Jeff Kaplan (@thinkstrategies on Twitter), writing for E-Commerce Times, has an excellent list of major SaaS/cloud evolution milestones we saw in 2009. I have included the list in its entirety below. Jeff’s full article is here.
Wheeling and Dealing
1. Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) surpasses US$1 billion in revenue. Hitting this financial milestone clearly shows that SaaS has become mainstream and is a scalable business model.
2. Xactly Acquires Centive. Despite SaaS industry growth, an inevitable market consolidation has begun with this merger of two key players in the on-demand sales compensation market. Also, Salary.com buys the assets of Makana Solutions and NetSuite acquires head-to-head professional services automation (PSA) competitors OpenAir and QuickArrow.
3. LucidEra fails. The demise of one of the pioneers of the SaaS business intelligence and analytics market shows the willingness of VCs to walk away from even the most prominent SaaS players.
4. Intacct establishes alliance with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and its CPA2Biz subsidiary. This partnership agreement illustrates the growing acceptance of SaaS, as the association broadcasts its endorsement of Intacct’s on-demand financial management solution as the preferred alternative to traditional financial applications to its 45,000 member CPA firms and their 350,000 SMB clients.
5. Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) offers to buy Sun. Despite Larry Ellison’s rants that SaaS will never be a profitable business model, Oracle uses its proposed acquisition of Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: JAVA) as a catalyst to promote its growing cloud computing capabilities.
Experiments and Validation
6. Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) fortify SLAs. Faced with a steady stream of service outages, both Amazon and Google have introduced new service level agreements with more "teeth" to appease the continuing concerns of IT and business decision-makers, and to fend off the challenges of a growing number of cloud computing competitors.
7. Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) becomes a SaaS reseller. After being a showcase user of Salesforce.com solutions, Dell becomes a Salesforce.com channel partner, offering customers access to AppExchange SaaS vendors.
8. Marc Benioff Speaks at Oracle OpenWorld. Benioff’s presentation promotes the business benefits of on-demand and on-premise software integration in hybrid operating environments, recasting SaaS as a natural progression of the market rather than a revolutionary overthrow of legacy applications. (This speech may also be the preamble to an Oracle takeover of Salesforce.com.)
9. Salesforce.com unveils its social computing strategy, Chatter. Rather than simply tightening its integration with Facebook and Twitter, Salesforce.com decides to build its own enterprise-class alternative, which is met with mixed reviews at Dreamforce.
10. Gartner (NYSE: IT) identifies cloud computing the top strategic technology for 2010. There is no better lagging indicator of key industry trends than Gartner prognostications, which give them further validation and greater visibility.
(Via Dave Cohune)