I’ve posted often abut the difficulties traditional ISV’s face when moving to an on-demand delivery. The recent announcement by Microsoft of it’s latest tranche of software+services offerings has further caused fear and consternation among a number of traditional vendors.

It was interesting then to real Phil’s post about Synergation, a business that had, until now made it’s money creating and selling installed applications that integrated with Intuit’s QuickBooks accounting software. Readers will recall that Intuit recently launched a PaaS offering of the same ilk as Force.com.

Synergation got smart and realised that the software paradigm was changing and decided to introduce an on-demand solution. As luck would have it this decision coincided nicely with the release of the Intuit PaaS solution. As Synergation’s president said;

I see it being a mainline focus not only for our development but also a big chunk of our revenue stream, up until six months ago, all our development and sales efforts focused on our desktop product set. We see this as a transition stage for our company to move towards a SaaS organization

It’s a good case study for the traditional to on-demand shift – of course it was made easier by the fact that Intuit made the decision to launch the platform, Synergation get’s a whole lot of heavy lifting (marketing platform dev, platform support) done for it.

A more interesting comment from Synergation however focused on the user attitude towards a change in delivery method. Synergation commented on customers reluctance to moving data into the cloud;

The stereotypical QuickBooks user is not very tech-savvy, they know how to run QuickBooks, browse the Web and send emails. We know there is a real hole in the market for CRM and prospecting tools that really integrate with QuickBooks. We really see that as an opportunity, and it happened to coincide with the release of the new platform from Intuit

It’s a telling statement – Synergation see the tight integration with a desktop app as being one way to transition users into feeling comfortable about web apps. Whichever way we look at it there is no denying that there are concerns about the move to on-demand applications, Synergation’s approach is yet another way to ease the pain.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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