Riding the SaaS Wave – Exploring Software as a Service Options

By Bob FosterThe Wave of Software as a Service
 

Innovation from SaaS offerings is not only obvious from newer companies such as Salesforce.com, Netsuite, SalesFusion, Jesubi and others. It’s interesting to me to see the approach the large traditional ERP companies are taking to leveraging the cloud and Software as a Service to further grow their revenues and penetrate new markets. Oracle, SAP and others have spent a significant amount to “build out” their SaaS portfolio; with their integration partners now realizing benefits by building a quality practice around these services.

 

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Seamless Customer Service

It strikes me that providing seamless customer service is a great competitive advantage.

 

We have all experienced frustrating customer service; as we’ve attempted to have some issue resolved, encountering fragmented service departments, lack of visibility to our issues, countless hand-offs, and just bad information (don’t even ask me about my banking experiences!) Seems like this approach became prevalent, as enterprises attempted to gain efficiencies through silo creation, outsourcing and acquisitions.

 

However, I think this trend may be shifting. More and more companies are recognizing the importance of great customer service, which promotes:

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Is your head in “The Cloud”?

dreamstime_xs_36525815I like clouds. I always have. My mother use to always tell me “my head was in the clouds”. I remember fondly those moments as a kid on a lazy summer afternoon lying on the cool grass and gazing up into the sky, imagining different characters created from the cloud formations…..dogs, cats, my wacky aunt with the crooked nose, etc.

Perhaps that is why I like the technology transformation to “the cloud”. With Steve Jobs announcing earlier this month Apple’s iCloud service; there seems no stopping this movement to using the cloud for both consumer and business needs. I just finished attending an informative Webinar from CRN on cloud computing (and Google cloud strategy), which pointed out that the Cloud market will hit $240 billion in 2020 (Forrester) and Cloud computing services is the top CIO priority in 2011 (Gartner).

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Setting Expectations for SharePoint Portals

Yesterday I viewed the web presentation from our friends over at Global360 and Gartner and noticed that over 50 percent of companies now use some form of SharePoint. To me, this is an amazing statistic which not only reflects Microsoft’s successful penetration into the collaboration space but points to a huge demand by all types of businesses for effective collaboration. Why do so many companies deploy SharePoint? Initially, I think it was due to the opportunity for users and IT folks to grow their communication levels both inside and outside the organization. Most people understand from experience (often painful) that effective communication and information is the key to performance, as well as a key to their own personal satisfaction in the workplace.

However, one of the greatest challenges faced by companies is the ability to meet these lofty expectations when tools such as SharePoint are deployed. With SharePoint 2010, there is now even more capability around business process management, easier collaboration, and other enhanced features. I recently attended the SharePoint TechFest in Irving, Texas and it was obvious both IT and business users are genuinely excited about these new possibilities. So, if you are the company “owner” of a collaboration initiative (such as SharePoint), how do you effectively set expectations? How do we move forward with a deployment plan that fully leverages the promise of SharePoint and is aligned with the business objectives? From our experience, some basic steps that come to mind are:

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Welcome to New GlobalNow site

Welcome to the new GlobalNow website! We hope this site will not only allow us to better communicate our service offerings and activities; but will also allow our customers and partners to share topics of interest and assist each other with issues and questions through our blogging and extended social media.

Thank you so much for participating.

Bob

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