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The Salesforce formula only works when your marketplace offers a clear, unobstructed glide path. When the market dictates that you navigate around “The Big Four” — Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple — in a commoditized market, you must adopt a radically different approach.

“It’s the end of the road for freemium cloud services” via VentureBeat

This analysis can be mapped to any industry where this a dominant set of companies. As Klink expands to work with strategic partners in the PBX space, I see a similar situation in the UCaaS (unified communication as a service) space as the author does with basic cloud storage. Instead of using a strictly freemium model, Klink is focused on providing clear, demonstrable value over a set of workflows that will make us both valuable to individual users and incredibly sticky within an organization.

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And a year ago, OCP announced plans to build a network switch. And not just any network switch, but one designed as a software-defined networking (SDN) device. SDN is a radically new way to build networks that threatens Cisco, or at least Cisco’s 60+% profit margins.

Facebook Just Fired A Huge Shot at Cisco” via BusinessInsider.

It’s easy to forget how big Cisco’s dominance is over the hardware that powers the internet. 

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With a higher concentration of these so-called ‘cloud leapers’ — companies that bypass legacy systems completely and leapfrog straight to cloud solutions — expect the impact of SaaS in developing Asia to be much more dramatic than any more developed region.

“There’s a perfect storm brewing for SaaS startups in Asia” via TheNextWeb

They’re going to need enterprise tools – but they’re starting from scratch. Sharepoint and SAP is not on their radar. This lack of awareness and loyalty to the legacy players is a huge opportunity for SaaS startups.

“4 Reasons Why the Subscription Economy Kicks Ass”

I saw this short article on AlleyWatch today, “4 Reasons Why the Subscription Economy Kicks Ass”, that back-linked to an article from September entitled “Zuora’s whopping round shows the subscription economy is here to stay”.

  1. Predictable cashflow.
  2. Easier for the consumer to buy.
  3. Can be very profitable.
  4. Can save and change certain industries.

One of my favorite parts of working on Office 365 in my last few years at Microsoft was helping to make Office “subscription-able”; not an easy task when you’re talking about products like Outlook that have 100 million+ lines of code and are 12 years old. Now, working at Contactive, it’s exciting to think about how we take our products and platform and make them SaaS-backed from the start, ensuring that our customers will have an easy way to understand how and what to buy from us. 

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A great article that discusses the importance of price testing with your customers, especially when you have a SaaS offering and are trying to attract different personas to the same product line. Another great point in the article is about having a clear value metric for your customers; one that can be explained to your users and makes sense when striated across price ranges.

Netflix Experiment Stirs Up 3 Steps to Develop Your Pricing Plans