What's in a word? We read with some bemusement this morning Elliot Gold's attendance at WebEx's Analyst Day. Our favorite high rabbi of "teleconferencing" (full disclosure: there is only one, but he's still our favorite) recounted the story of his mingling with other analysts after he had just posed some "impressive" questions to WebEx managment. Writes Elliot of a discussion with a Wall Street analyst while wolfing down hors d'oeuvres, "Gee Elliot," he said, "I was quite impressed by the questions you asked WebEx today. Sounds like you've been around since WebEx founded the teleconferencing industry eight years ago."
...C'mon, Elliot! Did he really say the oh-so-eighties term "teleconferencing?" Anyway, Elliot went on to write about WebEx's "software-as-a-service" business model, something Elliot says he'd "never heard the concept before" and then concludes that he stands by his prediction that WebEx will hit a wall by Q1, 2006, ostensibly because of pricing pressures and the big gorillas out there.
We won't bet either way on his prediction, because, well, it's illegal, but we do think that software loaded on your computer has already hit a wall, and software as a service is the way of the future. As Sun had said, the network is the computer, and as our president knows, the "internets" make this possible.
November 11, 2005