One company to watch and learn from is Intuit, It is exclusively focused on targeting small companies. This year, its been making acquisitions of other cos. targeted at small businesses, the latest one being Eclispe. [News.com story].
Here’s a little older story providing some background, also from News.com:
J.P. Morgan analyst Adam Holt said there’s still a lot of potential in selling products tailored for specific business segments, as the main competition for [Intuit’s] QuickBooks is smaller companies that make software and have only niche products. By coming up with its own approach and selectively acquiring companies such as American Fundware, a specialist in accounting software for nonprofits that Intuit agreed to acquire earlier this month, Intuit can offer customers the best of both worlds.
“It’s a highly fragmented marketplace,” Holt said. “You’ve got a lot of little solutions-providers targeted at individual vertical markets, but there isn’t anybody with Intuit’s brand name, balance sheet and installed base that’s rolling out vertical products. I think they’re really well-positioned to succeed there.”
Intuit is also working to use the strength of QuickBooks to sell other services, such as payroll processing.
We will also need one “killer platform” to build on. Can that be the Thin Client-Thick Server platform? Or the Digital Dashboard? Or Messaging?