TripleTree Saas Platforms

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TripleTree Saas Platforms

  1. 1. SAAS PLATFORMS EcosystEms EvolvE to mEEt thE nEEds of EmErging saas vEndors A TripleTree Industry Analysis SPOTLIGHT REPORT WWW.TRIPLE-TREE.COM 7601 FRANCE AVE SOUTH, SUITE 150, MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55435 952.253.5300
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 2 DEFINING SAAS PLATFORMS 4 DIFFERENTIATING SAAS PLATFORMS 11 DECIDING TO ALIGN WITH A SAAS PLATFORM 12 CONCLUSIONS 14 THE TRIPLETREE TEAM 16 TripleTree, LLC 7601 France Avenue South Suite 150 Minneapolis, MN 55435 Minneapolis t 952.253.5300 f 952.253.5301 www.triple-tree.com WWW.TRIPLE-TREE.COM MINNEAPOLIS 952.253.5300 Q1 2008 SAAS PLATFORMS PAGE 1
  3. 3. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Trends in the software industry are pointing toward another eventful year in the growth of Software as a Service (SaaS). Announcements from Salesforce. com, Cisco (WebEx), NetSuite and many others have unveiled newly minted approaches to strengthening their current partner ecosystems with a move toward more robust platforms. SAP, Microsoft and Oracle have jumped into the fray too as their ability to keep pace via legacy on-premise software delivery and pricing has come into question and they woo best-in-class SaaS vendors to leverage their growing suite of development, operating and marketing tools and processes. The growth of SaaS between 2004 and 2006 brought many vendor ecosystems to the forefront of discussions surrounding their potential to reinvent many sectors with on-demand solutions. The aim of alliances like Salesforce.com’s AppExchange was to create a network effect by aligning vendors with complementary functionality to extend a broader solution rather than forcing Salesforce.com to build a proprietary end-to-end suite. While “SaaS” ecosystems have served some basic marketing needs by building brand awareness and offering lead-sharing opportunities, most have failed to flourish into mutually beneficial partnerships. As emerging vendors realize the broader needs of their businesses, it is becoming apparent that to contain their development and support costs and spur growth, a platform approach and related partner program is needed. A few forces supporting the need for SaaS Platforms as a natural evolution of SaaS Ecosystems include: • Executives are warming to the concept of renting rather than owning IT assets. • The demand for vertically focused and domain-centric solutions is strong and best served by speciality vendors. SaaS vendors by definition are specialists, while still seeking better ways to support and grow their businesses. • Traditional software vendors with rich IP and global reach have struggled to re-invent themselves in a SaaS world. However their financial strength, channels and existing customer relationships will make them formidable competitors down the road. • IT departments are becoming willing allies as they partner with business executives in assembling SaaS solutions rather than trying to “build and own everything.” • New design constructs which take advantage of open standards and SOA are becoming core to the product suites of several global technology vendors. This affords the emerging firm access to the same powerful process engines and integration tools via SaaS Platforms. PAGE 2 Q1 2008 SAAS PLATFORMS MINNEAPOLIS 952.253.5300 WWW.TRIPLE-TREE.COM
  4. 4. This TripleTree publication is our ninth on SaaS. At a high level, it identifies over a dozen vendors who are positioning themselves as SaaS Platforms and highlights four components TripleTree has identified as a basic framework for their success. It concludes with a review of six differentiating functions for this framework and offers some considerations for CEOs who are deciding how best to align with a SaaS Platform. TripleTree’s perspective is based on hundreds of discussions with SaaS business builders seeking M&A and growth capital alternatives, and scores of strategic briefings with global technology and business services firms seeking the next plateau of growth. WWW.TRIPLE-TREE.COM MINNEAPOLIS 952.253.5300 Q1 2008 SAAS PLATFORMS PAGE 3
  5. 5. DEFINING SAAS PLATFORMS Emerging SaaS firms are faced with different market dynamics than those vendors who were early to market. With SaaS now being more main stream in the minds of CIOs, on-demand applications must come to market as “enterprise class or better” and organically building this capability and quality is prohibitively expensive and time consuming. SaaS Platforms provide an attractive and economical alternative for SaaS vendors focused on improved service quality and time to market. TripleTree tracks over 1600 SaaS businesses in nearly every domain category and industry vertical. As businesses become more complex, many best-in-class SaaS solutions are stepping up to serve customer needs in an increasingly competitive, dynamic and consolidating software industry. In reaction to these complexities, nearly every IT vendor at one point or another has considered their business as a “platform” (browser platform, content management platform, development