July 16, 2018
Hey there! Microsoft is seemingly always in the news - and the past few weeks haven't been any different. In addition to last week's announcements regarding Dynamics 365, Microsoft has made two big moves recently surrounding their cloud business: 1) Microsoft Teams now features a new freemium version 2) Azure continues to rack up federal cloud certifications. Regarding the first move, by adding a freemium model for Teams, Microsoft is stealing a page from Slack's playbook. The move lowers barrier to adoption and also makes the communication tool a more viable option for SMBs. In the second move, Microsoft is doing what it can to win the Pentagon's multi-billion dollar RFP for cloud hosting. With the recent set of certifications, Azure and AWS are the only vendors with the credentials to win the deal, which would be a major milestone for Microsoft.
July 9, 2018
Hey there - welcome back and hope you had a relaxing weekend. Last week, Microsoft made a move that clearly illustrates the value of SaaS vs on-prem. In a blog post by the COO of business applications, Microsoft announced that they'll be modernizing their update model for Dynamics 365 - and now provide updates semi-annually. They won't be providing the same update cadence to their Dynamics on-premise customers. This announcement perfectly encapsulates one of SaaS's common value-drivers: faster updates and centralized managed services (the update itself). Microsoft, like Adobe did years before, is making a conscious effort to pivot to cloud and SaaS delivery models - and this announcement further cements that they're putting action behind that decision.
July 2, 2018
Hey there. This week’s newsletter will cover trends in SaaS pricing models, GDPR compliance and recent events in the SaaS market. In the markets, Domo became a public company on Thursday. The Utah-based BI company came out of stealth mode in 2015 with a valuation of $2 billion. Since then, it’s earned a polarizing position in the eyes of analysts - as both a viable business, but one with questionable ratios of debt to revenue. The markets seem to be high on Domo, though, since shares closed 30% higher by close of business on Friday. The other large event last week was Amazon’s acquisition of PillPack. Amazon has plans to build a health insurance branch and insatiably looks to broaden its shipment offering so, in retrospect, this move makes quite a bit of sense. Read on to learn more about the above moves and more.
June 25, 2018
Hey there. Today, we'll take a look at Survey Monkey's IPO - a process that they underwent confidentially. Given the rapid growth of venture-backed companies we've seen lately (from Spotify to DropBox), SurveyMonkey is somewhat of an outlier. The survey software vendor was founded in 20th century, in 1999! Nearly 20 years later, it's valued over $2 billion (assuming it's grown since it's last valuation). In addition to SurveyMonkey's IPO, we'll dive into another 20-year mark for another prominent SaaS company: Salesforce. Mark Benioff's bet on SaaS/subscription business models revolutionized enterprise technology and, as the CRM company approaches the end of its second decade, we'll dive into what he got right vs what he got wrong.
June 4, 2018
Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great week and weekend. Today, we'll dive into two of the larger stories from last week: Microsoft agrees to acquire GitHub and Domo's files to go public. Neither company, despite both being valued over $1 billion, was cashflow positive - and were actively looking for exits. Without a CEO, GitHub preferred being acquired to the public markets and - with Microsoft's recent embrace of open source tools - found a suitor. Domo's been rumored to be eyeing an IPO for some time - but its losses have always been concerning (and it looks like their S-1 may validate them). Have a great week!