Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past couple years, you’ve undoubtedly heard a lot of talk about enterprise software as a service. The new decade’s abuzz with new terminology like the cloud, SaaS, HTML5 and so on. Of course, unless you’re a techie, you don’t really bother yourself about what these mean, as long as they make business go zoom. That’s understandable in most cases. However, when it comes to SaaS … it behooves us business people to make note of what this technology really is.
Enterprise software as a service is a powerful new platform concept for delivering business software, data and analytics solutions to corporations of any size. This is a revolutionary concept, but it’s not a brand new idea. The idea of a browser being a portal to remote computing, with an IP-delivered interface and data output was how daily computing was envisioned in the 60s.
However, it’s only practical to do this in a way more versatile than awkward command terminals in recent times. As a result, a set of solutions not originally practical to create or to market have blossomed into really useful tools.
Let’s take a look at a few examples, shall we?
The biggest thing of long term interest is a technology that is in fact the predecessor of something that we’ve wished for in our science fiction for eons. WalkMe is a tutorial creation program. Now, that may not sound too exciting, but that’s because you haven’t heard why it’s so unique of a tutorial creation tool. What it does is, you use this simple point and click logic and a WYSIWYG editor for controls, to create this integrated logic macro into other web forms (including SaaS).
It possesses impressive sensory once integrated, able to watch the state of the browser, the web forms, and even gather analytics during this process. With this sensory, and the complex (but easy to use) logic, it can react to user patterns and actions. It can stop them, direct them to different fields in the form, prompt them with instructions and monitor and prevent critical mistakes.
It can be used to train users while they operate whatever it’s teaching. They can learn by doing, and get real work done during training. Now, that’s impressive, but this same reactive smart macro can work wonders for self service, additional smart assistance within websites, and a host of other applications.
Now, the other big thing that’s been the first shockwave of the SaaS revolution is the CRM software suite. Since its introduction as something evolved past its tool chain ancestry, it has become very core to business operations.
Salesforce has dominated this market for some time, due to its tremendous flexibility and customizability, along with its exposed API and diverse app exchange which make its features virtually unlimited and its brandability and tasking potential second to none.
However, given it’s so expensive, Zoho is often a second choice for smaller businesses. Zoho was built with these small and medium businesses in mind, and while it can’t integrate with as many remote services, and it lacks the app exchange feature, Zoho offers additional services to integrate, and it does have an exposed API which means it theoretically can be made to integrate with whatever, if you’re willing to put some elbow grease into it.
These are just the prime examples of enterprise software as a service being applied powerfully. There is so much more that can be and is done in this field.