Software-as-a-Service Ups Its Game in New Zealand

by CRM Today

Market Expected to Experience 65% Growth in 2007 and Grow to NZ$64 Million by 2010

Springboard Research, a leading innovator in the IT Market Research industry, today announced the results of its latest research on the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market in New Zealand. Increased vendor activity and the inherent appeal of SaaS have been responsible for the market growing 65% in 2007 to NZ$14 million. Together with Australia, New Zealand continued to be the most mature market in the region.

“Organizations in New Zealand have been leading adopters of SaaS in the region,” said Phil Hassey, Australia & New Zealand Country Manager for Springboard Research. “SaaS in many ways is uniquely suited to New Zealand- both from a user and developer perspective. SaaS has the potential to free the user from relying on the local infrastructure and implementation capabilities of the software developer as well as giving New Zealand ISVs easier access to a global playing field” added Mr. Hassey.

Compared with traditional software implementations, the business user is becoming the key influencer and enabler regarding SaaS in New Zealand. As non-IT personnel can easily choose, implement, and use SaaS applications, many business users are pushing forward with SaaS either without the knowledge of the IT department in larger organizations, or in the absence of an IT department in smaller companies.

“The number one reason organizations adopted SaaS was because of ease of use and manageability, which empowers non-IT staff to make their own software decisions based on their business needs, instead of their IT infrastructure,” said Balaka Aggarwal, Senior Market Analyst for Emerging Software for Springboard Research. “In countries like New Zealand where IT staff can be expensive compared to the rest of Asia, as well as in high demand, these benefits combined with zero or low maintenance, quick and easy deployment, and a lower cost of ownership help to make SaaS a more cost effective option for most organizations.”

Buoyed by the success of SaaS, Springboard saw that there has been considerable activity in the local ISV space in New Zealand. While multi-national SaaS pure-plays have been active, local ISVs have also stepped up and are being recognized both in New Zealand and internationally. The emergence of small but focused players like Xero (accounting services) who recently raised $15 million to foray into the international market indicates the increased maturity of local players.

Google Goes Gadget

by James Livesley

Google Australia has just launched its “gadget ads” – interactive ads that can be embedded into web pages, as revealed in B&T Digital Media in July this year.

Google Australia has today launched its “gadget ads” – interactive ads that can be embedded into web pages, as revealed in B&T Digital Media in July this year.

The ads give advertisers the option to add flash, video, and real time feeds to what in the past have been typically static display ads. From today the interactive ads can be used throughout the Google content network.

They can be placed by the existing bidding system, which allows advertisers to bid for a publisher’s site or content theme.

The benefit of the system is that it allows users to interact with advertiser’s content without the users having to actively search or click through to a landing page.

The new ads will be integrated into AdSense, the contextual advertising system for web publishers.

Local companies who already have examples of the gadgets available on users’ iGoogle homepages include Webjet, Selective Car Rentals, STA Australia, Autoweb.com.au, Brisbane on the Web and GlobeNet Travel.To view examples of the ads visit:


The 2007 Market Awards: Marketing Automation

by Jessica Sebor

This has been the year of the end user in marketing automation.

The Market
This has been the year of the end user in marketing automation. Interfaces are more user-friendly, vendors are following customers to the Web, and solutions are more pain-point focused. Vendors are embracing the importance of keeping customers happy as the market becomes more consolidated--Unica's acquisition of Sane Solutions, for example. Bruce Biegel, senior marketing director at Winterberry Group, says, "Continued consolidation is making end users cautious in selection--creating confusion and slowing adoption." To speed sales, vendors have been focusing on online integration and marketing resource management (MRM) adoption. Sheryl Kingstone, director of enterprise research at Yankee Group, summarizes today's bottom line for the vendors in this space: "They have to differentiate themselves through customer experience."

