Skip to main content

Prediction: Software Vendor Battles Will Dominate 2015

By November 24, 2014Article

It’s tough at the top. And it promises to be a battleground in 2015. New players are threatening and in red-hot pursuit of established leaders. And new technologies and new business models are “gotcha’s” for many leaders. Who will play the winning moves and who will forfeit some of their slices of the pie?  

We asked several software leaders for their predictions of the looming battles, from these perspectives:

  • Which software vendors will face the most dramatic change to their business in 2015?
  • Which software vendors will we see most often in the news during 2015?
  • Where will we see the fiercest market-share battles in 2015? 

Q. Which software vendors will face the most dramatic change to their business in 2015?  

Suresh Chandrasekaran, SVP North America, Denodo Technologies —

  • Suresh ChandrasekaranTeradata and other big data warehousing players like them. Their heyday was the age of “copy all your data to a central data warehouse.” Now they face change. First, there is just too much data and it’s wasteful to replicate. Secondly, the data warehousing players were so optimized for just the structured data type that they can’t easily adapt to access new data types such as big data, NoSQL, IOT, documents and unstructured data.  
  • Informatica and other traditional heavy-weight integration vendors. The value of data is shifting to the point of consumption or production, rather than physical data movement between the two points. Some vendors are moving towards analytics and visualization (e.g., Tibco, Spotfire, Vitria Streaming Analytics), and some are focusing on data stores (Hadoop, NoSQL, Data Lakes). The middleware ground is being gained by lighter-weight alternatives (e.g., data virtualization, cloud integration).  
  • IBM is still very powerful in the enterprise with a lot of open innovation. IBM is a good example of a company embracing change to focus on data, cloud and systems of engagement. While difficult, the transition will ensure less reliance on hardware, legacy software and even services and will be a move closer to the business users/buyers in the enterprise with partnerships to fill their critical gaps. 

Rob Reid, CEO, Intacct —

Robert Reid

  • Business trends always come and go in cycles, and in 2015 we will continue to see the pendulum swing towards nimble, specialized firms and away from the tech behemoths. EBay is spinning off PayPal, HP is splitting in two, and others are making similar moves. Shareholders are chasing growth and buyers are seeking value, and the tech giants that deliver too little of either are subject to turmoil in 2015. 
  • The companies most likely to face dramatic changes in 2015 are those that are trying to transition to cloud-based software and services while continuing to serve a large customer base still using legacy hardware and premises-based software. 
  • Oracle, Cisco and Microsoft are seeing their leadership positions under attack from more nimble, pure cloud players like Marketo in marketing automation, Textura in construction management and Demandware in e-commerce. These are players who are not weighed down by a legacy of products and customers entrenched in the old way of doing things. Eventually, these and similar tech giants are going to have to jettison old products and services to make way for the next generation of cloud-based solutions. 
  • This means a disruption to revenue, R&D, staffing needs and company leadership. In addition, these firms must be able to lead their customers to the cloud without causing massive disruption in their customers’ business. Few companies are able to do this; that’s why we’ll start saying goodbye to some beloved products, brands and companies in 2015. Progress waits for no one. 

 Paul Ressler, principal, The Cirrostratus Group —  

  • Paul ResslerMicrosoft’s new CEO will continue to drive their cloud strategy. This will have substantial impact on all products but will have even more impact on Microsoft’s vast partner network.
  • Now that Alibaba has gone public and people can buy the stock directly, Yahoo will have to stand on its own merits in the market. This will put additional pressure on Yahoo to have a growth strategy that works. Major restructuring will likely be needed to get the maximum value from the business such as selling the Alibaba stake, divesting the advertising or search businesses that aren’t doing well or undertaking acquisitions to help growth in the mobile business. 

Q, Which software vendors will we see most often in the news during 2015 and why?

Dan Miller, general manager of software industry vertical, NetSuite

Here are four companies fresh off an IPO or headed for one that will be making headlines in 2015: 

  • Dan MillerHortonworks: A pioneer in the Hadoop space with a strong leadership team and backing, their rapid growth and upcoming IPO should serve as a bellwether for other big data startups.
  • New Relic: The poster child for the burgeoning software monitoring and analytics space and another company that has recently filed to go public, this company should also help to define a new market. With a CEO who famously takes time out of the day-to-day management of the company to code, New Relic is a truly interesting company with real prospects.
  • HubSpot: Another hot 2014 IPO company with some serious momentum, it is really establishing itself as a thought leader in marketing. HubSpot’s focus on growth is through expanding product functionality to increase relevance and stickiness in their midmarket sweet spot rather than branching into new customer segments should serve it well.
  • MobileIron: A company that capitalized on the “mobile-first” trend and through strong execution has grown rapidly and made the transition to a public company. The continued focus on BYOD ensures MobileIron and its mobile device management system will continue to make noise. 

