OpSource Sees SaaS Reigning In the Cloud

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.

Related articles: Feature: It's All Coming 2.0gether As 2007 ends, and 2008 looms ahead of us, patterns are beginning to emerge: The future of business may not be in the hands of the executives, but those of the customer instead. And yet, hasn't it always been that way? Salesforce.com Brings Utility Computing to On-Demand -- But Not to CRM The Force.com platform becomes the first software-as-a-service offering to allow pay-per-login pricing, but the company's CRM applications aren't included. At Your Service: Where SaaS Goes from Here The software-as-a-service industry takes yet another big step toward the mainstream with a new release from Web-content management vendor Clickability that relies on a series of technologies delivered "as a service." The Tipping Point: Are You Ready for SaaS You may think you are, but the truth is this: Size matters. SaaS Will Outpace the Rest of the Market A recent forecast predicts software-as-a-service will be the dominant source of the market's revenue growth. SaaS Is a Four-Letter Word for SMBs Adoption of on-demand solutions by SMBs continues to increase, but many smaller companies are still wary of the concept of software-as-a-service, according to a new study. Viewpoint: SaaS and Web 3.0 Pointing the way.
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