India set to ride SaaS wave

CIOL Bureau
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Pragati Simlote


NEW DELHI: India is slated to be the fastest growing market in Asia Pacific for Software as a Service (SaaS) and is expected to exceed $48 million by 2008, up from $7 million in 2005, according to Springboard Research.

Currently, web conferencing and collaboration represent the largest portion (43 per cent) of the total SaaS revenue in India. However, a number of other software market sectors are now gearing up for a SaaS push.

Ten-year-old WebEx Communications Inc., a provider of web communication services, is a company that is gearing up to tap the SaaS opportunity in India. The company believes that the market for SaaS is poised for tremendous growth and companies across verticals are ready to offer solutions on the SaaS platform.


WebEx India MD Kiran Datar said, “We at WebEx strongly believe that India is at the right place and time to ride the SaaS wave and the rate of adoption of SaaS will rapidly increase. We have always been cost-conscious; this coupled with the increasing availability of broadband today will fuel growth, especially for SMBs and entrepreneurs in the country.”

He added that two segments in particular that are poised for strong SaaS advances over the next several years are security and collaboration.

WebEx has been able to offer solutions catering to the needs of IT, BFSI, Telecom, consulting and pharma among others for various functions like training, meeting centre, investor relations, remote support and system management, through web conferencing.


On the rationale behind the increasing SaaS adoption in India, Datar said, “Within the APAC region, India is the first and best example of a country remaking itself on the back of SaaS adoption efforts. With high economic growth perceived in the small and medium segments, coupled with large enterprises consolidating their IT investments, software licenses will soon have to vie for attention alongside SaaS. In the paradigm of the globalization of Indian business, SaaS is facilitating seamless collaboration across the globe.”

He added, “The ease of implementation and management also act as the key drivers for SaaS adoption in India. Another interesting reason is that in India the adoption of computing and Internet technology is on a new wave and hence there is a lack of legacy software. This leads to quicker adoption of SaaS in a country like India.”

Today, WebEx has 69 per cent market share in India with around 1700 customers. Datar said, “We are seeing a great increase in the adoption rates across verticals and strongly believe that SaaS is the next mantra that will drive enterprise productivity in the coming future. Analysts claim that by 2010, 30 per cent of new software will be delivered via SaaS model. With this as a background we are confident of targeting a significant share of the Indian SaaS pie, by expanding our service offerings to different segments both in real-time and non-real time in the form of collaborative communication tools through WebOffice.”

Extending the SaaS model to another level, WebEx has also launched a host of system management solutions to help the customers maintain a secure IT infrastructure with remote support solution, including remote computer access and system management tools.

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