Cloud cost control: expense management and auditing for SaaS and beyond

Grazed from GigaOM. Author: David Linthicum.

Today’s Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings enable near-instant productivity and capacity. Businesses, however, have little visibility into or control over their cloud solutions’ true cost. Cloud computing allows lines of business to self-provision tools, often without IT’s knowledge...

The result is an increase in localized productivity. But provisioned systems are often redundant, contracts are poorly optimized, and businesses are unable to manage or audit the lifecycle and usage of these services. They also lack the data and clout to negotiate more favorable terms...

Microsoft's Azure Cloud Platform Explained - Part 1

Grazed from Forbes. Author: Editorial Staff.

Microsoft launched its cloud platform, Azure, in 2010. Since the launch, the service has posted triple digit growth, and last year generated over $1 billion in revenue, according to reports. Considering the latest quarterly results, in which the company claimed that its cloud revenue grew a 128% year over year, we estimate that the annual revenue run rate for Azure can be close to $2.3 billion.

Azure, currently, is the only major cloud platform that is consistently ranked as a leader for both infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS). While Microsoft continues to use the same platform that is used in Azure for some of its offerings such as X-box live, Bing, Office 365, SQL etc., it is extensively marketing its cloud offering to enterprises to roll out their apps on its platform...

Cloud Computing: What is Azure?

Grazed from CIO. Author: Patrick Renzi.

Cloud Computing is all the rage today, and rightfully so. Businesses are readily adopting this innovative way to compute over the Internet. But before you get ahead of yourself, there are hundreds of questions you should ask before journeying into the Cloud. For starters, what is driving this initiative? How are you preparing? How are you going to control it? And most important, what is it?

There is considerably more excitement about the Cloud than understanding. Tangible, like its namesake, the Cloud can actually be whatever you need it to be. It’s simply another way to access your system, and really no different than traditional hosting. Picture your desktop. There is a typically a tower, monitor, mouse, and keyboard...

Companies ploughing money into SaaS investment but still aware of the risks

Grazed from CloudTech. Author: Editorial Staff.

A survey from analyst house Gartner has found key drivers for software as a service (SaaS) include redirection of in-house staff to other responsibilities, as well as quick deployment and faster access to innovation. The research, which polled across 10 countries in May and June this year, found that respondents were still not fully satisfied by going all in to the cloud, instead opting for a mix of SaaS and on-premises.

Even though Gartner expects the traditional deployment model and usage for on-premises software is going to almost half from 34% now to 17% by 2017, issues such as data loss, data breaches, and unsecure APIs remain a problem, as well as privacy and the fear of government snooping. As a result, adoption of private cloud (46%) was cited more than public (24%). Public cloud isn’t always the best model for all use cases within companies, and CIOs appear to be aware of this...

How the SaaS business model affects software company valuations

Grazed from BizJournals. Author: Efrat Kasznik.

Software vendors across the world are embracing the software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud-based business model in growing numbers. According to Software Equity Group, SaaS software revenues will likely represent about 25 percent of the overall software market in the next five years. Research firm Gartner estimated that global spending on SaaS will reach $22.1 billion by 2015.

Some software vendors are converting their software delivery and revenue models to SaaS, while others acquire SaaS companies to gain access to this market. SaaS mergers and acquisitions transactions grew 25 percent last year, and the median SaaS exit multiple was more than double that paid for traditional, on-premise software targets, according to the Software Equity Group...

Read more from the source @

Data analysis SaaS Workiva sets terms for $101 million IPO

Grazed from RenaissanceCapital. Author: PR Announcement.

Workiva, which offers a SaaS platform used by companies to manage the SEC filing process, announced terms for its IPO on Monday. The Ames, IA-based company plans to raise $101 million by offering 7.2 million shares at a price range of $13 to $15. At the midpoint of the proposed range, Workiva would command a fully diluted market value of $581 million.

Workiva had 2,176 customers as of September 30, with 60% of both the Fortune 500 and Fortune 100, including The Coca-Cola Company, Wal-Mart, Cardinal Health, Boeing, Credit Suisse, Google and Chevron. Its ten largest customers make up 5% of revenue. The company's subscription revenue retention rate was 97% as of September 30, and 108% including additional seats purchased by existing customers. The company's management team will collectively own 82% voting power-post IPO...

Cloud Computing: A Rare Peek Into The Massive Scale of AWS

Grazed from EnterpriseTech.  Author: Timothy Prickett Morgan.

The idea behind cloud computing, as pioneer Amazon Web Services believed when it launched its first utility compute and storage products eight years ago, is to abstract away the underlying hardware and provide raw resources to programmers for applications to run on. This hardware is a competitive advantage for AWS, as it has been for its parent online retailer, and that is why AWS very rarely talks about its datacenters and systems. But with Google, Microsoft, and IBM all talking up their investments in cloud and the innovations they have come up with, Amazon has to lift the veil a bit.

The reason is simple. The Amazon online retail business may be a $70 billion behemoth, but it does not throw off a lot of cash. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is not interested in profits as much as he is about transforming the world around him, but the cloud computing business is one of the most capital intensive businesses there are in the world...

8 Powerful Tips That Will Improve Your SaaS Conversions

Grazed from Forbes. Author: Neil Patel.

Do a few minutes of research, and you’ll come up with a load of conversion advice. “Make CTA buttons bigger! Create killer headlines! Streamline your checkout process!” Ad infinitum. Ad nauseum. Don’t get me wrong. All those things are important, but they will only take you so far. The very best conversion optimization is tailored to specific industries. The more specific and focused the conversion tips, the bigger impact you’ll see.

If you are in the SaaS industry, there are at least eight industry-specific tips that you should follow that will help you to improve conversions.

1. Make it free...

Tech Data to bring SaaS/IaaS platform to Canada

Grazed from ComputerDealerNews. Author: Paolo Del Nibletto.

Tech Data’s StreamOne platform for cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) has arrived in Canada. As part of a global launch rollout, Tech Data Americas president Joe Quaglia told CDN that StreamOne will be made available wherever the distributor does business. Going forward, these types of rollouts will be part of a North American strategy.

The StreamOne platform offers channel partners cloud services that they can resell to their own customers along with software in an as-a-service model. Through an online solution store solution providers in Canada can now search, compare, quote and order products for independent software vendors and cloud providers. This also includes Platform-as-a-Service and Infrastructure-as-a-Service offerings...

SaaS Support Best Practices: The Transparent Model

Grazed from CMSWire. Author: Kimberly Gress.

As technology vendors respond to a changing marketplace by creating Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings, their relationship to their customers must change. Satisfying customers by creating a great product that garners positive reviews, and soliciting customer feedback for future upgrades simply isn’t enough.

When a company hands over control of its mission-critical software environment to a SaaS provider, the SaaS customer support organization essentially functions as an extension of the customer’s IT department. To take this step, a customer must trust that they will receive the constant, professional and hands-on support they need. Generating this trust requires that the Customer Support team be transparent and always available. The following best practices will ensure that the support organization does both:...