I recently had a chance to talk with Tim Low of Daptiv. It's one of the companies developing SaaS (software as a service) applications aimed at smaller businesses, and it has an interesting take on what smaller organizations want and need from a "cloud" application provider. Here are some of the notes from my conversation with Tim:
Like Zoho, Daptiv is delivering a set of collaboration tools, plus an additional set of tools for managing work in businesses. They were formerly called e-Project and have always been an on-demand vendor. Tim stressed that Daptiv is pure SaaS; all the customer needs is a browser. Daptiv has more than 800 customers, with customers in multiple segments -- many SMB and many Fortune 500 where they're being used either across the board or departmentally.
Daptiv has about 100,000 users in its online community, called Daptiv PPM. The smallest user communities are around 10 people, with the largest around 20,000. This points to the fact that while they have roots in project and portfolio management, there really aren't any companies that have 20,000 project management users. The large numbers come from organizations using the collaboration tools Daptiv makes available.
Collaboration is a component in pretty much everything Daptiv offers. Daptiv refers to business intelligence on demand as "Work Intelligence." Its literature uses "dynamic applications" to talk about the ability to create and provision applications on demand, including form creation and applications that track materials and staff movement within the organization.
While Daptiv uses Zoho as a point of comparison, there's a huge difference in that Daptiv doesn't do personal productivity -- Daptiv recognizes that it's valuable, but it's not central to what it does, so it's happy to let other companies deal with those functions. Tim said, "We think there's a missing link between personal productivity and organization impact, and that's where we come in. We've built in features that make it easy to use with personal productivity tools, but we think there's a difference between the business organization functions and the personal productivity functions."
I asked Tim what being a SaaS vendor did to Daptiv's release schedule for new products. He said that, as a SaaS vendor, Daptiv typically has three to four major releases each year, plus any enhancements that have to be released more frequently.