Charlotte, North Carolina – (The Hosting News) – February 5, 2008 – Gartner’s recent survey on the SaaS market has shown that enterprise software firms are seeing the immense benefits of an SaaS deployment.
Data center and managed web hosting services firm, Hosted Solutions, has issued information on excelling in the evolution of the SaaS market industry. Enterprise software firms are no longer using SaaS deployments to fill in where IT had been backlogged, or where renting services are cheaper than implementing something behind the firewall. Now, they are rolling out mainstream applications.
Information received from Vice President of Business Development and General Manager at Hosted Solutions, Gary McAuliffe, indicates that as the software industry is changing at a blistering pace, competition and customer demand are rapidly increasing, pushing software firms to offer the best solutions to stay ahead.
In this industry, when Microsoft speaks, everyone listens. This small take from a recent interview with Allison Watson, corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s worldwide partner group, The industry will change is very foretelling into the software giant’s plans for the future.
Competition and customer demand are a couple of external issues facing software vendors entering the market. Internal strains and challenges such as more stringent Service Level Agreements (SLA), application development, and delivery of the application pose an entirely different set of issues. Staying ahead of the curve is rapidly going to be a focus of every software firm, enterprise or start-up.
The one great equalizer in this battle of developers is Managed Service Providers. Managed hosting provides numerous benefits, both external and internal. Externally, the right Managed Service Provider can take your product global instantly, while still producing an optimal user experience. Anytime-anywhere access to data is critical to keep pace in todayâ€™s software market. In an industry characterized by intense competition and extreme change, there are many limitations which exist that become detrimental to a company’s success. Managed Service Providers engineer infrastructure for reliability, resiliency, and security, in some cases offering 100% network uptimes. In maximizing a customer facing distribution channelâ€™s uptime, revenues are able to be met as well as properly forecasted.
Optimal user experience is a key focal point, as providing a customer facing application can be a double-edged sword. With the advancements in technology, anyone can develop a web portal, but customer satisfaction is pivotal in this relationship, especially realizing the lifetime value of a customer. People by nature are resistant to change, thus creating interdependencies between the user and your product can pay a lifetime of rewards, not to mention creating alternate revenue streams from long-term plans of up-selling SaaS accounts into software licenses. Managed Service Providers take congestion issues, technology failures, and skill limitations out of the equation.
Time to market is the other external issue that a Managed Service Provider remedies. Speed is the name of the game in getting a product to market before the competition. As the general public becomes more tech savvy, new competition can arise instantly. Typically, a managed services provider can customize an enterprise class solution to fit your companyâ€™s needs. By standardizing their platforms and obtaining licensing agreements from vendors, a Managed Service Provider greatly reduces a SaaS application’s time to market, consequently giving your organization a vital competitive advantage. Facilitating a smooth and rapid route to market can only increase market share. As the software industry makes large shifts in their distribution paradigm over the next few years, market share is going to become an increasingly important factor.
Internally, partnering with a Managed Service Provider can provide software companies with a plethora of benefits. The capital expenditures to provide and maintain everything the business requires to launch and sustain itself from the application, developers, system administrators, to any commercial software required to run the application, along with a full infrastructure pose daunting barriers to overcome. A MSP will deliver those harsh capital expenditures over a more tolerable operational cost structure allowing software companies to reinvest their upfront capital into software where it is more beneficial in the overall well being of the firm. As we saw in 2007, 2008 and beyond may have been a springboard for a large number of SaaS companies going public to secure funding for future growth. NetSuite, athenahealth, ConstantContact, and Salary.com all had huge IPOs in 2007, and will give the overall industry momentum on the exchanges. Once public, the bottom line is managed a lot tighter to satisfy investors, and by utilizing a managed service providerâ€™s cost effective and predictable cost structure, budgeting and forecasting becomes a lot easier to manage.
Organizational focus is the final way to excel in this highly competitive market. By focusing internal manpower on applications, the overall end product is maximized. By providing a premier back office IT experience, SaaS companiesâ€™ focus can remain on the application versus the everyday IT tasks. A Managed Service Provider even maximizes the capability of the organization by providing 24×7 expert support in multiple functional areas. This level of support typically would be too expensive to obtain and maintain. After all, achieving operational efficiency is good for any organization.
Last year, Hosted Solutions added New Way Media, producers of integrateable marketing automation and communications tools, WAM, to its portfolio of Software-as-a-Service providers. The decision utilizes Hosted Solutions secure network to provide reliability and availability to New Way Media’s technology hardware and applications. The Charlotte-based leaders in marketing automation and communications software felt that securing a partner that could provide engineering expertise and best practices on delivering a fully managed solution to support the delivery of its application via the most effective channels was crucial to the continued success of the company.
Hosted Solutions provides New Way Media with a managed infrastructure in which New Way Medias core applications will reside. The infrastructure will consist of dedicated servers, managed firewalls, and managed switches. Hosted Solutions will also provide their Hi-Touch OS Management service, licensing, backup and recovery services, and network services from their SAS 70 Type II certified Raleigh data center. By providing Software-as-a-Service companies with services that are cost effective, but provide deep functionality and very little maintenance, Hosted Solutions has been fundamental in the growth of numerous area SaaS providers.
Hosted Solutions’ Data Center and Managed Hosting solutions were developed to maintain and protect customers’ mission-critical, back-office IT systems and applications, enabling them to reduce operating costs, lower the risk of downtime, focus on core competencies, and achieve their top business objectives. The company operates four SAS 70 Type II audited Data Centers in Boston MA, Charlotte NC, Raleigh NC, and Cary NC providing best-of-breed data center operations with hardened physical infrastructure, the highest level of security, and a complete managed services portfolio.
To learn more about Hosted Solutions, please visit: www.hostedsolutions.com.