A numbers battle has broken out between SaaS vendors following Successfactors' announcement this week of an 85,000 seat deployment at Wachovia Bank, which its press release describes as "one of if not the largest enterprise Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) deployments ever."
It's not as big as Concur's "largest on-demand service deployment, with over 180,000 employees of a leading global financial institution now generating over 1.5 million transactions per year," as revealed in the company's Q1 financials release on Jan 31st this year.
Nor is it as big as several accounts at Authoria, a rival to Successfactors in the talent management space, whose PR contacted me after seeing the Successfactors release to let me know the company had "six customers with in excess of 100,000" seats. The customers could not be named though.
In fact it turns out that Successfactors itself has "several additional customers that are in the plus 110,000 user range but we can't announce them publicly yet," its PR rep told me in an email this week.
That's still less than Authoria's biggest customer, though, a leading global food services business "with 340,000 managers and employees served." That's certainly a big number.
At least all these claims and counter-claims give the lie to the notion that SaaS solutions are only for smaller businesses. The trouble with landing big accounts of course is that they're notoriously shy about lending their name to vendor publicity, particularly when the technology is still not regarded as fully mainstream. All credit then to Successfactors in getting clearance from Wachovia to go public on its deployment. Perhaps the vendor should have reworded its description to read "largest deployment with a publicly named customer." Unless anyone knows of one that's larger, of course. Please post a comment to Talkback if you do.