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Software as a service is starting to put the major software industry players to just such a test. IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, and other entrenched purveyors of on-premises software suites and platforms have considerable installed bases to protect, whether those were organically grown or acquired. Snapping at those vendors' heels are scores of venture-backed SaaS start-ups, promising that their Web-delivered sales force automation, marketing automation, business intelligence, procurement, network management, payroll, expense management, HR, and other services are the future of business software. But let's not get swept up by the SaaS euphoria too quickly. While 30,000- to 100,000-seat deals for sales force automation and human capital management services are starting to emerge, those are relatively straightforward processes. Enterprise-class applications for managing supply chains, transactions, and regulatory compliance are far more complex and tend not to be the same from organization to organization.
Source: Information Week, http://www.informationweek.com
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