Thoughts on technology and innovation
Ted Husted, Release Engineer
First it was "Software as a Service", pioneered by folks like Salesforce.com, back when the century was turning.
Today, more and more of the things around us are becoming "as a service".
Television as a Service
I dropped out of mainstream cable TV years ago -- mainly because the video recorder kept failing. From Time Warner Cable (TWC), we have very-basic cable TV, and mid-range Internet.
This month, we picked up Sling TV, which made for our fifth streaming provider.
Between all five, we finally have access to All The Things.
It's a marvel of a market differentiation and finding your niche.
The closest overlap is the TWC App's on-demand service. Like maybe half of these can be found on Hulu, the others not so much. The "not-so-much" being CBS shows. CBS offers its own subscription platform and strategically puts very little on Hulu (an expensive strategy doomed to fail). We considered dropping Hulu, but TWC sometimes has issues with fast-forward and saving your place, so we tend to use TWC On Demand for things not found on Hulu.
Ultimately, we did drop Netflix, mainly because we've seen all the good stuff already. I took half of the $8 savings and upgraded to commercial-free Hulu. (And then there were four.)
Not-So Smart TVs
The new pain-point became is that, as an early adopter of Smart TVs, I wasn't able to upgrade the built-in apps. With those TVs, you get what you got. I'm now in the process of putting Rokus on each set, so that we have a consistent, upgradeable interface. It's lipstick on a pig, but I'm not ready to replace the pigs.
Since TWC thoughtfully provides an Roku app gateway to its live cable service, we can stay in Roku and still get the local news. Ahhh .... finally, we're back to a one stop shop.
Apps as a Service
We see much the same thing happening on the Salesforce platform. On its own, Salesforce provides a world-class CRM, which any business absolutely needs. After that, the market diverges: some folks need this, and some folks need that.
Just as I can plugin Hulu and Netflix to MY television platform, you can plugin AppExchange apps into YOUR Salesforce platform. You can choose just the apps you want and choose between free and premium channels (just like television!). Salesforce orgs are like snowflakes, each has it's own unique shape.
It's a brave new world, and I'm enjoying the choices.
What "as a service" vendors do you use? Do you enjoy the choice, or do you feel restricted?
Ted Husted is a Kaizen Squad developer on the Nimble AMS product crew. "We make the good changes that create a great product." For more, follow @tedhusted on Twitter.