If you want it
Here it is, come and get it
Mmmm, make your mind up fast
If you want it
Anytime, I can give it
But you better hurry
Cause it may not last
- From "Come And Get It", written by Sir Paul McCartney and originally recorded by Badfinger
I'm watching changes in the SaaS world...some people are keeping up with the changes, and some people are not. The approach is selling SaaS subscriptions is an area that stands out in my mind where the market players have not all quite wrapped their brains around a new reality.
In the old days of selling on-premise applications (also lovingly referred to now as "fat apps"), the initial sale was the key battleground between applications vendors in their quest for customers. That's because switching on-premise apps was hard. Ask anyone switching from Oracle to SAP for enterprise apps...a very tough, very expensive, and very long process.
In the SaaS world, switching is quicker, easier, and much less expensive. No technology footprint to switch out. Get my data from the current SaaS vendor, map and convert to the new SaaS applications, train my workforce, cut off the old SaaS vendor, start paying the new SaaS vendor. While it's still not a small undertaking, it's a comparative drop in the bucket.
Oh, what about hybrid platforms? Still easier to switch out the SaaS portion of your system. And so far as integrations: well, the commonly used integrations are fast becoming commodities. That's what Cloud Integration platforms from providers like Oracle, Sierra-Cedar (yeah, that was a plug - pretty slick the way I slipped it in there, huh?), Boomi, Workday, etc...providing highly-reused application integrations as a managed cloud service.
So what does this mean? It means that as SaaS becomes more prevalent in the enterprise applications world, it won't be about making the deal as much as it will be about keeping the customer while concurrently enticing other players customers to switch while concurrently hunting for customers just entering the enterprise applications customer space. In other words, we'll soon see huge churning of accounts from Brand X to Brand Y. And we'll also see vendors attempting to protect their own patch of accounts. And, at the same time, we'll see more offerings geared toward the SMB space...because that's where the net new growth opportunities will exist.
We're entering a great time for buyers...vendor lock-in in the enterprise apps market will become a less predominant factor. And, frankly, vendors will be treat each customer like the "belle of the ball".
Watch for SaaS vendors to begin singing Sir Paul's tune: "If you want it, here it is..." - on very customer-favorable terms.