Many companies jumped on the software as a service (SaaS) bandwagon because that cloud-delivery model gets their applications up and running fast and uniformly across geographies and business units. On the flip side, SaaS vendors have recreated the same sort of seperate data silos that plagued the client-server computing era.
That’s the problem database pioneer Roger Sippl is attacking with Connection Cloud, his startup that aims not only to free up that SaaS data using the SaaS company’s own APIs and Connection Cloud’s own connectors.
It’s not easy to get Salesforce.com (s crm) data to work with NetSuite(s n) data, for example. Connection Cloud is working on connectors for those popular applications as well as for Intacct, Facebook(s fb), Eloqua, Google(s goog) Spreadsheets, Zuora and others, to connect that data to front ends like Jaspersoft, Tableau, Yellowfin, Microsoft(s msft) Excel and Access, Zendesk scripting, Appcelerator mobile app building tools and Google Appscript. The goal is to let businesses funnel their data from SaaS repositories into their analytical tool of choice which they can use to parse it and combine with other data as needed.
The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company will soon offer its Liberator Toolkit for companies wanting to build their own connectors, and for companies that have no API currently, but want to make the data in their SaaS application available to their users via the Connection Cloud, Sippl said.
Sippl, founder and former CEO of Informix (sold to IBM(s ibm) for a billion dollars in 2001), went on to found Vantive, a CRM provider purchased by PeopleSoft(s orcl), and Visigenic, a company specializing in distributed object tecchnology bought by Borland(s borl), has credibility in the startup world.
Cloud interoperability is a big issue for business customers. As much as they want the convenience and pay-as-you-go billing afforded by SaaS providers, many do not like the idea of locking their data into one company. After all, that CRM or ERP data is more valuable to them if they can download and process it with other data using their tools of choice — preferably in real time. That’s a big problem to take on but Cloud Connection, given Sippl’s background, may have the technological chops to succeed.