Microsoft Offers SaaS Support to ISVs
Microsoft Corp. wants to provide support to independent software vendors (ISVs)
that are plunging into the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry. It has extended
a helping hand through its new Microsoft SaaS Incubation Center Program, which
was announced yesterday. The program combines hosting services with advice for
ISVs on SaaS technology.
Unlike the traditional software business, where applications are installed
at the customer's premises, SaaS represents an alternative distribution model.
Applications are accessed by clients over the Web via a browser interface. SaaS
applications are typically offered on a recurring-fee basis.
The SaaS model may face scalability issues further down the line, according
John Zanni, Microsoft's director of worldwide hosting, who stated that "The
growth projections for software delivered as a service present ISVs with significant
opportunities, as well as new challenges."
The SaaS Incubation Center Program was developed from two of Microsoft's ongoing
efforts: Microsoft Solution for Windows-based Hosting for Applications and the
SaaS On-Ramp Program.
Under the SaaS Incubation Center Program, Microsoft offers consulting sessions
to ISVs, which are conducted at a number of facilities operated by Microsoft's
partners. The partners use Microsoft's hosting solution to demonstrate sample
scripts and monitor system performance, application usage and security.
This arrangement allows ISVs to offer "strong" service-level agreements
to end users, according to Microsoft's announcement. Service level agreements
are assurances to the customer that the service will perform at an agreed-upon
Microsoft's announcement also described changes to its SaaS On-Ramp Program, describing it as "Phase 2." This program requires ISVs to license their software through the Microsoft Services Provider Licensing Program but it gives them licensing rights to use Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server. Details of the SaaS On-Ramp Program are described here.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.