The evolution of the ASP seems to be a very hot topic. We all know and embrace SalesForce.com and it has been around for a while. But this seems to really have taken on a new meaning when wrapping it into just Software-as-a-service.
The reason I bring this up is that with the maturity of the web and the emergence of some new technology standards (AJAX, SOA among many … as a blog I once read the nice thing about standards is there are so many to choose from) is allowing a new evolution into the heart of productivity tools with the Web Office Suite (a great discussion is happening here). One of the new ones that has a lot of buzz is Windows Live and there is hype that Google is also going to have something.
The reaon I find this interesting, is that if these productivity tools can be done in service mode why not other items – Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, and ERP (Oh wait that is already available). These are some heavy hitting core process support applications. So who is going to embrace this stuff. Initial thinking was always around the little guy (Small Medium Business) that wants industrial strength apps on a small budget – yes that works, but what about the larger organization? I know of some very big organizations that use SalesForce as their core Sales engine – and that is some pretty sacred information.
So where is this going to go?
I’m thinking of two driving thoughts:
- The fractionalization of cost. Moving a big lump sum that has to be amortized on a companies books has a good play if you get best in class solutions for the same or a fraction more than that amortized cost without the headaches that will occur internally.
- Focus on Leveraging the Value of the Application not the Application. So in ERP, the application brings only so much competitive value, it is what you do with the functionality you get. Or in Business Intelligence it is the BI not the data that drives core value.
Also take a look at MIP’s scan as he is always got some insight. Just some thoughts, I would love to hear what you think.