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SaaS Breakfast Exchange
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SaaS - blue sky thinking or cloud cuckoo land?

Thursday 21 January 2010
8 - 10 am
Pearl Restaurant, 252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN

Software as a service (SaaS) allows customers to access business applications through on-demand licensing, removing the need to develop and implement expensive applications. SaaS provides scalability, accessibility and affordability. The service provider takes responsibility for support, maintenance, infrastructure and upgrades, and can pass on substantial economies of scale in operating cost. This means that the IT organisation can be slimmer and does not need whole areas of skill, freeing it to focus on differentiating capability.

However, larger enterprises are hesitating to make the leap to SaaS. CIOs are concerned about business continuity, data security, privacy and vendor lock-in. Issues include the difficulty of customising SaaS or integrating it across other enterprise systems. Interoperability and access to data also need to be addressed.

For those who can navigate these issues, SaaS can be a real game-changer. Our Breakfast Exchange discussion will be kicked-off by Steve Garnett, the European chairman of Salesforce.com, Paul Cheesbrough, CIO at Telegraph Media Group and Jeremy Vincent, CIO at Jaguar Land Rover.

Paul joined the Telegraph from the BBC, where he was Controller, Digital Media. He writes on technology matters for telegraph.co.uk - see his blog on cloud computing.

Under Jeremy’s leadership, Jaguar Land Rover has recently taken out a 15,000 seat licence for Google’s Apps collaboration and productivity suite. As Jeremy says “Six or seven months ago I didn’t know what cloud computing was but I was invited to speak at a conference on it so I thought I had better learn. I did and it fundamentally changed my attitude to IT and I started to preach the gospel wherever I could. I’ve been recruited on a change agenda and need something else to raise my flag. If you do the same as everyone else don’t expect to be better than anybody else. [Cost] enabled me to get the approval process signed off quickly but in the future it will give us access to a commodity solution across the workforce”.

Steve understands the licensed software industry from his experience as Sales Director and Vice President of Marketing at Oracle and as head of Siebel Systems in Europe, and now runs the leading SaaS provider. Salesforce routinely processes 150 million transactions per day, performed by 1.5 million users. It achieves this with a multi-tenancy single-instance architecture pioneered by Google, Amazon and other consumer applications.

Breakfast Exchanges are an opportunity for selected senior executives to meet in a small group to discuss ‘hot topics’ in a confidential and informal environment. We would be delighted if you could find the time to come and contribute to the debate. There are a maximum of six places available - if you would like to join this group, please contact Fiona Farr at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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