Welcome to the May 2008 issue of THINKstrategies' Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Showplace® Update!
Spring has finally arrived in New England and just like the flowers the SaaS movement is also blooming. The latest proof is recent survey reports by McKinsey & Company, and Acumen Solutions in conjunction with Kelton Research.
THINKstrategies has been promoting the business benefits of SaaS for many years, and predicted on-demand services would soar in 2008.
This growth is creating a 'gold-rush' effect as the number of SaaS players proliferates. THINKstrategies' SaaS Showplace. is a clear indicator of this trend, with over 700 companies and over 3000 SaaS solutions listed in 80 Application, Industry and Enabling Technology categories!
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. And, this newsletter is now being distributed to over 8800 subscribers!
The 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 $300 discount on the registration fee.)
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 leverage THINKstrategies SaaS Showplace and consulting services to capitalize on the accelerating SaaS movement to achieve your business objectives.
As customer concerns about the reliability and security of SaaS fade, they are shifting their attention to the integration challenges which can complicate SaaS deployments.
Boomi has developed a unique approach to software integration it calls, Visual Integration Technology. This approach allows companies to integrate applications in a point-and-click fashion using only a web browser and a mouse.
Click here to read THINKstrategies' Strategic Thinking Profile regarding Boomi's innovative, patent-pending technology.
Contact us if you know a company that is delivering a unique SaaS solution or has a unusual go-to-market strategy.
OpenAir Helps Manage the Dispersed Workforce
One of the primary reasons that SaaS solutions are gaining popularity is that their web-based interface is perfectly suited for managing today's increasingly dispersed workforce.
OpenAir provides enterprise-class Project Portfolio Management (PPM) and Professional Services Automation (PSA) solutions via a SaaS model to respond to these important market trends and changing customer requirements.
THINKstrategies recently published a Strategic Thinking Profile on OpenAir's unique PPM and PSA solutions and strategies. Click here to obtain a copy of this profile.
Contact us if you know a company that is offering unique SaaS solutions and deserves attention in a THINKstrategies Strategic Thinking profile.
Benchmarking in the SaaS Marketplace
Every IT and business manager wants to know how their operations compare with their peers. When I managed META Group's Benchmarking practice, generating meaningful best practice statistics was a gruesome, manual process that reaped limited results.
The direct connection with the customer inherent in the SaaS delivery model creates an unprecedented opportunity to capture, aggregate and analyze customer operating and behaviorial data which can produce valuable benchmark and best practice statistics.
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 how SaaS companies can leverage their solutions to deliver a new form of value to their customers and create a new level of thought- leadership in the market.
Click here to learn more about the TriActive study or to download a copy.
Contact us if you'd like to explore ways you can work with THINKstrategies to generate similar benchmark studies.
The Convergence of SaaS and Communications
THINKstrategies was the first consulting firm to recognize the complementary qualities of SaaS and managed services. We are now seeing this same crossover in the voice communications and telephony markets.
Ribbit - calling itself "Silicon Valley's first phone company" - announced earlier this week the general availability of Ribbit for Salesforce, the first enterprise application to link mobile voice communications and SaaS business workflow to allow users to configure their own communications services.
Click here to read our perspective on the business implications of this new SaaS offering.
You can also read our commentaries regarding the impact of these trends on the managed services market and reseller business in CompTIA's MSP Focus blog.
Latest SaaS Showplace Sponsors & Whitepapers
You can read the following whitepapers in the http://saas-showplace.com/bestpracticesportal.html 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.
"Calculating the ROI for Business Intelligence in SMBs," sponsored by Oco.
"The Evolution of Resource Management", sponsored by QuickArrow.
We are also pleased to have the following companies sponsoring the SaaS Showplace,
Symantec, which is offering the first three months of its Symantec Online Backup solution free to Showplace newsletter subscribers.
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 8800 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,
Pervasive Software Metamorphosis 8.0, May 28- 29, San Jose, CA.
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 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.