I had the privilege of moderating a fascinating panel session at the SIIA On-Demand Conference this past November entitled, “Systems Integrators: A Firsthand, Face-to-Face View on the State of SaaS”.
The panel consisted of three experienced professionals in the systems integration (SI) business,
Chris Barbin, CEO, Appirio
Cary Fulbright, President, North America Operations, Saaspoint
Lonnie Wills, Senior Vice President, CIO Practice, Bluewolf
The SIIA recently posted a video of this session on their site. Click here to watch the discussion.
My friend Phil Wainwright’s latest blog post re: LucidEra’s new pre-sales program, Pipeline Healthcheck, confirms many of my initial observations when the company first introduced the program in October. Phil’s post includes a number of interesting stats which LucidEra’s founder, Ken Rudin, also shared with me at Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce event.
LucidEra’s decision to move away from the typical free-trial approach to selling SaaS is significant because it exemplifies a subtle trend which is brewing in the on-demand services market.
Although many SaaS solutions can be sold using a ‘try and buy’ technique, a growing number of SaaS vendors are discovering that they must employ other sales tactics to sell their solutions. In some cases, like the LucidEra example, it is because they are trying to demonstrate the power of their functionality to a target buyer who is unfamilar with the basic idea. … Read More »
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 »
Last week Appirio announced that it had secured Series B financing of $5.6 million led by Sequoia Capital, the investment firm which has become notorious for also backing Google, Yahoo!, LinkedIn, and PayPal. Sequoia also funded one of my previous employers, International Network Services (INS), one of the high-flyers of the 1990s.
Appirio’s latest round of funding comes on the heals of a Series A investment of $1.1 million which it captured earlier this year from salesforce.com and angel investors. Although there is lots of VC money chasing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud computing opportunities, it is rare to have a start-up collect two rounds of funding in the same year.
What makes this latest round of funding for Appirio of interest to me is the implications which it has for the overall on-demand services market.
As I mentioned, I was a part of … Read More »
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 »