platform, hardware platform, knowledge management platform, mobile platform, publishing platform, OS platform, social computing platform, virtualization platform, etc). It begs the question: What is a platform? As part of the answer, SaaS CEOs should consider a few realities: • Alliances are needed at a level beyond marketing relationships: The marketing-centric alliances and ecosystems prevalent among software firms over the past several years were not designed to serve the needs of SaaS vendors. • Applications are emerging that extend beyond CRM and accounting: Salesforce.com, NetSuite and RightNow Technologies have long been associated with pioneering the popularity and growth of SaaS. While their role and early partner models were and still are significant, a new set of attributes are now defining sustainable SaaS market leadership. • How should Google, advertising and analytics be included in a strategy? Advertising has profoundly impacted IT and most are in agreement that advertising (for now) is a huge value driver for SaaS companies who don’t have a traditional user-based or subscription pricing model. The power of SaaS based analytical tools lies in their real-time ability to capture data within product surveys, inbound customer inquiries, website statistics, financial metrics and creating answers to some basic questions. Who is looking at my ad? What is this information indicating that may take our business in a new direction? Do I really need to partner with SAP, IBM or Oracle to leverage powerful analytics? • Collaboration technologies will lead the enhancement of customer experience: Sharing customer data is key to building a better customer experience. Web 2.0 technologies, which capture customer interactions and perceptions and are shared with internal resources, will foster a more PAGE 4 Q1 2008 SAAS PLATFORMS MINNEAPOLIS 952.253.5300 WWW.TRIPLE-TREE.COM
  6. 6. cooperative customer-facing environment. The ability to aggregate this information on-demand makes it more accessible, more useful and more valuable. Since early 2007 TripleTree has been espousing that SaaS Ecosystems needed to evolve. After analyzing the brief history of SaaS, including product announcements and a few seminal vendor consolidation activities, two shared attributes between what SaaS Ecosystems were providing and where SaaS Platforms were evolving rose to the surface: Marketing Services and Customer & Partner Support. Breaking down this assessment further, we became convinced that the two missing pieces from early SaaS Ecosystems were key definitional components for SaaS Platforms: Design & Development and Operational Management. SaaS Ecosystems: A network of technology partners aligned around a mutually beneficial marketing or technical approach to customer communication, The timeline below offers an illustration acquisition, and support. of several milestone events occuring during the evolution from SaaS SaaS Platforms: An embedded infrastructure to support the development and Ecosystems to SaaS Platforms. They management of SaaS applications including software development kits (SDK), were influential in defining TripleTree’s operational management capabilities and automated processes for solution SaaS Platform Framework. administration, customer communication, marketing, acquisition and support. Bill Gates: “We’re entering the ‘live era’ of software” Orace - first Fusion apps Google - Apps for Your Domain NetSuite - SuiteFlex Salesforce.com - sForce 2.0 Salesforce.com IPO Salesforce.com - APEX - Cisco acquires WebEx - Facebook - Connector Sun - Grid Amazon - E2C / S3 Oracle - Fusion 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 ent Op e pm rat elo i on ev al D FOCUS FOCUS Ma & gn na Partner Acquisition Partner Success Cu si ge & Marketing & User sto De men Marketing Services Programs Experience m er & P t TripleTree’s SaaS artner Suppo SaaS Ecosystems Platform Framework FUNCTIONS FUNCTIONS rt Cus Basic Development Enterprise Wide tom s Toolkits & Some Extensibility & ce Integration Carrier Class er rvi Reliability & Se P g ar tin tn er rke Su Ma pp o rt WWW.TRIPLE-TREE.COM MINNEAPOLIS 952.253.5300 Q1 2008 SAAS PLATFORMS PAGE 5
  7. 7. As with any guide, TripleTree’s Framework (as introduced on the previous page) is only one example and we encourge CEOs to build proprietary scorecards benchmarking how platforms can help their businesses unleash value. The list below includes the technology providers TripleTree has identified as promoting either a SaaS Platform vision or roadmap. TripleTree expects this list to change markedly in the coming quarters as vendor consolidation continues. Platform Vendor Description Adobe (Flash, Flex) Primarily a document processing/management toolset. Amazon (AMS, E2C, S3) Best described as “hardware as a service” via cloud computing. A network approach to leveraging the assets of WebEx and Cisco/WebEx (Connect) data infrastructure. eBay Online marketplace for reduced friction e-commerce. It’s “walled garden” approach and proprietary development language for Facebook (Connector) collaboration applications departs from its roots as a social networking site for college kids. The master disruptor