Forrester Predicts 'Minimal' Success for SaaS Integration - Page 2

Loraine Lawson

Of course, there's always the hope that SaaS vendors will catch onto the value of integration. A few - including - believe that pre-packaged integration will become the industry norm. As the Supply & Demand Chain Executive article pointed out:

"Another reason that integration rises in importance is competitive pressure. Since SaaS applications offer the same benefits to all customers, any advantages gained by deploying a SaaS application at one company are just as easily realized by its competitors. SaaS applications by themselves therefore provide little differentiation unless they are integrated with highly customized back-end applications that are core to a company's operations."

Ideally, the SaaS provider will offer integration support and a number of partners who can really help you solve the integration problem. As I've pointed out before, . But don't expect every SaaS vendor to be as enlightened about integration as Salesforce.

Rick Kotermanski, the chief technology officer for IT consultancy Summa hit the nail on the head when he told e-Commerce News: "Vendors don't like to talk about the messy, difficult part of technology - they just want to close the sale.'

Kotermanski suggests a list of questions you should ask before you engage a SaaS vendor. In particular, he recommends you talk about integration during the procurement process. Even if your SaaS vendor is not as enlightened about integration as Salesforce, it should at least be able to help you find partners who can address your integration needs.


So, talk about integration early and often with SaaS vendors or face the inevitable consequence: silos in the cloud, mimicking the silos we've already got on the ground.



Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Mar 18, 2009 4:59 AM Jerry Jerry  says:

The need for data storage is becoming very critical for SMB and consumers in general. North Americans have almost stopped using the DELETE button to delete files, they just keep their files. Perhaps it is time to remove the DELETE button from our key boards.

Early adopters have been using online backup for a while now. It is a matter of time till all computer users start using online backup services.

There is a very good resource site for online backup and storage. Check it out:

http://www.BackupReview.info

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Mar 19, 2009 4:43 AM Francis Carden Francis Carden  says: in response to Zaki Usman

Automating workflows of Business users that include SAAS and non-SAAS applications is now solved. Look at products like OpenSpan. Regardless of whether the applications (internal or external) were built with API's, the technology exists today to have them generate significant business productivity gains through automation.

Moving beyond just automating SAAS and non-SAAS, using this desktop automated workflow approach also enables you provide other immediate benefits for business; User event monitoring and alerts, fraud/compliance detection/enforcement and even extending the workflows to include new business processes and functionality beyond the original intent of the developer/vendor. You don't even need access to the source code now to do this!

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Mar 19, 2009 6:26 AM Zaki Usman Zaki Usman  says:

I think you hit the nail on the head. When it comes to compliance issues, SaaS may have its limitations. But when there are no compliance mandates in place, then SaaS vendors who have earned the market trust would not have any issues in customers sharing valuable data across the firewall. That is what we've found out in our project management system.

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Mar 21, 2009 6:20 AM Debashish Sarkar Debashish Sarkar  says:

Integration as a challenge is not new to SaaS. It is certainly not trivial or unimportant. However that is not a reason to not go SaaS.

At the least SaaS is expected to provide an ROI against wasteful IT Opex in many organizations;

SaaS or XaaS, Virtualization, Clouds are examples of technological solution advancement  providing an opportunity for nimble IT functionality.

Integration is driven by business processes - another area that can only benefit by adapting to emerging technologies.

Success with SaaS or any advanced technology will depend purely depend on an organizations desire and commitment to chnging with the times - if they don't change, they risk the hazard of being left by those who take these innovative approaches.

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Mar 25, 2009 10:20 AM Mike Pittaro Mike Pittaro  says:

It's not bad news for SnapLogic;  SaaS Integration is not the same the same as Integration as Saas. See my comments at http://blog.snaplogic.org/?p=263

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Aug 13, 2009 12:26 PM Song Song  says:

Integration is indeed one of the challenges that SaaS vendors need to overcome to increase adoption.  Others are long term ROI, data security (which you also alluded to) and scalability. 

In my blog, I commented on an article that says SaaS vendors should really use other SaaS software to run their own G&A.  If they can't, maybe the SaaS value proposition still has some ways to go?

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