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What Is SaaS, And What Are Its Key Benefits?

September 11, 2017 at 4:01 pm

Access One Chicago, IL | What is SaaS?

What Is Saas, And What Are Its Key Benefits?

Technology is changing at a more rapid pace than at any time in history—and so is the language we use to describe it.  Acronyms abound, from CRM (customer relationship management) to SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (pay-per-click advertising), CTA (call to action) and ERP (enterprise resource planning).  And then, there’s SaaS.  What is it, and why is it important?

What Is SaaS?

SaaS stands for “software as a service.”  Even if you’ve never heard of it, there’s a good chance you’ve already used it in your business at some point.  As Microsoft explains:

“If you’ve used a web-based email service such as Outlook, Hotmail, or Yahoo! Mail, then you’ve already used a form of SaaS. With these services, you log into your account over the Internet, often from a web browser. The email software is located on the service provider’s network, and your messages are stored there as well. You can access your email and stored messages from a web browser on any computer or Internet-connected device.”

Said differently, SaaS simply refers to companies which help other companies by offering them sophisticated, cloud-based software services for everything from email marketing to accounting and human resources.  Some of the SaaS services most popular with business include:

  • CRM Software, which helps companies manage customer data to create personalized marketing campaigns
  • ERP Software, which promotes information sharing within companies
  • Accounting Software, which organizes a company’s finances
  • Project Management Software, which helps businesses more effectively complete key projects by tracking progress, communications and deadlines
  • Email Marketing Software, which automates the generation of customized emails to enhance customer relationships and drive sales
  • Ecommerce Software, which provides businesses with state-of-the-art ecommerce solutions, like product pages, message boards and shopping carts

The Benefits of SaaS

This is just a small sampling of the SaaS software available to empower companies with state-of-the-art solutions.  Others include software to manage human resource operations, comply with government regulations and accept credit card payments.  SaaS holds several key benefits for the companies which use it, including the following 5:

  1. Companies don’t waste time installing and configuring software:  SaaS software solutions are out-of-the box.  Unlike traditional models, the software you use is already installed and configured.  That’s critically important, because it means your employees can use it almost immediately, which empowers them to do their jobs more efficiently.
  2. Companies save money:  because companies which provide SaaS software services have many clients, they can offer their services at a reduced cost.  Companies also save on maintenance costs, since it’s the SaaS provider who owns the environment.  Finally, with SaaS, companies don’t need to buy software products which include features they don’t need—they only pay for what they actually use.
  3. Companies gain access to sophisticated software solutions:  some of the most sophisticated software is simply too expensive for many small and medium-size businesses to afford.  SaaS companies, because they serve multiple clients, can essentially “buy in bulk,” acquiring those software services at a reduced price, savings which they can then pass on to their clients.
  4. Companies can more easily integrate multiple software services:  in the traditional model, companies might work with multiple vendors to acquire different types of software which they must then seamlessly integrate.  SaaS solutions reside in the cloud, are scalable, and are easily integrated with other SaaS software services.
  5. Companies pay less for software upgrades and new releases:  when upgrades of particular software become available, the SaaS provider provides those upgrades to its clients, typically for less than companies would pay on their own.  Additionally, companies don’t need to worry about installing upgrades and new releases.

The Strongest Advocates of SaaS Services Are the Businesses That Use Them

Perhaps you’ve heard of SaaS, but have been reticent to abandon more traditional, in-house software solutions because of security concerns—or maybe this is a wholly new concept for you.  Either way, you owe it to yourself and your business, given the several benefits of SaaS, to at least consider making the transition.

And you don’t need to rely on what SaaS providers tell you—the strongest argument in favor of SaaS is the increasing number of small and medium-size businesses which use it.  According to BizTech Magazine:

“Small and medium-sized businesses are on board the Software as a Service train when it comes to the cloud. According to a recent survey from Techaisle, an SMB and midmarket IT market research firm, SaaS penetration in the U.S. SMB market is expected to reach 94 percent by year’s end.”

If you’re thinking about transitioning to SaaS software but still have doubts, talk to some of your colleagues who have already adopted SaaS—and are already increasing productivity, empowering their workforce, reducing costs and growing their companies with it.

What to Look for When Hiring an IT Consultant

August 30, 2017 at 3:45 pm

Access One Chicago, IL | What to look for when hiring an IT consultant

What to Look for When Hiring an IT Consultant

So you’ve decided that you’re ready to take the leap and hire an IT consulting firm to help take care of your company’s IT needs. Hiring a new IT consultant is a big step for any business, and it’s not one that should be taken lightly. From everyday troubleshooting to ongoing security, you need a firm that will fit your basic needs. Knowing what to look for when hiring an IT consultant will make it easier to find a consultant who you’ll be happy to partner with and can take care of all of your IT needs.  

