Nick Malik has had it with hosted solutions that don't integrate. In fact, the Microsoft enterprise architect is on a bit of a soap box over at Inside Architecture, calling for global integration standards.
Of course, this isn't a new topic. As Malik points out, he brought up the need for standards over a year ago. And wasn't it last May when we first heard of OpenSam, a vendor standards group for SaaS applications?
But Malik works in IT at Microsoft. I suspect when he complains, important people listen, because, as he points out, he represents a big consumer of technology:
...I'd like all who read this post to consider my voice to be a customer that is demanding the creation of a shared integration infrastructure. I'd like to get together with other IT folks, in other industries, to create a clarion-call that all SaaS vendors can hear: We demand a pre-integrated architecture, so that we can outsource the commodity aspects of IT, and we can avoid vendor lock-in, especially in the SaaS world.
And he's not moving on. He has spent the past several posts on the topic, defending standards as a concept and proposing the scope of his proposed global integrations standards.
Not everyone is for standards, much to Malik's chagrin. In this punchy piece, Harry "Devhawk" Pierson calls out Malik for being believing you can just create standards that work.
He makes several arguments against vendor integration standards, but as I see it, the most significant is that vendors won't wait for a committee to work out the standards. Pierson seems to think the best standards will evolve over time and due to market forces.
While we're waiting for that to happen, you might want to review this post from August, "How to Tackle the SaaS Integration Problem."