Every firm faces obstacles, such as those requiring careful planning, thorough research, and execution. Success comes from consistently working towards your goals. There are certain laws, guidelines, and best practices that apply to the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry specifically. Since there are so many components to deploy, it is best to handle each work separately to ensure proper management.
More and more SaaS-based apps are flooding the market as the worldwide Software as a Service (SaaS) market expands quickly. Are all of these applications truly SaaS or are the sellers simply labelling everything SaaS? Finding out exactly what a Software as a Service (SaaS) program is will be intriguing.
Multi-tenancy is a kind of software architecture in which a single deployment of a software application serves multiple customers. Each customer is called a tenant. Tenants may be given the ability to customize some parts of the application, nowadays applications are designed in such a way that per tenant, the storage area is segregated by having different databases altogether or having different sachems inside a single database or the same database with discriminators.
The users should be able to access the SaaS applications on the fly, which means the process of provisioning the users with the services needs to be automated. SaaS applications are typically used by B2B/B2C customers and this requirement demands creating companies/users just by invoking web services and providing access credentials. Most of the SaaS applications provide this critical feature and a great example would be CREST API from Microsoft. Cloud Services Broker (CSB) platforms can automate this procedure to provide access to SaaS applications on-demand basis.
Another important characteristic is the de-provisioning ability – remove the access from the user/organizations whenever the customer decides not to use the Software as a Service application. A good example of this is Salesforce, used by sales folks to manage sales-related operations. Typically, a Salesforce tenant gets created for an organization with unique identification by invoking APIs of Salesforce. Another set of APIs is called to create users under the tenant and the access credentials are shared to user. Also, delete API is called for when an organization decides to discontinue the application.
Single Sign On
An enterprise organization would want to have a single identity system in place in order to authenticate the various systems which are going to be consumed by users. Also, it is important for enterprises to have a single page to provide login credentials and access all Software as a Service application provisioned to the respective users. So, Software as a Service application should be easily integrated with various identity management systems without much change. It is also a big maintenance overhead for enterprises to store & maintain multiple credentials per system which are used by enterprise users.
So it becomes important to enable Single Sign On for SaaS applications to authenticate against existing identity systems and provide an experience of logging in once and using the various systems. Typically, Software as a Service applications use SAML or OpenID kind of impersonations to enable this critical piece. Also, another important factor is that the SaaS applications are multi-tenant, each tenant would want to authenticate against their own identity & access management system.
SaaS application pricing does not involve the complexity of license cost & upgrade cost etc. Generally, the Software as a Service application is subscription based, and this enables customers to buy the SaaS applications whenever they require them and discontinue whenever the enterprise decides that they are not needed anymore. SaaS applications generally follow seat-based charging type- the number of quantities purchased will decide the amount to be paid.
Read Also: How to Add SaaS to Resume
It can have various pricing models and billing cycles such as monthly/quarterly/half yearly/annually fixed etc. Few modern SaaS applications also provide the ability to charge based on usage-based billing. Another important characteristic is that the SaaS applications should be able to be invoiced. Typically CSB platforms will look for this critical feature so that they can dispatch a single invoice to their customers.
SaaS applications are shared by multiple tenants and the availability of kind of applications is expected to be really high throughout. So the Software as a Service application should provide a high degree of SLA to their customers. Applications should be accessible 24×7 across the globe. Also, SaaS applications should expose management & monitoring API to continuously check the health/availability factor.
SaaS applications usage is generally not predictable, consumption can dramatically vary in some months. The infrastructure on the applications deployed should really have the ability to expand/shrink the resources used behind the show. These days, SaaS applications are designed in such a way that it identifies the behavior of the infrastructure. Monitoring agents residing within the deployment resources intimate the respective management servers about the accessibility of the resources.
Typicality, policies, and procedures are built as part of the core architecture to expand/shrink the infrastructure resources. Micro architecture-based SaaS applications are the classic examples. Tools like Docker and Kubernetes are used to manage the elasticity of the SaaS applications. Another way is to build a policy engine to receive and react to an event; an event could expand/shrink the infrastructure resources.
Ensuring that the data/business information is protected from corruption and unauthorized access is very important in today’s world. Since the Software as a Service application are designed to be shared by different tenants, it becomes extremely important to know how well the data is secured. Certain types of data must be enabled with encrypted storage for a particular tenant and the same should not be accessible to another tenant.
So, having a good Key Management Framework or the ability to integrate/interface with external Key Management Frameworks becomes an essential part of SaaS applications. Also integration with CASB (Cloud Access Security Brokers) system will increase the confidence with respect to data security. Very strong Role Based Access Controls need to be ensured in order to protect the data.
SaaS applications should be equipped with protection against vulnerabilities. Typically, they should be protected against OWASP/SAN-identified vulnerabilities. Also, strong identity and access management controls should be enabled for SaaS applications. The other aspects that make the Software as a Service application secure are the following:
- Strong session management, protection against hijack the session
- Identifying unauthorized sessions, protection against multi-session etc.
- Usage of cookies not storing sensitive data, follow Cookie etc.
