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Jim Howard Posted by Jim Howard January 10, 2013

The SaaS Enterprise Guide For "Dummies"

I recently read an excellent article titled “The 2013 Enterprise Guide for Dummies” by Alex Williams on TechCrunch. The article triggered a few thoughts on SaaS and the enterprise:

1. Enterprise SaaS is exciting. I recently listened to an interview with a VC who recommended two areas to folks who want to invest in the future. First, mobile. Second, enterprise SaaS. To paraphrase the interview: We spent the past 40 years packing technology into the enterprise and we will spend the next 10 replacing it with SaaS.

2. AWS is so far ahead of everybody else that the other guys barely matter.

3. Williams rips into the acquirers of SaaS as slowing down the speed SaaS delivers to the enterprise. However, I can't help but think that if Oracle buys Eloqua and then Eloqua becomes slow for the customer, everybody will migrate to faster options outside of Oracle. In other words, either Oracle will figure out how to be competitive with these acquisitions or they will have to keep buying up all of the new competitors. They need to get good at SaaS, and I give them credit for knowing that.

I think Oracle is super smart to buy these SaaS companies. Even if they break the first few they buy, they may eventually get in enough new thinking that they have a chance to evolve and compete in the process to replace themselves in the enterprise. If Oracle doesn't evolve, their decline will happen slowly at first, and then very rapidly. They will see marginal changes to their results and then all of a sudden, they will wake up one morning and everything will be on the way down at once.