The hosted services market has now reached that point of maturity where hosted exchange vendors are ten a penny. Personally I started in this market back in 2003 when margins were ‘rich’ for hosted services like Exchange, SharePoint, BlackBerry etc and subsequently went deeper into the vertical SaaS industry because I saw the writing on the wall. We built the business fast because we focused on value – we targeted lawyers, accountants, professional services industries – we not only gave them a great messaging solution, we partnered with software vendors who would offer them compliance, security and services like BlackBerry. These were not Microsoft technologies but services the market actually wanted. Continue Reading
Firstly, I have not managed to finish this post. It was only meant to be a quick run down which has just got bigger the more I am thinking about this. Anyway, it’s not a deep technical view more of a pull it into a single page who are the main players and some wildcats. So in no particular order -Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, HP, Salesforce, Acadia (Cisco, EMC, VMWare tie up). I have also looked at Facebook – interesting spin? and one who I am sure is waiting in the sidelines, Apple.
I was talking to my nearly 7 year old son the other day. As a ‘reward’ I let him have my old G5 mac in his bedroom to satisfy his thirst for knowledge. Before he was 4 he could click the little blue ‘e’ find toys r us and create a combined Christmas and birthday list of every combination power rangers and doctor who he could find. He is fascinated about how it all fits together and asks those questions ‘why’, what is a browser, can I watch all the doctor who episodes, how do you make software, where does it comes from? ……
Question – if you put 20 kids in a room and asked them to tell you about technology today, in 5 years or even 10, what would it look like?
My own interest in technology has made me actively encourage my kids interest in their mission for knowledge – their playroom could run NASA 20 years ago with their sky TV, Xbox and Wii plus the two hamsters who live on the shelf, who at night run the world aka Douglas Adam’s Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy -aka Mice.
I feel traitorous in what I am about to say, I have been one of those ‘start up’ guys who injected time and passion into the carriers over many years – I passionately and genuinely believe that this is where the hosted applications market is now at. The Hosted Exchange market specifically has completely commoditised, gone are the days of strong margin, service led value sales – this is plain, simple economics.
Call 2 weeks ago from O2
“Mr Evans, as a valued customer you are entitled to an iPhone upgrade and a more competitive plan blah blah” – no thanks! Quick maths
1. iPhone is out of contract
2. I am on an old contract – ok minutes, unlimited data
3. iPhone is a little ‘battered’ but works
Why do I want to pay £180 to upgrade my iPhone and be charged more money each month on my contract for a package that doesn’t give me the same value?