Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

March 26, 2007

Nilofer Merchant

Reaching the Holy Grail: SMB Markets

Software vendors now have the potential to deliver enterprise-class solutions to small and mid-sized businesses ń but theyíve got to believe in the Web formula for success

By Nilofer Merchant, Rubicon

When I was growing up, a popular TV-series began with the stirring words: "A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust, and a hearty 'Hi-yo Silver!' The Lone Ranger!” Along with the announcement was great music that told you adventure was ahead, and there was no doubt of success.

That's the theme music that should be playing when big enterprise tech companies turn their efforts toward the small and medium business (SMB) market.

For years this “new” and largely unpenetrated market has been a “holy grail” for many enterprise technology firms: greatly desired, often sought after but not obtainable.

But today, the Web has placed the ever-elusive SMB market within the grasp of enterprise software companies. The vendors who can deliver the right combination of new products, support, marketing and sales will reach SMBs and profit from their legendary powers.


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The 3rd-Party-Maintenance “Cat” is Out of the Bag

Vinnie Mirchandani Despite Oracle’s lawsuit against TomorrowNow, the value of the third-party maintenance vendors is too compelling for buyers to forget. Vinnie Mirchandani of DealArchitect says these vendors deliver buyers a choice they’ve never had before. Read why Vinnie says the lawsuit is just the latest way to try to scare buyers away from third-party maintenance in this week’s post to the Blog, New Era, New Thinking.

Outsource Your Move to SaaS

Many software companies want to offer a software-as-a-service (SaaS) version of their products but become bogged down in the challenges of creating such an offering. Steve Mezak of Accelerance says outsourcing or offshoring the SaaS transition can help facilitate these one-time changes and increase the chances of success. Read how in this week’s post to the Blog on offshoring.

Why Technology Sales Fail to Close

IT salespeople have to maintain a pipeline of prospects that is three times what they expect to close. Justin Floyd of says there’s a good reason for that – budgets. Read why SaaS is making the need to overcome this challenge more important than ever in this week’s post to the Blog on software sales.

Publish Your Perspective!

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

New Podcast: India Ascending’s M.R. Rangaswami and globe-trotting industry veteran, Bruce Richardson of AMR Research discuss and debate their recent trip to India and the Nasscom conference. Click here to listen and gain on-the-ground insight about the latest changes in India.

Global Capital Markets: Europe on the Rise

A recent analysis of the world's financial markets shows the U.S. is still on top but that the Eurozone countries are wielding ever more influence. Read the latest analysis from McKinsey & Co. in this article from The McKinsey Quarterly.

New: Real-time Software M&A and VC Feeds has partnered with VentureDeal to deliver the latest deal news to its readers. Visit the Finance page to link to the latest software-related venture capital investments and software M&A deals, including details on the dealsí participants and terms.

News Update: Ellison Wins

A huge quarter and an SAP lawsuit combine for a massive week for Oracle. moves towards processes, ACS moves to go private and more software news of the week. Read these stories and more software news of the week in the latest Software News Summary.

Poll: Oracle’s Quarter Means…?

Significant increases in revenue and profit are making Oracle’s acquisition-to-domination methods look like a winning strategy. What do you think?
Take our Pulse Poll >>

Last week, readers gave their opinions as to how innovative the software industry is when compared to other industries.
Give us your opinion and see the results >>

More at

The San Francisco Chronicle interviews TCS CEO S. Ramadorai.
Read the most important enterprise software industry news of the week >>

Bulldog Solutions receives $5 million.
Monitor the latest software venture capital deals >>

HP buys Tabblo.
Size up last week's software M&A deals >>

Don Klaiss named president and CEO of Compiere.
See who's made it to the top in our list of recent software executive appointments >>

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Parting Thought

"Leadership is getting someone to do what they don't want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve."
–Tom Landry

Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group