On-demand services, helps meet your business needs

By : |May 30, 2007 0

Usha Prasad

On-demand software or Software as a Service (SaaS) has not only won broad acceptance among the IT industry but by the small and medium businesses (SMBs) as well. With companies of all sizes coming forward to try out on-demand services, the on-demand software market is poised for a robust growth.

SMBs in the country are using on-demand applications as a way to cut costs and increase productivity. On-demand software solutions allows small or mid-sized companies to grow their businesses faster and operate them more profitably.

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India is slated to be the fastest growing market in Asia Pacific for on-demand software and is expected to exceed $48 million by 2008, up from $7 million in 2005, according to Springboard Research.

The flexibility of using an application as and when required and without having to bear the cost of buying it has been the driving point for SMBs going in for on-demand services. The cost effective service also helps increase employee productivity and efficiency within customer organizations.

Vendors offering on-demand software are pursuing the SMB market aggressively, for whom ease of implementation and management of on-demand applications has been a major driver.

"It is the business needs that are driving adoption of SaaS model. For instance, as much of the manufacturing business and some design have been steadily moving to Asia from the US, it becomes imperative for companies in the APAC region to collaborate effortlessly both within the enterprise and with vendors and suppliers," says Sunanda Bang, IT Head, Dhooth Transmission Private Ltd.

Asian companies need to collaborate more effectively across multilingual, multi-currency, multi-time zones, she adds.

Also known as hosted services, application service provider (ASP) and utility computing, the on-demand services, which hit the market some five years ago, is fast catching up among the SMBs.

Aspire Systems, a leading outsourced product development company, focused on helping software companies create innovative products for the next generation, has turned its focus towards addressing the needs of on-demand solutions, which is fast catching up among the growing enterprises.

Around 2005, Aspire did random campaigns on the awareness and market for on-demand solutions among enterprises especially SMBs. "Though there was a good response, we saw that a lot of people were skeptical about it. We also attended a lot of conferences on SaaS in the US and realised that a lot of small companies were doing pretty well in this space. This is when we decided to go in for on-demand solutions, says Sabapathy N, Manager – Marketing, Aspire Systems.

The on-demand services, which started in 02-03 has not really picked up. It is not vertical specific; it all depends on the size of the team. You can just get started if you have a user ID and password. There’s no need to configure them. But there are many who do not like it and they what to have the complete controls of whatever they have, he says.

"On-demand software is typically being churned out by SMEs for the SME/SMB market. On-demand software/SaaS is targeted at companies with a small sales team like 200 or 250. On-demand software is inter-relatively used with Web 2.0 or software-oriented architecture (SOA)," Sabapathy adds.

"As regards Aspire getting into on-demand service, we are not into vertical specific, we are technology driven and try to be as domain neutral as possible. The domain knowledge comes from our customers," he says.

From big IT giants to small companies aggressively offering on-demand services to enterprises of all sizes, the increased interest in and availability of the on-demand delivery model is clearly visible. And, this has resulted in a surge in on-demand vendors in every imaginable market.

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