Thursday April 10, 2014
The 7th ISV Convention opened on a sunny March morning and saw ISVs from all over Europe in attendance. Whether you were there and would appreciate a reminder, or weren’t able to attend, these key takeaways should be of interest to you.
Although the key themes of this year’s event were Integration, Intelligence and Innovation, the key messages focussed more on the changing relationship between ISVs and end users and the opportunities and challenges facing the ISV community as Cloud and SaaS become ever more prevalent. In many ways this shows a level of maturity in the community after the ISV Convention 2013’s key messages of Big Data and ‘SaaS or Die’ – the community has accepted that the SaaS question is not ‘if’ but ‘when’ and are now exploring what this really means for them and their business.
Takeaway 1: Key Challenges for ISVs in a Changing Environment
Big Data was referred to as the electricity of our age with 50 billion devices gathering data by 2020. Oracle suggested that the challenge is not the collection of data, but the subsequent analysis and action stage which is where the ISV community will be key as it will help people to make use of the data which is being collected. This point was reinforced by IBM which stated that 90% of the world’s data is less than 2 years old and 80% of it is unstructured, and also in the big debate where Jaspersoft referred to a key role of ISVs being to take ‘Big Data and Make it Small’.
Oracle advised a 3-step approach for ISVs to take on this role and identified key challenges for each:
1. Acquire and Manage:
2. Integrate and Secure Information :
- Secure communication and data protection (and we would add data residency)
- Scalable platforms for any data type
3. Analyse and Act:
- Consistent security and management controls
- Analyse data in real time
While, HP offered a slightly different tack in its advice to ISVs:
- Migrate – advise and transform
- Sell – personalised storefront
- Manage – application management
- Monitor – application monitoring
- Market – loyalty programme
Takeaway 2: The Strengthening Relationship Between ISV and End User
Gartner talked about the new buying process: Explore, Evaluate, Engage and Experience and how prospects move backwards and forwards in this process which makes pipeline unpredictable. This buyer driven model means ISVs must excel at awareness and engagement and aim to be a trusted guide to prospects rather than the more traditional ‘always be closing’ sales methods.
Interoute’s CTO, Matthew Finnie, argued that the opportunities for ISVs are now legion:
- The ability to engage with customers and prospects is more prolific than ever before.
- The constraints of licencing and being a software developer are gone – the shackles are off so you can be as large or small as you’d like to be.
ISV World agreed that the relationship between ISVs and end users is strengthening and to meet changing customer demands they are focussing on their core competencies and partnering with other ISVs to of offering a stronger value proposition.
Takeaway 3: Focus on What you do Best - the ISV Ecosystem and Evolution
This idea of ISVs focussing on their core competencies echoed last year’s convention when it was suggested that ISVs should focus on what they do what they do best and prepare their application for consumption via the cloud and let the vendors do what they do best which is to provide the underlying architecture.
The physical supply chain is disappearing so selecting an optimal platform which is ‘future-proof’ is key for ISVs and they should seek guidance from an independent supplier to ensure they make the right decision.
The advent of cloud and the ‘Internet of Things’ has brought about a revolution in computing. It offers a simplicity of access, scalability to match demand and is 100% available – benefits which a static data centre architecture simply can’t offer. The advice from Gartner and Interoute was ‘Don’t think on-premise OR cloud; think both, think hybrid”.
Oracle advised that ISVs must find experienced partners to help them:
- avoid the issue of the ‘SaaS Valley of Death’ – the cashflow crisis as you move from a CAPEX license model to MRR SaaS model
- resolve cloud integration problems (54% of companies experienced staff downtime and 54% of project deadlines are missed)
- access data centres in relevant regions which is key to European SaaS deployment
- overcome the biggest challenge in moving from licence sales to SaaS which is how to incentivise sales people to sell MRR revenue streams
Overall, it was clear that in the 12 months since the last convention, the ISV community has become more SaaS savvy, is exploring the options more deeply and becoming more demanding of the vendor market.
As a highly accredited partner with Oracle, Microsoft and HP, Interoute can offer you impartial advice on migrating to SaaS or accelerating an existing SaaS model. We offer a range of expertise and technology tailor made for the ISV community and offer attractive incentives such as jump start programmes, joint investments and more. Contact us now to find out more.