SaaS is turning computing into a utility like the electric grid did for industry.

SaaS is a significant growth driver but fuzzy informations spread over the web make it difficult to understand and differenciate from software hosting environments.

This blog focuses on key success factors driving the development of a successful Business-As-A-Service solution.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Software-As-A-Service Demand Generation : Position a Single Call to Action (6/7) and Measure, Refine, Repeat (7/7)

You have chosen and defined the personna of a Single Customer you would like to attract.
You have found that single customer online.
You have answered one burning question that single customer asks.
You have made a landing page where you speak as the customer listens.

It is now time to position a single call-to-action.
Usually this call-to-action is a Trial proposal which is what best value a SaaS solution, or a Buy proposal if you are not offering a SaaS solution.

You must now Measure, Refine and Repeat:
The beauty of this 7 steps walk is that you can monitor the customer through the steps.
Your monitoring must be checked daily and used to refine the needed steps if not enough conversion ration is measured. You can revise the vocabulary, the value proposal, the impression selling positioning, the learn and learn-more processes.

You can and should repeat these steps with an other single customer, wether it may be an other target for the same offering or a new and different solution.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Software-As-A-Service Demand Generation : Engage in a Web Conversation (5/7)

You have chosen and defined the personna of a Single Customer you would like to attract.
You have found that single customer online.
You have answered one burning question that single customer asks.
You have made a landing page where you speak as the customer listens.

You must now engage in a web conversation which will drive that customer through your pre-sales process.
Remember that you speak with a web-centric customer, but that not all of them are pure web-centrics and so some of them would need either a live chat, or a phone call-back with someone during that engaged conversation.

The focus if to keep the customer's focus on your offer, and use impression-selling techniques to let him/her learn :
  • the key and differenciating benefits of your solution;
  • a price per user per month which will filter those customers seeking for a free AND great solution;
  • all the informations which could prevent the customer to keep going;
You must engage the customer's trust so that he/she will enventually go to the next step.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Software-As-A-Service Demand Generation : Speak How the Customer Listens (4/7)

You have chosen and defined the personna of a Single Customer you would like to attract.
You have found that single customer online.
You have answered one burning question that single customer asks.

You should now have had that single customer landed on your dedicated micro-site web page.
You have 20 seconds to convince that customer that you are the one and best to be able to answer that burning question. Your landing page must use a graphics style, vocabulary, impressions selling techniques to exactly match the personna of your customer. The exact same way than a usual good sales people would do when facing the customer.

You should offer a moto, two or three value added arguments, examples of these arguments, and a matching testimonial. That single landing page will convince the customer that he/she should engage a conversation with you, preventing him/her to go back to the search engine results page.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Software-As-A-Service Demand Generation : Answer 1 Burning Question (3/7)

You have chosen and defined the personna of a Single Customer you would like to attract.
You have found that single customer online.

Now that this single customer has landed on your micro-site you should engage a conversation with him/her.
You have a maximum of 25 seconds to attract his/her attentation.

So you must answer One Burning Customer that single customer is asking himself/herself. One among the list of top ten daily critical questions you had listed when defining its personna.

That single customer must read a single message and understand that you will aim at answering its question in the best way possible - wich gets you back to your Blue Ocean Strategy work, differenciating from your competitors in the way you will answer to that burning question.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Software-As-A-Service Demand Generation : find that customer online (2/7)

Once you have chosen a Single Customer you must find that Customer Online.
 Remember that you should have focused on web-centric customers.

