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 »
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 »
HP’s decision to acquire EDS cannot be faulted when measured against all the standard metrics for doing a mega-deal in the traditional technology world. It gives both companies greater scale and access to more corporate customers without a lot of overlap.
The problem is that we are in the midst of a fundamental change in the way customers acquire technology and the way they perceive their vendors. The HP/EDS combination doesn’t fit this new world order.
There is no question that EDS strengthens HP’s hand when it comes to building and managing complex enterprise data centers. The acquisition also gives EDS ready access to HP’s installed base of customers.
Wherever there are big systems integration and ongoing management projects to be won, HP/EDS will be in a better position to compete with IBM and the off-shoring companies than they were a day ago … 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 »
For years, I’ve been advocating that hardware and software vendors along with their channel partners and telecommunications carriers have the opportunity to leverage Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions and managed services models to generate powerful benchmark statistics and produce valuable best practice studies that can enhance their customer relationships and strengthen their position in the market.
Today, TriActive and THINKstrategies published the first of a series of benchmark studies which clearly demonstrates this unique capability.
The study examines end-user software utilization patterns across over 125,000 endpoints in 460 companies managed by TriActive’s Asset Management Suite™. The study found many companies where Microsoft Office installations are underutilized or not used at all. This means that many companies have more software licenses than necessary or have purchased higher than necessary versions of the software to meet their needs.
Based on this actual software utilization data, the study … 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 »
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 »
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 »
Utility computing is one of those IT industry concepts which has taken a long time to evolve into reality.
While discussions about this idea were mostly theoretical when it first emerged at the turn of this new century, today a new generation of players is turning the theory into an actuality.
After it helped to originate the idea, IBM is now trying to play catch up in the rapidly evolving utility computing market.
You can read my views about this ironic twist of fate on ITworld’s Utility Computing portal.