&T Global Business Services. He published a terrific blog entry last week on GigaOM which was also distributed by BusinessWeek entitled, “The 10 Laws on Cloudonomics”.

I met Joe at a utility computing conference in NYC in 2004 where we both listened to a series of CIOs discuss how they were transforming their IT operations to achieve their business objectives.

What was facinating about their presentations was that they were not talking about hardware-based utility computing models that many vendors at the time, such as IBM and HP, were pushing. Instead, the CIOs from a number of major corporations and public agencies talked about how they were … Read More »

Customer Support Becomes Key Concern in Cloud Computing

Posted by thinkstrategies in Amazon, cloud computing, Google, SaaS, Software-as-a-Service. 1 Comment

16th August

The recent service outages experienced by Amazon and Google have raised additional concerns about the reliability of these services in particular, and the concept of ‘cloud computing’ and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) in general.

In my last blog entry, I suggested that the term ‘cloud computing’ may be gaining widespread acceptance but could also be preventing many mainstream business decision-makers from getting their heads around the idea of utilizing web-based services to meet their corporate needs.

The faceless personas of Amazon and Google’s cloud computing services doesn’t help the situation. While traditional telephone support services have left a lot to be desired, they at least give customers a opportunity to seek help from a real person.

Neither Google or Amazon offer this form of customer support for their cloud computing services. Given the modest price for their cloud computing services, it is easy to understand … Read More »

Symantec Makes SaaS Strategic

12th June

I’ve just returned from my fourth trip to Las Vegas in four months where I spent three days attending my second annual Symantec Vision user conference and worldwide industry analyst briefing. The event offered a number of important insights regarding the state of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), as well as the managed services market.

I’ve stated in this blog numerous times, we are entering a pivotal new stage in the evolution of the SaaS market in which IT professionals are starting to view on-demand services as a powerful means of addressing many of their age-old management challenges, rather than a threat to their operations.

The Symantec executives who spoke at the conference and shared their candid views with me during the event confirmed my perspective by reporting that they are seeing rising receptivity toward SaaS ‘out-tasking’ alternatives to traditional management products among the … Read More »

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