Category Archives: SaaS

Why Customer Feedback Is So Important In The SaaS Model of Services?

Why Customer Feedback Is So Important in The SaaS Model of Services?

The Automatic Feedback Loop? How beneficial is it? Today, SaaS pioneers are calling it a key ingredient in the success and recognize this growing trend.

When you list the benefits of using SaaS, as a provider, all you can see is the low cost of capital and easy upgrading of the software – but they never actually recognize the providers getting customer data as a benefit. That is “Gold” info as many marketers would put it, but the providers actually see it as a security threat because customers are worried about their usage info becoming public. However, as said many SaaS Pioneers see this as a key benefit to both the customer and the provider.

Unlike legacy, applications, SaaS providers can actually see the activity of all of their customers exactly how the apps are being used. As the CEO of Coveo and the former vice president of Global Services at SaaS Pioneer says, you no longer have a client as your customer rather your client becomes your partner, and you actually get genuine feedback. You see which plug-ins and features are being used, which are not and which are losing favoritism.

Another SaaS provider commented that they used the customer data to build and better design the software. They do this by studying all of the hundreds of usage patterns. We can see where users are hitting the wall and signing off the system: This info allows them to improve usability of the applications and up their customer satisfaction.

The manufacturing industry is unquestionably progressing. The 17 year old Plex Ltd is currently accumulating a mountain of knowledge in customer usage and experience and repackaging this info by building software that actually increases the industry benchmark for users.

If you do not actually have this kind of system these days then you cannot actually grow in the industry nor set new benchmarks. It is because these measures and info are measurable and obtainable in nature that they can be used for this exact purpose.

Even in the gaming industry a similar trend has emerged. The gaming companies are able to track and record every aspect of their gamers during the game. Not just from the ones that they sell on their own but even from their resellers’ gamers. Because all of them are connected to the same software platform, all gaming trends and data are accumulated in the company server and studied by the provider. That is the beauty of SaaS based gaming.

By Walter Bailey

Cloud infographic: Cloud Security Adoption

Cloud infographic: Cloud Security Adoption

Cloud infographic: Cloud Security Adoption

Security is a real issue even though it is true that cloud computing is just as safe as traditional systems when it comes to apparent vulnerabilities and security holes. This is because of the nature of cloud computing, the public cloud, there are a lot more people with proximity access to the data… Continue reading

Included is a useful infographic made available by CA Technologies.


Infographic Source:  CA Technologies


Cloud Computing Proving To Be Major Resource For Hedge Funds

Cloud Computing Proving to be Major Resource for Hedge Funds

As we near the end of Q1 2013, hedge fund managers continue to generate higher returns. Following several years of sub-par performances from global hedge funds, investment managers have turned to cloud computing and infrastructure-as-a-service providers to not only cut costs, but also boost productivity. Many of the concerns that managers once had about migrating to cloud-based IT solutions, such as security, privacy and application performance, have been alleviated, and the benefits, such as cost predictability, business continuity and scalability, are tangible.

Cost Predictability

As small- to medium-sized hedge funds look to do more with less in the face of today’s regulatory and investor pressures, they need to be able to anticipate and account for their expenses. These firms don’t typically have the budget to absorb surprises related to building and maintaining on-site data centers, which can bring major distraction, a budgeting nightmare and significant risk. A cloud services model offers an out-of-the-box functional infrastructure, deployment in days and drastically reduced start-up risk. Cloud providers own all the equipment and are already used by other funds, so the manager doesn’t need to write the big check up front or worry about any potential missed details.

Unpredictable expenses don’t stop once the data center is built. Equipment can break or simply need to be replaced, and firms face mandatory system upgrades, data corruption and hard drive failure, among other challenges. Adding or removing capacity can also result in hard-to-predict costs, and staff levels must be adjusted at certain thresholds — preferably before workloads reach critical levels. Cloud service providers hedge this risk in exchange for a predictable monthly subscription fee, where even the added or lowered costs of scaling the needed capacity is predictable, since the cost and required lead time for making that change are known ahead of time.

