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Nearly thirty companies have joined forces to form a new European Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud computing services business community, called EuroCloud.

The purpose of this new group is to bring together Euro-based SaaS and cloud computing vendors, enablers, integrators and industry experts to share best practices and promote new business opportunities across the continent.

The European Launch Promoters (ELP) are: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Web Services, Cloudberry Associates, Cloudmore, Compubase, Dassault Systèmes (OTCPK:DASTY), E-Kenz, Emailvision, Esker, Huddle, INES, ipsCA, McAfee (MFE), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Mimecast, MrTed, NTRglobal, Odyssee Mobile, Oodrive, OpSource, Panda Security, Procullux Ventures, Qualys, RunMyProcess, Saas-it Consult, Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM), Servoy, STS Group, SuccessFactors (NYSE:SFSF) and Twinfield.

The group also includes the French ASP Forum, with 70 members, which has renamed itself EuroCloud France. EuroCloud also has local communities in the UK, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Spain.

The group is actively recruiting additional members in hopes of growing to twenty (20) EuroCloud regional organizations and 500 members by 2014.

The formation of this new forum is timely because it provides further proof of the growing interest and demand for SaaS and cloud computing services worldwide. It can help educate those IT and business decision-makers in Europe who are still uncertain about the benefits and threats associated with SaaS and cloud computing. These were questions which I heard throughout my recent visit to Copenhagen.

The group can also build bridges across the nationalistic boundaries of the European community which have historically precluded geographically dispersed companies from deploying solutions across their enterprises in a consistent and cost-effective fashion.

While these would be welcome first steps, an association of this nature cannot be expected to fully address these issues. Too many proprietary interests among the individual members will prevent them from collaborating entirely. Therefore, there is still room for innovative SaaS and cloud computing vendors to devise their own Pan-European service delivery strategies building on the best practices and business opportunities identified by the group.

Nonetheless, EuroCloud is a welcome addition to the SaaS and cloud computing movement.

Source: 30 Global Companies Form EuroCloud