Enterprise Software: 5 Ways SaaS Changes Everything & 3 Ways It Doesn’t

Posted March 27, 2013 by Jeetu Patel
Categories: Sync and Share

Tags: , ,

Originally Published on: http://bitly.com/10wfvga

As enterprise software moves into the world of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and consumer technology innovations invade the workplace, how companies evaluate enterprise software vendor changes dramatically in many way. Yet, in some ways, it remains the same.

First, five things that SaaS changes forever:

1. Quality User Experience Drives Adoption

Gone are the days when IT could mandate software solutions with a less than stellar user experience. Today, users will go rogue and adopt consumer apps over enterprise-approved software if it makes them more productive and more mobile. Before you select an enterprise SaaS solution, put yourself in the users’ seat and compare the experience to leading consumer apps. Do they match up? If not, you better keep looking.

2. Simplicity Trumps Feature-Rich

For decades, enterprise software providers have jammed features into their products to meet every IT and user need. The mobile first, cloud-computing world is all about apps that do one thing really, really well. A portfolio of simple, elegant products that are easy to use and easy to implement makes more sense than a complex, comprehensive solution with a long roll-out time and a steep learning curve.

3. Continuous Improvement Is Expected

The 18-month product release cycle is a thing of the past. Today’s users demand constant improvements to the way they work – without radical changes that require retraining or disrupt productivity. And you’ll find it’s a great advantage to have your vendor improve features without having to install any software updates. Ask your SaaS providers how they maintain their products with regular releases that streamline and bring the best to the top. What is their pace of innovation?

4. You’re In The Driver’s Seat

One big change in enterprise software is the shift from perpetual licensing that hits capital expense budgets to subscription-based pricing that hits the operational expense budget. Software in the cloud requires no capital investment, expensive roll out or prolonged training. With relatively low initial investements, if a service doesn’t solve the problem or users don’t adopt it, cancel your subscription and move on.

5. Your Success Is Critical To The SaaS Vendor’s Success

Because there are no huge upfront costs, SaaS vendors have to keep customers happy on an ongoing basis. Enterprises have no problem paying good money for software that delivers value, they just have a problem paying upfront for technology that they are not likely to use.

And now, three fundamental ways your relationship with your vendor doesnot change.

1. You Still Want To know And Trust Your Provider

No matter how much digitization permeates our lives, people will continue to make large software or Software-as-a-Service purchases from people they know and trust. But this is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to partner with vendor in it for the long haul and are accountable beyond any one product or service.

2. Security, Compliance And Management Still Matter

IT technology restrictions may not seem logical to users, but the need to mitigate risk and comply with requirements remains and enterprise reality. A SaaS provider may be highly secure and have a terrific consumer following, but if it doesn’t meet the compliance bar, it doesn’t belong in the enterprise.

3. You Still Need To Know What’s Coming

SaaS companies that cater to the consumer market often introduce new features by rolling them out to users even before they tell them. Enterprises need predictability and a transparency about upcoming changes. Updates may have important implications for security, compliance, compatibility and workflow. Make sure your SaaS vendors communicate proactively.

Gone are the days when IT could mandate which tools were used where. People want to work as efficiently as possible, anywhere, on any device. That dramatically affects how enterprises choose and buy their software, but some things never change.

New Syncplicity Enterprise Edition – Adult Supervision for the BYOD Party

Posted March 20, 2013 by Jeetu Patel
Categories: Sync and Share

Originally Published on: http://bitly.com/11lWpiO 

The BYOD movement continues to gain momentum. As such, consumer devices are invading the enterprise. This freedom is liberating for workers but potentially disastrous for IT. To combat the risks introduced by BYOD, IT has no choice but to arm themselves with enterprise-grade security and control to mitigate potential data leakage.

Today, EMC is excited to announce Syncplicity Enterprise Edition (EE), an enterprise-scale, cloud-based file sharing solution that blends two ends of the spectrum — consumer usability with true enterprise security and control.

syncp1

Modern workers are well-connected, multitasking, “uber producers,” and IT needs to stay ahead of the pace. That’s what Syncplicity EE is all about – simplifying end user deployment and administration at enterprise scale, and empowering IT with complete control over security, policy and storage.

Syncplicity Enterprise Edition achieves this by:

  • Providing a Frictionless User Experience Users are demanding easier access to files to get work done, as simple as downloading music to their devices. So why dance around the subject when you can put a stop to Shadow IT? Syncplicity EE does this.
  • Empowering IT to “manage the unmanageable Having the ability to configure the system to align with their security approach, establish policies and deploy at scale empowers IT to provide users flexibility without losing control.
  • Giving Storage Choice Provides IT storage options that enable organizations to manage files in a way that complies with their security, compliance, data availability/protection, and data residency requirements without impacting the user experience.

Let’s take a closer look.

