Microsoft Moves to the Clouds
Today’s official launch of Microsoft Office 365 squarely positions the company as the latest major contender seeking to win a share of the rapidly growing Cloud Computing marketplace.
Although Microsoft has been saying that it is “All In” and funding a TV ad campaign which has made the catchphrase “To the Cloud” popular, Microsoft 365 represents the company’s boldest offering to date. The company has been watching its Office suite suffer attacks from Google Apps for years. In fact, Google Apps are quickly becoming the basic productivity suite of choice for most new college graduates entering the workforce.
Many of these new entrants to the workforce are forgoing email altogether by relying more on Facebook, Twitter and text to communicate. In response to these trends, Salesforce.com is pushing its Facebook-like Chatter communications platform as a dramatic switch from traditional email.
IBM is also attacking the … Read More »
Constant Contact Bantam Live Acquisition Redefines Cloud-Based Marketing Automation
Social networking is one of the big three themes of 2011, along with Cloud Computing and Mobility.
Salesforce.com has been pushing its Chatter social networking platform for the corporate class with the new public service, Chatter.com, promoted with two ads during the Super Bowl halftime show.
Today, Constant Contact made a move to keep pace with the social networking expectations of its customers by acquiring Bantam Live, a contact management and social CRM provider for $15 million. This acquisition follows Constant Contact’s purchase of NutshellMail last May which enabled the email marketing company to link its messages to Twitter and Facebook.
The Bantam Live acquisitoin goes beyond simply giving Constant Contact subscribers a Facebook-like user interface and experience. It also includes contact/CRM, task management, calendaring, deal tracking, and project management, among other capabilities.
By adding these functionalities onto its email marketing platform, Constant Contact is pushing to dramatically expand its role within its customer … Read More »
Healthy SaaS Market Could Not Save Helpstream
I’ve been predicting for over a year, that despite the rapid growth of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market many aspiring best-of-breed vendors will not survive an industry shakeout or the short attention spans of their venture funding sources.
The latest case in point is Helpstream which discontinued operations this past month. I first reported on the company in 2008 when it originally launched as Pathworks Software and caught my attention because of the way it promised to leverage the Open Source pricing model and community building orientation.
In essence, Helpstream was one of the first SaaS companies in the helpdesk market to recognize the powerful potential of a social networking capability embedded into an enterprise app.
Since then, saleforce.com has picked up the baton and is very quickly demonstrating the tangible benefits which can be derived from merging a Facebook-like capability into its CRM/SFA solution with … Read More »