The SaaS Sound Barrier

Posted on July 4, 2009


Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Is anyone breaking through?

There are many cloud computing point solutions throughout a variety of categories – calendaring, scheduling, contact management, and many others focused around 3 main customer segments.

  1. Individual / Family
  2. Communities
  3. Business / Corporate

While much of the functionality being delivered online is focused around individuals communities in the form of collaborative and non-collaborative communications, social and business networking, and infrastructure tools (IaaS), my main interest is in the business / corporate segment.  More specifically, the small and medium business segment and the organizations being formed as a result of cloud computing environments which leverage software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) technology.

With that in mind we can look at limited number of business areas and see what category of online tools are available for today’s entrepreneur.  This is not an all inclusive list, but a starting point. A comprehensive directory of SaaS applications can be found here.

In subsequent posts I will discuss some of these tools, maturity levels of the SaaS applications, advantages and disadvantages of the SaaS model, leading companies, developments, and other thoughts on the subject.  Who is winning your mind share?

Function Cloud / SaaS
Customer Relationship

Office Suites Google Apps*
Online Groupware

Google Sites
e.Mail Google’s gmail*
Finance and Accounting NetSuite
Billing and Invoicing FreshBooks
Project Management BaseCamp
Zoho Projects

Zoho Creator
Google Fusion Table
Web Conferencing

Adobe Acrobat Connect
Microsoft’s Live Meeting
IBM’s Lotus Sametime
Cisco’s WebEx
Zoho Meeting

Facebook* (Social)
LinkedIn*    (Business)
Blog / Blogging

Wiki Zoho Wiki
Human Resources (HR) PeopleMatrix
Zoho People

1. This article is not an endorsement of any of these services, but merely a starting point to some of the online tools available to launch and/or support small and medium businesses in a cloud computing paradigm.
2. The author is an independent business consultant to small and medium businesses on the migration from traditional office tools to cloud computing / SaaS.

3. Tools which personally used are denoted with an asterik*.

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