of traditional business application and information Google (Apps/OpenSocial) management models; its Open Social framework allows developers to write apps across numerous social networks. HP (Business Technology It’s Business Availability, Quality Center, Performance Center and Project Optimization) and Portfolio Management Center aren’t yet well known. Their broad portfolio of software and services is focused on enabling IBM (Blue Cloud, Lotus) business transformation and IT alignment. Still trying to become a relevant SaaS solution provider rather than a Microsoft (.Net and Live) platform/infrastructure vendor. Recent IPO will be further validation for Larry Ellison as to the viability of NetSuite (SuiteFlex) SaaS and mid-market solutions. Offering infrastructure components to support SaaS delivery including OpSource hosting/data center, integration capabilities, administration, billing and partnerships. Oracle (Fusion) Though acquisitions, unabashedly trying to own the stack and offer web- based services from database through middleware and applications. As an investment bank, TripleTree Development and deployment platforms for building SaaS business considers many criteria when assessing Progress Software (Open Edge) applications and related support services. the relevance of a technology-enabled Trying to expand their relevancy beyond ERP and large enterprise business and its likelihood of building SAP (Business by Design) customers. shareholder value. When looking at the Well publicized Force.com initiative is a large undertaking and a departure operating dynamics of SaaS businesses, Salesforce.com (Force.com) from its well documented application-only path to success. it is clear that a number of basic industry Sun (Grid) A utility computing pioneer offers Computing On Demand solution. metrics have changed including (but not limited to) revenue recognition practices, sales compensation plans, vendor On the following page we have listed the four core components of the SaaS accountability, purchasing models and Platform Framework and provided some context and questions to help emerging partner economics. vendors considering a SaaS Platform partnership. PAGE 6 Q1 2008 SAAS PLATFORMS MINNEAPOLIS 952.253.5300 WWW.TRIPLE-TREE.COM
  8. 8. Design and Development: Web-based software design and development approaches theoretically allow an easier integration roadmap for partners and users because of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and other architectural standards like XML, Java and Ruby. Large vendors may at first appear to be an enticing SaaS Platform partner, but evaluating them on the merits of their actual technology and partner support model is more critical than size and notability. In addition, large vendors who are messaging around “SaaS as an on-ramp to on-premise migration” must be viewed critically and in opposition to those firms espousing an iron-clad commitment to SaaS. Below are a few questions best-in-class firms need to ask when assessing the design and development capabilities of a SaaS Platform: • Underlying Technology and Model: ○ Assuming a sound commitment to supporting platform partners, is the underlying technology based on standards? ○ Is it scalable and portable, can “lock-in” constraints be avoided and are special programming languages required? ○ Will partners and users be permitted to sell and support outside of the SaaS platform? ○ Do testing and QA tools exist? ○ What are the service level agreement (SLA) benchmarks for hardware scalability, reliability and processing power? • Business Model: ○ What is the platform vendor’s business model and motivation for pushing its platform? ○ Does it make long term financial sense to align with a platform vendor? ○ Are data center hosting capabilities and redundancies proven? ○ Because some application domains such as compliance will rely on a cohesive alignment between SaaS, licensed software and professional services, is this accounted for? ○ Does the platform offer an offline component to its solution in order to coexist and interoperate with on-premise applications? • Integration and Certification: ○ The ability to quickly define, build, deploy and certify customized SaaS objects will likely be a centerpiece for most SaaS Platforms. How can integration partners design and develop into the platform? WWW.TRIPLE-TREE.COM MINNEAPOLIS 952.253.5300 Q1 2008 SAAS PLATFORMS PAGE 7
