With its new OpSource Connect, the provider of software-as-a-service infrastructure sees mainstream acceptance of SaaS as a sign that the industry is primed to tackle integration now.
Posted Feb 29, 2008
Firewall got you down? Here's a potential pick-me-up for you: OpSource, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of infrastructure and application services, aims to unite Web and SaaS applications -- and even reach behind corporate firewalls -- with the release of OpSource Connect, a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution. With the new product, OpSource says, companies conducting core operations online will be able consume and publish Web applications over multiple platforms and will be able to utilize those applications formerly hidden in the "cloud," a reference to the external environment through which technology can be hosted or delivered. This multi-application integration allows companies to save time and resources and, more important, to reach new markets.
"When SaaS began to grow, there were all these individual applications," explains OpSource Chief Marketing Officer Richard Dym. "Now it's all about integration." One reason that SaaS has reached the more-mature level of integration, he says, is the increasing acceptance of the technology by the mainstream -- a factor Dym credits for the record attendance at OpSource's recent annual SaaS summit, where turnout was more than three times that of last year's conference. (Dym boasts that the summit was the industry's largest SaaS event.)
"As SaaS goes mainstream, integrating it with on-premise data and processes is one of the biggest challenges that users and SaaS providers face in fully realizing the value of their solutions," says Bill McNee, founder and chief executive officer of Saugatuck Technology, a Westport, Conn.-based research and advisory firm.
OpSource Connect is designed to tackle what is perhaps the most challenging and crucial aspect facing on-demand applications -- integration. The OpSource solution allows three kinds of integration to take place: publishing, consuming, and working behind a corporate firewall. Connect relies on codes and Boomi Atom agents -- run-time engines designed to ease access and improve integration -- in order to gain passage through company firewalls, and OpSource is also working with Cast Iron Systems for appliance support in integrating behind the firewall.
At the hub of OpSource Connect is the OpSource Service Bus, which, according to Dym, allows a conversation to take place among different SaaS applications and Web services. Application designers will be able to "write once, integrate now," he says. This option allows for increased optimization and provides a more SaaS-complete interface. "OpSource is redefining its value proposition and moving up the value chain by expanding its services and developing a multitenant [enterprise service bus]," McNee says.
In the future, OpSource plans to continue upgrading and integrating preconfigured applications and expanding the application library available on the Web. The vendor has also announced plans to create a training program and an OpSource Certified Integration Program for companies that want additional help in implementing OpSource Connect -- all part of the stated plan to take SaaS to the next level, saying goodbye to unintegrated, standalone applications.
"Ultimately, it comes down to an end to silos and the growth of SaaS," Dym says.
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