The short answer to this question is ‘a lot’. Not only do you get support, maintenance, updates, upgrades and access to the SaaS Providers applications, you also get the benefit of the Saas provider’s expertise within the specific area. SaaS (Software as a Service) is when a software provider licences a particular piece of business software to an organisation in exchange for a recurring annual fee. Here are some benefits of using an ERP SaaS:
Simplicity – The business alternative to using a SaaS for their ERP system is to build the system from the ground up themselves and for most small to mid-sized businesses; this is not a viable option as they simply do not have the time, expertise or revenue to be able to create such a complex system effectively.
Compliance issues – There are a number of compliance issues which each ERP system must satisfy and an outsourced ERP system will ensure that these requirements are met thus relieving this problem from the company intending the use the ERP system. That said all companies considering a Saas ERP system should ensure that the application that they are being offered is PS-DSS validated and that the infrastructure application is SAS70 Certified. In addition to this, those companies using the ERP system as part of their retail software to assist them in purchases of products therefore you should ensure that the application is also PCI-DSS certified (Payment Application data Security Standard) as this will allow you to make secure payments.
Power Issues – The cost of running an ERP system (or any system of this size) can be more than what most people expect since it requires an air condition system to be constantly running in the background as well as backup generators to ensure that the business can continue running smoothly in case a power failure takes place. Implementing this could prove costly for a business but with a SaaS ERP system, all this would be dealt with by Software Company providing the ERP system.
Automatic software updates – The organisation providing the ERP system would be responsible for providing all software updates which means that the organisation using the ERP system will benefit from updates as soon as they are released. This includes all software updates ranging from Microsoft Security upgrade/patches as well as Anti-virus dat updates.
Support – Even if an organisation was to successfully develop an ERP system themselves, the on-going maintenance of the system would prove very difficult if the organisation did not have access to ERP professionals. Fortunately when the organisation opts for a SaaS ERP system, it also receives the benefit of a helpdesk facility which is operated by experts within the ERP field. These people will be able to give informed and reliable recommendation when things go wrong.
Opting for a SaaS software model means you get much more than just an application, it provides you with a highly efficient application which is maintained by experts thus ensuring that you get the most from your investment. In addition to this, despite what most would believe, in most cases paying a SaaS ERP system can work out cheaper than if an organisation was to implement an ERP system itself.