Business Continuity

Hedge funds are held to high standards when it comes to their business continuity plans. A technology failure can be disastrous for money managers, yet more firms than ever are entrusting cloud service providers to “disaster proof” their business. This is because dedicated cloud service providers benefit from economies of scale and can offer a product that is constantly validated by others using the same service. Relocating and replicating IT resources to off-site locations also protects businesses from disasters in primary offices. Funds can tailor solutions to their specific business needs, or outsource “a-la-carte,” moving all their IT resources off site, or outsourcing only key components.

Key man risk is also common in hedge funds with only one or two IT people that are qualified to trouble-shoot technology issues. If those individuals are unavailable at a time of emergency, the result can be disastrous for the business. Consultants can help in an emergency, but they still require time and money to gain familiarity with the IT environment. Having just a few key IT individuals also poses the risk of their own limited capacity; it’s not feasible for one person to monitor the health of an on-site data center 24/7 with very short response times. Conversely, cloud service providers employ teams of dedicated staff that monitor the network 24/7.


Cloud providers offer the unique ability to quickly and cost-effectively meet changing business needs. Hedge funds no longer need to worry about how to expand their IT capacity, technical staff levels or server space, or fund new hardware and software resources to grow or enter new markets. Instead, managers can embrace an outsourced model that lets them focus on their core business rather than invest time and effort into solving IT problems. “Scaling down” can be as simple as a phone call, meaning fund managers no longer need to focus on staff layoffs, reselling hardware, or low data center use.

By using these services, hedge funds no longer have to spend the time and money required to build an in-house platform. Cloud service providers can offer an established infrastructure to get managers up and running within days instead of weeks or months. While some managers still perceive cloud computing as an emerging trend in the financial space, it has undoubtedly become an integral part of many hedge funds’ business strategies. It has become evident that IT outsourcing services run day-to-day operations more efficiently and offer managers the chance to scale more effectively, enabling firms to turn over the hassle of managing IT to a trusted partner and focus instead on their core business.

By Chris Grandi, CEO, Abacus Group

Cloud Infographic: Companies Fighting For Data

Cloud Infographic: Companies Fighting For Data

Cloud Infographic: Companies Fighting For Data

The amount of data in our world increases massively day-by-day. Big data is about capturing, storing and analyzing large pools of data from customers/consumers, suppliers, partners, operations, employees etc. According to a McKinsey  report, US companies from almost all industry sectors have, on average, hundreds of terabytes of data stored per company. The amount of data is growing as companies gather more and more information with each transaction and interaction with their customers.

Read More: Big Data & The Cloud



Infographic Source: Evault

Heroes Of The Cloud – Part 5

Heroes Of The Cloud – Part 5

Heroes Of The Cloud – Part 5


Marc Benioff has been called a pioneering “guerrilla marketer” of Software as a Service. USAToday credits him with “turning the software industry on its head” as he used the Internet to “revamp the way software programs are designed and distributed”.

Benioff grew up in San Francisco, and joined Oracle soon after graduating from USC in 1986. Unlike so many of the Silicon Valley legends, Benioff’s educational background was not in computers, but in Business Administration, although he did have a computer background as a kid. He was named Rookie of the Year at Oracle, and within three years became the company’s youngest Vice President. In March 1999, he helped to found, and became a leading evangelist for Software as a Service. started in a small San Francisco apartment with a stated mission of “The End Of Software”. The software/hardware debate goes back to the earliest days of personal computing and the Menlo Park Homebrew Computer Club where Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak got their start. Software is the heart of the giant Microsoft as well as many other notable tech firms.

When Benioff calls for the death of software, what he means is the end of buying software and putting it on your own computer. was developed on the model of Software as a Service (SaaS), where the software a business uses is accessed through the Internet on a Cloud application. Benioff’s partners in had previously worked on Clarify, and developed a sales automation software.

