Software as a Service
Software as a Service (SaaS or more recently Cloud Computing) has been talked about for a long time. Originally it was discussed as a solution to deal with the problem of the relatively high cost of processing power in computers by centralising processes to one high powered server doing the computational work and feeding that back to lower powered and less expensive 'dumb' terminals.
This never really came about with the cost of high powered computers rapidly declining and the relatively slow speed of the internet in the early days. More recently we have seen a massive switch to the SaaS model, with giants such as Microsoft and Adobe starting to offer it as part of their repertoire of software selling models even as recently as 2011.
RedTie's Web to Print Solutions were written from the first line of code to be a SaaS and now most of our competitors have either released SaaS versions or are busy writing SaaS versions of their software. Towards the end of this page we have listed some of the many reasons why this change is happening but first it is time to look at the myths about SaaS that are typically spread by non SaaS offering software companies.
- SaaS is Less Reliable:
- Certainly when Google's services or Facebook goes offline it makes headline news around the globe but they happen infrequently and are resolved very quickly when then do. An onsite (installed) solution has at least the same chance of not being available (perhaps more so if it is not kept up to date or has no redundancy built in) but correcting the issue is likely to take much more time and may even require a site visit.
- RedTie has powerful servers set up in a "High Availability" configuration (no downtime for upgrades to the servers or software) and the systems self monitor to check that everything is working as it should and in the unlikely case that something is not the systems can even sms one of our experts who can then solve the problem remotely.
- SaaS is Less Secure:
- Encryption techniques consistently improve and most SaaS companies take data security very seriously, constantly updating to the latest techniques. In fact for all software, data security is only as good as the encryption techniques used and as SaaS is a constant upgrade solution it is more likely to have the latest technique built in.
- RedTie takes data security very seriously, we encrypt data using the latest techniques and never store the most sensitive information (such as credit card information) on our own systems as we prefer to outsource that security to the experts in the field (the payment providers). We are also proud to be one of the few Web to Print software providers that have been certified for ISO 27001:2013 Information Security Management.
- SaaS is Not Scalable:
- This myth originates from the way SaaS solutions were originally marketed as an easy and affordable solution for smaller companies but it has never been the case that it couldn't be scaled up to any size. In fact for companies requiring multiple locations SaaS can make even more sense as a centralised solution rather than an installed solution at each location.
- RedTie's Web To Print template solution offer unlimited users, unlimited webstores and unlimited products. We also carry an overhead of spare capacity on our servers to deal with peak usage and our growing customer base that is monitored closely so our upgrades are always ahead of our customers requirements. Scalability is built in, as standard.
- Not as Many Features:
- It is often thought that installed software is more feature rich than it's SaaS based equivalent and in some cases that is true but modern computer languages designed for web based services are typically at least as functional as their old school counterparts and are often being developed at a faster pace. In fact these languages have advanced so much that it is now possible to develop installed software with them.
- RedTie's solutions were developed from the start to work as SaaS and are constantly updated to use the most up to date computer languages available. With the advent of HTML5 and it's conitnual improvements we have developed extemely feature rich (and Flash free!) set of applications and we have certainly not run into the limitations of our chosen development environment.
The Benefits of SaaS
- Lower Costs:
- SaaS is typically a subscription based model that does not require expensive server equipment to be installed or highly technical personnel to be in the company.
- Computer Agnostic:
- There is no need for one version for Windows PCs, one for Linux and one for Apple machines, all you need is any modern web browser and an internet connection.
- Ease of Upgrades:
- The SaaS model allows for everyone to be on the latest released version of the code, which is normally done centrally by the software developer. It is easier and faster than an installed solution would be to upgrade. RedTie's Web to Print solutions typically have at least 4 major upgrades every year, with minor upgrades in between. The internet is moving at such a fast pace that it makes sense to have an always up to date solution.
- Global Availability:
- It is true that you can make an installed solution available from more than one location but the SaaS model allows for access from anywhere and at any time.
The above are just a few of the key benefits of a Web to Print solution distributed by the SaaS model. RedTie are experts in SaaS and with the ever growing numbers of software companies starting to follow us down the SaaS route we are confident that we have chosen the best solution for our customers.