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I’ve just read an interesting article over at http://diversity.net.nz/ about Telcos and SaaS business that caught my attention. It’s an area of interest globally currently; finding ways for SaaS business (powerful software) to partner with Telcos (powerful infrastructure). But it does pose some questions…

Here’s the article:
http://diversity.net.nz/telcos-and-saas-a-happy-fit/2008/05/05/

and my thoughts on it are below…

I’ll be interesting to see how the Telcos approach the SaaS model. Contrary to popular belief, SaaS is hard work and many players don’t have large margins – especially early stage SaaS players as they’re spending heavy in Marketing/Dev to get established. Even SalesForce is still working on improving margins…

So how can a Telco partner with a tight margined SaaS player? It’ll be interesting to watch these Telco/SaaS M&A&P’s over time.

Google/Salesforce is a good example of two different models coming together (Sales model vs Free model) – but would a similar deal be struck with a Telco?

Unsure… They could be a technology partner sure, but could they be a software partner? if sales or support (or custom dev) were moved from the SaaS business to the Telco, would the service to customers be lessened? I don’t know if the Telco would have the same product knowledge/passion/experience to deliver equivalent service to a SaaS’s current service?

I mean, you can’t have a Telco support or sales worker working on Internet plans, or dial up packages, then switching to CRM product support…

The Telco would need a specialist team for a ’service’ partnership to be feasible. and then if they have a specialist team, what becomes of the SaaS company’s role? Does it revert to a simple R&D focus? If so, then there’s an issue that R&D & dev teams are removed from customer front end, so the product development angle suffers…

Telco and SaaS business in partnership. Whilst I like the idea of marketing a solution down the Telco’s channel, there are some questions:

1. What’s in it for the Telco (Because the revenue won’t cover the cost for them)
2. What’s in it for the SaaS (Because service and Product dev may suffer)

Just my thoughts. I’m open to ideas on this.

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About the author:
Julian Stone, CEO – Project Management Software visionary for: ProActiveSoftware.com, ProWorkflow.com & Julian101.com
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About The Author:
Julian Stone begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting is the CEO of ProActive Software, developers and creators of the leading web based project management software http://www.proworkflow.com.