The 1500s had their Pied Piper of Hamelin, and our current environment has SaaS applications. The original pied piper was a rat catcher who didn’t get his way, only to turn his magical flute into a way to lure children away from their town. To listen to users of SaaS-based CRM applications, you might think that they are listening to the dulcet tones of the same piper. “SaaS is less expensive. SaaS is better long term. SaaS is easier to configure.” Some of the claims are true, though many are not. The comparisons are often not of like-to-like.
The first thing to notice in the SaaS versus on-premise cost/complexity argument is the chronic lack of real data. Despite millions of words spilled on SaaS, there is little hard evidence of SaaS lowering the cost of software over a five year period for a large enterprise or SMB. On the low end, a number of products are equally capable as some of the SaaS products but much less expensive over five years. And on the high end, virtually no one is measuring the cost of creating custom objects and custom workflows and maintanance, support, sandboxes and integration for SaaS, atop the eternal subscription costs. The same user organization that will say, “We had to build over 5,000 customizations into product X in 2004.” will say, in 2011: “This SaaS product is great: we’ve built over 5,000 customizations.”
SaaS is the wave of the present and future, but the oceans are vast, and there are many fine waves to ride.
Do you have hard and convincing data for your large scale SaaS-Based Customer Service Contact Center that it is less complicated and expensive than what you had five years ago? Let us hear your story!