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Salesforce.com, considered by many as the leading software as a service (SaaS) provider, has an exchange as well for running applications -- analytics, marketing, collaboration -- on top of or alongside Salesforce.com's customer relationship management (CRM) tool.
DeCarlo expects these partnerships to continue to evolve in 2013 as customers demand services from their providers and companies realize they can better serve users through partnerships with other companies.
So should end users wait for vendors to iron out their partnership strategy before jumping into the cloud? DeCarlo says each organization is different, but generally speaking many of the partnerships being made now are about next-generation capabilities for the providers. "The fact these companies are pursuing partnerships does not indicate a problem with their service," she explains, "in many cases they're getting ahead of future customer demands. It's really a normal evolution of the market."
Read more about cloud computing in Network World's Cloud Computing section.