Rod posted, in light of the recent Microsoft S+S announcements, saying that traditional sales channels may not add value to the new world of SaaS delivery.
He then turned this around to suggest that what is needed is a buyer aggregation point for SaaS vendors. Now there are two ways that Rod’s post could be taken;
- That SaaS vendors should find somewhere to highlight their offerings, a virtual salesfloor if you like
- That someone should provide a locale where SaaS products can be evaluated, implemented and integrated all in one place
These are two very different things. The first just brings back the inefficiencies that the current channel partners bring to software. Adding little value and being not much more than a clothes horse to hand offering on.
The second however truly adds value, it’s what salesforce.com has done via ApExchange but in a much more neutral (ie less salesforce.com centric) way. It’s iTunes for SaaS, but imagine an iTunes where you could also do a bit of dubbing, maybe a touch of Karaoke or even mash up a video to your favourite tune.
By my way of thinking it’s where SaaS needs to be if it really wants to assert it’s value proposition on the market – I’ve spoken about aggregation before – I don’t want to labour the point but just moving to an on-demand model might get the digerati excited but it doesn’t do much for joe public – what will start adding value to mass market users is the sort of aggregative model that goes way beyond just a marketplace play.