27 May 2015

Spark Digital launches first fully integrated app marketplace for business

From today New Zealand businesses will have an easy way to find, buy, manage and use business applications with Spark Digital Apps. The first fully integrated Software-as-a Service (SaaS) marketplace in New Zealand, Spark Digital Apps allows businesses to buy and manage a range of software from leading software providers, all using a single log-in and on one bill.                                                               

While consumers have embraced the use of apps, it’s taken longer for businesses to be able to easily access and manage the software they need in one place. Spark Digital Apps works like a smartphone app store where business will buy and manage products from well-known brands. Spark Digital aims to provide a customer experience which is simple and frictionless by embracing new agile delivery models and increasingly using digital technology.

SaaS offers several benefits over traditional on-premise software.  Delivered online, it is easier to install and manage, and does not require highly technical IT skills.  SaaS is experiencing unprecedented growth in New Zealand - Research Company Gartner says that by 2018 SaaS will be the dominant way of using application software. As much as 80 percent of organisations will use SaaS, and it will account for 25 percent of IT spending on software*.

Adam Dodds – IDC IT Services Research Manager and IDC Cloud Brokerage lead says Telecommunication providers worldwide like Spark are building integrated cloud and network services to serve SaaS.

“Telecommunications providers have recognised the value of supporting organisations on their cloud journey through providing digital application marketplaces”, he says.

Dodds adds: “New Zealand has been identified as the most mature country in the APeJ region (IDC APeJ Cloud Maturity 2014) with regards to Cloud adoption.  With over 79%** of businesses now using between 2 – 5 cloud solutions there is a strong expectation from New Zealand organisations for this type of service.”

Spark Digital’s Head of Marketing Mark Redgrave says that Spark Digital Apps has been developed in direct response to customer feedback.  He says it is an opportunity for the company to deliver more relevant, affordable services for small to medium business customers. 

“This is such an exciting time for business. We’ve reached a tipping point where the applications you need to run your business are now available on your computer, phone or tablet. We want to help our customers to work smarter, from anywhere so that they can maximise their productivity and improve how they work with their own customers.

“We’re starting with a tight set of world-class apps that enable flexibility, security and mobile working. Businesses will be able to log in with a single password for business applications like Microsoft Office 365, Mozy backup and McAfee security. They can see, assign and remove who is using what.  Spark Digital Apps will eliminate the drama of having to pay each supplier separately by having them all appear on their Spark Digital bill.

“This is the first fully integrated SaaS marketplace in New Zealand, and reinforces our focus on enabling more businesses to unleash their digital potential.”

Spark Digital has partnered with Silicon Valley based AppDirect to build the app marketplace.  AppDirect is a leader in cloud service commerce providing end-to-end solutions for some of the world’s largest brands.

Spark Digital Apps is available from today.  See apps.sparkdigital.co.nz for more information.

*Source Gartner Public Cloud Services 2014 update

** Source IDC APeJ Cloud survey (NZ = 250)

About Spark Digital

Spark Digital is a proud member of the Spark New Zealand family. Our solutions for business, enterprise and government customers help them to meet the demands of increasingly connected customers. Spark Digital’s core services include cloud, collaboration, managed services, mobility, network, and security. www.sparkdigital.co.nz

About AppDirect

AppDirect is the cloud service commerce leader making software and products accessible globally. The AppDirect cloud service commerce platform unites providers, developers and consumers of cloud services into a single ecosystem. This makes it easy for businesses to find, buy, manage and monitor cloud services from a central location and delivers new opportunities to distribute, sell, and market cloud services. AppDirect-powered marketplaces, billing and distribution, and reselling services help providers – including Telstra, ADP, Samsung, Deutsche Telekom and others – connect millions of businesses to solutions from Microsoft, Google, Box and more. AppDirect is headquartered in San Francisco with global offices. Learn more at www.AppDirect.com