Welcome to the April 2008 issue of THINKstrategies' Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Showplace® Update!
Although the weather in New England has been slow to warm up this Spring, the SaaS movement has heated up nicely this year. CIOs, incumbent software vendors (ISVs) and a proliferation of start-ups are recognizing the business benefits of SaaS and fueling the growth of this market.
THINKstrategies has been promoting these benefits for many years, and predicted on-demand services would soar in 2008. THINKstrategies' SaaS Showplace. continues to reflect the growth of this market with over 650 companies and over 3000 SaaS solutions listed in 80 Application, Industry and Enabling Technology categories!
The Showplace is also attracting new sponsors, adding new whitepapers and offering new benefits to visitors, including discounts to various industry events.
THINKstrategies is pleased to be a major prominent of the SaaS movement and 'trusted advisor' to a growing number of IT/business decision-makers, solution providers and investors seeking to leverage the power of on-demand services.
A reflection of our growing influence in the SaaS market is the number of industry events and publications which are seeking our perspective. Another measure of our appeal is the continuous growth of our newsletter readership which now exceeds 8700 subscribers!
This Update includes insights from our latest consulting engagements, research, sponsors and partners. You can find more in the Showplace Best Practices Portal, on the SaaS Insights page of the Showplace and on our blog, THINK IT Services.
Contact me if you'd like to learn how you can become a SaaS Showplace, sponsor or take advantage of THINKstrategies' consulting services to achieve your business objectives.
Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director
IT Discovers Benefits of SaaS
Until recently, many IT departments resisted SaaS because they were apprehensive about potential security and reliability issues. In some cases, IT professionals felt personnally threatened by SaaS because it eliminates much of the complexity which keeps them employed.
THINKstrategies' research, consulting engagements and industry activities has found many plenty of evidence that IT's resistance to SaaS is subsiding.
A quarter of the IT professionals surveyed by THINKstrategies' and Cutter Consortium last October/November are using or considering SaaS solutions to help them better manage their operations.
The CIOs who spoke at last month's SaaScon made a strong case for the IT and business benefits of SaaS. And, many of the IT decision-makers I spoke to at the event said they were looking at SaaS solutions to satisfy their end-users' needs and help them better manage their IT operations.
(You can hear my podcast interviews with the SaaScon CIO keynote speakers by clicking on their names in the box entitled, "Behind the Scenes With Key Presenters" on the SaaScon homepage.)
Three of the most recent SaaS Showplace sponsors, Dell, Symantec and Verio, are offering solutions to meet the needs of IT departments.
Contact us if you would like to discuss these trends, or if you know a SaaS solution which helps IT organizations better support their business units and manage their operations.
Platform Solutions Proliferating
As IT and business decision-makers become more comfortable with SaaS, software developers and end- users are also willing to leverage a growing array of on-demand platforms. In response, a rapidly expanding array of players are offering platform solutions.
THINKstrategies' latest survey in conjunction with Cutter Consortium found growing interest among IT/business decision-makers in SaaS platforms rather than standalone point solutions.
THINKstrategies recently published a whitepaper on behalf of Bungee Labs which outlines the IT and business benefits of today's web-based platforms. You can click here to download a copy of this whitepaper.
Click here to download our previous whitepaper regarding Salesforce.com's platform capabilities.
The latest sponsor of the SaaS Showplace, AppStream, offers a self-service software distribution and license management platform which permits fast and easy deployment and centralized administration of PC applications across an extended enterprise.
THINKstrategies' investment banking partner, TripleTree LCC, has published a new research report examining the rapidly changing SaaS platform market and competitive landscape.
Contact us if you'd like to learn more about the business implications of these platform trends, or if you know a company in the SaaS industry that you think should be profiled by THINKstrategies.
Leveraging the Benchmarking Capabilities of SaaS
When I helped to launch Meta Group's benchmarking practice in the mid-90s, I discovered first-hand the challenges and shortcomings of traditional IT and business benchmarking programs.
Traditional benchmarking practices were cumbersome and costly because they required considerable manual effort, and generated limited results.
THINKstrategies recently teamed up with TriActive to publish a landmark research report that shows how managed service providers (MSPs), powered by SaaS solutions, can generate valuable benchmark and best practice studies to better serve their customers and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Our study examined the Microsoft Office usage patterns of over 125,000 endpoints across 460 companies managed by TriActive's partners who utilize its Asset Management Suite to manage their day-to-day IT operations.
