Six Important SaaS Questions to Ask
The decision is made, risks and benefits weighed, and your company is making the move to e-procurement with a Software as a Service (Saas) provider. All that’s left is to choose the provider that will help you create the best experience for your company.
With an off-the-shelf software product, you buy, install, and support the product within your organization and you are responsible for every aspect of the migration and ongoing support and security. With an SaaS provider, you are outsourcing your security, innovation, uptime and your support. For this reason, it’s vital to ensure your provider is a partner who understands and supports your needs and requirements.
When selecting a SaaS for your company, consider the many aspects that need to be taken into account: migration, integration, security, support, and pricing are just a few. It’s important to evaluate these and other aspects before choosing the best Saas provider for your company
Because the scope of the project is so big, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when choosing a SaaS provider. However, we’ve put together this list for you to make it a bit easier to remember some of those all-important questions.
1. What is the provider really offering?
Is the provider offering a true Saas developed on a single code line and a single platform? In other words, is it a one-stop-shop solution developed exclusively by the provider? or has the provider pulled together several apps and solutions from a variety of platforms or sub-contractors and hidden them under a single user interface?
It’s easier for an organization to have a single SaaS provider since it saves time and money. Services that are cobbled together behind the user interface can be more expensive and trickier when the time comes for upgrades or innovations to the service.
2. What migration and training assistance options are available?
One of the biggest challenges to integrating an SaaS platform is migration to the new platform and training of all end users. A good SaaS provider will partner with you to offer comprehensive migration services as well as ensuring that your people have the training they need to fully benefit from the new service.
Make sure that you fully explore the SaaS provider’s support of their product. Do they have a strong team of knowledgeable strategic people who are proactive in anticipating problems?
Don’t worry about talking with company representatives work out any possible problems before committing to their service. They should appreciate the time you’re taking to ensure they understand your needs.
3. What user environments are supported?
Will the provider’s SaaS work efficiently with your organization’s preferred internet browser?
Is the service available via tablets and phones?
Is mobile support available?
With SaaS there is usually no need to install software on individual computers or devices but it’s important to ask.
4. What are their processes for updates, innovation, and support?
Before committing to a provider, you should know how they support their product. How do they handle updates and ideas for innovations? Where do these ideas come from?
Do they ask for suggestions from their customers to improve their service? Will they work with you to help leverage new features to your organization’s benefit? Do they have knowledgeable people on board who can strategize with you for the long haul?
What happens when support is needed? Can your people call or email? Who would they talk to? Would your company have to provide some internal support, or would the provider resolve problem issues?
5. How is your data protected?
It’s important to determine how your data is protected while in transit and how that security is maintained. Sensitive data should be encrypted even at rest and clear lines of access and authority should be established.
If the information is not offered, ask about security certifications. Is the provider able to comply with privacy laws like GDPR?
6. In what physical location is the data being stored and is that secure?
Ask about their data center facilities and typical service up-times. Can they offer service uptime guarantees? Are they compliant with local laws regarding their location?
Redundant power supply and emergency power generators are the standard today to ensure data safety. They should also have redundant servers and data should be stored on available storage clusters.
7. Finally, who owns the data that your provider is storing?
Do not assume that you own the data. What happens to the data if you decide to leave the provider? What if they go out of business? Will they export it out to you?
Our research shows that these are the most important questions to ask but there are other considerations as well. We think it’s important to consider the maturity, knowledge, and experience of any SaaS provider. After all, you want a partner that can stay with you for the long term.
We suggest that you take advantage of free demos and trial periods to be confident that you’re selecting the right cloud app for your organization. And be sure to try out their support during the trial and see how easy it is to get good support.
An established e-procurement vendor like International e-Procurement (IEP)will work with your organization to answer all your question and ensure that your migration to e-procurement is well managed and easily integrated by both your organization and your suppliers.
If you’d like to try our free trial period or get more information about who we are and what International e-Procurement can do for your organization, contact us at 1-866-526-9266 or through our website at https://www.internationaleprocurement.com