SaaS Is Snow-Go? Surely A Solution For Snowbound Scenarios...

There’s been plenty of talk in the IT press recently about the issue of SaaS pricing models and its ability to really deliver profitable services.

Our testing 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?

Look 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.

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