SaaS Popular Business Applications
Software as a service (SaaS) is a software delivery model in which software and its associated data are hosted centrally and are typically accessed by users using a thin client, normally using a web browser over the Internet. Software as a Service is often used in the context of business applications, and in some cases even more narrowly as software in a category which has on-premises software.
SaaS has become a common delivery model for most business applications, including accounting, collaboration, customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, invoicing, human resource management, content management and service desk management. By now, SaaS has been incorporated into the strategy of all leading enterprise software companies.
Unlike traditional software, conventionally sold as a perpetual license with an associated up-front fee, SaaS providers generally price applications using a subscription fee, most commonly a monthly fee or an annual fee. Consequently, the initial setup cost for SaaS is typically lower than the equivalent enterprise software.
SaaS vendors typically price their applications based on some usage parameters, such as the number of users using the application. However, because in a SaaS environment customers’ data resides with the SaaS vendor, opportunities also exist to charge per transaction, event, or other unit of value.
The relatively low cost for user provisioning in a multi-tenant environment enables some SaaS vendors to offer applications using the freemium model. In this model, a free service is made available with limited functionality or scope, and fees are charged for enhanced functionality or larger scope. Some other SaaS applications are completely free to users, with revenue being derived from alternate sources such as advertising.
A key driver of SaaS growth is SaaS vendors’ ability to provide a price that is competitive with on-premises software. This is consistent with the traditional rationale for outsourcing IT systems, which involves applying economies of scale to application operation, i.e., an outside service provider may be able offer better, cheaper, more reliable applications.
The vast majority of SaaS solutions is based on a multi-tenant architecture. With this model, a single version of the application, with a single configuration (hardware, network, operating system), is used for all customers.
To support scalability, the application is installed on multiple machines. In some cases, a second version of the application is set up to offer a select group of customers with access to pre-release versions of the applications for testing purposes. This is contrasted with traditional software, where multiple physical copies of the software – each potentially of a different version, with a potentially different configuration, and oftentimes customized – are installed across the various customer sites.
While an exception rather the norm, some SaaS solutions do not use multi-tenancy, or use other mechanisms – such as virtualization – to cost-effectively manage a large number of customers in place of multi-tenancy. Whether multi-tenancy is a necessary component for software-as-a-service is a topic of controversy.
SaaS Key Benefits
- SaaS business management software gives managers and employees worldwide the functionality, information and tools they need to manage their entire business better and streamline operations.
- SaaS business software is cloud-based, business management software with a 99.5% uptime guarantee. This gives you greater reliability while eliminating the need for on-site hardware and software.
- SaaS business management software gives you real-time business intelligence for any and every aspect of your organization from anywhere at any time. All without employing an army of consultants.
- SaaS business software offers portals that allow your customers, partners and vendors to collaborate with you. Allowing you to get closer to your customers and partners, move quickly and seize opportunities.
Top 5 Most Popular SaaS Providers
1. NetSuite Top 25 for 9 Months
NetSuite is the first and only company to give growing and midsize businesses on demand Web-based business applications to run their entire company. With thousands of customers globally, NetSuite has earned numerous awards for market leadership and innovation from such leading publications as eWeek, CRM Magazine, InfoWorld, PC Magazine, and The CPA Technology Advisor among others.
2. Webforum Europe Top 25 for 2 Months
Webforum Europe is an on-line service provider based in Stockholm, Sweden with clients all around the world. Focus is on on-line collaboration including tools to build intranets, extranets and project portals. The service is available in English, German, Swedish, Finnish, Danish and Russian.
3. Smartsheet Top 25 for 3 Months
Smartsheet.com is a privately held Software as a Service (SaaS) company serving hundreds of thousands of users in more than forty countries. Known for its award winning online project management, collaboration, and file sharing features, it is used broadly to track and manage diverse types of work including: team projects and task lists, customer information, sales pipelines, event schedules, and business processes.
4. Bridgeline Digi Top 25 for 4 Months
Bridgeline is a developer of leading edge web application management software and award winning interactive technology solutions that help organizations optimize business processes.
5. CreditPoint Software Top 25 for 4 Months
CreditPoint Software – a leading provider of commerical credit risk management software. Available in two options to meet your specific financial needs, CreditPoint is designed to get you up and running quickly – enabling you to see immediate benefits and obtain the highest return on your investment (ROI). CreditPoint’s pain-free implementation allows you install the software on your network behind your firewall to be accessed anywhere within your organization.
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