How quickly can the software industry migrate to a SaaS model? Managed hosting provider
Savvis has rolled out a service that it hopes will speed up the process by helping
independent software vendors offer their applications as a hosted service.
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The service allows software vendors to take a single-tenant application and offer it as a
hosted service to multiple clients, says CTO Bryan Doerr. It is available first in the
United States and the United Kingdom, and will be offered worldwide by the end of the year.
Savvis partnered with Parallels to use its Virtuozzo Containers virtualization software to
offer the service. The product divides a server OS into individual containers, each of which
is assigned to a vendor customer and hosts multiple instances of its application. Customers
also use Parallels’ Automation software for provisioning accounts, billing and linking to
More and more end customers are turning to SaaS to reduce costs, putting pressure on
software vendors to offer their applications as services. Customer relationship management
has seen the widest uptake, with 15 percent of software revenue in 2007 coming from SaaS
applications, according to Gartner. The fastest growing segments are for office suites and
digital content creation tools, where SaaS revenue will roughly double on average each year
from 2007 to 2011, Gartner says.
Some vendors have developed multitenant versions of their applications, which allow multiple
end users to access a single instance of their software. Savvis hosts applications for some
of those vendors, but the new service is for vendors that have yet to develop multitenant
products. They don’t need to rewrite applications to use the service, according to Doerr,
and need only to bring it in and test it in the SaaS environment. “We think [vendors] will
use this as a quick go-to-market [option] and eventually rewrite their application to be
natively multitenant,” Doerr says.
Savvis competes with other managed hosting providers such as AT&T and Terremark, SaaS
hosting specialists such as OpSource and platform providers such as Salesforce.com and