Considered a leader in enterprise cloud computing, CRM, Customer Relationship Management is the heart of Their products include the Sales Cloud, the Service Cloud, the platform, Chatter,, AppExchange, and other services.

The cloud used by is hosted by Oracle. In fact since leaving the company to form, Benioff has maintained close ties to his mentors at Oracle, but as the importance of Cloud Computing increases, the two companies find themselves as competitors, often not friendly competitors. is increasing its commitment to the open-source database PostgreSQL. PostgreSQL is seen as a threat to Oracle’s core database offering.

By Peter Knight

Cost Effective And Flexible Solution For Companies To Meet Their IT Needs – Part 1

Cloud Computing – Cost Effective and Flexible Solution for Companies – Part 1

What is Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is gaining popularity since last few years. It is a computing model that uses shared infrastructure to provide computing resources to companies dynamically over a cloud, such as internet. It enables companies to use data storage, software applications, and computer processing power owned and maintained by cloud service providers through the internet or proprietary network of the service provider.

The cloud computing services are broadly divided into three categories:

1. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

2. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

3. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Alternatively, some providers use some different nomenclature, e.g. Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) for IaaS and only SaaS for later two categories.

Cloud computing allows enterprises and small businesses to user a shared infrastructure as a service. It brings freedom from maintaining and configuring local servers by allowing the usage of distributed servers and computers maintained and configured by cloud computing service providers. These service providers are essentially well equipped and capable of operating distributed computing infrastructure than a small business or enterprise that does not specialize in IT infrastructure and services thereby allowing them to concentrate on their core business.

The cloud also allows companies to use the computing resources as needed by making them a service. For example, a retail business that requires more computing resources say the number of servers for certain months of a year due to the high volume of business while its needs drop to a few servers for the rest of the year. By using cloud from a cloud service provider, such retail business can save capital investment that remains idle most the year.

The same is true about ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) provided by cloud computing providers. Companies can purchase monthly or quarterly subscriptions instead of purchasing complete license and become worry free from its becoming obsolete in a few months or a year. Traditionally, newer versions of software require companies to purchase them again, and sometimes these newer versions also need enhanced infrastructure due to added functionalities, and thus add up to investments in infrastructure. Cloud services, both infrastructure and software allow companies to cut cost on repurchase of newer versions and upgrading of infrastructure.

How Companies Benefit from Cloud Computing

Companies can readily benefit from cloud computing. Some of the benefits cloud offers to companies are:

1. Time to start using the infrastructure and services is significantly reduced. Since cloud providers can extend services quickly, companies do no longer need lead time for bidding, purchasing, installation, and configuration of hardware and software

2. Costs on software licensing are reduced as companies can use online services in the cloud

3. Companies no longer need dedicated human resources for IT infrastructure and thus save administrative costs

4. Since cloud service providers specialize in infrastructure and software, they can offer more availability and reliability than a small in-house IT team could provide

5. Companies no more need to maintain their servers. This reduces maintenance cost

By Krishan Lal Khatri,

Krishan is a technology researcher and writer with over 12 years experience in telecommunication industry. He has a masters degree in Electronic Engineering and is member of IEEE and ISOC. He has worked with leading telecommunication service providers in Pakistan and United Arab Emirates for 10 years and then switched to teaching and research by joining a public sector university. He is currently pursuing PhD in Electrical Engineering.

The Fine Line Between SaaS Business Optimization And Innovation

The Fine Line Between SaaS Business Optimization and Innovation

Let’s take a minute to talk about optimization vs. innovation, especially where it applies to software, namely SaaS software. There is a very clear and distinct difference between these two core concepts, and not understanding this difference can doom you from the start. Often, people will label optimization of a design to be a form of innovation, and will often even go as far as to market it as such.

They rarely get called out on this, as consumers aren’t tech experts, though they’re far from stupid. Oh, they know something’s up, they just couldn’t point out exactly what, and so they remain silent and contemplative, tolerating the nonsense as best as they can. Well, this isn’t right, so tech people, consumers, everyone else – let’s talk about the differences between them.

