Frequently Asked Questions about SaaS and PaaS

What is SaaS?

SaaS is a cloud-based software solution in which software providers deliver applications to users over the internet. SaaS companies provide access to their software most commonly via a website or apps.
The acronym SaaS stands for “software as a service.”  
In the past, when you’ve acquired software, it’s traditionally been purchased and permanently installed as a standalone application on your computer or server. With the software as a service (SaaS) model, the application or data is provided to you on a subscription basis.
SaaS in cloud computing provides you with the ability to use applications without having to manage the physical servers or the software. You access the application with a web browser, and your service provider maintains all of the software, server, and security of your application.
A SaaS company is a company that hosts an application and makes it available to their clients via the internet. All the software and systems reside in the SaaS company’s infrastructure; you use the software remotely.
The SaaS sales model leverages an online sales application to allow your business development staff, customer service team, account representatives, and salespeople to access and manage their opportunities, leads, contacts, and pipeline, wherever they may be.
SaaS software is an application delivery model that typically allows people to use an application with no need to install or manage it on their computing device. Most commonly, people use the application in a web browser, or similar thin client.  

Traditional software is normally acquired and installed on your computer or server. This software requires various degrees of maintenance and infrastructure. That may include weekly monitoring of minor patches so that the software is kept bug free, security protocols, networking management and optimization, and server maintenance, as well as ensuring the compute levels of each computer, and possibly a server, are resource laden enough to handle all of the compute requirements of the application.  As the computer ages or as the application matures, there may be major version updates that require a new purchase of the application to keep using it, too.

SaaS puts all these resource and maintenance responsibilities on the SaaS provider. The licensing method is typically in a subscription model, which allows for a much lower cost to access the application. In a typical SaaS application, all a person needs to use the application is a computer with a web browser and an internet connection.

SaaS allows for a much simpler demonstration model, as well as an easier approach to proof-of-concept projects.

With a SaaS application, any upgrades, patches, and major version releases are normally all rolled into your service.

SaaS allows for much lower requirements for internal resources to use the applications.

  1. Lower costs 

SaaS providers usually hold your data or manage your application with many other customers, which results in their infrastructure and internal resource costs being much lower than the traditional model. This allows them the ability to spread costs among all their customers, resulting in a much smaller subscription pricing model for you.

Because of this pricing structure, SaaS providers can increase their customer base, as the pricing allows for a much lower barrier to entry for small and midsize businesses that may not normally find the application accessible due to the high cost of licensing it in a traditional model. This will decrease the SaaS vendor’s costs, further reducing pricing.

Not having to rely on internal resources, whether headcount or infrastructure, reduces your costs to use the application as well.

  1. Version Control and Upgrades

Since the responsibility for managing the application resides on the SaaS provider, they also upgrade their application, and the upgraded software is instantly available for their customers. The requirements and efforts involved with upgrades and new releases in a traditional software model are borne by the provider in the SaaS model, and there’s no need to be forced to purchase an upgrade package, much less involve costs associated with specialized services to upgrade your environment.

  1. Scalability

SaaS solutions typically reside in cloud environments, which are scalable for many clients. The provider takes on these requirements so that their customers don’t need to worry about purchasing additional servers, compute resources, or software. Many SaaS applications are designed to integrate with other SaaS applications, which further means that all the customer needs to do is enable a new SaaS offering, rather than cope with further server or resource capacity planning for internal IT resources.

  1. Reduced Time to Benefit from the Solution

In most cases, as soon as you activate your subscription, you can immediately take advantage of using the application. Even in more complex SaaS environments where there may be configuration and planning for your organization, that work is only needed to be done within the SaaS application, and not with additional network tools, server tools, other internal IT resources, and it can reduce the issues associated with software deployment.

The ability to quickly access an application, as well as develop your uses of a tool without spending the time and acquiring internal resources to implement and maintain the application, allows you to leverage the benefits of that application more quickly and at a lower cost.

The ability to access your application from any computer or from any location on earth that has an internet connection allows you to be agile and responsive, giving you a competitive edge in your industry.

What is PaaS?

PaaS is a cloud computing service that gives users the ability to develop, launch, and manage applications without having to deal with the infrastructure required for building apps.
Platform as a service is a category of cloud computing services that provides a platform where customers can develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an application.
The acronym PaaS stands for platform as a service.
Platform as a service in cloud computing is a model in which a third-party provider delivers a computing platform. This platform typically contains the operating system, a programming language, database environment, web servers, and services that allow for application development and deployment on a common foundation. With PaaS, the client or customer doesn’t have to invest in the necessary infrastructure or other resources to do so internally.
Using the power of cloud computing, PaaS users, whether they are a developer or non-technical user, can create an application on a platform. The PaaS provider typically offers tools to simplify the process of creating new applications that integrate together on their platform.
Salesforce is an example of a PaaS. Using the components in the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform, anyone in your business can build component-based applications that best fit your business needs, or those of your customers.
Some of the major characteristics of a PaaS offering include a web-based user interface, as well as services to develop, test, deploy, host, and maintain applications.

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