The Fall Collaborative of the IT Alliance was held this past week (December 3-6, 2011) in Austin Texas. The closing session “The Cloud – SaaS Best Practices” moderated by Avalara’s Rob Johson and presented by a panel including Taylor Macdonald – VP Channel Sales Intacct, Jaqueline Tiso , President JMT Consulting and Craig West VP Channel Sales at Netsuite.
Record attendance of 260 technology members was announced. Most IT Alliance members provide mid-market ERP or related services. The conference is marketed as a collaborative and is heavy on member to member sharing of experiences.
One of the hottest topics at this year’s event was cloud computing. Each conference day spotlighted sessions on creating, adapting and how to change a VAR practice to market SaaS offerings which typically charge customers a lower initial price which means VARS have had to retool their thinking about how to market and provide SaaS services.
During last year’s ITA Fall 2010 collaborative I noted that most IT Alliance member VARS who had adopted SaaS as a business offering were in the early stages of ramping up and offering services. This meant there was not much live feedback about actual results of converting from an on premises to SaaS VAR.
This year’s conference was different and one session about SaaS business best practices featured a prominent Sage partner – Jackie Tiso of JMT Consulting – who is a 9 year Sage President’s Circle winner and one of their top Non-Profit VARs. Jackie and her firm have been providing a SaaS solution since October 2010. Here are some notable results that Jackie shared during her session.