Posts Tagged 'SaaS'

Netflix CIO: 8 Ways for IT to Fix Its Reputation

Check out this great CXO talk featuring Netflix CIO Mike Kail. As summarized by Vala Afshar on the HuffPost Tech Blog, Mike outlines eight ways Information Technology organizations can fix their reputation. I find #7 to be the most disruptive, yet perhaps the most obvious in the best-of-breed SaaS-centric world of Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud (SMAC).

  1. Focus on cloud wherever possible
  2. Hire talented people that think differently
  3. IT’s charter is to improve business efficiency
  4. Support “UAD” (Use Any Device)
  5. Try to remove friction wherever possible
  6. Communicate deep context for change
  7. Embrace “shadow IT”
  8. Partner with line-of-business

I’m curious how many other CIOs out there have embraced shadow IT and what the implications are for the traditional command and control enterprise IT model.

I’ve embedded the video below. Thanks for another great CXO interview @ValaAfshar and @mkrigsman. Great guiding principles and advice for other IT leaders @mdkail.

2013 SaaS Industry Report

Here’s some interesting research published earlier this year on the software as a service (SaaS) market: Siemer and Associates Summer 2013 SaaS Industry Report. It includes useful regional projections as well as a breakdown by application categories: CRM, ERP, HRM. The appendix also outlines the key SaaS metrics and includes some public company comparables as well as financing and transactions.

The Nuts and Bolts of Being SaaSy

Last week I wrote about Zuora’s subscription manifesto and the differences between a technology vendor selling an on-premises solutions vs. a company that delivers a true SaaS solution (which I still believe must be multitenant). Today I read a great series called the SaaS Manifesto, written by Peter Levine, General Partner at Andreeson Horowitz. Part one is on Rethinking the Business of Enterprise Computing. Part two is on Focusing of Building a Real Sales Team.  The series draws from extensive first-hand experience and outlines what it takes to truly become a best-in-class software as a service (SaaS) solution provider. Traditional enterprise software company executives should read it as they prepare for their future and SaaS company executives should review it as checklist.

I’ve been fortunate in my career to work with some real SaaS pioneers.  I’ve seen companies struggle and fail to truly embrace the SaaS model and others execute against what seemed like impossible odds. The first paper I read about “being SaaSy” was by Mark Trang, when he was at salesforce.com. The paper was called, “7 Habits of Highly Effective SaaS Companies.” I couldn’t find the paper, but here’s a great presentation from a 2008 Salesforce ISV event. In 2011 Matt Holleran, now founder and managing director at Cloud Apps Management, delivered a great Dreamforce presentation on the same topic. Some of this early knowledge sharing clearly had a positive impact on the so-called “Salesforce Mafia” –  check out this summary of Salesforce employees who have gone on to start companies. The Start-Up Cloud indeed!

Here are some of the best articles I’ve read over the years on best-in-class SaaS (in no particular order):

  1. Bessemer’s 10 Laws of Cloud Computing and SaaS
  2. 9 Worst Practices in SaaS Metrics
  3. SaaS Metrics 2.0: A Guide to Measuring and Improving What Matters
  4. My Top 10 Year One SaaS Mistakes. Save Yourself Some Pain & Just Don’t Make Them Yourself
  5. Should Your Startup Go Freemium?
  6. Marketing SaaS Solutions to Enterprises: Seven Hazards to Avoid
  7. SaaS in the Enterprise and the need for social selling
  8. HubSpot’s Best Practices for Managing SaaS Inside Sales
  9. SaaS Marketing: 21 Growth Hacks to Test Today
  10. How SaaS Changes an ISV’s Business Model 

Thanks to the authors for sharing their SaaS insights.  Of course I should also give a shout out to Behind the Cloud, by Marc Benioff.  And if you’re still working at an enterprise software company that has not yet begun the inevitable shift to the cloud and the subscription economy, I’m sure there’s not a day that goes by without somebody mentioning Clayton Christensen and the Innovator’s DilemmaEscape Velocity by Geoffrey Moore is also excellent.

What’s missing? Got any more “Best in SaaS” articles or best practices to share?

Re-Imagining the Future of Software and Technology as We Know It

Image representing Mary Meeker as depicted in ...

