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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Opportunites For New Billion Dollar Software Companies

MR Rangaswami opens up a refreshing discussion on software’s billion dollar question, The article - highly recommended for reading points to possibilities of new billion dollars emerging (while some are skeptical of such large software companies coming out in the near future). I, for one firmly believe that possibilities of new billion dollar software companies are very bright. Lets examine the why and how of such a scenario. The business dependence on digitized processes are getting more and more pronounced. The warp and the weft of business processes are firmly centered around technology . With increasing complexity of enterprise applications, we see that the dilemma of business in supporting existing tech investments which keep increasing on the one hand and the pressure to gain more yields from such investments to make the business more competitive. This challenge is in many ways pushing the business to look for and invest in more and more innovative technology centric solutions. With large software vendors respond slowly to the changing realities or have their own delivery program schedules for providing such solutions, many best-of-breed vendors would be able to move in and begin to provide relief. This demand will provide the fodder for the growth and sustenance of many more billion dollar software companies albeit with varying means of delivery.

The enterprise2.0 technologies are providing huge opportunities for enhancing business competitiveness and the bottoms up participation centric approach of technology and tools of the enterprise 2.0 era enables a new trajectory and momentum for organizations to leverage technology in very many innovative ways. Surveys find that technology buyers are highly socially active, and software vendors are matching their appetite by being in the forefront of selling social media centric solutions. Today in the consumer driven technology age, technology buyers inside enterprises encompassing both the business and IT users are highly switched onto the social media and use/tend to use many of these tools in their business. The key here is to help create enterprises go after and attain tangible and sustainable value. Lets build this further and see one or two instances where this could create a huge market opportunity for software vendors.The enterprise 2.0 technologies provide firms with the mechanisms to create value by inviting many stakeholders to interact real time and enhance the value creation process with its openness and timeliness. There are examples of social networks that help business manage the entire product development processes and an interactive one enables it to be enriching and more valuable.

There are many bright spots where opportunities for new software that can pay back enterprises in very short time exist. For example in the cusp of collaboration technology and supply chain software we see the advent of new innovations like demand signal management. Here we see that enterprises replace relying on internal data such as order and shipment records with analyzing weekly and even daily point-of-sale data from retailers so they can better see what's selling where. Sustained efforts to exploit the growing importance of complex interactions could well generate durable competitive advantages and this can be done only by a new set of enabling software – and these are all big ticket opportunities. In all these leading edge opportunities, unarguably, small vendors and upstarts tend to move faster and therein lays the growth opportunities for software vendors to create billion dollar enterprises. The contours of such emerging software companies are clearly there to be seen.

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