The Channel Is Far From Dead in SaaS and the Cloud
Five Myths About SaaS
MSPs Must Use SaaS
Cloud Computing: Beyond Buy vs. Lease
Why IT Is Embracing SaaS
2009 Predictions for the On-Demand Services Market
More SaaS Insights...
Managed Services Showplace
THINK IT Services Blog
Welcome to the September issue of THINKstrategies' Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Showplace Update.
With Summer officially behind us, everyone's focus is back on the serious challenges facing businesses of all sizes.
I had the privilege of visiting Copenhagen last week to give keynote presentations regarding the latest SaaS and cloud computing trends at the local ComputerWorld 100 Award ceremony and the first Hosting Day Conference, organized by SaaS-it Consult, Ltd.
Just like here in the U.S., SaaS and cloud computing are becoming a focal point of discussions among vendors and customers alike in Denmark. However, unlike the growing acceptance of these on-demand alternatives in the U.S., corporate decision-makers in the Nordic region are still uncomfortable with the security, reliability, performance and compliance questions surrounding these web-based services. You can read more about these concerns and my Copenhagen experience below.
I will be spending plenty of time this Fall examining these issues and trends at various industry events and in a variety of consulting engagements.
NetworkWorld's IT Roadmap conference moves on to Washington, DC. The SIIA OnDemand Conference is in San Jose October 28-30, where I'll also be chairing the first Cloud Futures Conference for Software Vendors Migrating to SaaS December 7-8.
THINKstrategies is also teaming with with FVG Virtual Channel, Inc. to produce an online, digital production on the Economist.com, called "Cloud Computing Set to Unleash a Perfect Storm in Business". You can read more below.
In order to clearly demonstrate that SaaS and cloud computing are not over-hyped ideas, I recently published a whitepaper on behalf of salesforce.com based on a series of interviews with CIOs who have leveraged the Force.com platform to achieve their business objectives.
In addition, THINKstrategies continues to recognize a steady stream of Best of SaaS Showplace (BoSS) Awards to SaaS companies who are delivering measurable business benefits and clearly demonstrating the value of their solutions.
The SaaS Showplace remains the largest and highest ranked online directory of SaaS and cloud computing solutions and best practices, with over 1200 companies divided into 80 application, industry and enabling technology catagories!
That is why Under the Radar named the SaaS Showplace "The Web's Best Directory of All Things SaaS!", and said THINKstrategies has,
"Created the most comprehensive directory of SaaS providers. If you're on the hunt for SaaS solutions - or even doing competitive research for your own needs, check it out."
Over 11,900 IT and business decision-makers, IT solution providers, press, investors and others now subscribe to this newsletter!
This update includes our latest views and news regarding the widening array of opportunities, as well as the important challenges associated with SaaS and cloud computing.
You can also hear my views about these market trends in a new podcast produced by Virtual-Strategy Magazine.
Contact me if you'd like to learn more about how you can capitalize on SaaS and cloud computing solutions, the SaaS Showplace, or THINKstrategies' consulting services to achieve your business objectives.
I hope you find this update valuable.
THINKstrategies' SaaS Primers
Despite growing customer demand for SaaS, THINKstrategies has found many aspiring providers of these on-demand services are still struggling to win a share of the market because of a variety of challenges.
In response, THINKstrategies has published a primer for independent software vendors (ISVs) to help them fully understand the strategy, marketing and operational challenges associated with migrating to SaaS.
The primer is based on THINKstrategies' extensive experience working with vendors making this transition. We have offered Readiness Assessment Services since 2007, aimed at helping aspiring SaaS vendors develop and execute their go-to-strategies, service delivery capabilities, and sales processes.
Since the launch of these services, we have worked with a wide array of aspiring SaaS companies, ranging from start-ups to major software vendors migrating to SaaS. Click here to see a partial list of our vendor clients.
We also work with IT/business decision-makers within large-scale enterprises, as well as small- and mid-size businesses (SMBs), who need help evaluating their SaaS needs and selecting the SaaS suppliers to satisfy their requirements. Click here to read our primer for CIOs considering SaaS.
Click here to learn more about our Readiness Assessment Services, or contact us to explore how THINKstrategies' services can help you achieve your business objectives.
Seeing Clouds in Copenhagen
One of the pleasures of being a part of the rapidly growing SaaS and cloud computing industry is having an opportunity to travel the world meeting people who share my passion for this exciting tremendous market opportunity.