A Quick Guide to Your Organization’s Backup Strategy

August 17, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Access One Chicago, IL | A Quick Guide to Your Organization's Backup Strategy

A Quick Guide to Your Organization’s Backup Strategy

When it comes to your organization’s vital operational data, backups aren’t just a good idea, they’re a necessity! Your business relies on a wide range of data in order to accomplish your daily tasks, connect with customers, and more. Without a solid backup structure, a loss of data can lead to costly fixes, excessive time spent repairing the damage, and time when your organization may be unable to operate at all. Follow this guide to make sure your business can stay operational in the event of a data breach, crash, or other problem.

The Guide to Password Security

August 8, 2017 at 2:26 pm

Access One Chicago, IL | The Guide to Password Security

The Guide to Password Security

Most people do not take the time or effort to make an effective password. In fact, 59% of people reuse passwords over and over or use simple combinations such as “123456”. It’s obvious you don’t want hackers to break into any of your accounts, whether it’s a social media profile or more costly, a bank account. As an average end-user, having a strong password is one of your best defenses against malicious hackers.

4 Reasons Finance Is Embracing The Cloud

July 27, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Access One Chicago, IL | 4 Reasons Finance Is Embracing The Cloud

4 Reasons Finance Is Embracing The Cloud

The first major public cloud platform became available in 2006, heralding the first wave of cloud adoption. And according to a 2015 survey by Forrester, we are now in the midst of a second wave. This time, after being somewhat tentative in giving up legacy technologies, the finance industry is visibly making its move. Below, we’ve listed four reasons why finance is finally embracing the cloud.

The Right Technology Is the Key to Great Customer Service

July 19, 2017 at 6:19 pm

Access One Chicago, IL | Customer ServiceCustomer service is one of the most important aspects of your business; your customers need to know that when they contact your company, they can expect to receive reliable service every time. As it turns out, customer service is more than just training quality representatives who will be sure to answer questions and respond to complaints. Having the right technology is ultimately the basis of having great customer service. If you’ve been struggling with your customer service, keep in mind just how important it is to your business and make sure you have the right tools to make it happen.  

How Managed IT Service Providers Enhance Security

July 12, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Access One Chicago, IL | How Managed IT Service Providers Enhance SecurityHow Managed IT Service Providers Enhance Security

As technology and the Internet continue to grow exponentially, unscrupulous individuals continue to create new security threats for organizational privacy, confidentiality, and data integrity. Because almost all network-based services and applications pose some level of security risk, personal and business information must be protected through enhanced security systems and controls. Managed IT service providers often offer the highest levels of security that protects assets, maintains integrity, ensures availability, and ensures confidentiality.

Is Your IT Stuck in the Past? Here’s Why You Need to Update

June 28, 2017 at 5:26 pm

Access One Chicago, IL | Is your IT stuck in the pastIs Your ITStuck in the Past? Here’s Why You Need to Update

Technology is always changing, but the folks who manage your internal IT may not always go along for the ride. We often hold on to the methods that we’re used to: it’s familiar, comfortable, and generally has a proven track record. The latest and greatest technologies, on the other hand, tend to be full of promise, but they’re different, unfamiliar, and take us out of our comfort zone. Many IT departments hold on to what worked for them as much as 5, 10, or even 20 years ago, just for this reason.

Why Your Internet Speed Matters

June 14, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Access One Chicago, IL | Why Your Internet Speed Matters

Why Your Internet Speed Matters

The Internet has come a long way since its first inception. Due to these advances, the web pages and Internet features have become much heavier than in the past. One web page can have any number of things going on in the background, and a slow Internet connection can wreak havoc on your productivity.

5 Reasons Why Organizations Prefer Managed IT Services

June 7, 2017 at 4:42 pm

Access One Chicago, IL | 5 Reasons Why Organizations Prefer Managed IT Services5 Reasons Why Organizations Prefer Managed IT Services

Back in 2015, CNN estimated that up to one million new malware threats were released every day. For example, the WannaCry ransomware attack happened recently. This malware warned users their files would be deleted if they didn’t pay up within a certain timeframe. The WannaCry attack has been one of the biggest malware attacks to date. As Cyber-criminals continue to steal personal data to sell and disrupt operations and cause chaos. Organizations must maintain the best IT systems and IT services in order to remain efficient, competitive, and profitable.