- Step-Up authentication like password lockout etc.
- Multi-factor authentication
- Strong implementation on separation of duties
- Protection against DoS/DDoS
- Protection against buffer overflow attacks
- Also, integration points open with CASB will help in gaining the confidence of the customers.
Every business has preferred/important users apart from the regular list of users using the applications. These days, in order to provide better service to all classes of customers, rate limiting is a good feature to have. The number of hits/ number of transactions can be technically limited to ensure smooth business transactions. Also, SaaS applications can be enabled with Rate limiting/QoS configure-ability which helps organizations to manage their user base.
Generally, SaaS applications are equipped with providing audit logs of business transactions and this enables customers to work out a business strategy by applying business intelligence plans. These services also should be able to comply with government regulations and internal policies.
Software as a Service (SaaS) Examples
As a Work OS, monday.com gets #1 on the list due to the robust features that it offers! Going into detail, monday.com lends you a hand with project management, marketing management, customer relationship management, team management, or task management.
Operating on a single open platform on which you can align your team’s goals while boosting efficiency, you’ll also be able to streamline your work by deciding on a template that will suit your needs the most, and customizing it all you need. Then, you can collaborate with your teammates via commenting, send real-time notifications, and automate the manual work easily—all for top-level management that will help you deliver great tasks within a limited time frame.
With monday.com as your online project management solution, you can:
- plan, strategize, and deliver the project of your choice in a flash via the pre-built templates—which can be customized as well
- visualize your project with colorful Gantt charts to track and manage with ease
- reshape and monitor your task dependencies, task lists, task milestones, and many more throughout the project lifecycle
- experience a great SaaS onboarding process that is filled with informative onboarding materials, from video files to help articles, which will help you get accustomed to the platform
- make use of all kinds of dashboards by turning insights into data that will serve as your guide for your future business plans
- oversee your team’s workload to assign resources accordingly, thanks to real-time data
- use popular integrations to take your project to the next level
- and make use of the key features of monday.com while adding custom items to your project
One of the best CRMs that you could make use of, Salesflare is of course apparent in our SaaS examples list as well! Salesflare is an all-in-one type of CRM tool that you could make wonders, thanks to its robust features.
Salesflare effortlessly combines communication and automation for sales and support teams so that they improve their workflows and increase employee retention and satisfaction.
For example, you could easily check which teammate has ever communicated with the customer in line so you could assign the same person again – if they’ve had a successful encounter. Thus, you could manage relationships faster than ever when it comes to that.
Some of the features Salesflare offers are as follows:
- web and email tracking,
- sales automation,
- task suggestions,
- insights dashboard,
- visual representation of the sales funnel,
- live notifications,
- lead scoring and hotness alerts,
- custom fields, and
- automated timelines.
There is a lot that follows but it makes more sense to find them out once you try the platform itself on your own as it offers a 30-day free trial!
Salesforce, also known as the “gold standard” of SaaS, is one of those companies that everyone needs to know about. It helps you manage and integrate every aspect of your business with their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform.
No matter what kind of business you run, Salesforce has a solution that will work for you.
One of the best things about this company is its well-known brand name in the business world! In fact, they’re so successful at growing their customer base due to word-of-mouth referrals from current users.
The one disadvantage of Salesforce is that its pricing model is based on the number of “user licenses” your business needs, which can be a bit costly for small businesses. The best part about Salesforce is its overall transparency. In addition, they work on providing you with the latest technology so that your business can be more efficient and productive!
If you haven’t tried it out yet, start your free trial today to see for yourself why this company has everyone raving about it!
Zendesk is an extremely popular customer service platform that has helped thousands of businesses provide excellent support to their customers.
This company provides a scalable option for companies that need help scaling and streamlining their customer service department. Ever since Zendesk was created, it’s become one of the most widely-used tools out there, and it’s no longer attractive only to big companies.
This tool is perfect for small to medium-sized businesses that are looking to provide excellent customer service without having to pay an arm and a leg for hiring new employees. Thus, if you’re tired of not being able to keep track of all your incoming messages or need help building out an awesome self-service portal for your customers—Zendesk is a perfect choice.
This company offers a number of different plans that can be customized to fit any business’s needs, and their entire platform has been designed with ease of use in mind!
No matter what industry you’re working in, if you own a small or medium-sized business—Zendesk is an awesome option that will provide you with everything you need to take your business’s customer service game to the next level!
Rippling is a human resources management platform that provides you with high-quality financial services so that business owners can take a breather. As a software company that specifies in HRIS, Rippling operates on many employee-centric matters for both B2B and B2C companies, from payroll management to talent management.
Aside from financial services, HRIS software tends to help you onboard your newly recruited employees with the courses you upload on the platform. Thus, all you have to do is choose the assignee and introduce them to the course they should take.
What’s really convenient is that you don’t have to upload your own course as Rippling provides you with courses that vary according to the country-specific compliance elements, such as anti-harassment training and health and safety awareness training.
Moreover, this HR software application with many benefits is offered on a subscription basis.