  9. 9. Operational Management: New players are attempting to establish themselves in roles traditionally handled by perennial platform vendors like IBM and Microsoft. Today, Amazon and Cisco/ WebEx are examples of newcomers providing web and middleware enablement platforms to help ISV’s build SaaS applications. Below are a few checkpoints for CEOs to consider: • Complexity: ○ Making business applications scalable and reliable is a complex and ongoing endeavor. From the bottom to the middle of the technology stack, the following functions require a systematic, managed approach – configuration management, database management, analytics, security, reporting, provisioning and billing. ○ Complexity also derives from the platform’s adherence to standards and common programming approaches. Caution is advised as platform vendors integrate their development environments and constructs. • Business Continuity and Governance: ○ Are back-up and retrieval technologies for digital files and other assets in place? ○ As hardware, network, telco and managed services vendors begin to assemble these technologies within their ecosystems; are security, taxonomy and privacy considerations well supported? ○ What document management tools are available? • Infrastructure Model: ○ Cloud computing lies at the intersection of grid computing, virtualization, SaaS and other utility constructs that enhance an operation while driving down costs and pricing. How well does the platform partner understand these technologies and business models? ○ Does the partner offer a cloud computing infrastructure similar to Amazon’s Enterprise Compute Cloud (E2C) solution? PAGE 8 Q1 2008 SAAS PLATFORMS MINNEAPOLIS 952.253.5300 WWW.TRIPLE-TREE.COM
  10. 10. Customer & Partner Support: For most vendors whose SaaS Platform aspirations were well known, 2007 was about signing up partners and 2008 will be about making sure those partners are successful. Because many emerging SaaS firms are operating with little or no venture capital investment, they are scrutinizing sales and marketing expenditures and require unique support beyond the design, development and operational management drivers previously noted. A focus for the emerging SaaS firm (and traditional licensed ISV) is on calibrating the ideal value proposition for its target market. As SaaS Platforms mature, customer and partner support will be measured innumerable ways, including but not limited to: • Communication: ○ Because of its direct link to the user, SaaS Platforms will need to over-communicate with all constituents and promote a mechanism to capture and react to direct feedback. Are product roadmaps, customer feedback, software engineering templates and strategy guidelines established? ○ How are human-based customer service and basic operational functions such as account registration and self-service modules supported? • Business / IT Alignment: ○ SaaS Platforms that support alignment across an extended enterprise will aid in business process improvements and efficiencies. Because this alignment will encompass a number of administration functions like order processing and help desk/contact center support, what are the templates for addressing and implementing simplistic change management and training solutions? • Contract Terms: ○ With SaaS, a “customer wins” mentality usually corresponds with strong recurring revenues and market leadership. For partners, the SaaS Platform vendor should approach client needs with a holistic solution in mind and establish responsibilities and performance For most vendors whose SaaS objectives around the solutions’ lifecycle. Platform aspirations were well known, 2007 was about signing ○ Are terms both customer and partner friendly and are price controls up partners and 2008 will be and royalty schedules clearly defined? about making sure those partners are successful. WWW.TRIPLE-TREE.COM MINNEAPOLIS 952.253.5300 Q1 2008 SAAS PLATFORMS PAGE 9
  11. 11. Marketing Services: Business development for most SaaS and on-premise ISVs comes from user awareness, lead development and solution adoption. To successfully support these processes, SaaS Platforms require applied thinking and tools that support direct and channel-based sales technologies for their partners. In addition, these technologies need to link with revenue recognition rules, sales compensation engines, and partner support programs. For SaaS vendors and ISVs, marketing support features are an important piece of a SaaS Platform: • Departmental Linking: ○ As part of its Dreamforce ’08 event, Salesforce.com announced the evolution of its Force.com platform to build-out a multi-tenant business network by essentially linking core sales automation users with adjacent departments (marketing and customer service) and partners. This type of service is a key enhancer for marketing productivity and provides timely information to executives on the customer experience and business development. • Additional Resources for Key Target Markets: ○ Many discreet vendors do not have the resources to reach all markets. How are complementary partner resources emanating from the SaaS Platform provider as a critical source of new business development? • Measurements of Success: ○ Assessing the viability of a relationship with a SaaS Platform vendor has many components, but revenue contribution should be chief among them. How are scorecards going to be built to measure joint marketing events, joint press releases, sales leads, partner referrals, new revenues, bookings, renewal revenue and competitive wins? PAGE 10 Q1 2008 SAAS PLATFORMS MINNEAPOLIS 952.253.5300 WWW.TRIPLE-TREE.COM
