Saas and Microsoft

I have been running a simple survey on the home page of the WorkShares web site (www.workhares.co.uk) for the last couple of months, really to gauge feedback on the terminology of ‘Software as a Service’ or SaaS. The results, though relatively few in number, have been to some extent what I expected in that there is general confusion in the community as to what SaaS actually means. The survey results showed that a similar number of respondents indicated they ‘didn’t know’ what SaaS was or thought it was ‘software they bought and owned’ outright, as did those who correctly said it was software businesses rented for a period of time.

Interestingly, Microsoft as part of its move into the world of Web 2.0 via several initiatives, not least OfficeLive (and other related services and products) are touting ‘Software + Services’ (I hear the groans from those of you thinking this is yet another Microsoft term we are going to have to get used to in the near future!). What the latter purports to provide businesses is a growing set of Microsoft SaaS products, which continue to allow bespoke development to take place, no doubt using Microsoft development technologies, ;-) allowing addition features and functions to be added along with integration with existing web based and or line of business application installed on company networks. Aimed squarely at small to medium businesses, as you can imagine this is a difficult balancing act for Microsoft, especially with its base of Small Business Server users out there…

So, it’s an interesting time for Microsoft especially when so much of its revenue comes from the creation, production and support of shrink wrapped, locally installed products. We witness before us a huge company trying to turn its ‘gorilla’ like business interests around to become more agile, flexible and open to what we as consumers will surely demand. If it is to continue its position in the market place as the major player, in a way it does now with its consumer/business products it is certainly taking the right steps in my view. I can’t help but think there are going to be some upset people along with the way however, but for me I tend to think there will be room for everyone out there for some time to come.



Managing Director


One Response to “Saas and Microsoft”

  1. Jonathan Kane Says:

    The transition facing Microsoft is certainly going to produce some interesting changes. Having taken a software business through the curve from a ‘traditional’ software model of selling boxes into a SaaS business model I can only stand back in awe at the challenges they are going to have to overcome right across their organisation and customer base.