Dan Farber writes about the Enterprise Ventures 2005 conference:
Software as a service is on the rise, but it tends to be applicable in areas of non-strategic core functionality, said Ted Schlein, a managing partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. I guess that means that CRM is core but not as strategic as financials. That may be true today, but over time more strategic applications will move to the Net, just as most of us don’t keep money under mattresses anymore and rely on banks. As the technology matures, and as software services can be evaluated and rated on the basis of factors such as reliability and trustworthiness, the model of outsourcing functions in a multi-tenant or single-tenant model will be prevalent.
Schlein also talked about Microsoft as being less relevant in the enterprise. Given his venture firms backing of Google that’s not surprising. The ‘Web operating system’ implies that a Windows operating systemor any other lower level core software is less important as users spend their time using Web-based communications and other kinds of applications. It’s not an either or situation. Over time, Microsoft, Apple, Novell and any other company with a client (desktop) interface will offer more rich media, Web-based versions of their software, beyond browsers. It’s not a religious issuethin or thick clientit’s more about getting serious bandwidth and quality of service in the network, and having hybrids that allow users to work both online and offline with the same interfaces and tools.