A very new standard – Beta!

It seems like the IT market has adopted a new international standard for software release and management. I have consulted several independent software vendors (ISVs) on business- and architectural design session, and one of the often discussed elements of putting software somewhere (read Cloud), it the control of updates and release management.

Impacts of structural and features changes increase radically though SaaS and Cloud Computing, and if you do not architect your application, it will be a hell and mess on customer satisfaction. But on the other hand Google has set forth the new standard. All software delivered and released are BETA, why customers cannot complain. And client still sign up for the free premium service, without any concern of impact.

Remember you as a software user, do not have any impact if a feature is removed from the final release. And although Google had Gmail in BETA, do we really think they changed the model to release? Thinking of it, what is Google if released in final; in the sense of the brand of innovation and constant development?

If Google start to push for final releases, it must mean that they are slowing the innovation down, becoming Microsoft-a-like and just capitalizing on their expenses. So remember, my dear ISV. Your are the potential of the future and end-users are declining to understand the old model. BETA is the new standard, so you might as well put a sign in front of your application, make no promise around it – and go for the breath of seats.

Oh… yeah.. by the way. This article? BETA. I might change it later on 🙂

eKvittering – Danish Innovation

While looking at services based computing, we often tend only to look for B2B related offering, as we can focus on the true business value, and the profit margins are higher and more related to have focus.

Unfortunately as lot of consumer based service (SaaS in many concepts), actually persists and have a great offering and marketing matrix. I followed Danish www.ekvittering.dk for a year now, and while it may seem like a very simple service, the service not only reduce co2 consumption,  saves rainforests in the world and reduce the usage of paper, there is a real value for you as a consumer.

All your receipts are located in the cloud, you do not have to think about saving these – it is in the reach with a username and password. The solution is a business-2-consumer (B2C) service, automatically saving your receipt in a online cloud storage, for future needs or recall. One of the founders of the solution got the idea after a car break-in, and could not re-call the receipt for insurance claims.

Again – making a look from the business side, I really think this also have a new vision and strength to many retail company domains. The only need would be to have an opportunity to review the receipt for errors within the shops, but why not add a www.ekvittering.dk quick-strand to the shop for your convenience.

For my international readers, ekvittering has only launched in Denmark, and is a true startup. I think the company has an internationalization strategy, and the solution would fit nicely in any country with high usage of plastic-payments, i.e. credit cards.

Super nice solution for consumers – please enroll now at www.ekvittering.dk

Times of Crisis – Selling your business?

In troubled times, you may realize that some vital decisions in your business make 24-hour work – a living hell. Well, before you think solving that hell, here is some recommendations I would like to share from past experience.

  • Rethink your reasons for exit. If you have any VC or BA pushing for an exit, ask them to reconsider, and ask them to come back with a redefined reason.
  • IF any capital investors wish to exit, consider making a management buy-in or employee introduction.

If decision goes to selling, consider:

  • Make proof that your employees have good conditions
  • Make proof that your employees have a stable job situation for at least 12 months.
  • Do a reverse due dilligence, you may be astonned around the factors and insights you will get
  • Ask for an acquisition plan,
  • Ask for a merger plan,
  • Reviewthese. Closely!
  • Ask for cash, if given shared, again – ask for cash. You can always buy shares at will.
  • Earn-out: of cause, but put constraints on the buyers, and make a bonus-compensation for your employees.
  • Implement a business-as-usual clause for early break of acquisition within 4-6 months. If something isn’t working – BREAK THE acquisition or ensure that you get 60-80% in hand, and your employees get 12 months’ salary – flat.

Also consider if a merge is better than an acquisition. There is a lot of feelings involved, but mostly these are associated with dumb brands, logos and stamps on invoice paper. Make a third brand and merge both companies into this, to solve any disruption around moving-forward brands.

Last, but not least, ask yourself again: Do I need to sell? Or maybe ask your employees if there are ready to involve in the lead and make up for any reasons for selling. If it’s a generational shift, employees are likely to buy.