Solutions Providers: Profit From SaaS Today
The VAR Guy clearly has his finger on the pulse of the channel community. And the community is eager to find profit maximizing strategies to take advantage of SaaS and Cloud Computing. But all of the advice out there could leave your head spinning. So I’ll give you two helpful filters to help you get started.
First, match the advice to how your business generates value for your customers. Second, match the advice to your targeted growth horizon. McKinsey Quarterly has an excellent and brief article/video Enduring Ideas: The three horizons of growth that provides a framework for evaluating growth opportunities. Here’s the cliff notes summary:
“Horizon one represents those core businesses most readily identified with the company name and those that provide the greatest profits and cash flow. Here the focus is on improving performance to maximize the remaining value. Horizon two encompasses emerging opportunities, including rising entrepreneurial ventures likely to generate substantial profits in the future but that could require considerable investment. Horizon three contains ideas for profitable growth down the road—for instance, small ventures such as research projects, pilot programs, or minority stakes in new businesses.”
Much of the advice I’ve seen falls into Horizon two and three growth opportunities where substantial new investment and business model shifts are required. It’s Q4 at Oracle and perhaps I’ve been infected by a touch of pragmatism. But when I talk to Oracle’s Specialized partners, they want ideas for how to make money off SaaS from their current investments including their expertise in Oracle products.
So using my filter above, the advice I provide below applies to Solution Builders looking to profit today in their Horizon one business. Solution Builders are often the unsung heroes of the IT space. The customer has a problem and the Solution Builder scopes and delivers a solution. Well then SaaS has brought some good news to Solution Builders in the form of new customer problems to solve.
In the whitepaper Bridging the Divide between SaaS and Enterprise Datacenters, Oracle’s Maneesh Joshi explains the five major challenges organizations face as they integrate public cloud offerings with private data center solutions. As I read through this paper, it was clear to me that each of these five challenges create Horizon one opportunities for Oracle’s Solution Builder partners that are Specialized in Oracle Fusion Middleware.
Below are the five solution areas to solve customer challenges bridging the divide between SaaS and their datacenter:
- Loading Data in Bulk using Oracle Data Integrator Enterprise Edition
- Synchronizing Data in Real-Time using Oracle GoldenGate
- Assimilating SaaS Applications into Existing Business Processes using Oracle SOA Suite
- Administering Identities and Ensuring Compliance using Oracle Identity and Access Management Suite
- Unifying Information Security and Access Control using Oracle Access Management Suite Plus
Solution Builders and other channel players that succeed in their SaaS and Cloud strategies are going to have to employ the right mix of Horizon one, two and three growth opportunities. My advice to executives leading Solution Builders is take advantage of the clear Horizon one opportunities to keep the lights on while you put in late nights sorting out Horizon two and three!
If you are attending the All About the Cloud event, I will be presenting on May 11 and would be happy to connect.
Kevin O’Brien is the Senior Director of ISV and SaaS Strategy for Worldwide Alliances & Channels at Oracle. You can follow him on his blog at http://blogs.oracle.com/kevin/. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of The VAR Guy’s annual sponsorship.