One to Watch
After two straight years on the leaderboard, SAP fell off the grid a bit. Despite moves last year to grow out marketing applications, the company spent more resources focusing on its strengths in CRM and ERP, and fell short of blossoming into a fully fledged marketing automation vendor. "They are missing some loyalty," says Kingstone, who calls the firm "very much an ERP vendor." However, with a broad customer base, a strong direction, and growing software revenues, SAP may reassert itself in the coming year. Forrester's Vittal says that, as far as marketing automation goes, "this is still relatively new for them."

The Leaders
Aprimo, which Kingstone calls the "leader in MRM," proved itself worthy of this praise in 2007. Comfortably ensconced on the leader board, Aprimo continues to expand its breadth and functionality while staying true to its pure-play marketing roots. The company added an offer management application with the release of Aprimo Marketing 7.6, as well as releasing a software-as-a-service (SaaS) version with Aprimo Marketing Professional Edition. "[By] integrating functions of planning, financials, brand-asset management, analytics, and project management on a powerful EMM platform," says Aimee Roberts, research analyst at Frost & Sullivan, "Aprimo has taken marketing automation to the next level."

Another year deeper into its Fusion development process with its Siebel Systems acquisition, Oracle has shown strong focus on marketing solutions. What was a jumble of two vendors last year is now becoming streamlined into a cohesive vision. In 2007, Oracle has paid special attention to the retail sector, releasing Oracle Retail with help from its Retek and ProfitLogic acquisitions. Although some cite the company's direction as still being hazy, all agree on the high level of the vendor's potential. "It has a strong promise," says Suresh Vittal, senior analyst at Forrester Research. "It's still one of the best marketing applications available that's embedded into a suite."

SAS Institute's strategy of delivering solutions to answer specific problems served the company well this year, positioning the vendor as a clear leader in the category. Coming off its 30th straight year of revenue growth in 2006, SAS revved up its targeted offerings in a number of verticals, such as academics, finance, technology, and manufacturing. Still, Forrester's Vittal acknowledges that SAS has a few kinks to work out. "It's really hard to use," he says. "But it's a great company and they're doing a lot of great work."

After flying from the nest of parent company NCR this year, Teradata has shown that, in terms of marketing automation, it's a baby bird that can really soar. "I think the spin-off is good for them," Kingstone says. Although Teradata will continue to stick to its traditional data-warehousing roots after the separation, high levels of customer satisfaction in marketing automation will likely drive heightened focus on marketing solutions as well. Teradata in the past has been criticized by analysts for being slow-moving to market, and many agree the company will need to be quicker and more aggressive in the future. "They have a lot of customer success," Vittal says, "but they still need to work on their real-time applications."

The Winner
Unica, once again, nabbed the top spot with little contest, achieving the highest scores in all categories. Unica's flagship solution, Affinium, continues to prove a favorite in the marketplace. Frost & Sullivan's Roberts says the suite "integrates Web and customer analytics, campaign management, lead management, and core MRM to meet the growing demands of global marketers." Unica continues to upgrade and build out its suite, this year enhancing Affinium Campaign Collaborate as well as Affinium Plan. Although some analysts note that the vendor is still a bit behind in Web analytics, Unica recently took strides to combat this functionality gap with the release of Affinium NetInsight 7.2 for e-marketers in June. With a near-perfect score of 4.4 in company direction--a score taken even before the summer acquisition of boutique MRM specialist MarketingCentral--it's doubtful that this powerhouse will shrink anytime soon.

Forcing the dream

by Ben Woodhead

SALESFORCE.COM has re-badged the development platform that it hopes will one day rival Microsoft's .Net and Sun's Java as it battles to convince customers that it is more than a CRM software maker.

Salesforce.com chief executive Marc Benioff admitted that many of the company's customers still aren't aware that the one-time sales force automation specialist is branching out into new areas that include its so-called platform-as-a-service offering, which has been renamed Force.com.

