Recent Comments


My Calendar

Calendar is empty

 Telcos need to tread carefully into SaaS

Published 7/4/2008 5:35:00 AM - Asia Pacific

Telstra recently made an announcement about its platform called T-suite that will supply on-demand business applications to Australian businesses. The offering will enable ISVs to develop and host applications on Telstra’s platform and provide a potential base of captive customers whom Telstra serves.

Tata Communications made a similar announcement to offer on-demand managed security solutions in the region, starting with the Indian market.

The Tatas have tied up with different solution providers and will provide an integrated solution to end-customers. Tata Communications’ position is different and safer by any judgement. Instead of plunging into the service delivery of SaaS which comes with its own set of challenges and is not its core-competence, the Tata company has opted to play the role of an aggregator and be a channel in the SaaS eco-system.

These tentative steps are positive developments that will have huge implications in the take-off of SaaS in the regional market.  One of the challenges for deeper SaaS penetration in APAC is connectivity, especially in non-metro areas in India, China and ASEAN countries.  With telcos in the fray, SaaS providers have an ideal partner to overcome connectivity issues and telcos can leverage this opportunity to upsell broadband connection and new technologies to existing customers by luring them with on-demand business applications.

The participation of telcos is a welcome development as it has contributed to substantially expand the SaaS ecosystem. On the other hand if telcos falter it could lead to a serious set-back in their endeavor to move further into enterprise services, beyond providing connectivity. As an initial step, a safe position is to be a channel partner with SaaS vendors who already have delivery systems in place, instead of treading into a territory that is fraught with challenges.

By Balaka Baruah Aggarwal

Image courtesy jeremyfoo

 Comments (0)

 iPhone: Hitting the target in Asia

Published 6/12/2008 2:37:00 AM - Asia Pacific

Steve Jobs finally announced 3G version of iPhone this Monday and brought down its price to $199 for 8GB model, compared to the $399 price for the current model that has neither 3G nor GPS.

Customers in Asia have reasons to be excited since iPhone will now be available in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and New Zealand from July 11, while it will be available for more regional countries, including India, later this year. With several other countries across the globe launching iPhone 3G, Apple expects to exceed its sales target for 2008.

Within Asia, consumers are known to change their mobile handset every 12 months. This huge regional market gives Apple a great opportunity to reenact the iPod success all over again. However, its ambition in this regional market will be impacted by following challenges:

• In markets like Japan and Korea, domestic manufacturers have garnered a huge market share in the music phones segment – leaving Apple no choice but to fight and squeeze some market share.

A limited coverage of Apple’s iTunes music store service in Asia will also lower the business potential per consumer for Apple.

Absence of powerful camera functions will limit iPhone’s appeal to Asian consumers.

If Apple tries to copy the AT&T partnership model in Asia, it will lose a large portion of youth market that does not wish to pay a premium monthly data service package to enjoy iPhone.

On the other hand, Apple still enjoys the support of a large group of loyal customers. There are approximately 500,000 iPhones in use by mainland Chinese consumers currently, though Apple is yet to announce a plan to enter China. The company’s negotiations with China Mobile failed earlier this year.

With better price positioning, Apple is expected to grab market share from Nokia and Sony Ericsson, who has been actively pushing their music phones in the region. We may see overwhelming response for iPhone at least in the first six months.

By Bryan Wang

 Comments (0)