SOLOMO is all the rage. Social, Local, Mobile. And while I tend to be skeptical about “rages”, this is a powerful set of themes driving innovation in software–both consumer and enterprise. I’d like to add one more phenomenon–maybe not quite on par with the others–but one that is very strong in enterprise software: Vertical. (I was hoping to come up with something that starts with an “N”, so the acronym would have started with SOLOMON, but some things are just not meant to be!)
These days the horizontal spaces are filled with the legacy behemoths. And the new SaaS behemoths like Salesforce, Workday, SuccessFactors, Netsuite etc. are right on their tail keeping the legacy behemoths on the run. This has left open plenty of vertical opportunities for Industry in the Cloud (IC) players highlighted in prior posts to exploit with their deep domain expertise, proprietary content, and industry-specific functionality.
In fact, the social aspect of SOLOMO is tailor-made for these ICs. Industries, almost by definition create their own social “circles”. How many times have we heard people describe themselves as “foodies”, “telecom” folks, oil and gas vets, fin svcs pros, etc. Many ICs are incorporating social elements into their offering and they are naturals for this element. (Of course, they are all working on mobile as well.)
Over the past few weeks, I have been expanding my “marketecture” diagram of vertical and horizontal B2B ecommerce providers. As I continue to dig and talk with others, I keep discovering more and more vertical players-it still amazes me. One my favorite examples I just happened to find last week, is a procure to pay vendor called Cinema Solutions. That’s right, a procure to pay vendor focused on movie theaters! (They even seem to have even spun off their own technology group called ReactorNet.) I have found many more in areas ranging from insurance to farming. So many verticals, so little time.
My list which started a few weeks ago at about 200 companies is now up to about 365 vendors for those of your keeping track. I have now had to go to two PowerPoint slides, one for just the vertical players and one for just the horizontal players. I attach them here for your reference. As always, if you would like a larger copy, just fill out the form on the home page on my website, www.softwareplatform.net, and I’ll be happy to forward it.