The study revealed companies can save an average of 50% or more by only purchasing the right number and version of Microsoft Office software based on actual usage levels!
This study shows companies can leverage SaaS solutions to capture valuable benchmark data and convert it into useful studies to better serve their customers and strengthen their position in the market.
Click here to learn more about this important study or to download a copy.
Contact us if you'd like to explore ways you can work with THINKstrategie s to generate similar benchmark studies.
Benchmarking the SaaS Business
THINKstrategies is pleased to be supporting a new SaaS benchmark study being conducted by OPEXEngine.
OPEXEngine is an independent consulting firm which provides comprehensive operating benchmarks that enable high techology and software executives to manage their businesses more efficiently, enhance their growth and improve their profitability.
THINKstrategies is supporting OPEXEngine's latest benchmarking survey aimed at B2B software companies with 2007 revenues between $10M-$250 million offering SaaS solutions.
Participants in this study will receive a confidential Company Performance Report and a detailed Industry Report that will cover key financial performance metrics.
We are pleased to welcome two new sponsors to the SaaS Showplace:
AppStream, a leading provider of technology for on- demand software distribution and software license management tools for the extended enterprise.
Dell, which acquired Everdream and SilverBack Technologies in 2007 to bring a new level of on- demand support services to the market.
These companies join the following sponsors who added their support to the SaaS Showplace since the beginning of the year,
Aria Systems, a leading provider of billing and customer management solutions for on-demand services.
Symantec, which is offering the first three months of its Symantec Online Backup solution free to Showplace newsletter subscribers who sign up before April 30, 2008.
Verio Business Solutions, which is providing a portfolio of market-leading communications, customer service, security, data integrity, and productivity solutions. Showplace subscribers can get a 60-Day, No-Risk Trial. Click here to learn more.
In addition, you can also find the following sponsored whitepapers on the SaaS Showplace,
The Dynamic Management of Software Licenses, provided by AppStream.
Windows Vista Readiness - Preparing for the Journey and Engaging the Pros, sponsored by Dell.
"Automating and Optimizing Service Desk Performance", sponsored by Kaseya.
"Calculating the ROI for Business Intelligence in SMBs," sponsored by Oco.
"The Evolution of Resource Management", sponsored by QuickArrow.
Click here to read THINKstrategies' whitepaper entitled, "Maximizing the Value of salesforce.com by Leveraging SaaS Intelligence and Analytics", sponsored by LucidEra.
The SaaS Showplace is made possible by the support of corporate sponsors. In turn, Showplace sponsors gain greater visibility on the Showplace and additional recognition in this newsletter which is distributed to over 8700 IT/business decision-makers, IT solution providers, investors and business/trade press reporters.
Contact us if you'd like to learn more about SaaS Showplace sponsorships.
Upcoming SaaS Events
Here are the upcoming SaaS events you should have on your calendar,
LucidEra Webinar: The Business Case for On-Demand Analytics for Salesforce.com, at 2pm EST Wednesday, April 16, 2008.
Software 2008, April 29-30, Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV (To save $100 on the registration fee, use code: CMDFSF03)
Pervasive Software Metamorphosis 8.0, May 28- 29, San Jose, CA.
Softletter's Marketing and Selling SaaS Seminar, Boston, MA, June 18-19. (To save $100 on the registration fee, use code: THINKSAVE100.)
I will also be presenting THINKstrategies' perspectives on the SaaS market at a number of corporate events and company strategy sessions.
Click here if you'd like to learn how you can include THINKstrategies' perspective and gain the promotional support of the SaaS Showplace for your upcoming event.
About THINKstrategies & the SaaS Showplace
THINKstrategies is the only strategic consulting firm that focuses on the business implications of the on-demand services movement on enterprises, IT solutions providers and investors. THINKstrategies helps enterprise decision-makers with their sourcing strategies, IT solution providers with their marketing strategies, and venture firms with their investment strategies in the IT services sector.
The SaaS Showplace has been established by THINKstrategies to give IT and business decision-makers a simple, easy-to-use directory of SaaS providers and enabling technology vendors, and provide an independent clearinghouse of information and insights to help organizations of all sizes identify the right SaaS providers to address their needs.
The Showplace is also intended to help SaaS providers and enabling technology vendors increase their access to IT/business decision-makers and increase their visibility in the market.
In addition to the SaaS Showplace, THINKstrategies has also created the Managed Services Showplace which lists leading managed service providers (MSPs) by Service, Industry and Enabling Technology areas. It also provides the latest news and insights about the managed services market.