The 7 Habits of Highly Successful On-Demand Companies
SaaS (Software as a Service), also known as the on-demand model, is changing the way businesses of all sizes andin all industries use software. Based on Web services technologies, these changes are so significant that they have been called a “disruptive technology.” As the technologies associated with Web services, Web 2.0, and Office 2.0mature, they make possible a new business model that requires not just new technologies, but a new approach to business altogether.The on-demand model means the end of business as usual in the software world. For customers, the benefits areobvious and compelling: they get sophisticated functionality without up-front expenses or the hassles associatedwith the installation and maintenance of traditional software. For the vendors of such services, the model provideslow barriers to entry and unprecedented opportunities, as well as new risks and challenges. Creating and managingan on-demand company means a whole new way of running a business, one that extends to all business areas thatmake up an organization.This paper explores these challenges and provides guidelines relevant to various business areas. In the process,you’ll meet some of the people from successful on-demand companies listed below, who will share what theyhave learned and how they have prospered.
’ applications provide complete visibility into and control over the contract and proposal process.The company was started by a group of seasoned executives of private and public companies over a bottleof wine at a barbeque at Lake Tahoe. As they discussed how existing applications often failed indeployments and got horrible customer reviews, they decided there had to be a better way. Then they proceeded to build it.
helps customers toautomate pricing and discounting, generate quotes and proposals, andmanage workflow routing and approvals. Founded in 1999, BigMachines has been built from the ground upas an on-demand, Web-based company.
is a pioneer in business intelligence (BI). Founded in Paris in 1990, Business Objectscontinues a tradition of innovation and category definition by being the first major vendor to bring BI to theon-demand model. With over 45,000 subscribers, Business Objects has established itself as the leader in on-demand BI.
was founded in 1997 by a sales compensation expert, who had a compelling vision to serve theuntapped niche market of performance-based paysystems. For over a decade, Centive has helped businesses to automate sales compensation and to elevate this function to a strategic level that drives peak sales performance.
will achieve revenues of over $2 million in 2007, with only 6 employees. How did they do it?By offering data manipulation toolsused by more than 1,000 administrators in 15 countries, CRMfusion ensures clean data by performing de-duplication, so that customers can import lists or tradeshow data—suchas leads, accounts, and contacts—perfectly and without duplication.
was born out of a need to improve the traditionally manual and arduous process of signingcontracts. Jason Lemkin was convinced that an easy-to-use esignature application was the perfect solution toaddress the problem. He founded EchoSign in 2005, and the rest, as they say, is history.
makes marketing automation and email applications that specialize in creating, sending, anddelivering business-critical email communications. ExactTarget was the “Best in Show” award winner atDreamforce ’06.
provides solutions for product configuration and for creating quotes and proposals.It wasfounded in 1983 by a salesperson who developed the first application to simplify the contract configurationfor leased farm equipment, using a computer in the trunk of his car. Over the last twenty years, Firepond hasremained focused on simplifying the sales process—now with a multi-tenant application that can beaccessed with just a Web browser.
, a Colorado-based company, provides tools for building custom Excel reports and for connectingSalesforce with Microsoft SQL servers, to easily access and replicate Salesforce objects.
is to Reporting and Analysis what Salesforce.com is to CRM.
The companywas created in 2005,after a frustrated customer of a traditional BI solution told LucidEra’s founders that “it would be easier tomanage a nuclear reactor than to manage a BI solution.” Since people don’t need to manage nuclear reactorsto get the resulting electricity, LucidEra’s founders decided that the same should be true for BIsolutions. LucidEra manages the underlying technology, while customers get the reports and analyses theyneed as a service.