On-Demand Services Face Escalating Challenges In Today's Economic Crisis
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 »
NetSuite and HP Team to Push SaaS Through the Channel
One of the most vexing questions in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market, and broader on-demand services industry, is what role traditional channel companies will play in this brave, new world.
While Salesforce.com and other SaaS vendors are touting the enormous advantages of leveraging the ‘cloud’, there are still plenty of companies on Main Street who are just beginning to become familiar with today’s online services. Many of these small- and mid-size businesses (SMBs), and even large-scale enterprises, have relied on their local value-added reseller (VAR) and system integrator (SI) as not only their primary technology supplier but also their ‘trusted advisor’ for their technologies strategies.
These VARs and SIs have been uncertain about the impact of SaaS solutions and on-demand services on their businesses. In fact, many feel down right threatened by these services.
There is no question that SaaS solutions and on-demand services … Read More »
The Maturation Process of SaaS Support
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 »
NetSuite Buys On-Demand Professional Services Automation Software Leader OpenAir
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 »
Measuring the Profitability of SaaS
Last month, Bruce Richardson of AMR Research published a provocative commentary entitled, “SaaS and the Elusive Path to Profitability” that heightened the debate regarding the financial viability of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model.
Bruce’s column elaborated on a presentation he gave at SaaScon 2008 entitled, “Balancing Customer Acquisition Costs and Elusive Profitability.” The talk was driven by a question which Bruce claims to ask numerous software and service companies on a regular basis: “Do you know how much it costs to win a dollar of new business?”
Not surprisingly, Bruce has found that most SaaS companies are losing money acquiring new business in hopes of gaining long-term profitability over the life of the customer relationship. This has always been the logic behind the ‘land and expand’ tactics which are at the heart of almost every SaaS company’s go-to-market strategy.
In order to make his … Read More »
More Companies Capitalizing on Channel Opportunities in the SaaS Market
A little over a year ago, I contributed a commentary to eWeek’s Channel Insider, entitled “On-Demand a Boon for the Channel”, that stated the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) movement doesn’t have to be the death-kneel for channel organizations.
At that time, many resellers and integrators feared that SaaS would ‘dis-intermediate’ them because of its direct sales and simpler deployment characteristics. There is no question that these attributes will certainly disrupt the traditional business models of many resellers and integrators who capitalized on the complexities of the legacy applications in the past. However, there is still plenty of complexity in today’s enterprise-oriented SaaS solutions to give innovative resellers and integrators a new round of business opportunities to pursue.
Just as in the past, customization and integration remain challenges in the new world of enterprise SaaS solutions. A year ago, I discussed in the eWeek article … Read More »
Taking SaaS and Managed Services Vertical
With the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) movement becoming generally accepted among organizations of all sizes, a growing number of SaaS vendors are seeking to differentiate themselves by creating on-demand solutions specifically designed to address the unique requirements of particular industries or vertical markets.
THINKstrategies’ SaaS Showplace includes nearly 600 company listings by industry. Many of these companies are simply targeting specific industries rather than offering industry-specific solutions. However, a growing number are designing their on-demand solutions to cater to the specific needs of targeted industries.
The shift in attention is timely according to THINKstrategies’ latest SaaS survey in conjunction with Cutter Consortium. In the second installment of our three-part series on the findings of this survey we will discuss how a substantial proportion of the survey respondents are either currently using industry-specific SaaS solutions or considering them.
Leading SaaS vendors, such as Salesforce.com and NetSuite, … Read More »