SaaS as an Ecosystem

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  • Edge of the Web 2008 SaaS as an Ecosystem By Marc Lehmann | CEO of
  • The Nature of Sustainability... Social Economic Environmental
  • The Nature of Sustainability... Balanced ecosystems Communities of species
  • The Nature of Sustainability... Consuming less Sharing more
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)? SaaS Ecosystem Sustainability... Shared servers Shared server infrastructure Shared platforms Shared services (backups, upgrades, support and security) Shared development (agile development, subscription funded) Shared people and ideas
  • Ecosystem A natural unit consisting of all plants, animals and micro-organisms in an area functioning together with all of the non-living physical factors of the environment
  • SaaS Ecosystem A natural unit consisting of all users, developers and stakeholders in an area functioning together with all of the non-living physical factors of the internet.
  • Why SaaS Ecosystems? Its About Being Online... any process, technology or behavior that inserts delay, restricts access or denies re- use inhibits the ecosystem
  • SaaS Ecosystem Makeup Biotic + Abiotic
  • Biotic Elements Consumers Employees Developers Investors
  • Abiotic Elements Applications Network Platforms Web construct
  • SaaS Ecosystems are about... Mutually beneficial relationships
  • SaaS Ecosystems are about... Getting past the limits of pure capitalism. (just billing each other isnt always best)
  • SaaS Ecosystems are about... Non-financial payoffs doing things because its the right thing to do getting your application connected to others in the ecosystem
  • SaaS Ecosystems are about... Alternative payment timelines Sow now and reap later Good will and loyalty
  • SaaS Ecosystems are about... Indirect benefits X builds an API connector for Y X gets new business from Z
  • SaaS Ecosystem participants... Are passionate because its not just about the money. Its about building amazing apps that get people excited.
  • SaaS Ecosystem participants... Have their own personal online ecosystem within a larger online ecosystem
  • SaaS Ecosystem participants... Are more likely to grow and share their data Share data about their data (meta) BUT it must be with permission = integrity
  • SaaS Ecosystem participants... Test out their ideas in the community Share discovered widgets and connectors
  • SaaS Ecosystem participants... Wont trade profits for principals, trust and credibility (but some have tried to).
  • SaaS Ecosystem participants... Tend to give more permission
  • SaaS Ecosystem participants... Are symbiotic in their behaviour
  • SaaS Ecosystem Participants... Share ideas at #EOTW and BarCamp!
  • SaaS Ecosystem participants... Share in enterprise level utility infrastructure instead of running their own.
  • SaaS Ecosystems participants... Are full of explorers, the fuzzy knowledge worker kind
  • SaaS Ecosystems are changing the tech environment Its no longer just about fee for service The reward is the results of the group The reward is participation and belonging
  • SaaS Ecosystems are re-writing economic rule books. The reward may not be a $s. Helping people in their tribe (and newbies to join their tribe).
  • SaaS Ecosystems are creating... Lots of green collar workers Companies which are more sustainable
  • Service is a conversation in SaaS Ecosystems Sales opportunities Co-development Build loyalty, trust and retention Add new people to your ecosystem Encourage peer to peer support
  • SaaS Ecosystem Enablers Social networks Social communications Connectors Applications Citizen Journalism Web industry associations
  • SaaS Ecosystem Rulebook... Vertical Apps iPhone Apps Web2.0 Apps Connectors SaaS on PaaS Bespoke Apps not allowed!
  • SaaS Ecosystem Rulebook... Connectable Get My Synch My Import My Post My
  • SaaS Ecosystem Rulebook... Leverage Tools Degrees of separation engines Facebook, LinkedIn etc. Information leverage Feeds, Blogs & Forums Communication leverage Live and/or delayed - Twitter Aggregating - FriendFeed
  • SaaS Ecosystem Rulebook... I dont want to revisit my tech investment! I Expect: Free upgrades Instant deployment Connectors maintained
  • Ecosystem lessons from nature... Nature doesnt customise once, it replicates improved features across species incrementally & without charging for them. Genetic source-code.
  • Ecosystem lessons from nature... Standards facilitate the simplicity of evolution but evolve or die as Charles Darwin said.
