A channel play for SaaS in 2006


The trouble is, if the SaaS model goes to the channel, then the VAR becomes the trusted adviser. It owns the customer and it gets to decide which solutions to offer. That won't sit well with the big guys.

Meanwhile, new companies such as Jamcracker are selling VARs the tools to offer their customers an SaaS one-stop shop. The Jamcracker Service Delivery Network provides an array of IT and business services. If a VAR wants to offer Intacct as an SaaS ERP solution and use SalesNet for CRM, Jamcracker can supply it with everything from SSO to provisioning, billing, and support.

This is operational integration. Working with the individual SaaS providers, the VARs deliver process integration and domain expertise as their value add.

Hewitt Associates, a major human resources BPO company, is rolling up contingent workforce software from IQNavigator with permanent labor software from Deploy Solutions to offer both as a one-stop SaaS solution for the hospitality industry.

Accenture is also building an SaaS practice. A "VAR on steroids," Accenture will aggregate and integrate best-of-breed SaaS solutions, and it has the wherewithal to extend this model into the enterprise.