What Does SaaS Stand For?
Most people have seen the abbreviation “SaaS” when looking at information regarding services that they can utilize online and it’s a simple concept to understand. Simply put, SaaS stands for “software as a service” and it refers to software that comes from the cloud instead of a physical software package that you download onto your computer. This saves your business a lot of time, money, and space and it makes accessing a variety of documents and services a whole lot easier on everyone.
With SaaS, you access the software via an Internet browser and it can consist of any type of software, from basic office software to many different business apps and even unified communications software. As with other business services, utilizing SaaS software has its advantages and disadvantages, which will be discussed in a bit.
SaaS is also different from hosting services. With hosting, the services are usually owned by an individual or company whereas SaaS apps are usually multi-tenant. Furthermore, since SaaS is mostly web-based, the solutions are usually sold on a rental model. In other words, you’ll pay X amount of money per month and X amount per user. The cost setup for hosting is quite different.
What Is The SaaS Business Model?
The SaaS business model is one that relies on SaaS that operates in the cloud. The businesses that adhere to this model normally pay a monthly fee in order to access the software. To utilize this business model, you have to have knowledge of coding and user interface design skills as well as others.
When it comes to business models that businesses abide by, the SaaS model is definitely one of the most complex models in use today. There is also a difference between this business model and a software company, with the main difference being that SaaS is an “in the cloud” service. Because of this, you don’t need an end user license to access the software or infrastructure to host the software.
With the SaaS model, the SaaS business hosts their membership and therefore the customer only has to log onto their account in order to get full access to the software.
Benefits Of SaaS
As mentioned earlier, using SaaS has its share of pros and cons. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that they are more easily accessible, more compatible, and have better operational management. Another advantage is the up-front cost of installing and downloading the software, which is typically much lower than the traditional methods.
The low cost is also a reason why SaaS applications are easily available to small businesses with small budgets, even though they are good for a variety of business sizes and types. This gives even the smallest of businesses a fighting chance to compete with the “big guys.”
Of course, if you’re researching SaaS as a possible choice for your business, you also have to consider the disadvantages. For one thing, they absolutely require you to have an Internet connection in order to run. This means if you’ve opted not to have Internet services for your business, you’ll have to rethink that decision.
There are two easy solutions to this disadvantage, however. First, between high-speed phone networks and broadband deals, it is easier than ever for your business to set up an Internet connection. And second, some SaaS applications are now offering offline modes that provide you with at least the basic functions.
Software As A Service (SaaS) Examples
If you think that SaaS applications are few and far between, think again. In fact, some of these applications are more familiar than you think. Here are a few of the top SaaS products:
This is an expansion of the Microsoft applications such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. This SaaS offers the ability to edit, create, and share content from any device including Mac, PC, iOS, Windows, and Android. With this product, you can connect with customers and colleagues in real time, among other very valuable services.
The productivity tools offered by Google include customized professional email, video meetings, and shared calendars as well as Google Drive, a cloud-based document storage service that can hold tons of documents for you. Staffers also get access to files from any device without the hassles of getting them through an email attachment.
All businesses have important documents and paperwork that need to be signed, and what better way than to sign them electronically? It’s much less expensive and a whole lot faster to pass these documents back and forth electronically, sign them, then send them on the way to their next destination.
With Dropbox, you can access documents on any of your devices including your smartphone, computer, or tablet. You can start working on a document at work, make edits on your cell phone, and finish it up once you get home. There doesn’t have to be any more sending the documents to yourself so you can open them that way — just use Dropbox and access all of them any time that you like.
If you’re in sales, you’re likely already familiar with this program. You can get help with generating leads, researching prospects, and getting information on existing customers all with their CRM tools that allow you to access any of the information you need at any time and on any of your devices.
Now that you’ve answered the question of what does SaaS stand for and learned some information on this extremely valuable service, it’s easy for you to understand why SaaS applications are so popular. They save businesses both time and money and bring you into the 21st century so that you can enjoy super-advanced technology at your fingertips.
SaaS applications also save you a lot of physical space because you won’t need any room for boxes of software programs. And since everything is done in the cloud, you also won’t need a lot of memory or room on your hard drive because accessing the information you need is a piece of cake.