At least five people asked me that question in the last two weeks. These people are customers, competitors as well as our partners. Everyone has been surprised at our success in the Financial market with our Force.com based services (or products, as some would call them) to manage operations for Capital Markets and Asset Management firms. But then, they figured it makes sense since Navatar is offering the lowest cost option to those who have no money to spend these days.

Is it true then, that our Financial Services solutions for Force.com are popular because they’re low cost? Of course. Navatar’s solutions to manage CRM, Operations and Portfolio for these firms are probably the most cost effective alternatives. They deliver on the Cloud Computing promise – to?lower costs and enable scalability as financial firms navigate the turbulent waters of today and prepare for the future. You can read about how Transparent Value, a Guggenheim Partners Company is achieving this, in the article, Asset Management Firm Moving Apps to the Cloud, written by Penny Crosman at Wall Street & Technology.

However, there is another important aspect to all of this. Around 60% of our financial customers bought from us since someone (another firm) recommended us. You would think the recommender probably said, “Yes, indeed, the cost is low and the product has all the features we need.” In reality, our recommenders endorse us for much more than that – they are happy to recommend us for the combination of product features and the service they receive from folks well versed in Financial Services. They like the idea of a one-stop-shop they can turn to, for anything related to running their operations efficiently. And it’s all baked into the cost of the service.

The service aspect really is the crux of the Cloud Computing model. A cloud service provider is a company that delivers cloud services as part of its business model. The public Cloud will be an abstract place through which service providers will deliver things like storage as a service, software as a service, or maybe even sushi as a service in Indiana one day. But the common link between all those things is, and ever shall be, the delivery of service. That quote is from an article Delivering Cloud Services: ISVs ? Change or Die or both! written byDaryl Plummer at Gartner.

So, let’s ask the question again. Is it really the cost?? My answer is that the big differentiator is the value that the Cloud Computing model enables us to provide. It makes us successful and it is exactly that value which will help our Financial Services customers take advantage of the new upcoming opportunities in this downturn.