Software firms you should keep tabs on

In an industry where products don’t always hold their price for long and the ‘next best thing’ remains just around the corner, it is vital that resellers continue to expand their portfolios. Here are 10 software vendors worth watching.

Tags: Enterprise softwareIDC Middle East and AfricaUnited Arab Emirates
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Software firms you should keep tabs on Providers of social networking and communications software are gaining market momentum, suggests a report on IT innovators.
By  Andrew Seymour Published  December 2, 2009 Channel Middle East Logo

In an industry where products don’t always hold their price for long and the ‘next best thing’ remains just around the corner, it is vital that resellers continue to expand their portfolios. Here are 10 software vendors worth watching.

As any VAR will know, uncovering vendors that can promise the kind of attention and attractive margins that are all too rare in this market is not always a straightforward task.

Yet there are plenty of principals out there with compelling technology and partnership propositions — and IDC recently identified 10 of them following an in-depth study on ‘innovative applications companies under US$100m to watch’.

Of the 10 firms selected, only one or two appear to have gained any sort of significant Middle East coverage — something that is likely to alert regional software resellers keen on bringing new offerings to the market. 

According to IDC, all 10 exemplify one of three key trends in applications today. This includes acceleration of SaaS, BPO and open source over traditional on-premise software; new business models for software use by service providers; and web 2.0-like functionality that moves into the enterprise (e2.0).

“The young companies in this report are at the forefront of these emerging trends that will shape the future direction of software and add significant value to businesses,” said IDC software VP Michael Fauscette.

Unsurprisingly, several of the companies recognised by IDC are blazing a trail in the world of social networking, including Telligent — an enterprise collaboration and community software company that lists the likes of Dell and Microsoft as customers — and Jive Software, which develops social business software for organisations.

Jive has been expanding its partner ecosystem and growing its sales and customer support teams after receiving US$12m in private equity investment.

Igloo Software, a Canadian firm that develops online community and social software solutions, has also been strengthening its channel presence.

Earlier this year it signed a deal with Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions for its software to be distributed to resellers and ISVs in Canada, and possibly the US.

Until recently, Igloo had been building up its direct sales model, but all existing business partners are now going through Arrow. “I think that one of the interesting synergies between Arrow and Igloo is they see the future of where software-as-a-service is becoming the new distribution mechanism of how software’s going to be sold,” said Dan Latendre, CEO of Igloo.

Cloud software also stands out as a common theme among some of the vendors highlighted by IDC. Intacct, which already serves more than 2,500 clients, provides on-demand financial management and accounting applications, while Service-now.com claims its ability to combine ITIL v3 guidelines with Web 2.0 technology makes it the “pioneer” of on-demand IT service management.

Service-now.com is aiming for sales of US$50m over the next 12 months and recently installed Chris Gomersall as VP sales and services EMEA. Gomersall, an industry veteran who has worked at Peregrine Systems, Oracle and Tivoli, will be responsible for partner alliances and expanding channel sales in EMEA.

Clarizen, Kaltura, Rumbafish, Trampoline Systems and Atlassian also caught IDC’s attention. Australia-headquartered Atlassian offers collaboration and development tools for the enterprise sector. It generated revenues of US$44m last year and has already made significant inroads into the MEA market, harnessing a partner base that includes Vira Universal in Iran, Nu-IT Dubai and Database Limitada in Africa.

Kaltura provides an open source video solution stack, RumbaFish allows companies to create interactive marketing campaigns online and UK-based Trampoline Systems develops analytic software. Clarizen, meanwhile, provides online work management software and runs a number of partner programmes.

10 to watch

Atlassian
Clarizen
Igloo
Intacct
Jive Software
Kaltura RumbaFish
Technologies
Service-now.com
Telligent
Trampoline Systems

Source: IDC - Innovative application software companies under US$100m to watch (2009)

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