There?s no doubt that the SaaS (Software as a Service) model will have a big impact on VAR?s (Value Added Resellers). The large benefits that the SaaS model has for the end customers of VAR?s will eventually become make this model eventually a dominating market driver.
One of those benefits is the reduction ? or even complete prevention ? of any risk involved in implementing a standard application in-house. This aspect of SaaS is often a bit undervalued; most of the time vendors only speak about cost reductions and other operational benefits. In reality however, cutting out risk is far more compelling for customers. With SaaS they don?t have to invest in hardware, networks, database software or even in the VAR application itself. They can choose to have an application on trial for a period and if it doesn?t fit, they can go to the next supplier without losing previous investments.
As a result of this, two things will happen: customers will be far more flexible and therefore critical and at the same time, vendors will be forced to excel and deliver the most intuitive, flexible and functionally rich applications.
In the Uniface world, I see two types of VAR?s: those who benefit and see this upcoming SaaS market as a great opportunity for further growth or even as an inroad to new markets. There are also VAR?s who are telling me that SaaS has no impact on their (niche) market and that their application domain is not suitable for SaaS in the first place. Though in certain instances this might be true, for security, performance or other reasons, I always ask myself, what would actually happen if a new player would come into such a particular market?
SaaS is not going away; it?s the logical consequence of the Internet: ?the network becomes the computer?.
My question that I have for VAR?s is simple: will you benefit from the opportunity or will it become your biggest threat?