Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Microsoft SaaS

[Update 4/13/2006]: Fixed egregious spelling error. Can someone start proofreading these for me?

Sam Ramji, always insightful, has a post today on what Microsoft should be doing with regards to Software-as-a-Service companies.

He got together with some major players (Intacct, Echopass, Blue Roads, and Newsgator, among others) and had a good discussion about SaaS and how Microsoft can help these companies succeed.

After describing his meeting, Sam has a call to action: he wants to know how Microsoft can provide broad customer reach for SaaS partners, help with sales and marketing, and provide ways for SaaS ISVs and VARs to connect.

Sam, at least one part of the answer is simple: expand the existing Microsoft Partner programs to embrace SaaS. Add a competency specifically for SaaS. Make it available to ISVs (who will be providing SaaS) and AppDevs (who may be called upon to build SaaS applications for their clients). Let your ISVs and AppDevs know about the third party tools available on your platform that can help SaaS developers--the "picks and shovels" that will help people build innovative, scalable software on your platform. You're right: ISVs, AppDevs, and VARs in this space need to be able to connect. Continue to grow and foster the partner programs, and they'll be able to do that.

And, as an aside: keep your Servers and Tools people innovating! If you want people developing SaaS to choose your platform, you've got to make sure that the development tools and server tools that you're producing are hands-down the best in the business.