Those web-centric customers search for answers to their daily business needs through the web.
They type key words that match their personna, the one you shoudl have defined in step 1.
Rather than buying generic PPC keywords you should list all the sentences that Single Customer would use when searching for its answers, and buy those cheap - because very specific - lists of keywords. Looking at this recent survey you may want to concentrate on 4 words long sentences.
You should also think about offline media taht may be used to catch the attention of this single customer and bring him/her to your web site. An add in a vertically focused printed magazine, a dedicated visit card you may give during a trading fair are ways to help that single attention pay attention to your web messaging.
Do not spend time in evangelisating web-agnostic customers.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Optimize the conversion rates toward your web pages

  • Appear On the first page

  •  Do concentrate on Search Engine Optimization

  • Use 4 words key phrases

  • Use multimedia marketing strategies

Monday, November 30, 2009

Software-As-A-Service Demand Generation : choose a single customer (1/7)

In deploying a Software-As-A-Service business model you first focus on optimizing the demand generation. You thus want to capitalize on the web marketing benefits to maximize the number of potential customers landing on your micro website and to convert them to buyers through a learn-try-adopt cycle.

The efficient web demand generation can be seen as a seven steps process.The first step is to choose a single customer.

As mentionned in previous posts, once you understand the successful saas offering, and are familiar with the SaaS user behaviors, you need to have a focused approach. You do not want to attract every web crawler to your web site, you want to attract those web-centric people who are looking for a solution which your SaaS offering would be the best one to select to solve their critical issue.

Choosing a single customer means that you must first profile that user, the one you want to consider your SaaS solution and say 'whaoo that's exactly the best solution I am looking for!'.

You first need to define its profile: characteristics, demographics, vocabulary, purchaser or influencer capability.

Choosing a single customer then means that you must list the top ten critical questions that customer is asking himself, using the words he would use, and he would like to be solved efficiently.

Create several personna profiles and a positionning canevas for each of them.
Design and publish a micro-website for each personna, the corresponding potential customer will then see your solution as its answer to its daily top needs.

We will explore the second step in an other post :
Software-As-A-Service Demand Generation : find each single customer online (2/7)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Apple patent : a step to cloud computing for the IPhone: Sync with AnyThing, from AnyWhere

Apple is investing billions in cloud platforms and this week's "Grab & Go" application filing with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office suggests a scenario where a user is sitting at their desk working on a document, when they are called into an unexpected meeting. While the user may have a number of personal applications running, they would only want to bring their work-related content with them. The preferences would allow the user to "grab" only files and data related to work from the computer.

The "simplified data transfer" method is also said to dynamically adapt to the fastest available connection, and provide security methods. The software would decide whether to connect using the Internet, or to use encryption schemes, or to require a specific proximity to the hardware when syncing. It would also keep a list of "trusted" devices with which to share.

Apple has worked on a software syncing system that would give users great flexibility in deciding which files to share between devices, all while aiming to simplify the process of syncing. The described method would not only take personal files, but content within specific applications, allowing users to continue their current activities no matter where they are and what device they are using.

Add the recurring rumors about a new Apple internet tablet device and you might figure out a path to a great subscription based business flow, the next step of the appstore?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Microsoft opens a cloud computing center in Taiwan

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer praised Taiwan and said the cloud computing center is aimed at continuing the strong relationship between Microsoft and Taiwanese companies built over the past 20 years.

"We wouldn't have low-cost, high-availability computing today if it wasn't for companies here," he said. The center will be a first for Microsoft in Asia. It aims to give Taiwanese computer makers a place to test out new hardware and software made to work with Microsoft products, including new cloud computing applications and services, a joint statement said.

Companies in Taiwan like Quant Computer have already started developing new hardware for the cloud. The company has been working with the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop new cloud computing and mobile technologies, a partnership called Project T-Party.

Taiwanese telecommunications company Chunghwa Telecom also signed on with Microsoft on Wednesday to adopt the Windows Azure cloud services operating system, and to offer cloud services such as Microsoft Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Live Meeting and Office Communications Online.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Biggest verticalized SaaS portal launched in Paris at BATIMAT

I recently talked about the SaaS appstore deployed by the US government as being a major shift.

But what could be described as the first biggest vertical SaaS portal has been launched this week in Paris during the BATIMAT fair - the world's leading construction exhibition.

e-bat is a portal dedicated to the building industry and aims at providing software and services subscriptions to 60 000 small and medium French construction companies, that is more than 500 000 end users!

