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SaaS in 2013: Companies and trends to watch

Chris Kanaracus | Jan. 7, 2013
As 2013 begins, the SaaS (software as a service) market is set to heat up even more, as well as potentially undergo a number of key shifts. Here's a look at a series of key SaaS vendors and trends to watch as the year unfolds.

Intuit: Millions of small businesses use Intuit's QuickBooks software, and as more customers move to SaaS, Intuit clearly wants to keep them. In September, it rolled out a global version of QuickBooks Online covering well over 100 countries. It has also moved to build out a small business SaaS suite of sorts, tying together its Demandforce cloud-based marketing software with both QuickBooks Online and the on-premise versions of QuickBooks. It seems likely that Intuit will continue down this path in 2013.

Zuora: This vendor offers SaaS software for subscription-based businesses, providing billing, e-commerce and finance modules that tackle the unique needs of such companies. The company has been getting plenty of attention and could be headed for an IPO. It may also see itself courted by potential acquirers, as well as challenged by new rivals.

Single sign-on for SaaS: Vendors such as Okta, Ping Identity and OneLogin offer their own takes on single-sign in for multiple SaaS applications at once. Look for growth in this area as more customers reorient their IT environments around SaaS and jettison legacy applications, but then find they have a fresh management problem on their hands. One can also imagine these tools sparking a rise in consulting firms offering to stitch together and perhaps manage a best-of-breed SaaS suite for customers.

Cloud ERP for manufacturers: It's well-known that ERP has lagged other categories with respect to SaaS. However, the market may grow substantially in 2013 due to the rise of SaaS vendors honing in on specific verticals such as manufacturing. That's where companies such as NetSuite, Plex Systems and Kenandy have focused attention.


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