Speaking to analysts and media at Salesforce.com's annual Dreamforce event in San Francisco, Mr Benioff said that he believed that the new Force.com brand would finally cut through to customers. ″We need to communicate (with customers) at a high level still that we have an applications strategy,” Mr Benioff said.

″A lot of our customers still only think we have one application.”

Instead, Salesforce.com is attempting to pitch itself as the underlying platform for software as a service (SaaS) using Force.com, the Apex custom language the company recently launched and its long-running third party developer program AppExchange.

A number of big name companies, including computer games developer Electronic Arts, have signed on to use Force.com, which is hosted by Salesforce.com from its two US datacentres.

But Mr Benioff acknowledged there was more work to do. In support of that work, and in response to growing demands from its user base, Salesforce.com today launched Visualforce, a tool that will for the first time allow customers to customise user interfaces. It also unveiled details of the latest release of its core technology, including the addition of two new applications: a content management system know as Salesforce Content and Salesforce Ideas, an application that works as a virtual suggestion box.

PC maker Dell has already deployed Salesforce Ideas and based its decision to relaunch a line of products with Linux installed on feedback collected from customers through its IdeaStorm website. The release bearing the two new applications, Salesforce Winter '08, will be available later this year.


Campaigns to Cash - Campaign Management Workshop - Sept 28 2007 - Register Now!

There are LIMITED spots remaining to attend our exclusive campaign management workshop. Don't miss out!

The workshop will be presented by our team of marketing success managers and will cover all aspects of campaign management within salesforce.com including:

  • Set-Up and Modifications of Campaigns
  • Data Import, Data Segmentation and Target List Creation
  • Campaign ROI Reports and Dashboards
  • Importing and Editing HTML Communication Templates

Date: 28th September 2007

Time: 8:30AM - 4:45PM

Venue: Level 10, 10 Barrack St, Sydney NSW 2000

Included: Training, morning tea, afternoon tea, a lunch voucher from Wellbeing (adjacent to the training centre) and a "Campaigns to Cash" Workshop Manual for all attendees.

The cost for this workshop is $495.00 plus GST.

This workshop will SELLOUT and is available to the first 20 registrants only! We look forward to seeing you there!


Will Scully-Power

General Manager
agency On-Demand®



Google Apps attack: FUD and loathing in Redmond?

by Liam Tung

Software-as-a-service pundits and analysts have hit back hard at Microsoft's criticisms of Google Apps Premier Edition (GAPE) as backwards-looking and fear-mongering.

"Like [US hockey legend] Wayne Gretzky says: 'Go to where the puck's gonna be, not where it is'," said Doug Farber, Salesforce.com's vice president of operations for Asia Pacific, responding to Microsoft's arguments against the use of GAPE.

"Of course Google will have less rich document processing features, of course it doesn't have tables and footnotes. But that's not hard to do and they will be able to do it in a short time. It's a classic case of going to where the puck was and not where it's going," he told ZDNet Australia.

Google and Salesforce.com have partnered to cheerlead the on-demand message of lower capital expenditure, automatic software upgrades and no contract renewals.

"Google's in the early stages of [the hosted desktop application] initiative but just like we evolved rapidly, Google -- with its horsepower and innovation -- will be capable of making quantum leaps and will get to where Microsoft is faster than Microsoft did," said Farber.

As for Microsoft's criticism that Google launches perpetually "in beta" releases of software, he said: "Everyone knows that it takes at least three releases for Microsoft to get it right. Think of the Xbox, Micosoft's CRM system and Windows."

However, as an enterprise solution, doubt still exists as to whether commercial organisations are willing to adopt an on-demand hosted model.

Jason Polites, technical director at Synetek Systems, an Australian-based hosted provider of e-mail-archiving and contract administration applications, said: "It was odd for Google to partner with Capgemini and move into the enterprise space with that offer. There's resistance at all levels [to software-as-a-service] but we see resistance to SaaS as a platform increasing with the size of the company."

