Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Is SaaS ready for prime time?

One of the questions that keeps coming up in my conversations with my peers is whether SaaS is ready for prime time? My response to this is that yes!, especially for small or medium size company. I would not hesitate to recommend SaaS solutions such as NetSuite or SalesForce.com to small and medium size business.

As a small business, one may start with solutions provided by Intuit (either on a desktop or SaaS) and as they grow out of it - NetSuite may be a better choice, especially as they provide and end-to-end-solution.

SalesForce.com's advantage is their primary focus on CRM - critical to small business and their AppExchange platform. Based on my initial assessment - I do like it. The jury is still out on whether 3rd party shall develop applications on this platform. If they are successful in attracting the development community - they should be able to go head-on-head with NetSuite - will be interesting to watch.

As for SAP and Oracle on Demand - have not reviewed their solutions as yet.

A web site is key to small business and I do like the Yahoo! Site Solution - easy for anyone to use and did redeploy SOABlueprint using this solution. It just took me a few hours - which previously had taken be over a week to redesign and deploy new content. The only drawback to this solution is that it restricts me from integrating it with Google Analytics or Google Ads. Hope they open it up soon.

Google Sites also provides an alternative and have used it to create the a Collaborative Wiki for SUIT. Google enables small business not only creating a web site using web pages, it integrates Google Apps and the Wiki (JotSpot Acquisition - discussion forum is not yet available). However, once again like Yahoo! they do not allow Java Scripts to be embedded in their pages - once again I am locked out from integrating Google Analytics, Google Ads. and Grand Central - tools that I would like to leverage on all my sites, not just my blog.

In short - SaaS is ready for prime time, especially for small and medium business. However, these companies still need to put in a lot more effort in getting the word out to the market.

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