A big week for SaaS

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Quite a big week for SaaS, with both Salesforce.com and SAP making major platform and product announcements…

At their annual user conference Dreamforce, Salesforce.com introduced their new Force.com application development platform. The new ‘platform-as-a-service’ or PAAS offering (yes, another new SaaS-related acronym) extends the AppExchange environment, providing users a platform and toolset that enables them to leverage UI, logic, database and integration ‘as-a-service’ components. An early peek also was provided at VisualForce (currently only available as a developer preview), which will enable the development of custom UIs on the Salesforce.com platform. On the application side, Salesforce.com appears to be continuing its strong focus on the CRM market.

SAP also unveilved (finally) Business ByDesign, its highly anticipated on-demand mid-market ERP solution which was formerly know as A1S. With standard pricing at $149 per user per month, the jury is out around the cannibalization potential of BBD on SAP’s ‘legacy’ business, and the resulting impact that might have on SAP’s excitement around and commitment to the SaaS model.

The net net? The addition of another major player to the SaaS market and the introduction of a new platform and tools to enable the rapid development of new SaaS applications – more choices and options for organizations seeking to leverage the SaaS model, and more to eventually manage as well…

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