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OOW 2011

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Tomorrow San Francisco will get crazy with OOW’ers. I’m excited to be there for two reasons:

1- To share more of the Sun systems integration story and to talk publicly about our work at Oracle Applications Labs

2- To witness the unveiling of a project we’ve kept under wraps for quite some time @ Larry Ellison’s Wednesday keynote

The OOW event is so gigantic now it is hard to fathom. I think attendance is around 50K and there will be another 100K online.

See you there!

Written by Dave Stephens

10/1/11 8:20 PM at 8:20 pm

Posted in IT, Software

SaaS and Profitability

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It’s been interesting to monitor profits for public SaaS companies over time. Ever since Bruce Richardson’s 2008 research report “SaaS and the elusive path to profitability” I’ve been looking for examples where gross margins look like they will trend towards the 40 points that so often seem the target for the wold’s best software businesses.

So far, I haven’t seen it.

It’s possible that the reason is that these businesses are simply viewing today as “land grab time”. When operating in that mode, a SaaS business may be willing to spend 1.5-2 times the annual recurring revenue to acquire business, especially if they have direct evidence with 90+% renewal rates.

But once the mindset takes hold that profits aren’t a key measure, you end up in an interesting predicament. Whenever you adjust (and it is inevitable) towards a profit-motive in the business, employees and outside parties tend to view the adjustment as a capitulation that growth has slowed and will continue to slow.

Until the big SaaS players can “show Wall Street the money” we should all be skeptical that the business model will prove as lucrative as its’ “on-premise” predecessor.

Written by Dave Stephens

07/18/09 12:01 PM at 12:01 pm

Posted in Software