Since the creation of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business model by Marc Benioff of Salesforce on multi-tenancy architecture in 1999/2000, we have all come to love our cloud apps from sales to finance and talent management.
Where we previously paid large sums for installation and maintenance of few on-premise licensed software, our costs are now split across a large number of best-of-breed cloud software applications.
This short post intends to classify them, so that you have a better chance of finding solutions that could fix your specific productivity bottlenecks.
1. Integration tools
Integration vendors can broadly be split into three types:
- Top end Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) based vendors such as IBM, Oracle, MuleSoft and WSO2. Sometimes called Enterprise Integration Platform-as-a-Service (EIPaaS) vendors.
- Mid market vendors such as Cazoomi.
- Mass market vendors servicing smaller companies such as Zapier, PieSync and IFTTT.
Here is a quick analysis by Gartner.
As G2Crowd plans to kill Gartner with user based reviews, here is their analysis.
2. Business Intelligence tools
Business Intelligence (BI) tools help organisational strategic decision making, e.g. 9Spokes and Microsoft PowerBI. This is a very crowded market with a diverse range of products, warranting a dedicated discussion.
3. Workflow efficiency tools based on bringing everything together
Cluedin improves workflows. Taco harmonises all your tasks. Tenfold focuses on customer 360º view. These tools store data locally in order to improve the efficiency of your workflows. Data integrity could still be a problem, depending on how often data is synchronised.
On the other hand, UnifiedVU which introduces virtual integration technology to the market, focus on user interface and user experiences instead of sending data back and forth between applications. UnifiedVU is the only vendor who does not store data locally, ensuring higher degree of data governance.
4. All-in-One solutions
Matured vendors such as Salesforce are continually attempting to bring everything together through strategic acquisitions supported by integrations. This is not limited to the biggest vendors, as every vendor has the same aspirations, yet most will only be able to build islands around their core markets.
As you can see, the world of software is getting confusing. Software product comparison sites are getting popular by the day, trying to reduce the confusion. Consultants help with advise and hand holding. At the same time, buyer behaviours are changing. No buyer like to be locked down and held to ransom by the vendors. Buyers are looking for flexible terms, which allow them to change software they use, as businesses grow or contract. In this messy environment, companies like UnifiedVU can help deliver an user interface bringing everything that matters together, helping organisations to operate smartly and make quicker and better-informed decisions.