Google has launched Apps for your domain which basically means google is offering services like gmail, gtalk, google pages and google calendar to SMB’s (Small and Medium Business enterprise). Techcrunch calls this google’s entry into Office 2.0. I feel this is google’s entry into SaaS (Software as a service). for all those who dont understand what software as service is here is a definition from Wikipedia "Software as a Service (SaaS) is a model of software delivery where the software company provides maintenance, daily technical operation, and support for the software provided to their client. SaaS is a model of software delivery rather than a market segment; software can be delivered using this method to any market segment including home consumers, small business, medium and large business."
The key characteristics of SaaS software, according to IDC, include
- network-based access to, and management of, commercially available (i.e., not custom) software
- activities that are managed from central locations rather than at each customer’s site, enabling customers to access applications remotely via the Web
- application delivery that typically is closer to a one-to-many model (single instance, multi-tenant architecture) than to a one-to-one model, including architecture, pricing, partnering, and management characteristics
Now software as service requires technical backup in terms of server security and server technology. Recently google was in news for setting up a server farm in India all these are indications that google may be looking at the Saas market aggressively in the future! Currently International player Salesforce.com is world reknowned leader in this segment and Salesforce.com has bought a small start-up, Kieden (pronounced’keyed-in’), and has used it to launch a new service called ‘Salesforce for Google AdWords’ that provides the capability to track click-throughs on Google ads (those on Google itself as well as ads on sites that have their advertising ‘Powered by Google’) to sales leads generated in salesforce.com. Kieden was already a salesforce.com partner and was hosted on salesforce.com’s AppExchange online platform.
Also IBM is one another player aggressively catering to the software as service market and one can register for the online webcast on "Tapping on Software as Service" presented by CRN and IBM.