I am seeing more evidence day to day that enterprise software and services, both the platform and best of breed varieties, are increasingly maturing toward industry or vertical-centric solutions. Some of this could put a kink in traditional software/service delivery and it wouldn’t surprise me to see it blossom in the next 12-24 months.

Big vendors like SAP or Oracle have traditionally depended on customers to configure their broad platforms for processes and documentation specific to manufacturing or retail or claims management and then re-offer that customization in industry templates to similar clients. Now, some of the smaller horizontal plays that started out working on ubiquitous processes -- sales automation, marketing automation, HR and finance for example -- are retreating toward specific verticals in order to better distinguish themselves in the marketplace. Moreover, they are doing it more with data services than platform bells and whistles.

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