Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

August 16, 2005

Romesh Wadhwani

10 Opportunities for Software Providers

The confluence of new technologies, emerging business models and globalization leads to big business prospects for software companies.

By Romesh Wadhwani, Chairman & CEO, Symphony Technology Group

We are in an industry that is having trouble coming to grips with reality.

Software companies thought for a long time that our industry could defy gravity and experience double-digit revenue growth forever.

The truth is that our customers no longer value cutting-edge technology over business results. Our investors no longer value growth over profit. Our employees no longer value options over stability. We are in an industry that needs to make dramatic changes to reinvent itself over the next decade.

When I gave this presentation at Enterprise 2005, I asked the 100-plus software CEOs assembled if they felt their company's best opportunity would be to be acquired by Oracle. No one raised their hand. Then I asked who wanted to leave their software company to run an auto supply business because that industry has more upside? Only a few hands went up.

To me, those responses mean there is still a tremendous amount of hope in the industry. There are exciting new developments — in technology and business practices — that will lead to significant new market opportunities in the next few years. Here are ten trends which will lead to those possibilities.


The Downside of Selling Vapor

Don't miss Bruce Richardson's analysis of the brewing crisis between the SEC, CEO Greg Brady and two other former top execs. It shows the dark side of the "go big or go home" strategy.

The SEC's complaint against Brady and his former colleagues is a compelling read. View the entire document here. The interesting details start on page 11 with email transcripts on selling "pure vapor." The document also has background on the problems with Nike, K-mart and Best Buy.

Big-Thinking Roundups from Enterprise 2005

Nearly 200 software executives and professionals gathered in Pebble Beach last week for Sand Hill Group's Enterprise 2005. The theme of the meeting was "New Opportunities" and industry veterans provided tremendous insight on the topic.

Vinnie Mirchandani summarized many of the conference's areas of discussion and key takeaways in this week's entry to the Blog, Insight from Enterprise 2005.

And don't miss Bruce Richardson's recap of the Enterprise 2005 attendee polls in this week's AMR Alert reveals what keeps software CEOs up at night and what "dark cloud" hangs over the industry.

Breaking Down is Coming Up

S. Sadagopan explains why composite applications and SOA will experience growth in the week's installation to the Blog on The "Next Big Thing."

Share your insight on the software business. Email us with your submissions to the Blog.

Poll: What's Our "Dark Cloud?"

At Enterprise 2005, software CEOs were asked to choose the one major problem plaguing the business. What do you think is the software industry's most significant problem?
Take our Pulse Poll >>

Last week, visitors gave their opinions on Microsoft's hiring of former Wal-Mart executive Kevin Turner.
Give your opinion and see the results >>

More at

Read the most important enterprise software industry news of the week >>

Monitor the latest software venture capital deals >>

Size up last week's software M&A deals >>

See who’s made it to the top in our list of recent software executive appointments >>

Send us your feedback on this newsletter and the site.

Parting Thought

"The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps - we must step up the stairs."

— Vance Havne

Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group