Callidus on demand? Not Xactly

Callidus Software brings the term on demand into disrepute with its new hosted offering. Take it from Chris Cabrera, CEO of on-demand rival Xactly.
Written by Phil Wainewright, Contributor

Callidus Software has teamed up with the new Sun Grid utility to become the latest enterprise software maker to bring the term 'on demand' into disrepute.

Callidus has slapped the 'on demand' label on a hosted version"Do not let the slick rhetoric of enterprise software dinosaurs fool you" of its application, which helps enterprises calculate how much bonus to pay their sales people every month. As one on-demand CEO memorably asserted in an InfoWorld cover feature last month, such offerings are "all crap and the customer will not receive any of the advertised benefits."

At least vendors these days realize they have to make a bit of an effort to be buzzword-compliant. Just as SAP in February produced the absurd notion of 'isolated tenancy' to justify its lamentably SoSaaS hosted CRM architecture, so Callidus hopes that hosting with Sun Grid will lend an aura of on-demand respectability. Not in my book it doesn't.

I could go on about how Callidus is yet more proof that There's one born every minute, but I'd rather quote from an email I received last night from Chris Cabrera. As founder and CEO of Xactly, a purebred on-demand vendor that competes in the same application space as Callidus, Chris willingly takes up the cudgels on behalf of on-demand proponents everywhere. Here are some of his choicest comments:

Chris Cabrera, founder and CEO of Xactly
"Enterprise software by any name, hosted or otherwise, is not a substitute for true on-demand. Do not let the slick rhetoric of enterprise software dinosaurs fool you. Their claims of on-demand software offerings are simply false ...

"The new Callidus model ... is hosted enterprise software disguised as on-demand ... A 25 to 40 percent price-break for hosted enterprise implementation versus on-premise ... is still extravagant in the context of typical $1 million plus software implementations ...

"A tiger can't change its stripes and a battleship cannot turn around in a bathtub. Enterprise software companies trying to restart their businesses by slapping an on-demand label on the same old software face an uphill battle. Their companies are based on huge, up-front license fees and large follow-on service engagements. When these go away, how are they going to be profitable? If you are already an unprofitable enterprise player, things go from bad to worse. While this is, of course, bad for Callidus, its even worse for the guinea pig customers that sign on hoping it pans out ...

"On-demand vendors view the model as religion, not a catch-phrase or contract terms ...

"In the end, hosted enterprise software is just a new look for a very old and tired set of problems. On-demand vendors get this, and so do customers."

Prior to founding Xactly, Cabrera was senior vice president of operations at Callidus. My, there's nothing like the zeal of a convert, is there?

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