Intelligent Enterprise poised an interesting question in this article it ran last week: How can you integrate SaaS solutions with on-premise?
Companies such as Cast Iron and Boomi (mentioned in the article) are both great at accomplishing what they set out to do: integrating solutions with other solutions of preexisting partners. Yet in the end, the CIO is stuck with another proprietary-based application or piece of hardware at the middleware level, and no option of flexibility if the solution they have isn’t already partnered with the system integrator.
Sugar has already had customers accomplishing these integrations since Sugar On-Demand went live; leveraging open source partners such as SnapLogic only makes the integration that much less work.
If IT departments are going to truly customize and build the mashups, modules, and Web applications the article refers, the only true answer is open source. The first generation of SaaS solutions failed thanks primarily to their inability to scale, customize, and integrate with other back-end applications, either on-demand or on-premise. As a result, it lead to new development models, such as the mashups the article mentions, but also cloud computing and PaaS (or platform-as-a-service). But it will be open source that will be in the vehicle by which the next generation of SaaS platforms will deliver their results.
After all, it’s no coincidence that many of the other CRM SaaS providers mentioned in this article already leverage open source at the infrastructure level to provide the very services that companies like Cast Iron and Boomi are trying to integrate.
Do you really want to add yet another box to an infrastructure that looks something like this: