UK software vendors are betting their business on Salesforce.com

Salesforce.com has long been a pioneer of the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry. And as many of the larger software vendors have now started getting on the SaaS bandwagon, they have found that SaaS is not as easy to deliver as they expected. SAP has struggled and in 2010 only 100 users wereusing their SaaS offering. UK accounting software provider Sage scrapped its first attempt at SaaS owing to security flaws. Other vendors have decided to follow a different route following the old mantra ‘if you can’t beat them join them’. In 2007 Salesforce.com launched Force.com, a platform as a service (PaaS) offering that allows third parties to build their own applications on top of the salesforce.com core. This gave a way for independant software vendors a way to ‘go SaaS’ without having to build or host the platform themselves.

One of the first companies to do this was CODA, a UK based accounting software provider that has since been acquired by the Ducth software company Unit4. Since then many more have followed the path to PaaS as a low cost way to deliver SaaS. According to Forrester there may be as many as 25,000 organisations currently using Force.com to build their applications.

So you can’t ignore the Cloud and SaaS and you should include it in your technology roadmaps. Top tip: don’t sign long term traditional licensing deals with any software supplier as their current pricing model will be replaced with something better within the next few years.

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