SaaS vendors are disrupting markets and taking market share from “established” vendors. We have known about Workday for some time. Their “Real SaaS Manifesto” is a must read for anyone currently engaged in the software industry, either on the vendor side or as a user. Dave Duffield and Aneel Bhusri are once again making an impact in the industry. All pure, multi-tenant SaaS vendors (you know who you are) should be appreciative of the role that Dave and Aneel have assumed as SaaS evangelists.
The SAI interview with Aneel was the trigger for this post. You have to go all the way to the end of the interview to understand the innovation argument that Aneel is promoting. In comparing “legacy” vendors with modern SaaS vendors, he uses an SAP vs Workday story to illustrate the difference — “We both had 5. Five billion, five developers.” Here is what he said:
In the early days of the cloud, people paid a lot of attention to architecture — multitenancy versus hosted — and yeah it’s got a consumer look and feel versus old enterprise systems. But as the technology evolves with social, with mobile, with open Web services, these new generation of systems look so different from the old generation that the cloud is just the starting point, and the gap is just widening between these legacy systems.
It’s not just about the cloud versus on premise, it’s that the cloud vendors are taking all the consumer internet technologies and bringing them to the enterprise world, and the old guys are not. So I can do an iPad demo for you now that looks just like a native iPad app. It doesn’t look like an enterprise app. It’s an iPad app.
The same technologies you use to build a cloud service — HTML5, open Web services — they happen to be the same technologies you use to build mobile. So for a cloud vendor, getting to mobile is pretty easy. For a legacy vendor like SAP, they spent $5 billion on Sybase, and a year later they still have nothing to show for it. Workday had 5 22-year-old developers building our iPad client.
We both had 5. Five billion, five developers.
Classic. And true.