Monday, April 2, 2007

Web 2.0 - Why do we need software anymore?

Web 2.0 is truly transforming the software application's industry. A couple of years ago, the hot topic was that Google Spreadsheet will kill Microsoft Office's Excel application. And then Microsoft said that Windows Live will provide word processing, spreadsheets and presentations on a hosted model. All that is possible thanks to Web 2.0.

YouTube, Netvibes, Del.icio.us, Google Maps, and Windows Live are some of the player in the revolution. I realized the other day that I am progressively and subconsiously moving to the Web 2.0 model: I use LinkedIn to keep my contacts in order, I use Netvibes as my online based RSS reader to read the news online every day, I use webmail for my personal email, I use jajah.com to make phone calls over the Internet. Eventually, the entire OS will be online! Video Games are now played online, there are online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon.com. There is even a parallel universe called Second-Life.

In the future, corporations will move into that direction (remember my posting on who creates demand these days). They will use online spreadsheets, online word processing, salesforce.com for CRM, and an online based PBX for managing their telephony system. The small fish will start deploying the great Web2.0 model. It is left to see if big enterprises will go that road... probably all these services and applications can be hosted in the companies data center, managed by IT. This is way into the future now. For now, I believe enterprises do not see the value of going into that model... Salesforce.com is the best example of a successful model for companies. They are growing very fast, and people is seeing this as a good alternative to large scale CRM applications like Oracle or SAP. It is much simpler for the user, and easier to manage by the IT department.

Another great example is NetSuite. They are an online based accounting provider. Picture it as a QuickBooks online, where you can track coporate expenses, revenue, profit, and maintain all your companies accounting. Big companies are starting to spot NetSuite as an alternative.

The benefit is definitely out there.

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