SaaS. I dont really get it.

I've read a fair bit about ASP, on demand, SaaS, (and now heaven forbid SaaS 2.0). I'm stumped. (yes, a cricket metaphor again)

I'm trying hard to understand what the differences are between what Salesforce.com does and what ADP has been doing since the late 1940's (well, 1957 when they moved to punchcard computing).

Other than alot of hype and acronyms, I can't find any differentiating factors, except that ADP do payroll, car dealer services and brokerage services and have had 167 or whatever quarters of continuous growth, and are very very profitable. Also ADP seems to have a more quietly spoken, mild mannered CEO.

You may have missed the deal announced today in Leo's speech at Sapphire with IKEA (35 countries, 85 000 employees).  (There are now more users on the ADP-SAP global view platform than there are salesforce.com users.)

ADP's 50 years of service delivery experience powered by SAP technology.

Imagine ADP start doing CRM.

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11 thoughts on “SaaS. I dont really get it.

  1. Thomas,

    The main difference that I can see is that of self identity.

    ADP views themselves as a service bureau which happens to use whatever technology is available at the time to deliver their services. Their business model to date is to seek out markets with “strong third parties” who control process variability thus giving a service provider a more or less standard process, which leads to economies of scale and realistic margin revenue. Payroll: Strong Third Party = Regulatory requirements. Brokerage Services: Strong Third Party = SEC. Dealer Services: Strong Third Pary = Big Three Auto Companies.

    Salesforce.com (and NetSuite etc.) on the other hand, view themselves as Disruptive Technology Companies!!! (Me:Rolling eyes like a teen aged midwestern girl)

    I, for one, am looking forward to a) ADP realizing that they can branch out into non-regulated service areas with success and b) the Market realizing that salesforce etc. are nothing more than johnny-come-lately service bureaus trumped up into tech titans. Schadenfruede.

  2. With the resurgence of SaaS or at least the next stage in evolution of it, some are confused about the direction and or the definition of said stage. Some call it next-gen platform, SaaS 2.0, On-Demand, Integration as a Seservice (IaaS) . The market will decide upon a name. But what will this name represent? Just as SaaS used to be called ASP, I think IaaS or SaaS 2.0 could be best explained by revisiting what composite applications are all about. That is really what everyone is talking about. The integration of atomic web services through a (hopefully agnostic) platform that doesn’t sit on the server or client, but is not middleware. This is the future of Enterprise applications or Enterprise 2.0. This is the driving power of the concept of web 2.0. Finally utilyzing the services that can be exposed through SOA.

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  4. the real difference is the future. salesforce and others where the first to introduce saas for the masses, and adp and sap came late 7 years.

    sap , oracle, adp, microsoft and other big boys cant adopt saas the same way because it disrupt thier revenues.

  5. Tom,
    ADP run the payroll for most of America, if that isnt for the masses, then I’m not sure what is?

    Developing enterprise software isn’t easy, running applications for companies isn’t easy either. I’m not sure that doing both well is as easy as the “new” players think it is.

  6. James,
    here goes I should have linked to this post.
    https://theotherthomasotter.wordpress.com/2006/05/17/adp-and-sap/
    Press releases
    http://www.2020software.com/products/news/SAP_America__Inc_991.asp

    http://www.adp-es.co.uk/files/site/a/d/adpesuk.eu.adp.com/ftp/contentpdfs/newsroom/IDC.pdf

    Globalview overview is here
    http://www.adp.com/global/globalview/

    The ADP part of the key note is in Leo Apoteker’s speeches at both Sapphires. US speech focused on the Micorsoft deal and the EMEA speech looks at the IKEA deal. see
    http://www.sap.com/community/pub/events/2006_05_SAPPHIRE_EU/
    and
    http://www.sap.com/community/pub/events/2006_05_sapphire_us/

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