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The End of Software: Transforming Your Business for the On Demand Future Paperback – September 26, 2004

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Do you know what is the real cost of your software? Before you reach for a calculator, be forewarned that it's a trick question. Even technology industry analysts and seasoned IT executives have difficulty putting a hard figure on the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of today's enterprise application solutions. What makes the equation so tricky is the sheer number of variables that must be factored in, many of which cannot be lined up in a neat column and reconciled, such as issues of security, availability, performance, problem resolution and change management. "The End of Software: Transforming Your Business for the On Demand Future," by Dr. Timothy Chou, is a groundbreaking book for business managers and executives that challenges conventional approaches to business software and proposes new alternatives to managing and maintaining the systems that companies depend on.

Read What Industry Experts Have to Say:

  • "Whether you rely on computer software to run your business, create software solutions, or invest in software companies, you are facing the shift from software as a product to software as a service. In "The End of Software," Dr. Timothy Chou makes the case for Software on Demand and shows you who's already out there creating and using this new model." Fred Magner, Chief Information Officer, Unocal Corporation
  • "As a pioneer of the On Demand delivery model, Dr. Chou challenges certain conventions long held by the software industry. "The End of Software" provokes industry participants to re-think how big software should be packaged, sold and delivered in the future." Stephen Wong, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Embarcadero Technologies
  • "Dr. Timothy Chou's book "The End of Software" presents a logical argument for the shift from selling and buying software, or the promise of the value that software represents, to selling and buying the actual value that software can bring to a user. This is very persuasive, especially when you consider the legacy of software vendors, who are notorious for over-promising and under-delivering. As Dr. Chou so clearly understands (and why shouldn't he-he's lived it), this new delivery method simply makes sense. But the world is often slow to change; as keen observers of the technology industry, we'll be watching closely." John S. DiFucci, Senior Software Analyst, Managing Director, Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc.

About the Author

Dr. Timothy Chou serves as president of Oracle On Demand, the fastest-growing business inside Oracle. Oracle On Demand provides applications on demand for more than 250,000 corporate users globally. Users access ERP, CRM, HR, purchasing, supply chain, manufacturing and business intelligence applications from more than 25 countries around the world on both public and private networks. Under Dr. Chou's leadership, Oracle On Demand was recently recognized, along with IBM and EDS, by a multiclient Meta Group study as one of the top three companies customers are currently looking to today for application management and outsourcing services.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Sams Publishing; 1 edition (September 26, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0672326981
  • ISBN-13: 978-0672326981
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,204,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John Matlock on September 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
Although titled The End of Software, the book really doesn't mean that. It's about outsourcing the IT function along the lines of EDS, IBM's Global Services, or Oracle On Demand. As president of Oracle On Demand, most of the busines stories concern successful contracts where Oracle On Demand has set up or replaced the IT department in a number of companies. What the title means is that the end user does not buy the software, he buys the service provided by that software. There's still an awful lot of software involved.

There are clear advantages to this kind of outsourcing. The big outsourcing companies have exonomies of scale, they can buy dozens or thousands of computers, all just alike. This minimizes the maintenance effort, they can upgrade the software on all units cheaper than a company can do it on a few machines. It improves reliability, they can use this machine if that one is broken. They can fully understand the laws, such as the privacy laws relating to human resources information. And they have many other advantages.

Unfortunately this does come with some disadvantages as well. For one thing, they use standardized software packages, if your application fits, that's great, otherwise, well....

Then you have to be of the right size. Too small and they're not interested. Too large and you probably have your own legacy systems that switching off may lose you a lot of historical information.

This is an interesting book, well worth reading if you are in the IT department of a middle sized business. It clearly explains the advantages of the outsourcing business model.
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Format: Paperback
Directed at a nontechnical reader, Chou suggests why a radical turn towards a new model of on demand software might help your company. He cites the massive cost that companies already pay, in maintaining software. From annual licensing fees to the cost of sysadmins to manually install patches and upgrades. Chou points out, as have others, that the Total Cost of Ownership can be several multiples of an initial outlay.

Therefore, his branch of Oracle advocates a utility-like approach. You buy capacity on an as-needed basis. There are possible trends, like an increased automation of patches and upgrades, that aid his case.

Left unsaid in all this is how Oracle is playing catchup. For example, IBM has devoted massive resources in this field, under such names as Globus, utility, grid, autonomous and on-demand computing. This book is rather skimpy. Apart from general statements, I kept searching in it for more details. A far more substantial book is "On Demand Computing" by Fellenstein (IBM Press). You may want to check that book instead.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The End of Software is a well written book about the opportunities and challenges of Software as a Service (SaaS). Not only does it go over key concepts, but it illuminates these with apt examples.
Software as a Service has tremendous potential and this book explains why.
The book focuses definitely more on the benefits of SaaS and does not cover some of the challenges that SaaS has, e.g. usability, service integration and others. HTML is very good for several scenarios, but it does fall short in some areas and simply should not be used. But today with Flash/Flex and Silverlight there are solutions that address several of these short comings in the usability area. Similarly, integration products make it easier to integrate SaaS solutions with on-premises software, so the barriers for getting more SaaS solutions to the market are getting less and less.
For anyone getting a good grounding on SaaS I can definitely recommend this book.
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