The portal has been initiated by the French Building Federation and is dedicated to helping face the dematerialization challenges by providing its users a comprehensive set of dedicated services ranging from Microsoft Exchange collaborative emails, Microsoft Office Suite applications, secure documents management, up to human ressources, financial mangement or payment solutions.

The users can customize their portal, subscribe, manage their online software services, and use those software solutions from anywhere, at any time, through a secured internet connection.

The portal is built upon Microsoft technologies - IIS, SharePoint, Exchange, Office, Remote Desktop Protocol, virtualization, and is hosted, and managed by YouSAAS, also being linked to this pure SaaS player's white labelled appstore information system. The portal embeds the OpenPortal meta directory component and its customization was developed by Decade.

The project not only offers a fully operational SaaS portal and ISVs connectors easying the integration of new solutions, but is also providing local support teams and assistance to conduct the needed change management and help the end users to catch this opportunity of being more profitable and performant.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Strategic investments in Cloud solutions should not be a technologically driven approach

By reading that Gartner is citing Cloud Computing as the Number 1 technology area that should drive strategic investments I both agree and rise a warning flag.

I agree that this is where a company should aim at driving its strategy, Cloud Computing Adoption Jumps 320% This Year Alone, also relayed in Top 5 things about this years gartner symposium.

I disagree that this should be foreseen as a 'technological area'. Of course there are architecture design, security assessments, delivery capabilities that relies on technological bricks. But a company willing to successfully drive its business on using cloud based and Software-As-A-Service solutions should first think about it as a strategic and business area.

Technology is mature enough to let you build the solution you need.
The first step is thus to be sure about what your 'needs' are.

You start seeing communications about private versus off-the-shelf cloud architectures. This communication is driven by technology-focused providers.

Read back my first blog entries about the key success factors you have to focus on.
  • You should see this as a challenge on finding what is the set of services that will differenciate your company from your competitors and allow you to generate growing recurring marging revenues;
  • You should focus on micro-marketing this set of services;
  • You should think about industrializing the provisioning of these services;
  • You should aim at satisfying the SLA which you defined on each service;
  • You should behave as a 'services operator', looking at Average Margin Per User and Churn rates;
  • You should enventually rethink your channel management strategy.
Then and only then you may and should start thinking about technology. And if you are really business oriented and want to shorten your go-to-market with efficient margins you will enventually find that off-the-shelf SaaS pure players will offer you both the set of solutions you need and the capability of assembling these cloud services in the way you designed it !

Friday, October 23, 2009

Steve Ballmer: within 10 years all informations will be available electronically, nomadically and ubiquitously

Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corp., has answered questions from the French Developpers' community a fex days ago. During this session, which you can view here, he has been asked about 'what will it look like 10 years from now?'.

His answer is about a complete shift in the way we consume informations.

Look at the recent Google and Virgin America Press Release announcing that they will provide free wi-fi connection during the flights!

Look at the new 'Nook' device from Barnes & Noble, which is not only a new step in using electronic ink nomadic displays, but also a shift in applying the SaaS business model paradigm to books; you can buy, store, read whenever whereever you want. But you can also lend a book freely to one friend during 14 days like you would with a printed version....

Finally, invest some time in reading this: Mobile Web Is Taking Over the World (and Other Internet Trends). The focus of the presentation was on Mobile Internet and 8 key trends that Morgan Stanley has identified, including that social networking + mobile are driving big changes in communication and commerce.
What is- or will shortly be - your contribution to this great and quick shift?!
Are you already integrating these business models within your strategic plans no matter the market and positioning you may have today?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Yes You Can be a BizSpark ISV and create an innovative SaaS application to go-to-market in weeks!

Microsoft helps ISVs startups in providing them with a great competitive advantage: both a large set of tools and solutions and the right to use them as SaaS components licenses for several years at a cost close to zero.