  • Ecosystem lessons from nature... Nature invents by testing genetic variations within the ecosystem. So do humans. Ecosystems facilitate change in standards.
  • Ecosystem lessons from nature... Genetic variations are often strange. Strange advantages leading to strange creatures standard display + strange navigation
  • Ecosystem lessons from nature... Strangeness is good. Its an opportunity for improvement Strangeness is a consequence of innovative thinking, Ross Lovegrove
  • Ecosystem lessons from nature... Ecosystems organically engineer: redundancy - multiple offspring backups - genetic memory venture capital - mutations testing - survival of the fittest mobility - organ and appendages evolve
  • Ecosystem lessons from nature... Nature buys lots of cheap options through a multiplicity of genetically varied offspring.
  • Ecosystem lessons from nature... Nature is the original Venture Capitalist Nature is an extreme A/B tester
  • The SaaS Ecosystem also tests... The SaaS ecosystem sets up lots of free accounts, many are just variations of an Application theme.
  • The SaaS Ecosystem also tests... A few will survive because of strange advantages
  • The SaaS Ecosystem also tests... While nature votes out serious mistakes SaaS Ecosystem participants vote out Apps
  • Ecosystem Evolution... So a feature mix of what customers want (survival of the fittest) and unexpected mutations can rip EXPECTED + UNEXPECTED
  • SaaS Ecosystem Evolution... Tend to seed blue ocean ideas Why? Primordial web soup of tools, ideas and execution + =?
  • SaaS Ecosystem Evolution... To be in an ecosystem isnt a choice Youre in it and you use it in some way (sometimes indirectly)
  • SaaS Ecosystem Evolution... However, it doesnt need you to survive. Its bigger than you...and smarter. LOW Awareness HIGH Awareness Cell Organism You Ecosystem
  • SaaS Ecosystem Evolution... The ecosystem might need your variant or feature to evolve and improve Individuals ARE important
  • Why does the SaaS Ecosystem matter? Step away from evolution you stop evolving Stop evolving = Danger. Extinction ahead!
  • Why does the SaaS Ecosystem matter? Consumers can now build from the best bits The way we sell and buy is changing People self design their solutions People pick components from many variants Un-permissioned product push is dying The ecosystem is choosing who buys what through tribal influence
  • Why does the SaaS Ecosystem matter? It will encourage consumers to only consume what they need Consumption becomes more efficient Tendancy to buy virtual products such as movies, music, content, apps, entertainment - Less physical stuff and more mental stuff
  • New SaaS ecosystem creatures... The All SaaS Enterprise (ASE) Wants everything online for the many advantageous reasons Quietly wishing away operating systems In a rush to get to the endgame of data and apps existing in the cloud
  • New SaaS ecosystem creatures... The Distributed Enterprise Many staff Multiple locations Communicate almost entirely online
  • New SaaS ecosystem creatures... The real SOHO Work at home parents Use technology very well (Gmail, Skype, SaaS applications) They use ecosystem resources They push ideas, support and services back into the community - peer to peer support
  • New SaaS ecosystem creatures... The Micro VC Self funds widgets, blogs, targeted apps Usually invest time more-so than dollars Usually end up being a boot-strapper if it starts to take off
  • New SaaS ecosystem creatures... The Bootstrapper Concentrated risk on a single product Self fund through small initial capital Grow organically through cashflow Engages ecosystems Doesn't market traditionally
  • New SaaS ecosystem creatures... The Ecosystem Facilitator Donate time to causes and products Value relationships highly They publish at a high rate Speak about stuff they love and hate
  • New SaaS ecosystem creatures... The Idea Campaigner Takes component or ideas of existing systems and build new concepts Will test the idea in the community sometimes before even building it The build is really fast and low cost but has higher risk Can be quite captured by organic and viral conversations
  • New SaaS ecosystem creatures... The Tester They try lots of stuff There's a tester in all of us at this conference They take the time to tell you what is good and bad even if they aren't going to buy your product They are brutally honest (mostly)
  • New SaaS ecosystem creatures... The App-Master Use a handful of apps on which their business is built They sell ads or products Insert themselves into ecosystems around these apps Example 1 - Proseller eBay traders...