The Sun is Poking Through the Cloud
If you come to our office, you’ll see we have clouds in our lobby. That’s because we’ve been a “cloud computing” company since well before it was ever called that. When we started our PatronMail e-mail service a decade ago, we were called an “Application Service Provider” because we offered our technology over the web.
The approach of “software as a service” (or SaaS) replaces the idea of software that you load onto a server at your office. The SaaS approach provides software in the way that electricity or cable TV is provided to you at your home: from a central source where you pay for what you use. Our business partner in PatronManager CRM is Salesforce.com, the leader in enterprise CRM technology in Silicon Valley, and services over 100,000 corporate clients, and 10,000 non-profits.
On February 24, an article in The New York Times stated that Salesforce hit a big home run when it announced its quarterly revenue was up 38%, when traditional software and hardware companies such as Dell and HP reported lower earnings or losses.
In the same Times article, the author says, “…[I]t would seem that businesses are moving to cloud computing faster than almost anyone would have thought a year ago. Salesforce and others are rushing to offer more applications to businesses via the cloud…”
The article went on to quote Rick Sherlund, an analyst with Nomura Securities who said, “‘We’re at a tipping point, where mission-critical applications are moving into the cloud.'”
As I tell organizations that I meet with all the time, this is very good news for non-profits because cloud computing enables the very best software to be both available and affordable, irrespective of your budget size. In the past, only the organizations with the biggest budgets could afford the best technology.
And, as the marketplace seems to be recognizing, those days are over.