What Is Software as a Service (Saas)?
Think of Google Drive. This is a place where you can store your data – pictures, videos, text documents, presentations, etc. You can access your files wherever you want and whenever you can as long as you have an internet connection.
Well, this is only one simple example of software as a service. The magic behind it is called “cloud computing”. More than likely, you have heard a million times about it, but do you actually understand what it is?
The cloud computing gives you access to storage, servers, databases and different services over the Internet. You can access your files easily by logging in from your device. All your files or data are hosted in data centers, outside your hard drive. Outsourcing your data can help your work to run smoothly in terms of application processing. You can easily share data with your colleagues or collaborate and at the same time you can be sure that it is secure.
If one SaaS company sells business solutions this means that it’s B2B oriented. Salesforce, for instance, is a B2B SaaS company.
If the case is that the SaaS company provides software to people logically it’s B2C. An example of SaaS B2C is Shopify.
Advantages of SaaS
1. Stores your data
- For B2C – Let’s use the Google Drive example again. Imagine you have a big amount of photos from your last vacation. Your phone runs out of storage and you need space as soon as possible because you are on a vacation and taking pictures is essential. The easiest way to clean up some space on your phone is to upload them to your Google Drive or another “cloud” where you can easily store your data and make space on your devices.
- For B2B – For businesses, the situation gets a bit complicated. If an online shop needs to store its data, it can’t just upload it to Google Drive. We are speaking about a huge amount of data. Think of all the product inventory, partners, customer info, etc. Having your own server where you can store your own data is also expensive. You need a space, an IT specialist who takes care of the servers, and you have your electricity costs.
Here comes the SaaS solution. You can subscribe to a cloud storage service to keep and protect your data. And the subscription costs much less than having your own servers in the office. Also, there is no setting up or worrying about what could happen to that server, because the provider handles all of that.
2. Easy access
- For B2C – As we mentioned you can access it from your phone, tablet, work computer, home laptop, etc. You don’t need to install special software or an application on your computer. The only thing you need to do is to open your browser and log into your software account. Or following our Google Drive example – log into your Google profile.
- For B2B – Using SaaS software tools for business saves time and money. Again, you don’t need a person who will install all your tools across multiple computers. And imagine if you got home after work and you forgot to send your colleagues an important report? If you use locally installed applications or programs, you probably wouldn’t be able to access the report from your personal computer.
Working with cloud-based software like DropBox, for instance, you store all your working files in the cloud, and you can access them from anywhere you have access to the internet.
What Are SaaS Companies?
SaaS companies are specialized in developing their own software services. They have invested in servers and data centers which give them the opportunity to develop their own services. Therefore they can offer subscription-based models to other companies, or for personal use.
Now, let’s get inspired by some successful SaaS examples.
Let’s start with one of the pioneers of cloud technology – Salesforce. The main focus of Salesforce is the connection between businesses and their clients. Salesforce integrates different departments in one platform which makes it the first choice of many businesses. The integrated departments are sales, marketing, eCommerce and services.
As well, Salesforce has the possibility of analyzing customer behavior. Based on this information, businesses can improve their products or services.
2. Adobe Creative Cloud
We all know and use Adobe which is one of the leaders of creative desktop software. Adobe develops solutions in digital media, printing and publishing software. Moving to the cloud, the company has successfully developed the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite.
The Creative Suite offers its subscribers a wide set of graphic design, video editing and photo editing apps.
MailChimp is one of the leading marketing platforms for small businesses. MailChimp provides software where you can easily create your email marketing campaigns. The platform is super user-friendly, so if you are about to send out your first campaign, don’t worry, the learning curse is super easy.
You can use email templates, schedule your emails and edit your subscribers’ lists. Once you have sent out your emails, you can check the statistics and track your performance.
Another advantage of MailChimp is the opportunity to share your campaigns across multiple ad channels.
Related article: How to Ensure MailChimp Emails Actually Reach Your Users
Shopify provides another great solution for small businesses. This is a cloud-based eCommerce platform where you can set up your online store and start selling your products.
It has many features that help you to sell your products. Shopify provides different payment methods, you can design your own storefront and check the order tracking. You can manage stores across multiple sales channels such as smartphones, social media or web.
Slack became fast one of the most popular SaaS solutions for businesses. Growth hackers have published a study on how Slack became the fastest growing B2B SaaS business (maybe) ever.
