Listen to my conversation with Eric Berridge, CEO of Bluewolf, one of the pioneers of a new generation of professional services companies that specialize in software-as-a-service and cloud computing.
In this podcast, learn what attracts large enterprises to SaaS, and find out why adopting SaaS can help change the culture of an organization and effect business transformation.
Listen to or download the 8:04 minute podcast below:
PW: Eric, I’m really pleased to have you with us today, because I know that Bluewolf has got a huge amount of experience of implementing software-as-a-service in the enterprise. And actually, Eric, you’ve also written a book, Iterate or Die, about how software-consulting companies need to operate in the 21st century. So clearly, you’ve given this a lot of thought and you’ve got a lot of experience to tell us about.
EB: Absolutely. We’ve been in this space now for about ten years. In fact, we’re celebrating our decade as a a professional services firm focusing on organizations that are embracing software-as-a-service in the cloud. So we’re very happy to be here to talk about the industry.
Yes, and wow, you got in early on that one, didn’t you?
We did. It was some blind luck and maybe a little bit of skilful forecasting. We really saw back about ten years ago that organizations were struggling with software. Around about that time, many SaaS companies were coming to market, and we looked at it as a way to really help our clients accelerate their businesses and accelerate their initiatives.
Back then, of course, people said, ‘Well, SaaS, that’s just for small companies.’ Is that your typical customer base?
No, our customer base is actually the opposite today. As organizations like Salesforce.com have really crept up the enterprise, we have followed them. And today our customer base is mainly what we call Fortune 1000 organizations that are solving complex problems and really trying to embrace complex processes within their organizations.
And what sort of industries are we typically talking about?
We work fairly horizontally. But if you look at where we have the majority of our customers, they fall within the media space, within the banking space, and within the high-tech space. And that’s on a global basis.
And is it mainly Salesforce that you’re implementing?
I would say, for many of our customers, they use Salesforce as the foundation for their SaaS strategy. But we work with a host of other SaaS applications and platforms like Google and Amazon to help organizations that need more flexibility and openness as they embrace a global SaaS strategy.
So in your experience, why are big companies like this opting for software-as-a-service? Do they feel it’s going to give them a big payback from a cost point-of-view, or is it a way of getting more mundane improvements? Is it big impact or small impact?
I think it’s big impact, and I think you’re seeing more and more organizations embrace it for the ROI that they can now measure out of these applications. There are a lot of reasons to look at SaaS and go to SaaS. One obvious one is just time-to-market and what we call time-to-value. In the SaaS world, you can roll out new processes and new technologies much quicker than you could in the premise-based world.
But I think more importantly, organizations are finding that the right SaaS solutions are extremely flexible, and you can iterate your business processes as an organization so that you don’t have to get all of your requirements identified perfectly upfront. And our long-term customers have really found that; where they started out with something like Salesforce early on and laid a basic foundation, but now have built processes and processes on top of that foundation in very short increments and sprints.
I think the other key factor is, it allows organizations to experiment, because the cost of getting it wrong in the SaaS world is so much lower than the cost of getting it wrong in the old software world.
So does that impact the role of IT?…