|By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan||
|February 10, 2011 04:18 PM EST||
SaaS Is the King of All
Of all the three models of cloud computing:
SaaS (Software as a Service) is the one that has the most appeal and potential to evoke interest from enterprise CIOs, due to the following reasons:
- This is the most cost-effective way to deploy new business capability
- Lower total cost of ownership (TCO)
- Unmet performance expectations and not meeting the go-to-market pressures with data center-based solutions
- No maintenance, patching, licensing issues enable the business to concentrate on their core strengths
- Wide range of choice and healthy competition already in the market and growing
- Traditional ERP-packaged software is too costly yet not satisfying all the needs of the enterprise
With these in mind, the popularity of SaaS is expected to grow several times in the near future. However, if you are providing a SaaS-based application to your consumer, how best to adapt this is key to winning business. Because no SaaS consumer would like to see that their SaaS solution is not scaling up to changing business needs and they still need to invest in custom in-house solutions.
The following points will help the SaaS application providers make their SaaS application really extensible so that a larger group of consumers can use the same.
1. Provide Ad Hoc and User-Defined Reporting
For a specific set of federal, state-specific compliant reports, no two organizations are going to have the same reporting needs, even if the application's business context (supply chain, purchasing, CRM) are the same. Varied business users, geographic location, organizational score cards and metrics ensure that each organization has its own need for reports.
Developing all the reports needed for every organization using the SaaS application is not feasible. The solution is to provide ad hoc reporting features, so that users can create and define their own reports.
This feature is not new; several of the reporting tools provide user-defined ad hoc reporting as part of their stack.
However, instead of custom developing ‘ad hoc reporting' capabilities within your SaaS application, it is better to link it with another SaaS reporting solution.
For example, if your SaaS application is built on the Microsoft Windows Azure platform, it is easier to offload the ‘ad hoc reporting' to SQL Azure Reporting.
With several features for both ad hoc reporting and custom reporting, SQL Azure Reporting, which will be available shortly, leads the reporting platform on cloud.
2. Enable Business Rules to Make SaaS Flexible Between tenants
A business rule management system (BRMS) enables organizational policies - and the operational decisions associated with those policies, such as claim approvals, cross-sell offer selection, pricing calculations and eligibility determinations - to be defined, deployed, monitored and maintained separately from the application code.
As I explained in a previous article on Private Clouds And Business Rules, Business Rules usage increase the adaptability of the SaaS applications to multiple tenants.
3. Design with Adaptability in Mind
Several major ERP players have designed their software, in a adaptable way, so that the entire way the software runs can be tailored for individual organizations. For example, in Oracle E-Business Suite, flexfields provide an adaptive framework to let any company define the hierarchies specific to them, and yet the overall software works out of a single code base.
A flexfield is made up of sub-fields or segments. A flexfield appears on a ur form as a pop-up window that contains a prompt for each segment. Each segment has a name and a set of valid values.
There are two types of flexfield.
- Key Flexfield: Key flexfield are flexible enough to let any organization use the code scheme they want without programming. Key flexfield can be used to represent code that is made up of meaningful segment to identify GL a/c Part no. and other business entities. Oracle apps store these codes in key flexfields.
- Descriptive Flexfield: They provide customizable expansion space on ur forms. You can use desc flex fields to tract additional information important and unique to ur business that would not otherwise be captured by the form.
4. Link Authentication back to Enterprise Directories
The biggest concern for CIOs for SaaS is security. Every organization has invested a lot in their on-boarding mechanisms and employees have been kept in directories. It would be highly adaptable for SaaS applications to offload the authentication to enterprise directories so that the organizations will be more adaptable to using SaaS applications.
Again this can be done easily if you choose the PaaS platform that is used to build the SaaS application carefully. For example, Windows Azure Appfabric Access Control lets you get authenticated against in-premise directories. The following diagram, courtesy of the vendor, shows the authentication of the SaaS application shifted to several on-premise and external authentication providers.
5. Select an Upgrade Friendly PaaS Platform
The less down time an application has or performance impact due to a guest operating system, upgrades or patches are the best for the selection of a SaaS application. For that the PaaS platform on which the SaaS application is built holds the key.
