More Companies Capitalizing on Channel Opportunities in the SaaS Market



A little over a year ago, I contributed a commentary to eWeek’s Channel Insider, entitled “On-Demand a Boon for the Channel”, that stated the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) movement doesn’t have to be the death-kneel for channel organizations.

At that time, many resellers and integrators feared that SaaS would ‘dis-intermediate’ them because of its direct sales and simpler deployment characteristics. There is no question that these attributes will certainly disrupt the traditional business models of many resellers and integrators who capitalized on the complexities of the legacy applications in the past. However, there is still plenty of complexity in today’s enterprise-oriented SaaS solutions to give innovative resellers and integrators a new round of business opportunities to pursue.

Just as in the past, customization and integration remain challenges in the new world of enterprise SaaS solutions. A year ago, I discussed in the eWeek article about how Bluewolf Group had grown to become the largest independent integrator of Salesforce.com deployments. I also discussed how retailers, like CompUSA teaming with NetSuite, were seeking to become viable channels to market for SaaS.

Shortly after my Channel Insider commentary was published, ADP and AmEx also entered the SaaS market as potent new players with their acquisition of Employease and alliance with Rearden Commerce respectively. There entry clearly demonstrated how the SaaS market was quickly growing into a business services opportunity. It also showed that a new set of channel partners are primed to play a part in the SaaS movement.

More recently, other new entrants are also illustrating how a new array of channel opportunities can be fostered by the SaaS movement.

Yesterday, Business Objects and Thomson Financial announced an alliance to deliver financial information on-demand. Under this new agreement, Thomson Financial’s data will be delivered in pre-built, easy-to-use online reports via Business Objects’ Information OnDemand solution.

Last month, Verticals onDemand unveiled the first of a series of industry-specific customer relationship management (CRM) solutions built on the Salesforce.com platform. The company’s new VBioPharma on-demand solution is aimed specifically at the managed care requirements of U.S. pharmaceutical companies. Verticals onDemand promises to rollout other industry-specific SaaS solutions on the Salesforce.com platform.

Saaspoint is an Ireland-based integrator that has experienced the same success in Europe which Bluewolf Group has found in the U.S. Not satisfied with focusing on the European market only, Saaspoint has opened an office in Silicon Valley and plans to expand its operations across the U.S.

These examples are further proof that plenty of channel opportunities exist in the SaaS market and are ripe for the taking for those innovators who want to capitalize on this rapidly growing movement.







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