SAAS Hits the Mainstream
However, the actual build-out of the integrations still requires work. "If [a customer] wants to do an integration with someone not already on the OpSource Bus, the great thing is I'll work with the customer to write that integration and put it on the bus, then it becomes available to everyone," Ryan said. "We'll write it, or we'll have partners write it. ... It's a matter of just doing that integration, but you do it once instead of doing it over and over.""Mid to large customers have moved into a mainstream adoption era, where the focus is around integration," he said. Ryan said the billing feature of the OpSource platform is about 25 percent of the company's overall business, but he's unsure how much business the integration bus will drum up. "First of all, we get paid as our customers get more customers so they pay us on a per-user, per-transaction basis, so if I can help them get more end users, I am going to make money," he said. "So out of the gate, some of these features are available. But it will be fully introduced in the summer '08 release. So far, our customers that are already Web service-enabled, they can start to use the bus. In summer, we'll come out with tools [to help those] that aren't Web service-enabled to get there."
Integrating SAAS applications is becoming increasingly important as more companies look to include such apps in their overall IT environment, said Saugatuck Technology founder and CEO Bill McNee, who delivered a keynote address Feb. 28 at the show. A Saugatuck survey of SAAS buyers found that of those polled, 32 percent have at least one SAAS-based application and almost half have more than one. McNee estimated that large enterprises currently have more than 10 SAAS applications implemented.