Recently I had an interview with Loraine Lawson, Editor at IT Business Edge, on the ever-changing landscape that our Partners, both Vars and Sis, will be required to navigate, and how the Scribe Online platform will help them not only maintain their business, but be able to provide additional opportunities for growth. I've excerpted just a bit of the article, so take a moment to read below or visit the full article on their site: http://www.itbusinessedge.com/cm/community/features/interviews/blog/scribe-online-adds-sis-and-vars-into-the-cloud-equation/?cs=47026
"You have to bring together the people, the processes and all of the apps and data. I think that's really where we're headed with Scribe Online."
Lawson: First could you answer: Are you continuing with the Microsoft focus as you go with Scribe Online or how do you expand it?
Guercia: Initially, we are. We're turning to the channel that we've had great success in, right, but the mission of Scribe Online is really to go and extend beyond just the Microsoft channel.
Let me explain why that's the case. Firms like Boomi, Cast Iron and Informatica have largely focused on cloud-to-cloud integration through some form of designer widgets, right? They basically went after what was a very practical opportunity to get data integration between various cloud services, [which] I think was a very practical and smart thing to do.
We will do some of that, but really our differentiation is we're focused on cloud-to-premise-based integration. I think the era that we're in now is really one where companies understand that cloud or on-demand services — which have come in typically through the line of business whether it's in a sales area or marketing or HR — they really need to be mainstreamed with all of the apps and all of the data that's run behind the firewall. I think that this is particularly true in the midmarket…. More in the full article.
Lawson: So are you working primarily with the VARs and the SIs or will you sell directly to the end-user companies?
Guercia: Our strategy is really this: If we're selling or developing business with cloud providers, we're going to be cultivating a portfolio of cloud companies that want to write to our connectors.
So what we give them is not only some level of cloud-to-cloud integration, but we open up markets for them if they want to extend beyond cloud-to-cloud to get into cloud-to-premise….
What Scribe offers them is when they write a connector to Scribe Online, they instantly get access to all Microsoft CRM 2011 users, and they would also be able to get access to SQL, so they can take data from SQL databases and run it through their service and as we add new connectors, they would get access to those services as well.
But what we give them initially is access into a Microsoft Dynamics market that they never had and then a channel of partners that can now use their technology to go build BI solutions. Now, they can spend literally a month of one developer's time writing to our connector development kit, which will be out in July…. More in the full article.
Lawson: There's been discussion about how cloud will impact systems integrations and VARs, particularly in terms of whether or not they'll even be necessary as more companies move to the cloud. Do you find that is something they're concerned about?
Guercia: Well, it truly is because if you think about what's happening, the cloud in some extent, right, is disintermediating the integrator, because they can get an on-demand application. I mean, I understand that very well. I've been in this industry for 10 years, so I get that. …
What the SIs need to do is re-invent themselves and really be relevant in integrating hybrid environments. Just relying on doing SAP and Oracle implementations and not figuring out how to integrate to these cloud services, I think, would be a death nail for those larger players…. More in the full article.
Lawson: I know some cloud integration companies offer pre-packaged integration solutions. I'm having a hard time understanding how your offering is different from other pre-packaged solutions, except for you're adding VARs and system integrations.
Guercia: Here's the thing, and it's a rhetorical question: Do you think that either the SaaS providers or the IT organizations by themselves will have the tools and the wherewithal to really harness all of the applications that run behind the firewall and all of the cloud services that they have today and tomorrow into an integrated application-centric solution for their company? I don't believe they will. I think they're going to need help…. More in the full article.
Lawson: How do you think that your offering this service to SIs and VARs will impact end-user organizations?
Guercia: We've come out of just a dreadful economic period, right? Fortunately we're seeing the light of day now, things are getting a little bit better, but I do think there was some element of cause-and-effect relative to the growth of these SaaS apps during a period when the economy was terrible. The businesses had less money to do things and they had fewer resources to make things happen, especially on the IT side.
I think we're in a period where companies are saying, all right, how do I bring this together? How do I make this an IT function rather than having all these different execs purchasing their apps for their particular department? How do I pull all of this together?... More in the full article.