Resistance takes two forms, he said. Users will resist retraining if they are familiar with an existing system like Office, while for organisations there is the issue of losing control over corporate data.

"Really, Google can only overcome this [data control] issue with a commercial agreement. That is, 'Warrant me with use of solution and offer indemnity against any data loss'. But this gets complicated with cross-jurisdictional contracts … At a large business or government level, they need to know the commercial agreement they have can be pursued in litigation and that it has substance," he said.

IBRS analyst Joe Sweeney told ZDNet Australia that Microsoft's 10 reasons for not trusting GAPE miss the point most IT managers should be asking themselves.

"What businesses should be asking is: how much of that old formal stuff is still required? Did we go too far with restricting staff in the past? What are the risks for opening up processes and collaboration and empowering staff to 'do their own thing?'" said Sweeney.

"As an enterprise tool, GAPE lacks important features – especially document management, compliance, and process workflow," Sweeney told ZDNet Australia. While Microsoft criticised GAPE's weaknesses as an enterprise document management solution, Sweeney said Microsoft's assertion that Office is, is "questionable".

"The main problem with Microsoft's response is that it assumes that all of these more formal methodologies are required for all applications, on all clients, all of the time," he said.

"What should alarm IT managers is that few of us have asked the above questions ourselves, nor do we have a framework to engage executive management in the discussion. While a lock-it-down mentality does help to avoid disasters, there is a growing argument that some aspects of work should be less controlled."


Salesforce.com + Facebook = Faceforce

by Dennis Howlett

Clara Shih, an AppExchange product manager at Salesforce.com has created a mashup between Salesforce and Facebook called FaceForce. Jeff Grosse has a detailed explanation of what it does at CRM-FYI:

Now in Salesforce, if you look at a Contact that you’re friends with on Facebook, you can see their Facebook profile right inline with their Salesforce contact record. It even allows you to perform regular Facebook actions such as Send a Message, Send a Gift, Write on Wall, Message, view their Full Profile, and even the curious Poke.

At the Lead level, the S-control will search Facebook for the lead and show possible matches. If that is the person, you can link them to into the lead so you have access to all their Facebook data inline with your lead data.

At the Account level, the S-control will display all the Facebook connections you have with that company and allow you to take numerous Facebook actions, right from the Account record.

Whenever making a cold sales call, you want as much information as possible about the contact. Given that Facebook members freely give up large amounts of personal information, this could prove extremely useful. As Jeff correctly surmises:

Yet, as a user of both platforms, you can now connect the dots, having more information at your fingertips, inline with the applications you use everyday to build deeper relationships with your customers and prospects.

For the curious, Clara has created an impressive Flash demo. A first look suggests this is one of the most powerful (by which I mean seriously useful) Facebook applications to date. The question now is whether this will become a major talking point at the upcoming Dreamforce show.


Traditional Marketing Practices Won't Work in an On-Demand World

The growing demand for all things "on-demand"--from our entertainment to our business information--is rapidly changing how B2B customers and prospects want to learn about your products and services.

by Joe Gustafson

On demand. Real time. Right time. Today's catchphrases are more than market hyperbole; they articulate a monumental shift in how consumers want to receive information and a wake up call for businesses to adapt or perish. For marketers in particular, this evolution means traditional information dissemination and message delivery strategies just won't work.

To succeed in today's increasingly flat marketplace, marketers need to understand how the advent of an "on-demand" mentality, has led to numerous changes in the way business professionals deliver and consume critical information. People want customized, personalized communications and they expect to receive information at their convenience. The time and place are no longer relevant to the successful delivery and consumption of marketing information. In fact, as more and more business is done away from the office, on the road and via mobile devices; paper-based, in-person, time-specific marketing information is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. To ensure your marketing activities are meeting these new demands, let's discuss the three primary drivers behind the on-demand trend and how your organization can take advantage of the industry evolution.

