I just got back from a 2 weeks tour in Australia and New Zealand discussing with a lot of ISVs, Hosters and Enterprises about SaaS, SOA, Web 2.0 and how they related to Software + Services (S+S). The details and key learning of this tour will be the object of a future post, but at a high level I believe people are getting the point of an hybrid model that S+S suggests.
However, it is true that there is still a bit of confusion of what S+S really is. In an attempt to provide some additional clarity, I wrote a bit of “tongue in cheek” article published in the Architecture Journal; direct link to the article here.
As part of this tour I also gave a few press interviews, one of which (article here) was picked up by SaaS Week blog claiming that I am pooh-pooh-ing SaaS. After all the work we have done in my team to promote SaaS (suffice to look at this blog archive) I found it funny to be characterized as such. What I said in the article and I believe in it, is that SaaS would benefit greatly in introducing a local software component to it; not only for offline capabilities, but also to support a device strategy or simply because some data will never be able to leave the corporate boundaries.
If you look at what we did with LitwareHR v2, we took a “pure” SaaS application and took it to a “higher level” by allowing smart client access, offline, rich visualization, office integration, leveraging of cloud building block such as silverlight streaming, without changing the existing “pure” SaaS model. I think it is a good example of a solution that embraces the S+S model without breaking the existing SaaS model; which is coherent with my quote: “Software + Services embraces SaaS but goes beyond it,” Mr Carraro told iTWire. “You can think of those two as concentric circles where SaaS is one aspect of Software + Services.“