It is extremely rare to stumble upon bright minds that can really shed new and unique light on extremely complex markets. In Saas it often seems that there is an extremely high tendency for repetition and recycling of ideas.
Paul G. Huppertz is one of those Pioneer and rare bird that has ideas that can radically change the way you perceive the Saas market and shine a spot line on areas that few truly grasp.
Highly impressed with his materials and writings I requested to conduct a short interview with him. The results were fascinating and can be found below.
Interview with Paul G. Huppertz
• As a graduate in civil enginnering for telecommunications, I have started in the ICT business in 1987
Starting in 1987, my first job to plan & establish a first campus-LAN on an area with about 40 old buildings and about 5.000 employees. It was integrated in to the system programming team in the mainframe group, learned a lot about
• IBM mainframe systems: IBM/370, IBM/9370, IBM/3270, …
• cabling coax, Ethernet & Token Ring
• IBM/SNA, DECnet, DEC/VT, Novell/NetWare
• DEC/VAX, DEC/LAVC
• MS/DOS, IBM/PC-DOS, Windows
In 1993, I’ve joined the start-up E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH, the 3rd mobile phone network provider in Germany
• planning and implementing a nationwide PC network with 10 regional centers and the main data center in Düsseldorf
• build up the data center team & technology; became data center manager
• later on I was project manager for introducing a system management solution based on HP/OpenView
• have prepared E-Plus’ IT companywide for Year 2000 readiness
In 2001, I’ve joined Avanade, a joint venture from Microsoft & Accenture
• build up the operations management team
• consultant for systems management, data center management, IT Service Management,
• contributed to several large IT projects in Germany, Switzerland, UK, in the areas above
Since 2010, I’m a freelancer for IT Service Management and Servicialisation, i.e. reliable, efficient & paying Service Providing Management, a concept I have developed from my experiences and from systematic research
A comment you made on an article that captured my attention. You said that “The core effect of the digital economy is that almost any information representation is digitized. Thus, the digital economy in reality is a servistry in the tertiary sector of the economy. – s. Wikipedia entry ‘Tertiary sector of the economy’ – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tertiary_sector_of_the_economy
• Digitization is a kind of “informational energy transformation”
• Only human beings can create, read & understand information as well as generate the digital information representations by means of digitizers like text processing software, spreadsheet software, digital cameras, microphones, …
• The ICT systems are the “machinery” for processing & storing the digitized information representations
• With regard to Service Providing Management, the ICT systems are the service automats that effectuate & render ICT-system based services and/or ICTility services (= ICT-system based utility services) of different service types
Are you basically trying to coin a term that describes the industrialization of “providing services”?
The terms industrialization and industry should be kept & used only for manufacturing physical goods and systems in the economic sector of the industry, i.e. about classical product management
The main principles of industrialization, i.e.
Must be abstracted from goods manufacturing (management) and be transferred to service providing (management) allowing for the service characteristics as well as for the real-time requirements of service rendering
This entails a separate & self-contained methodology, i.e. servicialisation for effectuating & rendering services, in clear contrast to industrialization, i.e. making goods
The economic sector of/for sericialization should be designated as servistry for clearly separating it from the classical industry; servistry and servicialisation is as aged as mankind whilst industry and industrialization are rather young.
What are the top dilemmas of service for SaaS vendors? Can you please provide an example of how these dilemmas are played in the world of a SaaS vendor?
The fundamental dilemma and misconception is that a software good can be(come) a service; this is completely impossible because of the fundamentally different characteristics of
• a physical good that is tangible & material, substantial & persistent
• a service that is intangible & immaterial, insubstantial & perishable
Thus a software good never can be(come) a service…
Instead a software good must be installed & configured, activated & operated in an appropriate runtime environment for making the software-inherent functions accessible & executable as application functions
The Conclusion is: “SaaS” in reality comprises application hosting servicing
How should SaaS vendor assure Service Effectiveness?
Understand that he is no vendor anymore because a service neither can be sold nor be bought. Instead he is an application hosting service supplier, at least in many cases
He must assure reliable service contribution rendering for the service contribution types that have been commissioned to him.
Meanwhile a service as such cannot be effective because of its characteristics
Only the service rendering can be effective as in the course of the respective service transaction, the service-specific benefit must be completely & terminatorily effectuated to the service object, the service consumer has determined with his dedicated service trigger.
What are the best cases you see in the SaaS market today of companies that have innovative ways of assuring service effectiveness?
be(com)ing a reliable service contribution supplier by reliably rendering each & every triggered service contribution explicitly to the triggering service consumer
understanding that a service contribution is fundamentally different from a so called „service component“ because the latter in reality is a system component
understanding that service contributions are mostly from technical service consumer, e.g. DNS services are triggered from DNS clients that are authorized DNS service consumers
be at least a reliable application hosting service supplier, i.e. comprehensively mastering reliable, efficient & paying service providing
If you had only one tip for new Saas startups, what would it be?
copy Salesforce, a former software vendor that has successfully managed to evolve into a market dominating service (contribution) supplier for CRM services worldwide
first and foremost, identify the market niche for a unique & self-contained service offering that is compelling for the designated service consumers
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