by Robert Desisto | November 16, 2011 | Comments Off
Cloud computing is having a major impact on business operations. We just published a Gartner Special report, The Future of Cloud Business Applications, that assesses the current cloud computing “state of play” in business domains such as marketing, sales, customer service, finance, and human resources to name a few. The special report provides an overview of options in terms of cloud computing’s three key variants — software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). The associated research looks at both current and future adoption levels, enablers and inhibitors, and the business value of each cloud computing variant.
Category: Applications Cloud Finanical Service SaaS Software as a Service Tags:
by Robert Desisto | October 7, 2011 | Comments Off
Salesforce.com reinforced its strategy for social and mobile technologies with a number of announcements at Dreamforce 2011. The social enterprise is its latest marketing theme, introduced at Dreamforce 2011 to elevate awareness of the salesforce.com’s current cloud offerings, such as Chatter. This research note http://www.gartner.com/resId=1815914 analyzes the mobile, social and platform elements of salesforce.com’s announcements at Dreamforce 11.
Category: CRM SaaS salesforce automation Software as a Service Tags: SaaS; Cloud Computing;, salesforce.com
by Robert Desisto | September 23, 2011 | 3 Comments
A client asked me how much of their application portfolio should be running in the Cloud using SaaS. The client wanted a benchmark of what other companies were doing of similar size and scope. I informed client that looking at a percentage is not a particularly useful formula. A more appropriate process is to analyze cloud applicability on an application by application basis. I just published an interactive toolkit on gartner.com, called How to determine the Appropriateness of SaaS. The toolkit enables clients to weigh and rate criteria to determine whether a specific application under consideration would be conducive for cloud computing and SaaS. Example criteria include security, integration and budgeting to name a few. Its must see for companies who are evaluating whether to move a particular application to the cloud or not.
Category: Cloud SaaS Software as a Service Tags: SaaS;Cloud Computing
by Robert Desisto | September 16, 2011 | Comments Off
It was assumed that the CRM SaaS market would be a zero sum game. Success of Microsoft would come at the expense of market share leader salesforce.com. However, there is evidence to the contrary. Two specific market events directly go against the prevailing wisdom that Microsoft’s gain would be Salesforce.com’s loss, or vice versa. Salesforce.com recently announced record numbers of new customers in their most recent quarter, while at the same time Microsoft let their CRM SaaS price promotion ($34 per user per month from normal list $44 per user per month) expire in North America. Microsoft will still pay an existing Oracle or salesforce.com customer $150 per user (up to 500 users) to switch to Microsoft and continues to offer the price reduction in non-North American regions of the world. The fact that Microsoft feels confident enough to let this promotion expire matches with increased inbound inquiry demand I have fielded on customers considering Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.
This means rather than eating away at the SaaS pie, Microsoft has brought customers who were previously on the sidelines to the CRM SaaS table. This is not to say each vendor has not taken away business or existing customers from the other but goes more to the point that SaaS CRM particularly for sales shows no signs of slowing down. It is two early to draw longer term conclusions at this point, because ultimately the market will reach a level of saturation, but in the mean time it looks like the CRM SaaS market pie will need a bigger oven.
Category: Cloud CRM SaaS salesforce automation Software as a Service Tags: microsoft, oracle, SaaS; Cloud Computing;, salesforce.com
by Robert Desisto | September 8, 2011 | Comments Off
Spurned on by recent press hype, I have been inundated with calls from clients about a supposedly new concept called SaaS Enterprise License Agreements. Despite claims made by some vendors this is not a new concept, even for vendors who are making claims that it is new have been offering it for years. Sometimes vendors may vary terminology to dress up the ELA term but in the end the concept itself has not changed, nor the potential pitfalls that exist with them.
Many companies will end up paying premium for projected user amounts because they were convinced by the vendor that some day they may hypothetically increase their usage five fold. Further, most ELAs are typically only applicable for the initial term of the contract with other hidden goodies such as “not to exceed” user ceilings.
I have seen many companies in the past three years sign ELAs (or whatever term a vendor decides to call it) only to realized they grossly overpaid their usage. Customers are surprised to find out during contract renewal that to get out of the ELA they have to pay a price increase on seats they are actually using.
I am not suggesting ELA could not work in the favor of a customer but unless you have a very accurate count of user growth rates, you are simply buying into an option you do not need. You would be much better off negotiating a tiered pricing structure in the contract that can executed as user demand grows.