I spent last week in Copenhagen at the invitation of Anders Trolle-Schultz, the founder and managing partner of SaaS-it Consult, Ltd.. Anders organized the region's first Hosting Day Conference and orchestrated a series of one-on-one meetings with a variety of local business executives and entrepreneurs.
I came away from the week's activities impressed with SaaS-it Ltd's intimate involvement in the rapidly evolving SaaS/cloud computing industry in the Europe and the differing views about the market opportunities there.
Click here to read more about my experience and impressions.
Contact me if you'd like to discuss the implications of these trends, or to learn more about how our services can help you determine the right way to leverage SaaS or cloud computing channels to achieve your business objectives.
Major Vendors Moving In Wrong Direction
One of the universal truths about the technology industry is that it has a pack-mentality and corporate strategies tend to resemble a game of follow-the-leader.
The proliferation of players in the SaaS and cloud computing market is a clear example of this phenomena. While this trend is driven by real demand for this new generation of services, it is attracting a widening assortment of vendors that includes many which are simply trying to capitalize on the 'cloud-rush' atmosphere.
There is another example of this follow-the-leader pattern which I believe is sending many major technology vendors in the wrong direction. I'm referring to the recent trend of major hardware vendors acquiring major outsourcing vendors to augment their products with professional services. The latest example of this trend is Xerox's acquisition of ACS for $6.4 billion.
Although my roots are in the professional services industry, and I certainly believe that strong professional services are an essential component of successful enterprise sales, I am also convinced that corporate executives are becoming fed up with traditional outsourcing arrangements and are shifting their attention to SaaS/cloud computing alternatives. Therefore, the recent series of IT services company acquisitions by major systems vendors is not going to satisfy customers' changing requirements.
Click here to read my reaction to Dell's decision to purchase Perot Systems.
Contact us if you'd like to talk further about the rapidly evolving market, or to discuss how we can help you assess current or future market opportunities.
Best of SaaS Showplace Award Program
In January, THINKstrategies launched the Best of SaaS Showplace (BoSS) Awards program to spotlight SaaS companies that are generating measurable business benefits for their customers.
The goal of this ongoing program is to promote the tangible benefits which organizations of all sizes across a growing number of industries are gaining from SaaS solutions, and showcase these SaaS vendors on the SaaS Showplace.
Since launching the BoSS Awards program, we have announced over thirty winners and have more scheduled for announcement over the coming weeks.
Click here to read more about the award winners, and to learn more about the ongoing awards program, the nomination process and selection criteria.
Contact us if you have any questions about the awards program or if you would like to obtain a copy of the nomination questionnaire.
Upcoming SaaS and Cloud Computing Events
THINKstrategies is pleased to be participating in and supporting the following SaaS and cloud computing events during the coming months,
NetworkWorld IT Roadmap, October 27, Washington, DC.
SIIA OnDemand Conference, October 29-30, San Jose, CA. Register using PRMTHI and receive for a $100 discount off the individual non-member rate only.
Cloud Futures Conference for Software Vendors Migrating to SaaS, December 7-8, San Jose. Use THINKstrategies' discount code, "think1633", when you register and get $200 off the standard registration fee.
Contact us if you'd like to learn how you can include THINKstrategies' perspective at your upcoming public or corporate event.
Become a SaaS Showplace Sponsor
THINKstrategies' SaaS Showplace has become the largest and highest ranked online directory and best practices resource center in the SaaS market.
The SaaS Showplace is attracting a growing number of IT/network and business decision-makers, IT solution providers, investors and the press who are discovering the value of our SaaS online directory and resource center.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to gain greater industry visibility via our online directories and increasingly popular e-newsletter.
About THINKstrategies, Inc.
THINKstrategies is the leading strategic consulting services company focused specifically on the unprecedented business challenges facing IT managers, solutions providers and investors today as the technology industry shifts from a product-centric to a services-driven orientation.
The company's mission is to educate organizations about the on-demand services market--including SaaS, cloud computing and managed services--and help our clients capitalize on these trends to achieve their business objectives. We help enterprise decision-makers with their sourcing strategies, IT solutions providers with their marketing strategies, and VCs with their investment strategies.
THINKstrategies is the founder of the Software-as-a-Service and Managed Services Showplaces, the largest vendor-independent, online directories and information resource centers.
Contact us for more information about our services or Showplace sponsorship opportunities.