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Hummer Winblad Principal Speaking Next Week at SYS-CON's Cloud Computing Expo November 19-21 in Silicon Valley
As IT spending tightens, Lars Leckie applauds the SaaS model over existing software models

Lars Leckie's Blog

In a recent report, Gartner made some bold predictions around the near-term future of SaaS. In essence they are endorsing that the SaaS model has increasing leverage over existing software models as the IT spending tightens:

Worldwide software-as-a-service revenue in the enterprise application market is
on pace to surpass 2007 sales by 27% and to more than double by 2012, a market
research firm said Wednesday. Revenue this year is on track to rise above
$6.4 billion, compared with $5.1 billion last year, Gartner said. In four years,
revenue is expected to reach $14.8 billion.

(from Antone Gonsalvez at InformationWeek)

While it is always a little dangerous to follow predictions from analysts when considering your specific market or application, this announcement is an interesting one given the current economic conditions.

We share this premise at Hummer Winblad and have invested heavily in the SaaS model...with over 15 portfolio companies to date including Omniture (web analytics), EmployEase (HR management), Aria Systems (Subscription Billing), etc. We see the model having some key strengths in this market:

1) Lower entry point customers - easier to get started, lower risk to trial, limited upfront expenditure. Also, the ability to buy or try without getting all the traditional enterprise sales points involved (IT, finance, etc)

2) Build vs Buy for business services - SaaS models become more interesting as companies debate if they should try to build out the service themselves via internal teams, or go with a known working solution where they can leverage existing best practices.

3) Lower TCO - often the best way to justify a SaaS offering is to have a customer lay out the true cost of the internal infrastructure

The SaaS wave appears to be continuing to gain momentum...lets hope we can really see the category double by 2012...


Lars Leckie is part of a star-studded lineup of speakers at SYS-CON's 1st International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo. Between them, they'll be covering every aspect of the hottest IT topic for years, with not just Amazon but also IBM, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Intel, HP and a host of others all offering, using or developing high-end computing services typically described as “cloud computing” - through which massively scalable IT-related capabilities are provided as a service using Internet technologies.

Forrester Research analyst James Staten calls cloud computing "classic disruptive innovation - where the mainstream dismisses the product and small companies have time to create a real differentiated value." But there are so many offerings just now that what infrastructure architects are looking for above all is a set of organizing principles they can use to guide them in choosing between them all.

Such principles. and a host of associated topics, will be addressed in San Jose by a Top Speaker Faculty that includes:

  • Dr Werner Vogels - VP & CTO, (Keynote)
  • Mike Feinberg - Senior Vice President, Cloud Infrastructure Group, EMC
  • Steve Herrod - CTO, VMware
  • David Bernstein - VP & GM of Network Applications Infrastructure, Cisco
  • Rob Weltman - Director of Grid Services, Yahoo!
  • Peter Nickolov - President CTO, 3Tera
  • Kevin Haar - President & CEO, Appistry
  • Songnian Zhou - Co-Founder & CEO, Platform Computing
  • Patrick Harr - CEO, Nirvanix
  • Gerrit Huizenga - Cloud Solutions Architect, IBM
  • John Keagy - CEO & Co-Founder, GoGrid/ServePath
  • Sajai Krishnan - CEO, ParaScale
  • Reuven Cohen - Founder & Chief Technologist, Enomaly
  • Mike Eaton - CEO, Cloudworks
  • Jonathan Bryce - Founder at Mosso (Rackspace)
  • Nati Shalom - CTO, GigaSpaces
  • Don MacAskill - CEO & Chief Geek, SmugMug
  • Billy Marshall - Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, rPath
  • Dr Thorsten von Eicken - CTO & Founder, RightScale
  • Jonathan Pyke - Chief Strategy Office, Cordys
  • Jason Stowe - Founder & CEO, Cycle Computing
  • David Young - Co-Founder & CEO, Joyent
  • Dave Durkee - Founder, CEO & Technical Director, ENKI
  • John Janakiraman - CTO, Skytap
  • Stuart Charlton - Chief Software Architect, Elastra
  • Lars Leckie, Principal, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners
  • Dr Rich Wolski - Professor, U.C. Santa Barbara
  • Javier Soltero - Co-Founder & CEO of Hyperic
  • Omer Trajman - Director of Field Engineering, Vertica Systems
  • Rachel Chalmers - Senior Analyst, Enterprise Software, The 451 Group

    and with a special Cloud Bootcamp on November 20 led by

  • Alan Williamson, Founder at, Creator of BlueDragon

All breakout sessions are all listed in further detail here.

Speaker Faculty - SYS-CON's 1st International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo

Register Today for Cloud Computing Expo and Save $100 !

Sponsorship and Exhibit Opportunities
Sponsorship and Exhibit Opportunities Offered on a First-Come First-Served Basis. To inquire about sponsorship and exhibit opportunities please contact Carmen Gonzalez at 201-802-3021 or by email at events(at) Currently, a limited number of sponsorship and exhibition packages with multiple sponsorship discounts are available for the upcoming events.

About Lars Leckie
Lars Leckie is a Principal at Hummer Winblad Venture Partners and has played a key role in the firm’s investments in Aria Systems (SaaS billing and customer management) and vKernel (Virtualization Infrastructure). While he spends less time programming now, he started his technical career coding and hacking computer games. He is the holder of several US patents. Prior to joining Hummer Winblad Venture Partners in 2006, Lars was involved in founding and operational roles at start-up companies. He was a co-founder of AutoFarm (now Novariant), a company focused on GPS and robotics. Lars was in charge of strategy, product marketing, business development and building the sales team across three continents. Lars has also been involved with the founding team of SportBug, a GPS and Internet fitness company.

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