Yesterday, Rackspace launched Appmatcher.com, a match making service which will help businesses find suitable apps for their needs. Imagine it to be something like Match.com but catering to the business users helping them find the right set of SaaS applications for their organization from accounting to project management to HR. This is a pretty interesting service provided it is executed properly.
The biggest problems faced by many smaller SaaS vendors is the issue of application discovery by the users. The success of SaaS has lead to the proliferation of services in all categories with little or no differentiation. This makes it difficult for the users to find the right set of tools for them. With so much noise about these apps in the tech media (well, we were also a culprits in increasing the decibel levels at times), users are confused leading to too many aborted attempts.
This problem gets magnified in the case of business users. Unlike some of the power users on the consumer side, the business organizations don’t have the luxury of playing around with many different applications before settling on something they like. They need an easy way to find the apps that will fit the needs of their organization. It should be reliable and vendor neutral.
The mobile market found a partial solution to similar problem in the form of app stores. In fact, SaaS also saw marketplaces like Google Apps Marketplace but it was built around Google Apps offering. There are no vendor neutral app stores for standalone SaaS applications. Moreover, app stores or directory services solves only part of the problem. You still need a way to narrow down the search to handful of applications that closely matches the need for any organization. Appmatcher.com is designed with a plan to offer just this solution.
Appmatcher finds a perfect application match through a deep understanding of customer needs, predictive analytics and sophisticated matching algorithms. It takes some basic information about your organization like the industry, employee size, department, your role in the organization, the size of the size of the budget authority, etc. and then matches with different applications in their database for different needs such as accounting, project management, etc.. They also provide a locker which users of any organization can use to share these apps to their colleagues and managers of different departments. It is a pretty nifty tool to help people find the apps they need.
This is a pretty interesting concept and many organizations planning to move towards SaaS will find it very handy. Right now, this app is somewhat crippled with their database containing SaaS applications hosted on Rackspace infrastructure. However, they are open to include vendors who are hosted elsewhere including competing cloud services like Amazon Web Services. Unless they include these outside vendors into the database, this app is just a marketing vehicle for Rackspace. However, they could avoid this characterization either by including the other vendors on their own or by reaching out to these vendors and convince them to jump in. If they manage to do this and it gains enough traction with organizations plotting their move to SaaS applications and other cloud applications, this could serve as the gateway for the SaaS world. I will also expect them to develop their algorithm to get “smarter” so that the matchmaking is even more accurate. We will have to wait and see if it really takes off or gets stale pretty soon.
- AppMatcher.com – Rackspace SaaS Summit (enterpriseirregulars.com)
- Rackspace Helps Businesses Find the Apps They Need with New AppMatcher (eon.businesswire.com)
- Rackspace Launches Business App Matchmaking Service (informationweek.com)
- Rackspace Launches a Match.com For Business Apps (webpronews.com)