It a known paradigm for many Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and cloud computing businesses: get a capital investor to bridge your existing business model with the future of software distribution – or, try to build a new business model, whilst preserving the old revenue streams – becoming a FUSE-CO (future-service-company). It is doable. It is risky. If you pull it off – and you have the right solution, your private beach is already reserved.
If you need the muscle and in loss of time: get that capital investor, your still get a private beach (just a small one).
Microsoft recently held a conference for Microsoft BizSpark participant’s dating their ISV partners with the venture market. A great way to build an eco-system of add-value for being a Microsoft Partner; and a great quick entry for an V.C., to spot groups of ISVs in a little time – with a high investment opportunity. I had the opportunity to speak with some of the participant in BizSpark recently, and it became apparent to me that tomorrows business service companies face a set of challenges that we, as an industry, adopted upon them.
Not only are the FUSECO’s fighting a falling curve in revenue, try to hammer those dollars into the account whilst building recurrent revenue from subscriptions: they all face a great deal of pain, selecting their technical transition model. Platform- or Infrastructure-As-a-Service? Building upon Azure or CloudRig? Building upon new terms or the old terms? And what about business management – customer onboarding and invoicing.
There is a new platform and way to deliver Software+Services every week – which is why my guidance for ISV’s is as follows:
- Don’t follow other peoples talk, build your own talk!
- … Remember to walk to talk, and don’t deviate.
- … Trust your instincts and the solution design you choose.
- As my great Australian friend always told technical people:
- … Middleware. Build middleware. You can always transition a great software design onto another platform.
- Remember to integrate external service to lower your footprint and increase speed and time to market.
For many of the FUSECO’s, time-to-market or time-to-cash is important. My recommendation is: Start building a version today, and launch quickly. Extend and improve your solution as a free upgrade for your subscribers (there’s your freemium model!!), as they will built a long-term relationship with you, of this simple reason. New features in software – makes you stick to this. No new features in 4, 6 or 9 months probably makes you leave. Use this to your advantage!
A little advice: This may imply that you have to launch your solution on IAAS before PAAS. Is this bad or wrong? NO! If you make money, and increase your velocity, why is this bad? Should you use Azure just because someone else invested billions in building it? Is it your business to help them do return-on-investment? NO! But if using storage from Azure is cheaper and faster to deploy in your solution design, why not take advantage of it?
And remember: the success factors of cloud are far more complex than you think. Start your journey, but get guidance and invest $$ in your cloud strategy.
Closing remarks, remember –think:
- Solution not program
- Pain relief instead of pain addition
- Service not software
- Make it easy in any context, not complex
I know you can do it! DO IT! Or contact me, as I will build you courage and energy to do so 🙂