  12. 12. DIFFERENTIATING SAAS PLATFORMS TripleTree has identified six features which differentiate SaaS Platforms beyond the four core Framework components listed on the preceding pages. As yet, no single vendor has an organically grown SaaS approach that addresses all six of these functions. Thus, we predict near term acquisitions in these areas led “When it comes right down to it, SaaS by global vendors intent on building a leadership position and SaaS Platform- ecosystems and platforms offer differing centric solutions. business benefits for ISVs. TripleTree SaaS Platform Framework Differentiating Features: The fundamental value of a SaaS platform is to help aspiring SaaS vendors accelerate their time to market by giving nt Op me era them the building blocks to develop elop ti o ev n their SaaS applications more quickly. al D They also gain the benefits of proven Ma n& Administration Administration Compliance Compliance na si g code, architectures, infrastructures and ge De me delivery mechanisms. nt Content Content Analytics Analytics The purpose of a SaaS ecosystem is to enable the participating companies to expand their market reach. At an Cus application level, they can enhance tom es Collaboration Collaboration Workflow Workflow their SaaS capabilities by linking with vic er er & complementary solutions via common S P g ar tin tn APIs. At a business level, a SaaS e rke rS Ma upp ecosystem should give the participants ort additional channels to market as well as greater market visibility via the partner • Administration functionality (e.g., registration, security and billing) are as network. important for SaaS enablement as data integration, quality assurance and testing. The relative value of SaaS platforms versus ecosystems depends on the stage • Analytics and actionable intelligence services will separate the winners from of life of the SaaS vendor. Start-ups will the losers in many SaaS domains and verticals. gain greater benefits from a SaaS platform than an established SaaS vendor that has • Collaboration technologies are the caulk linking knowledge workers, data already built their own code and delivery and their workflow. capabilities. Established players will gain greater value from SaaS ecosystems which • Compliance is enmeshed in our risk-aware Business / IT culture and is enable them to new reach customers.” impacting C-Suite decision making. • Content is packaged, marketed and monetized to create meaningful revenue – Jeff Kaplan, streams for many SaaS vendors. Founder, THINKstrategies & Senior Advisor, TripleTree • Workflow tools within purpose-built SaaS infrastructures allow businesses to build more services while spending less time on software integration. WWW.TRIPLE-TREE.COM MINNEAPOLIS 952.253.5300 Q1 2008 SAAS PLATFORMS PAGE 11
  13. 13. DECIDING TO ALIGN WITH A SAAS PLATFORM CEOs of start up SaaS firms are advised to consider aligning with a SaaS Platform before they expend large amounts of financial and human capital in building their own infrastructure. Once product and feature level determinations have been established, identifying and selecting a relevant platform can begin. Just as SaaS vendors tell their customers not to worry about their operational IT infrastructure to run a SaaS application, SaaS vendors themselves must follow the same rules and not worry about building a development and management infrastructure. Said differently, develop in SaaS and deliver in SaaS. Courting Developers SaaS Platforms are trying to convince emerging and established SaaS vendors that they are well-suited to offer an application development and support environment. As IT users and engineers test the limitations of tools emanating from these platform vendors, the primary measure of success will be the number of users and organizations who actually build applications on the platform. If SaaS Platform vendors do succeed at offering a standards-based development environment, they will more easily attract developers and quell instability or scalability concerns about “running off the edge of the platform.” Maintaining Simplicity A concern for some SaaS customers is that as SaaS becomes more feature rich and widely accepted, it will become too complex and harder to purchase and use. TripleTree is closely watching how platform vendors and their partners continue to align application functionality and infrastructure stability as cornerstones for a simple, reliable, secure and extensible environment. SaaS Platforms Are Already Evolving The table on the next page lists a handful of representative transactions where SaaS Platform vendors are adding platform functionality through acquisitions. Develop in SaaS and deliver in SaaS. PAGE 12 Q1 2008 SAAS PLATFORMS MINNEAPOLIS 952.253.5300 WWW.TRIPLE-TREE.COM
