Hewlett-Packard announced on Thursday that it's partnering with Cast Iron Systems to help businesses solve one of the biggest hardships of software-as-a-service deployments: integrating SaaS and on-premises applications.
The deal calls for HP's resellers to sell HP servers running Cast Iron's integration technology. Cast Iron has been selling integration appliances using its own sourced hardware.
But the significance of this deal isn't HP server technology; it's that an army of 25,000 HP resellers is going to being touting SaaS integration appliances to a much broader base of businesses than Cast Iron has previously been able to reach. The two companies plan to focus primarily on the small-to-midsize business market for SaaS integration appliances.
Cast Iron offers drag-and-drop integrations between Google Apps, RightNow, Salesforce.com, Taleo, and other SaaS vendors, and on-site applications from companies such as Lawson, Oracle, and SAP. Its customer list includes Allianz, Amerisource Bergen, Peet's Coffee & Tea, PGP, and Tesla Motors.
The deal represents another effort by HP to get its hardware at the center of cloud computing efforts. Last year HP partnered with NetSuite and Microsoft to let HP resellers offer those companies' SaaS/cloud computing products to customers.
As detailed in an InformationWeek article on SaaS, integration remains one of the biggest challenges of deployments.
Companies are turning to SaaS for its cost savings and simplicity, hoping to leave maintenance and upgrades to the vendor. They're finding, however, that management of the integration still falls to the IT organization.
Other companies specializing in SaaS integration services include Boomi, Bluewolf, Informatica, and Pervasive.
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