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 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 »
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 »
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 »
Sights and Sounds at the SIIA On-Demand Conference
Last week’s second annual SIIA On-Demand Conference was a bellwether for the state of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry. Rather than being composed of the usual suspects of SaaS speakers—Salesforce.com, Microsoft, etc.—the event included an interesting mix of prominent players and start-ups who clearly demonstrated that we are well beyond the ‘why SaaS’ stage and deeply into the ‘how’ phase of this important movement.
The event opened with a packed house of over 300 attendees, many with senior executive titles, and a relatively new name to the SaaS market presenting. Donald Proctor, the Senior Vice President of Cisco Systems’ Collaboration Software Group kicked off the event promoting its vision of the next wave of inter-office SaaS solutions based on WebEx’s collaboration platform which Cisco acquired in March 2007.
Although I might suggest that this wave of inter-office SaaS solutions is well underway and … Read More »
Legacy Software Contraction and the Tugboat Strategy
The consolidation of the legacy software market continued this past week with SAP’s announced plans to acquire Business Objects, followed by Oracle’s announcement that it intends to buy BEA Systems.
These transactions clearly indicate that the traditional, on-premise software market is undergoing fundamental changes. The most obvious driver of the latest announcements is the growing importance of business intelligence (BI) and analytics as a key ingredient in any meaningful enterprise application.
In an ideal world, these acquisitions would mean that customers no longer have to carry the burden of integrating these capabilities into their enterprise software environments. Instead, it would be logical to expect the business intelligence and analytics capabilities to become a ‘plug and play’ component of the SAP and Oracle’s software portfolios. However, it is more likely that these acquisitions will simply make their software solutions even more complex to … Read More »
Reflections on Dreamforce, ZD's Channel Summit and Verio's Partner Event
Waiting for a delayed flight to Chicago from Vegas, as I try to make my way home to Boston, is an opportune time to recap a week of travels across the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and managed services landscape.
This past week began at Salesforce.com’s annual Dreamforce user conference. It was another lovefest that attracted a record crowd of over 7000 users, partners, press and analysts, up from fewer than 5000 a year ago. The 40% growth in total attendees was eclipsed by a tripling in the number of partners showcasing their on-demand capabilities, despite a big increase in the price for booth space.
The focal point of the event was Salesforce.com’s introduction of its new Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), called force.com. The company also introduced a user interface on-demand solution (IaaS), visualforce.com. (Click here, to read THINKstrategies’ whitepaper regarding the new PaaS.)
These announcements are the … Read More »
Google and Salesforce.com’s First Date Leaves Paparazzi Disappointed
Just like the frenzy and speculation that surrounds every high-profile couple before they tie the knot in today’s pop culture, the build up over the past few weeks around a pending announcement between Google and Salesforce.com was destined to fall short of many people’s overblown expectations.
Much of the speculation centered on whether Google would acquire Salesforce.com in an attempt to dramatically strengthen the search vendor’s foray into desktop and business applications. In March, I made my bet that Oracle would be the first suitor to try to capitalize on Salesforce.com’s meteoric rise in the on-demand business apps world.
Although I can certainly see the logic in a Google/Salesforce.com marriage, I thought it was premature for the companies to do this kind of deal at this stage. Unless, Oracle initiated a hostile takeover attempt for Salesforce.com, the on-demand vendor wasn’t incented to … Read More »
SAP Loses Its SaaS Champion
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 »
Changing Business Intelligence Landscape
While much of the information technology (IT) industry and many CIOs, concerned about their traditional legacy business intelligence (BI) applications, were focused on the market implications of Oracle’s acquisition of Hyperion Software, new entries into the market may represent a more important milestone in the evolution of this segment of the software industry.
On March 6, 2007, LucidERA unveiled its new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business intelligence solution. The company is founded by one of the truly good guys of the industry, Ken Rudin, who also has a unique perspective on the opportunities and challenges represented by the SaaS model.
Ken started his career at Oracle. He then co-founded and was CEO of Emergent Corporation, a consulting firm focused on data warehousing projects for Fortune 500 companies which was sold to Keane, Inc. in 1999. At that point, Ken joined a new company, called … Read More »