  14. 14. function Buyer target description Administration OpSource LeCayla OpSource acquired on-demand billing vendor LeCayla to support its success- based (unit-based) pricing model. LeCayla supports online billing and automated customer on-boarding capabilities, which is a rarity among current SaaS Platform vendors. Analytics eBay Fraud Sciences PayPal will build out it’s proprietary fraud management capabilities with this acquired technology and leverage some of the engineering and management that created it. This acquisition will also help eBay to increase the reliability of its fraud management software. Collaboration Cisco WebEx Cisco moves up the stack to add industry leading conferencing and collaborative capabilities to its growing unified communication platform. WebEx’s proprietary and robust MediaTone platform can now harness the power of Cisco’s collaboration initiatives and massive network foundation to lead this dynamic marketplace. Compliance Google Postini Google is making a quick transition to the mainstream enterprise environment. Postini brings strong presence in email security, Web security and policy enforcement thereby making Gmail a serious email management platform for enterprise consideration. Content Salesforce.com Koral Koral brings on-demand content management to Salesforce. Salesforce will leverage this addition as the ContentExchange and it will encompass Koral’s complete solution. While content management seems to stray from Salesforce’s focus on CRM, it adds underlying unstructured content management to Salesforce Apex and makes it a more dynamic platform. Workflow Progress Actional Adds Web services discovery and visibility, measurement, security and policy enforcement to Progress arsenal. On the outset, Progress can re-sell Actional’s solution into its customer base. Progress will focus on its synergies with Sonic and later Open Edge. Deeper integration of the Sonic and Actional technologies is planned, and they’ll eventually be sold together as an SOA platform. WWW.TRIPLE-TREE.COM MINNEAPOLIS 952.253.5300 Q1 2008 SAAS PLATFORMS PAGE 13
  15. 15. CONCLUSIONS The debate about the relevance of SaaS is over. As on-demand solutions further entrench themselves into the day-to-day operations of most organizations, SaaS Platforms are emerging to promote, implement and support features developed by third parties. Best-in-class SaaS firms evaluating when and how to align within a SaaS Platform should consider a decision framework (TripleTree’s SaaS Platform Framework is just one example) as a roadmap to establishing objectives for both application engineering and support. The Importance of SaaS Platforms Vendor differentiation based on up-time, performance and technical robustness will soon become secondary to business function and execution. SaaS Platforms promise: • A lower cost of entry for start-up vendors. This will lead to more competition and innovation in every domain category and industry vertical. • Higher user acceptance of SaaS as enterprise class up-time becomes the norm. This will lead to wider and deeper adoption with both large and mid- sized customer organizations. • Easier integration with other ISV’s operating on the same SaaS Platform. Technical synergies between partners on a common platform will provide a broader functionality footprint and lower implementation costs. The Future of SaaS Platforms SaaS has evolved beyond a disruptive delivery model and now impacts nearly every domain and industry vertical. As best-in-class vendors continue to innovate, they will look to SaaS Platforms as an outsourced option for everything these firms need to support product design, engineering, launch, marketing and support. SaaS Ecosystems will continue to exist, but those not evolving into Platforms will be relegated to simply marketing relationships and the meaningful pre- integration or joint development needs of ISVs and their customers will be served by SaaS Platforms. TripleTree anticipates that the number of SaaS Platforms will grow in the near Vendor differentiation based on term and then shrink to less than ten vendors over the next few years, similar to uptime, performance and technical the evolution of IT hardware platforms of the late 1980’s. robustness will soon become secondary to business function and execution. PAGE 14 Q1 2008 SAAS PLATFORMS MINNEAPOLIS 952.253.5300 WWW.TRIPLE-TREE.COM
  16. 16. Recommendations for Best in Class Vendors When evaluating SaaS Platforms, it is important to consider that some pioneering missteps will occur as vendors address both business and technical challenges. The SaaS market as a whole is in adolescence and SaaS Platforms are maturing as well. Thus, SaaS Platform vendors are serving the dual masters of attracting ecosystem partners and growing revenues, while maintaining a stable operating environment and containing costs. Below are a few additional thoughts for emerging SaaS CEOs. • Clearly identify business goals and assess gaps. Determine the types of services needed to fill these gaps and propel your business to growth and profitability. • Talk to other ecosystem partners. A quick discussion with the CEO from a small or mid-sized firm within a SaaS Platform ecosystem can be an invaluable exchange. Most partners are readily listed in a partner directory on the platform vendor’s web site. • Set realistic performance objectives. At this early stage, no single platform vendor can support the range of technology and process needs for its partners, but realistic performance objectives can be established and measured. • Maintain consistency in messaging. Consistent messaging can help build competitive differentiation. By ensuring that your core messaging remains aligned with that of your platform vendor, the full value of a SaaS solution can be better articulated. As an investment bank and strategic advisor, TripleTree is committed to helping emerging companies understand how to take advantage of macro-trends and optimize strategic opportunities through M&A or with growth capital. We welcome the opportunity to learn more about your business and how we can help your shareholders climb to the next plateau of market leadership. WWW.TRIPLE-TREE.COM MINNEAPOLIS 952.253.5300 Q1 2008 SAAS PLATFORMS PAGE 15
