Thursday, February 12, 2009

SaaS vs. On-Premise: What Did You Do This Weekend?

Here's a tweet from salesforce.com customer Jeff Grosse:

I'm glad that Salesforce.com is performing an upgrade to my CRM system tonight so I don't have to.
Compare that with Dan Blake's description of upgrading Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0:

We’ll be installing the update to the update in the CourseMax data center this weekend. It’s a pretty involved process. Here is the process we’ll go through:

  • Apply the update in the sandbox
    • Since our CRM server roles are split up, we’ll have to install it four times
  • Run through the test plan on all four servers
  • Apply the update on the production servers
    • Six different servers this time
  • Run through the test plan again on Production
... This is also why I’m not really comfortable yet with the 2 month update cycle. I like to keep current with updates but it is a lot of work. Keep in mind that this is in addition to the testing and updating we do for our own software. If we would have installed the first version of Update Rollup 2 we would have had to go through this whole process twice within a month [emphasis added].
This might be the most compelling argument for SaaS I've heard - you get to keep your weekends!

1 comment:

info said...

Jesse,
You make a very good and compelling point. I'm sure this will be much fodder for everyone over at SFDC. Unintended consequences... As I described in my blog post, it is a lot of work to do your own hosting and deal with the Microsoft updates. My only comment would be that you should change the title of this post to "PaaS vs. ISV-Hosting...". We're an ISV so WE are a SaaS business and our customers don't have to worry about the updates.

Depending on how things shape up, we may build a version of CourseMax CRM on Force.com and integrate it with our learning community. That way, our customers could choose SFDC or MSCRM based on what they prefer. That would be an interesting little study, wouldn't it?

We had plenty of reasons to build this version of our app on MSCRM at the time we made the platform decision. There are features we could offer our customers that SFDC just wouldn't let us do. The workflow capabilities and integration hooks were night and day. While it would have been easier in some respects to build on a PaaS, what matters most is that we can offer our customers the most compelling features that help them run their business and service their customers.
Even if that means we have to work harder to make this happen.

I haven't looked at Force.com in almost a year. Things may have changed. Enjoy your weekend!

All The Best,
Dan Blake