I am continuing with my verses series. My hope is to help you that are thinking about Accounts Payable Automation for the first time to sift through all of the competitive noise as well as those of you that are looking to improve your current AP Automated process.
My topic today is about software deployment… sexy huh! This can be a tricky one because a service provider can say they have one thing or both, when it turns out they have neither.
SaaS stands for software as a service and the point is to use software but not have to have all of the pains and headaches about maintaining the software. SaaS is also known as cloud, web or net based software. If done correctly one of the big benefits to SaaS based software is mobility. Being able to work anywhere at anytime, or at least to get the answer is a great benefit of SaaS. One of the downside is you will always be locked into a service fee whether it’s by invoice or by user, the payments won’t go away. The way SaaS companies sell this idea is to make sure that your entry to using the software is low.
This is where you company takes on the burden to manage the hardware and software to make AP Automation run. The upside to self hosting is more control. You would have a greater ability to manage the data as well as a greater ability to do customized programming on the solution. The downside is a solution like this, even through you eventually will own the software, it is much more expensive to get up and running, and it will need attention and additional internal labor to keep the software running.
Here is the thing to look out for… some companies will tell you they have a SaaS solution, but when it comes to implementation they install and run the software on one of their servers as a separate instants. That’s not SaaS, that outsource hosting. This will be reflected in your pricing as well as maintenance schedule, which impacts downtime. Before you start evaluating competition know and find out how the service provider plans to deploy the software and what your options are.
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