Our Ops team just put out a new white paper that should help you understand the level of seriousness with which we treat the security and availability of our customers' data on Constructware and Buzzsaw.
We all know that Buzzsaw is operated by a top-notch, highly trained, well-run, SAS-70 audited group of IT commandos. We call them "IT Operations" or "Service Delivery" or sometimes just "Delta Force".
But we get confirmation every once in a while from outside Autodesk, that these guys are doing as good a job as we think they are. Sometimes it comes in the form of an audit, sometimes a customer (or potential customer) has a bunch of questions for us to answer, which we always seem to be able to do.
But just the other day I heard that a major IT services and software company was implementing Autodesk Buzzsaw for its own project collaboration needs. This is a company that is used by the biggest Fortune 100 types, and has some really cool online meeting software and remote access software. They wanted to do some white hat testing on their own, before they decided our stuff was secure.
Hmmm. I was a bit nervous. After all, these guys are leaders in SaaS and are probably some of the experts in online security. They've been doing this a long time. THEY were going to be probing our systems? We were going to be subjected to THEIR automated hacking and port sniffing and TCP/IP fu? This might not be good...
Well, breathe easy, o Buzzsaw fanbase. Below is a screen shot of the email they sent us last week, regarding the results of their testing. Bravo, boys! Special thanks to Bill Higgins, James Landis, and Paul Cochrane for their tireless work in keeping our data safe and sound!
Offloading the software to Microsoft will let the bottler focus on its core business, he said. "We don't see running the servers and networks and software as a differentiator versus our competitors," Mr. Sezer said.
In a nutshell, Mr. Sezer has said (and the WSJ reporter has probably paraphrased) exactly what the CPM message has been all along -- you do not gain competitive advantage by running complex software systems, unless your business is running complex software systems.
Construction companies, architecture firms, developers, and government agencies, all have more pressing priorities to attend to than to apply the latest Microsoft Service Pack to their database cluster. This, dear readers, is why SaaS is the future in the construction industry.
TechRepublic's Sanity Check blog has a piece today on the possibility that SaaS (software-as-a-service for those of you who are still using the acronyms from last year) and smartphones (!?) will cause Windows' market share to decline.
I have nothing against Windows, but I see this happening for sure. Vista is an expensive garbled mess, and the complexity of each Windows release continues to grow. Meanwhile, simple smart BlackBerrys, iPhones, and web applications are causing folks to rethink the idea of heavy Windows development.
For a while, though, Windows will continue to dominate, and that's for the reason that TechRepublic identifies: applications. There are so many critical applications written to run on Windows that, like the AS400s of yesteryear, the platform will just refuse to die.
It's pretty fair to say though that much of the innovation in the world of software from here on out won't come from desktop, PC-oriented Windows applications though. Mobility + network makes a whole new ballgame.
If you haven't seen the video of Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates on stage at the Wall Street Journal's D:All Things Digital conference, go take a look. It's about an hour long, but it's really good. Well, I enjoyed it anyway.
About 37 minutes in, Uncle Walt asks both about the nature of desktop software in the Internet age. Their response: both believe desktop software + Internet services are the ultimate combo. I agree!
I wanted to share an interesting article I read today about a Consortium that is attempting to set standards for SaaS applications. As more and more software companies are moving towards SaaS we are going to see an increase in the need to tie these applications together. This will rely on two areas, one the need for applications to created based on a set of standards and secondly, the prevalence of APIs. As you have seen form our recent posts, APIs are something we are taking a serous look at. We have many customers who are leveraging our APIs to tie both Buzzsaw and Constructware into their back-end systems like accounting, LDAP, etc. We will certainly be keeping an eye on the development of these standards as we continue to develop our SaaS applications.
Tim Douglas, our marketing guy here at the Autodesk CPM division, informed me today that technically Buzzsaw and Constructware are not "ASP" solutions, as we commonly refer to them. They're actually more accurately termed "SaaS" or "on-demand." SaaS, in case you weren't keeping up at home, stands for Software as a Service.
This strikes me as a nitpicky but accurate distinction. Wikipedia, that 100% accurate online resource for those who have little time to fact-check, has something to say on the subject. According to the Microsoft categorization in that article, we're technically a Saas IV -- which sounds eerily like the name of a Soviet rocket.
On ZDNet's SaaS blog, Phil Wainewright posted an interesting article about the adoption of on-demand solutions. He writes "Almost two-thirds of organizations with 1000 or more employees have already adopted on-demand solutions. And although the adoption rate in smaller organizations is lower at 46% that's set to rise next year, with 64% of all organizations expecting to have gone on-demand". This is completely in line with what I've seen in the industry lately. Four years ago we had to educate our clients on the benefits of on-demand, these days people tend to understand and prefer it. It's no surprise organizations prefer SaaS when the two factors most cited for going on-demand are "rapid implementation and ease of use".