Over the last few months there’s been a lot of press about software vendors moving their licensing models to a Software as a Service (SaaS, or once marketing have got hold of it, ‘cloud’) model.
Whilst the likes of Salesforce and Google have been selling their products as a service for many years, some of the traditional (perpetual licensed) vendors are testing the water too.
First we had Microsoft bringing their Office product suite to market as Office365, then at the start of 2012, Adobe announced that they were only going to make the next generation of Creative Suite products available via their new ‘Creative Cloud’ offering.
Just like the weather, it seems Adobe may be changing its forecast, Chief Executive Shantanu Narayen said “While we will still continue to offer CS6 on a perpetual basis, the feedback from our community is important, and we are evaluating additional options that will help them with the transition. Our goal is to over-deliver on customer expectations, which we believe will make the entire community ultimately embrace CC (Creative Cloud).” This is not an all out u-turn, but it does hint that customer feedback is getting through.
There are definite advantages to consuming apps via SaaS, but what is becoming clear is the switchfrom one model to the other could be made more palatable if the vendors had their customer’s interest at heart.
If a vendor has always sold their products as a service then there is little resistance, but for those vendors where customers have made past investments in perpetual licenses, then it is clear customers want choice as to how and when they embrace the cloud. Where vendors have given choice the full impact of these choices needs to be understood in terms of both migrating the technology and the longer term commercial impact.
Microsoft and Oracle announced on the 24th June 2013, that they will be partnering to enable customers to run Oracle software on Windows Server Hyper-V and in Windows Azure. Customers will be able to deploy Oracle software — including Java, Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic Server — on Windows Server Hyper-V or in Windows Azure and receive full support from Oracle.
If two of the industries fiercest competitors can join together to offer customers flexibility and choice and other vendors are not, which one would you go to in this scenario? – or would you go to someone like CC?