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So what is SaaS?

SaaS (Software-as-a-service) is revolutionizing the world of information technology. SaaS software solutions are now replacing the traditional on-premise software installations and are widely used to serve many businesses globally. To understand SaaS, here are the answers to 10 of the most frequently asked questions on this technology:

1.What Is SaaS?

SaaS is a software module that makes it possible to access software data from any device that is connected to the internet and posses a web browser. This saves businesses the money required to install new hardware for hosting on-premise software installations. Another difference between on-premise software installations and SaaS is that the former requires a one time purchase with license of the software while the latter involves a payment method of an annual or monthly subscription.

2.How to decide whether to choose SaaS or on-premise installation?

The complexity of the business is the determinant factor for selecting SaaS or on-premise. SaaS is usually recommended for small to moderate businesses. This is because the SaaS solutions are cost effective and require a much lower initial investment than on-premise installations.

3. Is SaaS a new technology? How successful is it?

While the idea existed around the 1960’s, SaaS evolved primarily during the 1990’s with the development of the web based technology required to support it during this time. Gradually, SaaS companies were set up and presently there are multiple major companies globally like Phoenix Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), that are providing this service and have a stable and fast growing customer base.

4. Who is the owner of the data?

This is a highly sensitive issue that needs to be carefully negotiated through a service level agreement. Usually, most SaaS contracts allow you to own the data and access the data in circumstances where the vendors goes out of business.

5. What will happen if vendor leaves business?

This is a big concern for the potential customers of SaaS but usually is not too much of a problem. This is because most vendors of SaaS prepay a sum to their data center hosting companies to continue to provide service to their customers even when the vendors leave the scene.

6. What are the limitations of SaaS?

A bad internet connection spells bad news to the customers of SaaS. However, even though on-premise softwares do not depend on internet supply, they are subject to inefficiencies due to power failure or hardware breakdown. So, none of the systems are completely foolproof and only safety measures can be adopted for a smooth running of the systems.

7. Is data safe in SaaS systems?

This is one very important question which most potential customers of this technology ask. Today, SaaS is adopted by many companies around the world for their banking and payroll systems and there seems to be scope for little complaint anywhere. Also, it is important to consider that SaaS vendors like Phoenix Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) are definitely in a better position to invest in security and backup systems than most small to medium scale businesses.

8. Can SaaS be customized? Initially, SaaS customers had to be satisfied with a uniform software for their business. However, with growing knowledge and experience, today there is a large base of consultants who are tweaking the SaaS systems to customize the software according to the unique and specific needs of individual organizations.

9. What is cloud computing? How is it different from SaaS?

Cloud computing refers to a collection of infrastructure including computers, databases and servers that delivers the software service to various customers. SaaS refers to the delivery of the business software applications through cloud computing.

10. What’s a private Cloud?

In a private cloud system, businesses, instead of sharing a cloud computing system with the public, shares it with its own members only. This is however, a more expensive option.

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