Platform as a service (PaaS) potential to disrupt SaaS vendors

We are all familiar with the Software as a service model (SaaS). Many of the successful ATS vendors in the recruiting market have grown their businesses with the SaaS model. is now taking SaaS to a new level. They call it Platform as a service or PaaS. has a new development environment that allows developers and companies to base applications on the same infrastructure that is built from. This is significant event, here is why.

With the framework, you can build applications that look nothing like or you can create “mashups” that combine, Gmail, Yahoo Maps, etc. I have seen many email systems from ATS vendors, some are very very good. But none of them come remotely close to Google’s Gmail.

Ok, what am I getting at? Imagine this: An army of developers writing bolt on applications. Job posting mashups, resume parsing mashups, search engine aggregator mashups, objection-response mashups, etc, etc. Basically, an entrepreneur can now create a complete ATS system and not have to worry about core software, hardware and datacenters. Most of the basics are covered by and Google applications. Yes, the workflow and business logic will have to developed, but taking a job order is not that complicated. I should mention that there is even an open source ATS system right now, CatsOne, see it here: CATS.

The playing field has been leveled. APEX, the salesforce programming language is similar to JAVA. Salesforce has over a million users.

Why was I at tour de force? Broadlook is’s latest partner. We just launched our Contact Capture for on the salesforce appExchange. We use our Broadlook Universal Exporter (BLUE) to send data to What that means is that ALL Broadlook applications, now work with So if any company or entrepreneur want to create their own ATS system, it will be 100% compatible with all Broadlook applications day 1.

This is a trend we will continue to see over the next decade. Barriers of entry being continually reduced. Exciting stuff.

If is also amazing that this idea of mashups came up recently on the recruiting animal show. Someone said that the company that creates it will make a zillion. Well the platform is here, salesforce is the first mover in the space, but I predict that we will see additional offerings from other vendors, google, microsoft, etc. The end result is that everyone wins.

While salesforce is the first mover, they will not be the only mover. The real message here is

1. PaaS will disrupt Saas, due to ease of entry

2. The barrier of entry for someone to create a SaaS model has been significantly reduced and it will continue to become easier.

3. Look for PaaS from multiple vendors. (i.e. is based on another example of PaaS. This was not available 2 years ago.

Broadlook CEO Donato Diorio

I just returned from an beta event showing another PaaS product by Hideshi Hamaguchi, former Panasonic veteran who is creating a PaaS product with a “back page” to a document. The Beta will be release in February. Check them out. Lunarr.



Want to be CEO? Dress the part

January 11, 2008

SMART DRESSING INVOLVES sending subliminal messages, particularly when a serious job is at stake. This is something that even high-ranking business leaders can underestimate.

In commerce, unlike in Hollywood, fashion plays a largely uncredited role. Business schools train graduates to shine their shoes for an interview. But once established, apart from avoiding the obvious gaffe -- a coffee-stained shirt or a visible rhinestone bra strap -- many executives spend little time contemplating what to wear to a job interview. At their peril.

I recently suggested to Dorothy Waldt, a New York executive recruiter, that CEOs and other high-level job candidates must know what to wear by that stage in their careers. "You'd think!" she said when she had stopped laughing.

"People don't understand the messages that their clothes send," says Ms. Waldt, a recruiter with CTPartners. Women sometimes don't realize how often a tight shirt or a low neckline comes across as seductive. People who meet them are likely to assume the sexual innuendo is intentional.

It's harder for men to goof, but they do -- for instance, by being sloppy with untucked or wrinkled shirts or wearing beeping sports watches to staid business events. Sagging socks, dangling earrings and obvious designer logos all send messages that register with the people on the other side of the table.

To complicate matters, things aren't as cut-and-dried as they were in the days of strict blue-collar and white-collar work uniforms. Following the old dress-for-success rules, with ties and starched white shirts, would create suspicion and awkwardness at Google's dressed-down headquarters today. Executive job seekers have to study more than the balance sheet these days -- they have to suss out a company's fashion ethos. Candidates may want to call the hiring manager's assistant or ask a recruiter about the appropriate look before they show up for the interview.

Ms. Waldt recalls a candidate sent to interview with a retailer that had a casual culture. Unfortunately for him, he dressed up. "The clothes that he was wearing were so polar-opposite of what the company did that they thought he just didn't get them at all," says Ms. Waldt. They never bothered to interview him. "He sat in a holding pen all day and flew home."

Possibly, that job candidate wouldn't have wanted to work at a company that dismissed him so summarily. Yet boards of directors routinely size up executive-level candidates by inspecting the clues in their clothes. Hal Reiter, an executive recruiter and chairman and chief executive of Herbert Mines Associates, recalls meeting with a CEO candidate for a mainstream retailer.

