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Showing posts from February, 2010

Customization: an enemy of SaaS? (part 1)

Today I shall examine the issue of Customization on a SaaS (focus on multi-Tenant) environment, where the SaaS application is a business application and not a tool. By the term “customization” I do not mean the Localization (e.g. regional settings per user, area-specific rules such as taxes, VAT etc.); for simplicity reasons, I shall assume that all Localization issues have been resolved and examine only various aspects of Customization.

This post intends to give IT managers and SaaS Buyers in general an idea of the possible challenges there may face when they “board the SaaS vehicle”.

In order to illustrate the issues, I have selected some quite common “Customization Requests” that SaaS Buyers raise (remember that we are talking about a business application):

Example #1: Functionality enhancements – part 1
When we are talking about high-end business applications, such as an accounting system, a sales & invoicing system, a retail banking system etc, we can assume that the Buyer will …

Business Transactions through Cards and Cheques

The Greek Ministry of Finance recently announced that, as of 1/1/2011, all “business transactions” above 1,500 € will be done exclusively through credit card or cheques and drafts. Today, we shall examine what this means for the tax-collecting mechanisms, what implications are going to emerge but, most importantly, what it means for software vendors (for whom this column shows particular interest in).

First, let’s define what a “business transaction” is, in this context. There are two kinds:
B2B: One company or enterprise pays another legal entity for its services or products.
B2C: A customer pays the company for its services and products.
In the first case, the drafts and cheques will dominate, while in the second case the credit cards will (there used to be drafts – “grammatia” – in the Greek market but nowadays they are limited). You can also think of variants of the above, but the main idea is the same..

What does this new “method of payment” mean for the tax-collection mechanisms?
I th…

SaaS against in-premise

The SaaS delivery model is gaining more and more. Especially in hectic times like these, reducing costs more important than ever before. This post will attempt to give an idea of how SaaS can bring benefits to your organization, but also how new considerations emerge to the mind of the CIO and the CEO.

First of all let’s define the SaaS delivery model. You may find a lot of definitions about that on the Net, but for this discussion let’s keep it simple: SaaS is the delivery model, where the enterprise does not “buy” the software and does not “install” it on its servers. On the contrary, the application resides on some remote host and the enterprise pays per usage of the software (obviously, over internet). Therefore the software is “rented” instead of “being bought”.


What are the main advantages of the SaaS model?

Zero cost of initial investment of the application software

Zero cost of initial investment of the system software (operating system etc.)

Zero cost for the building of the infra…

Front-end Retail Banking Applications (and more)

In this day of financial crisis and extreme competition between banks in the Retail sector, a financial institution needs to have the ability to serve its customers at a new level.

When the customer goes into the Branch, he needs to feel important. He needs to sit down in a nice office and a bank officer to come, sit with him, discuss anything that the customer is thinking about, give him advice and immediately issue offers for various banking products. “What? You don’t have a savings account with us! Let me just apply for one and then we continue our discussion”. This is how it should be. Forget about lines of people standing and waiting for their turn.

This is pretty important but… is that all? No, the bank must look farther: customers that “voluntarily” go inside the Branch are OK but what if the bank were able to go to the customer, itself? Consider the following examples:

How would you like to go and buy a new car from your local car dealer and get instant credit?

What about the new …

The Basics of Software Production

From my experience as Software Production Manager, I have created a list of things that a S/W Manager should have in mind. In this post I’d like to share them and maybe get some feedback from you. Please note that this is not a technical article. It is mostly about human interaction and team building. Here goes:
1) Establish team spirit: You are the leader of this whole thing. No doubt about that. But what happens below your level. Are team member competing with each other? Are their roles clear to them? Are there conflicts? Sort it out, the soonest!
2) Assign specific roles: Don’t think that everybody can do anything. OK, this is a hard one when the project is small and has limited resources, but still… you have to try. Let alone the fact that if members feel that you are using everybody for everything, they will quickly come to the conclusion that you don’t know what you’re doing.
3) Give members the “big picture”: You would normally expect that a programmer can operate on “need to k…

Welcome

Welcome to my blog.

It was created with the purpose of providing me (and you!) a means of communicating with each other.

I shall post information and articles from the world of Information Technology (IT), of which I am a member. I have spent all of my professional life in that arena and I have a lot in my mind that I’d like to pass on.

There will be other subjects too, like everyday issues that concern us as citizens of Greece but also members of the global community.

I want to share my thoughts and experiences with you and, at the same time, gain from your wisdom. If you think that there is something interesting for you in here, then… “stay tuned”!

Oh, one clarification: I selected English as the writing language, since the biggest part of the posts will be of global (I hope!) concern and not just local.

Thank you in advance and I hope that we will spend quite a long time together!