Thursday, July 23, 2009

Survey: IBM ISV Plans for SaaS Development

recently held a joint webinar with IBM to describe a methodology for ISVs to migrate to SaaS and cloud computing cost-effectively (you can see the recorded webinar here). The key is being able to leverage existing data and logic while moving iteratively to deliver web, SaaS and Cloud capabilities that provide the biggest value to the customer at the least cost and risk to the software developer.

During the webinar, we conducted a survey of the ISV attendees that turned up some interesting results about where ISVs are along the SaaS migration path and where they would like to be in 12 months.

We defined a SaaS maturity model with 5 levels:
  • Level 0: web-enabled. The ISV's application can be accessed through a web browser without requiring the end user to install anything on their desktop.
  • Level 1: hosted. The ISV's application can be hosted without requiring the customer to install anything in their data center.
  • Level 2: self-service. The end user can customize an application (e.g., configure dashboards, reports, data, workflow) without having to do any coding.
  • Level 3: multi-tenant. The ISV can support multiple customers with a single application, database and security instance.
  • Level 4: cloud scalable. The ISV can deploy their appplication within a cloud infrasctructure that automatically scales up and down based on load.
The interesting thing about this maturity model is that levels 0 - 2 are about delivering higher value to the ISVs customers, while levels 3 and 4 are about reducing costs to the ISV to scale their operations. The important take away for the ISV is that the value of levels 3 and 4 are highly sensitive to the ISVs projections about the number of customers they need to support along with the level of customization that each customer requires.

Based on this maturity model, attendees first told us where they are today. The following pie chart shows how ISVs rank the maturity of their existing products. Note that over half of the ISVs put themselves at the most basic level - web-enabled application.

Next, we asked ISVs where they would like to be in 12 months. The following pie chart shows where ISVs would like to see their product offerings in 12 months. Note that the bulk of ISVs intend to deliver self-service customization, but fewer ISVs plan on moving all the way to a multi-tenant, cloud-scalable solution over the next 12 months.

Admittedly, this survey data is more anecdotal than rigorous (there were only 35 respondents). However, it is an interesting indication that ISVs are looking for an incremental methodology for migrating their applications to SaaS, rather than a big bang approach in which the ISV does a complete rewrite of their software.

  • Click here for more about IBM's SaaS enablement program
  • Click here for more about the SaaS maturity model

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Another SaaS Migration Success For WaveMaker

In addition to growing sales by a whopping 80% last quarter (worthy of another blog post on its own no doubt), WaveMaker also brought on a number of impressive new customers.

Yesterday we announced that the ECN Group subsidiary of New Zealand Post has adopted WaveMaker as their platform for delivery the next generation of their Round Trip Logistics application. ECN has over 3,000 customers and sells their SaaS logistics application throughout New Zealand, Australia and Asian markets.

WaveMaker makes SaaS simple both for SaaS vendors and their customers:
  • SaaS migration: like many ISVs, ECN already has a good deal of application business logic written in Java. WaveMaker allows ECN to create a new SaaS application that leverages the work they have already done.
  • SaaS development: just like we did with KANA 10, WaveMaker's drag and drop development platform can cut the time to develop a new SaaS application by at least 50%
  • SaaS end-user customization: WaveMaker's unique strength is in enabling SaaS vendors to deliver applications that can be easily customized by end users. In KANA's case, this meant enabling business managers to react to changing business conditions by customizing workflows in minutes that would otherwise take months of expert IT resources.
WaveMaker's SaaS development platform shows ISVs how to build a SaaS application using an incremental approach that delivers the highest bang for the buck. Other solutions like require that ISVs completely redevelop their application - a more costly and risky approah.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

KANA 10 - New Poster Child For Web 2.0 Self-Service

Yesterday, KANA announced the release of KANA 10, whose killer feature is the ability for call center executives to do self-service customization of call center workflow to meet changing business requirements.

KANA is using a customized version of WaveMaker studio that allows call center execs to configure the business workflow using a drag and drop interface.

KANA 10 shrinks a process that used to take months down to minutes - all thanks to WaveMaker!

According to KANA's CTO, Mark Angel, "WaveMaker's visual Ajax studio turbocharged our web development effort for KANA 10, cutting at least 50 percent of our UI development time compared to a standard Ajax library."

The following screenshot shows an agent dashboard built using WaveMaker and based on the Dojo Toolkit. Pretty snazzy huh?

The following screen is intended for end user self service and gives proof positive that Web 2.0 has entered the enterprise!

KANA 10 was built using WaveMaker and the IBM SOA Foundation and was developed in conjunction with IBM customers. KANA did a complete rewrite of their entire suite of applications in less than a year (we announced the WaveMaker/KANA deal 10 months ago)- a terrific validation for Web 2.0, the Dojo Toolkit, Ajax and SOA technologies.