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Collaborative Application Marketplaces Begin to Take Shape

| Feb 15, 2013 | Collaboration Platforms
| Analyst: Brad Shimmin, Principal Analyst, Collaboration Platforms

Because enterprise collaboration software is most effective when integrally linked with line of business (LoB) applications, vendors have developed internal resources and external relationships capable of meeting those requirements. Within the scope of cloud-borne Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, this capacity is particularly critical. Thankfully, all entrants in the collaboration platform marketplace adhere to and make full use of development standards, providing customers and partners with complete APIs and often SDKs, frameworks, libraries and even pre-built integration tools. This has helped developers to move well beyond typical white labeling opportunities. But that is only the beginning.

Vendors are now constructing Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings that let third-party developers not just build but also host software in support of a vendor's SaaS. The maturity of these platforms varies greatly from vendor to vendor with pure plays such as Jive maintaining a complete development offering that features application hosting, billing, provisioning and management tools for custom software. Other rivals such as IBM, Cisco and Microsoft are still in the process of building out a complete developer ecosystem. Once in place, these PaaS solutions and associated application marketplaces will open up many opportunities for customers and channel partners alike to tackle tough integration and augmentation opportunities heretofore only open to on premises software. In this market assessment, we will highlight the varied approaches employed by these leading collaboration vendors and investigate the market opportunities presented by their efforts.

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