For most business leaders, the first introduction to the concept of cloud computing came just 16 years ago with the launch of Salesforce.com as a cloud-based CRM system. At the time, many enterprise leaders thought the Cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) would be an interesting way for small businesses to enjoy better technology without having to make too large of an upfront investment. But back then, few executives believed they would ever trust enterprise applications to external providers—and fewer still would have considered enterprise-level back-office systems.

Not even two decades later, the technology landscape has shifted—actually, it’s been nothing short of an earthquake. In 2002, Amazon launched Amazon Web Services—an integrated suite of cloud services built on a cloud platform. Larger companies adopted Salesforce which soon expanded to deliver a marketplace of additional solutions built on the Force.com platform. Where IT professionals once speculated about the value and security of SaaS, today entire companies are being built around the concept of everything as a service (XaaS). Instead of one application here or there, companies are going all in—with computing platforms, applications, and hardware/network infrastructure all delivered as a service.

Today, the three largest XaaS vendors are Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. Of those, Amazon Web Services enjoys the greatest market share today. According to PwC, these three major cloud platforms “are competing zealously for market share for their Web-based platforms. As they compete, they drive down pricing to entice customer usage and adoption, and they are prompting more and more companies to switch to XaaS-style models . . . With an XaaS model, customers are not burdened by significant upgrade costs and can more accurately estimate the total cost of ownership of software and infrastructure. As a result, corporate and individual attitudes about the cloud are beginning to change. XaaS options, rather than licensing software or services per desktop, have become much more acceptable.”

Businesses of all sizes—including large enterprises—are transitioning to SaaS very quickly. According to Forrester, global SaaS sales will increase 21% in 2016. IDC predicts by 2017, 35% of new applications will use cloud-enabled, continuous delivery and SaaS will consume a 28% share of the enterprise application market globally by 2018.

Now, corporate IT departments see the value of the cloud for even the most mission-critical back-office systems. ERP vendors are moving to join the cloud revolution, and new partnerships are forming. The world’s largest accounting software maker, Sage, will build its next-generation SaaS accounting solution with Salesforce on the Force.com platform. Oracle Cloud provides a full stack (platform, SaaS applications, and marketplace) for its customers, but also supports both Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. In 2014, SAP partnered with IBM to deliver scalable SAP environments via the cloud.

With wide acceptance and large-scale adoption of cloud solutions, the race is on to innovate new products and services at all levels. Each year, hundreds of innovative companies will quickly bring services and applications to market, delivered on established cloud platforms.

2015-11-IoT

The cloud facilitates rapid development by making it possible to integrate technologies easily across a platform. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel for all types of functionality needed to support a new service delivery. Instead, businesses are able to concentrate on developing disruptive technology to meet a specific business or industry need, while partnering with other cloud companies to handle things on the backend, such as billing, accounting, order management, or customer relations.

At Gotransverse, our job is to help our customers bring new services to market, supported by the flexible, reliable usage-based billing capabilities of the TRACT billing and revenue management platform. TRACT helps innovative companies get to market sooner, by capturing and managing all of the usage information necessary to ensure timely, accurate billing of customers. It’s designed to scale easily and accommodate the rapid growth that often accompanies new XaaS solutions.

Our partnership with customers has contributed to the development of some remarkable products and services poised to disrupt their industries. Here is how a few of our customers are taking the SaaS world by storm with help from the TRACT revenue management platform:

  • IAS delivers services and an industry network to improve visibility across the transportation of goods.
  • Hemisphere GNSS recently launched the Atlas satellite corrective positioning service, featuring industry-disrupting pricing and accuracy.
  • Amplifier is a third-party logistics (3PL) company building a rapidly growing merchandising service.
  • Cvent delivers SaaS meeting management that’s improving the business meeting and convention industry.

As the Internet of Things continues to take shape, every business will become a technology company to some extent. Innovative businesses will seek to disrupt their own industries with new technology products, delivered as a service. XaaS makes it possible for companies outside the technology industry to deliver these exciting new solutions. By building on established cloud platforms, and partnering with specialized firms to develop the functional areas that fall outside their primary expertise, businesses will develop new services more quickly and bring them to market before competitors.