on CIO.com looks at the evolution of SaaS from curiosity to mainstream. Their point is that the next SaaS wave is in new types of services that can/will be offered as a critical mass of customers start using SaaS and hosting their data. An interesting read.
is from Gartner earlier last month. They forecast the worldwide SaaS market at $8 billion in 2009, doubling by 2013. They see office suites and DCC (digital content creation) as the fastest growing segments.
Software Marketing Articles: May
“SaaS gaining mindshare over license model" from ZDNet Asia indicates the SaaS model is really picking up in adoption rate in Asia. This is a benefit to vendors trying to sell in the region, since software piracy is not so much of an issue with SaaS.
“B-to-B Marketing in 2009: Trends in Strategies and Spending" from Web Buyer's Guide reports on a study by MarketingProfs and Forrester of over 600 B2B marketing professionals. They found that reduced budgets have forced B2B marketers to shift dollars to focus on new media / Web 2.0 tactics, and also targeting narrower customer segments. Focus is on search marketing, webinars, email marketing, and the company website.
Software Marketing Articles: April
“SAP Shares Fall After 1Q Earnings Miss Mkt Views " from the Wall Street Journal. SAP managed to miss market expectations with their Q1 earnings announcement. Net profit fell 16% compared to Q1'08, while their overall software revenue plummetted 33%. Even before the recession hit SAP had some challenges with their big-ticket software licensing model... but the slow economy has hurt that even more.
“As Sales Dry Up, Some Software Companies Resort to Freebies" from The Wall Street Journal. Interesting read about some software companies that are seeing sales dry up with the recession, and deciding to give it away. They give some examples of giveaways of business software that typically costs thousands of dollars or more. And these aren't just limited-time trials. Although it's true that one sound strategy during a recession is to try to grow market share... I'm far from convinced that this is a lasting way to do it.
"Gartner Says IT Spending Worse Than After Dot-Com Bust " from Information Week summarizes recent Gartner findings about decreased IT spending for 2009. Their estimates have gone down, finding that companies worldwide will spend 3.8% less on IT in 2009, significantly lower than the analyst firm's "worst-case" October forecast of a 2.3% increase.
Software Marketing Articles: March
"Vertical market IT spend feels impact of recession" from Computer Weekly summarizes recent Gartner findings about trends in vertical IT spending in 2009. Bottom line: they expect vertical IT spending to only grow a paltry 0.5% in 2009, but the areas for growth will be in healthcare, government and utilities.
“SoftwareCEO Launches Industry Expert Blogs” . In these newly launched blogs you can find out the latest from industry gurus on Cutting-Edge Legal Developments, all about Selling Software in the U.S., the ins and outs of Software Marketing (yours truly), the how-to's of Navigating the Channel, Insights from a Software CEO, and the art of Selling Enterprise Software.
"SaaS: The Better Way to Buy" on ITWorld is a good read for those who are still on the fence about whether or not to go the SaaS route. They list 4 key items that a potential customer should look for in a SaaS vendor. Of course, it's written from the buyer's perspective, but a good way to make sure you're delivering what your customers will be looking for..
“Competition Intensifies for the SMB ERP Customer” by Ray Wang at Forrester Research. is an interesting read about the trends in the ERP software space, in particular the fight to win the SMB customer base. Includes a good summary of the typical SMB customer requirements for an ERP software package and Forrester’s recommendations based on their interviews of a number of vendors in this space.
"Software as a Service Market Will Expand Rather than Contract Despite the Economic Crisis" from IDC reports on some of their recent research of SaaS adoption. Corporate IT buyers are indicating an increased interest in SaaS solutions in the current poor economic environment. IDC believes the 2009 SaaS market will grow 40.5% over 2008.
"Top 10 for Online Marketing Success in 2009" from MarketingProf.com.
I found some useful suggestions from this article, including:
Find the top two or three publishers/bloggers/reporters who cover your industry and grab an RSS feed. Insert it in your news section of your Web site.
Pick a product, service, or area of interest on your site and, with the help of a 30-day trial from one of the many ratings/reviews software vendors, start getting content from your customers.
In your next e-newsletter, ask your customers what they are interested in, what they'd like to hear more about, and how often... then segment audiences and build campaigns around this information.
"Linking SaaS Software Pricing to Value" is an excellent article by Jason Rothbart over at ReadWriteWeb on the challenges of figuring pricing for SaaS software. Some good discussion going on in the comments also, so definitely a recommended read if you are struggling with the challenges of pricing a SaaS application.
"In a down economy, SaaS revenues rise" is a recent ComputerWorld article that is worth a read. If you're on the fence about SaaS, it's worth thinking about how the recession is impacting your customer base, what decision processes they base a purchase decision for your application on, and whether switching to SaaS could make it more attractive for them when short-term budgets are tight.