Posted: September 10th, 2006, 9:40pm PDT by Ken Boasso
I hope everyone had a great summer – I know I did – because vacation season is really, truly over, and it is back-to-work time!

Although many of us tried to stay busy despite the hot weather, the SaaS sector took a serious break. As we enter the post-Labor Day weeks, activities are heating up furiously, promising a productive end-of-year and exciting 2007.

Take a look:

· It’s An Inbound World! (September 14, Palo Alto): Opsource’s Nick Blozan (SVP Sales & Marketing) and I will discuss how SaaS success will be achieved by those companies that deliver the services customers need, when they need them. (“What a brilliant concept!” the SD Forum’s SaaS SIG page declares.) Nick will cover the technologies specifically designed for SaaS enablement, how good SaaS companies attain the operational excellence required to accelerate growth, application development best practices, and how technical, business, and customer support are inter-related. Of course, I will focus on the revenue generation cycle, from lead generation, to pricing, to sales compensation.

· SaaS Workshop Series (September 18-20, Austin, Dallas, & Chicago): Keychain Logic and Opsource add Microsoft to the agenda and take the show on the road. The day-long workshops (to be held at Austin’s Omni Hotel, Microsoft’s Texas Campus, and the Illinois Technology Association’s Chicago office) are designed to accelerate growth in ISVs’ on-demand businesses and are tailored for individual job functions. Somehow, I get stuck with the morning gig in each city, but I’m happy to be working with the Microsoft folks and Opsource’s Dave Englebrecht (Director, Business Consulting).

· Key Trends In Software Licensing (September 21, Mountain View): This half-day session, aimed at Enterprise Software, Open Source and SaaS customers, will feature a keynote by Forrester Research’s Ray Wang and two panels: Licensing Agreements for Buyers and for Sellers, and SaaS Examples featuring Steve Lucas from Business, David Schellhase of, NetSuite’s Katherine Jones, and Chris Kenney from Avolent. On the first panel will be Novell’s Christopher Howden, event host Fenwick & West’s Stephen Gillespie, and, of course, me.

· Pure-Play SaaS vs. Hybrid (September 26, San Diego): Back on the road with Microsoft (Services Architect Kathryn Rostrom) and Opsource (Blozan again), adding Kintera’s Dennis Chyba (SVP Product Solutions) just to make it fair. We will be discussing the costs and benefits to both business models. Regular readers already know what I think (“hybrid” = “doom”) but should attend anyway because it should prove to be fun.

· Software University (on-line): I may be scooping Software CEO / CompTIA because this one’s not on their site, yet, but what the heck. We’re putting together a two-hour (at least!) webinar on the SaaS business model that will include discussion of revenue generation, pricing, licensing, sales compensation, operations, the whole ball of wax. I can’t reveal who else will be there, but this is going to be one content-rich couple of hours. Check the Software CEO site frequently for details.

· OnDemand 2006 Summit (November 8 & 9, San Jose): This is going to be a whopping event. With some 400 C- and V-level software industry executives, analysts, press, and investors in attendance, this SIIA conference will be the seminal event of the fall. The agenda is still being finalized, but it will feature keynote addresses from some of the industry’s most influential leaders, a tri-track panel segment that will address best practices for all parts of a SaaS provider’s business (including application development, SAS-70 compliance, accounting, marketing, pricing, sales compensation, operations, customer service, etc.). This one is going to be huge, even if you happen to miss the two panels I’m involved in.

Hopefully, all of this won’t be too much fun or too distracting. My son’s birthday falls right in the middle of it all, and I somehow need to get ready for Hallowe’en!

Hope to see you on the circuit…

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