SaaS applications are seen as Web-based software, on-demand software, or hosted software. In other words, SaaS applications run on the SaaS provider’s servers, the provider taking care of the application’s functionality, security, availability, and performance allowing the customer to focus on his core business.
SaaS customers have no hardware or software to buy, install, maintain, or update. Access to applications is easy: You only need a comfortable Internet connection.
The SaaS business model and underlying technologies differ from those of traditional software vendors and products in multiple ways:
- No large up-front investment: With SaaS applications, customers avoid the large initial investment required in a traditional and expensive IT infrastructure and the day-to-day responsibility of maintaining that infrastructure.
- No maintenance hassle: SaaS customers all share the same provider infrastructure, which centralizes administration and updates. Plus, integration is simpler because there’s no need to support several platforms and multiple versions.
- No outdated solutions: SaaS applications are innovating at a rapid rate because developers are focused on what’s next rather than on maintaining numerous versions of old code.
The benefits of SaaS
Historically, companies were required to buy, build, and maintain their IT infrastructures despite exponential costs and distance from their core activity. SaaS gives companies an alternative. Now, they can plug in and subscribe to services built on shared infrastructure via the Internet. The SaaS model has flourished in recent years because of the many benefits it offers to businesses of all sizes and types. What drives customers to take advantage of SaaS solutions:
- Simple adoption: SaaS applications are available from any computer or any device—any time, anywhere. Because most people are familiar with using the Internet to find what they need, SaaS apps tend to have high adoption rates, with a lower learning curve.
- Lower initial costs: SaaS applications are subscription based. No license fees mean lower initial costs. Having the SaaS provider manage the IT infrastructure also means lower IT costs for hardware, software, and the people needed to manage it all.
- Painless upgrades: Because the SaaS provider manages all updates and upgrades, there are no patches for customers to download or install. The SaaS provider also manages availability, so there’s no need for customers to add hardware, software, or bandwidth as the user base grows.
- Highly scalable infrastructure: Being based on virtual servers, a SaaS infrastructure can be scaled very easily and rapidly to cope with increasing activity.
SaaS and photo e-commerce
SaaS (Software As A Service) is seen as a new hype in the Internet service sphere. But what is it about and why is it relevant when applied to photo e-commerce?
Photo e-commerce dealing with sales of a wide range of personalized photo publishing products such as photo books, agendas, calendars, cards, etc. is a highly seasonal activity with peaks such as holidays and Christmas. More, managing high volumes of photos rapidly requires huge bandwidth and large storage space. On one hand, it would be too bad to lose sales in these periods because of a week infrastructure. On the other hand, the cost of maintaining a large infrastructure all year long is a nonsense. A highly scalable infrastructure is therefore more than a bonus when traffic increases ten fold within days.
The Koffeeware SaaS based Photo Web Shop provides you with all the benefits of its cloud infrastructure. No need for managing servers, building infrastructure and using outdated, hard-to-manage server software. Your customers enjoy the benefits of a web-based solution is easy, fast and instantly available.