Tech Spheres

Discussion of Web 2.0 Business Strategies (SaaS, PaaS, Strategy, Enterprise, Small Business, Flex)

Posts Tagged ‘IPP’

Federated Applications on Intuit Partner Platform

Posted by Alex Chriss on June 3, 2009

Today, we are pleased to announce the release of “Federated Applications” on the Intuit Partner Platform. It’s been a blast to work with our Rock-Star team to deliver this and I want to personally welcome our five new developers, VerticalResponseDimDimRyppleSetster, and ExpenseWare, that have gone through federation already.  It’s always scary going first, but these folks have been great partners and I look forward to their awesome success!  

Here is some more information on the details of federation and how you as a developer can get started.

(Originally posted)

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Intuit Partner Platform – Open for Business

Posted by Alex Chriss on November 11, 2008

(originally posted on the Intuit Partner Platform blog)

Phew! After about a year of pretty heavy strategy and really heavy engineering work, I’m proud to announce the Intuit Partner Platform (IPP) is open for business.   What is IPP you ask?  Well, it’s the fastest and easiest way for you to build a SaaS business.  Here’s the way I think about building a SaaS business –

Three simple steps to success:

1) Get a great idea – we can share some of our research on what Small businesses are telling us they need – but your entrepreneurial inspiration is critical

2) Build your great idea on a solid platform – IPP gives you robust hosting, a database with prebuilt  functionality, a UI layer with Adobe Flex, integration with QuickBooks data, integrated billing service, etc. etc.

3) Get lots and lots of customers – Even the best application, built on the best technology, won’t get you very far if no one comes to buy it.  What makes the Intuit Partner Platform truly unique is access to our channels of Small Business customers. We have about 25 million employees within our 4 million QuickBooks customers alone – and we want to drive them to buy your apps. 

In listening to our customers, they are demanding applications that solve their business needs – “right for me” applications.  We can’t build all of those ourselves – but we can build a great platform and a great channel for you to build lots of great apps that solve for our customer’s needs.  So what you see today is V1 – open for business. There is a lot more to come, but we’re ready for prime-time now.  We have a few developers that we’ve been working with for a while that have apps in the marketplace – try them out – play around with the materials we have on the website – download the SDK – then get your idea ready and give us a call.   We’ll help you refine that idea and design a killer app for the small business world – We’re open for business and ready to drive users to your app – give us an app and let’s get started!

Alex Chriss
Business Leader, Intuit Partner Platform

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Data on The Longtail

Posted by Alex Chriss on November 9, 2008

We have a running conversation around the office on the shape and size of “the long-tail” for SMB RIA applications.  We know that small businesses want right-for-my-business applications, but how long is that tail before a company should really just go to a custom built app (like on QuickBase)?  There’s a big market for our Intuit Partner Platform developers to provide vertical SaaS apps, but there still needs to be enough customers in each vertical to actually make money.

So I don’t have the app answer (yet) but I found this article from Dustin Woodward on the Hitwise blog pretty interesting.  It shows the longtail dynamic for internet search terms.  The big shock for me is that the “Top 10,000 terms = 18.5% of the all search traffic”. 

What does that tell me?

1) People search for all sorts of stuff

2) Developers trying to sell their app to a vertical, could spend a TON on SEO and still have a hard time driving traffic to their product.

3) Search is a divider more than an aggregator – Marketplace’s (like Amazon or Intuit Marketplace still have tremendous opportunity to be an aggregator of “like” products and the single place to allow customers to find what their looking for.

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Review of the Intuit Partner Platform apps

Posted by Alex Chriss on November 9, 2008

Oliver Marks just posted a nice review of the Intuit Partner Platform.  This week Oliver was a judge on a contest we ran leading up to Adobe Max in two weeks.  It’s very exciting to see the apps some of our developers have built on the platform.  If you’re at Max, stop by our booth and check them out (most are built in Flex).

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What ‘flavor’ is your PaaS?

Posted by Alex Chriss on November 9, 2008

This afternoon I was reading Dion Hinchcliffe’s great post on Building Modern Web Apps, and different product delivery models.  It struck me that choosing the right Platform-as-a-service could be considered a component to your product delivery choice.  So I did a little digging and found Tim O’Reilly ask whether there were advantages in choosing different PaaS options.  Well, yes, I think there are big choices to be made in choosing  where to build your next web app. 

Simply put, as a developer, you have a choice in “flavors” – (“PaaS flavors” as a term lifted from a panel presentation Allistair Croll did at Web 2.0)

There seem to me to be three flavors of PaaS:

1)      Pure platform – The tools needed to develop and host an app (Bungee, Google App Engine) [Monetization is likely exclusively through usage fees]

2)      App-centric platform – The same as above but focused around a specific application (i.e. Force.com) – Advantage is that you can leverage an anchor tenant’s data and customer base to sell your app. Disadvantage is that you’re tied to the anchor tenant – for good & bad [Monetization through selling more of your anchor tenant, usage fees, and/or rev share]

3)      Market-centric platform – Pure platform but with a specific market focus (i.e. Intuit Partner Platform – IPP) – Advantage exists only if the platform has durable advantages the developer can leverage in the market (i.e. brand, data, customers, channel) [Monetization through usage & rev share]

 There are also different components that make up a “platform” and the importance of those components differ based on the flavor of the platform.  For a pure platform, an end-to-end solution for developers is critical – otherwise there is very little value. 

 For an App-centric platform, having a developer build an app that ties directly to their anchor tenant – extending its value – is critical – The more apps, the stronger the anchor tenant becomes.

 For a market-centric platform, the real value to developers is in the durable advantages – so some of the specific components can be “optional.”  If developers prefer to build their app on a Pure-platform, that’s fine, as long as they expand the value of the market (note: network effect) – in this case, you lose utility charges but still have revenue share

The flavors of PaaS overlap and there are offerings that try to be multiple flavors, but I wonder if you always default to your core?  Force.com is trying to be all three, but will it always default to its core app-centric model?  IPP is also try to be all three – as it matures, it will be interesting to see where its true core is.

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