I wrote in March that there are basically three options for solving cloud integration:
I should have known someone would go and make a liar out of me.
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That someone - or, rather, company - is Scribe Software, which is forging its own path into the cloud integration market by targeting VARs (value-added resellers) and SIs (systems integrators).
In much the same way some companies sell packaged integrations to SaaS vendors, Scribe's new offering - Scribe Online - will provide a way for VARs and SIs to package and build integrations for specific solutions.
Until now, Scribe Software's marketing strategy has been as a Microsoft Channel partner, offering deep application-specific adapters sold through regional VARs and global SIs for Microsoft ERP or Microsoft CRM offerings.
I recently interviewed Scribe's president and CEO, Lou Guercia, who joined the company last June after nearly three years of running IBM's Lotus cloud strategy. He immediately saw potential expanding into the cloud by tapping that existing customer base of VARs and SIs, which he believes will play a key role in helping midmarket and more conservative companies move into the cloud. Guercia said:
I think Scribe's heritage around CRM and ERP gives us a perspective about how cloud services need to be integrated with on-premise apps. We think that when you start really mainstreaming SaaS with premise, there's a value proposition there not only for the IT organization, but for their trusted partner. And I think those trusted partners in many cases are gonna be those local VARs and/or those global systems integrators.
Scribe Online is built with that very idea in mind, with special support for VARs and systems integrators. Currently, it provides a connector for Microsoft's Dynamic CRM Online 2011, but the plan is to add Salesforce during this quarter and keep expanding, Guercia said.
It's an interesting and, so far as I know, unique marketing strategy. There are those who argue the cloud could spell the end for traditional systems integrators, and if they're right, Scribe Online could be just the helping hand SIs need. And if they're wrong ... well, then Scribe will be well-positioned to profit as those SIs and VARs help their own clients implement cloud strategies.