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Entries in saas services_2.0 (1)

Tuesday
Jul072009

Services 2.0

Whilst the use of 2.0 this and that appear all over the place, indeed Services 2.0 was mentioned two years back, and is being successfully pursued by Appirio, what we are trying to address at Coherence Design really is a niche version exploitation of the disruptive changes afforded by SaaS and Web 2.0 approaches under the banner of Services 2.0.

The service model needs to evolve to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by SaaS ISV's and their growing customer bases.  The opportunity is that these vendors strive to make their offerings simple, focused, and easy to use -  they don't see services as fitting into their modus operandi (method) of doing business. It almost grates with them on several fronts, but they are beginning to see the value, if they are to scale and keep the breadth of their customer base happy & subscribed!

Some folks do need help, since any system needs to be based on a process it is trying to support. Skills such as business analysis, design, configuration, and the Daddy of them all - introducing change, still apply to some degree or another.

The challenge and a cornerstone for Services 2.0 is the ability to do this very efficiently. Generating the need for substantial services is not the game in town any more. Rather, it's one of packaging and tailoring re-usable knowledge to get the job done fast and at a price compatible with the SaaS application pricing. It takes minutes or seconds now to provision the IT, you can't be waiting too long for an actual in-service solution to be launched.

There is also also much more opportunity for iterative working, any services person will tell you that 'client's rarely know what they actually want'. Get something up quick, then evolve it. The gotcha is that mistakes can be made if you don't know the big picture - knowing enough about the business context of use or what can be done with the features and functions. Hence you need some friends and a good old fashioned service focus culture.

Friends is quite apt, since sociable aspects fit well into building relationships up, down, and across the value chain. An such Services 2.0 providers needs to be well connected and since they work for their client's (both up and down the chain),  I also see some advocacy included in the mix.

I think we'll be seeing more re-intermediation going on. SaaS has been seen as a keen exponent of dis-intermediation, the ability to cut out the middle man and go direct. This has been effective, but holes are left to be filled by new players with approaches that are better suited for all parties.

The possibilities are only just emerging, value-add services, like software, is not the preserve for those with deep pockets any more.

But beware , channel partners, have in the past, been notoriously fickle - they liked big bucks, everything set-up, and low risk. Choose you friends wisely, you'll need one of a newer breed of Services 2.0 providers.