Save content
Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.

News from the Cloud: Intellect sets out business benefits

7th Dec 2009
Save content
Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.

Intellect UK sets out business benefits

7 Dec - The technology trade body Intellect UK has published a 24-page guide entitled "The business case for Software as a Service". With heated exchanges taking place around the issue on and elsewhere, the guide is an important addition to sources of information to guide businesses and their advisers on the new wave of web-based applications.

This paper assumes readers are potential software buyers and explains the concepts behind web applications in straightforward terms. It also raises a number of questions you should ask before considering SaaS for your own organisation. But the most important part of the report deals with the crux of the matter - what are the business benefits?

It offers the following suggestions:

  • Cost of Ownership (TCO) - Because the underlying infrastructure is shared between a wider community, software as a service lowers your overall costs, the authors claim. Pilot implementations that can be rolled out if successful reduces the overall risk level.
  • No capital expenditure - No upfront costs for software licenses and hardware with the ‘pay-as-you-go’ Cloud business model; subscription payments become an operational expense item. If business requirements change, the SaaS approach makes it easier to turn off the service or switch to an alternate service.
  • Supplier relationship - Because the service is paid for on a subscription basis, vendors have to continue delivering value to justify payments. This makes for better and more responsive product development, particularly as they are able to monitor how their systems are being accessed and used by customers.
  • Flexible access - You can access online applications from any internet-connected device - in the same way that mobile phones have liberated voice communications from the office handset.
  • Ease of use - The demands of internet access have forced SaaS developers to simplify their interfaces, making them easier to use.
  • Reduced need for IT support - IT resources can be focused on higher value activities.
  • Continuous improvement - SaaS software is always up to date, and does not rely on the recurring release cycles associated with traditional software. Small incremental changes are made available to all users when they log into the central server.

The full guide can be downloaded for free from the Intellect UK website.

* * *

NetSuite announces Twitter suite

2 Dec - NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson raised a stir in his closing address at the Business Cloud Summit when he announced that NetSuite would be launching a Twitter tool to integrate the micro-blogging service into its ERP application.

“The merger of business and consumer technologies is what the Cloud is all about,” he said, adding that he had found Twitter to be very helpful in feeling the pulse of the software market.

Nelson said the planned “TwitterSuite” would allow users to embedded their Twitter feeds within their NetSuite dashboard, but failed to acknowledge that the Twitter can be very touchy about other organisations using its trademark.

Nelson also sounded a warning to those who rely too heavily on the services revenues in the business application market. “The services industry thrives on making things complex, but with the Cloud there is no system to manage. In the mid-market, resellers have made money on adapting the changes. If your business is built on maintaining on premise products, you will not survive,” he said.


Replies (2)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

By User deleted
08th Dec 2009 10:08

Pay for a voice ...

Good document - however ......

Whilst it is understandable for a SaaS Group to come under the umbrella of Intellect; I believe that there is a membership fee in order to join the Intellect Group.

Surely this inevitably means that unless the membership fee is paid one is prevented from making a contribution? With this in mind a whole section of worthwhile contributors are prevented from participating, which surely cannot be a desirable goal?

There are some excellent small start-up's that may have a very valid contribution to make and yet are debarred, simply because they cannot/will not pay the subscription. On this basis the group is highly selective and based on financial wherewithal rather than any other criteria. As a result you are possibly ignoring a wealth of 'grass roots' experience and individual views in preference to corporate members who can afford the fees

This is an unfortunate state of affairs because it is generally recognised that large organisations are very rarely innovators and as such smaller businesses could be the drivers in many new areas.

Thanks (0)
By david_terrar
08th Dec 2009 14:21

Intellect and EuroCloud - smaller startups can and do contribute

Hi JC,

Great to be crossing swords with you again.....

First let me say that I'm currently the chair of the Intellect SaaS Group.  As well as being involved at the start, I oversaw the final stages and professional re-write of the document in question, which had contributions from 23 different companies of all sizes.  The SaaS Group started as an informal group of the online accounting providers in the UK, orginally instigated by Hamish Edwards of Xero, with meetings attended by me on behalf of Twinfield, Duane Jackson of Kashflow, Chris Poll of Validis, Dave Turner of CODA, and Mark Davies of e-conomic.  We wanted to promote the SaaS topic to business in the UK, and decided to formalize the group under Intellect, because they have some good influence and could help us do things.  We broadened out the topic to cover all SaaS applications (although we decided to not cover the Infrastructure and Platform components of the Cloud).  Intellect's  fee structure is based on a sliding scale by size of company, so that they can encourage small companies and startups to join - exactly the issue you are concerned about.  They have some cool things in the package that make it attractive for a small company to join, like the ability to use their Russell Square offices for "free".  So I'm afraid you are misinformed - there was small company input, but the important thing was to get across an explanation of the SaaS topic without the jargon and in practical terms.  You say "good document" but I can't understand why you have to find a reason for sniping.  By the way, we've tried to cover a lot more of the legal side and the due dilligence that a prospective buyer should do in this area.

Lastly, I happen to be one of the board members of another new vendor/business community called EuroCloud (actually I'm the Treasurer), which will also be doing things that will help the topic.  That organization is also setting up its fee structure so that it is affordable for startups as well as the likes of Salesforce and NetSuite (who are founder members) to join. 

If you combine the Intellect SaaS Group, EuroCloud and the BASDA Cloud SIG, I'm hoping that we can do complimentary things and all work together to promote understanding of the merits of SaaS and the Cloud so that practitioners can make an informed choice.  Watch this space for some exciting initiatives (IMHO).

Everyone else, please go and download a copy of the Business Case for SaaS, or if you want a hard copy, email me and I'll send you one.

David Terrar

D2C and Twinfield

Thanks (0)