James Barry's Blog

Thoughts on a Software Society

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First Android, now iOS pass Windows sales – Welcome to the New Computing World!

First Android passed Windows, and now iOS.  Is the future all small machines meant to hold in your hand and meant to compute?  Or does this portend the future of computing devices that hook up to any piece of “Glass” to view the screen.  By “piece of glass” I mean a display, whether that is on the phone or a computer monitor, a TV, a tablet, or a wall size display.  OS’s are blending into the background and “services” are taking over.  Android has become the king of computing for the individual and small businesses in emerging countries.  iOS remain king in first world countries and small business’s there.  (Driven by Square and other credit card readers)   You can now easily hook your iOS (Apple) devices up to a TV/monitor etc. via Airplay.  Is that driving PC consumption less?  Android can also hook up to a TV via a variety of ways.  I have seen powerpoint style sales presentations driven by a tablet/phone/you name it all without a PC.  Is the PC doomed to a life only in desktops in back offices?

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Cloud based software makes outsourcing irrelevant

The Wall Street Journal yesterday said that Indian outsourcing firms are losing out to the “Cloud” What does this mean exactly?   Well companies used to build internal software for gaining efficiency and operational gains over their competitors.  Then came packaged software from SAP/Oracle and the like that promised to cut that build cycle shorter and make maintenance less costly.  Then came the Cloud packages that could run “Multi-Tenant” thus sharing expensive computer equipment and driving down costs of the software.  With the Cloud there is not custom software at every company, but one core Cloud installation, a place to make changes, changes happened more rapidly.  Even though you have limited features on the Cloud, they get updated so rapidly that over time you don’t care and can afford to wait until your feature is available.

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PC sales drop – Is this permanent?

There has been a lot written about the protracted drop of Personal Computer sales worldwide.  Some people have been saying “The next version of Windows will save the day” and the masses will rush out to buy Windows 10.  Other think that this is permanent and people are flowing to tablets and, phones and megaphones (Apple 6+ etc.) Still others Actually I think this is part of a long term trend.  It’s all about “The Glass”.  The glass you view your work or pleasure is all you care about.  You don’t care if its a PC, Tablet, Convertible tablet, phone etc.   Continue reading

Crave The Sound

I would be remiss if I did not blog about my daughter Krista’s new website, Crave The Sound.  She loves the music industry and writes concert reviews for several publications.  Today kicks off her own new site and some great pictures and reviews of artists performing live.

Bought not Sold – Are people needed to sell software today?

Business week published a provocative article entitled “There are no Liquid Lunches in the Cloud”  saying that sales reps for software need to be technical people that followup with technical buyers who don’t have time for standard sales negotiations.  I have been on the buyer side and totally agree with the premise of this article.  Frankly getting a price and negotiating a big “discount” can be pretty fun, and I have done that for up to $5 million per year in licensing fees (for ADP) but it is no longer necessary.  This is a cloud world and I expect my team to log on (download if need be) and test away for thirty days.  We’ll know in 30 days and then we can make the decision to buy – or not.  No longer do we need or even want to have a “Sales Engineer” trying to “help” us install.  If we can’t install it without help, its not going into our shop, period.  I think I am like a lot of modern day buyers.  My teams are technically savvy, research like crazy before contacting a vendor, and then, and only then do we ask about details.  The market is moving too fast to enjoy an old fashion sales negotiation.  Now is the time that the sales teams need to adjust or be left behind the competitors who are savvy enough to make evaluations easy and buying easier.

Beyond the sales team changing, there is a new “Bought not Sold” mentality with many SaaS/Cloud companies.  As a buyer you are expected to find the SaaS/Cloud Service,evaluate it and buy it, all without human intervention.  Atlassian is the best example of this trend,as they built a huge company without any salespeople.  There was a great post on having sales without salespeople over the web at this site earlier this year.  Overall I think we are entering the era of “Bought not Sold” especially with software and cloud services.

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