Open Source SaaS Scores Again With Apatar

Software as a service (SaaS) and open source continue to converge. The latest example is Apatar On-Demand, which now synchronizes Salesforce.com CRM and Intuit QuickBooks accounting software.

Apatar specializes in open source tools for data integration. And filling the gap between Salesforce.com and QuickBooks should be of great interest to VARs and managed service providers. Here's a bit more about some of the trends here.

First, the big picture. Whether it's Red Hat Linux, the MySQL database, SugarCRM or Apatar, there's no doubt that open source continues to gain momentum as a foundation for SaaS.

I'm not suggesting that Windows Server and traditional closed source applications go away. But fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) about hosted open source applications has come to an end. A prime example: SugarCRM CEO John Roberts told me 30 percent of the company's sales now involve SaaS rather than on-premise deployments.

For MSPs that are evaluating hosted application strategies, the ability to customize open source applications is worth noting -- especially as the market crowds with commodity hosted email services and the like.

If you're not worried about potential commoditization of traditional SaaS and MSP offerings, check out this in-depth blog from Autotask Chief Marketing Officer Bob Vogel, over on SMBITPros.

In Apatar's case, the Massachusetts-based company appears to be blending the best of yesterday and today. The company claims Apatar On-Demand Edition for Salesforce.com and QuickBooks allows running one- or two-way, recurring or one-time synchronization of account, contact, order, and opportunity data, while preserving links between tables in both Salesforce.com and QuickBooks.

Sounds interesting. But once again: Don't lose site of the bigger picture. Put open source on your radar as you consider a SaaS strategy.

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