Are The New Titans of the SaaS World Highlighted in 2009 Special Suffering From The Oliver Twist Syndrome When It Comes To Market Penetration?

Posted on June 10, 2011


Back in June 2009 I had aired a segment on the PI Window on Business titled Emerging Giants: The New Titans of the SaaS World, which in hindsight is interesting in that at least 2 of the senior executives who participated in the panel discussion represent organizations that are shall we say walking lightly but carrying a big stick re market presence and influence.

I am of course talking about Rich Becks from E2Open and Anurag Dixit from Zycus (the latter vendor receiving the Red Herring Global 100 Award in 2010 for being a leading private company across the globe in terms of technological innovation within its sector).

Of course it is no surprise that E2open and Zycus have both their heads and platforms in the cloud.  What is surprising however is the fact that outside of their known circle of clients both organizations seem to be the best kept secret in the industry failing to crack mainstream consciousness to a degree that is commensurate with their solution prowess.

So what’s the reason for this relative obscurity of excellence?

Quite frankly, and similar to a Viador, these companies have focused more on delivering results to clients versus trumpeting their greatness to the world.

Now some may choose to disagree with me, which is just fine as I can miss the mark as well as anyone but (and this is a big but), the gap between market potential and the actual realization of overall share and revenue remains large.

For example Ariba, who let’s be frank has an abysmal track record in terms of delivering to promise or client expectation has according to their website Ninety-four of the Fortune 100 and 80% of the Fortune 500 companies as their clients, plus more than 500,000 other organizations that they count amongst their user base.

Conversely, Zycus boasts 170 plus clients worldwide, which given their propensity for meeting and perhaps even exceeding client expectations is a paltry sum that seems more like table scraps (no insult intended re the 170 users), than it does significant traction.

Looking at the pure even up numbers one would have to conclude that Ariba’s market penetration reflects the ubiquity of a utility company, while Zycus reflects a “please sir, more” Oliver Twist kind of industry presence.

The real question however is simply this, has the market in the Internet Age become so fractured as to make the dominance reflected in the Ariba numbers a thing of the past?  In other words, are bold assertions that 49 of the Top 100 companies using a particular vendor’s application still relevant, especially since the IT implementation landscape has dramatically shifted from a single monolithic vendor platform to one of potentially many cloud-based vendors operating within either a public or private hub?

As always your thoughts by way of this post’s comment box is both encouraged and welcome.