I often have the privilege of being briefed by companies about their strategies and services prior to them being publicly announced. In many cases, these briefings involve companies which are still in ‘stealth’ mode and I must wait patiently until they reveal themselves to the rest of the world before I can talk about them.
One such company is Pathworks Software. I met its President/CEO, Anthony Nemelka, at the SIIA On-Demand Conference last November and was immediately impressed with his vision and company strategy. That strategy and the company’s initial set of solutions were publicly announced at the DEMO ’08 conference.
At that event, Pathworks Software unveiled the company’s flagship on-demand customer support solution, Helpstream. Pathworks’ new offering is newsworthy because it combines many of the best practices of the open source and Web 2.0 worlds to create a potentially powerful Software-as-a-Service … Read More »
I had the privilege this week of participating in an interesting webinar sponsored by Makana Solutions regarding the sales implications of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and other subscription services.
Tom Wilson, of the Wilson Group; Makana’s founder, chairman, and CEO Liz Cobb; and I discussed how the sales skills and processes differ in the on-demand services world from the traditional packaged product environment. Specifically, on-demand services come at a lower price-point which necessitates higher volume sales to be successful. This requires a transaction oriented sales process and telesales skills, rather than the long salescycles and highly personalized approach of traditional legacy software sales. Therefore, restructuring the sales process and retraining or restaffing the sales team is critical to transitioning to the SaaS and subscription service model.
Similarly, the support function also changes in the on-demand world. Rather than rely on technical support to react … 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 »
Callidus Software Inc. announced todaythat it has been certified to offer its TrueComp® Suite on Salesforce.com’s AppExchange.This announcement isn’t likely to generate bold headlines in the business or industry trade press. But, I believe it is a significant bellweather for the software industry and good news for organizations who have been worried that they’d have to make an either/or decision when selecting on-demand versus on-premise software solutions.
Until recently, the rapid rise of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) as a radical movement to displace legacy applications. As a consequence, SaaS was seen as a fundamental threat to the long-term viability of the independent, or as I prefer to say, “incumbent” software vendors (ISVs).
While on-demand, SaaS solutions represent a real challenge for legacy software vendors, it is no longer a simple battle of good (on-demand) versus evil (on-premise). Instead, both parties are recognizing that they … Read More »
The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) movement is rapidly becoming mainstream as organizations of all sizes adopt on-demand services to address various unmet needs or to replace their legacy applications.
The rising acceptance and adoption of SaaS represents a watershed opportunity for new and established independent software vendors (ISVs). But, THINKstrategies has discovered that it is also creating serious challenges for some SaaS companies who are letting escalating competition pressure them into compromising on the fundamental principles of the SaaS delivery model.
Today’s SaaS challenges do not involve the past concerns about the reliability, security or scalability of on-demand solutions. Despite occasional service disruptions, SaaS vendors have proven to be far more reliable than most internal IT departments. They have also been able to avoid security problems which continue to plague enterprises relying on traditional on-premise software. The scalability of on-demand applications has also … Read More »
SAP announced today that Shai Agassi, president of its product and technology group and architect of SAP’s Netweaver software, is leaving the company to pursue his interests in alternative energy and climate change.
While these are honorable reasons to move on, it is very likely that his departure was also prompted by the overwhelming challenges associated with migrating SAP’s software to an on-demand, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, as well as some executive suite politics.
In addition to his broader responsibilities, Agassi was the chief architect and senior champion for SAP’s on-demand efforts which were launched in February, 2006. He joined the company in 2001, when SAP acquired his company TopTier Software. He was also among several SAP executives considered a potential successor to Chief Executive Henning Kagermann, who recently had his employment contract extended through 2009, creating a bottleneck among his lieutenants, including … Read More »
Two announcements last week served as reminders that, despite growing interest in on-demand solutions, professionals services remain an essential part of the technology landscape.
On January 30, Salesforce.com announced a strategic alliance with Deloitte Consulting to extend the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) leader’s reach into the enterprise market. Salesforce.com already has a similar agreement in place with Accenture. But, the Deloitte alliance confirms the growing interest in SaaS among large-scale enterprises and the desire of a growing number of established consultancies to join the SaaS movement.
As I’ve stated many times, any suggestion that SaaS will eliminate the role of channel organizations in the software industry is ludicrious. However, there is no question that many value-added resellers (VARs) and consultancies will need to shift their focus from technology integration to process or change management projects. A clear example of this shift, as well as … Read More »