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Spark Digital launches app marketplace for businesses

Spark Digital has launched what it says is the first fully integrated software-as-a-service marketplace in New Zealand, enabling Kiwi businesses to buy and manage a range of software using a single log-in and on one bill.

Spark Digital Apps features a – initially fairly small – range of business applications, including Microsoft Office 365, Mozy backup and McAfee security. The offering works much like a smartphone app store.

Mark Redgrave, Spark Digital’s head of marketing, says Spark Digital Apps has been developed in response to customer feedback and is an opportunity for the company to deliver more relevant, affordable services for small to medium business customers.

“We’ve reached a tipping point where the applications you need to run your business are now available on your computer, phone or tablet,” Redgrave says.

“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.”

Redgrave says the marketplace is starting with a ‘tight set of world-class apps that enable flexibility, security and mobile working’.

Users can see, assign and remove who is using what, with all of the offerings appearing on the businesses Spark Digital bill, rather than businesses having to pay each supplier separately.

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

Adam Dodds, IDC IT services research manager and cloud brokerage lead, says telecommunications  providers worldwide are building integrated cloud and network services to serve SaaS.

“New Zealand has been identified as the most mature country in the APeJ region with regards to cloud adoption.

“With over 79% of businesses now using between two and five cloud solutions, there is a strong expectation from New Zealand organisations for this type of service.”