Tag Archives: SaaS

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[GWRE – Guidewire Software] Move slow and maintain things

If I had to force rank industries most resistant to new technology, P&C insurance would be right up there with other notoriously innovation averse sectors like local government, life insurance, education, and healthcare.  To some extent, this makes sense.  Given the critical nature of their services, insurance carriers should be culturally biased towards minimizing downside […]

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[OKTA – Okta] Owning Identity

One Clayton Christensen point that I’ve harped on several times before is that as integrated structures within a value chain disaggregate into their modular components, new points of integration emerge to sweep value.  In the context of public cloud infrastructure and the range of tools and apps flourishing on top, you might think of solutions […]

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[COUP – Coupa Software] Savings-as-a-Service

You’re a middle manager at the branch office of a vast multinational.  And you need an armful of binders for your team.  Would it occur to you that a procurement manager at HQ has negotiated discounted rates through Office Max?  Even if it did, would you know how to order against that contract?  Do you […]

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[ELLI – Ellie Mae] Market Opportunity, Competitive Threats, and Profitability

Ellie Mae is one of the few SMID-cap SaaS vendors I track whose stock has lost value over the last year, its growth narrative clouded by waning growth in mortgage originations. During the first half of 2018, a common view espoused by housing-related companies was that refinancing volumes had pretty much nowhere left to go […]

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[TEAM – Atlassian] Collaboration and Competition

Atlassian’s birth and rise coincided with the adoption of the Agile software development framework in the early 2000s and the DevOps movement that grew out of Agile a decade later(1).  In a non-DevOps environment, software development and IT operations function as two segregated departments responding to local incentives: simplistically, developers attempt to release features into […]

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[WK – Workiva] From Point Solution to Platform

Pat Dorsey, founder of Dorsey Asset Management and formerly Director of Equity Research at Morningstar, recently pitched Workiva on the Invest Like the Best podcast (I have transcribed Dorsey’s remarks about WK in today’s Podcast Blurbs).  At a high level: “And what they did is create a product that lets companies do SEC filings much […]

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[CMPR – Cimpress NV] Scale Economies and Hard Realities, Pt. 3

Cimpress is a fine business that has been in search of strategic direction for the last 6-7 years, groping for the right balance between value-added customization and low-cost production.  These two sources of differentiation are often at odds because the scale economies required to claim a cost advantage depend on running lots and lots of […]

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[RP – RealPage] Software Bundle, Not a Platform

In 1998 RealPage Communications, an internet hosting service for the commercial and residential real estate industry, merged with Rent Roll, a provider of property management software, giving birth a few years later to the company’s flagship property management SaaS, OneSite.  At a time when property managers were still awkwardly fusing disparate general purpose on-premise systems […]

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