VAI Joins IBM’s SaaS Cloud Services Initiative
January 5, 2009 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It used to be called application service providing, and the idea didn’t take off because telecom costs were too high, network bandwidth between PCs and remote Internet-connected services was too low, and there were cost and availability issues. Now, we are at the cusp between changing buzzwords. 2007’s software as a service, or SaaS, is starting to give way to 2008’s cloud services. Call it what you will, and despite some minor technical evolution, the story is nonetheless the same: using other people’s remote systems and software to give end users what feels like a local experience.
If you are an IT infrastructure supplier, as IBM is, you need to help application software partners put together the iron to run their various software suites upon–usually ERP applications or their CRM and SCM extensions–if you want to get a piece of the action. Otherwise, some other vendor might do it, and then you have lost a potentially huge server account. That’s why IBM has created the SaaS Specialty Program, a marketing and technical collaboration with software makers to get them delivering SaaS variants of their software using IBM’s Power Systems hardware and their operating systems (i, AIX, and Linux) as well as WebSphere application servers and portals and DB2 databases to deliver SaaSy apps. (You can find out more about the program here, and learn about one of the most troubling abbreviations in IT: SaaSpace.)
Vormittag Associates (VAI), which sells an i-based ERP suite called S2K, has announced that it is teaming up with Big Blue to deliver SaaS versions of its code and to get help from IBM promoting this offering through the SaaS Specialty Program.
“We are pleased that IBM has accepted VAI into its SaaS Specialty,” said Kevin Beasley, chief information officer at VAI in a statement. “Membership in the program allots us a number of sales and marketing resources that extend our value proposition and expand our markets by delivering additional delivery methods to suit a larger range of customers.”
Back in September 2008, VAI launched its S2K 5.0 version, which included a new set of graphical user interfaces developed with Seagull Software‘s JWalk application modernization tools and also uses IBM’s WebSphere Portal to give users working from a diverse set of devices (now including Apple‘s iPhone) access to the applications remotely.