Spark Digital launches NZ’s first fully integrated SaaS marketplace

Spark Digital has launched the first fully integrated Software-as-a Service (SaaS) marketplace in New Zealand.

Spark Digital Apps allows businesses to buy and manage a range of software from leading software providers, all using a single log-in and on one bill.

“We’re starting with a tight set of world-class apps that enable flexibility, security and mobile working. Businesses will be able to log in with a single password for business applications like Microsoft Office 365, Mozy backup and McAfee security,” says Mark Redgrave, head of marketing, Spark Digital.

“They can see, assign and remove who is using what. Spark Digital Apps will eliminate the drama of having to pay each supplier separately by having them all appear on their Spark Digital bill.”

Related: Key to telco prosperity in 2015: Become more ‘customer adaptive’

Spark Digital worked with Silicon Valley based AppDirect to build the app marketplace.

Spark Digital notes while consumers have embraced the use of apps, it has taken longer for businesses to be able to easily access and manage the software they need in one place.

Spark Digital Apps will eliminate the drama of having to pay each supplier separately by having them all appear on their Spark Digital bill. Mark Redgrave, Spark Digital

Spark Digital Apps, it says, works like a smartphone app store where business will buy and manage products from well-known brands. By embracing new agile delivery models and increasingly using digital technology to deliver its solutions, Spark Digital says it aims to provide a customer experience that is simple and frictionless.

Spark Digital says SaaS offers several benefits over traditional on-premise software. Delivered online, it is easier to install and manage, and does not require highly technical IT skills.

SaaS is also experiencing unprecedented growth in New Zealand, with Gartner forecasting by 2018 SaaS will be the dominant way of using application software. As much as 80 percent of organisations will use SaaS, and it will account for 25 per cent of IT spending on software, says Gartner.

Telecommunication providers worldwide like Spark are building integrated cloud and network services to serve SaaS, says Adam Dodds, IDC IT services research manager and IDC cloud brokerage lead.

“Telecommunications providers have recognised the value of supporting organisations on their cloud journey through providing digital application marketplaces,” he says. “With over 79 per cent of businesses now using between two to five cloud solutions, there is a strong expectation from New Zealand organisations for this type of service.”

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