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Application development platform provider Coghead April 15 opened
its Application Gallery, which gives smaller VARs and ISVs a global
showcase for their custom applications and aims to take on
Salesforce.com.

Coghead’s self-branded development platform gives even the smallest
VARs and ISVs the ability to develop custom software applications for
their customers, said Paul McNamara, CEO of Coghead. Coghead’s
Application Gallery will let those developers display their work in a
global forum that can help attract the attention of potential
customers, he said.

"Before, if you were an ISV who wanted to create applications, you
had to find venture capital firms and go through product development,
distribution, sometimes for years," McNamara said. Many small ISVs
weren’t able to gain access to the venture capital and other resources
they need, and were doomed to complete many small, custom application
jobs priced by the job or by the hour, which didn’t leave much room for
growth or profitability, he said.

Coghead aims to expand the range of companies that can develop and
deliver Web-based applications, he said, targeting those VARs and ISVs
with between two and 20 employees. "We want to democratize the
process of application delivery," he said.

Coghead’s ISVs and VARs have mostly a vertical market focus, he
said, including in the areas of health care, financial services and
education, and require no infrastructure because the applications are
Web-based.

"They tend to focus on fairly narrow verticals that were poorly
served by traditional on-premises applications," McNamara said. Coghead
lets developers build applications that are precisely tuned to the
needs of those verticals.

CRM is not the center of the universe

As for Salesforce.com, McNamara said Coghead wants to level the application delivery playing field for VARs and ISVs.

"[Salesforce.com] grew out of CRM [customer relationship
management], so they see that as the center of the universe. We want
developers to build applications that are most closely aligned with
customers’ needs, rather than applications that best leverage CRM!" he
said.

McNamara also said Salesforce.com targets partners that are larger
and have established a presence in the marketplace, and that many
smaller VARs and ISVs have difficulty meeting the sales volume
requirements of Salesforce.com’s partner program.

Coghead lets ISVs and VARs create applications quickly, publish them
in the Application Gallery and gain access to a worldwide market, he
said, turning the usual software model on its head. "This [Coghead]
technology is really a disruptive business model in that it allows the
masses access to what previously was only available to the elite," he
said.

Govind Davis, a solution designer at Coghead charter affiliate MCF
Technology Solutions, said he’s been waiting for the Application
Gallery to launch.

"The Gallery is something that was really central to our desire to
work with them," Davis said. "We’ve been working on some projects over
the last couple months specifically in anticipation of the Gallery
launch."