Software as a service (SaaS) adoption in Asia is expected to pick up, according to IT market researcher Springboard Research.
Springboard cites increasing collaboration between SaaS vendors, independent software vendors (ISVs), telecom companies and hosting providers in the region, as key drivers.
The researcher notes in its latest report entitled "SaaS Enablement - The Emerging Ecosystem," that Asia's environment consists of SaaS application providers like Salesforce.com, NetSuite and WebEx, as well as 'new age' SaaS enabling technology and infrastructure providers like OpSource and Jamcracker.
Springboard says established system integrators and technology providers like IBM and Microsoft also want a piece of the SaaS market pie. Application hosting service providers like WebCentral and Kaz, and telecommunications service providers such as Tata Communications and Telstra have also contributed to SaaS growth in the Asia Pacific region.
Expanding the SaaS market
"As enterprises become used to buying software-as-a-service and as more ISVs step in to fill demand for additional applications, the importance of a robust SaaS ecosystem will grow," says Balaka Baruah Aggarwal, Springboard's senior manager of emerging software.
Aggarwal adds that while SaaS collaboration in the Asia-Pacific is "still in an early stage of evolution," it will play a key role in expanding the region's SaaS market.
According to Springboard, many SaaS vendors are broadening their offerings and creating a portfolio of integrated business applications through partnerships with other ISVs.
With potential access to other SaaS industry participants' technical expertise, customers and marketing efforts, such collaborative ecosystems can be a lure for ISVs, especially small ones, Aggarwal notes.
Participation by telecom companies
Springboard states that telecom companies have started participating in SaaS collaborations, with hopes of expanding their offerings to enterprises. For example, India's Tata Communications has partnered with Microsoft to market communication and collaboration software as a service to SME customers.
"Tie-ups with telecom service providers help SaaS providers focus more on application delivery and customer service, as infrastructure-related issues are handled by the telco," says Aggarwal.