The Beginning of the End for the Incumbents?”. He contends that SaaS start-ups are running rings round the established accounting software players and that the older firms will die out like dinosaours… In a response to the post, I took issue with his main claims. Here are some of the key points:
To characterize ‘the incumbents’ as unable to attract good design talent and slow or unable to innovate is ridiculous. CODA has some awesome talent, who are pushing the boundaries of software development and sit on the committees and groups around the world that drive new technologies and standards. We are pioneers of ‘platform as a service’ being the first major third party to develop on the Force.com platform.
‘Maintenance and support drag is enormous’ – CODA has large user bases on accounting systems, some of which have been around for a decade or more. This gives us a support and R&D infrastructure which we have been able to build on to deliver CODA 2go, without the need for external funding and the considerable pressures that can bring to start-ups.
‘Multi-tenanted applications are a huge mindset shift’ – true. At CODA we realised quickly that it was critical to success, but also recognised that others had done it for us – hence our PaaS strategy. Of course, some ‘big ERP’ players missed that when they embarked on SaaS development a few years ago, but seems they’ve spotted their error…
Cannibalisation of our existing user base is clearly a challenge, but we’ve been around 30 years so we’ve met that challenge before – this isn’t the 1st technology change to happen in 3 decades, and we’ve adapted and thrived in the past.