Monday, April 24, 2006

Software as a Service

SaaS as a software solution that is hosted and
supported by a vendor as a service, which is accessed by users via the
Internet, without the need to deploy and maintain an on-premise IT
infrastructure. Whereas some people associate SaaS with ‘pay-as-you-go’
subscription pricing, SaaS is more indicative of the hosted deployment model.
In fact, SaaS can be priced via subscription, annually or perpetually.
SaaS has generated growing industry attention and customer acceptance
because it offers a simpler method to adopt and administer essential
business software applications such as enterprise spend management, ecommerce,
workforce performance management (WPM), and customer
relationship management (CRM). It also makes it easier for end-users to
access and use these applications via the Internet.
SaaS does not require additional IT infrastructure investments in new servers
and databases to store data, or private networks to permit user access.
Instead, companies can leverage the SaaS provider’s hosting facilities and
take advantage of web-based access. The SaaS model also substantially
increases application reliability because vendors perform frequent backups
and utilize redundant hosting facilities to reduce the risk of “down-time”. By
comparison, on-premise software deployments don’t offer this safety net.
These SaaS attributes let companies focus their limited in-house IT resources
on more strategic corporate initiatives rather than reacting to daily application
availability, maintenance and support issues.

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