Sant offers its sales prep software as a service

Acting on a belief that users increasingly want Software as a Service (SaaS), the Sant, which makes software used to prepare sales proposals, said this week it will begin offering its applications as a service. And it expects over the next year that as many as a third of its customers will move to the new service offering.

"We're certainly seeing a trend that more businesses today are buying software as a service application," said Brian Vass, director of marketing for the Cincinnati, Ohio-based firm. Its SaaS offering will be in addition to its packaged application.

Sant's expectation that users will opt for its service offering is indirectly supported by forecasts from International Data (IDC) that see the US$4.2 billion SaaS market growing to US$10.7 billion in 2009, a 21 percent compound annual growth rate. "It's becoming a viable option," said Erin Traudt, an analyst at Framingham, Mass.-based IDC.

To run the application in-house, Sant users need a server for the application and database. The database holds information about customers, the business issues they face and other material used to prepare sales proposals, responses to request for proposals, PowerPoint presentations and other documents.

Under its software as a service offering, Sant is using a hosting provider, Dallas, Texas-based The Planet Internet Services. Subscription pricing for the Sant Suite ranges from US$39 to US$109 a month, depending on the features used.

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