Category: Cloud CRM SaaS Software as a Service Vendor Contracts Tags: Enterprise License Agreements, microsoft, Netsuite, oracle, SaaS; Cloud Computing;, salesforce.com, Successfactors, Workday
by Robert Desisto | August 18, 2011 | Comments Off
I just published research on how to measure a vendor’s SaaS delivery capability. It covers topics ranging from a vendor’s operational management capabilities to measuring the the strength of a vendor’s service level agreement. No matter what SaaS application your considering (e.g., email, CRM, ERP, etc) this research note How to Evaluate A Vendor’s SaaS Deliver provides a checklist for companies to measure a vendor’s commitment to software as a service.
Category: Cloud CRM ERP SaaS salesforce automation Software as a Service Tags: CRM, SaaS; Cloud Computing;, software as a service
by Robert Desisto | July 22, 2011 | 2 Comments
Gartner’s Pace Layer Model can help sales organizations develop an effective, flexible and innovative sales application strategy. I just recently published a research paper on using the Pace Layer model to deconstruct a sales application portfolio. I provide specific examples for both sales organizations with direct and indirect sales channel models. The goal of the research is to help sales organization develop a long-term, sales technology plan. Worth the look.
Category: CRM salesforce automation Tags: pace layering, sales applications, salesforce automation
by Robert Desisto | July 18, 2011 | Comments Off
Check out the 2011 Sales Force Automation Magic Quadrant (released on July 15th, 2011). Mobility continues to grow in importance for users; therefore, it has also become a more critical component of our evaluation criteria for the sales force automation (SFA) Magic Quadrant. Smartphones and iPads (see “iPads: Customer-Facing Selling Will Drive iPad Use for Sales” and “iPads: Their Impact on the Top Six Sales Processes”) are becoming preferred devices for the mobile salesperson. Software as a service (SaaS) also continues to play a more dominate role in the SFA Magic Quadrant, with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Zoho added for 2011. Based on Gartner inquires during the past 12 months, new SFA evaluations are up by 30%. The primary objective for most sales organizations remains opportunity management, but we have also seen greater emphasis placed on sales effectiveness and sales-performance-related applications. We outline strengths and cautions for all of the SFA vendors in the quadrant.
Category: Applications Cloud CRM Software as a Service Tags: Cloud, CRM, microsoft, Netsuite, oracle, Pivotal, SaaS, Sage software, Sales force automation, sales people, salesforce.com, SAP, sugarcrm, Zoho
by Robert Desisto | April 21, 2011 | 4 Comments
While some may write that companies should have gotten better Service Level Agreements with Amazon, I ask does it really matter with such a long outage? Can a SLA really repair damage to your business? Just imagine having your customer contact center in the cloud being down for 20 hours. I am sure your customers would gain comfort knowing your company has a good SLA. I am not here to say Amazon’s outage will cause the death of cloud computing, but to explain away the obvious with long written explanations of zones, regions, etc, is good information of what happened but avoids the obvious issue. We need to show pause rushing to the cloud especially the more mission critical the application is to the business.
One CEO posted the following on their web site to their customers today:
We are unfortunately still down. This is beyond frustrating for us as well… as you can imagine. This has been a widespread, day-long outage that you may have seen reported in the media. Amazon Web Services has been experiencing major issues with failures on multiple levels.
These issues have taken down thousands of major sites with it. This outage has affected us as well as a number of other related sites.
We have a new server up that is restored from our backups, but it would mean losing almost an entire day’s worth of data. Our hope is that we can wait a bit longer for Amazon to get its act together and be humming back along with zero data loss. Worst case scenario at this point is sometime tonight or early AM we make the call to go back to the backups and things will be back to normal (minus yesterday’s data, which would need to be re-input)
We are very sorry for the problems and wish there was more we could do.
The lesson for today is not about Amazon although there are important tactical considerations we have learned. What is more important is to understand cloud outages do and will happen in the future. We have published a number of good research notes on mitigating risk but there is no way to completely avoid risk. However, taking pause and evaluating which applications you are willing to move to the cloud knowing there will be unmitigated risks is something we should all take greater care in doing.
Category: Cloud Software as a Service Uncategorized Tags: SaaS, SaaS; Cloud Computing;
by Robert Desisto | March 25, 2011 | Comments Off
We just published the SaaS Research Agenda key issues for 2011. Our focus is to not only help companies avoid pitfalls associated with cloud computing but provide best practices to gain optimal value. Check it out on Gartner.com.
Category: Cloud SaaS Software as a Service Tags: SaaS; Cloud Computing;