I recently had the opportunity to speak with numerous service providers at an industry event in Las Vegas. One of the main questions I posed to everyone was “Do you provide any SaaS (Software as a Service) offerings?” The predominant answer I got back was “Yeah, we provide web hosting.” The narrowness of the understood definition of SaaS was quite eye-opening. Was it true that some of the largest and most strategic service providers from around the globe understood SaaS as web-apps built on Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions?

Web-apps represent a small portion of the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Windows apps that businesses want to move into the cloud. Sure organizations can re-write legacy applications on emerging PaaS platforms such as Windows Azure, but that will take years and significant investments. Everyone wants to get into the cloud now. Moving applications to the cloud allows companies to tackle IT at a more strategic level, offloading all their IT, not just hardware and hosting environments delivered by IaaS. Guess what? This can be done right now!

Enter XenApp
It’s no secret that XenApp is the industry standard in enterprise application virtualization. What most people don’t know is that the same enterprise capabilities built to virtualize applications allow any service provider to deliver Windows apps as a service. The SaaSification of windows apps, whether they’re a proprietary custom app or a major vendor’s line of business app can be delivered through XenApp and is immediately available as a SaaS offering! This is an extremely powerful model that can enable the vast networks of service providers to evolve their business from a rapidly commoditizing IaaS business model into a more strategic SaaS model. This is truly SaaSifying!

See you in the cloud,
Mike