Tuesday, March 4, 2008

SaaS - Services as a Service .. now wait are you trying to confuse us here

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Saw this interesting post When SaaS Means 'Services as a Service' posted on Intelligent Enterprise by David Lunthicum. At first glance this read like an attempt at confusion. However now that I looked at what StrikeIron does it actually makes sense. So in yesterdays world if you wanted to embed logic about currency conversion or validating a US postal address or symbol of a company listed on Nasdaq you would either try coding it yourself by maintaining some seed data or you try finding a public web service that meets the requirement.

What companies like StrikeIron are doing is they've become aggregators of services from partners like D&B, MapQuest etc and offer them through their own catalog. Now one might question the value of that and say why wouldnt I go directly to D&B and get access to their services and data. Well the spectrum is wide and there could be instances where the StrikeIron model works better. Lets say you're a small startup or a SMB kind of a company that needs access to some disparate services, would you invest in people and contracts and partnerships to reach out to each of these vendors get info on their offerrings and then maintain relationships. Maybe, maybe not. Maybe you might go to StrikeIron and pick off of their catalog or services.

So SaaS with "Services as a Service" makes some sense. Now nearly half of Salesforce's traffic these days comes through web services, does that mean they are now transforming into a "Services as a Service" company?

By the way here's what StrikeIron says it does in a nutshell.


* • Find Data Services
* • Browse Solutions
* • Cleanse & Enhance Data


* • Build Mashups in Excel
* • Create Business Solutions
* • Integrate into Salesforce.com


* • New! Developer Community
* • Download Code and Clients
* • Access Free Data

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