More Thoughts On SaaS, PaaS and Cloud Computing
Last July, I offered my views on the similarities and differences between Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud computing. This past week, I had an opportunity to elaborate on the relationship between these two worlds and terms, along with Platforms-as-a-Service (PaaS), during a webcast hosted by Symplified entitled, “Beyond the Buzzwords”.
Then and now I believe cloud computing is an outgrowth of the success of the SaaS market and web-based, packaged applications. Cloud computing represents a rapidly growing array of web-based tools which enable users to build their own applications or utilities that can be deployed via the Internet (“cloud”) or ‘downloaded’ to an on-premise environment.
Much like the open source world, the cloud computing environment enables users to take advantage of a wide assortment of piece-parts from a variety of sources to create their own solutions for various project and production purposes. They both rely on incredibility economical development resources … Read More »
Google's New Hybrid Model
I suggested in a previous blog that a new model of a ‘hybrid’ software company is emerging in which Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud computing vendors are offering downloadable appliances, or ‘applets’, which permit users to utilize their web-based solutions off-line or behind the firewall.
My friends at Salesforce.com and other SaaS zeolots in the industry said I was crazy. But, many SaaS other vendors told me they were already offering an appliance option to their customers.
This week Google endorsed my idea by announcing that it is offering a offline version of its Gmail service.
Some folks expected this functionality in 2007, when Google introduced Gears, its browser plug-in aimed at providing offline access to Web-hosted applications. In fact, Google has been offering an on-premise search appliance for a while.
I believe the Gmail announcement is another example of a growing array of offline enhancements being added to SaaS/cloud computing solutions that … Read More »
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud computing are often referred to as ‘on-demand’ services. Yet, in many cases these web-based solutions must be procured for a minimum timeframe, can take time to deploy, and cannot be terminated immediately when their task is done.
In response to these shortcomings, a new array of ‘situational applications’ are emerging. Jonathan Sapir of SilverTree Systems has become an advocate of these situational applications and has created a website which promotes them called, Power in the Cloud.
Jonathan invited me to contribute a guest post to the blog on his site about the business implications of situational applications which you can find here…
Preparing for SaaS
I’ve just returned from two days in a chilly Florida where I was participating in a sales kickoff meeting for an independent software vendor (ISV) that is preparing to add a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) component to its portfolio.
I’ve presented to plenty of sales teams about SaaS, cloud computing and managed services, what made this session unique was that this ISV isn’t planning on rolling out its new SaaS solutions for another 9-10 months.
To the credit of the company’s management team, they know that it will take a long time to fully prepare the sales team to properly sell their new SaaS solutions.
Especially, because they’ve been successfully selling the value of their legacy, on-premise applications against a competitor’s “ASP” solution for the past five years.
While the company was confident that it has employed the latest in Web 2.0 technologies and techniques to … Read More »
The Changing Role of Professional Services in an On-Demand World
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.
Is Apple Getting SaaSy?
Anyone who follows the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market knows that every major SaaS player, starting with Salesforce.com, uses the success of consumer-oriented, on-line services as the model for their business-to-business solutions.
SaaS vendors, executives and ‘experts’ (myself included) point to the way these web-based services created an enjoyable, effective and economical user experience as the centerpiece of their success.
The most prominent example of this approach has been Apple iTunes.
Ironically, Apple has never taken advantage of its prominence and positioned itself as a SaaS or cloud computing player.
It appears that this may be changing. At this past week’s MacWorld, Apple unveiled a new, web-based version of its iWork productivity suite. Just as Microsoft’s Software-Plus-Services strategy is an acknowledgement of the growing interest and adoption of web-based apps, so is Apple’s move down the same path.
Apple is also moving in this direction to build on … Read More »
What SAP's CEO Needs To Know About SaaS
In an InformationWeek interview on Tuesday, SAP’s CEO and president of global field operations, Bill McDermott, downplayed the platform capabilities and enterprise-readiness of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud computing.
Although Salesforce.com’s outage this week gave McDermott’s comments some immediate validation, they were still reminiscent of the views of a previous generation of tech industry executives who discounted the value of PCs in the corporate world. As a result of the myopic ideas of those former tech titans, companies like Digital Equipment Corporation and Wang Computers no longer exist.
Denial didn’t work out well for them and it won’t work for SAP either.
Executives at SAP aren’t alone in their efforts to downplay SaaS. The CEO of Lawson Software made even more atrocious comments a few months ago, as did Oracle’s CRM head at November’s SIIA On-Demand conference.
Of course, much of their ridicule is aimed at fending off the competitive threat which the SaaS/cloud … Read More »
Will Salesforce.com's Outage Derail the SaaS Market?
The service disruption which Salesforce.com experienced this week came at a bad time for the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud computing market.
Although I believe the long-term prospects for SaaS and cloud computing remain strong, there are plenty of short-term challenges facing SaaS and cloud computing vendors in today’s tough economic environment.
Salesforce.com’s outage reignites the debate about the reliability of web-based services, and will intensify the concerns of those IT and business decision-makers who have been reluctant to adopt on-demand solutions.
It also validates the claims of legacy software vendors that SaaS and cloud computing are not viable platforms for enterprise applications.
The ultimate irony is that the public website which Salesforce.com created after it experienced a series of outages in 2005-2006 to demonstrate greater accountability, www.trust.salesforce.com, also went down during the latest outage.
In 2006, Salesforce.com was quick to turn its problems into marketing opportunities. This time there is even more … Read More »
On-Demand Services Market Predictions for 2009
Happy New Year!
Let me be the first to offer predictions for the on-demand services market on this first day of 2009. These predictions are based on THINKstrategies’ latest survey research and ongoing consulting work with IT/business decision-makers, IT solution providers and various technology investors.
I recognize that plenty of predictions have been made already, but hope mine offer a different perspective on the future direction of the on-demand services market.
Contact me if you’d like to discuss or debate any of these predictions.
On-Demand Services Move From Why … Read More »
VCs Under Attack
VC problems could slow SaaS, cloud computing and on-demand services market growth.