Microsoft has kicked off a campaign designed to tempt independent software vendors (ISVs) to develop software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings based on Microsoft technology.
The Microsoft SaaS Incubation Center Program and the SaaS On-Ramp Program have been set up to provide ISVs with business and technical guidance, one-to-one consulting, discounted licensing for the first year and access to hosting channels.
The scheme will focus on establishing facilities, run by Microsoft partners, where ISVs are guided through a structured series of business and architectural consulting sessions to fine tune business models and applications.
Microsoft Gold Certified Partners NTT Europe Online and 7global are among the first managed hosting companies in Europe to participate in the programme and will each open incubation centres in the UK.
"Microsoft recognises that many ISVs are hindered in delivering SaaS offerings because they lack the necessary tools and resources," said Michael Korbacher, director for EMEA web and application hosting at Microsoft Communications Sector.
All SaaS Incubation Center Program partners will use Microsoft's Windows-based Hosting for Applications platform.
The Microsoft SaaS On-Ramp Program will provide discounted licensing for developers, including a Windows Server licence for up to eight CPUs and a Microsoft SQL Server licence for up to two CPUs.
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