With the introduction of the cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) hoteliers now have the option to move from a licence based to the subscription-based model, allowing them the opportunity to avail of a more agile, flexible, quality hotel pms at an affordable cost. Which is all well and good – and while SaaS is part of our everyday, it’s not necessarily that of our potential clients. Everyday we hear the same handful of questions about SaaS; so, we thought it might be helpful to add some of the most commonly asked questions we receive.
- What is SAAS? SaaS, or Software-as-a-Service, is an on-demand, cloud-based delivery model for software applications. A service provider hosts the application at a remote location and the user accesses it over the Internet using a web browser.
- What’s the Difference Between SaaS and Cloud Computing? The two terms are often used interchangeably and while they are different, they are closely related terms of the same idea. Cloud computing refers to rented infrastructure and services making hardware, software and data available via the Internet. SaaS is just software delivered to an end user from a cloud environment i.e. It’s the part of cloud computing concerned specifically with making software available online.
- Who Owns My Data? One major advantages of the cloud is the ability to easily and readily access critical business information anytime, anywhere. But with such data often being highly confidential, it begs one simple question for many: who owns it? Well the answer is simple; you own your data. It’s very unusual for any vendor to insist that they retain ownership of your data. If you notice this in a clause, and/or if there is ever any doubt or ambiguity, alternatives should be sourced, legal assistance called upon, or simply don’t sign the dotted line.
- Is my Data Secure? Security is probably one of the most asked about topics regarding cloud-based solutions with hotel guests. In the early days there was a little bit of fear mongering regarding the security of the cloud and there are still mixed feelings from some industries about cloud security. However a robust hotel pms typically has more security measures in place than an on-premise system. The cloud is known for it reliability, data security, processing speed and PCI compliance; data is stored securely and remotely instead of in an on-site physical hotel location. All your data is mirrored and backed-up continuously, and data transfers use the same encrypted protocol that is used by banks – that has to provide some reassurance on hearing that! Furthermore, most SaaS vendors undergo stringent security procedures and audits that test the data centre’s level of security. These guarantees are in place to ensure that nothing is ever lost.
- What are the main advantages of SaaS?
- Lower and more predictable costs: Minimal up-front investment is required and using a pay-as-you-go pricing model means there are no more longer term fixed contracts and more predictable operational costs
- Flexibility in terms of licensing and scalability of resources
- Easy to deploy and manage
- Minimal Risk: Better security, disaster recovery and backup
- Integrates easily with other systems and 3rd parties
- Easier upgrades and updates: Vendor maintains and upgrades the software – more often than not there is greater functionality and more frequent upgrades than legacy on-premise hotel software
- Improved accessibility i.e. 24/7/365 anytime, anywhere access – all that’s required is a web browser
This is by no means an exhaustive list! If there are any more questions that you have about SaaS or the cloud that you would like answered then let us know and we will add them here!