Offering A Hybrid SaaS Model To Give Customers Choice
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 »
BT Acquires Ribbit
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 »
Microsoft Playing Catch-Up With Live Mesh
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 »
THINKstrategies-TriActive Study Demonstrates SaaS & Managed Services Benchmarking Capabilities
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 »
Straddling the Hybrid On-Premise and On-Demand Worlds
With the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) event season in full throttle, I’ve found myself consulting with a new generation of aspiring SaaS players who are trying to learn about the fundamentals of this rapidly evolving marketplace quickly so they can respond to changing customer requirements and capitalize on new market opportunities.
Starting with SoftLetter’s SaaS Sales and Marketing Seminar in Atlanta which has been upgraded to the SaaS University for Waltham, MA in June, and continuing with OpSource’s SaaS Summit last month in San Francisco, a widening array of incumbent software vendors (ISVs) and old-line technology vendors have approached me seeking help in their efforts to join the SaaS movement.
Some of these companies have lived well for years in niche markets, others have enjoyed cashcow businesses at a mass market level with hardware-based solutions. Now they see a combination of market forces fundamentally … Read More »
OpSource SaaS Summit Takeaways
Last week’s OpSource SaaS Summit was a milestone event for the on-demand services market on a number of levels.
The first SaaS Summit in Silverado in 2006 was a gathering of industry pioneers to discuss the potential of the on-demand movement. Last year’s Summit in Monterey was an opportunity to celebrate the growing success of the SaaS movement. This year’s Summit offered a chance to take stock of what it will take to scale SaaS to meet the needs of the mainstream market. The theme was platforms and web services, but the event also raised other issues.
With over 600 registered attendees, this year’s SaaS Summit was the largest vendor-oriented conference focused entirely on the rapidly growing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market to date. While Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce user conference is still the biggest SaaS event of all, OpSource’s SaaS Summit has represented the benchmark … Read More »
Game-Changing At Google
Google made two announcements this week which received limited attention because they had been anticipated for some time. Nonetheless, these two new offerings will still have an impact on the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and managed services markets.
Google’s first announcement unveiled a series of security “products” based on the email message filtering, encryption and archiving capabilities Google acquired when it purchased Postini. Although Google refers to these offerings as products, they are being sold on a subscription service direct to customers or via channel partners who can package these capabilities into managed services.
Google’s objective when it acquired Postini was to fortify its messaging and archival capabilities so it could appeal to a broader cross-section of business customers, especially large-scale, publicly traded enterprises who are facing stricter compliance requirements. Google’s new Message Filtering, Security and Discovery offerings provide a solid, yet simple and … Read More »
The On-Demand Services Implications of a Microsoft-Yahoo Merger
Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Yahoo has gained plenty of attention because of its blockbuster pricetag and obvious attempt to blunt Google’s success in the online search advertising business.
However, I think the acquisition also has significant implications for the future of on-demand services. Yahoo’s popular portal will certainly be a great new channel to market for Microsoft’s on-demand games and Zune entertainment initiatives.
I’ve also been saying for the past two years that Yahoo and other major online outlets will become the new channels to market for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions and managed services. This is because many corporate customers are gaining confidence in SaaS and managed services as a viable alternative to traditional on-premise products result of their overall comfort with consumer-oriented on-demand services like Amazon, eBay, YouTube and iTunes. This consumer to corporate buyer crossover makes Yahoo an appealling outlet for … 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 »
Top Ten Reasons Why On-Demand Services Will Soar in 2008
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 »