Day 1 at the Credit Suisse Disruptive Technology Conference and the Salesforce.com Keynote

February 7, 2007 Appirio

Investor’s version of “Show-and-Tell” Offers Interesting Insights for CIOs

Marc Benioff, CEO of salesforce.com, keynoted the first day of Credit Suisse’s Disruptive Technology Conference. Other presentors included established and new world technology companies, such as Appirio, from across the infrastructure and application landscape.

Among our favorite quotes of the day where:

  • “In reality, content is critical. I like Madonna, whether it’s an AM radio or a Hifi stereo. Sometimes we get caught up with the details instead of the core message.” – Director of IT for CSFB, discussing why SaaS and mashups are compelling
  • “Is a database the same as a communication network? It’s really apples and oranges – you can’t compare the two, they serve different purposes.” – Marc Benioff, when asked about potential competition from Webex Connect
  • Greg the Architect – SOA This. SOA That – A must-see video for anyone selecting an SOA. Highlighted by Vivek Ranadive, CEO of Tibco Software.
  • “We simply just innovate much faster than on-premise software. We can even extend our solutions with customers at a much lower price point because we can leverage the solution across the customer base” – Mark Culhane, EVP and CFO of Demandtec (We find this particularly compelling because it came from their CFO, not their VP of Engineering. Their entire organization recognizes that SaaS is a strategic advantage).

Appirio appeared on the “Disruptive Business Models” panel hosted by Jason Maynard of CSFB. We were joined by Sourcelabs, Terracotta, and Dreamfactory. We presented our view of Services 2.0, whereby SaaS disrupts entire on-premise ecosystems – including the Global SIs that rely upon on-premise services revenues. A key differentiator, only partially understood by the investment community, is the distinction between on-demand as an exclusive focus, and on-demand as an option.

Our earlier blogs have highlighted the difference in vendor economics, ability to innovate, customer TCO, and user experience. We believe you either have the on-demand religion, or you don’t. As SaaS continuees to emerge, sending mixed messages is a presciption for failure. Only companies with a pure focus on leveraging all capabilities of this new paradigm will be able to drive systematic change.

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