Welcome to the June 2008 issue of THINKstrategies' Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Showplace® Update!
Spring has quickly given way to Summer in New England, and just like the overheated atmosphere the SaaS movement is reaching the 'gold rush' stage. Over 700 companies are now listed on THINKstrategies' SaaS Showplace, offering over 3000 on-demand business solutions in eighty different application, industry and enabling technology areas!
Our ongoing poll of SaaS Showplace visitors now shows that 60% believe SaaS solutions are essential to their operations. Although THINKstrategies predicted the on-demand services market will soar in 2008, we also are seeing the latest indication of an inevitable industry consolidation.
This is because many SaaS companies lack a clear strategy for making money, or a 'monetization' strategy. Others will merge or be acquired because customers are increasingly seeking strategic sources to satisfy their on-demand service needs.
In response to the uncertainty about the evolution of the SaaS market THINKstrategies has become a 'trusted advisor' to a growing number of IT/business decision-makers who are trying to select the right SaaS provider; IT solution providers who are trying to better position themselves in the market; and investors seeking the best on-demand service providers to support.
Over 9000 people now subscribe to this newsletter. The SaaS Showplace is also attracting new sponsors, adding new whitepapers and offering new benefits to visitors, including discounts to various industry events, such as the upcoming SoftLetter SaaS University happening June 18-19 in Waltham, MA. (See the Upcoming SaaS Events section of this newsletter to learn how you can get a $100 discount on the registration fee.)
This Update includes our latest perspectives from our consulting engagements, research, sponsors and partners. You can find more in the Showplace Best Practices Portal powered by iCentera, on the SaaS Insights page of the Showplace and on our blog, THINK IT Services. We've also launched a new Market Leaders webcast services with a session that discusses Aria Systems' views on the challenges of managing transactions in the on-demand services world.
Contact me if you'd like to learn how you can leverage THINKstrategies SaaS Showplace and consulting services to capitalize on the accelerating SaaS movement to achieve your business objectives.
Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director
SaaS Penetrates the Enterprise
One of the original myths of the SaaS movement was that web-based, on-demand applications would only appeal to small- and mid-size businesses (SMBs) because these SaaS solutions lacked the features and functionality to satisfy large-scale enterprise needs.
THINKstrategies' research saw the fallacy of this myth a number of years ago when we were briefed by numerous SaaS vendors who were already winning business within Fortune 500/Global 2000 companies. I sought to dispel this myth in a commentary I published in BusinessWeek in April 2006.
Our perspective was reaffirmed in dramatic fashion when Workday, a SaaS vendor founded by Dave Duffield of PeopleSoft fame, landed a 200,000 seat human-capital management (HCM) software service contract with Flextronics. Although this deal has been touted as the largest in the SaaS market, Authoria and other SaaS vendors claim to have even larger deployments.
The point is that SaaS is gaining rapid acceptance in large-scale enterprises. I will be giving a keynote presentation regarding THINKstrategies' views on the future of SaaS in the enterprise at SoftLetter's SaaS University on June 19 in Waltham, MA. (You can save $100 on the registration fee for the two-day event by using registration code: THINKSAVE100.)
Contact us if you'd like to leverage THINKstrategies' perspective in developing your sourcing, go-to-market or investment strategy.
NetSuite Acquires OpenAir
Last month, THINKstrategies published a Strategic Thinking Profile on OpenAir, a leading provider of on-demand professional services automation solutions. Less than a month later, NetSuite acquired OpenAir to broaden its portfolio of SaaS solutions.
This is not the first time a company profiled by THINKstrategies has been quickly acquired thereafter.
Click here to read our perspective on the implications of the OpenAir acquisiton by NetSuite, and learn about the other companies profiled by THINKstrategies which were also acquired shortly afterward.
Contact us if you know a company that is offering unique SaaS solutions and deserves attention in a THINKstrategies Strategic Thinking profile.
Leveraging SaaS to Improve Sales Productivity
One of the principle benefits of SaaS is that it simplifies pivotal business processes and makes it easier for organizations of all sizes to perform these essential functions successfully.
A primary example is sales effectiveness. An age-old challenge for business--large and small alike--has been creating and managing sales compensation plans. Many companies rely on spreadsheets which can't scale to meet the needs of larger organizations, while others use complex applications which are too cumbersome to be fully implemented.
Makana Solutions is offering a webinar at 2pm EDT on June 17 which will show attendees how they can build an effective SaaS sales compensation plan in 15 minutes.
I highly encourage you to register for this webinar which clearly demonstrates the rapid deployment, ease of use and economic advantages of SaaS solutions.
Contact us if you have a webinar or other event which you believe would be of interest to companies seeking to leverage SaaS solutions.
Using SaaS to Better Understand Customers
SaaS solutions provide a unique opportunity for software vendors to gain first-hand insight into their buyer preferences.
The direct delivery model of SaaS permits vendors to monitor customer usage patterns and better understand their behavior.
eVapt enables usage-based metering of SaaS solutions which gives providers greater analytical data to develop and deliver improved solutions.
eVapt is offering a webinar on at 2pm EDT on June 12 entitled "Know Your Customer, Use Your Data": Growing Top-Line Revenue, Client Adoption Rates and License/Subscription Renewals.
I encourage you to register for this valuable session.
Contact us if you'd like to have THINKstrategies promote or participate in your upcoming event.
Latest SaaS Showplace Sponsors & Whitepapers
You can read the following whitepapers in the Best Practices Portal of the SaaS Showplace:
The Dynamic Management of Software Licenses, provided by AppStream.
Overcoming the Transaction Management Challenges in the On-Demand Services Market, provided by Aria Systems.
Windows Vista Readiness - Preparing for the Journey and Engaging the Pros, sponsored by Dell.
"Automating and Optimizing Service Desk Performance", sponsored by Kaseya.
"The Evolution of Resource Management", sponsored by QuickArrow.
We are also pleased to have the following companies sponsoring the SaaS Showplace,
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.
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 9000 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 where THINKstrategies will be presenting its views,
Softletter's Marketing and Selling SaaS Seminar, Boston, MA, June 18-19. (You can save an additional $100 on top of the early-bird discount of $200 if you register by this Saturday, May 10 and use code: THINKSAVE100.)
I'm also pleased to be moderating a new track focused on SaaS and Cloud Computing as a part of NetworkWorld's IT Roadmap roadshow starting in Atlanta on July 16. The event will also take place in Seattle, Dallas, San Francisco and Washington, DC. Click here to learn more about this roadshow and the scheduled stops.
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 raise 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.