SaaS ECM Continues to Gain Momentum

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In preparation for my presenation at Harvey Spencer’s upcoming annual Capture Conference, I was going over my 2009 predictions, one of which was “SaaS ECM continues to outpace traditional software market.” Each year at the Capture Conference I grade my predictions from the previous year before announcing my latest predictions. Well, a week ago, I had a feeling that this particular prediction was correct. Now I am certain.

That certainty is based on a couple things. First off, I got an e-mail from Digitech Systems, touting how one of its VARs, Polar Imaging in Ontario, had leveraged its ImageSilo SaaS application to grow close to 50% in 2008, and continue to grow in 2009. Then I got this release from Hyland Software touting its opening of an Australian data center, on the heels of its success with a U.K.-based data center, to accomdate its growing SaaS business.

Steve Todd, CEO of Polar, indicated that SaaS is much more widely accepted than it was even 18 months ago– and now customers that formerly insisted on receiving scanned images on CDs, have done an about face and only want to talk about SaaS. Both Todd and Ron McClellan of Hyland (who is quoted in the press release) stress the flexibility that SaaS offers. ““Organizations in the market for on-premise ECM are often choosing to work with us specifically because we also offer a SaaS product,” said McClellan. “This is because the right deployment method today may not be right tomorrow.”

Todd added that SaaS is a great way to demo imaging technology and that once customers see their documents on-line, they will often be convinced to go live with a SaaS imaging implementation.

One interesting sidenote, that is also likely related to Hyland’s decision to build data centers in other countries, is that Todd said Polar ran into some Patriot Act issues when it first tried to leverage Digitech’s U.S.-based data centers. But, apparently that has been taken care of, as almost’s all Polar’s customers are in Canada.

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