Microsoft strategist Charles Fitzgerald reviews SaaS market dynamics, starting with an assessment of Larry Ellison's recent SaaS commentary.
It is not often I rally to Larry Ellison's defense. In fact, it has never happened, unless you count that incident involving two underage interns, the failed MiG fighter acquisition and ten thousand cubic yards of Jello, but the legal settlement thereof bars further elaboration.
Read and ponder the entire post -- it's a very timely and thoughtful market reality check (once you get past the first couple paragraphs...). In addition to being informative and entertaining (I was convinced Charles was Fake Steve Jobs for a while...), Charles includes some insightful and provocative market projections.
Seriously, go read Charles' post, then come back here and consider my comments:
1. One thing Charles is unsubtly pointing out is that, in the software + services landscape, vendors that have services but not (traditional, on-prem, etc.) software may well have some strategic and structural competitive disadvantages.
2. Oracle (and Larry Ellison personally, as founding investor in NetSuite and an original salesforce.com investor) will eventually make some major moves in SaaS -- perhaps ultimately acquiring both salesforce.com and NetSuite.
3. In this context, it's not about Bubble 2.0/Web 2.0/Enterprise 2.0/etc. 2.0, despite all of the 2.0 headlines; it's about Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP competing to dominate applications (as in ERP, CRM, SFA, etc., not, e.g., desktop productivity applications) for organizations of all shapes and sizes.