"With the shift to the SaaS model, the connection between your customer's success and your success is much more direct and felt more quickly. Smart companies have realized that customer loyalty is the most powerful sales and marketing tool that they have."
Bill Price President at Driva Solutions.
SaaS has become a shining example of how customer success affects service provider prosperity. Following Statista, as of 2020, the total SaaS market value is $ 101.5 bln. This amount is predicted to increase up to $ 138 bln by 2022.
As these solutions' popularity grows, people come across the SaaS acronym on the web more often. It's time to figure out what it means and why SaaS products are among the most convenient ones for the business.
What is SaaS?
Let's start at the end. SaaS or Software as a Service is software rented from a vendor. The supplier develops a solution for many customers and sells the usage for a fixed fee, depending on specific parameters. Talking about B2B products, it can be the number of registered employees or the volume of used features, etc.
SaaS solutions are a response to users' issues with equipment and software. When buying a custom product, the company must be ready to support it. It's always extra payments and human resources. Not every enterprise can afford it. Besides, installing a program on hardware is a separate problem that also significantly complicates business operating. Software as a Service model means that SaaS buyers just use the software via browsers, while a supplier fully supports a digital product.
SaaS vs. PaaS vs. Iaas: What's The Difference
As seen, Software as a Service (SaaS) is a program used by a company on a subscription base and managed by a vendor. But that is not all.
The business also uses Platform as a Service (PaaS) - cloud environment for creating apps and their further support. For instance, SilverCloud PaaS. It enables the application designing for bank customers and employees. Due to this product, the first ones receive high-quality round-the-clock support and a positive user experience from working with the bank's digital products. For staff, SilverCloud-based solutions simplify the data search & tracking and optimize internal processes. The solution is used by the Bank of OAK RIDGE, Harborstone Credit Union, Visions Federal Credit Union, etc.
Another related cloud service is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Here the company leases a whole digital infrastructure (servers, network resources, etc.) for organizing business activities, creating applications, data storing, etc. Some of the best IaaS in the world are MS Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Infrastructure, IBM Cloud, and so on.
How Does SaaS Work?
The Software as a Service model works as follows. The company buys the right to use the program for a limited (subscription) period. Often SaaS solutions are web-based, so a user just needs to open a browser and search for the program he needs to log in and get started. The supplier's server storage is used for keeping all the data the user wants to save. The vendor updates its components itself. The frequency is different and depends on the product's nature.
To answer the question "What does SaaS mean for business?" it is worth considering its following advantages:
Rationality. The company doesn't need to spend resources on the development from scratch, app deployment, and further support. SaaS optimizes the employees' work and makes the investment efficient. With such an approach, the customer doesn't have to do anything other than buying a subscription.
Speed. A company can start using the SaaS product in a matter of hours, while a custom solution design takes time.
Scalability. The SaaS product serves thousands of requests every day, which makes it a robust high-scalable system capable of handling large amounts of data at the same time.
Partially customized approach. Yes, the vendor cannot consider all user needs, but it can set several parameters available for customization. Thus, the company-subscriber can transform a product without working with the code.
Data safety. Software as a Service relieves the company from the risks of storing data on devices. All information in the SaaS application is stored in the Cloud.
Access from anywhere. Due to the above Cloud technologies, users are not tied to work with a specific gadget and can use any device connected to the Internet to work in the system.
Platform independence. Since we are talking about web development, SaaS applications work equally well on any device no matter which operating system was installed.
Diversity. The SaaS market is vast and progressive. Companies can find a Software as a Service solution for almost any corporate issue. The largest SaaS vendors are Dropbox, Google, IBM, Intuit, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, etc. They are reliable. But startups are more progressive from the view of innovations.
How It Looks: A Few Examples Of SaaS Software
Where and how to use SaaS? What for these solutions are? - As seen, for any procedure requiring optimization. Almost everyone is familiar with products like Zoom, Gmail, Shopify, and so on. But let's consider the embodiments of new ideas that are already actively working for the Retail, Banking, and Telecom industries convenience.
Brightpearl is a UK startup that has raised over $ 54 mln in venture funding. The solution provides an omnichannel approach to the traders' customers. It performs order and inventory management, accounting, optimizes the back-office activities, and so on. The product allows businesses to grow due to a high level of scalability.
Vue.ai is software for all kinds of retailers. It helps to create a personalized customer experience through video, image recognition, and data analytics technologies. The company already works with Valentino, Diesel, and other well-known retailers in the fashion, grocery, electronics, and beauty industries.
Way 4 is a solution designed for banks and other financial organizations. It simplifies internal banking procedures such as account management, card issuance and provides a multi-channel approach to customers. The product is used by Raiffeisen Bank International, Equity Bank of Kenya, Bank Rakyat Indonesia, etc.
PortaBilling is a SaaS suitable for telecom companies of all sizes. It enables the deployment of billing platforms in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure in a matter of hours. This platform integrates seamlessly with other BSS components of the company. The solution is updated every seven weeks.
CallStats is software that enables telco contact centers to operate efficiently. It monitors audio, video quality during calls and network reliability. The system indicates issues, transmits data about their existence and methods of elimination in real-time.
SaaS solutions are diverse and can optimize the company's operation. Now there are SaaS products for SaaS providers exist. For instance, Chargebee that helps B2B SaaS with their subscription, billing, and revenue operations management. It seems that the Software as a Service model is convenient for business, and companies actively use solutions based on it.
Saas Industry Trends in 2020 And Predictions For The Future
Areas of Usage. Following the Netskope Cloud Report, in 2019, the companies' marketing departments used SaaS applications more often than other ones. This trend is relevant in 2020, along with the active Software as a Service usage to manage order and delivery procedures, human resources activity, optimization of internal procedures, etc. Most likely, next year, businesses will also actively use SaaS for these purposes.
Revenue. Under the Gartner forecast, SaaS market revenue will be about $120 mln in 2021 and over $140 mln in 2022. This exceeds the estimated revenue from the sale of PaaS and IaaS solutions that will increase up to $72 mln and $81 mln, respectively.
Thus, SaaS products are one of the most convenient ways to get the desired software with minimal user effort and investment. That's why they are and will be popular and widespread in most business industries.