Thursday, February 28, 2013

An Ecosystem for SMB SaaS

In a recent interview I was asked what O4BO did.  I tried to explain that we were a PaaS with SaaS and IaaS and Integration as a Service...hmmmm...the interviewer got a glazed look on her face, thought for a few seconds and then asked, "who are you selling to?"  I said, "We re selling a broad suite of solutions that are designed from the ground up for those Small to Medium sized Businesses that do NOT have significant Information Technology Expertise.  We both stopped to think.  She was thinking what to ask and I was thinking, "Boy this isn't going well."

The silence was broken when I said, "The essence is that we are building an site around the needs of SMBs to deliver Software as a Service."  She responded, "Ok an Ecosystem for SMB SaaS?"  and I said, "Right"

So what does this Ecosystem do for that small business that doesn't have significant IT expertise?  Here are the bullets:


  • No software to install.  Sign up and start using.
  • No hardware to buy and install and maintain, just a web browser.
  • Software as a Service for ERP, Accounting, Financials, CRM, Web Content Management, Portal, Business Intelligence, Analytics, pick and choose or take a bundle.
  • Integration of all solutions, not just the ones above but external SaaS solutions like SalesForce.com if you want, or your legacy applications if you want.
  • Bring Your Own License.  If you have bought a license to some software but you want to deploy that software on or Platform so you can save money and have that application integrated with the rest of what we offer, you can do that.
  • Customize your solutions easily, often without programming.  We offer a Rapid Application Development environment that you can use to extend and customize any of the solutions we offer and even external solutions.
  • Create new applications on our Platform that are integrated and themselves are customizable.
  • Create new applications or extensions and then resell them to our other subscribers.  A perfect way for a programmer to earn money or for companies to pay for the customizations they need.
  • Create custom workflows with a Context Aware Rules Engine that can be customized for each tenant and can include any solutions on the platform including our SaaS solutions and customizations or new applications deployed on the platform.
The ecosystem descriptor get away from the alphabet soup that are just acronyms and with no precise meaning.  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

All Platform as a Services are not the same

If you do a google search for "Platform as a Service", not surprising the Wikipedia definition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platform_as_a_service gets the top ranking but it is just one definition.  On that google results page you will see several definitions, all different.
 
Also not surprising alongside that listing are some of the major players, Engine Yard, SalesForce.com, Microsoft, Oracle and IBM.

Ok Platform as a Service aka PaaS has one common definition, it is a service for delivery of applications.

To some it is just that...manage the deployment of applications.

For others like WorkXpress, http://www.workxpress.com/ offer not only the ability to deploy applications to the cloud, but a Rapid Application Development environment to actually build the applications.

For others like Heroku, http://www.heroku.com/ offers the deployment and management of applications you develop in multiple languages.

Some like SalesForce.com offer deployment of their applications and yours that extend the SalesForce.com CRM to the cloud.

Still others offer some mix of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and a small number offer Integration as a Service to one degree or another.

Not surprising, we have our own definition of Platform as a Service and that is:

The O4BO Platform that provide a computing platform and a solution stack as a service. Along with software as a service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Integration as a Service.  We believe a Platform that is designed from the ground up for Small to Medium sized Businesses is not designed for Developers although developers will find it easier to use.  A Platform that doesn't include Software as a Service that is fully integrated, is less useful.  Software as a Service with just one application is less useful.  Infrastructure as a Service with nothing but management of the cloud is less useful.  Integration as a Service that isn't integrated with the Infrastructure, Software as a Service applications and the Platform is less useful.  A Platform that only works with a proprietary application stack and does not allow you to deploy your own applications is less useful.

The O4BO Platform as a Service, includes SaaS applications in ERP, Accounting, CRM, BI, Analytics, Web Content Management and a Portal.  It also includes Infrastructure as a Service with Cloud Management on multiple clouds.  It also includes an Enterprise Service Bus that is fully integrated with the Platform, Portal and SaaS applications.  It also includes a Dynamic Context Aware Rules Engine to allow for easy customization often with no programming.  Any PaaS that doesn't offer all this, is less useful.


  
Mike Oliver Founder, Open 4 Business Online
Tel: +1(951)260-0793 | Mobile:*NEW 639479927462
http://www.o4bo.com
Mas marunong akong umunawa ng salitang tagalog kaysa magkapagsalita nito
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Contact me: Google Talk mikeoliveraz@open4businessonline.com Skype MikeOliverAZ

Thursday, February 21, 2013

On-Premise vs. SaaS ERP Software Costs

I would like to expand on the excellent article by Douglas Johnson, 
http://www.mbtmag.com/articles/2013/02/premise-vs-saas-erp-software-costs

He starts out with "The Cloud has inspired a new way of thinking about ERP software deployments, with companies having the option to purchase a license or obtain a SaaS solution." and would add that Platform as a Service(PaaS) in the Cloud has inspired a new way of thinking about custom and customized software of all kinds including ERP.

