Last year Gartner came out with a SaaS revenue forecast that made the following statement:
“It is important to differentiate SaaS from hosting or application management or application outsourcing. Because the SaaS/on-demand market is ‘hot’, many suppliers are rebranding their hosting or application management or application outsourcing capabilities as SaaS/on-demand. The core proposition behind SaaS/on-demand is the delivery of multi-tenant service from a remote location over an internet protocol (IP) network via a subscription-based outsourcing contract.”
If your hardware and software appliance is hosted in an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) environment like Amazon EC2 , can you call it software-as-a-service (SaaS)? If it’s single tenant, the answer should be no. Why? Well let’s look at what Salesforce has to say on their website about their multitenant kernal:
- “Nearly 60,000 customers run on a massively shared infrastructure, which creates economies of scale not possible with single-tenant applications, whether they’re hosted on premises or with an ASP. “
- “In a multitenant environment, you can quickly, easily, and cost-effectively create development, test, staging, training, and production environments with just a few clicks.”
- “As the application load grows, the provider has to spend more time and money adding infrastructure and less time focusing on delivering new applications.”
- “In our multitenant, cloud-based service, the development team can see which capabilities customers are using, both in real time and historically.”
- “By discovering how those customers use the application, we can then turn these lessons into best practices for the community. ”
Here are a few questions to ask to be sure that your so-called SaaS vendor is truly delivering a multitenant solution and not just trying to re-invent themselves as ABAA (anything but an appliance):
- Can we sign up online and get started with a trial?
- How quickly can we get up and running?
- What is involved in implementation?
- How do you deliver upgrades?
- How many releases did you have last year?