It’s an exciting time to be in the business of software development and delivery. The introduction of Software as a Service (SaaS) makes it possible for companies to offer benefits to customers including the ability to buy as much or as little of the software as needed, easier onboarding which increases software adoption rates, reduction in infrastructure and IT costs, and access to the valuable data at any time in any place.
Software as a Service is a subscription-based software licensing and delivery model in which the software is centrally hosted in the cloud. One of the major benefits is the ability for organizations to purchase as much of the software they need – so if they only have one end-user, they purchase one license. This is especially beneficial to small and midsize venues that are ready to take the leap from booking rooms on a spreadsheet or their Microsoft Outlook calendar to a professional booking platform that’s built specifically for events. As an organization grows, they can add additional users at any time, and they can add functionality as their needs change. Gone are the days of buying a full software suite only to use a small portion.
It’s in the cloud!
Because the software is hosted by the software provider and can be updated whenever a new version is available immediately, customers always have access to the latest version. If training is needed, customers can participate in live webinars where they use real life examples to populate fields in the software. This greatly reduces expenditures on travel for onsite training and increases adoption rates as users can continue working in the software after the end of each training session, while the information is still fresh in their minds. Many organizations offer training webinars shared by users from multiple organizations with similar needs. This provides the software users with a class of peers that they can later connect with to share tips they’ve found while working with the software.
Reduce infrastructure investment.
One of the biggest selling points of Software as a Service is the ability to reduce IT support costs by outsourcing hardware and software maintenance and support to the SaaS provider. Unlike self-hosted software customers, SaaS customers never have a delay accepting an upgrade because it will require an additional investment in hardware, more powerful servers for instance, and the money for equipment is not in the budget. In addition, the maintenance for the software itself is provided by the software company, and is, therefore, managed by platform experts.
Work where and when you want to.
In today’s connected world, it’s essential for event professionals to have access to their client information, wherever and whenever they need it – be it in the office, on a show floor, or working remotely. Especially in the area of customer relationship management (CRM), having immediate access to a complete customer profile from any Internet connection offers the advantage of providing accurate information instantly, thereby increasing the chances of customer satisfaction tremendously. Software as a Service provides this flexibility allowing organizations to be even more agile than ever before.
As a professional who has worked in the software industry for 15 years, I can’t get over how much the industry has changed. I truly believe that the move to Software as a Service will allow providers to offer a greater degree of customer service leading to improved customer satisfaction.