Posted tagged ‘JEetu_Patel’

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

March 27, 2013

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.

The ABC’s of Enterprise SaaS

January 9, 2013

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

July 16, 2012

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

June 18, 2012

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.

Rules to Compete in the Enterprise Software Game

April 30, 2012

Guest Blogger: Rohit Ghai

Rohit Ghai, Head of Products, IIG Division

Are you worthy?

To play in the enterprise you must be worthy…. So it is with enterprise software as well. In addition to enterprise worthy support, enterprise worthy services one has to build enterprise worthy product in order to even be in the consideration set.

Before I get to the traits of enterprise software lets look at the typical traits of a corporation that we deem to be an “enterprise”:

  • Some things are really BIG. These organizations are giants – think really really BIG footprints. A big digital footprint (think vast quantities of data produced and consumed), a big carbon footprint (think big data centers, big factories, big operations, reams and reams of paper pervading thousands of business processes), a big geographical footprint (think a global organization with offices and people all across the world) and finally a big customer footprint (think thousands of customers across different segments and geographies using the company’s products or services).
  • Some things are really small. These organizations have extremely small tolerance for brand or reputation degradation (think floors full of lawyers and compliance maniacs even in unregulated industries), miniscule tolerance for downtime or business discontinuity (think people obsessing over the next flood in Thailand), very little patience in terms of time to value (think constant flux and a breakneck pace of change), a pretty small shared context (think thousands of people touching different parts of the elephant but no one sees the elephant) and finally a very small degree of homogeneity (think people of all ages, cultures, backgrounds and preferences).

So its pretty straight forward: to be enterprise worthy – you have to be able to handle (more…)

3 Critical Areas to be an Enterprise Worthy Software Company

April 19, 2012

Megatrends like Social, Big Data, Cloud and mobile are driving fundamental shifts in the business in this Post PC era.  One of those shifts is around the consumerization of IT where the user is in control of the devices and the applications they use to be more productive.  User experience is of paramount importance and the message is clear.  Users will not put up with complex user interfaces and find alternatives to enhance productivity by self-provisioning apps in the cloud.  As I’ve said before, a software company cannot be successful unless they minimize friction in the user experience.  The user gene must be developed in every software organization.

However, IT still remains a critical constituency within an organization.  Many that started from the consumer side of the house like Google have had some hiccups in catering to the CIO.  Three key areas must be evaluated closely when a software vendor claims to serve the enterprise.  They are around how a software company provides support for the enterprise, how a software company builds products for the user, but keeping in mind enterprise requirements, and how a software company enables an ecosystem of services, education and training for an enterprise.  What I thought would be valuable is for some of the leaders in EMC to discuss how they think of these very serious enterprise needs.  I’ve asked Mike Montoya, our head of support, Rohit Ghai, our head of products, and John O’Melia, our head of services to impart some wisdom on each of these areas on what it takes to effectively serve an enterprise while still ensuring that the user is who the software is designed for.

Hope you enjoy the 3 blogs that each of these very talented individuals have been kind enough to contribute to my blog.

Cloud, Big Data, and Case Management: Transforming Business to a Predictive Enterprise

April 9, 2012

“A corporation is a living organism; it has to continue to shed its skin. Methods have to change. Focus has to change. Values have to change. The sum total of those changes is transformation.” – Andy Grove

I was recently interviewed by Tom Koulopoulos, President of the Delphi Group, during the Adaptive Case Management Virtual Summit 2012 (or ACM Live) on the major forces that are shaping business today and how case management and complementary technologies can help enterprises manage this change. The replay of this interview and demo is available here. I encourage you to check it out.

There’s little debate that social, mobile, cloud, and big data are changing our lives in ways we haven’t even imagined, and (more…)


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