Syncplicity EE gives IT choice of storage, either in the cloud or using an on-premise storage infrastructure based on EMC Isilon scale-out NAS or EMC Atmos object-based cloud storage. Unlike other services that tout on-premise storage, Syncplicity moves files directly from storage to devices — files are never cached nor passed through our cloud service. Data can also be replicated geographically so users worldwide are accessing files from the closest data center.

syncP2Syncplicity supports single sign on (SSO) with Active Directory or any SAML-based authentication service, and two-factor authentication. IT can also enforce levels of authentication based on location or IP address. For example, a user may only need to sign-on via Active Directory by default, but require two-factor authentication when traveling to countries where there’s higher risk.

In addition, the new offering includes Syncplicity Connector for EMC Documentum, enabling content to be synced and distributed to large groups of users, across all devices, inside and outside the firewall. Organizations can share sensitive information extending enterprise reach without compromising security. This is huge, particularly for highly-regulated industries where access to the most current information securely is paramount and brings Syncplicity into the fabric of an organization’s critical business process.

As you see, Syncplicity EE provides IT greater control over where potentially sensitive data is stored and how it’s shared, while still delivering increased productivity for users regardless of device or operating system. Knowing when and how to ensure the right level of security, compliance and scalability across the organization is key. Without proper IT support, users will continue to find alternative solutions — leaving IT in the dark.

To learn more, register for a free trial of Syncplicity EE.

On March 6, we announced the Syncplicity App for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 New UI for Windows 8 devices. We’re excited to say they are now both available for download. Check it out!

The ABC’s of Enterprise SaaS

Posted January 9, 2013 by Jeetu Patel
Categories: Sync and Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Originally posted on VentureBeat: http://bitly.com/10fZIrz

By now, it is abundantly clear that the old world of enterprise software is changing materially. The problem is well known by all who have spent any time in corporate IT: enterprise software has become too complex to deploy and use.

As we move into delivering software-as-a-service, several fundamental assumptions made with enterprise software are no longer valid. An entirely new set of assumptions must be followed to achieve success. Below are three cardinal rules of SaaS. I like to call them the “ABC”s.

Adoption

SaaS changes the business model for technology providers as the the customer gets to pay by the drip. If you don’t use services, don’t pay for them. If there isn’t adoption, the technology provider won’t make a profit. The sooner that IT departments and technology providers accept this reality about SaaS, the sooner the users start to benefit.

The first step of adoption is activating the user base and enabling them to use the service, which should be just as easy for enterprise software as it is with consumer services like Facebook.

The second step is engagement. It is in the vendor and the customer’s mutual interest to drive user-engagement to garner sustained value from the service purchased. Therefore, incentives must be in the DNA of the service to ensure they stay engaged.

Next comes penetration to a broad user base, where network effects are a critical contributor of success and more value or productivity is driven from the usage of the service, followed by sustained usage, which is how providers make money.

If and only if the first four occur will the vendor have earned the right to a reference, which creates more energy in the project, and a new wave of users who want to try it.

Behavioral Analysis

The second essential ingredient of a successful SaaS implementation is continuous monitoring and behavioral analysis on how the service gets used. SaaS behavioral usage instrumentation and analysis will be one of the most talked about Big Data applications in the next three to five years.

Enterprise software is ridden with complexity. Complexity deters adoption. And as we just discussed, lack of adoption is lack of success in SaaS for both the buyer and seller.

While this concept is intuitive, few software outfits have a way of knowing quantitatively whether the millions they spent on building features are actually getting utilized. When it comes to SaaS, success is predicated on the technology being consumable.

Return on investment for a feature is only meaningful when the feature is used, not when it is made available. This is why behavioral analysis of usage patterns is extremely important. De-featuring is as important an exercise as building features in the SaaS world. Simplicity must trump functionality.

Customer Success

The third and most important aspect of ensuring success in SaaS is that neither the technology provider nor IT win if the user doesn’t win.

In any successful SaaS company, one of the most important roles that should work directly for the CEO is the “Customer Success Officer”. Luckily, the SaaS business model is built in such a way that the technology provider only succeeds when the customer is satisfied. Start with small pilots, show user value, expand user base, and repeat. The customer succeeds when there is sustained user engagement.

Day one of a software sale in the SaaS world is no longer a profitable venture for the vendor. Rather, when customers get broad usage and continue to derive value by the use of the service, profitability kicks in for the technology provider.

Don’t doubt it, the world of software will be completely transformed with SaaS.  To survive, remember these simple guidelines.

Access and Share Content – Anytime, Anywhere, Any Device

Posted July 16, 2012 by Jeetu Patel
Categories: Sync and Share

Tags: , , , , , , ,

In my last post, I started a theme I will continue to address on helping individuals be more productive while ensuring IT’s requirements for security and compliance – what I call, “trust.”

As you know EMC completed the acquisition to acquire Syncplicity to help us truly enable Productivity to meet trust for serious business transformation.

Check out this interview with Chris Preston to learn more.

