I’m not sure how Salesforce has done it, but it has managed within the HR technology space to have turned highly intelligent consultants into mindless lemmings that drink the Salesforce kool-aid straight up when it comes to discussing modern software distribution platforms and in particular SaaS.
By “highly intelligent HR technology consultants” I’m talking about various people that are organizing or whose names are associated with the HR technology conference at which TempWorks will be exhibiting in late September. In particular I’m talking about people like Naomi Bloom and to an extent Bill Kutik but also various consultants from Jason Averbrook’s firm, Knowledge Infusion.
Now before I continue the unthinkable of insulting all the key players at an upcoming conference that I’ll be attending I want to comment that these are really smart guys and gals. They write great. My guess is their flawed perspective comes from a client base of angry-as-hell Oracle and SAP customers for whom Salesforce is a hail-Mary pass over intractable enterprise IT departments. Kudos to Salesforce and kudos to their consulting efforts. But let’s not become computer science revisionists for the sake of one’s client gigs.
Take for example this column by Knowledge Infusion consultant and author of the popular HR Technologist blog, Bryon D. Abramowitz. He lists seven attributes of SaaS, and remarkably all seven come straight from the Salesforce bible and all seven are ERRONEOUS. Here are his seven which he presents in two sets:
Based on this definition, there are countless vendors in the space that qualify as SaaS and just about any solution you buy can be made available in a SaaS model.
I would like to offer a more narrow definition of SaaS;
In the event that this post gathers at least some interest I’ll deconstruct all seven but for the moment I’ll focus on the one I wrote about as a comment to Bryon’s post which was “Software is accessible via an internet browser”. Clearly this is wrong as any 35-year-old non-browser iTunes or Kindle user will tell you.
SaaS-based vendors like TempWorks not to mention puny little Apple, Adobe and Amazon are all over non-browser technologies. HTML and even the heralded HTML5 are just one of many competing SaaS oriented standards. Just take a look at your phone. I’ll bet many of your favorite apps on non-browser.