  17. 17. THE TRIPLETREE TEAM Kevin green, managing Partner • Co-founded TripleTree, LLC • 25+ years building and advising IT companies • Senior executive roles in public and private IT companies; two as CEO • Active with numerous industry associations, and Board of Directors, including SIIA and Connextions • BA and MBA, University of San Diego david henderson, managing Partner • Co-founded TripleTree, LLC • 22+ years in venture capital, business development and as a senior operating executive • Seven years of public accounting experience at Arthur Andersen • CEO of a $400 million asset bank holding company • Active Board of Director on several public and private companies • BA, Moorhead State University; Certified Public Accountant chris hoffmann, senior Principal/research director, technology • Joined TripleTree in 2005 • 19+ years of experience an operating executive, consultant, and analyst in the technology industry • Transaction activity focus in the areas of software and technology • Former President of Tier1 Research; executive positions at Gartner, GE Capital Consulting and IBM Global Services • BA, University of Minnesota-Duluth; advanced studies through the University of Minnesota and Michigan State University Brian Klemenhagen, senior Principal • Joined TripleTree in 1999 with over ten years of combined investment banking and Wall Street equity research experience • Primary engagement manager across technology, software and outsourcing sectors • Principal contributor to TripleTree’s SaaS research • Prior to joining TripleTree was with RBC Dain Rauscher • BA, Gustavus Adolphus College; MBA, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota PAGE 16 Q1 2008 SAAS PLATFORMS MINNEAPOLIS 952.253.5300 WWW.TRIPLE-TREE.COM
  18. 18. scott donahue, Principal • 15+ years financial strategy analysis and business development consultation including marketing, operations support, and technical product development • Expertise in IT operations and services delivery approaches • Wall Street experience • Served in management roles at leading IT firms • BA, University of California - Santa Barbara; MBA, University of Michigan scott Prentice, associate • Focus on M&A and private placement activity in the technology sector. • Previously worked on M&A activity at Ingenix, a division of UnitedHealth Group • Prior experience included technology capital investment at Target Corporation and as an IT consultant with Computer Science Corporation • BA, Bethel College; MBA, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota michael Boardman, senior analyst • Specializes in research and analysis of industry trends and investment opportunities within Software and IT Services • Prior experience includes an internship with Merrill Lynch • Held a Cisco Certified Networking Associate Degree (CCNA) • BA, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota matthew flores, senior analyst • Dedicated to research and analysis within Enterprise Software, Telco, and Wireless • Research and transaction experience with TripleTree’s Healthcare and Mobile Wireless Teams • BA, Bates College Jeff Kaplan, senior advisor • Advises TripleTree’s technology team • Founder and Managing Director of THINKstrategies • Founder of the Software as a Service (SaaS) Showplace® and Managed Service Showplace® • Founding member of the SIIA SaaS Executive Council • Frequent speaker at industry events and contributing columnist for BusinessWeek, Mass High Tech Journal, Financial Times of London, and Network World, among many other industry leading publications WWW.TRIPLE-TREE.COM MINNEAPOLIS 952.253.5300 Q1 2008 SAAS PLATFORMS PAGE 17
  19. 19. about tripletree TripleTree is a leading investment banking firm dedicated to meeting the needs of technology, business services, and healthcare companies. TripleTree’s professionals have over 100 years of combined senior executive operating experience building high growth technology, healthcare and financial companies. Specializing in M&A, private placements and financial advisory services, we represent growth-oriented companies in pursuing strategic alternatives that drive premium valuations. Unlike most investment banking firms, TripleTree brings a unique approach to advisory services through strict industry focus and extensive commitment to research. Such a commitment has allowed TripleTree to build an investment bank focused on identifying and delivering strategic solutions that enable shareholders and business executives to maximize the value of their firm in a dynamic and rapidly changing marketplace. For further information, visit our website at: www.triple-tree.com Copyright © 2008 by TripleTree, LLC Minneapolis t 952-253-5300 f 952-253-5301 7601 France Avenue South Suite 150 Minneapolis, Minnesota 55435

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