Oracle’s acquisition of NetSuite is a clear indication that the rapid adoption of cloud alternatives to traditional on-premises applications is shifting from front-office customer relationship management to back-office enterprise resource planning solutions.
Now, the question will be whether Oracle can buy its way into a leadership position in this emerging marketplace.
Click here to read THINKstrategies’ perspectives in E-Commerce Times regarding the market forces which are driving CFOs to adopt Cloud-based financial management and ERP solutions, and how these trends are reshaping the competitive landscape.
A series of announcements over the past week clearly indicates that Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) financial management and enterprise resource management (ERP) solutions are taking hold among organizations of all sizes worldwide.
The first was Intacct’s announcement that it had grown its customer subscription base 68% in 2010 and added more than 800 new client organizations. The company also reported 94.2% of clients surveyed indicated they would recommend Intacct to their colleagues, which is a perfect example of the customer-driven referral engine which is powering the overall growth of SaaS solutions. Intacct also said that 11 of the top 100 largest CPA firms in North America have joined the Intacct Accountants Program from CPA2Biz, showing that mainstream professional service firms are also adopting SaaS and recommending their clients take advantage of these solutions as well.
Plex Systems, a provider of SaaS-based manufacturing ERP software, … Read More »
NetSuite has unveiled a great video to promote its new Hairball Institute for Business and associated Award program aimed at curing “Software Hairball Syndrome” (SHS).
The video is a fun and effective way to bring attention to the fundamental flaws of pulling together an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, including the endless integration, customization and support issues.
However, NetSuite’s video and award program takes aim primarily at applications focused on the individual piece-parts of an ERP system in the small- and mid-size business (SMB) segment of the market, specifically inventory and project management represented by Microsoft Great Plains and Project, financials illustrated by Intuit QuickBooks, and eCommerce exemplified by Websphere. It also can’t help itself and includes its sibling rival, Salesforce.com, as a ‘standalone’ CRM solution vendor.
Yet, the real culprits of this syndrome are the bigger players–SAP and Oracle–along with a myriad of like-minded legacy software vendors. Unless NetSuite has … Read More »
Since 2009 is coming to a close, I thought it would be a good time to review how I did with my predictions for the year regarding the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud computing market.
1. On-Demand Services Move From Why To How
According to a Sandhill.com/McKinsey survey of over 850 enterprise customers at the end of 2008, 74% were already favorably disposed to adopting SaaS platforms. As a result, Gartner estimates the SaaS market will have reached approximately $8 billion at the end of 2009, a 21.9% rise from $6.6 billion in 2008. Looks like folks have moved past “why” SaaS to “how” to get the most out of their SaaS deployments.
2. New Hybrid Models
The idea of hybrid SaaS and cloud computing models has been abhorred by industry purists, but the reality is that nearly every business will rely on a combination of on-premise and on-demand resources. In 2009, the concept of “location independence” became bi-directional. … Read More »
I’ve been suggesting for years that PC vendors could be great channel partners for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendors, and Dell now has an opportunity to prove me right.
Today, Dell and saleforce.com announced that Dell will offer salesforce.com’s SaaS solutions to its small- and mid-size business (SMB) customers via its website.
This is a natural combination. Dell has been a prominent customer of salesforce.com’s on-demand CRM solutions. Salesforce.com uses Dell’s computers in its data centers. This week, the companies’ CEOs will be on stage together at Oracle’s Open World conference.
Selling software to its customers isn’t new for Dell. It has been offering Microsoft Office, Symantec Anti-Virus and other applications for a while. Adding salesforce.com’s on-demand solutions enables Dell to position itself as a fuller, ‘one-stop shop’ for SMBs.
This gives salesforce.com a strong new channel to market and builds on Dell’s core competency as a direct sales company, … Read More »
I was astonished to learn that salesforce.com’s founder and CEO, Marc Benioff, is speaking at next week’s Oracle Open World customer/partner conference.
Although Benioff is an alumnus of Oracle and Oracle’s founder/chairman/CEO Larry Ellison was an initial investor in salesforce.com, there has been no love lost between them publicly because salesforce.com was conceived to compete against Oracle’s Siebel division long before it became a part of Oracle.
Benioff has spent the past decade ridiculing the inefficiencies of on-premise customer relationship management (CRM) software and other legacy enterprise applications, along with traditional hosting models associated with Oracle. Ellison has returned the fire with his own tirades about the impossible economics of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. And, Ellison’s lieutenants in the Siebel On-Demand division have made increasingly aggressive efforts to undercut the success of salesforce.com over the past year.
Yet, folks I know who are a part of the Oracle inner-circle … Read More »
Salesforce.com has teamed with Unit 4 Agresso to create a new company, called FinancialForce.com, that will build upon the Coda 2go on-demand financial application.
This move is another indication that CFO receptivity toward SaaS-based accounting, financial management and enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications is rising.
The new joint venture will build on Coda’s original Force.com-based SaaS solution, and the growing momentum in the SaaS accounting and financial management applications market produced by NetSuite , Intacct and others in this area. (Disclosure: I’ve done work with all of these companies.)
This announcement is newsworthy because it is Salesforce.com’s first direct foray into the financial application market and its first joint venture.
There are probably an assortment of marketing and legal reasons why the two companies have formed this joint venture. However, the reality is that few joint ventures in the tech and software industry have been successful because the partners often … Read More »
Last year, I predicted that 2009 would be the year of the channel in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market and a growing number of SaaS industry leaders have obliged me by expanding their sales efforts in this direction.
The latest is Salesforce.com which announced today that it is launching a new value-added reseller (VAR) program to encourage third-party companies to build on its Force.com platform and extend the reach of its AppExchange into new market segments.
Salesforce.com’s announcement comes on the heels of NetSuite’s recent enhancements to its VAR program aimed at strengthening its position in the market.
Because of Salesforce.com’s greater prominence in the marketplace, its new initiative is bound to bring even more attention to the rapidly evolving role of channel companies in the SaaS market. In Salesforce.com’s case, there move represents an important milestone in the company’s evolution and that of the … Read More »
A combination of work, travel and summertime distractions have prevented me from commenting on a series of small, yet significant announcements and activities over the past couple of weeks in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud computing market.
My latest travels started last week at Pacific Crest’s 11th Annual Technology Leadership Forum in Vail, CO, where I met with a series of the investment firm’s ‘buy-side’ clients as a part of its Mosaic program, and interacted with a variety of cloud computing executives and VCs in a SaaS workshop.
Nearly all of Pacific Crest’s clients are concerned about the financial implications of the cloud computing movement on their large-cap investments in companies such as Microsoft, Oracle and SAP on the software side, and IBM, HP, EMC, Dell and other systems vendors on the hardware side. They are also curious about whether Amazon, Google, Salesforce.com, SuccessFactors and other upstart SaaS/cloud companies can … Read More »
Yesterday’s announcement that NetSuite is acquiring QuickArrow and merging it with OpenAir is the most recent example of a consolidation process in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry which I predicted would accelerate at the beginning of the year.
This particular transaction is very similar to Xactly’s acquisition of Centive in January. Rather than combining functional capabilities to create a more robust solution, the companies are combining forces to create greater scale.
In both cases, the transactions eliminate head-to-head competitors who looked too much alike to be able to clearly differentiate themselves from one another. Their similarities made it harder to compete for customers and VC funding, especially in today’s tough economy.
Merging, with the help of NetSuite’s deeper pockets, allows the two companies to focus on new customer acquisition, channel relationships and geographic expansion.
This acquisition is the latest indication that the SaaS market is entering a new stage in which the winners will be … Read More »