Seagate's backup service subsidiary i365 is to make its cloud storage service available to independent software vendors to offer as software as a service (SaaS) product. The company began offering its EVault backup and recovery software as its own SaaS offering in 2008.

The EVault Cloud-Connected Services Platform, winner of Techworld's archiving and storage product of the year last year, uses encryption, deduplication, compression, and bandwidth management to optimise the secure transmission of data over a WAN.

Theservice platform is available to ISVs through the i365 ISV Partner Programme.

"Cloud-based storage offerings are making it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to expand and manage their IT infrastructure without the added upfront investments in storage infrastructure, and human capital," said Laura DuBois, IDC's research director for storage software. "I365's EVault Cloud-Connected Services Platform will enable ISVs to offer their customers a cloud-based option without having to re-architect their applications."

The EVault platform extends the i365 cloud storage offering beyond EVault backup software and allows ISVs to use i365's SaaS infrastructure for their applications. The SaaS platform includes cloud APIs, i365's " enterprise -class" cloud storage hosted in data centres with SAS 70 Type II or ISO 9001:2000 certification, a service connector to securely transfer objects to and from the cloud, and SaaS business and support systems that ISVs can use to go to market with a SaaS offering.

I365 said its Cloud Connected Service includes SaaS business and support systems that can accommodate a variety of go-to-market strategies, including different pricing and billing models, account and contract management, and levels of customer service and support. Terry Cunningham, general manager of i365, said cloud-connected storage is a "clear must-have" in furthering cloud adoption within the small and mid-sized business market.

"It not only offers a cost effective, manageable way to better protect data from a site outage without the hassle and expense of building an offsite data center, but also facilitates quick recovery of critical data in the event of a site disaster," he said.