Salesforce.com's Heroku offers app developers chance to become SaaS vendors

Gartner finds 77 percent of enterprises plan to increase SaaS spending
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Salesforce.com's unit Heroku offers services to app developers that enable them to become software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendors themselves, according to a recent report by InformationWeek.

The Salesforce.com unit uses Amazon Web Services (Nasdaq: AMZN) to provide custom applications and add-on services to app developers for the Salesforce product line.

Heroku offers 85 add-on services from the cloud, with another 80 in development. These services give Salesforce.com customers a range of options, related Oren Teich, chief operating officer of Heroku, in an interview with InformationWeek.

To simplify the process, this week Heroku began offering developers a billing system that tracks add-on usage, bills the user and sends the add-on producer a check each month, the report noted.

The Salesforce.com unit provides a development platform for thousands of developers using Ruby, Java and Java Virtual Machine-based languages such as Node.js, in which most of its services are written. More than 2.5 million SaaS applications have been produced on the Heroku platform, according to the report.  

Heroku is taking advantage of a red hot SaaS market. According to a recent survey of 556 enterprises across 10 countries by Gartner, 77 percent of respondents expected to increase spending on SaaS, while only 17 percent plan to keep spending the same.

A full 73 percent of U.S. respondents and 71 percent of European respondents intend to increase spending on SaaS over the next two years, while more than 80 percent of respondents in Brazil and Asia/Pacific plan to do so.

The survey results indicate that interest in the SaaS deployment model remains strong and continues to expand with late adopters. Brazil had the largest number of new users, with 27 percent of respondents using SaaS for less than one year.

Customer relationship management and enterprise content management are the applications most often being newly deployed, while supply chain management, web conferencing, teaming platforms and social media are the applications picked most as replacements for on-premises products, according to Gartner.

Enterprises are ready to spend money on SaaS, so it is time for more vendors like Heroku to jump into the market.

For more:
- read the InformationWeek article
- check out Gartner's survey results

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