Slack is a cloud-based communication tool, which creates spaces for employees to communicate. This is a chat where businesses can text each other and have meetings.
Team members can organize their work and tasks creating team conversations on a specific topic that needs to be discussed. You can ping your teammates, share files and integrate different apps that you are using. As well, the chatbots can be used to remind people of important tasks that need to be completed.
6. Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure is another cloud-based set of services helping (mainly) developers to work efficiently. The service offers to build, deploying, testing, managing application and services through Microsoft-managed data centers.
If you need to create online surveys SurveyMonkey is one of the best solutions. This is software which gives you lots of freedom while creating your survey. As SurveyMonkey states, they want to stimulate curiosity. It has free and paid options and a special large-scale enterprises options.
You can create:
- Customer satisfaction surveys
- Employee satisfaction surveys
- Market research surveys
- Online research surveys
- Non-profit surveys
- Meeting surveys and event planning surveys
- Student surveys, teacher surveys, school surveys
Related article: How to Use Customer Surveys to Improve Your Product
If you are chilling on the beach, but you still need to take part in an important meeting – you can use Zoom.
Zoom provides online conferences, webinars, and meetings. You can share your screen and message your team members. You can join the meeting with your desktop or mobile app.
9. Atlassian Jira
Atlassian is a software company that focuses on developing products for software developers, project managers and content management.
Jira is a project tracker and issue tracker. The platform is effective because you can organize your tasks, plan sprints plus different tasks for your software team. You have visibility and you can visualize big projects.
One of Jira’s best features is that it can track bugs or issues and link them after that to the respective code. Which saves developers time and frustration.
Dropbox helps you organize all your files together in one space. It can be synced across different devices, so you can access your files or check your workflows anytime and anywhere.
You can incorporate tools you are using such as Microsoft Word and Excel or Google Sheets. You can add Slack so you can quickly reach your teammates or Zoom if you need to start an online meeting.
Zendesk is a popular cloud-based customer service and support platform. Zendesk helps to build relationships between customers and customer service. The main goal is happy customers and productive customer service agents.
Moreover, the platform helps customer service agents providing them many communication channels such as email, phone, chat, social media or web. Zendesk helps customers quickly find the information and the answers they are looking for.
HubSpot is very well known in the marketing world and aims to help companies grow better. It is cloud-based, inbound marketing software. HubSpot provides businesses with tools for content marketing, social media marketing, web analytics and search engine optimization.
HubSpot has many resources and free options. So you can start your business using a free version of the software and later upgrade your plan.
HubSpot CRM is forever free. It is a tool helping companies to organize, track and convert leads into customers.
13. Google G Suite
We all know very well and use every day Google G Suite – Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, etc.
All these tools are cloud-based, and this is the reason they are accessible from different devices all the time.
You can subscribe to the G Suite Youtube channel, where you can learn tips and hacks which will make real pro in G Suite tools.
Oracle Cloud SaaS Application is an integrated cloud platform for finance, human resources and supply chains.
Have you ever needed to sign a document while on the go? You know then that it is impossible to print it, scan it and send it back.
DocuSign has come up with a solution that provides users with an e-signature platform. You can access it everywhere, sign your papers quickly and you can be sure that your data and your sign are secured.
It is extremely useful for big companies where agreement signing is a long process. With digital e-sign, they can make the process easier.
LastPass is a password manager and it stores all your passwords in case you forget them.
The software can save passwords for end-users or businesses. The manager keeps your passwords secure and always in handy when you need them.
Proofpoint is a cybersecurity company helping businesses protect their data. The company provides software as a service for email security, social media security, mobile devices, outbound data and prevents all kinds of digital risk.
Teem is a space management tool that helps businesses manage their workspace. Teams can use it to schedule and plan their meetings within their offices.
Apart from scheduling your team meetings, you can also plan a meeting with your visitors. You have access to statistics which will help you when analyzing whether you use your space in the most effective way.
As you can see SaaS companies focus on providing the best possible solutions to their clients. They all aim to make your life easier, save you time and let you focus on your tasks.
Thanks to cloud-based software services we can access our files anywhere and at any time. We can switch devices if needed, we can work remotely as long as we have Internet access.
We can be sure that our passwords are saved, our data is protected, we can even book conference rooms easily and meet online for important meetings.
WordPress SaaS Development
As a proud WordPress agency, we have developed many components for various SaaS solutions. We will work together in order to establish a model that will work best for you while finding the best marketing automation platforms, automation platforms or network-based solutions.