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 »
THINKstrategies Launches New SaaS/Cloud Computing Daily Using Paper.li
Last Friday, December 3, THINKstrategies rolled out a new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)/Cloud Computing daily, online newspaper powered by Paper.li. This publication and the online service which creates it illustrate many of the exciting ingredients of the ‘Cloud’, some of the major implications and a few of the unanswered questions.
For the uninitiated, Paper.li is a relatively new, online service created by a privately-held startup, called SmallRivers, incorporated in Switzerland. It compiles links to web articles which have been tweeted or mentioned on Facebook regarding a particular set of user-designated subjects over a period of time (also user-configured) and displays them in a newspaper-style format.
I’ve long believed that Twitter out-performs Google as a search engine and alerting tool for the latest news and views on various topics of interest to me. Every day I’m amazed at how many articles and announcements I find via Twitter, which … Read More »
Spiceworks Surpasses One Million Users, Celebrates Largest IT Community
Yesterday, Spiceworks announced that its user base now exceeds one million IT professionals across nearly 200 countries. The company’s rapid growth has dispelled a number of industry myths and represents a prime example of how I’ve been suggesting the tech industry is being redefined.
Here’s a quick list of some of the myths busted by Spiceworks’ success,
Ad-based, free services don’t work in the business-to-business (B2B) market,
IT professionals are not willing to use ad-based, freemium services to satisfy their day-to-day management needs, and
IT professionals are too concerned about the security issues associated with social networking to join an online community like Facebook.
Welcome, to Spiceworks — an ad-based, freemium service aimed at IT professionals which not only gives them access to a solid set of management tools, but also gives them the benefit of sharing information and insight with their peers through a Facebook-like … 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 »
Microsoft-Intuit PaaS Marriage in the Clouds
This week’s announcement that Microsoft and Intuit are linking their respective Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) capabilities has attracted lots of attention and generated plenty of speculation. It is also the latest escalation of the PaaS wars I predicted would take center-stage this year.
Although Salesforce.com’s Force.com PaaS has gained the lion’s share of industry attention because of the company’s unparalleled marketing machine, I’ve felt that Intuit’s Partner Platform (IPP) represented a dark-horse in the PaaS race because of the vast installed base of small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) using Intuit’s QuickBooks and QuickBase, along with its powerful channel relationships.
I’ve also believed that Microsoft would make considerable progress in penetrating the cloud computing market this year, not because of the technical capabilities of its Azure PaaS, but because of its historical prowess in building a vast partner network of ISVs and developers.
With those thoughts in mind, here’s … Read More »
Key Competitive Battlefields in the Clouds in 2010
As the new year and decade get underway, here are a few of the areas of the cloud computing market which I think will be important competitive battlefields for established and emerging players:
Collaboration Wars: Collaboration is the ‘killer app’ in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) segment of the cloud computing market. The rapid adoption of Google Apps has demonstrated the latent demand for these web-based solutions. Now, IBM is promoting the enterprise-class qualities of its LotusLive offering to win a share of the market. Cisco Systems is also intensifying its efforts to promote its collaboration solutions built around WebEx and Telepresence. I also think Microsoft will accept a greater level of cannibalization of its Office products to win a bigger share of the collaboration market with OfficeLive.
Business-Oriented Social Networks: These are closely linked to collaboration and have gained a tremendous amount of attention because of the explosive growth … Read More »
Platform Plays and Players
Platforms have been proliferating and it is not surprising that there are already signs we may be on the cusp of a shakeout.
Today’s platform players range from start-ups, like Bungee Labs, to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud computing movement standard-bearers, Salesforce.com and Google with Force.com and Google App Engine respectively.
This has created a somewhat confusing array of players and platform alternatives which have been divided into various segments.
This week’s announcement about Salesforce.com’s new “Service Cloud” illustrates the way SaaS vendors are leveraging platforms to redefine their business in order to extend their market reach and strengthen their position in the marketplace.
SpringCM is heading down this same path with its new platform which enables independent developers and resellers to build applications or more easily integrate to SpringCM’s electronic content management (ECM) capabilities.
Platforms enable these vendors to convert their internal technologies into development and delivery mechanisms which can be … Read More »