Friday, May 02, 2008

Software Marketplaces
Saw two announcements today from IBM and Intel about establishing software marketplaces. Links to Infoworld articles on the Intel's Business Exchange and IBM's Global Application Marketplace.

I am very bullish on these ideas. About a year ago, I had floated an idea of creating an ERP Customizations Exchange to Oracle and to some of my peers. The fact is that, all of us have created some very sophisticated non-strategic bolt-ons to ERPs that we would be happy to license to others at about 10 -15% of the development cost. Here is an overview of how I thought it would work for PeopleSoft:

The ERP Exchange is a subscription-based website that provides the ability for PeopleSoft clients and customers to trade code or other client-paid customizations that may be of interest to other PeopleSoft customers. ERP Exchange doesn’t own any of the code being sold on the site but simply acts as a broker between two entities that wish to exchange custom PeopleSoft functionality.

The ERP Exchange website allows subscribers to search for specific PeopleSoft customizations that they may be interested in acquiring. A brief one- paragraph description of the customization gives the buyer an overview of its features and functionality. Should the subscriber be interested in obtaining more information on a customization package (pricing, documentation available, etc.), she can click on the link. It is also possible to send subscribers email requesting additional information about a package.

I am happy to see that a couple of vendors are picking up on this idea, albeit for SMBs. This could significantly reduce the TCO for ERPs.

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