With the BizSpark program ISVs can also be followed and adviced by a SaaS Incubation Center. The solution provider thus adopts the best SaaS practices from the very beginning
  • focuses on delivering a differenciating solution and writes down a business strategy
  • drives an 8 key-success-factors action plan to implement its strategy
  • fully uses a SaaS based platform to get the needed scalability capabilities
  • takes attention to the customers' support at the right time when then try its solution
  • implements best practices listen-your-market and implement short-term roadmaps

You will find a very good example of such a process in this Case Study which shows how the Incubation Process helped a BizSpark ISV called Mobile Tracing Services to give birth to its Live-Task solution in weeks!

Key Benefits where:

  • Makes fast time to market possible
  • Develop valuable relationships
  • Get tools to expand its businesses
  • Use accessible and cost-effective service
  • Enhance support

Saturday, October 10, 2009

ISVs: Yes You Can develop a successful SaaS business in weeks!

  • Some ISVs think that their solution is not adapted to developing a successful SaaS business model because they deploy it over months of dedicated customer projects.
  • Some ISVs think that their solution is too far complicated to be delivered within minutes as a full Software-As-A-Service solution.

  • Some ISVs think that their solution needs so many customizations before being used by their customers that they wil not be able to create automatic SaaS trial versions within minutes.
Fortunetly there are ISVs who go beyond these first thoughts and overpass them to make the jump.
  • They discover that by understanding the key SaaS success factors - and it only take days - they can rethink their business model, their communication strategy, their marketing action plans.
  • They also find themselves very adaptive and capable of rethinking their provisioning processes so that their complex solution can be delivered as a great trial version within minutes.
  • They also understand that they can adapt their architectural design to better fit the scalability and security goals that SaaS drives.
If you still doubt please read this Octave case study!
SaaS Support Helps ISV Target New Markets and Launch Service-Based Products in Weeks
And Go SaaS Now!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Now even the government has an appstore!

The United States have deployed an application store which aims at helping agencies to benefit from cloud computing software-as-service applications.

The push to promote cloud computing is part of the Obama administration’s effort to modernize the government’s information technology systems and to help reduce the $75 billion annual budget for federal I.T. in the process.

I whish that other countries would also create such an appstore and promote the SaaS solutions as both a green contribution and an IT optimization solution! This may be the spark which will enlight the SaaS market growth.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Software Startup? Go SaaS Now!

Why Sartup software solutions editors must develop a SaaS strategy:

Time-To-Market is important.
Time-To-MaximizedMarginAndMarketBreadth is even more important.
  • SaaS allows to reach a broaden audience in a shorten time frame.
    - By cutting out deployment issues (when onsite integration of software components is mandatory you usualy find that most of the customers are geographically close to the startup location because you need to optimize the travel time and cost for your technical people...)
    - By allowing a Try-To-Buy sales conversion process.
    Giving a potential customer an easy and immediate way of testing your solution increases the probability of catching him up when he is searching for a solution to its business problems. If he/she is happy with your solution there will be less probability - an time - for this prospect to think about looking around for other solutions than yours...
  • SaaS brings differenciation towards well established software vendors
    - Established software brands have developped sales channels, by developing a SaaS business model you will be able - at first - to skip this long, risky, and costly process. Established onsite local distributors are not likely to invest in learning how to sale a new startup developed solution, they are conservative at first.
    - Established software solutions were developed over years. For maximizing the development cost versus the sales volume those software are complex, they hold hundreds of great functions, they were conceived so that a single software solution would be saled to the largest audience. They thus are complex, their training phase is long and costy.
    - SaaS solutions are light, easy to understand, they do not handle hundreds of functions but the few which are asked by some vertical markets. The SaaS solutions are easier to maintain, they can be very quickly adapted to changing business needs.
  • SaaS eases cash management!
    - On Demand power and virtualized hosting of your SaaS solutions allows your startup company to spend OPEX cash as you grow. As your customers base grow you rent more power.
    - SaaS recurring revenues is a more predictible stream of cash which helps your startup company in growing up.
  • SaaS is about up-sale and cross-sale
    - By partnering with a SaaS dedicated services platform you will be able to resell other SaaS solutions within your solutions portfolio. You will up-sale and increase the margin per user. You will prevent other distributors to get in your customers budget and compete with you.
    - By partnering with a SaaS dedicated services platform you will be able to partner with other solutions vendors and integrate more closely your solutions with their solutions to the benefit of the customers, and you will benefit from cross-sale strategies.

