Below is a short excerpt from my book The SaaS Edge (published by Tata McGraw-Hill, India).
It explains software-as-a-service, commonly known as SaaS, and how companies can gain competitive advantage using online tools for marketing, building a brand and running their day-to-day business. Shaw runs a hypothetical company that is ready to take the SaaS plunge. At this point Shaw and his team are slowly falling in love with SaaS and are learning how online software can help their business even during a recession…
“What do you think of when the recession looms over you? Automatically, we start thinking of lowering costs first. With SaaS, you get access to powerful features, can get started immediately, pay a small monthly subscription fee, and you don’t need to invest in expensive hardware. Seems like Utopia!
So, then when you are looking to slash costs, why would you buy software, servers, and spend money setting them up?
Shaw did not have an answer for that yet. I continued.
SaaS is almost like a panacea in bad times. Why not take a look at your systems and IT infrastructure and see what can be offloaded to a SaaS vendor? This will not only reduce your in-house costs of maintaining the application but will also free up time from your team to work on issues that will actually bring in business.
Photo: Tata McGraw Hill Education Private Limited
Tulip Telecom, a local data telecom provider, opted for using a SaaS-based CRM solution to help them keep a constant check on their costs. As did South Yorkshire Housing Association (SYHA), a non-profit organisation that provides local families and individuals with affordable housing, to keep costs and in-house efforts low. Today, they spend their time on strategic issues that lie within their core business rather than troubleshooting internal email systems, which in a period where resources are scarce and work is more can be a huge boon!
Shaw’s face glowed in the dimly lit coffee shop. He had, by this time, fallen in love with SaaS and what it could do for his business. Now, they wouldn’t need to install any software, worry about networking equipment, and upgrading the software. Plus, there are so many different SaaS services out there that they would have fun trying to try out most of them and see which ones fit their growing company. He knew that in order for his small business to compete with the big guys, he needed good systems in place that his team could leverage. They needed to be at the forefront of technology and use it to their advantage – and not necessarily own it. Before we parted, he had a question.
“So, does that mean that the non-SaaS software that people are using right now will become obsolete? What will happen to companies like Microsoft that made their fortunes selling software on CDs?”
A lot of traditional software companies are grappling with this currently. Either they adapt to the web-based model or become obsolete. When the Facebook generation of users come to the enterprise, they would want a browser and an Internet connection. I don’t think they would be waiting around for software to download, install, and configure. “Look around Shaw, don’t you think everything is moving to the Web?”
Get updates on the book at www.facebook.com/thesaasedge or connect with the author, Sahil Parikh, on Twitter @sahilparikh
Reprinted by permission of Tata McGraw Hill Education Private Limited. Excerpted from 9780070680746: PARIKH: THE SAAS EDGE; Rs. 425.00. Copyright © 2011, by Tata McGraw Hill Education Private Limited. All Rights Reserved.”