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The Emergence of DIY Software with Platform-as-a-Service Marketplaces

| Nov 14, 2011 | Collaboration Platforms
| Analyst: Brad Shimmin, Principal Analyst, Collaboration and Conferencing

Within the collaboration platform marketplace, no single trend has had an impact as profound as the move to cloud computing. However, an unsung driver within this market has been the move toward business-centered solutions where software (on premises or in the cloud) goes hand-in-hand with professional services. Customers and vendors are working in tandem, both before and after sales to integrate collaboration routines within established business processes. This approach, coupled with business intelligence and analytics, has allowed customers to explore many revenue enhancing opportunities such as improved employee efficiency, streamlined customer service and the mining of latent user knowledge.

Unfortunately, this approach also places a heavy burden upon vendors to provide both consulting and development support. The problem is particularly evident where customers require bespoke software development in support of specific vertical use cases or line-of-business integration requirements. The emergence of the cloud as both a delivery platform has made matters worse by opening up collaboration services to a wider enterprise audience. In response, cloud-savvy partner ecosystems are become an important means of overcoming issues of scale in building custom software, extending vendor software to support specific use case and providing pre- and post-sales consulting services. Unfortunately, while nearly all vendors in this market have embraced the cloud, the task of turning that cloud into a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) with which partners can extend a vendor's solution or build unique products tied closely with the vendor's solution isn’t easy.

This report will look at the current state of partner ecosystem offerings within the enterprise collaboration platform marketplace, outlining the different approaches taken by leading vendors such as IBM, Jive, Cisco and Microsoft. We will also provide guidance for rivals looking to build cloud-based software and service ecosystems, and provide customers with advice on how to best work with vendors in this space.


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