The Emergence of SaaS Federations

Michael Vizard

Following the rapid expansion of software-as-a-service, there appears to be a SaaS offering for just about every conceivable process. And now that corporations have come to see SaaS as a pretty standard delivery model for software, the next logical step is to start weaving all these SaaS applications into a common framework.


A good example of the level of integration we're going to increasingly see comes in the form of an alliance between OrderMotion, a provider of order management applications as a service, and PivotLink, which markets a business intelligence application that is delivered as a service.

 

 


Rather than build its own BI module, OrderMotion CEO Marty Fahey says the company would ultimately deliver a better product by integrating the PivotLink application specifically built to support business intelligence.


Over time, many SaaS providers will similarly leverage open interfaces to create federated sets of applications that are delivered in conjunction with each other. In fact, that's one of the prime motivations behind Salesforce.com's effort to create an application ecosystem around Force.com and Microsoft's goal for Azure.


Ultimately, these alliances will expand from merely sharing data to increasingly integrating business processes across multiple SaaS platforms. As this trend starts to take shape, we may find ourselves looking at the emergence of a SaaS 2.0 paradigm in which formerly disparate sets of applications are all part of a much larger federated model for application delivery and business process integration that will deployed across multiple cloud computing infrastructures.



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