SaaS ERP refers to a ERP software model where in the software is delivered over the internet. The word SAAS stands for "Software As A Service". In this model, an ERP software vendor hosts the ERP software on a Web Server and allows his customers to access the ERP software using an internet connection.
The ERP software vendor aims to serve a large number of clients using this model. This model is a recent development and is an alternative to the conventional model.
While the conventional model is associated with high capital expenditure, both direct and indirect investments, long implementation times, upgrade costs for the customer, this model offers many benefits. A major benefit for the customer by adopting this model is that he is totally isolated from the various technological issues and developments thereby allowing him to concentrate only on his business.
The customer need not worry about hiring and maintaining skilled IT personnel or other issues like security of data, backups, maintenance and other operational requirements.
Delivering an ERP software as a service has become possible because of technologies that support SAAS have become prevalent. Using Visual Studio, it is now possible to create ERP applications which work as a service. With the introduction of Ajax, web applications have become speedier and more interactive.
Ajax is a web application programming technology that allows user requests to be processed speedily and update web pages. 'SAAS' applications work on a model known as service-oriented architecture (SOA) which supports communications between individual services.
Coupled with rapid growth of broadband services world wide, more and more applications are being delivered as web services. This development has prompted ERP software vendors to deliver ERP softwares as web services.
FEATURES OF SAAS ERP
- Pay for what is used.
- Speedier implementation
- Lesser Hardware infrastructure investments
- Increased accessibility
Pay for what is used
Customers using SaaS ERP software need to pay only for the transactions they create on a daily, monthly or periodic basis. Customers are attracted to this offer as their funds deployment is in a phased manner resulting in lesser up-front funds requirement.
In this model, the customer need not spend any time for purchase of hardware and software as it is already installed at the Vendor's server. The only hardware customer has to purchase are the workstations and internet connectivity.
The ERP vendor conducts a system study of the client company and enable the ERP software hosted on a remote server to record the customers business processes. How this is done depends on the strategies adopted by the ERP vendor.
Lesser Hardware and software infrastructure investments
Customers using SAAS ERP software need not buy expensive back-end servers, middleware, networks as the vendor provides them on a sharing basis. As technologies progress and more innovation occurs, customers need not invest on the newer hardware at the server side.
Customers can access an SAAS ERP application from anywhere in the world as it is a web based model. All they would need is a computer and an internet connection. Wider accessibility covers even the vendors and suppliers of a particular company. Given the required permissions, vendors and suppliers can also access certain options and communicate with the company.