Software as a service is generally touted as having no upfront costs, no return on investment worries, as it is similar to leasing, a 3 to 4 month rapid deployment, and easy exit in the event it doesnt work. It sounds like a win-win situation; the purchaser has very little risk. The seller has more opportunity as the sales should be easier, due in part to the attractiveness of the benefits to the purchaser. There are some additional benefits to being a STAKEHOLDER. Ongoing consistency, longevity of use, comfort, upgrades, training, relationships between purchaser and seller, with the majority of benefits in the familiarity (product you know) and synergy of incorporation of your business rules.
So how can both parties win, because even with entry of ease, there is still substantial risk and an investment of time to deploy? A good software leasing vendor /partner should provide a program with low upfront costs. A quality leasing program should provide upgrades, service and other related support activities to be included in the monthly maintenance fee, and priced substantially less than all the modules purchased separately. Qualities of a good software leasing vendor /partner; they should be able to provide a program with the only upfront costs is a onetime deployment charge, and deployment should be the actual set up of the software. Of course there is always the possibility of the data import, which has to set outside this discussion, since the data import requirement is always a business decision regarding the importance of historical information.
In the standard deployments, depending on the system, most upfront costs are several hundred thousand dollars, with a substantial maintenance fee behind that for upgrades, new modules, and other related items. A good software leasing vendor that offers Software as a service, (which is closely related to leasing), eliminates all those upfront costs, stays competitive by offering enhancements required to comply with changing market place requirements. Offers upgrades based on technological advances in programming, and has a reasonable monthly service fee. Vendors providing this format of software as a service, provides the vendor credibility that is worthy of consideration. This is actually an on demand relationship and forces vendor creativity to maintain competitiveness. Further, the client is protected from this software becoming obsolete, no consideration for ROI and the potential for staying on the cutting edge if the initial software and vendor selection was a good one to start with.
Of course there are risks, which should be considered since software as a service is really in its infancy. Since software as a service is not a mature program market, the learning curve is constantly changing. The good news is, theres no lock into a long term legacy system that does not provide the desired result you need. In reviewing vendors that provide software as a service program, make the time investment and research what might be available, as it is undoubtedly will be worth the effort. Like all programs, the possibility exists that it will not be for you, but youll have the comfort level of knowing you are considering new alternative business methodology, giving your evaluation, considerably more merit than following the pack.
Dealing with a good quality software vendor, they should treat every sales call with you as a consultation with a true desire to help you the client as well as benefit from your experiences and needs. Stakeholders contact and communication always rules, which is why opportunity is a welcome challenge to learning.
Taking all factors into consideration, software as a service, provided by a quality software leasing organization can be a win-win situation for both the seller and purchaser developing into long term relationship.