Software as a Service

By Dan Feis

Software as a Service (SaaS), also referred to as a hosted services model, provides a technology platform that enables users to leverage a secure IT infrastructure and data facility, thereby reducing the amount of hardware and software on their premises. Gartner, Inc. predicts that 25 percent of business software will be delivered through an online hosted services provider by 2011.

There are many advantages to small business owners using a hosted solution as opposed to the traditional premise-based solution. From a cash flow perspective, a hosted services platform greatly reduces the capital expense associated with an initial hardware purchase or a major upgrade. Because the software and maintenance fees are billed monthly, they don’t include payments for repayment of a lease or debt obligation associated with the purchase of a system.

From a support perspective, a hosted solution model benefits those users who prefer not to be in the “hardware support business.” Since the amount of on-premise equipment is reduced, so is the complexity of the on-site environment. Redundancy, backups, software updates, hardware maintenance, and other IT tasks are removed from the on-site technical staff, since most of that activity is managed by the provider.

The hosted solution and accompanying SaaS platform bring a range of proven availability and security technologies to small to medium-sized call centers without the associated costs or complexities.  Benefits include the simplicity of a single common portal and framework, as well as the convenience of a single bill and a common support model.

Other advantages of hosted solutions include the rapid deployment of software upgrades and enhancements and the flexibility to increase or decrease the number of user licenses to meet changes in demand.

All of the above reasons provide a solid business reason for call centers to consider a hosted services model. Call center managers looking to reduce IT complexity, manage risk, provide clients with high availability, and lower operations costs should consider the hosted services model. With this pay-as-you-go model, cash outflow will be reduced, and benefits include the expertise and economies-of-scale from a leading IT provider.

To learn more about hosted solutions, contact

[From Connection Magazine June 2009]

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