Let’s cite a couple hypothetical scenarios, one is innovation and the other is optimization. Examples are the best way to learn and demonstrate, obviously, and they’re much more pleasant to read. Pleasant reading is of course retained reading.

Let’s begin. We will be looking at the fictional company, BlueRodent Graphics, a respected and successful developer of SaaS graphical development tools for cooperative cloud GD.

Case #1 – Innovation

The R&D lab at BlueRodent has been watching the trends with graphics and graphical needs. They see the forthcoming need for vastly easier 3D modeling, a feature their suite, GoldenRing, doesn’t even support. They’ve stayed away from 3D design for the longest time due to the extreme computing cost of modeling, coupled with past SaaS latency, along with the difficulty inherent to 3D modeling software on a usability end.

Alas, graphics design software is beginning to be judged not just for its 2D capacities, but for its 3D, and so BlueRodent can no longer refrain from trying to support the burgeoning medium. Conventional 3D modeling interfaces are baffling and difficult, and while modern web tech will allow for responsive interface at long last, they don’t want their famously easy-to-use GoldenRing suite to become a mess.

The brilliant R&D lab, in accompaniment with a team of UX experts, has come up with a novel new idea to represent 3D as a series of 2D sheets. In order to shape basic 3D models, all that must be done is for the user to draw lines and curves onto this sheet. They can then cut them and fold them with easy 3D motions, like origami. Anyone who’s ever made a paper airplane can easily get the basics of this modeling concept in a few minutes. Those serious about 3D, and who are used to the sleek design GoldenRing already has …  well, they can master yet more innovating 3D modeling in days or weeks, rather than months or years. The origami modeling system is innovative, new, and completely changes the way 3D is to be approached. In the following years, everyone will try to imitate BlueRodent’s origami modeling technique.

Case #2 – Optimization

While the R&D lab toils to solve the 3D barrier for GoldenRing, the rest of the development staff sees another issue that’s a little more pertinent for them to address. Why is the vector graphics engine so slow and non-responsive? Pixel-based art works at lightning speed and the latency between cooperative users through the server is less than 5/1000 of a second, and yet, vectors are slow. Vectors use less data, since they’re just geometry and math, not boxes of individual colors.

This is a problem, given how popular vectors are, and how otherwise lauded GoldenRing’s vector design interface and capacity is. If it just didn’t lag so much when more than one user was working on a design in unison.

And then, one single programmer, on his third cup of coffee, has an epiphany. The pixel data for regular graphics is being handled by relaying a color and coordinate directly to the server where it echoes it back to other live users. Vectors are being sent to a secondary block of PHP where it renders the image, and redraws it for everyone. It’s still giving everyone pixels, just way too many way too quickly.

And so, the rest of the BlueRodent team listens with much eagerness as he outlines a plan to shift the vector rendering to the local interface, using HTML5 to draw the vectors live, client side, just as it has been doing for pixels the whole time. No longer will PHP draw the entire image every time, and then require it to be re-loaded by clients. And as such, the vector methods for GoldenRing become faster than Flash or Illustrator with a simple optimization of how it is handled.

This is optimization, the refinement of an existing structure to remove inefficiencies and make it perform much better.

And thus, as we followed two issues that BlueRodent addressed, we see clearly the demonstration of innovation – a new, never before conceived concept, even to solve a known issue. And we see a demonstration of optimization, to make something already in place work better just by shifting the strategy for how it is handled.

Guest Post By Omri Erel,

Marketing director at WalkMe and lead author of SaaS Addict

Using The Cloud For Better Business Continuity

Using The Cloud For Better Business Continuity

Using The Cloud For Better Business Continuity

Planning for your cloud application or website to go down seems like it should be a no brainer. We assume that every business is aptly prepared; in fact most people reading this probably believe theirs is. It is, right? Right? Turns out it only takes one extreme incident to show us that keeping websites and applications online no matter what the circumstance really is an after thought for many organizations. For instance, sites like Gawker, Gizmodo, and Huffington Post all went down during Hurricane Sandy last fall, as did hundreds of other businesses’ critical infrastructure. While I can’t speculate as to what kinds of IT practices these businesses had in place, we can assume their business continuity planning wasn’t as strong as it could have been – despite being in a region of the country that gets hit with hurricanes on an annual basis.