Software Startup? Go SaaS Now!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

SaaS offering will eventually satisfy SaaS demand

SaaS is about simplifying its everyday's life. To achieve this goal a company needs to have a coherent governance strategy. Which means that once you have tried - often by starting with a SaaS based emailing solution - and perceived the benefits - no hardware nor onsite maintenance services issues, higher level of services quality, ubiquity, no inhouse upgrading issues etc. - you want more solutions to be available.

If you use a mix of onsite servers and offsite SaaS solutions you still face integration issues, you still have to pay for the cost of onsite hardware and software which hides most of the benefits of Opex SaaS. Some companies would then think - they often mistake themselves - than SaaS is not the right answer to their daily problems. Other companies follow the right path wich lands to "SaaS is great, the optimum benefits will occur when all the professional solutions my company needs are available as SaaS solutions".

Of course those latter orientations are still fewer than the others, mainly because even if SaaS is becoming more familiar it is still mostly unknown to most of the small companies. They simply do not know that these solutions and benefits exist.

But most of those who tried want more solutions to be available. When they catalog the solutions they use, and search for SaaS based equivalents they do not find a matching offer. Why ?

Because most of the solution providers face a common dilemna: they think that the only choice they have is either keep on developing their software solutions as they always did OR develop a SaaS oriented solution. They face the issue which sticks every market: change management! They have to think in a different way than they always did, their teams have to do so, their resellers channels have to do so, and they conclude that their consumers would not be ready to do so - which is false.

The solution providers should face the reality: they can keep developing their existing software solutions AND start a SaaS stragegy development.

When enough SaaS based professional solutions are available the market will shift. This is a kind of chaos theory behaviour. There is a turn point - which is close to be a reality - when offering will be equal to the minimum needs of companies. There will then be much more companies who will use 90% to 100% SaaS based solutions. These companies will get the optimum benefits out of SaaS. They will let others know about it because they will be able to save more money, they will be much more adaptative to environment changements, and they will be much more efficient than their competitors.

Solutions editors who still ask themselves about a go/nogo issue will then start working on SaaS bases solutions in parallel with their existing portfolio. Offering will be greater than the initial demand and the growth of the SaaS market will be exponential. This will be the sparkling that will light the business market and will eventually change the way we use computers and software solutions. As more solutions are available their integration will be easier. A mass market is based on common criteria - standardization of integration protocols. Companies will benefit from business solutions without having to endorse all the pains of being at the same time the consumer and the plumber. They will pick up the solutions they need, which will integrate and adapt to their needs.

Computing is about to becoming a utility.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Focus your energy on the Try-Buy conversion process

SaaS is about micro-marketing. After conceiving a Blue-Ocean strategy you already worked on several communication canevas which will drive targeted customers toward your dedicated mico-websites.

As a SaaS solution provider - being an ISV or a SaaS marketplace portal - you need to spend time and money on processes which maximize your recurring margins.

Focus your energy on the Try-Buy conversion process!

Optimizing this conversation rate means:
  • your blue-ocean strategy works
  • your segmented targets find your micro-site when they seek for a solution
  • your communication canevas convince them that your SaaS solution is their answer
  • your positioning and trying cinematics ease their decision to try your solution
  • the trial phase demonstrates that the benefits you exposed are the one they are looking for
  • your SaaS solution is adopted by the 'about-to-be' customers
  • the trial scenario and data matches their business needs
  • the trial-to-production environments are seen as a single and same SaaS solution
  • at the end of the trial the customers have already found how to satisfy more than 90% of their initial needs and expectations
Focusing on the try-to-buy process will drive efficiency and maximize your recurring margin. You will achieve a high conversion rate while at the same time reducing the future cost of your help desk support. Calls to your support team will drop significantly after 30 days if customers experienced a great try-to-buy process. When seeking for a long-tail business model you will thus increase the number of users without increasing your operational support cost at the same rate.

