Software as a Service (SaaS) Does it make Cents? by Brian Moore Contents Brief Background information SaaS Architecture Financial Consideration Case Study Conclusion Q&A Intro to SaaS - Definition Software as a service (SaaS) is a model of software delivery where the software company provides maintenance, daily technical operation, and support for the software provided to their client. It assumes the software is delivered over the internet. Software delivered to home consumers, small business, medium and large business Intro to SaaS The web as a platform is the center point Web-browser acting as a thin-client for accessing the software remotely across the internet. Network-based access to, and management of, commercially available (i.e., not custom) software application delivery that typically is closer to a one-to-many model (single instance, multitenant architecture) than to a one-to-one model, including architecture, pricing, partnering, and management characteristics SaaS - Pros Stay focused on business processes Change software to an Operating Expense instead of a Capital Purchase, making better accounting and budgeting sense. Create a consistent application environment for all users No concerns for cross platform support Easy Access Reduced piracy of your software Lower Cost For an affordable monthly subscription Implementation fees are significantly lower Continuous Technology Enhancements SaaS - Cons Initial time needed for licensing and agreements Trust, or the lack thereof, is the number one factor blocking the adoption of software as a service (SaaS). Centralized control Possible erosion of customer privacy Absence of disconnected use SaaS Architecture Fueled by Bandwidth technologies The cost of a PC has been reduced significantly with more powerful computing but the cost of application software has not followed Timely and expensive setup and maintenance costs Licensing issues for business are contributing significantly to the use of illegal software and piracy. High-Level Architecture There are three key differentiators that separate a well-designed SaaS application from a poorly designed one scalable multi-tenant-efficient configurable Scaling the application - maximizing concurrency, and using application resources more efficiently i.e. optimizing locking duration, statelessness, sharing pooled resources such as threads and network connections, caching reference data, and partitioning large databases. High-Level Architecture (con’t) Multi-tenancy – important architectural shift from designing isolated, singletenant applications One application instance must be able to accommodate users from multiple other companies at the same time All transparent to any of the users. This requires an architecture that maximizes the sharing of resources across tenants is still able to differentiate data belonging to different customers. High-Level Architecture (con’t) Configurable - a single application instance on a single server has to accommodate users from several different companies at once To customize the application for one customer will change the application for other customers as well. Traditionally customizing an application would mean code changes Each customer uses metadata to configure the way the application appears and behaves for its users. Customers configuring applications must be simple and easy without incurring extra development or operation costs Saas Financials 4 ways software companies are pricing their products Open Source – free basic products but charge a fee for the upgrade to the premium product (i.e. Apache, Linux, etc) License software – main way its being done. Customer like this way because they own the software as an asset Leased Software – deployed at customer site but leased for a time period. Used in the days of the mainframe SaaS – subscription pricing. Like leasing is considered and expense but upgrades and maintenance is free and seamless Saas Financials (con’t) Legal should be involved in the acquisition of missioncritical SaaS software Need to setup contractual relationship with the SaaS provider Companies are losing control of their data in the SaaS model Depending on the service provider for security and data access. Setup escrow account With conditions of being able to run application in house Ability to move data from current provider to new location Also Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for Availability, response times, notifications of outages Data integrity, data privacy, frequency of backup, support and disaster recovery Saas Financials (con’t) CIO decides if SaaS software will benefit IT while CFO decides if it is economical for the whole firm Leasing vs Buying Similar to decision of leasing or buying a car Need to compare costs that effect cash flows such as depreciation, interest on financing, tax and opportunity cost Use an experience Accountant Case Study - Software4Rent.biz Software4Rent.biz provides casual or long term software application rental, enterprise wide software deployment and management Offerings No contracts to sign - rent for as long as you want Manage, deploy and track leased software resources more effectively in real-time. No cost software upgrades Can 'Top up' at minimal cost in times of peak software use Systems administrators can allocate application software to users in real time Change the allocation of licenses as required and reduce the number of licenses that the company needs to buy. Save work to local hard drives, or on their servers if you are a pay bythe-month user. Allow users to rent software on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis Software offering & Pricing Vendor Application Hourly Daily Weekly Monthly Category Microsoft Office 2003 Professional 1.65 6.60 19.80 49.50 Office Suite Microsoft Project Professional 2003 3.95 15.80 44.50 97.90 Management Microsoft Visio Professional 2003 1.95 7.80 23.40 58.50 Drawing Microsoft Word 2003 0.75 3.00 9.00 22.50 Document Microsoft Excel 2003 0.75 3.00 9.00 22.50 Accounting Microsoft PowerPoint 2003 0.75 3.00 9.00 22.50 Presentation Microsoft Access 2003 0.95 3.80 11.40 28.50 Database Microsoft Publisher 2003 0.95 3.80 11.40 28.50 Drawing Microsoft Outlook 2003 0.95 3.80 11.10 28.50 Email Microsoft InfoPath 2003 0.95 3.80 11.40 28.50 Management R Project R Statistics Programming 0.35 1.50 4.50 9.95 Statistics Future shop Microsoft Office Word 2007 $309 Cost Per Usage Chart of MS Word Low Usage Medium Usage High Usage Software4Rent $3/day X 10 times/mth = $30/mth X 12 mths= $360/year Buy $360 inc tax $9/week X 40weeks = $360/year $22.5/month X 16 month = $360 Conclusion Get over initial hurdles Adopting SaaS in the enterprise has to be analyzed for economic and efficiency reasons A lot of initial planning and negotiating with the solution provider- security, data access, legal, etc Long term Benefits Easy Access Reduced piracy of your software Lower Cost Continuous Technology Enhancements Questions?