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Whether you call it Software as a Service (SaaS), Managed Service Provider (MSP) or On-Demand Services, your organization uses the service running “in the cloud”. This blog will discuss these services, their benefits, drawbacks and operations. Are we biased? Yes. We believe that some services make sense for most organizations. Email security is one of those. However as Mark Twain said, “All generalizations are false, even this one.” Each Tuesday we will post information and questions about Software as a Service. Occasionally, we will have a "Guest Post" from either a consultant or vendor posting her/his thoughts on Managed Services generally as well as some degree of specificity based on her/his unique perspective. We encourage your insights, comments and feedback. Welcome.


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Business Continuity on a SaaS Platform for the Small-to-Medium Sized Business

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While large organizations have realized the benefits of SaaS, the synergy is perhaps even greater in the SMB market where SaaS delivers services that are easy to use, deploy rapidly, require no upfront investment in equipment, software, or staffing, and reduce software management responsibility. This offers the SMB customers with Enterprise-Class services that were once restricted to the Fortune 500 realm.

Business Continuity on a SaaS Platform Offers a Distinct Competitive Advantage

Of those services that can be delivered using a SaaS model, Business Continuity is likely to make the biggest impact on small to medium sized businesses. Business Continuity solutions ensure a company’s critical business functions (like email, database and other critical business applications) continue to be available to employees, suppliers, and customers in the event of an unplanned outage from both internally as well as external threats.

Recent events like 9/11, SARs, and Hurricane Katrina have made business continuity “top of mind” with many C-level decision makers. SaaS puts this mission critical service within reach of small and medium sized businesses, and affords these organizations distinct competitive advantages. In the event of an unplanned outage, the organization with a robust business continuity solution can continue to deliver on its commitments to customers, suppliers, employees, and regulatory bodies.

Business Continuity an “In-Demand” Service

While business continuity delivered through an easily deployed host-based SaaS offering makes sense for small and medium-sized businesses, it also affords the Managed Service Provider (MSP) new opportunities.  Solution providers can now offer their customers a leading edge, “in-demand” service that is a significant source of recurring and incremental revenue. Moreover, with a SaaS solution, billing times are compressed – customers can be up and running in days instead of months, with minimal support required from the MSP.

Solution providers considering SaaS offerings – including business continuity – should look for a technology partner that recognizes the importance of total account ownership, allowing the provider to retain a direct relationship with the customer. Marketing, sales, technical support and leading edge tools, for the MSP’s staff and customers is also critical.

Evaluating the Technology behind SaaS hosted Business Continuity Services

For the Channel, SaaS means big business. Worldwide total software revenue for SaaS within the enterprise software market is projected to surpass $5.1 billion in 2007, a 21 percent increase from 2006 revenue, according to Gartner, Inc.

Finally, solution providers should evaluate the technological foundation of the SaaS solution.  Is it scalable and accessible? Particularly in the case of business continuity, the ability to add or change servers and features as the nature of the business changes, is very important, as is the ability to access applications anytime, from any location.  Does the solution provide the ability to up-sell services and add on partner billing opportunities to help move one time customers to long term clients.  lso, look for a solution that works with a broad range of leading technology platforms and solutions popular in the SMB space.

Bullet-proofing your service delivery with Business Continuity on a SaaS platform lets you cost-effectively protect your revenue streams, and offer your customers an “in-demand” service that is likely, in these uncertain times, to become indispensable to the SMB market.

Joshua Geist, President and Chief Executive Officer, Geminare Incorporated
T: 1-888-593-4443 x212
F: 1-888-993-9097
www.geminare.com


Posted on : Oct 07 2008
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Posted under Business Continuity, Managed Services, SaaS |


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