Software as a Service (Saas), a model of delivering software applications to customers over the Internet, has today reached and inflection point and is poised for a powerful take off. By 2010, Gartner predicts around 30 percent of new License purchases (In APAC excluding Japan) will be in form of Saas, or delivered through the Saas model. In a recent survey of 1,017 technology decision – makers, Forrester found that summer camp software worldwide adoption of Saas in large enterprises is now at 16%, up to 33% from the previous year’s 12% Coming into the Picture is the enterprise resource planning (ERP) on a Saas model. It is becoming the next big thing in enterprise software and offers enterprises of all sizes a viable, scalable and flexible model that will take them to the next level in terms of technology.
Pay for what you use: Saas model offers just the “right” functionality because 80% of people don’t need 80% of the functionality is software. Secondly, with Saas, there is less of a culture of big discounts based on big upfront payments as there is in perpetual licensing, so it also is less of an incentive to buy more than you need, which then turns into shelf ware. Thirdly, the Saas provider knows how much you are using on a real-time basis. Although the charging is immediate, there is no exposure to lengthy and often painful on premise audits, which are the main mechanisms on premise vendors rely on to check compliance. Faster Implementations: One of the primary reasons for quicker implementation is because organizations do not have to concern themselves with installing underlining in-frastructure and all SaaS implementations are purely platform – independent. Configuration of application data occurs often via a browser. Simplified application integration: Built on open standards and Web services standards, inter- SaaS application integration is considerably easier than the integration of propriety applications, While on-premise to on-demand integration is still a challenge, the overall integration burden is considerably reduced through Saas.
Acquiring software has traditionally produced the requirement to acquire new infrastructure (hardware, middleware, networks and so forth) to enable it. Through a Saas model, much of this investment is unnecessary and can be eliminated.
Reduced operational management requirements: Saas can be a boon to resource-constrained companies that do not have the resources, such as database administrators,to implement an on-premise application.
The Saas model reduces the cost of upgrading from one version of the software to another considerably compared with on-premise costs. Since the model is a multi-tenant architecture, the cost of all software, in-frastructure and expertise is shared by a large number of customers.
The Saas gives the customer the freedom to easily make the switch from one solution provider to another. This freedom to easily walk away from a provider, works as a motivator to introduce better features and ensures optimum performance. Many customers would have invested a considerable amount of money in implementation,integration, customization, testing, training, maintenance and upgrades (sometimes five to seven times othe amount of money spent on licenses). Despite of the problems in the set-up, the on-premise ERP will exist as a necessary evil and the difficulty arises when the customer wants to evaluate any new vendor.
Web based applications gives the freedom to access the information from any part of the globe at the click of a bottom.
Ramco OnDemand ERP is the first ful-fledged ERP catering to the needs of growing business. A wolrd-class software, delivered as a service, it helps to streamline and integrate the business processes. As easy to use as e-mail, it requires minimal training and can be accessed from anywhere. For an affordable subscription, Ramco takes care of all the infrastructure, maintenance and support needs. Ramco OnDemand ERP is configured to meet the business requirements and typically takes less than a week to deploy. As the business grows, the solution can be scaled up to accommodate multiple locations, currencies and business units. It integrates multiple functions and systems into one solution which gives total visibility and control of operations. In the process, it helps to focus on growing business.
This piece looks at software on demand or software as a service (SAAS) option for startups and medium enterprises looking to reduce their upfront technology investments as well as technology management headaches.