According to Gaurav Dhillon, CEO of SnapLogic, there’s not just an Innovator’s Dilemma hitting legacy technology vendors, there’s an Integrator’s Dilemma that the customers of traditional middleware and data integration providers are struggling with in the face of the today’s industry mega-trends. As he states:
“The dilemma for enterprise IT organizations is that their legacy integration technologies were built before the era of big data, social, mobile and cloud computing and simply can’t keep up.”
Here’s a video of Gaurav talking about the Integrator’s Dilemma:
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):
- Bessemer’s 10 Laws of Cloud Computing and SaaS
- 9 Worst Practices in SaaS Metrics
- SaaS Metrics 2.0: A Guide to Measuring and Improving What Matters
- My Top 10 Year One SaaS Mistakes. Save Yourself Some Pain & Just Don’t Make Them Yourself
- Should Your Startup Go Freemium?
- Marketing SaaS Solutions to Enterprises: Seven Hazards to Avoid
- SaaS in the Enterprise and the need for social selling
- HubSpot’s Best Practices for Managing SaaS Inside Sales
- SaaS Marketing: 21 Growth Hacks to Test Today
- 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 Dilemma. Escape Velocity by Geoffrey Moore is also excellent.
What’s missing? Got any more “Best in SaaS” articles or best practices to share?
I recorded a brief video this week on the new Hybrid IT track that will be a big part of Informatica World 2013. It wasn’t too long ago that there were only a few sessions focused on the topic of cloud integration.
Analyst firms like Gartner are publishing more and more research on the importance of integration platform as a service (see: Enterprises Should Use iPaaS for Cloud Integration) and enterprise IT organizations continue to seek new ways to keep up with the need for speed, while maintaining good governance practices as SaaS application adoption continues to accelerate.
Join the Informatica team in Las Vegas in June to learn more.
I posted a few cloud data management predictions on the Informatica Perspectives blog this week:
- Master Data Management will catch fire in the cloud
- Cloud deployment options will extend the universal reach of MDM
- Integration will help broaden PaaS adoption
- “Governed self-service” will become the Hybrid IT mantra
- Integration will surpass security as the primary barrier to cloud adoption in the enterprise
For the first time in a few years I didn’t mention anything about cloud-based analytics / business intelligence. In fact, I didn’t mention much about Social, Mobile, Analytics or Big Data. Seems like there’s not much more to say, beyond pointing to Mary Meekers technology forecast.
I must admit that I didn’t see this week’s Oracle acquisition of Eloqua coming. I thought Marketo would be a more likely target. In fact, that was the rumor circulating back at Dreamforce 2012. IDC predicts more aggressive spending on SaaS acquisitions by traditional enterprise software vendors in 2013. Here are the IDC Predictions: Competing on the 3rd Platform:
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.”
cloud computing , cloud integration , data integration , Salesforce integration
Tags: AppExchange, application integration, cloud computing, Cloud integration, data integration, Google Insights, SaaS Integration, Salesforce integration, Salesforce.com, software as a service
I did a quick comparison on Google Insights on a few keywords I track and thought I’d share the results. A few observations:
- “Salesforce Integration” was first out of the gate in May 2006. This is roughly when AppExchange was first launched.
- “SaaS Integration” entered into the vernacular in 2008. About the same time the term “on-demand” died I suspect. SaaS integration hasn’t done so well as a term, however. I put in SaaS application integration and it only made matters worse. This was a bit of a surprise I must admit.
- “Cloud Integration” made a dent in October 2008 and has been on a steady climb ever since.
Google Trends has similar results. But when you go to Dice.com it’s a bit of a different story. There are:
But back to the keywords. I put in the terms “Data Integration” and “Application Integration“ to compare and they’re an order of magnitude greater than all three, albeit with a much longer history. Of note, however, is that the trend line for both of these more mature terms was on the decline for a few years but now seems to have leveled off somewhat.