Identifying Hot Technologies
Yet another area that is fascinating is wireless broadband services. And this is an area that keep us coming back to Asia because they are clearly the global leader in innovation for wireless broadband. If you go to a place like Seoul it is virtually a laboratory for new things happening in wireless broadband, for everything from ITTV to real-time video conferencing on cell phones to voting and e-shoppingeverything is done, it seems, via ones handset.Its also appealing to startups, obviously, because they dont have to go out and hire a direct sales force. They dont have to hire technical marketeers to have to go out and demonstrate the product. They can offer it from a hosted capability. So we think this is an inflection point really in how software is delivered and consumed using the Software as a Service capability. Click here to read about more about the prospects for software as a service in 2006. Naturally we are seeing lots of VCs investing in this space. Some of our VC friends have told us recently they are really only investing in new companies that bring their innovation forward as a service model. Do you expect that customer acceptance of Software as a Service, as well as investment in SaaS ventures, will accelerate in 2006? Well, certainly the latter. VCs are already all over this model. I dont know that 2006 is the year. I think it has already happened. I think that, in terms of customer acceptance, you would have to look at particular markets and industries. I dont think that you can make a broad statement because it does vary. Not every application is amenable to this model. I mean, I dont know what it would be like to look at an SAP delivered over the Web. That is virtually impossible today. Just look at Salesforce.com [Inc.]s huge growth and SugarCRM [Inc.] and some of these other offerings that are offering a service-based model. I think that certainly for small and medium-sized businesses, 2006 will be a huge year for the acceptance of this model. I dont know about large enterprises. I think that they have a lot of other issues, such as legacy integration, configuration and customization, which might take a little bit longer. So it may be a few years. I dont know that next year is the magic year. But lets just say the trend is unmistakable. Its growing. Its huge. And at least in terms of what we are seeing, where we sit, change is already happening. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.
"Software as a Service" is another great example. The notion of being able to offer software as a pure business value without the headaches of setting up IT operations, of having to hire [people with] expensive IT skills, is all very appealing to customers.