Tuesday, August 12, 2008

SaaS to Cut Costs and Increase Efficiency

Conducting Internet web conferences have become essential in nowadays business environment. Online meetings provides a flexible, fast, and inexpensive solution for collaboration with employee’s offsite, providing online presentations to potential clients, even conducting Internet training courses without ever having to leave the office. Undoubtedly, real cost savings can be realized by utilizing the Internet to help cut down on travel expenses, companies are taking a serious look at cheap web conferencing software in hopes of finding an alternative solution that can meet all their needs.

While finding cheap web conferencing is the ultimate aim of businesses, there are certain factors that we have to consider. The cheap rates for the web conferencing are not the most important feature of such a service. Although, they may seem attractive on the surface, but we do have to look deeper into the services to make sure that we can get exactly what we want. If cost is a major factor in getting the cheapest conference calling rates, then the best thing that we can do is a search of all the providers to find which one to offer us the best plan for the cheapest rate.

Nowadays, hosted infrastructure often makes sense for companies, especially small ones with modest needs. Yesterday, I was doing searches on the Internet and it is actually surprised me quite a bit that the result for searching the term “hosted team foundation server” through the search engine shows up unsatisfying results. I could not get what I wanted. Although I am sure, there is bunch of technical issues around such a service, but insofar as I can see, it would be a brilliant step to gain a market share that is virtually limitless now.

Recently, the software as a service (SaaS) business model is influencing the software industry. It is also affecting how our customers acquire business solution and functionality. SaaS is a software distribution model, which applications are hosted by service provider or vendor and made available to customers over a network, typically the Internet. In this model, application functionality is delivered through a subscription model over the Internet.

SaaS trend is a reflection of growing demand by companies to find simpler and more economical means of implementing IT to their businesses’ advantage. Moreover, it has transforming the industry, particularly the segment that targets business users. That is why I believe that there is no reason why people would not go to SaaS model first and foremost, and design the application for that.

In SaaS business model, the customers do not take ownership of the software. Instead, they rent a total solution that is delivered remotely. In addition, SaaS is one of the fastest growing segments of the Information Technology (IT) industry because it provides a more cost-effective solution for companies to achieve their business goals than traditional packaged applications. Undoubtedly, with the SaaS business model, we can reduce up-front support costs because we no longer need to support multiple versions and platforms. This rapidly emerging delivery model can help us to enter new markets.

Finally, yet importantly, the number of people that we need to conference with at one time is also important factor to consider when we are looking the costs of web conferencing. The best cheap conferencing via the web should allow us to include a large number of participants. If we need to include people from distant locations, then we need to ensure that our cheap rates allow us to include them. The rates are also a determining factor. Moreover, some companies charge on a rate per person, while others charge a monthly or annual flat rate. We also have to be careful about any hidden fees that my not be explicit in our contract, but how up on our invoice for web conferencing fees.

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