SaaS Spawns Entrepreneurs

I'm attending SaaS Summit this week in San Francisco, sponsored by SaaS aggregator OpSource. Companies ranging from Microsoft to my company Absolute Performance attended. To demonstrate the diversity of companies involved in SaaS, even the smallest of companies exhibited.

Next to our booth is TimeclockOnline.com, a three person startup company offering online time clocking software for time tracking. Remember those old punch clocks you used to punch in and out for the day at the factory, service or other type of hourly job? TimeclockOnline.com is the digital equivalent, delivered as an online web site, serving over 300 companies.

Joel Slatis, president, spun the company off from his web site design firm, and SaaS Summit is the first trade show he's ever exhibited. His SaaS app. runs on Windows Server using Coldfusion, technologies Joel uses in his other web site company.

If you read my Network World blog, or my personal blog The Converging Network, you know my passion for entrepreneurs. Joel and his companies exemplifies that spirit. For entrepreneurs who want to crack the code on multi-tenant software, software that can host multiple customers, their data and access control, all on one server infrastructure, SaaS represents a new frontier to get your software to market.

Another benefit of SaaS is reaching customers who may not be accessible to a smaller company. Micro-ISVs, software vendors with 10 or less employees, can't survive the long enterprise sales cycles or the time it takes to visit a SMB or SME company who might sign up for 1, 2 or 5 user accounts. The economics of the Internet and SaaS software change those dynamics, making it much more feasible for Micro-ISVs, self-funded ISVs and venture back companies access to customers on a much broader and economical scale.

Today Salesforce.com is speaking about there business model and how SaaS extends their reach to the largest enterprises and small one or two user companies. While Salesforce and TimeclockOnline.com might be diverse ends in size of companies, they both use the same market dynamics and access to markets for their software.

It's very exciting to see the SaaS business model enabling new kinds of businesses, and new kinds of entrepreneurs.

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