SaaS, or software as a service, is a cloud-based software delivery system that has become the norm for nearly every software publisher, and it is here to stay. It allows users to remotely access software that's owned by a particular vendor, who rents the application out to the user via a network. Rather than buying and owning the software, the user is able to rent it for a certain length of time and pay by user license or suite of modules, typically in annual contracts. Software vendors saw a huge opportunity here with our aging software and servers, and, of course, monthly recurring revenue was probably a huge driver as well.
The good news is that if you haven’t made the change to a modern ERP solution, now is the perfect time. Software vendors like Microsoft built a huge infrastructure for its software customers, which takes care of your backup, load balancing, and database software. Acumatica uses Amazon Web Services, which comes in first, with Microsoft coming in second in the hosting provider best of the best ranking. Many software vendors are not even offering the purchase of on-premise software anymore with its annual maintenance plan and customers staying on version 2009 forever. Software functionality has come a long way in 13 years. It's time to get modern.
Benefits of Going to a Modern SaaS ERP
There are many benefits to using SaaS technology in a business setting. Here are some of the main advantages:
1. Save Money
Using SaaS can allow a business to save money. The software infrastructure needed is replicated across many companies, which means your business doesn’t have to pay for an installation to anyone else. In many cases, when IT professionals install software, there are problems, especially if the hardware and network are not up to par. SaaS customers pay far less than if they had to buy software themselves, install it, and pay for hardware and licensing fees. Any maintenance costs are likewise shared by multiple users and the vendor. Ultimately, many companies who use SaaS are able to access more expensive and sophisticated software than if they were purchasing it on their own. Of course, beware of software vendors that put your software on a shared instance with other companies. Also, be sure you can easily take your data with you if you decide to part ways.
2. Get to Your Return on Investment Faster
SaaS saves companies time because they don't have to worry about installing, configuring, or troubleshooting the software. That's already been done by the vendor, so the user just needs to log in, and the software is ready for use almost immediately. It also cuts down on any time that would otherwise be spent on maintenance or upgrades, since SaaS users aren't responsible for those. In addition, because SaaS apps are designed to be user-friendly, this often saves time on the training and learning of the program. Two of the main players in getting faster ROI (return on investment) are Dynamics 365 and Acumatica. Either can be installed on-premise too, but they have both been rated leaders in ease of use for 6 years.
3. Speed and Flexibility
The use of SaaS provides considerable flexibility and keeps your ERP running fast! Software vendors like Microsoft automatically configure their SaaS environments based on usage to ensure the optimal performance for customers. Depending on the SaaS license, users can change the plan and usage as their needs change. This could mean adding seasonal employees or reducing user counts as needed. Many solutions like Acumatica Cloud ERP make it super easy to add-on additional modules as companies' business requirements change.
Users can easily access their SaaS from anywhere there is Internet access and from any device. There's no need for any complicated software installations, and it's not necessary to access a virtual private network (VPN). This feature is especially convenient for companies that have multiple offices using the same software or those that employ remote workers.
5. Choosing When to Upgrade
Regardless of the software solution you are running, you do not want someone telling you when you have to upgrade. And regardless of what a software salesperson tells you about automatic upgrades, it is always best practice to test a software upgrade before moving it to production. What SaaS does is help alleviate this process by keeping most custom code outside the core vendor code. This approach ensures development is done outside the SaaS codeset. The custom work still appears seamless to the end-user. Three software vendors that we develop custom software for are:
- Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations
- Dynamics 365 Business Central
- Acumatica Cloud ERP
Always ask your SaaS vendor about sandboxes for testing their release software and ask how often you must do an upgrade. In all SaaS software cases it's not a matter of if you will need to upgrade, it's when. Having options on when you have to upgrade is better than being told you have to do it on a certain date that might not be compatible with your company's busy schedule.
If you are not worried about upgrades affecting your daily processing, then by all means you can opt for automatic upgrades with some vendors. Otherwise, you choose when to push the button!
Overall, SaaS provides access to business software that is flexible, mobile, versatile, and compatible. Using it can help businesses avoid the extra money and labor involved in purchasing and maintaining software themselves. For more information, or to take advantage of the services that Clients First Business Solutions (CFBS) has to offer, call 877-807-0086 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.