Lervik and FAST don't use the SNaaS term, which I coined just this last weekend after realizing what really interested me in a pitch sent by a FAST publicist. The publicist's focus was dollars and AdSense, as in Google's ad-delivery service, but even tech strategists like me understand that someone must pay for the Web's free tools and toys. It's a given that no one makes money from consumer Web search per se - not Google or Yahoo with 55% and 20% of the market, respectively, and certainly not Microsoft, whose "Live" branding seems more a desperate wish than a compelling offering. (Live's search share is in the single digits and is reportedly slipping.) No, we all know that online ads fund Web search as a loss leader, and it's Google AdSense and Yahoo Search Marketing and the like that broker and deliver those ads. They do it as a service, quite profitably.
Web search has always been delivered as a service. Who but propeller-hatted weenies (like me) would even think to pre-label this service with "Software as a"? FAST's pitch is to save online publishers high, not-so-hidden costs, or rather, to let them retain the substantial bit of vigorish on each ad impression/click that would otherwise go to Google or Yahoo. The pennies add up, and soon we're talking real money, enough to justify Google's and Yahoo's combined $190 billion market valuation.
When we start talking real money, that's when it makes sense to bring back in-house business that was previously outsourced "as a Service." That's when it makes sense for a solution provider such as FAST to pitch software an organization can install itself. What, after all, is SaaS other than outsourcing, and is outsourcing ever a one-size-fits-all proposition?
I've finally realized why I dislike the term "Software as a Service." It puts software center-stage where the issue is really the most profitable or efficient place to conduct automated business processes. SaaS as a concept seems little more than an attempt to differentiate software products, suggesting that the SaaS/SNaaS decision should be based on technology and not on business considerations.
FAST, good luck, and thanks for letting me use you to tell my story. SaaS=outsourcing, nothing more. Evaluate SaaS as an option on that basis. Don't use service X because it's SaaS; the software part is close to irrelevant. Use it because it makes the best business sense.Enterprise-search vendor FAST is poised to strike a blow for SNaaS - Software NOT as a Service... The FAST AdMomentum platform is designed to shift control of delivery of contextual advertising from third-party service providers... Web search has always been delivered as a service. Who but propeller-hatted weenies (like me) would even think to pre-label this service with "Software as a"?