Head in the clouds? Top 10 SaaS providers for business

SaaS is a cloud model that delivers on-demand applications that are hosted and managed by the service provider. SaaS can offer a number of advantages to in-house deployments, including minimal maintenance and administration. But with so many providers, which one is best for your business?

CBR looks at the Top 10 SaaS providers in the market today.

Oracle

Users: Serving 400,000 customers and 100 of the Fortune 100. 300,000 mid-sized customers.

Company statement: "From the data center to the cloud, Oracle not only eliminates the complexity that stifles business innovation, but also engineers in speed, reliability, security, and manageability."

The second largest SaaS provider in the world behind Salesforce, they focus on selling engineered systems rather than commodity hardware. Predominantly working in public and retail sectors, they have a lot of power in marketing CRM, ERP and HCM. They have recently targeted sales reps on the go with voice recognition being added to their mobile sales app.

Oracle Fusion is their flagship product, aimed at CRM and Financial services with Oracle’s Sales Cloud. Oracle requires clarity on its sales model and organisational focus, having the power to absorb numerous cloud platforms does not necessarily lead to quality products.

SAP

Users: More than 263,000 customers in 188 countries.

Company statement: "SAP is at the center of today’s technology revolution, developing innovations that not only help our customers run at their best, but also improve the lives of people everywhere."

Aimed at larger to mid-sized businesses, SAP Business ByDesign is a complete, integrated suite that can run your whole enterprise – financials, human resources, sales, procurement, customer service, and supply chain. The suite works across professional services, manufacturing and wholesale distribution.

The company are also pushing HANA, which is great for analytics and has several large case deployments. Despite being forced onto the cloud, it is not a SaaS system, indicating that a clear focus on SaaS development is needed.

Cobweb

Users: 150,000 users in 6,000 businesses worldwide.

Company statement: "Cobweb is Europe’s biggest provider of integrated cloud solutions for business. It’s our mission to put the benefits of cloud-based communication in the hands of all businesses."

The leading UK SME business provider of flexible SaaS solutions is predominantly aimed at small businesses. Partnered with Microsoft they are the largest Microsoft hosted Exchange Provider in Europe.

Their flagship product, Hybrid Lync, combined with Microsoft Office, aims to cut costs of calls and conferencing. Now working under the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider Program, they have become a UK leader with cloud technologies.

MuleSoft

Users: 150,000+ developers, 3,200+ Companies in production and 35% of the Global 500.

Company statement: "MuleSoft provides the most widely used integration platform for connecting SaaS and enterprise applications in the cloud and on-premises."

Launched in 2006, MuleSoft provides the Anypoint Platform of integration products that tie together SaaS and on-premises applications. Offering both mobile and on premises systems, its Anypoint Platform is used by Walmart, MasterCard, Nokia, Nestle, Honeywell and DHL. The Anypoint Platform is designed to reduce the cost of point-to-point integration and unify business processes across applications, data sources and APIs.

Salesforce

Users: 2.5 million – figure based on $3.8bn in revenue at $125 per user or $1500 per month.

Company statement: "Sales Cloud handles a lot, so you can take on even more."

Launched 15 years ago, Salesforce has become a pioneer of the SaaS industry. Salesforce is a leader in CRM. The extensive database knowledge is considered to be a goldmine for building a robust business database.

Salesforce is a contact and pipeline manager that allows sales reps to function more efficiently no matter where they are physically. They maintain a large share of the market in CRM, but their main challenge will be maintaining it as the likes of Oracle and SAP challenge with new products.

Akamai

Users: 160,000 servers in 95 countries within over 1,200 networks. One out of every three Global 500 companies.

Company statement: "Akamai is the leading provider of cloud services for helping enterprises provide secure, high-performing user experiences on any device, anywhere."

Akamai Web Performance Solutions and Akamai Cloud Networking Solutions is designed for intended third party use – both products can deliver provider specific capabilities and are designed for compatibility with all systems and devices.

For providing end users with media content, the Akamai Intelligent Platform, along with cloud storage and distribution, can provide inline packaging and transcoding services for video content, digital rights enforcement, and real-time analytics.

CA Technologies

Users: Used by more than half of the Global Fortune 500, the 20 top global banks and the largest 25 federal agencies.

Company statement: "CA Technologies creates software that fuels transformation for companies and enables them to seize the opportunities of the application economy."

CA Technologies provide IT Service Management offering a simple system that just aims to meet the core needs of a user’s persona, rather than a sophisticated technical platform. Aiming to accelerate implementation without the requirement to Code and automatically upgrade, the simplified system is aimed at businesses that are perhaps new to SaaS and have smaller staff numbers.

With a focus on making older solutions into SaaS solutions in the cloud, CA Technologies has recently released its Enterprise Mobility Management solution, clearly trying to improve their mobile solutions.

Adobe

Users: 2.3 million paying subscribers to their Creative Cloud, more than two-thirds of Fortune 50 companies use Adobe Marketing Cloud including 17 of the top 20 Internet retailers, 10 of the top 10 commercial banks, 5 of the top 5 media companies and 5 of the top 5 auto manufacturers.

Company statement: "Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences. We harness our creative DNA not only to enable the creation of beautiful and powerful images, videos, and apps, but also to reinvent how companies interact with their customers across every digital channel and screen".

Adobe’s cloud presence is largely defined by its Omniture products. But given the relative dominance of those products in their category and the influence of Omniture within the company, Adobe clearly has a successful enterprise-focused cloud model. Adobe’s challenge will be to adapt and develop other lines of business in the cloud beyond this core.

Microsoft

Users: Installed on over 1 billion devices – Gartner estimate 630 million business users.

Company statement: "At Microsoft our mission and values are to help people and businesses throughout the world realise their full potential."

Microsoft Office franchise runs natively in the cloud and brings in $1bn annually, with the Office software license operating in a vast amount of global offices. But with so many products across so many categories in such a decentralised way, managing them is Microsoft’s biggest challenge.

Intuit

Users: 4 million ActiveBook users.

Company statement: "We provide financial management software and services to help small businesses get on top of their finances and save time on their accounting."

Because Intuit is not geared toward enterprises but small businesses, that it treats like consumers, it has a natural advantage over many of the other companies on this list. Focused on developing financial and tax preparation software – TurboTax is their most popular software.

That said, Intuit executed its cloud strategy early, and with the full commitment of the company. Intuit is enjoying all the benefits of doing the cloud right, having focused their market rather than attempting to be all encompassing like some of the bigger names on the list.

 

*The user figures have been taken from company websites and have not been verified.

 

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