“On-demand vendors: do as I say, not as I do”

Phil Wainewright’s lastest post points out an irony in the offerings of many Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers:

"… many of the leading names operate their own data centers. This seems somewhat illogical, if not downright hypocritical. On the one hand, they ask their customers to rely on a third party to provide mission-critical business applications. But instead of doing likewise with their own infrastructure, they host in-house."

Thinking about the leading UK construction collaboration technology ("extranet") vendors, some certainly practice what they preach.

  • Top of the list, of course, is my own employer BIW Technologies, which uses managed services provider Attenda to host its application and data;
  • 4Projects outsources its hosting to BT;
  • Causeway Collaboration, when offered on an ASP basis, was, I think, hosted at Globix;
  • most other providers are somewhat opaque about their hosting providers – remember, too (as I described in chapter 4 of my book), there is a world of difference between a managed services provider and an internet services provider (ISP) – even BuildOnline, which proudly trumpets its ‘On-demand’ credentials, gives no clues on its website regarding its hosting provider.
  • Meanwhile, Cadweb would, no doubt, be regarded by Wainewright as one of the "illogical" vendors: it hosts in-house.

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2006/03/ondemand_vendor/