Windows Azure guest OS Auto-upgrade feature to help you keep your service running on the latest operating system available for Windows Azure. The platform automatically upgrades your service to use the latest OS whenever it becomes available without you have to worry about it. This helps you keep your service running on the most secure OS available for Windows Azure with no extra effort.
Enterprises are looking into SaaS to reduce TCO and be agile to changing business needs , however, they would not like to get disruptions or the SaaS application not have flexibility between tenant to tenant, choosing the correct PaaS platform and designing the systems with Adaptability in mind will improve the marketability of the SaaS application.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In their General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate at SoftLayer, and Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, to discuss how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
Sep. 25, 2014 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,681
Come learn about what you need to consider when moving your data to the cloud. In her session at 15th Cloud Expo, Skyla Loomis, a Program Director of Cloudant Development at Cloudant, will discuss the security, performance, and operational implications of keeping your data on premise, moving it to the cloud, or taking a hybrid approach. She will use real customer examples to illustrate the tradeoffs, key decision points, and how to be successful with a cloud or hybrid cloud solution.
Sep. 22, 2014 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,331
In today's application economy, enterprise organizations realize that it's their applications that are the heart and soul of their business. If their application users have a bad experience, their revenue and reputation are at stake. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anand Akela, Senior Director of Product Marketing for Application Performance Management at CA Technologies, will discuss how a user-centric Application Performance Management solution can help inspire your users with every application transaction.
Sep. 22, 2014 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,994
With the explosion of the cloud, more businesses are transitioning to a recurring revenue model to generate reliable sales, grow profits, and open new markets. This opportunity requires businesses to get to market quickly with the pricing and packaging options customers want. In addition, you will want to take advantage of the ensuing tidal wave of data to more effectively upsell, cross-sell and manage your customers. All of this is possible, but only with the right approach. At 15th Cloud Expo, Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder at Aria Systems and the inventor of cloud billing panelists, will lead a panel discussion on what it takes to launch and manage a successful recurring revenue business. The panelists will offer their insights about what each department will need to consider, from financial management to line of business and IT. The panelists will also offer examples from their success in recurring revenue with companies such as Audi, Constant Contact, Experian, Pitney-Bowes, Teleko...
Sep. 12, 2014 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,502
Planning scalable environments isn't terribly difficult, but it does require a change of perspective. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will broaden your views to think on an Internet scale by dissecting a video publishing application built with The SoftLayer Platform, Message Queuing, Object Storage, and Drupal. By examining a scalable modular application build that can handle unpredictable traffic, attendees will able to grow your development arsenal and pick up a few strategies to apply to your own projects.
Sep. 12, 2014 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,803
The cloud provides an easy onramp to building and deploying Big Data solutions. Transitioning from initial deployment to large-scale, highly performant operations may not be as easy. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will discuss the benefits, weaknesses, and performance characteristics of public and bare metal cloud deployments that can help you make the right decisions.
Sep. 11, 2014 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,278
Over the last few years the healthcare ecosystem has revolved around innovations in Electronic Health Record (HER) based systems. This evolution has helped us achieve much desired interoperability. Now the focus is shifting to other equally important aspects – scalability and performance. While applying cloud computing environments to the EHR systems, a special consideration needs to be given to the cloud enablement of Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), i.e., the largest single medical system in the United States.
Sep. 10, 2014 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 3,618
Cloud and Big Data present unique dilemmas: embracing the benefits of these new technologies while maintaining the security of your organization’s assets. When an outside party owns, controls and manages your infrastructure and computational resources, how can you be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure? How do you best protect data in mixed use cloud and big data infrastructure sets? Can you still satisfy the full range of reporting, compliance and regulatory requirements? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Derek Tumulak, Vice President of Product Management at Vormetric, will discuss how to address data security in cloud and Big Data environments so that your organization isn’t next week’s data breach headline.
Sep. 10, 2014 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,779
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Sep. 6, 2014 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 5,051
Is your organization struggling to deal with skyrocketing volumes of digital assets? The amount of data is growing exponentially and organizations are having a hard time managing this growth. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Amar Kapadia, Senior Director of Open Cloud Strategy at Seagate, will walk through the essential considerations when developing a cloud storage strategy. In this discussion, you will understand the challenges IT is facing, why companies need to move to cloud, and how the right cloud model can help your business economically overcome the data struggle.
