From the SaaS Summit...

by ,

It’s nice to attend a conference where you don’t have to
explain what SaaS means or go into your pitch about the benefits of a SaaS model.  I am at the SaaS Summit in San Francisco coordinated
by OpSource ( which appears
to be the largest gathering of SaaS providers to date.   A well organized event with representation
from organizations including, Omniture, Microsoft, Clickability,
Vtrenz, MySQL, Oracle, and many more.

In a keynote address by Greg Urquhart, GM at Microsoft, he
explained a term that Microsoft uses, S+S. 
Not SaaS, ASP, Managed Service, On-Demand, or Hosted, but S+S, which
means “software plus services.”  Greg
explained the reasoning for the term; SaaS is the delivery aspect of a larger value.  Greg’s delivery was a good overview of how
Microsoft is positioned to embrace SaaS.

Omniture’s CEO Josh James followed with the success story of
his web analytics company.  Josh walked
through some financials and sales/marketing approaches that Omniture used to
establish market dominance.  One of which
is QBSR’s – quarterly bearing sales representatives – with a high-powered
service team in place to meet the customer demand after the sale.

The forecasts, research, trends, case studies, and success
stories all point to a significant rise in SaaS popularity.  Speakers cited IDC data forecasting a 32% CAGR
over the next 5 years, which amounts to the SaaS market growing by $11.2
billion.  William McNee with Saugatuck
Research contributed statistics by communicating that 70% of business will have
deployed at least 1 SaaS application by 2012. 

William also talked about customer satisfaction with SaaS
providers is greater than that of installed software citing 84% of customers
who deployed a SaaS application are satisfied. 
In my opinion, the reason for this is because SaaS providers do not go
away after the initial sale – which is when all the heavy lifting starts –
implementation, training, and service & support.   Customers need to have a hand-holding experience. 

As the sole representative of the digital asset management
industry, I was on an education mission. 
It was clear that not everyone in this audience knew the term but
everyone, as usual, liked saying the acronym over and over again (at least I
could leave out the SaaS pitch).  In most
of these cases, DAM fits as a component within these larger offerings acting as
an enabler to other applications.

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