The trouble with the name SaaS is that it’s an acronym. The acronym obscures the fact that SaaS is a service. People too often assume it’s just software. And that’s causing confusion.
Let’s compare traditional licensed software with i2O’s software service on some key dimensions.
i2O software service
Pay and start using straight away
Pay and then wait for it to be tested and installed
New functionality/bug fix delivered on an ongoing basis
New functionality/bug fix released periodically, and requires installation which requires IT time and user downtime
Get stung having to pay for a new version
Top notch because it’s a major area of client concern
Your responsibility and you’re probably not as good at it as you ought to be
Included in the service fee
Efficiencies from sharing infrastructure across all clients of the service
No efficiencies available
Service level agreement for >99% availability
Available through the web on a variety of devices
Depends on how well your IT department performs and how important the software is relative to other software they support
Unusual for an IT department to commit to an SLA with its internal clients
Available only on your IT equipment
Provided by experts
Our clients are our top priority
Additional cost if provided by experts
If provided internally then it depends on how important the software is relative to other software
Once clients understand that it’s a service – software that’s up and running straight away, does an important and useful job for them, running 24/7/365 on an infrastructure they don’t need to own or manage, with seamless free upgrades and free support and a high level of security – they are also much more accepting that they should pay for it just like they do for any other service. You don’t pay the cleaners a lump sum and expect a worldwide perpetual cleaning service after all.
Here at i2O our Software Service (for we have ditched the term “SaaS”) delivers value to our water utility clients every minute of every day of every year. We recommend everyone ditches “SaaS” and calls it what is: a “software service”. It would be clearer and more people would understand intuitively that it’s pay-as-you-go and worth every penny.