The Affordable Care Act – A Potential Solution to Assist Enrollment

Let me start off by stating that I find the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — known more commonly as Obamacare — to be objectionable.

aca1

Not because I disagree with some of its intentions; I am actually in favor of eliminating discrimination for pre-existing health conditions and the ability to keep children on the parent’s health plan until 25.

The problem I have with it is that healthcare isn’t currently a right granted by the Constitution. And, the ACA approaches healthcare from the standpoint that it is something we are all entitled to.

The Big “Bend” Theory

BendTech

BendTech

BendTechJPEG My family and I have been traveling to Bend, Oregon many years now for summer vacation.

Typically, we pull our Airstream from the San Francisco Bay Area in a 10 hour drive up I5 through central California, past 14,180 ft Mount Shasta and the town of Weed, onto highway 97 to one of the many beautiful parks that surround the Bend area. We then spend a couple weeks using our campsite as a jump off point for mountain and road biking, fly fishing, and hiking.

While we haven’t yet been there during the winter, Mt. Bachelor is a popular ski destination where locals can leave early from work and be on the slopes in less than an hour. The town of Bend is classified as “high desert” and in the rain shadow of the Cascade range. So, unlike the rest of Oregon, it doesn’t get  much rain — just 11.2 inches — and snowfall averages only 2 feet per year. In fact, they claim 300 days of sunshine each year, as well.

Letter To IBM

Dear IBM:

Congratulations on your recent acquisition of Kenexa for $1.3B. The HCM application market has been steadily heating up and with SAP’s recent acquisition of SuccessFactors and Oracle’s purchase of Taleo, this looks like a good counter move.

Your announcement coupled with the recent news that Apple has become the most valuable company in the world prompted me to write this.

As I thought more about Apple and IBM and their respective positions in the current technology markets, I realized just how different the two companies are today from two decades ago.

Twenty years ago, when I worked for Apple as a young engineering director, IBM was “the” business information technology brand. Apple was nowhere – except in niche areas such as graphic design.

Under Steve Job’s leadership, beginning with his return to Apple in the mid-90’s, Apple emerged from near oblivion to become one of, if not ‘’the’, most powerful consumer – and business – technology brands.

Today, Apple’s products are used pervasively by people – at home and at work –  throughout the world. Apple has become the leading mobile platform developers target for consumer and business applications.

IBM, in the early 90’s, was faced with its own set of challenges stemming from poor financial controls, lack of innovation and other issues. Gerstner is appropriately credited with solving these and his successors – Palmisano and Rometty – have continued that success.

Now, IBM’s stock is at a near all time high, more than doubling over the past 3 years.  The Company invests in all the right buzz areas: Cloud Computing, Analytics, Mobile, etc. Wall Street is singing IBM’s praises.

Yet, in spite of all outward appearances, I respectfully submit that IBM may be headed toward another very rocky and challenging stretch of waters.

How Will Salesforce Adapt to the Next Platform Shift: Mobile Computing?

I posted an article on TechCrunch last Friday. The title of the article was “How Will Salesforce Adapt to the Next Platform Shift: Mobile Computing?”

The purpose of the article was to point out that every decade or so a new computing platform emerges. Market leading incumbents typically have the most to lose when these shifts occur and typically have the most difficult time making the transition due to legacy architectures and revenue streams dependent upon preserving the status quo.

More on the Role of the Customer Success Function in the SaaS Business Model

Last year, I posted a blog about the SaaS business model and the role of Customer Success, titled, “VP Customer Success — Critical to the SaaS Business Model“.

For anyone who has run, is running, or plans to run a SaaS company, you quickly learn that the SaaS model is highly dependent upon two major apertures in its revenue generation funnel; the first is revenue in the top and the second is churn out the bottom.