Attention spans are shorter in today's on demand society

Customers are exposed to an increasing amount of data and information each day - from radio to TV, blogs to web sites, instant messages to text messages. Given all this content available at their fingertips, people have less and less time to spend digesting individual sources; and less patience if it does not quickly grab their attention. In order for people to consume your messages effectively, marketers need to make it as easy and enjoyable for potential buyers to learn more.

Consider the stages of the buying process. In the early stages of the buying cycle, prospects are less "invested" in examining your offerings. It's even tougher if you are trying to uncover latent needs -- reaching those who are still as yet unaware of the benefits they could attain from your offerings and not actively out looking for solutions like yours. At this stage, prospects are rarely willing to take time out of their busy day and give it to a vendor. Reading thru reams of information, or even requesting their participation in a live one-hour webinar is asking quite a lot given busy schedules -- after all, time is money. Marketers need to make it easy for prospects to consume messages -- available when they want it and in the format which they need -- whether online or offline, during the day or after work hours.

Marketing has a greater responsibility to educate the prospect

Today, it's far too costly and risky to rely upon sales teams alone to educate the prospect. Marketing is tasked with a greater responsibility for educating buyers, and aims to deliver a consistent, compelling message to guide buyers to the next logical step -- or so they hope.

The challenge is that buyers are overwhelmed with information, and most of it looks the same -- will your brochure or your landing page really make a difference? That is, if anyone reads it?

Today's on demand communication technologies help you successfully educate prospects by delivering more compelling and measurable communications. You can get your best experts in front of your prospects at a time that is convenient for everyone -- their OWN time. It can make all the difference to secure a sale -- but it has to be scalable. Tools for experts to record their topic presentations can be as easy to use as the telephone, and this is critical to socializing this form of communications across your organization. To create the customized, timely messages that are relevant to your prospects, you can no longer take weeks of time and skilled developers to create this form of content -- it has to be easy and accessible to business people -- for marketers, product managers, CEOs and other thought leaders to play a part in delivering valuable, timely content for buyers to get to know you, your company, and the value you provide.

Marketers face growing pressure to demonstrate ROI

The recent business emphasis on transparency and compliance has finally reached the marketing department. Complacency with costly and traditional long-term marketing campaigns is no longer; today marketers are under intense pressure to justify activities and demonstrate tangible ROI. Additionally, marketers are being measured not only on lead generation programs, but also how they supported the success of those leads.

For instance, on-demand lead generation tools can now identify who has viewed your message, for how long, and their corresponding level of interest. Similar sales measurement tools are also available to help identify which are being used and at what point in sales process, who is consuming messages and how they are resonating with prospects. This presents an unprecedented advantage to marketers, providing immediate feedback on marketing outreach and support. Instead of waiting weeks or months to run a campaign, gather results and analyze the data, organizations can get real-time information on how well messages are resonating, know which messages are most valued by the prospect, launch followup while interest is at its highest, and accelerate revenues.

Clearly the requirements for marketing have changed drastically. However, by understanding these market drivers and embracing the evolution of how consumers want information, you can harness the power of on-demand communications to develop more effective and more profitable marketing programs. Users want customized, personalized communications and they want it delivered on their terms -- whenever the real time or right time may be.

As a marketer, seek to provide a rich, easy to use, on-demand format that prospects will be willing and eager to experience. Deploy simple, robust tools that can quickly and easily communicate individualized messages, while providing the opportunity scale to help maximize resources and revenues. But, balance customization with high value interactions, ensuring each communication brings valid information and insight into the sales process. Finally, recognize the on-demand mentality is not just for prospects, but for your organization as well. Make measurement your mantra to address ROI metrics head on with tracking and reporting capabilities for lead generation and ongoing sales efforts. By leveraging on-demand technologies and services you can ensure your messages are delivered according to the communication mediums audiences require, maximizing your marketing results and propelling your organization to success.