One of the things that annoys me most about SaaS, is that the main promoters of SaaS have done a great job of brainwashing people into thinking that if you are not running a total SaaS solution, then you’re using a dinosaur of a product that is akin to running a client/server application on Windows 3.11.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of client-based CRM applications out there, som still finding ways to survive in 2009, somehow…
But the fact is, there are a lot of non SaaS solutions out there, that are as fully functional, easy to deploy and as easy to customize (if not easier and with greater power) than the best SaaS offerings. I know I’m talking from a fortunate position given that SugarCRM offers both SaaS and premises-based offerings, but it has really irked me that a lot of technology buyers seem to forget that there is a spectrum of sorts when it comes to applications these days.
Take this chart I just made up (forgive the lack of polish):
Now, this is pretty simplistic, but you get the idea. If a product is web-based, it really doesn’t matter where it is hosted if users have global access, and the code is easy to develop, customize and integrate with other systems. In fact, you could argue that a web-based on-premise system like Sugar is actually a better option than a pure SaaS because it provides deeper customization and integration capabilities than any SaaS product out there.
There has been this notion of “public vs. private clouds” for some time. I would argue that deploying Sugar on site is absolutely a private cloud deployment: it is web-based so there is a central server allowing users to access the application from virtually anywhere, it is centrally maintained and there is zero footprint at the user level.
Basically, you get all the end-user benefits of SaaS, but all the IT benefits of control, access and flexibility. Sweet…