Now it’s one thing for websites to go down, it’s another thing for applications that house critical data – that needs to be accessed on a dime – to suddenly be inaccessible. Depending on the industry, the risks of this inaccessibility can be grave. For instance, the stakes for healthcare, eCommerce platforms and SaaS/PaaS solutions providers are extremely high if data suddenly becomes unavailable.

Think about it – natural and unnatural disasters strike every day, everywhere in the world. We can count on it. Yet businesses still leave their data at risk of being “lost,” if even for a short time. In an era when about everything lives in the cloud, BCP can no longer be left on the back burner. Here are some ways businesses can leverage the cloud for smarter BCP.

Resources on Demand

Businesses used to balk at BCP simply because of the time it took to implement such a plan. Ordering new hardware, provisioning circuits and signing contracts with a colocation provider could literally take months. The cloud removes all of those steps. Organizations can literally spin up a virtualized machine within minutes in another location, resulting in very little to no downtime. The instant spin up and switch down aspect of the cloud is particularly handy when preparing for seasonal events like hurricanes. These tend to hit the coast at about the same time every year and subside a couple of months later. An IT director could replicate his environment a month before the hurricane season starts, stand it up in a region that is untouched by hurricanes (like Arizona), and turn the deployment down a month or two later. If the season is a little prolonged than usual, there is no need, as with a traditional hosting contract, to sign up for another year, when the environment could be used for only a couple of weeks.

Better and more resources for efficient failover means cloud infrastructure is perfect for replicating applications and databases across a multitude of environments and geographically diverse infrastructure. This enablement means enterprises can easily redirect their traffic to any number of failover facilities using DNS management, thus greatly lowering the risk. This amazing agility can make the preplanning and nominal additional cost worthwhile. The geographical diversity of cloud providers is key here. Tornado risk in the mid-west? Move the workload to an east coast cloud node. Hurricane risk on the east coast? Replicate the workload to a cloud node in Arizona. Earthquake risk in California? Re-locate to a node in Texas. None of this is a hassle with cloud infrastructure.

Redundancy no longer costs an arm and a leg

Cost has been a huge factor that prevents businesses of every size from implementing effective business continuity plans. The cloud makes this a moot (or at least much more palatable) point.

Hot / Cold business continuity configuration – As mentioned, when the cloud is used for BC solutions, resources like processors, RAM, and storage allocations can remain practically dormant until the moment the business needs them, at which time, these resources can be scaled up quickly to manage the production load. A cloud business continuity solution can be deployed so quickly that active users (on the website or application) don’t even notice a blip. With cloud, enterprises and SMBs alike can now have BC plans with global infrastructure in place without breaking the budget.

Hot / Hot business continuity configurationDNS management tools enable IT stakeholders to mirror a production hosting environment, in its entirety, to a secondary location. The geo-location features of DNS can play a role here too, providing a performance boost as requests can be routed via load-balancing to the most local production node. Running two deployments ‘live-live’ where Web servers and possibly even data base servers share the load between the two locations, is a good option for highly transactional businesses, where even a moment of interruption leads to revenue loss.

It’s remarkable how many companies still rely on traditional (dare I say outdated) back up practices such as weekly back up to tape. Cloud can be a game changer for IT, lowering the price of a business continuity solutions, while at the same time providing more businesses better access to robust and protective options quickly.



By Daniel Beazer

Daniel Beazer has an extensive history of research and strategy with hosting and cloud organizations.  As director of strategy at FireHost, Daniel Beazer oversees interactions with enterprise and strategic customers. In this role, he identifies pain points that are unique to high-level customers and utilises his significant knowledge of cloud computing and hosting to help them. 


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