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Posts Tagged ‘business software’

A Decade in Software

December 28, 2009 Leave a comment

When 2010 rolls in it will mark the end of a decade that truly welcomed internet technology.  Think back to the turn of the millennium  and the software tools that you primarily utilized online:   things sure have changed.  Whether it be the advent of ‘the cloud,’ the rise of mobile devices, or a change in philosophy to ‘simpler is better,’ this decade has truly changed the way that people interact with the internet.

I’d like to take a walk down memory lane and look at internet software at the start of the millennium, and then survey where we are now in three distinct yet intertwined arenas.

Email

Email was one of the original hallmarks of the internet – a simple yet efficient way to demonstrate the power of the web by digitizing the long-standing concept of mail service.

During the last decade, free email services like gmail and yahoo mail have perpetually dominated the arena – providing large amounts of data storage for free to the masses and proving that ‘online only’ applications can be a viable alternative to local email software like MS outlook.

As we head into a new decade, email seems yet again ready to morph, as inboxes are perpetually fill with spam and people clamor for new modes of communication.  Google Wave claims to have an answer, but can it really replace email?

Online Media

The last decade has been a Topsy-Turvy roller coaster for online media – from the tiny startups that became media moguls to the media conglomerates that desperately sought out new models of business.  The year 2000 marked the height of Napster- a new breed of P2P network that allowed people to download pirated MP3 music files.  Since then, illegal networks like Napster have both flourished and fallen, eventually paving the way for legitimate music hubs like itunes.

Online video also has gone on quite a ride, highlighted by the creation of YouTube in 2005.  The viral video boom has not only changed the way that people consume and publish video, but also has disoriented the TV and film industries.

As the decade comes to a close, we are still seeing  industry experimenting with new models of business that can adapt to online video culture. Although some methods of providing free, high quality, syndicated content online (ala Hulu) have garnered popular approval, a stable revenue source still remains elusive.

Business Software

The way that businesses, both small and large, interact with one another and an online consumer base has drastically changed due to various facets of evolving business software technology.

Sales departments can now more efficiently give online presentations through Webinar technology like Dim Dim.   Salesforce has pushed the boundaries of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, allowing companies to improve their communication with customers and sales prospects.  Hiring managers and recruiters can now efficiently track and manage job applicants online through solutions like Newton Software. Paypal has revolutionized online payments, allowing web stores and companies with Software as a Service (SaaS) business models to easily install a revenue stream.

All in all, this past decade of software has enabled tech savvy businesses to perform their functions more efficiently, honing in on niche models that add value for both consumers and other businesses.


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Why your Business Needs Software as a Service

November 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a growing business model that can provide a great new perspective to companies that need to utilize software applications for their everyday operations.   Today, there are thousands of SaaS applications that can handle everything from corporate recruiting and lead generation to inter-organizational collaboration.

In the past, antiquated ‘bulk’ pricing methods often left companies high and dry without the desired results from a software application. Software as a Service changes the game completely, allowing companies to choose their own pricing plan and get the most bang for their buck, so to speak.

One question that often arises is: why didn’t SaaS happen before?  If it’s so great, why now?  The answer is, cutting edge internet technologies have recently allowed SaaS companies to provide their technology to clients at minimal costs by leveraging cloud computing, open development, and flexible software models.

If your business hasn’t tried out a SaaS specific to your industry, here are several reasons to get going now:

1. Ready-Made

Just as you would save time from cooking by picking up some ready-made food, SaaS is also ‘ready made’ for specific industries.  For example, SaaS Recruiting Software is tailored specifically for hiring managers and recruiters, and is often developed by them. The cost and time it would take for a company to ‘cook up’ their own tailor-made software package would be enormous compared to utilizing a SaaS solution. Deploying SaaS for your company is fast, and will have immediate results.

2.  The Most Bang for Your Buck

Many SaaS providers charge a monthly fee that can be cancelled at any point if the services provided are not adequate.    This low risk program allows a business to evaluate the success of the software package on an ongoing basis to decide if they want to continue its use.   This is in strict opposition to the B2B software models of old, that often had large upfront costs and strict contracts that required a customer to take a big risk.

3.  No Installation Required

The majority of modern Software as a Service solutions live ‘in the cloud.’  This means that these programs are fully accessible online and don’t require  installation onto a specific computer for use.  Not only does this save a business time and resources during the installation process, but it also allows a company’s employees to access the system anywhere, anytime.

4.  Expert Support

Because Software as a Service is often industry specific, many SaaS providers also are experts in that industry.  This industry expertise translates to far better support than your traditional ‘broad spectrum’ software package.  How many times have you spent countless hours on a support line, just trying to get to the right person within an organization?  With SaaS support, anyone you get on the phone will most likely be able to answer your questions.

5.  Real Time Collaboration

Because many SaaS packages live online, they tend to stress a collaboration and ‘social networking’ aspect that many older software models tend to forget.  We live in a world where Facebook and Twitter are mainstays of communication, allowing for real-time updates and news.  Online SaaS takes a similar Web 2.0 view of business, allowing employees to communicate and view incoming data in real-time.