Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

May 15 , 2006

Joe Kraus

Lessons for the “Consumer Enterprise”

Sales techniques, product features and pricing approaches are being turned upside down as practices from the consumer market are applied to the enterprise software business.

By Joe Kraus, JotSpot

Moving from the consumer world to the enterprise world used to be thought of as a disadvantage. I thought so too. After years founding and running Excite more than a decade ago, my new venture, JotSpot, dumped me in the deep end of the enterprise software business.

But after a year running JotSpot, it became clear that my consumer experience was actually an advantage. The enterprise software industry was undergoing a revolution of its own. And the way enterprise software is bought, sold, adopted and used is looking more like the way a consumer product is developed and marketed, and less like the traditional business software model.

DonÝt get me wrong. I donÝt mean to claim that none of the ýoldţ rules apply. But most software vendors ˝ and startups in particular ˝ cannot afford to operate with the traditional model that is used by most of the large vendors today.

It is time to do things differently. And most of what enterprise software vendors need to do differently can be learned from the consumer business.


Analysts Attack!

Researchers and journalists release a handful of reports critiquing the enterprise software industry; plus EMC takes two, SOX chokes us and Wall Street underestimates Microsoft? Read this and more news of the week in the weekly news summary. Visit every Friday when editors compile the most important software news and deliver readers a quick capsule of the week’s developments - or better yet, sign up for the news summary RSS feed and don’t miss a week.

The Debut of “The Software Critic”

Erik KellerErik Keller of Wapiti LLC joins as a featured blogger with the debut of his blog, The Software Critic. Erik brings two decades as a software market analyst to his critiques of industry players and practices. This week, read his advice for young vendors on how to take the “Boring Path to Profitability.”

Publish Your Perspectives!

The Blog wants your opinions. Send your thoughts on the enterprise software industry to and we’ll publish them in our blog.

Infor Takes SSA Global

A surprise merger announcement today moves Infor onto the list of the top three enterprise vendors, along with Oracle and SAP. Go to the news page for the latest coverage, including news about the specifics of the deal and an analysis of its implications from AMR Research.

Get Ray Lane on Your iPod

Podcasts from popular Software 2006 speakers are now available. This week, addresses from Ray Lane of Kleiner Perkins and Vanessa Colella of McKinsey & Co. are live at

Every week, new content from the conference appears online at, including video of key speakers, slides from popular presenters and the Software 2006 Industry report from McKinsey & Co. and Sand Hill Group.

Put Finance on a Diet

It’s difficult to imagine but the finance department may be one of the most inefficient departments in the company. The McKinsey Quarterly takes a look at how to run a leaner finance department and the impact such a move can have on company performance in this week’s article from the journal.

Poll: Consolidation Damaging the Ecosystem?

AMR Research says consolidation may be hurting the future of the software industry by prematurely eliminating the small, best-of-breed vendors. What do you think?
Take our Pulse Poll >>

Last week, readers gave their opinions on “Duet,” the new name for Project Mendocino from Microsoft and SAP.
Share your opinion and see the results >>

Join the NetSquared Conference - May 30-31, 2006

CompuMentor's TechSoup program has spent the last 18 years helping nonprofits overcome the greatest barrier to solid, stable technology: price and knowledge.

Their NetSquared Conference, on May 30-31, 2006 at Cisco Systems’ Vineyard Conference Center in San Jose, will further discuss how to help the 10 million nonprofits that exist world-wide to understand and use the emerging tools that allow people to connect to issues and to one another. To find out more about attendance or sponsorship, visit

More at

SAP offers cut rate support for Oracle apps.
Read the most important enterprise software industry news of the week >>

DreamFactory Software receives $5.8 million.
Monitor the latest software venture capital deals >>

Hyperion buys UpStream software.
Size up last week's software M&A deals >>

Identity Engines names Pete Selda as CEO.
See who's made it to the top in our list of recent software executive appointments >>

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Parting Thought

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth."
– John F. Kennedy 

Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group