Offer: Try a 30-day Free Trial of Syncplicity Business Edition

Productivity and Trust, No Longer Mutually Exclusive

Posted June 18, 2012 by Jeetu Patel
Categories: Big Data, Cloud, Post-PC Era

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In the Post-PC era, organizations are increasing facing the pressure to choose between serving the needs of the user to be productive, versus IT’s need to ensure overall safety of information. Productivity and safety have fundamentally been at odds for a very long time.  However, if organizations are able to achieve the right balance of catering to the needs of the user and IT, great transformations occur.  These transformations occur not only in business and IT, but also in individuals to drive great outcomes.

Additionally, user work patterns and expectations are changing very dramatically.  Today’s user expects instant access to any information regardless of where they are, or which device they are using.  They also have little tolerance for poor user experiences.  They want to be able to share the information with others within and across firewalls.  Organizations are becoming artificial boundaries.

Lastly, it is far too expensive for IT to move content from different repositories into yet another centralized repository when a new way to work comes about via a technology innovation.  Instead, information is expected to have a distributed characteristic, but access patterns, governance, management and policy enforcement should evolve based on new work patterns.

The question we as a business community are faced with is whether we should accept the imperfect world where such an artificial choice is forced upon us, or reject the status quo of mutual exclusivity between two very significant necessities for a business to be successful.  When we look closer at the key defining traits important for productivity and safety in a trusted enterprise, a few aspects are amplified.  Let’s consider each of the two dimensions more carefully.

Productivity for the user typically considers aspects such as:

  1. Mobility:  Ensure users have freedom to choose their devices, and access the right information from anywhere, at any time on any device.
  2. Delighting The New User:   Deliver a user experience that is completely intuitive, frictionless, efficient and just works the way one would expect it to!
  3. Ensuring Collaboration and Transparency Across Boundaries:  Whether it be geographical boundaries, device boundaries, infrastructure boundaries or organizational boundaries, people should have the option of full transparency and engagement to get their job done in the most effective ways.
  4. Matching the Home Computing Experience in the Workplace:  The most common question that gets asked by users is why is it so much easier for them to get stuff done at home versus getting work done in the workplace.  This includes simple and rapid provisioning  of technology that is as effortless as using Facebook
  5. Policy Automation:  Conventional wisdom has taught us that security, governance, compliance, rights management, etc. are restrictions that hamper user experience.  However, if implemented correctly, user experience can be materially enhanced by effective implementation of policy (e.g. don’t allow a sales person to open an older version of the price sheet by implementing an information rights management)

On the other hand, a trusted enterprise worries about capabilities such as:

  1. Security:  It isn’t just who has access to what information, but also having access to the right information at the right location in the right context.
  2. Governance and Compliance:  It isn’t just keeping your organization secure, but also ensuring the right governance and compliance of the information regardless of where the information lives.  Policy must follow content rather than being tied to a physical repository.
  3. Control: Sensitive and business critical information should be owned by corporations, not individuals.  If a device is lost, information on that device must be controlled by the corporation.  If a user decides to pursue other career options they should not be able to walk away with company sensitive information.
  4. Manageability:  IT should be able to make it easier for provisioning users, accounts, and customer experiences.
  5. Rights Management:  When information is shared outside corporate boundaries, organizations sharing the information shouldn’t lose control over the information.  Furthermore, at any point in time, information shared with others outside the organization should have the ability to disable information based on a set of criteria.

As we move into the new world where the user has taken control while IT is required to `keep the organization safe, compliant and secure, a new breed of solutions will emerge.  These will be solutions that deliver superior user experiences while not ignoring the risk, safety, compliance and manageability aspects that IT so rightfully cares about.  This will be a race where many will claim that they cater to this duality of needs, but only a few will be able to deliver on this promise at scale to enterprises.  The challenge is harder than it sounds, but results are far greater than they seem on the surface.  This is truly the new era of the content and collaboration market.  Like any discontinuous innovation, the success of this will be over-estimated in the short-term but grossly under-estimated in the long term.  The intersection where productivity meets trust will truly be a sea change for the content and collaboration work patterns within the enterprise.  Finally, organizations won’t be forced to make a choice between two very important needs of a business – keep my users productive while keeping my organization safe.

The Services Challenge

Posted May 11, 2012 by Jeetu Patel
Categories: Post-PC Era

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Guest Blogger: John O’Melia

John O’ Melia, Head of Services, EMC IIG Division

It wasn’t too long ago when the IT group in almost all large companies selected the technology platforms upon which they would build the business applications for the organization.  For many the goal was to deliver enterprise class solutions that could be rolled out across the organization with manageable pain and be supported and maintained with a reasonable TCO.  The “magic” for many of these organizations was getting just enough business user involvement to validate their work.  They would identify business unit representatives to be involved in their vendor selection work and in their requirements definition work and they would leverage these same folks to help to drive the implementation of the solution to their business units in the later stages of Read the rest of this post »


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,494 other followers

%d bloggers like this: