Software as a service, usually abbreviated to SaaS, is a way of delivering software applications via the cloud to your business, and so reducing your requirement for technology infrastructure and technical expertise. Under the SaaS model, you no longer pay for software applications before downloading them to a PC or installing them from a CD. Instead, you sign up with a software supplier who supports the SaaS model or with a specialist SaaS firm, and then get through your day-to-day work using software that is held on their servers. Most of your data, too, will be stored by the service provider. The use of their software is charged for on a subscription basis according to usage. Functionally, your experience of working with SaaS should not be much different from using conventional software installed on your own PC. But the advantages that accrue to your business include much reduced responsibility for the nuts and bolts of technology, and a completely different cost model to normal software. Prominent IT brands active in SaaS include Google (with Google Apps) and Microsoft (with Office 365), but many other applications – both well-known and niche – are also available via SaaS. One of the most famous is Salesforce.com, an example of a major software provider which delivers its CRM applications as SaaS.
Guide to Software as a Service (SaaS)
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