Sunday, November 20, 2005

Enterprise Software is dead - long live the enterprise

We hear it all over the place - the enterprise software market is dead. With two players left: Oracle and SAP, nobody will want to compete with them. So, bad times for enterprises, if you don't want to choose between those two. Well - there is a new world how ever: OnDemand Software Service (OSS) or "Software as a Service" (SaaS). Is it like the 70's where IBM, Bull, DEC, Amdahl... ruled the world until the PC came out?

SaaS for the enterprise is on it's way - simply because enterprise users like anybody else want the simplicity, the fresh way of how developers look at software, the ease of update, functionality selection and also the omni presence of such software. And as the enterprise doesn't go away Enterprise Software will be redefined.

SaaS for the Enterprise means that application structures, security requirements, integration aspects and interaction model need to be taken care of. BlueRoads for instance was the first company working on those questions. "APN" the Active Participation Network Architecture was the first step to answer questions around structure and architecture. The VSI Technology (Virtual Single Instance) was a first step to answer the security requirements. APN enabled APIs was the first step to think of large scale integration technologies. And the "Zero Training UI" was answering the user interaction model questions. At least there is a beginning.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Leading by innovation

BlueRoads achievements so far:
- Attracted a top executive team who in turn hired an exceptional team under them
- Successfully raised 3 rounds of funding, in rather tough times.
- Delivered a robust and very highly regarded product suite
- Received a lot of respect from customers, analysts including Gartner, partners and other players in the market
- Grew one of the most attractive venture backed SaaS companies
- Introduced a company culture of engagement, openness, team spirit and respect
- Delivered quarter over quarter growth in bookings and about 100% growth year over year with a shoe string budget
- Grew subscriber base (number of partner companies) from about 120 in 2003 to 1,000 in 2004 to 12,000 in 2005.
- Won blue chip customers including Avaya, CheckPoint, Hitachi, HP, Juniper, Nortel and others
- Engaged in technology partnerships with companies like and Webex
- Maintained consistent vision and strategy
- Introduced disrupting innovations for lead management, deal registration and contract renewal management
- Managed to compete successfully against Siebel and other enterprise class software players
- Managed to win 65% of all channel management deals in the high tech industry in the last 2 years
- Lead the company against major competition to the #1 position in Channel CRM

Anmd the year is not over!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Executive Blogging

Currently about 100,000 blogs are created every day in accordance to a recent article in Forbes. Yet it still feels like something for freaky insiders. But that may change soon.

Executive Blogging (as I call it) may soon be a preferred way for executives to stay in touch with their community of customers, prospects, investors, partners, opinion leaders and the rest of the industry. Rather then sending out mass e-mails, hoping it hits the right people, the people who are interested to find out about the respective company or their leaders and people may watch the corresponding blogs.

That is how I want to use it. I will try to post updates and latest development. Even so people may fear openness as a competitive disadvantage – I believe openness is a sign of strength and maturity. BlueRoads is a fast growing and very innovative company, way ahead of any competition. I’m fine letting the industry know what and how we are doing.

Executive Blogging may become a new discipline in investor relationship and market communication. There will be a lot to learn and to experiment. In particular public company leaders will need to be very careful to stay within the legal and ethic boundaries of public statements – so let’s see how we can leverage Executive Blogging to the benefit of people who want to be informed and those who are ready to keep an instant open dialog. I’m happy to be one of the pioneers.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Innovation: Software as a Service

Software as a Service is one of those innovations (see my post below). It wasn't meant to be a better way of delivering software. The SaaS movement is about a whole new information technology experience. Some other interesting insight can be read at Sam's blog, one of the Microsoft people who are driving SaaS. I met Sam at a recent SaaS meeting, hosted by Microsoft with other executives from BeVocal, Blue Roads, Echopass, Ellie Mae, Five9, Intacct, Newsgator and OpSource. Clearly all of us, the early pioneers of the SaaS World, will help shape this new industry segment to a whole new dimension of software innovation.

Friday, November 04, 2005


Innovation is my passion - something that keeps me going. There is one thing in particular about "innovating" that I feel is very different from more classic "improvement" (making great things better). Innovators don’t ask a user or customer what kind of solution he or she wants based on an known problem. Innovation is about understanding a problem from a high level and diving deep into all necessary details, then creating a holistic view of the situation and ignoring all existing solutions. From that point on innovation is creating a whole new and disruptive solution, methodology or process which wouldn’t be created otherwise. If I would have simply built what our customers told me in regards to lead management – the superior PULL methodology would have never been developed. If I would have designed business processes around MDF&Coop program management based on customer requirements, a closed loop ROI management system would probably still today not exist. If I would have listed to friends and industry leaders how to build a successful whole sale distribution company, Computer 2000, which was the largest European computer distributor would have never made it. Innovation is more than out of the box thinking. Innovation requires a deep understanding of a problem, ignorance in regards to existing solutions, abstract thinking and dealing with complexity and patience to create an end-to-end solution.