SmoothSpan Blog

For Executives, Entrepreneurs, and other Digerati who need to know about SaaS and Web 2.0.

It’s a Huge Week And We’re Just Getting Started!

Posted by Bob Warfield on September 17, 2007

I’m having a terrible time getting through all the interesting news out there.

Zimbra is being bought by Yahoo for $350M, which changes the complexion on the Desktop SaaS Wars.  I wrote recently about Google, and now Yahoo is jumping in.  I still think Microsoft can be beaten by leveraging the web to give businesses the control over key information that they crave.  This means architecting a configurable Trust Fabric into these tools to give the businesses control.  I’ve heard nothing but good things from friends about Zimbra, more so than about the Google apps in fact, so its an ideal foundation for Yahoo to work from.  Interestingly, Yahoo also seems largely focused on mail with the Zimbra acquisition.  Outlook is one of the most vulnerable applications in the Office suite and its not doing Microsoft any favors either.  See Mark Cuba’s recent defection from the Windows platform over Outlook problems under Vista.  This acquisition should also yield fresh encouragement for investors and entrepreneurs alike about what’s possible in today’s market.  Zimbra’s investors reportedly only had $30.5M in the deal, so they had a nice multiple return.  Time will tell whether this is the first in a series of rapid moves to roll up the nascent Desktop SaaS marketplace.  Zoho is the next logical target if so.  There’s also the inevitable undercurrent that this means mass layoffs at Yahoo soon.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Acquisitions can bring valuable infusions of new blood and new energy that give an organization not only new drive, but a chance to average up on the talent front by cutting at the bottom.  It’s no fun, but it is healthy and inevitable at a firm of Yahoo’s age.

It’s Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce week, their big annual user conference.  I’ll write more about it as it unfolds, so far I haven’t seen anything all that exciting.

The TechCrunch 40 conference is in full swing, and there are articles starting to appear that I’m still processing.  It looks like a blast already, though.

Lastly, we’ll see the long awaited announcement of SAP’s SaaS A1S offering, which I’ve already written a bit about on Wednesday.

Big week!

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