Going for SaaS? Check out These Quick Tips!
Many software vendors will tell you that SaaS is the next big thing to be and one should definitely consider giving it a try. Moreover, if you too are of the opinion that SaaS is right for your business; consider these quick tips to ensure that your SaaS buy turns out to be worthwhile.
Does your business literally require the software?
The first question to ask yourself before buying any software, for that matter, is that do you actually need the software or are you just buying it because all your competitors or other companies in similar business own it?
If one does a little research, you will be obliged with a plethora of open source softwares available online. These softwares are usually free and one can even get their hands on their source-code. Such softwares are most apt for small or medium businesses and can absolutely facilitate smooth running of their day-to-day operations.
If you yet feel a genuine urge to go for the software then a smart move is to go for the trial version first. Most software providers offer free-trial versions of their offerings for a short span usually a month. This will give you a crystal-clear picture about the match of the functionalities with your requirement and you will be in a better position to take that final call.
Integration with existing applications
Though SaaS applications usually offer limited customization but alignment of the software with your current organization’s processes is a must. The next step therefore, would be to check the software compatibility with your existing application, if any.
For instance if your organization uses bio-metrics system for capturing daily attendance; the SaaS software must be capable of being integrated with the system to churn out accurate attendance reports else the software renders redundant.
One can easily say on-premise software to be a product and SaaS software to be a service in order to differentiate between the two. Needless to say the essence of every service lies in its contract.
Though most providers already incorporate the ownership clause in the contract, it is best to make sure that your data ownership finally lies with you. Also check for clauses on the duration, within which the data will be handed back in case you discontinue or terminate the contract.
A SaaS agreement usually incorporates software license, support and other services fees which can be paid monthly or quarterly. In case of paying upfront annual fees, one can negotiate and avail certain discounts.
Any organization initially buys the software for a limited no. of users and then upgrades it to more people as and when needed. Take the opportunity to negotiate and enjoy discounts while up-scaling the no. of users. Moreover, watch out for hidden penalties in the contract for down-scaling the user strength.
Don’t blindly agree 'all the way'
If you are fairly new in the software world, don’t hesitate in asking the vendor to clearly spell out terms like acquisitions, enhancements, subscriptions and others. Do not blindly accept every enhancement that comes along. Ask the vendor to provide you a one page summary on what the enhancement is all about and what’s in it for you.
Finally make sure the interface of the software is user-friendly. If the users do not find it easy to work around the software then no matter the enormous functionalities it offers, it is as good as any other scrap.
If one takes a little precaution and pays careful attention to these minor details, one can easily make the most of his SaaS purchase rather than crying over spilt milk later.