Paul Giurata, managing partner, Catalyst Resources —

  • Paul GiurataVMware:  Virtualization and software defined data centers are already making a huge impact on IT. By 2015 more than half of data center servers will be virtualized (Infonetics Research) and these infrastructures (compute, network and storage) will need the ability to rapidly reconfigure to enable faster adaptation and innovation at enterprise scale. GPU virtualization is also finally coming into its own with 22 percent of knowledge workers now needing access to remote workstations. By 2018 professional graphics users will access 450,000 virtual machines (JPR).
  • Apple: In particular, HomeKit and HealthKit will have a significant impact on both consumer and business users.
  • Cloud storage companies (Dropbox, Amazon Cloud Drive, GDrive, OneDrive):  The APIs for these services will be available to mobile OS developers directly from within apps, which will dramatically increase use. In 2015 expect to see these vendors offer more than storage including the ability to collaborate in real time when working with these files (similar to GDrive and Google Docs). 

Shirish Netke, president and CEO, Amberoon Inc. —  

  • Cloudera: They will emerge as a cornerstone big data platform with a dominant installed base.  Alignment with Intel and other infrastructure players will bolster this position.
  • GE Software: GE is uniquely positioned for the Internet of Things based on a legacy in industrial engineering. It has the potential to be a marquee player in IoT.
  • IBM: They will be closely watched as a critical player in several important dimensions of the software industry including cloud and analytics.
  • Salesforce: Transformation from an enterprise underdog to market leader provider along with associated notoriety.
  • Workday: Revenue growth spurt in 2015 based on new customer acquisitions in 2014.  

Paul Ressler, principal, The Cirrostratus Group —    

  • Google:  As the instigator of additional public cloud price wars in 2015
  • Yahoo:  Because they will likely have major restructuring happening in 2015
  • Netflix:  Because of the impact that the FCC decision(s) on net neutrality have on them 

Q. Where will we see the fiercest market-share battles in 2015? 

Rob Reid, CEO, Intacct —

  • Midmarket ERP battles among Intacct, FinancialForce, NetSuite and the associated transition to cloud by midmarket ERP products from Microsoft and Sage.
  • Public cloud infrastructure (IaaS) battles among Amazon, Google and everyone else.
  • Marketing automation battles among best-in-class Marketo and those acquired by larger firms like Salesforce (ExactTarget) and Oracle (Eloqua). 

Paul Ressler, principal, The Cirrostratus Group —  

  • Microsoft’s Azure, Amazon and Google competing for public cloud market share will be the biggest market share battle in 2015. Each of them has the money, momentum and technical expertise to compete. Amazon’s current position is a strong one, but don’t count the other two out. 

Paul Giurata, Managing Partner, Catalyst Resources –

  • Fierce consolidation effort for the AI market by Apple, IBM, Google and Microsoft to give the apps we already use the intelligence to behave smarter. 

Suresh Chandrasekaran is senior vice president at Denodo. Throughout his career in product management and marketing roles at Vitria, Alta Vista, Compaq and as a management consultant at Booz Allen, Suresh has helped businesses leverage information through the medium of technology to deliver a competitive advantage. He speaks frequently at conferences on technology and its business impact, drawing from 15+ years of experience in leading integration middleware and Web companies. Contact him at 

Paul Giurata is the managing partner for Catalyst Resources, a user experience and application design firm headquartered in Silicon Valley. He and his teams have worked on more than 450 software projects in Financial Services, SaaS, Life Sciences / Biotech and mission-critical systems. For more information, contact 

Daniel Miller is general manager of NetSuite’s software industry vertical and vice president of finance. He brings over 25 years of professional experience to NetSuite, most recently as SVP and CFO of Nexant where he managed accounting and IT corporate service groups, and led financing initiatives to support strategic growth plans. He began his career as a senior accountant with Deloitte & Touche, subsequently serving as senior treasury manager for Genentech and corporate controller for Extreme Networks before moving to executive roles. 

Shirish Netke is president and CEO of Amberoon Inc., a provider of data-driven business perspective solutions. He has led companies in the area of software, services and electronic entertainment. He was one of the first evangelists for Java when it was launched by Sun Microsystems and has been quoted as an industry thought leader in the New York Times, Investors Business Daily, Chief Executive Magazine and Asia Times. Follow him on Twitter 

Robert Reid is CEO of Intacct Corporation, a leading provider of cloud financial management and accounting software. With more than 30 years of experience in the software industry, Rob has a proven track record of driving explosive growth at innovative companies, and has demonstrated a deep expertise in bringing cloud computing to the world of business applications. 

Paul Ressler is a consultant specializing in service delivery for SaaS, cloud computing and managed services. As the principal of The Cirrostratus Group, Paul helps his clients improve customer satisfaction, raise service margins, introduce profitable new services, and transition to the SaaS business model. 














Copy link
Powered by Social Snap