The SaaS space is heating up very fast.
I said (prior I might add to the MS announcment) that I saw Salesforce as being a SaaS/s and that this was a risky strategy on their part. I also said that Salesforce has sufficient momentum to protect itself until someone comes in cheaper and/or better.
Well, Microsoft have gone down the cheaper route – throwing down the gauntlet in the SaaS/s price wars.
Meanwhile Zoho seems to be going down the SaaS/v route, their product seems to be more than just CRM, it also has order management, procurement, inventory, and invoicing functionality. Seems they are going down the full enterprise functionality path.
Zoho has also hinted that they are working on a full ERP suite – this is the space that I believe Xero should be aiming for and does in fact provide rationale for their IPO (versus slower VC funding rounds) – Rod the pressure is on you to get the developers working fast and launch the product before someone else steals your thunder – just remember SaaS/v and a downward trending product development timescale!