Traditional software models are breaking, virtual businesses are as real as the Internet and six billion customers around the world are up for grabs. In a revolution unparalleled since telecom deregulation: start-ups, tech titans, investment bankers and industry leaders are betting - big - that software-as-a-service (SaaS) in all its permutations and Web services are the new world order in which the customer rules. Who will thrive? Who will not? And - most importantly - why?

At the Software Industry and Information Association's (SIIA) S4 strategy summit in San Francisco on a panel entitled SaaS: Hyper-Growth Model or Hype, Mike Mansbach, vice president of product marketing and business development at Citrix Online, a division of Citrix Systems, Inc. addressed these issues in a debate between two of the industry's most dynamic thought leaders, David Coursey, president of David Coursey Consulting, Inc., and Mike Mankowski, vice president and lead analyst at Tier1 Research.

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