The Asian hosted applications market also known as on demand, or software as a service- will grow to $501 million by 2008, according to a new study by Springboard Research. That s up from $80 million in 2005. That s very impressive growth, especially in light of much lower growth opportunities in a partially saturated North American marketplace. Asian companies, particularly small and medium-sized businesses SMBs-, will drive the demand for hosted applications. Demand is tied directly to savings, with Springboard Research finding that 58 percent of Asian SMBs pay between 20 and 30 percent less for hosted apps than they did for licensed versions. Not surprisingly, customer relationship management CRM- is the application most in demand. Over half of hosted deployments in Asia are within CRM, which is followed by collaboration including Web conferencing- and assorted back-office applications. As of right now, Australia is the hottest hosted market in Asia, but Springboard Research reckons that, over a longer timeframe, India and China will be larger markets. Market share in squarely in the hands of U.S. vendors, five of whom Oracle, Salesforce.com, NetSuite, RightNow, and WebEx- account for more than half of Asian hosted revenues. Still, both the market and the opportunity are young, so other vendors might consider making more of a push in this geography. Source: line56.coma>

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