Tomorrow Marc Benioff will unveil Salesforce.com’s AppExchange, or “eBay for Enterprise Software”. A Marketplace where customers can try and buy on-demand applications.
“The power of that is you can reach this long tail of applications. SAP and Oracle may deliver 10% of the applications you need to run your business, but there’s this large percentage of your business that won’t be managed by Oracle or SAP. This is the long tail of applications.” says Benioff.
This is his way of fighting the All-In-One players, including NetSuite, which is more in his league, but also SAP, Oracle. “It looks great on PowerPoint, but on planet Earth, it won’t fly,” predicts Zach Nelson, CEO of NetSuite. Who is right remains to be seen, but clearly a key factor is the ease of integration between the additional app’s and salesforce.com, or even between the other app’s themselves.
Salesforce.com may be the first one to bring us the AppExchange, but for all I know, credit for applying the Long Tail theory to Software goes to Joe Kraus of JotSpot (and previously Excite). And it’s clearly not just theory.
JotSpot is clearly not just about wikis, the intent is to become a widely used platform upon which the long tail of software applications is served up easily and affordably. So does that make JotSpot an Application developer? I seriously doubt it, although they developed sample app’s they can’t be the jack-of-all-trades. Although Joe never talked about the business model associated with being “the platform”, I’ve always thought they will one day introduce a Marketplace, where third party developers and the user community find each other. But first they need critical mass – something Salesforce already has.
I’m eager to see JotSpot’s next move…