In a post Bernie Madoff era, folks REALLY don’t like being sold a bill of goods. Consider the Salesforce.com motto “No Software,” as if they can give you customer relationship management (CRM) without touching a line of lowly code. Well, think about it. Run an application in-house and there’s an application on the client going through the LAN/WAN to your own servers, with their own operating system running the host-based side of the app. With SaaS, you have all the same software (assuming you cache data on the client for off-line use) as well as the need for a Web browser, plus all the software (Domain Name Servers, for example) required to link the user to the Salesforce.com servers. Then there are the various add-ons for sale on Salesforce’s AppExchange.

 

Bernie Madoff couldn’t produce stellar returns year after year without cooking the books, and you can’t have your CRM data magically appear on your screen without some software running somewhere. That software can cause problems, from slow response time to outages. Then there’s the issue of cost. Maintaining a local instance of Salesforce so you can work off-line, for example, requires an extra fee for the client-side software, something Salesforce doesn’t exactly shout about when they advertise the wonders of the “No Software” SaaS model.

 

This isn’t to trash Salesforce – I’ve been using it for several weeks and it’s actually helping me track prospects and drive sales. But working on-line is slower and more awkward than having a local app (at least for a small shop like me) and I do feel like I could be nickel-and-dimed for each additional function I buy on AppExchange.

 

Bottom Line: The national mood is calling for candor and full disclosure. Vendors that go overboard to explain clearly what they can and can’t provide, how they are providing it, and the advantages and disadvantages of their approach will have a competitive advantage with today’s nervous, skeptical decision makers.  

Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

Filed under: PR/Marketing Trends

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