You will then get a rising number of satisfied customers which thus will also help you optimze your churn rate!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The ISVs challenges of delivering Software as a Service

By far the largest percentage of the total cost of software ownership is in operations. Here is a list of many capabilities that ISVs find they need to operate a SoOftware-As-Service solution successfully:

· Business

o Automated customer and end user account provisioning
o Usage metering, reporting and analytics by user and customer
o Automated billing and collections with usage detail
o Product cross-sell and up-sell during customer support calls
o Easy integration of third-party solutions to boost up-selling capabilities

· Operations

o Datacenter management
o Production application monitoring and administration
o System configuration management, fast server provisioning
o System performance analysis and capacity forecasting
o Firewalls, intrusion detection, data security
o Tier 1 and 2 customer support
o Disaster Recovery, including user and account level data backup/restore
o Data migration and transformation
o 24/7 break-fix support
o Controls for compliance with audit standards such as SAS 70, PCI, SOX, etc.
o SLA management

Many ISVs interesting in delivering SaaS will quickly decide that it is less expensive and more strategic to partner with a SaaS pure player hoster who can operate and support their production systems at peak efficiency and reliability.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A different conception of customer satisfaction

In traditional software business customer satisfaction is a backoffice duty.
You first have marketing, then product development, then support which focuses on listening to lost or unsatisfied customers and do whatever is achievable to keep them using the software.

With Software-As-A-Service customer satisfaction and marketing should be merged in a new highest priority focus: customer partnering.

A customer should be seen as a partner. Who better knows which functions to develop? Who better knows how things should be organized within the user interface ? Who do you think between a marketing team focusing on market studies or end users are the best qualified to help you develop a successful solution?

This is a tremendous shift in how the roadmaps are conceived and developed.

Why this was not already done?
Because in traditional software roadmaps take time.
Because in traditional software the solution is conceived to be as wide as possible, meaning that there are a lot - too much - functions so that each user should be able to find those he is looking for.
Because in traditional software cost of customer acquisition can be compared to chasing for the top 10 chart goal to get enough visibility to sale enough copies.

With SaaS you can - and should - engage a conversation with your potential and existing users.
With SaaS you can - and should - adapt your solution within days and not months.
With SaaS you can - and should - offer different flavours of your solution to each 'niche'.

SaaS is the way to listen to customer's needs and satisfy these needs in a very short term and cost efficient process which can be easily refined.

Customer satisfaction is your top priority! With SaaS perceived quality is an ongoing and permanent process. Do not use traditional marketing anymore, do not guess what the market needa are! Ask them and focus on producing the needed functions as fast and as efficiently you can. This is also why you should delegate and work with SaaS dedicated partners who can help you with a SaaS platform, SaaS information system, SaaS billing system... Focus on what you are the best at!

Monday, July 27, 2009

A different conception of Software Development

Software-As-Service should not be treated as a technological or architectural topic.
SaaS should be seen as a prism through which usual ways of doing IT should be rethinked.

Take the example of Software development. I have been involved in software development for more than 25 years since my first programs in peek and poke Assembly language! At that period of time optimization of the software was not a recomandation it was mandatory. My first computer only had 1 Ko of RAM!

Then software started to being 'fat'. Why? Because developers and software editors did not care about using a lot of memory or disk space. Their manual had to say that to run this software you would need such hardware characteristics, and the user had to care about it! You did not get the latest computer, so do not blame me if your software runs slowly...

SaaS will eventually reverse this process.
SaaS involves software editors to run their software on virtualization platforms.
SaaS involves software editors to pay for those investments, and the power consumption is eating their margin if not taken seriously!

Until now we have seen a lot of new computer langages being invented, and a lot of web technologies too. I bet that the number of development langages and methodologies will lower and that this will not be a factor of richness diminution. End users will get more stable, more efficient and more adaptative programs if you give them the power of mashing-up the functions they need. To make that happen fficiently you need to simplify the way you develop and maintain a large common factor so that pieces developed by a large number of developer would fit together.
The HTML lego for software could be Web Services and the execution paradigm would be SaaS.

