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Welcome to the Business Insights Newsletter

Benefits of SaaS for Retail Business Systems such as POS

June 9th, 2009

Category: Point Of Sale Systems

Some commonly reported benefits of SaaS

Some commonly reported benefits of SaaS

SaaS, or Software as a Service, has been making major advances in many business segments. In this first of two articles on the suitability of SaaS for Retail operations including POS, we look at the benefits of SaaS over traditional system deployment methods.

Before getting into the detail, lets begin with an explanation of what SaaS is. Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software usage model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network, typically the Internet. Almost always the service is provided for a monthly fee based on one or more usage metrics.

The major benefits of SaaS are:•    Rapid Deployment
•    Outsourcing
•    Pay as you Go

Rapid Deployment
As the hosting of the software is the responsibility of the SaaS provider, there is no need for the customer to purchase, install and configure servers to host the application.

The application is ready to be deployed almost immediately. In many cases, all that is required to start using the application is a broadband Internet connection.

Many SaaS vendors allow for even faster deployment by providing sophisticated data migration facilities.

The provision and maintenance of the backbone of the SaaS solution infrastructure is outsourced to the SaaS vendor, eliminating any risk associated with sizing and deploying the infrastructure required for the solution.

Data security and server availability is also outsourced to the SaaS vendor, eliminating the need to provide these essential services in house.

Pay as you Go
Possibly the most compelling argument for SaaS is the Pay as you Go concept.

There is no need for any large capital expenditure on either infrastructure or software thereby substantially improving cash flow.

And providing the SaaS vendor does not require a long-term commitment, any risk associated with the implementation of a new system is drastically reduced.

In these tough economic times, where many businesses have a Capex (Capital Expenditure) freeze, SaaS has a major advantage over traditional system implementations. SaaS payments can come out of Opex (Operating Expenditure), instead of Capex. Therefore SaaS projects can be implemented even when there is a Capex freeze.

And because you are only paying for what you use, the return on expenditure is easy to calculate.

A further Pay as you Go benefit is that there is no requirement by the customer to predict or plan for the future growth of their business. They can start small and only pay for what they use, and their charges only increase as their business and usage grows. It is up to the SaaS vendor to ensure that the infrastructure is available as the customer’s usage increases.

There are many substantial benefits of SaaS, especially in the current economic situation. Many retailers see these benefits as compelling and are implementing SaaS solutions for their retail operations, including POS.

In our future newsletter, we will look as some of the reasons often stated by retailers for not implementing a SaaS solution and examine whether these stated reasons still apply.

Creative Computing
Creative Computing has been providing retail business solutions for over 20 years. We have been providing SaaS and hosted solutions retail operations, including POS, for over 9 years. Our SaaS customers achieve all of the stated advantages of SaaS. Please contact us if you would like further information on our SaaS-based or traditional installed solutions.