Now my wife will become a Cisco customer instead.
More acquisitions news: this time Cisco will acquire WebEx.
I find this particularly interesting as my wife has been WebEx WebOffice customer for some years now. She runs a small business and in 2001 she was looking for her own intranet-type workgroup functionality: track customers through a customized CRM system, store associated docs and share these with employees (dotted across the UK, now also in the US), etc. I looked around and found Intranets.com - a pure SaaS play. It worked very well for her, no install, just hit an url from anywhere and she could add and remove users with varying perms. I did the initial set up and she has been using it since. As she expanded the business to the US, the system coped with the rejigging required with no problems. She literally runs her business through it.
Then in August 2005 Intranets.com was acquired by WebEx for $45m and it became WebEx WebOffice (Cisco will pay
$3.5bn $3.2bn for all of WebEx assets). The cross-sell / up-sell mails started coming into my wife's mail box for other WebEx offerings, but she felt it was stuff she didn't need. So now she will be a Cisco customer. I wonder what they'll start trying to up-sell her now?
I personally can't help thinking that Microsoft has missed out big-time in capitalizing on the early opportunities in this space and the learning that goes with it. When I joined Microsoft nearly five years ago, I'd show colleagues the power and magic of the Intranets.com solution and asking why we weren't doing this - and got I reactions like 'cool', but we...just can't do that. That view is changing, but it's taking awfully long time to turn the ship. SaaS. Really - it's a no-brainer.
<updated with typo errors, thanks 'fred'>