Monday, December 10, 2007

Enterprise Software Does Not Need to be Cool

I was going through my standard blogroll today and I have to admit I was kinduva disappointed. I think the number of thought provoking tech announcements is going to be limited the next couple of weeks as we head into 2008.

However, I noticed this one post on zdnet from Krigsman saying Scoble does not understand enterprise software. It may well be the case Scoble does not understand enterprise software, but I think Krigsman is wrong. People do want their enterprise solutions to be sexy.

If you look at enterprise software solutions today the features and functions among the big vendors is nearly identical. Sure there may be some minor differences here and there, but the main differentiator in the past has been user interface. It is amazing how much excitement an interface that looks like Pageflakes, GMail, or Yahoo Mail generates in the enterprise space. Enterprise end users want their apps to look like the consumer apps they use everyday.

More importantly, if people did not want sexy/cool there would not be a relatively steady flow of new enterprise software vendors: a) salesforce, b) workday, c) netsuite, d) enkata, etc. New companies differentiate themselves from the old guard by build "cooler and better" product that solves traditional business problems.

So I definitely think enterprises want sexy and cool software. As long as software providers build high quality sexy software they will always have a leg up on vendors that ignore the "coolness" factor and focus on the status quo. It is a very slow revolution, but it is happening.

1 comment:

Jake said...

I tweeted your post, so I would expect the EIs to swoop in and invade your comments soon.

Or not. I've been mulling this tempest since yesterday, unsuccessfully able to care about it.

You've shaken off the dust, with a key point: users want sexy, just like consumer web. Juxtapose that with what the business wants, i.e. cheap, and you're spot on.