plenty of talk in the IT press recently about the issue of SaaS pricing models
and its ability to really deliver profitable services.
of virtual data centres - see Broadband-Testing website - has proved that any
cost benefits of "going virtual" can be adopted without fears about the
technology itself not standing up. On that point, watch this space for a report
in the New Year on HPs Converged Infrastructure solution - looks very promising
at this stage from an efficiency: high availability perspective.
But back to
the aforementioned issue: can companies afford to offer you SaaS? Is there any
dosh in it? If it's about delivering that service across as many different
communications platforms as possible, then someone like BroadSoft, which
launched BroadCloud, a cloud-based, hosted infrastructure to serve as the
foundation for the company's Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) communications
capabilities, needs a bit of an audience here. Let's face it; if I am someone
with "Broad" in both my name and the company I run, then I really ought to be
liaising with IT companies with "Broad" in their name. And, let's face it; "Broadhard"
doesn't really have the right connotations does it...
So, back to
BroadSoft, where the focus is on Unified Communications (UC) - that key element
of delivery to everybody and anybody - enabling fixed-line, mobile and cable
service providers to extend their communications services to include UC
services. After all, why shouldn't an application be available via whatever
route is feasible?
outside? Is it snowing? If so, are you working from home? If not, why not? If
someone like NTL/Virgin can deliver (however well or badly) TV, Internet and
voice services, then why not enterprise applications too? Granted, they would have to improve their
support a tad... But the serious point is that SaaS has to be available anywhere,
anytime, via any connection, in order to make sense.
Back to my
old mates at Thingamy, still THE true upstart of enterprise software, designed
from day one (back in Victorian times) as a SaaS product. We've successfully
run Thingamy apps over a 64Kbps connection for gawds sake. Swapping notes with
Thingamy CEO, Sig Rinde, recently, Sig noted that the adoption rate is not only
increasing (for SaaS) but the model is changing, with companies looking to
splash big bucks (not that fine long-distance hurdler of Paul Nicholls') from
day one, rather than the extended "toe in the water" approach.
With BroadCloud, BroadSoft is
also looking to speed up the whole time-to-market model, so these guys are
singing from the same Christmas carol sheet, albeit coming from very different
directions. Very complimentary though - maybe they should be talking to each
other. And I've already earmarked that fine ViBE VoIP enhancement tech from my
mates at Voipex as looking ideal for BroadSoft.
From a Service Provider
perspective, all of the aforementioned technologies provides that "value add"
that ISPs so strove for, often failing spectacularly in the process - WorldCom anyone?
- so there are NO excuses any longer. The world has truly moved beyond SAP and
Oracle's mainframe-oriented view of the universe and paying pure lip-service to
Internet-enabled delivery mechanisms.
Time for the world to wake up...
Footnote: As I type this, the UK
appears to be officially "closed" because of especially cold precipitation. Apparently
it's sub-zero in places! Any poor old Alaskan tourists over there must be
freezing to death. Here, in Andorra, where we've had a foot or more of snow
this week (just took the side route back from the shops - on foot- to check the
depth)), absolutely NOTHING is closed - everyone is going to work, the kids to
school, roads (often near vertical) are completely cleared of snow, all the bus
services are running (as would the trains were there a railway in Andorra, but
that would require a LOT of tunnels). And Andorra is run by a set of guys who
probably don't even know where London is. Still - all the more reason to get
SaaS sorted and working from home as a de-facto standard. Combine that with
children actually WALKING to their schools and it might actually be worth
driving (conditions allowing...) in the UK again.