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 »
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 »
What SAP Can Learn From Salesforce.com
In its continuing effort to outpace its competition, Salesforce.com unveiled a new “SOA as a service” strategy today.
This is the company’s latest attempt to extend its footprint across the software landscape and increase its relevance to a wider population of users, developers and partners. This move also offers another clue for how established independent (read: incumbent) software vendors (ISVs) can better position themselves in the rapidly evolving Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market.
(By coincidence, IBM kicked off its IMPACT 2007 user conference today by spotlighting its software and services aimed at the $160 billion SOA opportunity.)
Service-oriented architecture (SOA) has become a popular software development framework aimed at making applications more responsive to business requirements. Although the hype regarding the benefits and market acceptance of SOA far exceeds the reality, there is little debate that the proper implementation of SOA can generate meaningful returns … 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 »