"One of the misconceptions about software-as-a-service (SaaS) is that it’s all about software. Granted, on-demand online applications are the foundation of SaaS, but not all software is delivered equally.
A new generation of SaaS vendors has emerged, and its mission is much more ambitious than simply delivering software over the Internet. Instead, next-generation SaaS vendors seek to leverage their large customer base to create virtual global enterprises, making the efficiencies of scale available to their entire customer base.
The goal is to create an application ecosphere, one that links business applications with business processes. These business-automation SaaS providers offer more than software: They give startup, small and other businesses a set of automated processes that fundamentally change how common business problems are tackled."