On-demand software pioneer, Salesforce.com, reckons it knows a thing or two about how to develop a viable software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. The vendor's senior vice-president of global channels and alliances, Bobby Napiltonia, said its next big challenge is to get the channel community to embrace software delivery as a viable way of transitioning into the new services era.
He boasts 20 years experience in channel-related fields and should have the facts on software selling strategies down pat. Prior to joining Salesforce. com in 2005, Napiltonia was worldwide channels and alliances manager for BEA Systems.
He agrees with recent analyst predictions that as many as half of today's channel companies will not exist in the future. There were many players still in the market doing straightforward installation of a box and software, he said, who simply wouldn't survive in the changing climate.
To help, Salesforce.com has developed short Web-based classes on what SaaS is, the future of software, how to make money from it and the role of resellers. Those who complete the full set will get an authorisation stamp.
"It struck me that this change may really be tough for many of them to do. Many though, are going to have to make the transition," he said.
The vendor is also working with technology partners, such as Cisco, to help educate resellers outside its scope on how SaaS can be integrated into a comprehensive technology package.