Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hoeing your row

The enterprise software solution world has simplified' over the past ten years.  This is because the major players, Oracle and to a lesser extent, SAP have bought everything.  The problem with this is that they really haven't imposed much 'order' on the market, they've just imported the chaos.  See my post the Rocket Science of Soup.  It is hard for clients to buy from and implement what they have on offer, indeed it's hard for their sales people to sell it.  It's so damned complicated.  And the complication stings at so many levels:  the solutions have huge and proliferating configuration options, the complexity of integration between solutions is growing apace, and the applications the software can be applied to have risen.  It's all a bit intimidating.

So what's the answer?  Services. Clients have and are increasingly moving away from trying to optimize and understand the proliferating complexity of their enterprise software solutions.  Instead, they are turning towards vendors that deliver a comprehensive solution to a specific business problem: a full training, workflow and web service solution.  They deliver outcomes, not code.  And outcomes are much easier to understand and account for than the infinite optionality of the enterprise software world.  Appregatta is a company founded to bring this service model to market.

So while in the past sofware has been king, in the future, technology enabled services that embed training, workflow and code into an outcome will increasingly win the day.  Mind you this isn't necessarily the same thing as outsourcing or offshoring, it's delivering a completely executed service solution that client employees can deliver. If they're not careful, firms that specialize in software implementation will find their dancecards distressingly barren in this brave new world.

It turns out that finding a service row and hoeing it is an increasingly viable strategy used by the fastest yachts racing out on the Openwater.

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