Directory of all-in-one printer office machines for businesses that need to fax, copy, print, and scan documents with an MFP.www.business.com/technology/all-in-one-printer/
Providers of online document storage services. Research online document storage companies offering electronic document storage. Identify online record storage services that fit your business needs.www.business.com/technology/online-document-storage/
Business directory to cloud computing.www.business.com/technology/cloud-computing-servers/
Every business, no matter the size, needs the basics of an office all-in-one: a fax machine, copier, printer and scanner. Why spend thousands to buy stand-alones separately when you can get the complete package in one device? Office all-in-ones, also known as multi-function machines, are great for home office use and small businesses alike. Read More »
If you're considering cloud computing for your business, you'll be in company with many firms that are using this technology. Cloud computing, which provides service as a software, enables users to get into applications that are in the server cloud. Read More »
Software as a service (SAAS) uses the power of the Web to provide your employees with access to your business data from any computer terminal with Internet access. The software is deployed from the developer's servers, instead of installed locally at your business location. You have access to the software through the Internet by logging into the developer's servers remotely. This sort of cloud computing decreases the up-front cost to integrate data management software with your core operations. The SAAS company provides and maintains the equipment needed to run the software and updates the software when needed. Your business can focus on using SAAS to increase productivity and efficiency, rather than managing the installation.
A 2009 Gartner study forecasted that companies that provide software as a service would generate $7.5 billion in revenue during that year, and the market for this service will continue to grow worldwide through 2013, reaching revenues of over $14 billion. There is quite a demand for this type of service, and there are many benefits that business owners can gain by using SAAS applications.
Online data management
When you use SAAS, your only need is a computer with Internet access to manage your company’s data. You can input information, generate reports, view company trends and manage all of your company’s sales online. You can also manage employee data, track merchandise and manage emails using this service. As long as you have Web access, you will never have to travel to your office to input or review your stored information.
Automatic software updates
You must manually install updates when you use traditional software. With software as a service, updates are automatically installed for free. SAAS applications are centrally hosted; therefore, any new software releases will be implemented by the service provider.
Social networking functionalities
Software as a service applications allow business owners to share information using Internet-based platforms. These platforms are similar to the many Web 2.0 properties that are widely available on the Internet, and they allow individuals that work in similar industries to share information and collaborate on projects.
Business owners must pay a lot of money to obtain and install traditional software. They must also hire IT professionals to securely house their software systems and maintain their servers. Purchasing servers is costly as well, but secure servers are necessary for traditional software programs to function properly. By using software as a service, you can totally eliminate these costs. According to Trumba.com, it costs business owners four to five times more to install and maintain traditional software systems than it does to use SAAS.
Software as a service has become quite popular in recent years. While there are quite a few benefits to using these services to store and manage your company’s data, there are some pitfalls to consider.
‑Whenever you store data online, that data is highly vulnerable to threats and hacks, and there is no way for service providers to guarantee that your stored data will be 100 percent safe. If you use SAAS to store private business information, contracts, business plans, accounting data and other business information, anyone can break into your account and access the information at any time. You may receive an alert from your service provider if this happens, but there is also a chance that your account can be broken into without your provider’s knowledge.
Because you are using an on-demand service, you will have to pay a monthly fee. While this may be beneficial to those who need data storage solutions and do not have a lot of capital, it can also be risky. If you ever run into financial problems and cannot pay your bill, you can instantly lose access to your data.
Customization is limited
Because you do not own the software platform, you will not be able to customize your data to make it easy for you to review. The software company decides what the software’s interface will be, and you have no option but to use the templates that the software company has available.
Before signing up with a software as a service provider, you must be completely comfortable with the fact that another company will be responsible for your data management. If you do not know how to manage data, this can be beneficial for you. However, as you learn to manage your data, it may disturb you that another organization has detailed information about your business operations.
The prices of software as a service solutions vary primarily based on quality and scope. According to Gartner, Inc., software as a service will be the basis for 20 percent of commercial email services by 2012. This explosion in the market has given rise to a vast range of price points.
Many types of software as a service are free, especially email and photo services. More advanced applications, such as CRM and order fulfillment services, vary in cost from about under $20 to several hundred dollars per month. However, when considering that software as a service allows you to avoid the cost of purchasing in-house software, as well as staff training and IT support for that software, it is likely to be a significant savings.
Your business can enjoy the benefits of advanced SAAS without having to invest up-front in software and hardware acquisitions. Cloud computing is designed to remove the hassle of managing software installations and provide your employees with the convenience and flexibility of accessing your data from any location with Internet access. You do need to be concerned about the security issues involved with storing business data on remote third-party servers. Further, while the up-front costs of SAAS are often low, the ongoing costs to use these types of programs can be significant. Using a managed software system with a fixed design also prevents you from customizing the software architecture to meet your specific needs.
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Software as a Service (SAAS) enables businesses to use customized tracking, inventory and accounting programs without the hassle of upgrading business computers or storing secure information locally. Companies providing SAAS enable their clients to access information from anywhere in the world through the use of a standard web browser and internet connection.
SAAS provides customers with a highly optimized experience. A customer of the service company stores a profile with all their information in a single location that remains available to all software installed by the service, rather than setting up multiple program preferences, ownership and license information for each program used by the business. This reduces potential input errors or conflicts between various programs.
Companies providing this service also typically provide online backup and secure data storage functions. Local servers can cost thousands of dollars in purchase and maintenance costs, and SAAS drastically reduces these costs by outsourcing the server demands to the hosting company.
These businesses hire experienced information technology employees to maintain the integrity of information and security of their servers which would otherwise cost additional hundreds of thousands of dollars for small businesses using their services. The services provided by such companies constantly changes, and Business.com remains a great source for the latest information on Software as a Service (SAAS) and other emerging business practices.