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The Enterprise Platform Battle is Joined… by Intuit.

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008 | Link | Spread The Word!

The enterprise platform space has been crowded for a long time, but Salesforce’s AppExchange platform model has been allowed to reign relatively freely, until recently. Today Erik Schonfeld blogged that Intuit has announced that they are opening their Quickbase platform to developers for small business applications. Intuit joins a growing list of enterprise platform contenders including big dogs Google and Salesforce. Read the article here.

So what? Well here’s the what. Competition in this space is very interesting because of three main factors:

1. As the competition and interest in “cloud” application platforms increases, and the number of big players increases, the more development interest will be generated overall. Why? If the largest and most successful software companies are getting into this game, it’s going to be a game worth playing for many developers. The ability to reach large customer bases, almost overnight, will be irresistible for many.
2. As the number of competitors increases it creates confusion in the marketplace as developers are unsure which platform will best suit their objectives and their target market. This is especially vital in the B2B world as business systems are often asked to smoothly integrate with one another. Suddenly the risk of being on the “wrong” platform is increasing drastically.

3. The “closed vs. open platform” factor. The interests of the developers and the interests of the platform-hosting companies are almost diametrically opposed, even thought they can profit from the same customers. Developers benefit from easily portable platforms where they could host their aplications on any of the platforms, quickly transition from one platform to another, and potentially run the same application on multiple platforms. In contrast, the platform-hosting companies want to lock in their developers and create a closed system, where by it forces users and developers to stay loyal to it’s platform-otherwise the model self-destructs.

How will it all shake out? How does this news impact the Lead Management space? Time will tell.

Pass the Beans!

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