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James Williams

Hi Amy,
Glad to see some sensible opinions put forward that see SaaS in a favourable light... you're right, the challenge is how we approach these changes, not whether they're taking place. I'll be discussing on my blog http://www.thewebservice.com/community/blog/ the direct benefits of the "credit crunch" on SaaS and how it will galvanize businesses and in turn ISVs to change their business practices and embrace SaaS (when I get access to the blog!)... in so many cases it's just a leaner, cheaper, more effective way of using software. Companies can still buy into a fixed contract offering unlimited use of the service if they wish, but I think in a few years even this fudge will start to tail off.

We know these models work - TheWebService http://www.thewebservice.com/
might look new but its UK parent brand PCA has been going strong for years, collecting awards and flying under many ISV's radar.

Landon Hoover

First of all, I agree with the post above; the transition to SaaS or S+S will be happening. The more pertinent question is how.

How?--The transition to SaaS for an ISV is definitely a daunting task; however, when there are such challenges in the market place, there are always opportunities. There are several companies already taking advantage of this challenge or opportunity by providing services that help ISV’s transition to SaaS (i.e. eVapt). These companies provide a great deal of value and can help ISV’s with pricing strategy, billing mediation, contract management, among many other challenges that confront ISV’s.

I am sure there are many other things that will make SaaS emerge, but keep a look out for companies like eVapt that helping move ISV’s into the SaaS space.

Suman Chaudhuri

Amy,

Your discussion around whether or not a major SaaS ISV can afford to release a less than optimal version of their on-premise model as a SaaS solution just to get skin in the game is worth talking about. As part of Patni's ISV group, I discuss SaaS strategies with many different ISVs, and often times, we get in to discussions around SaaS strategies for their on-premise product. The way I see it, ISVs have 4 options - a full product replacement, offer complementary SaaS offerings for their on-premise, offer a "lite" version (what you are discussing in your post), or implement a full blown SaaS version of the existing product.

Whereas the pros of offering a lite version is that it allows an ISV to get in the game quicker and does not cannibalize their existing customer base, the cons are that you are still not a pure SaaS player, and hence in some ways, you are at a competitive disadvantage to their SaaS competitors. And like you said, customers these days are getting demanding and offering a less than optimal SaaS version, especially in the large ERP, CRM segment is not going to fly.

Ben Kepes

Amy

The debate on whether SaaS will gain traction (both generally and within enterprise specifically) is pretty much over. Most players agree that SaaS will ascend (whether it's pure play or Microsoft's S+S offerings).

The real issue you refer to in your title but not much in the post itself - that is whether or not ISV's can move from traditional models to SaaS. It's a huge issue and one which I have posted about many times before.

I'd be interested to chat to you about this - see

http://diversity.net.nz/can-you-innovate-within-an-incumbent-saas-for-isvs/2008/06/18/

http://diversity.net.nz/sap-and-saas-again/2008/05/14/

http://diversity.net.nz/more-on-isvs-moving-to-saas/2007/09/05/

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