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 »
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 »
As the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) “gold-rush” intensifies, industry consolidation is inevitable. The latest example of this consolidation process is today’s announcement by NetSuite that it intends to acquire OpenAir.
This announcement not only reaffirms the SaaS industry consolidation trend, but it also is the latest example of a company profiled by THINKstrategies being acquired shortly thereafter. Other examples include,
Vtrenz which was acquired by Silverpop
Everdream was acquired by Dell
AimNet was acquired by Cognizant
Corio was acquired by IBM
(Contact me if you’d like a copy of our Strategic Thinking profiles on these companies.)
I had the privilege of talking with Zach Nelson, CEO of NetSuite, and Morris Panner, the CEO of OpenAir, moments before today’s announcement was made public. They indicated that the acquisition was based on a trend which THINKstrategies has seen coming for a few months now.
Prospective SaaS users are not only seeking … Read More »
As I’ve suggested multiple times, the major hardware and software vendors are aggressively pursuing the tremendous business opportunities in the managed services market.
Now, the key questions are how will they bring these offerings to market and what role will their channel partners play in provisioning these new services?
The two most recent examples are IBM’s new Express Advantage security-as-a-service offerings and Dell’s April 24 closing of its MessageOne acquisition.
IBM’s security-as-a-service solutions are its first on-demand offerings based on its acquisition of Internet Security Systems in August 2006. The new solutions will primarily serve small and midsize businesses (SMBs). They include Express Penetration Testing Services; Express PCI Assessments; Express Multi-Function Security Bundle, which includes protection against worms, spyware, anti-virus and spam in a unified threat management offering; and Express Managed Protection Services for Servers.
These solutions have been historically been offered as on-premises … Read More »
Microsoft is finally recognizing the fundamental ways in which people’s lives and work-styles are changing, and it as a company and its technologies must respond to these changes.
Welcome to the world of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)!
Live Mesh is Microsoft’s attempt to catch up to the Web 2.0 movement which has quickly evolved into an Enterprise 2.0 migration process in which a rapidly growing number of companies of all sizes are shifting their IT strategies from on-premise products to on-demand services.
This trend is being led by Salesforce.com and Google, and being supported by hundreds of other start-ups and established vendors, including Cisco Systems, Dell and EMC.
Salesforce.com and Google’s alliance which produced a new set of integrated services last week is the most recent challenge to Microsoft’s dominance in the workplace.
Cisco Systems has been talking about the melding together of network-centric business processes for … Read More »
Since Michael Dell returned to the helm of his company, he has been dramatically reshaping its channel and services strategies. He is also putting the IT industry on notice that the way hardware companies define and deliver services is changing.
The old guard of the IT industry recognized in the 1980s and 1990s that tech support, professional services and outsourcing could generate lucrative revenues and create greater lock-in opportunities in an increasingly commoditized hardware business. Lou Gerstner saved IBM by turning it into a services company.
Dell bucked this trend by investing in sophisticated supply-chain, fulfillment and customer service processes which enabled it to succeed as a low-cost, high-margin manufacturer.
HP stole a page from Dell’s book and usurped its price advantage. Without a strong services story to serve as a safety-net, Dell was vulnerable to customer defections. It is now seeking to … Read More »
Since the holidays are traditionally a time for people to take stock of the year past and offer their new year forecasts, here are my top ten predictions why the shift from packaged products to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), utility computing and managed services will accelerate in 2008:
1. Services are Recession Proof: Escalating oil prices, the uncertain political landscape and faltering financial institutions beset with the aftereffects of the sub-prime lending debacle could mean a tough year for the economy. In this tenuous climate, consumer and executive confidence could decline, leading to an economic slowdown. As a result, many companies could hold back on their capital investments to mitigate their risks. The ability to adopt on-demand services on a pay-as-you-go basis will be a perfect sourcing strategy for businesses seeking greater cost-controls and flexibility.
2. … Read More »
IBM’s acquisition of Arsenal Digital Solutions is the latest transaction driven by the growing concern among businesses of all sizes that they have to do more to protect their electronic files in order to safeguard against natural disasters and satisfy escalating regulations.
What makes this trend even more interesting is that it has brought greater attention to the fundamental advantages of using a “hosted”, managed service to respond to these business concerns. This has made a widening array of storage, e-discovery and other managed service providers (MSPs) very attractive acquisition targets for an expanding assortment of potential buyers.
Here are a few of the acquisitions which preceeded IBM’s announcement,
Seagate $185 million purchase of EVault
EMC’s $76 million acquisition of Berkeley Data Systems Inc.’s Mozy storage service
Autonomy’s $375 million acquisition of email archiving service provider Zantaz Inc.
A series of acquisitions by Iron Mountain, including … Read More »
Last week, Dell made its second acquisition of a remote management services company in less than six months. After buying into the remote server management business with its acquisition of SilverBack Technologies in June, Dell expanded its remote management capabilities to encompass the desktop and mobile devices with last week’s acquisition of Everdream.
(A recent THINKstrategies whitepaper sponsored by Everdream gives some indication of how Dell will leverage the Everdream acquisition.)Both transactions are a part of Dell’s larger strategy to expand its product and service portfolio with a variety of automated solutions. The biggest of Dell’s recent acquisitions with this goal in mind was its EqualLogic purchase for $1.4 billion in cash, which will give Dell automated iSCSI storage area network (SAN) solutions optimized for virtualization environments.
While the EqualLogic acquisition dwarfs the SilverBack and Everdream buys, and has garnered far more … Read More »
This week I had an opportunity to attend Iron Mountain’s Analyst Day focused on its digital services strategies and offerings. The event convinced me that Storage-as-a-Service is well on its way to becoming a mainstream movement on par with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), if not greater. It also showed me how a company can build a rational hybrid services model to capitalize on a market opportunity.
The Storage-as-a-Service opportunity may seem obvious given the proliferation of data and multiplying number of consumer-oriented online storage services geared toward consumers looking for a convenient place to place their digital photos and other valuable files. But, the consumer-oriented storage services have also helped to encourage the corporate sector to take advantage of the rapidly growing array of inexpensive back-up services, such as Carbonite and Mozy, to protect their computer records and files.
The explosion of data and … Read More »