SaaS vs. The Cloud – Some thoughts from Marc Defosse

While on his travels, Marc recorded this little audio piece about how what some people define as SaaS isn’t quite what it seems.
Listen below.

Here’s a transcript:
“Hi, It’s Marc Defosse here from Ribbonfish. Today, I wanted to talk to you a bit about SaaS And cloud computing.
I visited a client a while back, and we were talking about the fact that their software vendor is a big, leading vendor in the space of publishing. They were telling me that they were on a SaaS version of the software, and was a bit puzzled by the word ‘SaaS version’.
For me, the point of SaaS is that all the clients are using the same version in the server, and there is only one application as the service, with all the clients buying into that service, if you will.
So, I started asking questions, and they said that they’d been on the SaaS version for 5 years and the software vendor is now telling them they don’t have new functionality, because it’s reserved for the newer version.
That really surprised me, because at Ribbonfish, cloud computing shouldn’t just be virtualising software and putting it on a host machine somewhere on the cloud. Cloud computing is something very different, and the service is something very different. It’s something that is built from the ground up, to be scalable, that benefits from today’s technology, that every customer can hook into and get exactly the same service.
As a software vendor, the benefits of that is that you only have one source code to maintain, clients are always on the same version, and new features can be incorporated to benefit everybody.
This is opposed to just taking a software that exists, for example a very old dust-off software, virtualising it, putting it on a host machine somewhere, and saying it’s a SaaS solution.
At Ribbonfish, when we say cloud, we really mean cloud. We work with industry leaders like Microsoft Azure and Salesforce, and those platforms are really impressive; they allow for scalability; you can start very small and then build up.
Let’s say tomorrow you have 20,000 clients, the only thing you do is ask for a bit more processing power, and these platforms will do that for you.
So, really my point is;
Next time you are talking to a vendor, try to dig a bit more into what they mean by SaaS solution, because there is definitely versions of SaaS that are different.”

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