Robert Desisto

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

Robert P. Desisto
VP Distinguished Analyst
14 years at Gartner
24 years IT industry

Robert Desisto is a Vice President and Distinguished Analyst in Gartner Research. He is responsible for managing the software as a service (SaaS) research agenda. His research focuses primarily on the use of SaaS as a delivery model for applications. Read Full Bio

Ten Ways to Avoid SaaS Delivery Problems and Protect Your Organization

by Robert Desisto  |  June 21, 2013  |  1 Comment

Business application managers have a long-term responsibility to protect their company from potential SaaS delivery problems. I recommend 10 best practices to avoid common mistakes that can lead to SaaS delivery issues. In the recently published research report Ten Ways to Avoid SaaS Delivery Problems and Protect Your Organization  I layout the specfic best practices with links to other Gartner research that provides more detail on each best practice.

The report recommends to:

  1. Ensure proper treatment of intellectual property in the cloud.
  2. Estimate total costs over five years.
  3. Evaluate integration scenarios.
  4. Assess scale and performance.
  5. Model and track consumption patterns.
  6. Have a disaster recovery plan.
  7. Gain appropriate service-level assurances.
  8. Ensure provider security processes meet organizational standards.
  9. Develop an adequate exit strategy.
  10. Prepare for multiple SaaS releases per year.

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Category: Cloud SaaS     Tags: ,

Laptops Facing Extinction for Sales People?

by Robert Desisto  |  May 23, 2013  |  Comments Off

Smartphone and tablet usage continues to expand for salespeople. Just today I was talking to a Gartner client who informed me that the iPad is the primary device their salespeople use during the day to access their sales force automation system. Why? Client said it is simple, it takes 5 – 10 minutes to get a laptop ready to be used and their salespeople do 6-8 sales calls a day. The bottomline it is painful. The iPad is instant on, or left on (due to long battery life) and as the client put it “they are off to the races”. Pre-iPad days, salespeople use to spend their nights entering a days worth of work (something they really did completely) with their laptop. Now, the end of the day is truly the end of the day. The laptop is not dead yet, it still is the preferred device for detailed content creation but its overall usefulness continues to diminish. I just published a research note, Understand How the Three C’s Can Maximize Sales Mobility that dicusses strategies for optimizing mobile devices for sales people.

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Category: CRM ipad mobile sales salesforce automation Uncategorized     Tags: ,

How to Determine your Org Strategy

by Robert Desisto  |  May 10, 2013  |  Comments Off

 An org in the vernacular is a logical instance of data and metadata for a set of users. Selecting single org, multi org or a combination remains a key decision that will improve the effectiveness of projects for which business application managers are responsible.  In a research note I recently published, How to Manage Orgs for Optimal Benefit, I provide a framework business application managers can use to determine the most optimial Org strategy for their organization

When looking at my customer inquiries in the past year, org structures are in the top 3 questions I recieve for clients about to embark on a project. project managers must determine how many orgs they should use in their projects. An org unit is bound by both capacity limits (number of users and storage) and execution computing resources (query sizes and API limits). The specific limitations will be determined by the specific offering and edition. Therefore, making an incorrect decsion will have impact on the success on a project.

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Category: CRM SaaS salesforce automation Software as a Service     Tags:’s App-Based Pricing Benefits Some, but Is More Expensive for Others

by Robert Desisto  |  April 18, 2013  |  1 Comment changed pricing for on 4 March 2013, from a per-user, per-month price to a price based on per application, per user, per month. user-based pricing had basically two options: Enterprise Edition ($50 per user, per month) and Unlimited Edition ($75 per user, per month). The primary differences between the two editions were based on object, tab, application and storage limits.

The new pricing enables customers to mix and match Light Application and Enterprise Application subscription types. This means a company could deploy a Light Application and Enterprise Application to the same user. It is important to note that continues to be packaged for no additional charge with Sales and Service Cloud for those same users. In a research note I just published’s App-Based Pricing Benefits Some, but Is More Expensive for Others, I discuss the implications this price change has on existing and new customers.

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Category: Applications Cloud CRM SaaS Software as a Service     Tags: ,

Sales Force Automation Magic Quadrant Inclusion Criteria

by Robert Desisto  |  February 26, 2013  |  1 Comment

Every year new vendors emerge asking how does Gartner determine who gets on the Sales Force Automation Magic Quadrant.  We are currently determing the vendors who will be included in the 2013 Sales Force Automation Magic Quadrant. A final list will be determined over the next couple of weeks.

