We were supposed to be in awe of Oracle, Microsoft, SAP. But the giants of enterprise software plan have shown themselves impotent to stem the tide of on-demand CRM. None of them are even attempting to capture the market, limply settling instead for a defensive offering that might, if they're lucky, help them cling on to a few existing accounts.
Nothing about Microsoft CRM or SAP CRM (I won't even start to try and untangle Oracle just yet) is going to tempt any customer with a serious itch to embrace the on-demand model.
Steve Hamm's BusinessWeek story on the SAP announcement has a great quote from Salesforce.com user Fred Rosenzweig, president of SAP customer Electronics for Imaging (EFII).
"There's different DNA for a traditional software company and on-demand software company," Rosenzweig says. "Salesforce.com has a very nice easy-to-use interface. They're good at listening to their customers."
Translation: Traditional software is hard to use and the vendors never listen to us. Truth is, the supposed giants of enterprise software simply don't get how much of a threat the on-demand model really is.
Or perhaps they do, and they've decided to best strategy is to run around squawking a lot with their eyes and ears covered up.