Sep. 6, 2014 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,806
If cloud computing benefits are so clear, why have so few enterprises migrated their mission-critical apps? The answer is often inertia and FUD. No one ever got fired for not moving to the cloud – not yet. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Michael Hoch, SVP, Cloud Advisory Service at Virtustream, will discuss the six key steps to justify and execute your MCA cloud migration.
Sep. 6, 2014 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,831
The 16th International Cloud Expo announces that its Call for Papers is now open. 16th International Cloud Expo, to be held June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Sep. 5, 2014 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,013
Most of today’s hardware manufacturers are building servers with at least one SATA Port, but not every systems engineer utilizes them. This is considered a loss in the game of maximizing potential storage space in a fixed unit. The SATADOM Series was created by Innodisk as a high-performance, small form factor boot drive with low power consumption to be plugged into the unused SATA port on your server board as an alternative to hard drive or USB boot-up. Built for 1U systems, this powerful device is smaller than a one dollar coin, and frees up otherwise dead space on your motherboard. To meet the requirements of tomorrow’s cloud hardware, Innodisk invested internal R&D resources to develop our SATA III series of products. The SATA III SATADOM boasts 500/180MBs R/W Speeds respectively, or double R/W Speed of SATA II products.
Sep. 4, 2014 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 9,022
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
Sep. 4, 2014 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,372
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudian, Inc., the leading provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudian is a Foster City, Calif.-based software company specializing in cloud storage. Cloudian HyperStore® is an S3-compatible cloud object storage platform that enables service providers and enterprises to build reliable, affordable and scalable hybrid cloud storage solutions. Cloudian actively partners with leading cloud computing environments including Amazon Web Services, Citrix Cloud Platform, Apache CloudStack, OpenStack and the vast ecosystem of S3 compatible tools and applications. Cloudian's customers include Vodafone, Nextel, NTT, Nifty, and LunaCloud. The company has additional offices in China and Japan.
Sep. 3, 2014 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,255
SYS-CON Events announced today that TechXtend (formerly Programmer’s Paradise), a leading value-added provider of server and storage virtualization, and r-evolution will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechXtend (formerly Programmer’s Paradise) is a leading value-added provider of software, systems and solutions for corporations, government organizations, and academic institutions across the United States and Canada. TechXtend is the Exclusive Reseller in the United States for r-evolution
Sep. 3, 2014 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,569
Every healthy ecosystem is diverse. This is especially true in cloud ecosystems, where portability and interoperability are more important than old enterprise models of proprietary ownership. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Baker, Server Product Manager at Canonical/Ubuntu, will discuss how single vendors used to take the lead in creating and delivering technology, but in a cloud economy, where users want tools of their preference, when and where they need them, it makes no sense.
Sep. 3, 2014 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,647
The consumption economy is here and so are cloud applications and solutions that offer more than subscription and flat fee models and at the same time are available on a pure consumption model, which not only reduces IT spend but also lowers infrastructure costs, and offers ease of use and availability. In their session at 15th Cloud Expo, Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, and Ian Khan, Global Strategic Positioning & Brand Manager at Solgenia, will discuss this shifting dynamic with an example of a top European Telco provider. Find out how they are leveraging the power of acloud-based consumption model services to offer more value to the mass market and enable a new revenue model that embraces the true meaning of the Third Industrial Revolution.
Sep. 2, 2014 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,514
The emergence of cloud computing and Big Data warrants a greater role for the PMO to successfully manage enterprise transformation driven by these powerful trends. As the adoption of cloud-based services continues to grow, a governance model is needed to orchestrate enterprise cloud implementations and harness the power of Big Data analytics. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mahesh Singh, President of BigData, Inc., to discuss how the Enterprise PMO takes center stage not only in developing the appropriate governance model but also in collaborating with key stakeholders to ensure a successful transformation.
Sep. 2, 2014 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,976
Cloud computing started a technology revolution; now DevOps is driving that revolution forward. By enabling new approaches to service delivery, cloud and DevOps together are delivering even greater speed, agility, and efficiency. No wonder leading innovators are adopting DevOps and cloud together! In his session at DevOps Summit, Andi Mann, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, will explore the synergies in these two approaches, with practical tips, techniques, research data, war stories, case studies, and recommendations.
Sep. 2, 2014 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 3,761