SaaS growth in Asia

Three months ago, I wrote about Springboard Research findings regarding the state of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) market in Australia and New Zealand. Today, I received an email from Springboard’s Bhoorender Panwar attaching a press release headed: SaaS CRM Market in Asia Estimated to Grow 68% in 2007.

Springboard estimates that the SaaS CRM market will grow at a compound annual growth rate … of 61% between 2006 and 2010. Springboard pegged the SaaS CRM market in Asia at US$69 million in 2006, and expects it to reach US$460 million by 2010.

Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, India, and China are the key SaaS CRM markets in Asia Pacific. Of these, Australia remains the top market, accounting for 35% of all SaaS CRM sales generated in the region.

While the research is focused on customer relationship management (CRM), it does have make some interesting points:

First, SaaS vendors such as which traditionally targeted the SME market are now beginning to target larger enterprises, prompting a response from traditional CRM software players such as SAP, Microsoft and Oracle. This is, of course, the same response that is being seen in the Office software market, where Google is putting tools online prompting reactions from Microsoft.

Second, “Springboard currently estimates that SaaS CRM represents the largest segment of SaaS application expenditures in Asia at 45%, followed by collaboration, ERP/PLM/SCM applications, and human resource applications.” While CRM may be the largest SaaS segment in Springboard’s research, it would be interesting to know what the breakdown was across different industry sectors or different countries. For example, is CRM still the largest segment in sectors such as engineering or construction which place an increasingly high focus on collaborative design work? Is collaboration – however those tools are defined – a bigger issue in some countries than others?

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