Apart from the usual stuff, something that kept me engaged for all of last week (apart from the occasional ICC Cricket World Matches) was the book The SaaS Edge. Although it is targeted for non tech savvy readers, I fully enjoyed this book and had a few actionable takeaways from it – including creating a Facebook page for my blog, which I have been procrastinating on for so long. Whether I was within the target audience or not, this book impressed me enough to write a review for it.
Quick Facts About the Book
Sahil Parikh, Founder and CEO Synage Software.
Tata McGraw Hill
Place, Year of Publication
New Delhi, 2011
Computers and the Internet
Number of Pages
Not so tech savvy readers, business leaders, managers, students and anyone who wants to leverage the new technology trend - Cloud Computing, specifically SaaS (Software as a Service).
Why Read This Book?
There is an ocean of information on the web about cloud, or SaaS. But I feel strongly that whatever is discussed in blogs, twitter or tech-forums reaches a highly select audience: those who are smart enough to search, engage and decipher the constant flow of information for their own specific use.
Those who are highly active online are constantly updating themselves with quality updates from the likes of Gigaom, Mashable, Engadget, Labnol, TechCrunch and FastCompany etc. That’s where it ends. This valuable information, which is readily devoured by almost the same set of people in each case, moves in a circle. In most cases, it does not percolate from this elite layer down to the not so tech-savvy end user to empower him or her for some wise decision making.
There are millions of businesses still waiting for their first application. Millions of people working in them still cannot think of software applications beyond eMails and MS office. These are real people and real businesses, and they far outnumber the tech savvy audience I describe above. These real people still base their major decisions on information gathered from print media(or sometimes TV). The print media, by most accounts (and in most parts of the world) has failed in educating its end users about the latest technology trends.
The SaaS Edge has appeared at the right time and has filled that gap. I hope it reaches those who are still trying to find the pearls of wisdom in the vast ocean of information.
Simple and lucid as if you are reading a beautiful tech-story. While reading the scenarios and conversation, most of the time I felt that the conversations were real-time and practical. Whether you are an SaaS provider or a prospective SaaS client, you can easily connect and relate with almost every conversation and scenario discussed.
There are so many examples of SaaS in the book that even the most active power user of web technology will find something new. Apart from the mention of big names like Google, Amazon, Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter, the author also discusses the technologies (or some other interesting aspect in relation to SaaS) of the relatively smaller and younger Zoho, Yammer, Posterous, DeskAway, Zendesk, Freshbooks, Workday, SurveyMonkey, NetSuite, Tumblr, Slideshare, Netflix, Stubleupon, reddit, PRBuzz.com, PR.com, PRLog.org, Free-Press-Release.com, LifeMojo and GetSatisfaction etc. You name it, you might find it here.
Famous personalities, including President Obama, Steve Jobs, Anand Mahindra, Nicholas Carr and Seth Godin find some contextual mention for their effective use of SaaS, or for their vision. A few of the younger entrepreneurs, like Sachin Agarwal, Amit Ranjan, Subraya Mallya, Dharmesh Shah, Andrew McAfee and Namit Nangia also get a well deserved mention.
The author has demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of web-technologies and business processes. The book has a chapter What Next where it briefly talks about the up coming technologies. I was highly impressed by the brief mention of Location Based Services and Augmented Reality.
Every chapter is followed by a summary and a detailed reference (URLS).
The author dives deep not only into an entrepreneur’s psyche, but also reads into the minds of an accountant, IT guy, manager, decision maker and almost every other stakeholder’s perception. Myths and facts about each person’s viewpoints and goals are convincingly addressed.
To The Students of Engineering and Management
Apart from the target audience of the book mentioned above, I highly recommend this book to all the students of Engineering and Management, anywhere in the world.
Yes, I’ve no doubt you are adept at social media, but are you caught in the Bermuda Triangle of Productivity – Gmail, Facebook, Twitter?
This book is definitely going to ignite young minds by making them more productive, and may even drive entrepreneurship.
Way back in 2006 I read The World Is Flat, an international best seller by Thomas Friedman. In that book, Mr. Friedman views the world as a level playing field in terms of commerce. In The SaaS Edge, Sahil Parikh views the world as a level playing field in terms of web technology. Recommended…
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