To be included in the SFA Magic Quadrant, a vendor must demonstrate that it:

  • Has proven ability to deliver opportunity management systems with software released during the past 18 months; a new offering from an established vendor in this market will also be considered if it can be validated with customers.
  • Has at least five new, named customers that have actively deployed opportunity management functionality during the past 12 months.
  • Has customers using B2B opportunity management as the primary sales application in at least three industries.
  • Has at least $15 million in annual company revenue.
  • Has customer presence in more than one of the following regions: North America, EMEA, Latin America and the Asia/Pacific (APAC) region.

If  you are a new vendor, and think you qualify, let me know.


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Category: CRM salesforce automation     Tags:

My own experience with iPad on recent business trip

by Robert Desisto  |  February 25, 2013  |  Comments Off

I just got done creating my mobile CRM Sales  presentation for the Gartner Customer 360 Conference.  You often wonder as an analyst if the research your writing has the real world business impact you predict. Last week on a business trip I had a rare opportunity to experience the impact of tablets in this case the iPad during a face to face selling situation.   One specific example tells it all. I was meeting a prospect at a hotel, and as often is the case the prospect had questions on Gartner research positions. Without pausing in the convesation I took out my iPad (which was already on since I don’t have to shut it off because of the long battery life) and quickly brought up research to address the prospect’s question (on a side note if you are a Gartner client and have not downloaded the Gartner app for iPad do it, easy to use and has offline access).  The prospect quickly got his answer, and I could quickly navigated further reserach as the questions expanded. There was no question in my mind, that the vision I laid out in my Customer360 presentation was dead on.   If you have interest in using smartphones or tablets for sales its a must see presentation, hope to see you at the conference.

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Category: CRM ipad mobile sales salesforce automation     Tags:

Gartner 2013 CRM Sales Predictions

by Robert Desisto  |  January 2, 2013  |  Comments Off

In 2013, Sales application managers will try to understand the impact of social, mobile, cloud and big data on their sales applications strategy. Our 2013 CRM Sales Predicts provides guidance in all four areas. They key findings in our report include:

  • Internet bandwidth increases and accessibility will accelerate sales force automation deployment movement to the cloud;
  • iPads and tablets are quickly becoming the single primary device of standard issue for sales organizations;
  • Price optimization will benefit the most from big data initiatives;
  • Most social CRM technologies will fail to show measurable return on investment for sales organizations.



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Category: Cloud CRM SaaS salesforce automation Social Media Uncategorized     Tags: , , , ,

Twitter Customer Service Drops Ball

by Robert Desisto  |  December 31, 2012  |  Comments Off

I created a new twitter account for the high school track team I coach. Twitter can be a viable tool to communicate meet results to the media and college coaches for recruiting.  The team has a number of nationally ranked runners, and as expected there was quite of bit of activity the first day the account was created. Twitter in their infinite wisdom decided that there was too much activity and suspended the account. I get this generic email the account was suspended. Since there is no one to call for help, I replied to the email as instructed. In fact, I replied several times. Days go by and no response.  Its obvious Twitter does not have a clue on customer service. I researched and found out that this is not just a one off situation.  Twitter’s lack of service to users does not do well for their image. I guess they think they don’t have to be.

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Category: Social Media Uncategorized     Tags:

Gartner 2013 Software as a Service Predictions

by Robert Desisto  |  December 27, 2012  |  5 Comments

Our 2013 Software as a Service (SaaS) predictions focus on the increasing role Platform as a Service (PaaS) will play with SaaS, new opportunities for SaaS in IT management and emerging geographies such as China. We also offer our predictions on the future of SLAs, and the increasing role of internal CSBs.

Key findings from our predictions include:

  • Service-level agreements (SLAs) will continue to lag behind customer needs.
  • Platform as a service (PaaS) will become a must-have for enterprise-class software as a service (SaaS) applications.
  • Increasing number of I&O organizations using SaaS ITSSM tools will move back to On Premises.
  • The role of  Internal Cloud Service Brokers will become more important for Enterprise SaaS intiatives.
  • The China market will increase its use of  SaaS.


Category: Cloud SaaS Software as a Service     Tags: , ,

The Death of the Laptop

by Robert Desisto  |  October 23, 2012  |  2 Comments

At Gartner US Symposium, I have done 20 one on one meetings with clients in the first two days. In 18 of the meetings clients used iPads. In only 2 of the meetings clients used laptops. I even used my own iPad to go over some decsion frameworks using the Gartner iPad App (if you are a client and don’t have it you should get it). Its not a scientific survey, but it is very clear laptops will go the way of the old clunky mobile phones. That time may be sooner versus later.


Category: Cloud CRM ipad salesforce automation     Tags: ,