Prior to the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model arriving on the scene, businesses were forced to buy, build, and maintain IT infrastructures despite exponential costs.
With the rapidly growing SaaS model, companies can plug in and subscribe to services built on shared infrastructure via the Internet. The SaaS model has flourished over the past 5 years due to the many benefits it offers to businesses of all sizes, and across segments.
Analysts project that SMB purchases of software products and services will become the largest IT segment by 2020, reaching 38 percent of the market. And in Cisco's Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2015-2020, they are predicting that SaaS will account for 74 percent of total cloud workloads by 2020.
The rise of public cloud platforms and the growth of SaaS applications makes it easier and more cost effective for businesses of all sizes to explore and purchase on-demand, online software.
One of the major appeals of SaaS options, is that they generally have a low barrier to entry, since they do not require hardware infrastructure to be set up, software to be installed and configured or ongoing updates to be tested and deployed, allowing for very cost effective deployments.
The market is seeing an increasing number of organizations adopting SaaS, for business applications like sales force automation, payroll, and e-commerce. In a Forrester survey, sales force automation application is found to be the top-ranked application being used as SaaS.
Migration to a subscription model is as inevitable as the move to the cloud, and while it might be happening slower in some software segments, it is happening. There has been a shift in customer demand regarding how businesses want to adopt software licenses and other technologies. Businesses of all types are demanding easier, flexible, and economical ways do execute their day to day business activities.
SaaS is based on subscription, eliminating license fees and therefore comes with low initial costs. Thus providing a huge reduction of costs affecting the IT infrastructure and the people managing it for companies of all sizes. Most customers look to subscription-based models because those allow a move to an OPEX model versus a CAPEX model, and consumers always appreciate only having to pay for what they use.
With web based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), there is no longer the need to install the software, and it is the same for all other customers. SaaS applications are available from any computer or any device-anytime, anywhere. SaaS tends to have high adoption rates with a lower learning curve due to the ease of use. SaaS based models reduce risks and gives organizations an easy path to generate quick time to value and measurable return on investment.
The SaaS model has also changed the way that updates and integrations happen. There is a shift from users having to purchase the software and pay for upgraded versions as they become available, to essentially "renting" the latest updates in real time and pay monthly for the term length that fits your business needs. SaaS manages all updates and upgrades, allowing users to skip laborious installations of patches. Many SaaS providers offer customized options to meet customer needs and provide APIs that let businesses integrate the different ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems existing within your organization. SaaS vendors with multi-tenant architectures can easily scale to meet customer demands.
The CenturyLink Marketplace provides an online catalog of 3rd party provider installable software, allowing consumers to browse and purchase in a self-service, low friction consumption model.
CenturyLink understands the value of both a painless integration process and the benefits to 3rd party providers of having their products and services available to some of the largest enterprise clients and leading edge development teams in every conceivable industry, in an on-demand fashion, all with consolidated billing.
The CenturyLink Marketplace Provider Program provides several paths for providers to integration into the Marketplace. The SaaS model for integration enables SaaS providers a streamlined implementation process. The process is simple and fast, with comprehensive documentation, and access to CenturyLink engineers.
Sid Prasanna, CEO of FlexSecure, had this to say regarding his companies experience with integrating their SaaS offering into the CenturyLink Marketplace:
"The FlexSecure team found it very easy to integrate into the CenturyLink Marketplace via the SaaS model. The CenturyLink Marketplace team made the process easy and seamless."
Other benefits of joining the CenturyLink include access to a Provider Portal, where partners can update their public facing customer data in real time. The CenturyLink Marketplace team also builds out comprehensive sales force training, customer facing data sheets, co-marketing campaigns, and more.
Looking to get your Software-as-a-Service in front of a new customer base in a simple model? Learn more about the Marketplace Provider Program here or contact the CenturyLink Marketplace Team directly.