Why would you need to keep on developing web code? An application is better developed, stronger, more efficient, more reliable if developed on the basis of an operating system whatever it is. Webg is great for visualizing and interacting, for letting the end user mash-up and create their 'own' interface.
I bet that with SaaS the software editors will find it more efficient to develop software the way it was before - efficiently - and as 'heavy clients'. Then use the SaaS to virtualize those applications and let them run whenever and however the end users want to use them. Simply splitting up the 'heavy clients' into 'heavy functions' would be the path to follow. Each 'heavy function' being usable as a single piece, being integrable into whatever web interaction technology you would need, being insertable wherever you would need.

SaaS will help developers to reconnect with their users and this will radically transform the way we have seen the computing industry until today.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Turn computing into a utility

Customers are ready for the shift!

The worldwide servers sales dropped last quarter.
Virtualization projects have proved to be reliable, efficient and cost effective.

It is now time to turn computing into a utility with a pay-per-use subscription.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Why is Now the Right Time for SaaS?

The question is not should I build a SaaS solution as an ISV, sell SaaS integration as a reseller, or use SaaS solutions as a professional, the question could rather be why NOW?
  • Pervasive broadband access at a very low cost
  • Economical context focus on efficiency TCO OPEX
  • CIOs need to deliver mission-critical value and will outsource other functions
  • Customers trust improved and secured data centers
  • Depth and Breadth of SaaS offering meet customers needs

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Web-Agnostic Buyer

By contrast web-agnostic users do not rely on the Internet as a central component of how they live.

They may make use of the Internet for email, or occasional online shopping – but when they have a problem to solve, their instincts to not drive them to a web browser to find a solution.

Web-Centric Buyer

Web-centric behavior describes individuals whose have fully integrated the Internet into their daily routine. For these web-centric users the Internet is central to:
  • How they consume information
  • How they interact with others
  • How they find and buy products and services
  • How they solve problems
They recognize the increased efficiency that the Internet provides relative to these activities and have embraced it.
They have integrated the Internet into both their personal and professional lives – at home, at the office, even when mobile.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

ISVs need to host their applications on a SaaS dedicated hosting platform

ISVs want to receive assistance in hosting their application without making significant changes and investment.

The SaaS Hoster provides infrastructure & personnel resources with a highly variable cost structure – you are only paying for what you need / use.

This cost structure provides a best-of-breed solution at a predictable, competitive price.

If the SaaS Hoster uses a fully virtualized platform he provides a power on-demand ressource to the ISV who then pays a fee proportional to the size of the customers he currently serves.

ISVs also want to grab the opportunities offered by a SaaS integration with other ISV's applications:
  • Integrate their application with others to increase the customer's perceived value;
  • Cross-sale part of their application with other ISVs as a SaaS royalty business model;
  • Allow resellers to create bundles of already integrated and working sets of applications.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Successful SaaS Offerings:

  • Are full function products, customizable to address customers’ specific business needs;
  • Target specific customer subsets rather than broad markets;
  • Achieve economies by sharing server and storage resources and operations management;
  • Deliver to browsers or web-aware clients and;
  • Use specialized partners for hosting and service delivery management.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What you will lose if you do not engage in SaaS

If you’re sitting here in 2009 and are not looking to engage in SaaS, you’re going to lose . .
  • 79% of IT managers responding to a recent IDC survey have already purchased or are currently reviewing SaaS offerings
  • Over 50% of ISVs now receiving funding are SaaS based.
  • According to IDC, SaaS spending reached $4.2 billion in 2004 growing 39% year of year from 2003 and is forecasted to reach over $10.7 billion by 2009.
  • According to Gartner, 25% of new business software will be delivered as a service by 2011.
  • According to the Yankee Group, SaaS sales will be a $20B market by 2011.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

SaaS is a major business opportunity

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
Aldous Huxley