Open Source and SaaS Meet Again

Morph Labs is the latest company to meld managed services, software as a service (Saas) and open source into a platform solution. The Philippines-based startup claims it has launched a platform that allows independent software vendors (ISVs), entrepreneurs and other businesses to quickly enter the SaaS market.

The Morph Application Platform, preview available at www.morphexchange.com, is based on Amazon Web Services. Morph says its platform allows developers to focus on business logic, application presentation and strategic differentiators -- rather than the plumbing associated with SaaS and managed services. For instance, load balancing, security components, and monitoring are built into the platform.

Clearly, startups and established companies are striving to make it easier for VARs and ISVs to dive into the SaaS and MSP markets. During a luncheon on February 7 in Philadelphia, Do IT Smarter VP Todd McKendrick described the current MSP market as a land grab. Separately, SugarCRM CEO John Roberts notes that the only software companies getting funding these days are businesses with open source or SaaS expertise. (SugarCRM, in fact, just received $20 million in new funding and Roberts has said he hopes to launch an initial public offering within two years.)

More startups such as Morph are moving into the SaaS space. The initial Morph Application Platform leverages Ruby on Rails, an open source-based development environment. Morph AppSpace subscriptions are expected to be available in the early second quarter of 2008, starting at approximately $35 per month for an entry level web application.

Headquartered in Cebu, Philippines, Morph has operations in Manila; Los Angeles, California; and Austin, Texas.

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