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Softletter, the leading source of business insights and data analysis for software developers and publishers, announced today that its groundbreaking SaaS University Conference will be held February 28-29 with optional workshops on March 1 at the Marriott Austin South Hotel in Austin, TX. The SaaS University Conference series is recognized as the most comprehensive program in the industry and as a knowledge base for successfully launching and running a Software-as-a-service firm and/or transitioning to Software-as-a-service from a licensed model. The conference also provides a much sought-after opportunity for executives in this industry to network and share ideas and experiences.

“While energizing the market, the massive Cloud 'buzz' has also led to a great deal of confusion about the role of SaaS in Cloud computing,” says Rick Chapman, managing editor of Softletter and author of the forthcoming book SaaS Entrepreneur: The Definitive Guide to Starting and Sustaining Your Cloud Applications Business. “Too often companies and people are confusing the infrastructure of hosting businesses, platform and development tools with the very different mission of providing software services on demand. At SaaS University, the total focus is on SaaS providers and how they must adjust to a rapidly changing market. When we discuss IaaS and PaaS, it's from the perspective of the SaaS firm and what choices and options are available to drive growth.”

Gartner analyst and research director Sharon Mertz will join the conference as a keynote speaker. “We continue to see strong demand for SaaS across enterprise applications as new buyers enter the markets, vendors expand their international strategies, and demand for services-based deployments continue,” states Mertz. “Expect growth of SaaS to outpace enterprise application market forecasts as more and more buyers either replace on-premises solutions or build net-new SaaS applications.” In her presentation, Mertz will address SaaS in 2012 detailing the state of the service, market impact and buyer feedback while also releasing key and up-to-date Gartner data to conference attendees.

The Austin edition of SaaS University includes 28 sessions across five tracks with six keynote speakers filling the initial two-day core conference period (February 28-29), and four optional workshops following on March 1. Keynote and special sessions will focus on addressing the needs of companies using the SaaS business model. Keynote speakers include Roger Sippl (Chairman, Elastic Intelligence), Rick Chapman (Managing Editor, Softletter), Zach Nelson (CEO, NetSuite), Patrick Fetterman (Vice President, Plex Systems), Jan Aleman (CEO, Servoy) and Sharon Mertz (Research Director, Gartner).

“SaaS is huge, and the data in SaaS is huge, much bigger than any single 'big data' project could ever be, because it is the union of all hosted data, big and small,” explains Roger Sippl, chairman of Elastic Intelligence and SaaS University keynote speaker. “SaaS University offers a great opportunity to have a quality forum where we can address the important aspects of the Cloud.” Sippl will open the Austin conference by addressing the present state of data in the Cloud and focus on how access, management, and transformation must adapt and change in the future.

“In 2008 I spoke at the first SaaS University in Atlanta and was impressed by the breadth of the program and the high quality of the content,” adds NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson. “Since that time, the program has only expanded and grown in terms of providing attendees with the most up-to-date information on key SaaS and Cloud business metrics and best practices.” Nelson will offer a keynote address in Austin detailing why the Cloud has become an unstoppable force in enterprise computing, from IT efficiency and business productivity to driving fundamental, irreversible transformations in business models.

SaaS University has developed an industry-wide reputation of providing the most comprehensive program on launching and growing a successful SaaS company, backed by operating business metrics available nowhere else. Executives should attend SaaS University Conference to understand how to manage their SaaS firm or division during the recession, hear best practices on conserving cash, and garner knowledge that will help them to determine whether launching a new SaaS system in their particular situation will help to enable them to succeed in this fast-growing and competitive market.

“Software-as-a-service continues to be the fastest-growing software business model today, and its impressive growth is continuing despite the downturn in the economy,” said Chapman. “Our 2012 SaaS Report reveals that in 2011, 85 percent of SaaS companies reported their revenues grew over the last 12 months, with 60 percent reporting 20 percent plus revenue growth and a surprising 29 percent stating they achieved growth of 100 percent plus. In terms of profitability, 62 percent of SaaS firms surveyed for the report stated they were profitable. Those numbers are a decided improvement from last year and as a result, software companies are realizing that now is the time to expand or transition to a business model that offers the prospect of company growth and the ability to extend new capabilities and benefits to customers through SaaS offerings.”

For registration and full details on the SaaS University and the Austin conference, visit www.softletter.com. Members of the media and industry analysts are invited to attend the conference and keynote presentation, and can register by contacting kimberly@netpr.net.

About Softletter:

Softletter disseminates business insights for software developers and publishers through newsletters and seminars. Its staff of industry experts keep senior level industry executives, product managers, and key industry consultants abreast of business issues and trends in software publishing via a twice-monthly industry newsletter, Softletter, that tracks new marketing and distribution tactics, company operations, finance, pricing models, product management, and emerging technologies in the desktop, enterprise, mobile and Software-as-a service (SaaS) market segments. Conferences, such as Softletter’s groundbreaking “SaaS University Series,” identify market shifts, new realities, and opportunities so that company executives can understand and profit from them. For more information about Softletter and its newsletters, conferences and other services, visit www.softletter.com.

Softletter and SaaS University are trademarks of Aegis Resources, LLC. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

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