SaaS in Europe at the tipping point

A strong line-up of European companies and findings from research to be unveiled at the upcoming OnDemand Europe conference suggests SaaS in Europe has grown more than most people think and is about to blossom.
Written by Phil Wainewright, Contributor

With just ten days to go before this year's SIIA OnDemand Europe conference opens in Amsterdam on June 9, I'm looking forward to a few surprises about the strength of SaaS in Europe [disclosure: SIIA has paid me to help develop the agenda]. There seems to be a widely held view that Europe is a laggard in SaaS adoption, and yet the line-up of speakers at the conference demonstrates there's a thriving industry in the region, with strong global and regional SaaS players from Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and elsewhere.

Research to be revealed at the conference by IDC's David Bradshaw finds that three-quarters of businesses in France and Germany are already users of SaaS (and the proportion in Spain tops 85%, although surprisingly the UK comes out lower at around two-thirds). I'm interested to see the detail behind those figures — especially as they seem to contradict some of the findings that Gartner reported back in April. But the overwhelming message I think delegates will take home with them is that the European market for SaaS has quietly reached a tipping point and is about to blossom (more SaaS in Europe coverage).

With that in mind, I want to make sure that European ISVs and SaaS start-ups get every chance to be there in Amsterdam. No other event in Europe provides the same breadth of SaaS and cloud expertise for ISVs that want to validate their SaaS strategies against the industry's emerging best practices. I've therefore persuaded the SIIA to make available a limited number of half-price registrations, exclusively for Europe-based ISVs, solution providers or SaaS start-ups with annual revenues of €10 million or less. Anyone wishing to apply should email me (pw AT pcxvs DOT com) no later than midnight Tuesday June 2nd, with a couple of sentences on why you should be in Amsterdam. I'll send out a special registration code to those selected so they can register at the reduced price on Wednesday June 3rd, which is the final day for online registration. [UPDATE added June 3rd: online registration is now extended till Friday and I have one more half-price ticket on offer - contact me as above, first come, first served].

As well as a strong indigenous flavor, we have all the big names of SaaS on the agenda. The opening keynote is by Zach Nelson, CEO of NetSuite. John Wookey from SAP is delivering his first keynote since joining SAP from Oracle, speaking about on-demand in the enterprise. Adrian Joseph, the new head of Google Enterprise EMEA, will provide a counterpoint view on the same topic. Other top names on the agenda include Steve Lucas from Salesforce.com, Werner Vogels of Amazon.com, Mani Gill from SAP BusinessObjects, Annrai O'Toole from Workday, Mikkel Asger Svane from Zendesk and others from Oracle, Progress Software and Microsoft Online Services. Our user panel includes Oracle CRM OnDemand user Kodak and 3,500-seat Google Apps user Permasteelisa from Italy.

Naturally, I'll be blogging and tweeting from the event (in between acting as conference chair) so expect a strong European flavor to my postings over the next couple of weeks. If you're registered, I look forward to seeing you there in person.

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