For Small Business he says, "So, for small businesses SaaS may offer better ROI."  We would add that most Small Businesses either don't have or cannot afford the IT staff needed to do customization. PaaS may offer a better ROI when custom or customized solutions are needed.

His calculations on SaaS are right on target.

He asks, "When is SaaS better?" and concludes, "Businesses benefit from SaaS when they cannot dedicate IT resources to installing and managing applications. We assumed upgrades occur two times per year and require approximately five hours to install. In addition, with SaaS expenses are deferred, so the model becomes more attractive as the cost of capital goes up.
The on-premise model contains the most upfront expenses as well as significant ongoing IT expenses paid over time. As the cost of capital increases, the upfront costs are not impacted, but the impact of the ongoing IT costs is reduced, so that the overall benefit is less than with SaaS."   We would add that a PaaS that has a Rapid Application Development tool that is fully integrated with the SaaS ERP solution, the cost of development and support is radically reduced compared to customization of Licensed (or even Open Source) ERP, improving the ROI even more.

In his conclusion he rightly says, "As your business changes, your business requirements change. Company size, IT expertise, legislation, risk, programming requirements, and other factors will influence your SaaS versus on-premise deployment over time. You should partner with a provider that offers a choice of license and SaaS deployments so you can switch your deployment if your requirements change."

In our conclusion we say, as your business changes, you business requirements change, and a PaaS to go along with your SaaS ERP will let you change and customize your solution easily and cost effectively.  Check us out at http://www.o4bo.com to see what we can do for you.


  
Mike Oliver Founder, Open 4 Business Online
Tel: +1(951)260-0793 | Mobile:*NEW 639479927462
http://www.o4bo.com
Mas marunong akong umunawa ng salitang tagalog kaysa magkapagsalita nito
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Contact me: Google Talk mikeoliveraz@open4businessonline.com Skype MikeOliverAZ

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Fwd: Google Alert - iaas


An excellent article that we at O4BO agree with...
Achieving IaaS Savings: the Long View | Consider the Source
Here's a look at some areas where IaaS can reduce cost over the long term. Reduced overheads and architecture costs. By carefully selecting and converging ...
blog.isg-one.com/2013/.../achieving-iaas-savings-the-long-vie...
We believe we apply these same values to our own IaaS for O4BO Subscribers.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Open 4 Business Online and WorkXpress Announce Unique Integrated Cloud Services Platform Alliance


Open 4 Business Online (@O4BO) and WorkXpress today announced a unique Cloud Services Platform and Sales Alliance, integrating the software services of O4BO's Software as a Service (SaaS) and Integration as a Service(IaaS) architecture with WorkXpress (PaaS).
Online PR News – 12-February-2013 – Open 4 Business Online (@O4BO) and WorkXpress today announced a unique Cloud Services Platform and Sales Alliance, integrating the software services of O4BO's Software as a Service (SaaS) and Integration as a Service(IaaS) architecture with WorkXpress' Platform as a Service (PaaS) application development solution set for the Small to Medium sized Enterprise.
By fusing the software integrating capabilities of O4BO?s SaaS and IaaS services with the SMB-focused solutions offered by WorkXpress, we allow subscribers to ERP, CRM or other applications to seamlessly and easily create their own customizations or entirely new applications that integrate with the existing applications on one service. Building Applications from scratch is harder than most think it is, but starting with an existing application construction toolkit (WorkXpress) and an agile and programmable database environment, (O4BO) makes the process a whole lot easier.
The industry is moving more and more towards simplified software technology to allow business people to define, develop, and deploy their own business information management solutions easily?. This integration is a big leap forward for both our companies. Treff LaPlante
Before the partnership between O4BO and WorkXpress most SaaS vendors did not offer a way to customize their software on the same platform or service. Even when it?s possible to customize the software you have, you will have to ?forklift? an SDK or API that requires expensive programming, testing and time to get the job done. With this unique Cloud Services Platform and Sales Alliance, no expensive programmer is needed to create new applications that use the existing data or just new screens to improve a business process with O4BO and WorkXpress.
Small to Medium sized Enterprises with little or no IT Staff and tight budgets for company MIS support, will see this capability as a very cost effective way to develop and or obtain custom software solutions at SaaS prices.
"This is exactly what our subscribers have been seeking... A Web Based, Rapid Application Development (RAD) solution set right in our Portal." said Mike Oliver, Founder of O4BO.COM. "The industry is moving more and more towards simplified software technology to allow business people to define, develop, and deploy their own business information management solutions easily?. This integration is a big leap forward for both our companies." said Treff LaPlante, CEO of WorkXpress.
You can see a Demo on O4BO to see all the power and features available to Small to Medium sized Businesses.
About WorkXpress® (http://www.workxpress.com/) is the ONLY Platform as a Service (PaaS) with a completely end-to-end visual systems administration and software development environment. This makes WorkXpress® the fastest rapid application development (RAD) PaaS on the market. WorkXpress® also offers private clouds, flexible partnership models and private labeled branding. Contact: 304 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101 +1.717.609.0029

