Segment Spotlight: Getting SaaS(y) – The Benefits of Software-as-a-Service
Author: Rumus Sakya, VP of Engineering at Edgewater Networks
In this past we’ve discussed the benefits of both Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). SDN architecture greatly complements the virtualization of applications and network functions. It allows virtualized functions to be deployed and provisioned from a central control plane. What are the implications of these interactions on the future of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and the benefits of this service?
What is SaaS exactly?
SaaS is a services delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. It is a common delivery model for a variety of applications. SaaS has become a hot topic in and of itself as it has produced billions of dollars in sales for various industries. More specifically, cloud computing, the umbrella under which SaaS falls, has become increasingly popular among businesses in the Unified Communications (UC) and IT Security arena.
So why does SaaS matter and what are the benefits when it comes to UC and IT security solutions?
Evaluation is Easy
When it comes to SaaS, it is easy to test or try a new application at a very low cost. In some cases, this “trial period” is even free of charge. Very little physical hardware is needed to implement these applications. Should a company decide they want to continue using a particular program or application, it is very easy to implement.
Easy to Deploy
Because SaaS exists in the cloud, it removes the necessity of installing software on a system and ensuring that is configured properly. The management of SaaS is typically handled through simple to use GUI interfaces that allows the user to configure and provision the service as needed.
As more organizations move their formerly in-house systems into the cloud, integration with these existing services requires limited effort. Using APIs that are part of nearly all systems, integrators need to simply feed them into management software that will provide the interoperability.
SaaS service providers handle all of the processes mentioned in the points above relating to the deployment, maintenance, and operations of applications. Therefore, the customer is freed from the risk associated with these activities.
The reliability, scalability, security, management, and support of the SaaS is removed from the customers’ shoulders and borne by the service provider. Operational risks are therefore transferred to the service provider, allowing the customer to streamline activities and reduce related operational costs.
It’s All in the Cloud Now
Almost all UC solutions as well as more traditional communications solutions (like email, for instance) are moving to the cloud and are increasingly being included as part of the SaaS model.
What does this all mean?
In this blog, we have discussed the benefits of general SaaS model. In a future blog post, we will discuss the advantages of delivering network software as a service through SDN/NFV technologies.
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