In IT Showcase magazine last week, I saw a news item about BuildOnline and German contractor Hochtief. Maybe it’s just an oversight, but the news isn’t on the English www.buildonline.com website (though it can be found on the French and German versions); I located the text on the Lewis PR site.
I note the release appears to be mainly focused on Hochtief’s German operation – will we see all of Hochtief’s units worldwide standardising on BO, including Turner in the USA (users of Meridian) and Leighton Contractors in Australia? And what about Hochtief in the UK?
Reading the release, I was also slightly puzzled by Mark Suster’s claim that BO "pioneered" the on-demand business model. When BO rebranded its former ProjectsOnline system and other products just over a year ago (c November 2004), it certainly wasn’t the first to use the phrase ‘on-demand’. I Googled it and found numerous examples:
- IBM used the phrase extensively for some of its Workplace tools (see here for example) and some instances of its use appear to be regarded as trademarks
- Star Technologies licences IBM technology to offer ‘On Demand mail collaboration’
- LANSA uses the phrase ‘e-Collaboration on Demand’
- US-based TeamDynamix offers On Demand Project Collaboration
- You can get Oracle on demand
- Closer to the construction collaboration technology community, Citadon also claims to be a leader in "on-demand document management, business process management and collaboration solutions"
If any business can really claim to have pioneered the On-demand business model, I would point to Salesforce.com which has been successfully promoting itself as a provider of on-demand CRM since 2003, having been around since the turn of the century. I will do a bit more research on the early use of the term "on-demand" as applied to software delivery – if you have any good examples, please let me know.