Image via CrunchBase

I wrote a summary of my 2012 cloud integration predictions on the Informatica Perspectives blog, but haven’t yet posted 2013 predictions. Today Mary Meeker’s slides are making their way through corporate boardrooms at most, if not all, technology companies, not to mention getting some great coverage across the web. Here’s the presentation. I really like the “re-imagine” section. There’s no doubt that cloud computing and software as a service (Saas) have forced a great deal of re-imagination in the traditional application, platform, middleware and infrastructure  markets. Marc Andreessen believes that 2012 Will Be Remembered As The Year Of SaaS. Some have said that “Cloud and Data are the New Black” (although black clouds are generally not a good thing, right?).

One thing is for sure, whether it’s social, mobile, cloud, analytics, Big Data or [insert secular megatrend here], two words we’re going to hear a lot of in 2013 are:  “re-imagine” and “disruption.”

Talking Cloud Integration with DreamSimplicity

Image representing DreamSimplicity as depicted...

Image via CrunchBase

Have you joined DreamSimplicity yet? According to the web site, “it’s where the cool kits hang out.” Here’s a summary:

“Web-based technology marketers and industry experts join DreamSimplicity to effectively reach targeted viewers across the social web. Target our audience of over 40,000 SaaS and Cloud experts by posting content like video, news, events, jobs and more. Or, simply browse over 23,000 news articles, videos, and white papers.”

Last week at the All About the Cloud Conference in San Francisco, I sat down with them to discuss the growing importance of integration to cloud computing (and specifically SaaS application and platform) success.

All About the Cloud ’11 – Darren Cunningham “Hybrid IT – Integrating SaaS and Legacy Systems” from DreamSimplicity on Vimeo.

 

Video: Ron Papas Accepts Informatica Cloud CODiE Award

Here’s a short video of Ron Papas, GM of Informatica Cloud, accepting the 2011 CODiE Award for “Best Cloud Management Solution.”

Informatica Cloud Wins CODiE for Best Cloud Management Solution! from DreamSimplicity on Vimeo.

The Evolution of Subscription Business

Image representing Zuora as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

I participated in a webinar today with Zuora, a SaaS subscription billing platform that is embedded into Informatica Cloud Express. Here is the presentation:

Salesforce.com Video: The State of Cloud Computing

Image representing Salesforce as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

Fairly low key video from my friends @ Salesforce.com. I like that it’s less about selling the model (who still needs to be sold?) and more about what the cloud now makes possible.

“As Cloud Computing continues to grow, so does the realm of what’s possible.”

Has cloud marketing turned the corner from all hype to a more mainstream reality? Is the cloud becoming a little more, er,…grounded? We’ll see.

Related Articles

Zuora Powers Usage-Based Cloud Integration Service

My friends at Zuora put out a press release today focused on Informatica’s use of their subscription billing platform within the new edition of the company’s cloud data integration service: Informatica Cloud Express. According to Ron Papas, GM for Informatica Cloud:

“Salesforce.com gave us the platform and ecosystem to build our SaaS business around. Now with Zuora, we have the right commerce tools to instrument our business for growth and provide our customers with the self-service capabilities to buy only the cloud data integration services they need when they need them.”

Jeff Yoshimura, VP of Marketing at Zuora wrote a good review of the announcement based on his experiences as a former Salesforce employee managing the Informatica partnership (Full disclosure: we worked on the same team):  Informatica Revolutionizes the Data Integration Space with Cloud Computing. The company also posted a customer video, featuring yours truly. Enjoy!

 

Forrester: 6 Categories SaaS Will Impact the Most

CIO.com recently featured a summary of Forrester Research analyst Liz HerbertHow SaaS Will Impact 6 Key Software Categories.  They are:

  1. IT Management Applications
  2. CRM Software and productivity applications
  3. ERP and Supply Chain Software
  4. Business Intelligence
  5. HR Software
  6. Platform and Middleware Solutions

No big surprises here, but the article also provides some solid recommendations for source executives, “in light of increased SaaS adoption.”

Sourcing executives must prepare for a hybrid landscape where SaaS co-exists with on-premise and hosted solutions, with many new vendors in the overall software portfolio. To navigate this complex environment, sourcing professionals should consider weighing the valuable aspects of SaaS — such as functionality, community, and accessibility — with risk elements — like vendor viability, vendor lock-in, and security.”


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