Microsoft’s SAAS is more like service-less software. Let me recount the experience for you.
Went to Live Meeting’s site and here’s how things went.
- Used live chat — good
- Saw there was a free trial — good
- Sign up for a trial with a Microsoft Live account — OK
- Go to the “shopping cart” page without a Livemeeting trial option — LAME!
- Request free trial via chat (or phone) — lame
- Answer 30 demographic questions to sign up for trial — annoying
- No instant access to turning on the trial — lame
- Logging in to put trial in shopping cart and proceeding to checkout — complicated
- Waiting for 2 days for trial account access — lame
- Not receiving notification that the trial option is available in my account — lame
LiveMeeting is a perfect example of how not to sell software as a service. I wonder, how many people are actually using Microsoft’s hosted version?
On a side note, I got a cold call from Microsoft on the Dynamics CRM suite. The guy on the other end of the phone had no idea what I was talking about when I said I use Salesforce.com.
Back to LiveMeeting, here’s a highly unscientific chart on my opinion.
My vote: Microsoft as a Service = Not ready for primetime. (Well the selling part, not the apps part.)