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Why independent software vendors should consider a SaaS model managed by a managed services provider

Software-as-a-service, the process of delivering and accessing applications through the web has become the defacto method of software deployment.

End users want to access software on any device, anytime and anywhere. Independent software vendors want to be able to move toward a cloud based service model to meet customer demand, stay competitive and introduce recurring revenue streams.

The problem then is working out who should support the delivery of your software. At the outset there appears to be two options: either manage it in-house – requiring extra resource and expertise you may not possess– or work with a hosting or managed services provider.

In reality there may however be three options. Hosting providers only cover one part of the picture, the end platform, what they are not able to do is manage the application experience from the data centre to the end user’s device. This leads to a grey area where nobody is taking overall control for the application’s successful delivery. If there is an issue where performance is impacted or downtime occurs, this can turn into a finger pointing exercise between the host, the network provider, end users, and the software provider, as they seek to apportion blame on each other.

Managed services providers can provide the end-to-end infrastructure and management expertise to most effectively deliver your application. However, not all managed services providers are equal, and working with less evolved providers who don’t take the time to understand your business goals can lead to damage to your brand and revenue.

Why Virtual Data Centre may be less expensive than on-premise servers

I am an Infrastructure-as-a -Service (IaaS) evangelist and having had the pleasure to work with Virtual Data Centre (VDC) during my time at Claranet, I can comprehensively say it is the future of hosting.

I often work with customers to build an ROI model, taking into account all the business benefits gained and all the costs saved.

Often they still turn to me and say:

‘For the same internal resource considered over a 3 year contract your VDC comes out twice as expensive as my on premise servers. I am not convinced all the other benefits are worth that much’

Hosted Desktop – build, buy or partner?

Since 2008 industry experts have been predicting an explosion in desktop virtualisation. To cater for this predicted demand many companies built platforms.

The reality is that the numbers predicted by Gartner - 40% of all corporate desktops virtualised by 2013 - have failed to materialise. Hosted Desktop has not become ubiquitous. But there are thousands of companies using and enjoying the benefits of Hosted Desktop services, who would never go back to the traditional model. There is an ever growing market for these services and while industry predictions were over optimistic, in both scale and time frame, the reality is people are moving to the Hosted Desktop model.

Kicking the mid-market into the cloud

The mid-market is a great opportunity for any new technology and no doubt we have all seen the J curves for future uptake of cloud services, just as we saw them for mobile, VOIP, smart phones etc.

The bottom end of the market has engaged - with little choice - based on low cost or free offerings; while enterprise organisations can pay for whatever fits a business case and can show an ROI within 36 months.

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