Saturday, January 25, 2020

Blowing Out Barriers

I was chatting with a new friend last weekend.  Turns out we're both in the enterprise apps business: I work for Oracle on HCM Cloud apps while he works at a small start-up building and selling a warehouse management system.

While we were chatting about the biz, we got into SaaS and Cloud.  My friend made a statement I really want to share:  "Cloud blew out all our barriers to entering this marketplace; we wouldn't be in business without Cloud."  When I pressed him on this, he made the following points:

  • Our entire development platform is cloud-based; no on-prem servers whatsoever
  • We track our bugs and manage our development cycles with JIRA
  • All our accounting, HR, and sales apps are SaaS with providers focused on SMB customers
  • We don't even have internal email - we have a Slack channel
  • Our product is SaaS-based and runs on two IaaS partner platforms.  Our SMB customers would not be able to afford the infrastructure required to run on prem.
  • Most of our user documentation is visual and chart-based.  Our off-shore team uses LucidChart to build that stuff. 
After hearing all this, I expressed that my mental image of his company was a small group of people in a local office sitting around a conference table with laptops and cell phones.  He corrected me:  5 people in North America, developers in Vietnam and documentation team in India - no brick and mortar offices anywhere.

I walked away from the conversation thinking: "Isn't this cool?  These guys have leveraged the cloud to build a product startup about to break into 9-digit revenue (in U.S. dollars) with zero infrastructure.  These guys get it."

This has always been the promise of the Cloud: do business without large capital investments.  It was just neat to experience yet another example of this promise fulfilled IRL.

Tell me again why you're running on-prem enterprise apps?

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