Herndon, VA – SWsoft, Inc. has acquired Sphera Corporation to accelerate the delivery of software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for consumers, businesses and service providers. SWsoft will merge Sphera with its automation software business unit that already powers tens of thousands of servers for businesses and service providers worldwide.
Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Sphera provides automation, provisioning, virtualization and management software for hosting companies, telecoms and enterprises. It has been a pioneer in developing SaaS and hosting solutions since its founding in 1999 and has partnerships with IBM, Microsoft and Mitsui. Leading telecom providers such as AT&T, Japan Telecom and Telecom Italia utilize Sphera’s platform to serve 150,000 businesses and more than one million end users with hosted applications.
Industry analyst IDC predicts SaaS software revenues will reach $10.7 billion by 2009.**
“We’re building a broader solution set and customer base as a technology provider — using a standards-based approach — to enable the delivery of SaaS by application developers and service providers,” said Serguei Beloussov, CEO of SWsoft. “Through our three recent acquisitions, we estimate that we will be able to reach nearly 1.5 million additional business customers through our ISV and service provider partners.”
Under a SaaS model, software is accessed on demand and is made available to users over a network, typically the Internet, instead of as a “boxed” product. The software programs are hosted by a service provider, with benefits that include automatic updates and easier administration, global accessibility, along with compatibility since all users have the same software — not different versions.
“SWsoft and Sphera are two very important Microsoft industry partners,” said John Zanni, managing director of worldwide hosting in the communications sector at Microsoft Corp. “The combined company broadens not only the solution set, but also the customers and markets that Microsoft can reach.”
“This move is a good fit and positions SWsoft and Sphera to lead in the delivery of SaaS technology used by software developers and service providers that, in turn, can deliver software-as-a-service to their business customers,” said Melanie Posey, research director, IDC.
“With the full resources of SWsoft behind Sphera’s groundbreaking work and success in SaaS deployments, we will be able to expand more rapidly and on a greater scale,” said Michael Gold, the former CEO of Sphera, who will now lead SWsoft’s SaaS company-wide initiative as general manager.
Using Sphera’s technology, service providers and their channel partners manage a portfolio of hosted SaaS applications that are bundled and sold to businesses. Also, Sphera helps ISVs transform traditional software programs to SaaS offerings with no additional application development. With some 50 employees, Sphera is headquartered in Denver with global offices in Tel-Aviv, Israel and Tokyo, Japan.
SWsoft is a global leader in virtualization and automation software that helps consumers, businesses, and service providers optimize their use of technology. The company’s software powers more than 130,000 servers and 500,000 desktops worldwide. The SWsoft product line includes Virtuozzo – the leading operating system virtualization solution, Parallels – the leading desktop virtualization product, and Plesk – the leading server control panel. Founded in 1999, the company has offices throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information, visit www.swsoft.com.
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** IDC, Worldwide and U.S. Software as a Service 2005-2009 Forecast and Analysis: Adoption for the Alternative Delivery Model Continues, Doc #33210, March 2005
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