About Open 4 Business Online (http://www.O4BO.COM) brings six feature-rich applications as a subscription services (SaaS): ERP/Accounting; Customer Relationship Management (CRM); Business Intelligence/Analytics; Web Content Management (WCM); Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), JackRabbit Content Management (JCR); and Liferay Portal, running on IBM Smart Cloud (IaaS).
Contact: Suite 36E Serenity Tower, 7829 Makati Ave. Makati City, National Capital Region, Philippines
+63.929.502.6851 / +63.947.992.7462

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Why is SaaS+PaaS+IaaS so good?

At a recent investor forum, I made our pitch that we were the first company that offered SaaS+PaaS+IaaS (both Integration and Infrastructure).

We made it to the final 30 out of 700 applicants and final 10 yet to be chosen at IdeaSpace.

Why is SaaS+PaaS+IaaS so good? Let's start with PaaS, Platform as a Service, this relates to a Platform that is delivered as a Service that allows you to build applications totally or mostly on web browsers.  Many believe that's enough and their companies ONLY offer PaaS.  However our market is the Small to Medium sized Enterprise (SME) without significant IT expertise.  So starting from scratch to build an application for our market is no trivial step.  With O4BO we start with existing applications, database and Web Services to access those applications and data.  Our PaaS partner WorkXpress is fully integrated with our Platform and their tool has full access to all our tables and views via Web Serivces.  That makes is easier for someone to build an extension to ERP or CRM to meet their own needs or to access data from multiple sources in one application also done easily with WorkXpress.  So SaaS+PaaS is good for our subscribers.

Next let's look at Integration as a Service or IaaS, this is based on an Enterprise Service Bus that lets us expose those ERP and CRM tables (as well as any application data in WorkXpress) and is why we can integrate PaaS and SaaS.  It also allows us to integrate our subscriber's legacy data and applications that are outside our Platform via Web Services or an API if available.

Lastly the other IaaS, Infrastructure as a Service.  When one of our subscribers wants to customize one or our applications or deploy new applications they want to run on our Platform, we can do that because we have Cloud partnerships with IBM SmartCloud and ProfitBricks.  We can provide our subscribers with their own Cloud instance with everything they need fully integrated with our other applications and tools on the platform.  This also provides a level of security because if they want they can have their own database and their own applications running in their own Cloud instance....we do NOT lock them in, they can take their "stuff" and drop us out of the equation if we fail them in any way.

So that's why SaaS+PaaS+IaaS is so good!


  
Mike Oliver Founder, Open 4 Business Online
Tel: +1(951)260-0793 | Mobile:*NEW 639479927462
http://www.o4bo.com
Mas marunong akong umunawa ng salitang tagalog kaysa magkapagsalita nito
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Contact me: Google Talk mikeoliveraz@open4businessonline.com Skype MikeOliverAZ

Friday, February 1, 2013

SPIaas

What is a SPIaas? Well it is an acronym for SaaS + PaaS + IaaS. A single company that offers all of the services.

O4BO is an SPIaas company. Here is an overview.

SaaS - we have ERP, Accounting, Finance, Inventory, CRM, Web Content Management, Business Intelligence, Analytics, and a Portal.

PaaS - we have integrated WorkXpress,and an Enterprise Service Bus, and a Rules Engine.

Integration as a Service (IaaS) - our Portal is a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) making integration in Portlets easy. Our integrated Enterprise Service Bus provides a SOA based Integration Platform.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) we partner with IBM SmartCloud and ProfitBricks to allow our subscribers to deploy THEIR applications to the cloud so they are managed services that are fully integrated with our subscription services.

Where else can you find ALL OF THAT? Http://www.o4bo.com