My good friend and colleague, Jeff Williams, and I are guests on a webinar mid-day today re: shared services. In preparing for the webinar, we talked a lot about how shared services has been changing the last few years. Moreover, we discussed how the economics and technologies that defined so many shared service initiatives in the 1990s are now in need of review.
While neither of us is enamored with the name, we used a short-hand term, shared services 2.0, to describe the differences between the older generation of shared services and the newer one. One area we intend to discuss on the call is the ability of cloud technologies to change the work location, economics and process designs of shared service work.Please feel free to listen in on the call.
Jeffrey L. Williams (Jeff), good friend and colleague, and I took a fairly good look at Intacct recently.
If you don’t know Intacct, they’ve got a solid SaaS (software-as-a-service) Accounting solutionthat integrates with many best of breed solutions to round out an entire suite. We’ve interviewed top management, participated in product demonstrations, and more to develop this report.
Here’s an excerpt from our Market Prognosis section of the report:
We particularly like the following about Intacct and its products:
The company is very focused on its product line focus (financials) and its sales strategies.
The company’s distribution channel is quite enviable. Moreover, the solution very elegantly solves a number of business needs that accounting firms (and their clients) have.
We also liked the team at Intacct and believe them to be motivated, sharp and focused on the right priorities for the company
We believe additional focus may be required in these areas:
Intacct does not currently offer a PaaS. We believe this could be a limiting factor in its attractiveness to other software firms, systems integrators and other potential partners. Clients would benefit from a PaaS as well.
Supporting multi-nationals may force Intacct to develop more skills, more product capabilities and more local sales/support personnel. Rolling this out will need to be carefully metered if the company is to maintain growth rates cost effectively. Multi-lingual support is just one need here.
We believe the products could go even further up-market. The functionality may already adequate to do so for many prospective customers. However, Intacct will need more applications/application coverage to improve its penetration in larger accounts. This may also require an upgrading of Intacct’s service partner ecosystem, too.
Overall, Intacct should exhibit better than average growth in the SaaS financial software space. As long as the company continues to serve customers well (e.g., no material system outages) and develops more product and architectural capabilities in a timely manner, they should do quite well.”
We recently completed a report about large enterprises and their adoption of SaaS applications. When this kicked off, we thought we’d find a lot of firms telling us they’re still worried about data security in the cloud. We thought we’d hear a lot of hemming and hawing.
Instead, we found big, really big firms, adopting SaaS applications. These firms told us about their plans to implement more and more SaaS applications. More amazing were the numbers they shared with us regarding how much less these applications cost than on-premise products.
This is a big report with a lot of surprises. And, more than anything, it showed us that SaaS is no longer the domain of early adopters and innovators. It’s now well within the realm of Geoffrey Moore’s Early Majority.