When I asked about what customers want from their vendors, and in particular whether small-business customers had different needs than larger enterprises, Tim was open about what Daptiv sees. "I don't think there's that much difference in the desire for functionality. We run into companies that are fairly small at this point in their life, but they're fairly sophisticated. What the smaller organization lacks is IT infrastructure head count. They also sometime lack a certain process maturity, though that's not always the case. The question is whether it's easy for them to add infrastructure functionality without having to add equipment and head count. Larger companies have head count already assigned to the functionality, but smaller companies need help." His comments echoed those I've heard from a number of vendors. They boil down to the opinion that small-business computing differs from large enterprise computing in quantity -- not functional quality. That's a massive shift from a decade ago, and it's a shift that will be more and more important through the next three to four years.
Daptiv does have an offering specifically for the small business; it's called Daptiv SMB. It comes standard with the apps more relevant to the smaller companies, but Tim says that they don't lock it down to a reduced set of functions. If the small business needs the capacity planning module, for example, they're welcome to use it -- it's just that the standard subscription doesn't show it in order to limit complexity. Functionality isn't the separator; ease of getting a customer into the application is.
It's always interesting to ask a company to define "small business," and Daptiv is no exception. Tim said, "Right now there are lots of SaaS companies that do have a sweet spot at 10 users. Our sweet spot starts around 50 users and goes up into the tens of thousands." The difficulty that customer sizes like this represent is that they can go hand-in-hand with long deployment cycles and steep learning curves. Tim admitted that rich function sets and larger customers can mean that it takes longer to figure out how you're going to deploy a solution. He stressed, though, that Daptiv has "subscribe to live" numbers that show the average customer organization going from start to live in less than 30 days. That is a remarkably short time for any substantial application to take for deployment.
There are arguments about whether cloud computing is a technology set or a business model. For Daptiv, it seems to be a bit of both. For smaller end-user organizations, though, it could be an interesting cloud to gaze at for possible business-intelligence and collaboration applications.