Enterprise Startups: A Long Road Ahead

Like the mythical Greek tragic figure, Sisyphus, forced to roll a boulder up a hill only to watch it roll down again, tech startups hoping to woo the enterprise face an uphill battle.

How steep is this hill?

"You have to be 10 times better than the incumbents, not incrementally better," Tom Gillis, founding member of Ironport Systems (acquired by Cisco Systems) and current vice president of security technology at Cisco, told a packed room at this year's Demo Fall 2011 Conference in Silicon Valley taking place this week.

Startups showcased their enterprise offerings at DEMO Fall 2011 this morning. The presentations had a real international flavor:

Chinese entrepreneurs detailed Plastico.com, a cloud-based supply chain management offering. Indian executives described enterprise software called Whodini that searches corporate e-mails and automatically builds employee profiles. A Russian woman discussed Virtual Interactive Podium, which offers a virtual fitting room where people can try on different outfits using videos of themselves.