SaaS (Software as a Service) for SMBs

Favad Qaisar 13 March 2012 1




SMBs stands for small and medium sized businesses, today’s economic crisis makes it imperative that organizations of all sizes find new ways to perform their operations in a more cost-effective fashion. This is particularly true for small- and mid-size businesses (SMBs) which often operate with thinner margins than their larger enterprise counterparts. A new generation of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions can help SMBs reduce their operating costs and improve the effectiveness of their operations. As it is fairly obvious from the name, while using SaaS, the vendor is responsible for operating the infrastructure that supports the application, SMBs no longer have to pay for the servers, ancillary software, third-party consultants or in-house support staff to keep it up and running.
SMBs have always been at a disadvantage when it comes to leveraging the latest technology innovations. This is because most new, and even many mainstream, hardware systems and software solutions come with a steep price tag, and require sophisticated technical skills to fully deploy and utilize them. Most SMBs don’t even need that complex systems but since there wasn’t no middle grounds in the past, SaaS has made their lives easier and has opened a whole new dimension of software options that previously wasn’t in their budget!
What makes SaaS especially appealing to SMBs is that it enables them to save money in multiple ways. First, many SaaS solutions offer free 30-day trials which permit SMBs to get a feel for the software capabilities before they buy. This mitigates the risk of wasting money on software which won’t be used. Although this feature is provided by other software vendors too, the best part is SaaS’s pay-as-you-go subscription pricing model which permits users to pay for software incrementally, based on actual usage levels. This represents a cost savings over having to pay upfront for a perpetual software license that may not be utilized right away because of long deployment cycles or slow user adoption.
SMBs can also save money on infrastructure, space on logistics and most importantly of all hardware management staff. Some SMBs may also choose to reduce their staffing costs, while many others will be happy to redirect their limited staff to more important strategic initiatives rather than have them spend the majority of their time on operational issues that are now the responsibility of the SaaS vendor.
Apart from all the positive aspects of SaaS, there are still a few questions that need to be answered. It’s important to realize that nothing is ever as easy as it seems. There are thousands of SaaS applications on the market today. Which ones have the right features for your business? Which ones have the security and scalability you need? How do you get started and what support should you expect? How do you pull all these solutions together, with your existing applications and make sure they support your business? These are important questions that growing companies typically have little time to consider, particularly with limited IT resources.
 
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Favad Qaisar (51 Posts)

I am a Unified Communications Engineer. Over the last 3 years, I have been working dedicatedly on OCS/LYNC and Exchange 2007/2010. I was responsible for getting my Company Microsoft’s Unified Communication Voice Certified Partner status. Occasionally, I like to share my experiences on the latest developments in the Unified Communications industry.

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