The man, chief financial officer of a major big-box retailer, showed up in a navy-blue necktie with a gold circular symbol surrounded by what looked like leaves and red blotches. Upon closer inspection, Mr. Reiter discovered that the red was blood dripping from a crown of thorns. The tie isn't the main reason he didn't get the job, but the distractingly graphic religious imagery didn't help.

Mr. Reiter, who leans toward Brioni suits himself, rails about "horrible footwear -- unshined, rubber soles, acrylic socks" that he sees frequently. He isn't shy about dressing people down, according to Larry McClure, senior vice president of human resources for Liz Claiborne Inc., who once hired Mr. Reiter to locate a senior-level recruit. In the car on their way to the interview in Newark, New Jersey, the executive recruiter glanced at Mr. McClure's feet, which were clad in worn, pilled socks. "I gotta help you out here," Mr. Reiter announced, according to both men. "You need some better socks. They're horrible."

"I guess I never figured that people would look at my socks," says Mr. McClure, who has since invested in new ones, as well as Donald Pliner shoes.

Mr. Reiter's parting shot for aspiring executives at businesses with a formal ethos: "It takes $1,000 to buy a suit that looks good." And when you wear it, "you can't look like it's the first time, either."

Job interviewers don't miss much, says Ann Marie Sabath, a business etiquette consultant and author of One Minute Manners. She is relentless about getting interview clothes right. Her advice includes ironing creases into your pants, investing in a good watch, and wearing a collar. "A collar projects authority," says Ms. Sabath, who has consulted for Citigroup, Fidelity Investments and Procter & Gamble. Her company, At Ease Inc., operates a hotline for business-etiquette emergencies.

Ms. Sabath advises men to have their shirts professionally laundered and to button one or two jacket buttons when standing in order to look neat and well-assembled. These are details that can boost or diminish a career without leaving a trace in the memory of either party.

David Goldhill, president and chief executive of the Game Show Network, has been overhauling the television network's senior management lately. He highlighted the subliminal nature of the interviewing process when I asked if his decisions have been influenced by what a job candidate or subordinate wore, for better or for worse. "Probably," he responded, "but I'm not aware of it."

Dressing to Impress:

  • Men should wear no more that three accessories (Belt, Wedding band, match)
  • Iron your shirts - even the no-iron ones
  • Keep a sharp crease in your pants
  • The higher a woman climbs the corporate ladder, the more light-colored suits she can and should wear (to be less intimidating)
  • The definition of business casual; one notch down from business normal
  • Where jeans are part of the uniform, don't wear the ones you mow the lawn in - stick with the classic look that rests at the waist, not the low-rise look.
  • Dress for the position you want, not for the one you currently have.
  • Match the culture of the industry; call ahead or have your recruiter find out the office's style.
  • When in doubt about a jacket, tie or other item, bring one along. You can take it off, but you can't put it on if you don't have it.


IT Employment Rises to New Heights

While overall unemployment creeps forward, joblessness among business-tech pros reaches a record low.

Joblessness among American IT workers averaged 2.1 percent last year, down from 2.5 percent in 2006. That's the lowest unemployment rate for IT pros since the government began using the current method to track employment in 2000, when IT joblessness stood at 2.2 percent.

In 2007, according to our analysis, 3,758,000 workers in the U.S. held IT jobs; another 79,000 people who consider themselves business-technology professionals were unemployed. IT employment grew 8.5 percent last year. By this calculation, IT managers and staffers represent nearly 2.6 percent of employed U.S. workers in 2007.

The low IT unemployment rate of 2.1 percent, which many economists considers full employment, bolsters an argument forwarded by many CIOs: it's hard to find qualified IT professionals.

Of the eight IT occupations classified by the government—managers, computer scientists/systems analysts, computer programmers, computer software engineers, computer support specialists, database administrators, network/computer systems administrators and network systems/data communications analysts—only one saw a decline in the number of employed. That occupation, computer programmers, employed 526,000 people last year, a loss of 6.4 percent. As fewer companies develop custom systems combined with the increased use of offshoring for coding applications, the ranks of employed programmers in the U.S. has plunged by nearly 30 percent since the beginning of the decade. Yet, the need to fill the coding jobs that remain in U.S. offices continues to be strong, as reflected the relatively low 2.2 percent unemployment rate among computer programmers.

The vigor of the IT workforce comes at a time when growth in other occupations stagnate as the American economy slows. Overall unemployment in the U.S. last year averaged 4.6 percent, unchanged from 2006. In December, the overall unemployment rate rose to three-tenths of a percentage point to 5 percent; the government does not publicly breakdown individual occupations on a monthly basis. And, overall job growth in 2007 eked forward 1.1 percent, compared with the 8.5 percent gain within the IT ranks.

By Eric Chabrow