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The Top Ten SaaS Buzzwords
By James Maguire

April 5, 2007

Continued from Page 2

8) Net-native SaaS

On its face, the term "net-native SaaS" seems redundant. After all, implicit in the concept of SaaS is a service delivered over the Internet. So all SaaS apps are supposed to be net-native.

But the term makes reference to the pre-SaaS days of ASPs (application service providers), an earlier form of accessing remotely hosted software. "Back in the ASP days, you may have had a more dedicated private extranet style of access, versus going over the Internet," Desisto notes. Some of the earlier ASP solutions involved chunky, clunky apps that weren't really designed for cross-Internet travel.

So when one refers to "net-native SaaS," the term emphasizes how the code is written to efficiently use today's fat-pipe-enabled Hypertext Transfer Protocol and the TCP/IP stack to enable services with (hopefully) few glitches.

9) Platform infrastructure

You'll sometimes hear SaaS adherents hoping for some form of "platform infrastructure" to emerge, to boost the development of SaaS companies.

This is because SaaS-enabled applications – and SaaS vendors e do not exist in a vacuum. They need a platform to build their applications on; currently the most notable is probably Salesforce's, but there are certainly others, and new ones being built.

"If I'm a start-up, and I wanted to build a SaaS solution, and I'm looking to get investment money, those [investors] would rather me not invest it in building a platform — they want me focusing on building the applications," Desisto says.

"I think you're probably going to see versions of platforms from different vendors," he says.

However, "I don't think it's going to be ubiquitous like the Internet. I think different vendors are going to try to make a play here."

10) SaaS

"SaaS" is itself the biggest buzzword in the world of SaaS. In the hands of a gifted SaaS sales rep, a SaaS application is the answer to all your problems. It's cheaper, more flexible, offers fewer headaches. It's the wave of the future, SaaS adherents claim. Heck, if you buy in early enough, it might even help your love life &151; or at least make you the rising star of the IT department.

It's true that SaaS offers plenty of advantages. It's both a delivery method (over the Net as opposed to on-premise) and a business model (subscription versus one-time purchase). But as software-as-a-service matures during the next few years, the same old truth will apply: SaaS will only be as valuable as the applications it helps deliver.

If, long term, it really does enable a more cost-effective and efficient infrastructure than do traditional on-premise apps, then all of today's SaaS buzzwords will become the established vocabulary of tomorrow.

Adapted from Datamation

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