Weighing the WebEx Opportunity

During the dot-com boom, I received weekly pitches from Jamcracker -- one of the leading "e-services" companies of the time. Like so many other companies, Jamcracker imploded when the dot-com boom went bust. But now the company is back, this time emphasizing software as a service (SaaS) opportunities and evangelizing Cisco's WebEx collaboration platform to partners.

Are Jamcracker and WebEx a winning combo for managed service providers? It's too early to say, but here are a few interesting tidbits about Jamcracker's strategy.

Jamcracker's flagship platform is the Jamcracker Services Delivery Network (JSDN). Every few weeks, Jamcracker debuts a new piece of software or application on the network. The lastest is WebEx WebOffice. Instead of promoting WebEx and JSDN directly to customers, Jamcracker is recruiting service provider partners. That's where MSPs enter the picture.

WebEx WebOffice includes hosted e-mail, access to web meetings, document sharing, group calendaring, task management, threaded discussions, and a database with multiple templates. Jamcracker says MSPs can also bundle other JSDN collaborative communications and IT services with WebEx WebOffice, such as GoodLink wireless messaging and McAfee security.

At some point in 2008, I expect Jamcracker will need to integrate JSDN with third-party managed services platforms. Imagine, for instance, if Autotask or ConnectWise business automation services linked with the JSDN network. MSPs would be able to automate their own businesses while also collaborating more closely with their customers.

Jamcracker's SaaS model sounds promising but I'm a bit biased, and I've been bullish on larger SaaS players like SalesForce.com and NetSuite. If you're a Jamcracker partner, feel free to describe some of your early experiences with the JSDN platform. I'm sure MSPmentor readers would value some perspective as they weigh their SaaS options for 2008.

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