An ISV in the Age of the Cloud

We stated this blog in October of 2010.  Now that 2011 is here it is time to take a step back and think about the purpose of the blog and whether it is serving the purpose intended. 

Our mission with this blog is to provide helpful information for ISVs. As it says in our Masthead “Ignition Showcase: Providing ISV's with the resources they need to create new opportunities on our emerging technologies. “

Furthermore our welcome message states: “Ignition Showcase is a site focused on building and enhancing the vibrant ecosystem of Independent Software Vendors and start-ups on the Microsoft platform. The goal of Ignition Showcase is to bring together the right people and experiences from across Microsoft to provide ISVs with the resources they need to create new opportunities on our emerging technologies. Through briefings, readiness programs, social networking, blogs, and other events, we hope to empower partners to succeed on the Microsoft platform. Stay tuned to our blog for info on resources and activities!”

So it is important that we know who our constituency is. That has prompted us to think hard and long about what an ISV is.  I realize that many of you may think this is a naïve question since “everyone knows” the answer. But bear with me a bit because, thanks to the new cloud computing paradigm that is upon us, the definition needs extension to accommodate a new type of ISV the SaaS (Software as a Service) vendor.

OK so lets do some research on popular definitions of the term.  Most definitions distinguish between ISVs, VARS (Value Added Resellers) and SIs (System Integrators). Normally they define an ISV as: A company that makes and sells a software product.

Of course we also need to extend “sells” to cover the case where a company licenses their software for use (as most ISVs do).

So we can extend our definition to say that:

An ISV is a company that makes a software product and profits from the development of that software product in one or more of two ways.

  1. Direct sales
  2. Licensing (renting) the software for use by others

 

Is this still valid in the age of  the cloud and SaaS? We contend that it is but that the definition needs to be modified to include licensing business model and that does bring us closer to including the SaaS service vendor  in the definition.  So our definition becomes:

An ISV is a company that makes a software product and profits from the development of that software product in one or more of three ways.

  1. Direct sales
  2. Licensing (renting) the software for use by others
  3. Renting access to it as a Service

 

So it boils down to

  • Did you build a software product?
  • Do you sell or license it for use by others?
  • Do you rent access to it as a service?

 

This may all be obvious to you. If so I am glad. If not I hope we have stimulated some thought. 

If you are an ISV we are very interested in you and what you would like to see covered in the blog this year. Please let us know.

In any case we hope that you are having a happy new year. Smile

Bill Zack