You have probably already heard about it, SaaS solutions, which appeared in the early 2000s, are becoming more and more popular on the BtoB software market. Digiforma for example works this way!
But what is a Software as a Service and what are the main differences between this technology and traditional software?
What is a SaaS?
SaaS solutions allow their users (mainly companies) to benefit from the software via a subscription. They no longer need to purchase the software and install it on their computer hardware (as they would have to do with so-called "on-premise" software), all they need is an Internet connection, a login and a password to access it.
Indeed, the Software as a service is hosted on a server made available by a provider, it can be free and generally, its cost depends on the use that the customers of this provider make of it.
Some Saas have for example a free base and offer the possibility to use more advanced features or to increase the scalability of the data.
Sometimes called "Web-based software", "on-demand software" or "Hosted Software", the Saas allows the user to free himself from many responsibilities (updates are at the charge of the provider and included in the subscription, data security also ...)
What are the advantages and disadvantages of Software as a Service?
Let's first look at the advantages of SaaS software compared to On-Premise software
- Does not require the purchase of a license or the installation of the product on the company's computer equipment, which saves time and reduces initial costs.
- Allows for easier adaptation to multi-user teams since data is stored on the Internet and updates automatically for everyone.
- Easier updates included in the subscription (there is no need to buy the latest version of the product, the SaaS software is automatically updated by the service provider, this also allows him to make small regular improvements which is not possible for an on-premise software)
- It can be used from any device and any place as long as you have an Internet connection and access identifiers.
- Greater adaptability to the evolution of the company's needs in terms of functionalities, data hosting or number of users. The price is proportional to the use, which sometimes allows savings compared to a more standard software.
We have covered the advantages, now let's see the disadvantages of this type of software.
- A certain dependence on the Software as a Service provider: Indeed, it is the company that provides the software that is responsible for the updates, the data security and the proposed price. It is therefore necessary to find out about its reliability. At Digiforma, we make it easy for you to terminate your contract so that this is not a problem!
- The need to have access to the Internet to work. Indeed, unless you have access to an offline mode, in case of Internet cut, you will not be able to use the software.
- Changing software is sometimes complicated depending on how easy it is to retrieve your data or unsubscribe. At Digiforma, we understand this inconvenience, so most data is easy to export from the software.
If you want to equip yourself with a software, it is up to you to see what your main criteria are! This will allow you to calmly choose the solution that suits you best by weighing the pros and cons in all conscience!
Known examples of Software as a service
Now that you know more about Software as a Service, let's see some concrete examples of these technologies that you may be using without even knowing that they are SaaS software!
- Salesforce One of the most popular CRMs is SaaS-based and cloud-based.
- Slack You may use it to communicate with your employees.
- Canva This easy-to-use software, which is partly available free of charge directly on the Internet, allows you to create a variety of designs!
- And of course Digiforma which, thanks to the Saas mode, can be updated regularly and offer you a service that is always better adapted to your needs and to the evolution of the market and of professional training!
Thanks to its SaaS quality, Digiforma can be updated on a weekly basis. Thus, small improvements are made on the software every week and bugs are quickly corrected as soon as they are detected. This allows the software to adapt to changes in legislation and according to the needs and requests of customers.
Thus, each proposal sent by our users is listed by our customer relations managers, sorted according to its feasibility, its importance and its ease of development and, according to these criteria, implemented in the software.
Larger updates are also implemented from time to time to make major changes to the software.
Thus, Digiforma evolves rapidly and adapts to the needs of the professional training actors while remaining in constant improvement to provide you with the best possible services! [JA1]
My experience with Software as a service
On my side, I was able to experience both sides of Saas, as a customer (especially on Canva) and as a Customer Success Manager for Digiforma.
My client experience:
To begin with, I really appreciate the ease of implementation: There is nothing to download, nothing to install on the computer, everything is already accessible via a web page. I should add that in my experience, most SaaS software has a free part that allows you to get a feel for the software and understand how it works before you sign up. So, if you decide that the software is not suitable for the use you want to make of it, you are often aware of this before you have even paid anything, which is more difficult for an On premise software.
My Customer Success experience:
Regarding my experience at Digiforma, the biggest difference is the regular updates. It is essential to stay informed of every change in the software to be able to help and accompany customers on these changes and know the implications of each new feature.
On the other hand, contrary to the customer support on classical software, at Digiforma, we take into account the customer's requests in our weekly updates. We can therefore accompany the customer knowing that the most frequent needs that we cannot answer for the moment will soon find a satisfactory answer. This saves us from having to give categorical answers to our customers.
I hope to have answered all your questions about Software as a service!
*On premise: software that must be installed on the company's servers